What if I'm a Guy and in Love With Another Guy?

Same-sex feelings can come as a shock.
... K-King Photography Media Co. Ltd/Photodisc/Getty Images

Any time you develop strong romantic feelings for someone, it's naturally going to be an emotional challenge. That challenge gets much bigger when that person is of the same gender; not only do you have to deal with all the questions about potential unrequited love, you have to navigate the difficulties of widely varying attitudes toward same-sex attraction.

1 Orientation Questions

If your feelings for another man are coming as a surprise to you, you're probably questioning your sexual orientation. Remember that it's not necessary to define yourself as either straight or gay, or any other label. According to studies done by Alfred Kinsey in 1948 and 1953, sexual orientation isn't limited to gay or straight. Kinsey famously categorized orientation on seven levels ranging from homosexual to heterosexual. What you feel for someone right now does not have to define what you can or can't feel for other people in the future.

2 Morality Questions

Depending on how your upbringing has taught you to view sexual morality and same-sex attractions, you might find that your feelings are in conflict with your religious or moral beliefs. How you decide to proceed with this conflict is your choice, but understand that many people and religious organizations are accepting and affirming of same-sex relationships and attraction, such as the Gay Christian Network and the United Church Of Christ. The general consensus among mental health professionals and physicians is that same-sex attraction is not a choice, and not something that can be cured, according to the official position of the American Psychological Association.

3 Safety and Stability

Take some time to assess how safe it would be to be open with your feelings, both with the man you have feelings for and with others in your life, especially close friends and family. Attitudes toward homosexuality vary widely from one geographical environment or social circle to another, as well as in individuals. If you are in school, still financially dependent on your parents or in a situation where you might be in danger of facing strong social hostility, you may decide that it's safest to keep your feelings to yourself until you are living independently and are able to surround yourself with supportive people. If you're unsure how someone in your life feels about non-heterosexual orientations, bring up the topic in conversation by discussing gay celebrities (or other openly gay people) and see how others react.

4 Relationship Questions

Think about telling the man you like about your feelings for him and consider how likely it is that you'll get a positive result from doing so. If he is openly gay or bi himself, the worst case scenario is unlikely to pose any danger or serious social fallout. However, if the two of you have a relationship, it's likely that he will want you to be open with it. If he is not openly gay, ask yourself how likely it is that he is closeted, and try to avoid wishful thinking when you do so. Remember that there is sometimes a risk inherent in telling a straight man that you have feelings for him; he may react with hostility or even violence if he is highly uncomfortable with the idea.

Lauren Vork has been a writer for 20 years, writing both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in "The Lovelorn" online magazine and thecvstore.net. Vork holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from St. Olaf College.