My parents separated when I was very young, and as I grew up I realised it was because my Dad was gay. I stayed at my Dad’s place every weekend until I was about 17, so I had met and bonded with a few of his male partners over the years.
When I moved into an apartment with Uni friends, I began to see less and less of my dad.
In my first year of University I met Rob at a friend’s party. We bonded straight away over our taste in music and soon became really good friends. Rob was gorgeous- cropped dark hair, broad shoulders and bright green eyes – he looked like a male model!
While I was usually extremely shy around good looking guys, I found Rob so easy to talk to and laugh with – hanging out with him was like hanging out with one of my girlfriends.
While I always thought Rob was very good-looking, I had never really felt a spark between us, and was content with our close friendship.
One day we were both hanging out in my apartment, drinking cheap wine, and I began to feel a bit tipsy. I had just found out that a guy I really liked at my work had just gotten a girlfriend, so I was upset and pouring my heart out to Rob.
He listened to me babble on all night, offering me hugs and telling me that I was beautiful and would find the perfect guy one day. Without thinking I leaned forward and kissed him.
At first he didn’t respond, like he was in shock. He looked really confused, but then kissed me back. We made out for a while, and although he was a bit awkward at first, he soon loosened up and we both seemed to feel very comfortable.
After that night our friendly ‘dates’ turned into proper romantic dates. Rob was such a gentleman, always holding the door open for me, paying for my meals at restaurants and never acting sleazy.
After a few weeks we started referring to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend. At the age of 20 Rob was my first boyfriend, as I had always been way too shy to date boys in high school.
As he was my first boyfriend, I didn’t really know what to expect from the relationship. I knew that all my friends who were my age started sleeping with their boyfriends after a few weeks, but Rob and I had been going out for a couple of months by this stage and he still hadn’t made that move. He never kissed me in public, and our make out sessions never lasted very long, but I assumed he just wanted to take things slow.
“I assumed he just wanted to take things slow…”
Our relationship continued this way for many more months, and I began to feel rejected by Rob’s lack of physical affection. I never mentioned this to him because by this stage I was very much in love with him and didn’t want to start an argument.
Christmas time came around, and Rob invited me to lunch at his parents’ house, while I invited him to dinner at my Dad’s house. I was really nervous about meeting his parents for the first time, as he gave me the impression that they were quite strict.
I tried my best to act confident during lunch, but Rob’s parents soon proved to be very judgmental, making me even more shy than usual. They made petty comments about their son’s appearance, and subtly criticised his choice of study (he was studying Teaching at the time). While they weren’t out-right rude, I could tell from their sly comments that they were very hard to impress, and poor Rob copped most of their criticism.
With lunch out of the way, we finally escaped, then headed to my Dad’s house later on for dinner. After having just broken up with his latest partner before Christmas, Dad was currently living by himself, and it was obvious that he was pretty lonely.
When we arrived, Dad was really happy to see me, and very excited to finally meet my boyfriend.
Dad and Rob seemed to click straight away – they both loved to travel, and spent the entire dinner discussing the places they had been and the places they wanted to go. Dad was a high school Art teacher, and Rob was studying to become a teacher, so they had that in common too.
After dinner we moved into the living room to continue chatting. It was late and I soon fell asleep on the couch, but every now and then I would drift in and out of sleeping and Dad and Rob would still be immersed in conversation.
Rob and I didn’t end up leaving until well past midnight, and the whole way home he couldn’t stop commenting on how cool my Dad was and how young he seemed.
The next week, Dad invited us over again for lunch on New Year’s Day. Again, he and Rob chatted for hours, before Rob had to leave for work. I stayed to help Dad clean up and we started chatting about Uni and work, and of course Rob.
Dad asked if it was serious between us two, and my mind flashed back to my embarrassing attempt to seduce him into my bed the previous night…which of course he rejected. I was feeling very unsure that day so I told Dad it wasn’t really that serious yet.
Over the next few weeks we all spent more time together than usual, and eventually it got to the point where it was just Dad and Rob spending time together without me.
“At first I was thrilled that my boyfriend and my Dad were getting along so well, but then it started to get a bit weird.”
Rob was coming over to my place less and less, and we starting only seeing each other about once a week. At first Rob would enthusiastically tell me every detail of the time he had spent with my dad- but after a while whenever I asked what they’d gotten up to the day before, he would go quiet and try and change the subject.
It was weird and eventually I checked his phone and found a whole bunch of messages from my Dad saying things like ‘I know I only saw you this morning, but I already miss you’. My heart sunk. Never in a million years did I think that my Dad would steal my boyfriend.
I had no proof that they had actually had a physical relationship, but as soon as I saw those messages, I felt so stupid for not realising that Rob was gay. The signs were all there, it was so obvious. He was only with me to please his parents and to stop them from becoming suspicious about his sexuality.
Two years later and I don’t speak to Rob anymore, and my relationship with my Dad is still very strained and awkward as we have never spoken about what happened.
I never told anyone the real reason why Rob and I broke up, not even my close friends or my mum. On the plus side I’ve recently met an awesome guy who is loving, kind and can’t keep his hands off me!
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