Well here’s one way to finally face those commitment issues head-on, and we’ve got to say, it’s a pretty heartwarming story.
What do you do when a challenging upbringing sets you up for relationship problems, but really at heart you’re a sensitive guy seeking real connection?
For one 32-year-old man, the answer was falling back on that whole “this is my roommate (wink wink)” cover, except instead of trying to fool a nosy relative, he was pulling the wool over his own eyes.
Or as his “roommate” puts it, the two became “mutually exclusive, housemates with benefits with income proportional expense sharing.”
He shares his equal parts touching and hilarious story on Reddit:
I’ll be the first to admit, I have huge commitment issues- my parents threw me out for being gay and then shortly after I entered into an abusive relationship with a much older man. After that broke up because he found someone younger, I was inn a relationship with a guy who was in the closet and basically was his dirty secret until he got engaged to a woman without telling me and then wanted me to stick around. I didn’t. After that I became pretty anti relationship.
I’m pretty well known for being anti-relationship too, especially in my circle of friends.
About 18 months ago, I met Alan at a supermarket, we made eye contact, flirted a lot and I invited him back to my place for a drink when he invited me back to his place when he saw that I was just grabbing a frozen meal, whereas he was going to cook. So of course I accepted.
We started a FWB thing after that but then slowly started hanging out outside of the bedroom.
Then Alan’s lease was up and I was wanting a housemate so I asked him if he was interested- he couldn’t afford it but I told him he could pay what he was currently paying and he could cook and kept the house clean.
He agreed because he was essentially paying for a single bedroom apartment and living in a house and he loves cooking and cleaning anyway, his personality reminds me a lot of Monica from Friends only he works in a library.
Before I knew it, I was getting packed lunches every day and he’s made a vegetable patch in the backyard.
About 2 months after he moved in, he brought up being mutually exclusive FWB after an STI scare. I agreed because I actually hadn’t slept with anyone except Alan for ages and neither had he. So after we got tested again we stopped using condoms.
Then a few months after that- Alan wanted to join the gym so I added him to my membership as my partner. We turn up to events with each other. We hang out a lot. He sleeps in my room more often than his room because we have sex there the most.
Then last week we were at a party when someone asked what our relationship was. Alan laughed, looked at me straight in the eye and said that we were “mutually exclusive, housemates with benefits with income proportional expense sharing”.
Now that just sounds ridiculous. I know I have a boyfriend, I’ve been sort of denying it all this time but that’s what Alan is.
This situation is both really screwed up but I’ve also never been happier. He’s so easy to talk to, to hang out with and when he’s not at home I feel bored, like I don’t know what I did with myself before I met him.
But somehow I both want him to be my boyfriend but a part of me is scared of getting in a relationship, even though I am in one.
I just feel like saying the words will change everything- it’s a commitment and I really want it but there’s that irrational part of me that is scared.
Also I’m scared that Alan doesn’t think we’re in a relationship even though we are right? Alan has never had a boyfriend as long as I’ve know him and he has his own set of issues too, he’s parents basically tried to “pray away the gay” and he left of his own volition. He used to bring up very subtley about getting more serious but I would just evade and he stopped pushing. It’s so weird, like I can talk to him about everything and anything, we have these amazing conversations but lately this whole boyfriend thing is like the elephant in the room.
How do I get over this fear of commitment and also what does it say that he’d put up with this crap from me?
Comments poured in offering advice and encouragement, and many suggested doing something special for Alan to preface “the talk.”
So how did it go?
Here’s the equally adorable update:
A lot of people were saying to cook him a meal and then ask him so that’s what I did.
It was a bit of a disaster, I screwed up the chicken dish I wanted to make, ended up making mac’n’cheese with this expensive gluten free saffron pasta because Alan is King of the Kitchen and even our olive oil is fancy.
He was sympathetic but I could tell he was amused when I told him I screwed up the dish and was happy with mac’n’cheese.
Anyway, I was already a bit agitated from screwing up dinner but when we sat down, I was thinking about comments about how Alan was my lobster [Editor’s note: Friends reference, Google it if you must].
Only I was so nervous I said “Alan, you’re a lobster” instead of saying that he was my lobster and that just confused him and asked me if I wanted him to make lobster.
That just made me embarrassed so I told him not to worry about it and went to pour him some wine and ended up knocking his glass into the mac’n’cheese and ruining it.
So we ended up getting takeaway and watching Netflix and I was still a bit on edge because I’d screwed up the evening- we were cuddling so he could tell that I was a bit tense and not focused I guess.
Anyway, he asked me what the matter was and I just blurted out “Are you my boyfriend?”, he looked uncertain and said “Yes, if you want me to be” and I just very emphatically said I wanted him to be and he looked very relieved and happy.
I apologized for evading the topic before and Alan said it was OK because I was the best boyfriend he’d ever had with or without labels and that got us to the fun portion of the night.
Anyway, a bit later I guess something twigged because he asked me if that was what dinner was about and said yes and he pinched my cheeks and called me adorable. Then he asked me what the lobster thing was- he thought I’d tried to make him lobster but I explained the Friends quote and he said it was a good thing I was pretty.
Anyway, I asked him if we need to make an announcement or anything but we agreed that we wouldn’t say anything unless people brought it up or we need to introduce each other. Alan also said, he liked the term partner better than boyfriend and I agreed, it does sound more serious but I guess that’s what this is.
All romantic comedy fumbling aside, we love this story and hope it will inspire someone out there who is still battling a past trauma to realize that they are, and always have been, worthy of love.