Man gazing at man in locker room

You strike up a conversation with an attractive man at the gym. Your heart soars! Then a woman joins him, and the two hug. Your heart drops. He tells you she’s his bestie. Your heart soars! Then you notice his cargo shorts. Your heart drops. But when you follow each other on Instagram, you see the jockstrap selfie he just snapped in the locker room. Your heart soars! Scrolling down, you also see the photos of him and his boyfriend. Your heart drops. Then he tells you they’re looking for a third

So goes the emotional roller coaster that is the gym gay crush, and anyone who has caught feelings at their local Equinox can probably relate.

Ken Howard, LCSW, CST, the founder and executive director of GayTherapyLA, devoted a blog post to gay gym crushes in 2021. He wrote, in part:

I’m starting to think we all have gym crushes. They can take many forms: the guy we “always” see at the gym, whose physique we admire and he provides “entertainment,” “eye candy,” inspiration, and maybe a bit of wistfulness that he is unattainable to mere mortals like ourselves. Maybe we’ve observed something about him that makes him feel unattainable to us, like he runs with a “better crowd,” or you’ve seen him be buddy-buddy with some A-list attitude queen, and you just know if he’s friends with that bitch, he wouldn’t give us the time of day. Maybe we’ve seen him there with a woman who is apparently his girlfriend. In our minds, we spin that story: maybe she drags her hot boyfriend to the “gay gym” so that he can get his ego stroked (if nothing else) by the gay guys gawking at him, which gives him swagger when he’s with her. The scenarios—both real and heavily embellished by imagination—are numerous.

As Howard wrote, it’s important to keep your gym fantasies in perspective—and to remember that real-life connection is very much possible. “Sometimes, our gym crushes actually do become guys we are dating, if we just give them (and ourselves) a chance to meet them and get to know them as humans and not just objects,” he wrote.

After all, remember that once-straight gym bro who started lusting after his “mad thick” workout buddy—and then got a date with him?

But you don’t have to take our word for it! Check out two dozen tweets about gay gym crushes below.

Related: Crunch Fitness asks patrons to have sex “anywhere” but the men’s locker room

Related: Why cruising at the gym is the worst and best thing ever

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