Dating 101

Would You Date Someone Who Is In The Closet?

By: Erica Gold

I was watching one of the older episodes of The Millionaire Matchmaker the other night where matchmaker extraordinaire Patti was trying to find true love for a sweet gay bachelor named Kevin. She set him up on a date with a cute guy named Randy, who flew from Los Angeles to Kentucky to spend time with Kevin at his beautiful estate. Things were going great until Randy revealed that he wasn’t out to his parents.

Well, I should note that Kevin didn’t seem to care and planned to see Randy again. I was the one who had an issue with Randy being a grown man and still in the closet. I shared my objections, yelling at the TV, “Kevin, end it now!”

I would have ended the budding romance right there based solely on the fact that Randy wasn’t out.

Look, I know it can be difficult to come out. You’ve got to deal with family, co-workers and maybe even friends who might not be accepting. I went through my own challenges when I came out. But I did it, and I dealt with the fallout. It wasn’t easy, but everyone in my life—whether or not they’re okay with it—knows exactly who I am, and I can enter a relationship having dealt with it.

I’m telling you, dating someone who isn’t out and trying to take the relationship to the next level can be an exercise in futility. I know this because I’ve dated closeted women before and learned the hard way that you can’t build a real, adult relationship with someone who will only bring you home for Christmas if you pretend to be her best friend.

And it won’t be just one Christmas that you’ll have to put on this charade. It’ll be Christmas after Christmas. Nine years later, you’re going to be 40-years-old and still pretending that you like your best friend so much you just have to spend Christmas with her—this is how it went for my friend Jessica. She finally broke it off with her closeted girlfriend, who refused to live with her for fear of being “caught,” after nearly a decade of putting up with this nonsense.

My friend Chad lives with his closeted boyfriend. Still, Chad’s man won’t fess up to his family even though he always promises he will do so. Because the boyfriend’s family is in the dark, Chad and his boyfriend don’t spend any major holidays together—the boyfriend refuses to bring Chad home even as his “best friend.” It’s been five years, and Chad still puts up with this. Is this any way for an out gay man to live in the year 2012?

I’d go as far as to say that being in a relationship with a closeted gay person is akin to being in a relationship with a drug addict or a compulsive gambler.

Promises are made.

“I’m going to come out to my family when I go home this weekend. I swear!”

And promises are broken.

“My sister just announced that she is getting married. I didn’t want to spoil everyone’s happiness by hitting them with the news that I’m gay. I’ll tell them the next time I go home for a visit.”

I’ve seen from my own experiences and my friends’ experiences that dating a closeted person is a dead end, and I’m never going to do it again.

I wish Oprah had done a show on this topic. It would have been a real service to the gay community!

How about you? Would you date someone who isn’t out to everyone in his or her life?

Are any of you in a relationship with someone who is closeted? If so, are you frustrated, or are you okay with it?

Tags: DATING 101