Dear Amy: I'm a woman, currently dating a man younger than me.
He pursued me relentlessly before I agreed to go out with him.
On our first date, I leaned in to kiss him and he got a terrified look on his face and blurted out, "I'm gay ...!"
I immediately left and avoided him for days.
He convinced me that he was just trying to shock me, and was just messing around.
Maybe that's true, but every time we're together he brings up different scenarios, and asks me things like, "What would you do if you caught me kissing this guy or that guy?"
I asked him the other night why we never go to his place and his answer was, "I don't know, maybe I'm gay."
I'm pretty open-minded, but this really is getting old. I believe he might be closeted and in denial. Any thoughts?
Amy says: My thoughts: If you try to kiss someone and he recoils in terror, saying, "I'm gay," then he's most likely gay.
If he consistently brings up scenarios where he speculates about your reaction to him kissing this guy, then he's at least gay-adjacent or bi-curious.
If you ask him why you don't go to his place, or why he didn't finish his entree, or why he likes the color green and he says, "I don't know, maybe I'm gay," then — yep.
My point is that according to you, just about every question you ask him — regardless of the topic — seems to swing around to his sexuality.
There are probably many great reasons this man wants to date you. But he also seems eager to find ways to talk about his own sexuality.
You could ask him if he is at a sexual crossroads. Would he like to talk about it in an honest, noninvasive way?
If you want to be sexually active with him and he finds all sorts of reasons to avoid or evade physical contact with you, then it's time for you to make a decision about being with him, based on your own desires, not his.
Relationship is over
Dear Amy: I am a 63-year-old widower. My wife died nine years ago. Dating has been brutal.
I dated a lady for two years. She is a nurse and is deeply involved in public health during this pandemic. It is overwhelming for her.
I tried to support her with gifts, books and home-cooked dinners. Over time, our relationship went from intimate to wearing a mask and no touching.
She hinted around and told me that I don't have to stay in the relationship. I told her we could make it. She continued to pull back.
Finally, I called her on it. I left that evening angry.
I took a day and realized I wasn't angry with her but with COVID. I wrote her a card, bought her flowers, and left them on her porch.
She is now ghosting me like an angry 15-year-old.
The emotional pain of the instant cutoff of communication and the pretense that I do not exist is difficult.
How do I deal with that? Should I send her a letter? I need some sense of resolution.
Amy says: Your relationship might be yet another emotional casualty of COVID. You seem to believe that this breakup was sudden, but it wasn't. Your girlfriend provided multiple signals over a long period that she was pulling away from you.
Yes, write to her if you believe it would help you, understanding that it won't change the outcome. Put the things she gave you into a box. Put the letter (or a copy) inside. Pour yourself a drink. Close the lid. Raise a toast to the end, and resolve to let time do its magic, to heal this loss.
Send questions to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.