He's 21. He's in love. He needs our help. Here's today's letter:
Q: I am a 21 year old gay male who is currently in a relationship with a closeted professional male about 40 years my senior - whom I used to work for. We have been dating for a little over 4 months and our relationship has grown increasingly deeper over the time we have spent together. I initiated the first intimate interaction. He said "I love you" first. We have been on vacation together, spend almost every weekend together, and talk by phone once a day and email throughout the day.
My question is how do I share with him the frustration I am feeling from keeping our relationship a secret - without patronizing him? Am I selfish for wanting to be an out couple? Am I wasting my time? I have strong views on men in the closet and sometimes they cloud my judgement regarding him and I start to resent him for not being honest with the world. I don't want to resent him.
We talk about the future all the time and we make plans - my fear is that we are being unrealistic. I see myself living with this man in the next two years. Getting married within ten. And adopting within fifteen. At this point in my life - and this may just be the naive 21-year old part of me coming out - I cannot think of a future without him.
What should I do? This is both of our first real relationships. We are both new to this"love" thing. Add the closet, his career, and our age difference and you can just imagine how difficult this all is.
I don't want to lose him - and I am afraid I will.
-- Confused&InLove@21, Boston
A: Confused&InLove@21, one of the big problems here is that you're Confused&InLove@21. You're talking about having children with someone -- in 15 years.
In 15 years, this closeted man will be 75, right?
My guess is that this is a first love. It's hard to let go of first loves even though they're usually impractical. You don't have to let him go right this second -- at 21, what's the rush? -- but perhaps you should start getting your mind around the fact that he may not be "the one," especially if you want to raise a family with someone who's at least moderately age-appropriate and comfortable enough with himself to call you his partner.
You're young. You're out. He's too old. And in. The writing's on the wall for this one. Love him for being your first love -- but know that's all he is.
Readers? Am I right? Can you help this young man? Share your thoughts here.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.