Q Dear Gay Uncle,
I’m 61 years old and five years ago moved to a small coastal town. Shortly after moving I was contacted by a guy in an open relationship who just wanted fun. We chatted a lot, and I enjoyed the banter, but really a monogamous relationship was what I wanted. But, I arranged to meet him.
When we met, my world was flipped upside down, he was a good looking 39 year old and charming. The coffee meeting turned into sex. I didn’t expect to see him again, but did. I suppose I fell in love a bit, well, strong infatuation at least. I was introduced to his partner, who was a similar age and looks similar to me. He was a nice guy and was happy for his partner to play around, no issues with it at all.
I didn’t like the feeling of sharing a lover, so I cooled things off, but the infatuation was strong, so every now and again we’d share a bed, and I started socialising with them as a couple. When I cooled things off and started to try to date someone on a one to one basis, my occasional bed buddy got jealous and started being toxic towards him. The relationship I was forging fell apart as did my friendship with the couple. I started drinking to excess. I got help and dried out in a clinic, and have been okay for the last 18 months.
I then renewed my acquaintance with the couple and my part time lover. He has tried to give his opinion on everything in my life, and I am starting to feel that he is very controlling and only wants people to do what he wants.
Last weekend was the last straw. I went for an evening out with them, and as the evening progressed, my part time lover went off with a married man and his partner went off with someone else, leaving me alone in the bar. I felt like a spare part.
I know I need to distance myself from them, but how do I do it?
Just cut the ties. You can’t move on when you’ve got toxic people in your life. I know it’ll be difficult for the first few days and weeks, but the longer you leave them alone the less control they’ll have in your life.
Start cultivating good friendships and relationships that enrich your life rather than make you feel like shit.
I know it’ll be tough at first, but stay firm. You don’t have to make a big drama about not spending time with them. Just when they suggest something, just say you’re busy and maybe another time. After a few turned down invites they’ll get the hint and move on to someone else. And having a new group of friends will make the transition easier for you.
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