Is He Keeping a Secret? Understanding 19 Signs He’s Pretending to Be Straight

Navigating the world of sexual orientation can be complex and challenging.

It’s not uncommon for individuals to struggle with their sexual identity, particularly when identifying as gay, bisexual, or queer can still be met with discrimination and rejection.

These societal pressures can lead some to hide their sexual orientation, often pretending to be straight.

So, how can you tell if someone is truly heterosexual or just putting on a facade?

Let’s delve into some telltale signs that your partner might be hiding something about their true sexual identity.

Why Would a Man Act Straight When He’s Not?

a man looking confused

Coming out as gay or bisexual can be a daunting and complex journey.

The fear of judgment or exclusion can act as a significant barrier, preventing individuals from fully accepting their true identity.

As a result, some men might pretend to be straight to avoid these challenges or to conform to societal norms.

They might also be in the process of figuring out their own sexuality.

While it’s understandable that someone might feel the need to conceal their sexuality, it’s crucial to remember that living a lie can have serious impacts on their mental and emotional health.

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Clues That a Man Might Be Pretending to Be Straight

1. He Dodges Talking about Sexuality:

If your boyfriend seems uneasy or avoids discussions about sexual orientation, this could be a warning sign.

He might quickly change the topic or seem uninterested in discussing anything related to LGBTQ+ issues.

If the conversation continues, he might even become upset or defensive.

This could indicate that he’s hiding something about his sexual identity and is trying to avoid any potential questions or comments.

2. He’s Extra Close to a Male Friend:

 two men being close

While having close male friends is completely normal, it could raise questions if your boyfriend seems unusually attached to one particular friend.

If he’s always messaging or calling this friend and insists on spending time with him, even when other friends are around, this could suggest that there’s more going on.

It might indicate that your partner is attracted to this friend or has a secret relationship with him.

3. He Doesn’t Show Interest in Women:

It’s typical for many straight men to show interest in women – even women who aren’t their partners or wives.

Many women can attest to catching their partners taking second glances at other women or even flirting with them.

If your partner seems indifferent to the presence of women or shows no interest in them, he may not be romantically attracted to them. Instead, his interests might lie elsewhere.

4. He’s Secretive About His Personal Life:

a man avoiding eye contact

Does your man keep many aspects of his life hidden?

He may be concealing his true identity.

He might be vague about how he spends his time or who he’s been hanging out with.

He might also be hesitant to share details about past relationships or his views on his sexuality.

All these things can be hints that your partner isn’t being fully honest with you.

5. You Catch Him Looking at Other Men:

While it’s normal for people to appreciate physical beauty, if your boyfriend seems to be focused on other men’s bodies or looks, it’s worth considering whether he might be struggling with his sexuality.

Of course, he may be simply admiring another guy’s style or physical fitness, but if he seems to be going out of his way to look at men or can’t take his eyes off them, it’s worth exploring further.

6. He’s Openly Against LGBTQ People:

If your boyfriend is openly against LGBTQ people, it could be a sign that he’s trying to overcompensate for his feelings.

This could be a defense mechanism, a way to distance himself from his own conflicting emotions.

He might think that by expressing homophobic sentiments, he can convince others (and perhaps himself) of his heterosexuality.

This behavior could be a manifestation of his internal struggle, a reflection of his fear and denial.

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7. He’s Really Interested in Your LGBTQ Friends:

If your boyfriend shows an unusual interest in your LGBTQ friends, it might be a sign that he’s exploring his own sexuality.

He might be curious about their experiences and how they navigate their relationships.

This fascination could be his way of understanding his own feelings without directly confronting them.

He might ask questions about their relationships or experiences, trying to gather information about what it’s like to be in a same-sex relationship.

8. He Emphasizes His Manliness:

a man showing his back muscle

If your boyfriend is constantly emphasizing his manliness, it could be a sign that he’s overcompensating for his true sexual orientation.

He might talk about how much he enjoys traditionally manly activities or hobbies, or he might make a point of demonstrating his strength or toughness.

