Wedding Woes

I think you should just pursue romance somewhere else.

Dear Prudence,

I am a bisexual widower in my mid-50s. My wife was a remarkable woman and the love of my life. She died two years ago after a wonderful 30-year marriage. I decided if I was ever ready to date again, I’d be interested in both men and women. Last year I met “Eric,” and we hit it off immediately. We spend a lot of time together; he’s very smart, talented, successful, and a lot of fun (plus he’s good-looking). Normally I have a fairly good intuitive read on other people’s orientations once I’ve gotten to know them, but I’m drawing a blank with him. Other friends who know Eric well have commented on our surprising closeness, saying that he usually prefers to do things by himself. He hasn’t dated in over 20 years and has apparently never had a serious relationship. We live in a fairly conservative community, which may have an impact on this.

Recently we were having dinner at my place and put the news on in the background. A male celebrity had recently come out as bisexual, so I decided to mention that I was too. Eric replied, “Interesting,” as if I had said “My favorite color is blue.” Then he moved on to another topic. I figured that may have turned him off. But he called the very next day, and it has made no difference in our friendship. He never comments on the attractiveness of either women or men. Maybe he doesn’t notice. Is it ever OK to straight-out ask someone about their sexuality? I want more of a relationship with him, but I don’t want to insult or upset him by being intrusive. If he’s not interested in romance, I’d happily keep him as my best friend and pursue romance elsewhere.

—Curious

Re: I think you should just pursue romance somewhere else.

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Take his sexuality out of this, and think about this like any other friendship where you start to have romantic feelings. If you knew he was attracted to men, would you be willing to put the friendship on the line to ask him out? If so, just do it. You're not going to be any more hurt if says he's straight or ace than if he says he's into guys, just not into you. 

    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • Is your friendship closer than what you’d typically think of as friends? Do you want more with him? If he’s not interested would you be happy and okay with the friendship as it is? These are the questions you need to answer rather than Eric’s sexuality. 
    short+sassy
  • Something seems off about this.   I would start to pursue elsewhere and then who knows - maybe there will be change from Eric.   But I think this is possibly difficult territory for two people who are just getting to know each other and if Eric is keeping things close to the vest don't push it. 
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I like Varuna's approach.  Put it out there that you are interested in more, but also that you want to remain friends, if romance does not interest Eric.
    MissKittyDanger
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