This could be his way of reinforcing his heterosexual identity, both to himself and to others.

It’s a way of fitting into societal expectations and avoiding any suspicion about his sexuality.

9. He Often Jokes About Being Gay:

a man laughing or telling a joke

Humor can be a powerful tool for deflection.

If your boyfriend frequently jokes about being gay, it could be a way for him to explore his feelings without admitting them outright.

By making light of the situation, he can bring up the topic of homosexuality without having to seriously confront his own feelings.

It’s a way of testing the waters, gauging your reaction, and perhaps preparing for a potential future revelation.

10. He Has LGBTQ+ Apps on His Phone:

 a man looking at his phone

If your boyfriend has apps on his phone associated with the LGBTQ+ community, such as Grindr or Scruff, it could be a clear indication that he’s exploring his sexuality.

These apps are commonly used by gay and bisexual men to meet others, so their presence on his phone could suggest that he’s interested in same-sex relationships.

It’s important to remember that the use of these apps doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gay or bisexual, but it could indicate that he’s questioning his sexuality.

11. Your Gut Feeling Tells You Something Isn’t Right:

Sometimes, your gut feeling can be the most accurate indicator.

If something about your boyfriend’s behavior or attitude doesn’t seem right, it could be because he’s hiding something.

You might notice subtle changes in his behavior or a shift in his attitude towards certain topics.

Trust your instincts and consider having an open and honest conversation with him about your concerns.

12. He Doesn’t Seem Interested in Being Intimate With You:

A lack of interest in physical intimacy can be a significant sign that your boyfriend is struggling with his sexuality.

If he often avoids physical contact or seems uninterested in sex, it could be because he’s not attracted to women.

This lack of desire could be his way of unconsciously expressing his true sexual orientation.

It’s important to remember that everyone has different levels of sexual desire, but a consistent lack of interest could be a sign of something more.

13. He Avoids Gender-Specific Pronouns When Talking About Past Relationships:

If your boyfriend avoids using gender-specific pronouns when discussing past relationships, it could be a sign that he’s hiding something.

By using neutral language, he can avoid revealing the gender of his past partners.

This could be a way for him to hide the fact that he’s had relationships with men in the past.

It’s a subtle way of avoiding the truth without outright lying.

14. He Has Many Male Friends Who Are Openly Gay or Bisexual:

If your boyfriend has a lot of friends who are openly gay or bisexual, it could be a sign that he’s comfortable around people who are open about their sexuality.

He might feel more at ease around these friends because they won’t judge him for his own sexual orientation.

This comfort could suggest that he’s questioning his own sexuality and is seeking out people who can understand his experiences.

15. He’s Very Concerned with His Looks and How Other Men See Him:

If your boyfriend is overly concerned with his looks and how other men see him, it could be a sign that he’s trying to fit into the traditional male stereotype.

He might spend a lot of time working out, grooming, and dressing in a way that emphasizes his manliness.

This could be his way of proving his heterosexuality to himself and others.

16. He’s Very Interested in Male Celebrities or Athletes:

If your boyfriend is extremely interested in certain male celebrities or athletes and always talks about how attractive he finds them, this could be a sign that he’s hiding his sexuality.

He might admire these men not just for their talent or success, but also for their physical appearance.

This admiration could be a subtle way for him to express his attraction to men.

17. Others Have Suggested It:

If other people have suggested that your boyfriend might be in the closet, it’s worth considering their observations.

They might have noticed subtle signs or changes in his behavior that you’ve overlooked.

While it’s important to take these comments with a grain of salt, they could provide valuable insight into your boyfriend’s sexuality.

18. He Seems to Be More Interested in Watching or Talking about Gay Porn:

This one might be slightly more obvious than the other signs, but it is still worth mentioning.

If your boyfriend seems more interested in watching or discussing gay porn, it could be a clear indication that he’s attracted to men.

Pornography can be a way for people to explore their sexual fantasies and desires, so his interest in gay porn could suggest that he’s questioning his sexuality.

19. He Flirts with Men:

If your boyfriend flirts with other men, it could be a sign that he’s attracted to them.

He might compliment other men on their looks or make playful, flirtatious comments.

While some men are naturally flirtatious with everyone, if your boyfriend seems to flirt specifically with men, it could be a sign that he’s exploring his sexuality.

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What to Do If You Notice These Signs

therapy session

Once you have identified the signs that your partner might be in the closet, you should approach the situation with sensitivity and respect.

Here are six things to do if you think your partner is in the closet:

Speak Openly and Kindly:

Even though you may feel deceived and angry, being kind when talking with your partner is important. Avoid making accusations.

Ask questions and try to understand their perspective and feelings.

Let Them Lead the Conversation:

Your partner may feel more comfortable if they control how much information they share with you at any given time.

Don’t pressure them into revealing too much or giving an answer right away. Instead, give them space to process their thoughts and feelings.

Respect Their Privacy:

Your partner’s sexuality is theirs alone, and you must respect their privacy.

Avoid gossiping about them or telling anyone else, even if you feel frustrated.

Learn More and Offer Support:

If you’re not familiar with the LGBTQ+ community, take the time to educate yourself.

Learn about the different identities and experiences that exist and how you can be a supportive ally.

Seek Professional Help:

If the situation is causing distress or discomfort to either of you, seeking professional help may be helpful.

A therapist or counselor can provide unbiased support and guidance for both of you as you work through how to handle this situation.

Decide What’s Next:

Once you have had the conversation, it’s time to decide how to move forward.

Do you want to remain in a relationship with them, or do you think it’s best if you both go your separate ways?

Talk openly and honestly to figure out what works best for both of you.

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Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to tell if your boyfriend is in the closet, it’s important to remember that how you handle this situation is key.

Even if you decide to leave the relationship, do your best to be respectful throughout the process.

Ultimately, how you treat them can impact how comfortable they feel with their sexuality and identity.


What if my boyfriend shows only one or two of these signs? Does that mean he’s pretending to be straight?

Not necessarily.

These signs are not definitive proof that someone is pretending to be straight.

They are merely indicators that might suggest someone is questioning their sexuality or struggling with coming out.

It’s also important to remember that everyone is different, and people may exhibit different signs or behaviors.

How can I support my boyfriend if he’s struggling with his sexuality?

The best way to support your boyfriend is by being understanding, patient, and non-judgmental.

Encourage open and honest communication and let him know that you’re there for him, regardless of his sexual orientation.

It’s also beneficial to educate yourself about the LGBTQ+ community so you can better understand his experiences.

What should I do if my boyfriend denies being gay or bisexual but continues to show these signs?

It’s important to respect your boyfriend’s self-identification.

If he says he’s straight, you should take his word for it.

However, if his behavior continues to cause confusion or distress in your relationship, it might be helpful to seek advice from a counselor or therapist.

Is it possible for a man to show these signs and still be straight?

Yes, it’s possible.

Some of these signs could simply be a reflection of a man’s personality, behavior, or interests, and not necessarily indicative of his sexual orientation.

For example, a man might have many gay friends or be interested in LGBTQ+ issues without being gay himself.

How can I approach a conversation about this topic without offending or hurting my boyfriend?

It’s crucial to approach this conversation with sensitivity and respect.

Make sure to express your feelings without making accusations.

Use “I” statements to communicate how you feel, such as “I’ve noticed…” or “I feel…” instead of “You are…” or “You always…”.

This can help prevent your boyfriend from feeling attacked or defensive.

What if I’m wrong about my suspicions and it affects our relationship?

It’s possible that bringing up this topic could cause tension or misunderstanding in your relationship.

That’s why it’s important to approach the conversation with care and to be prepared for various outcomes.

If your relationship is negatively affected, consider seeking help from a professional counselor or therapist to navigate through the situation.

Feeling a bit lost after reading this?

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If you’re curious about what the future holds for your love life or just need some clarity about your current situation, why not give Keen’s online psychic reading a try?

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