There is a fallacy that somehow lgbtq+ relationships are different than straight relationships. But, whether gay, straight, trans or any other combination, when two people come together to date or to get serious, they face the same highs and lows that surface in any relationship.
What exactly does it take to have such a relationship? Listed here are some useful tips that may help you achieve that goal with your partner.
Come up with ways to compliment your partner on a weekly basis. If they look good in those pants, tell them. Don’t keep it to yourself. It’s not a state secret.
Respect your differences
You may be “out” to everyone, but maybe your partner isn’t. So while you are thrilled about bringing your SO to your Aunt Karen’s Sunday cookout, where all of your relatives will get to meet your special someone, your SO might feel nervous about bringing you to a family outing. This is where things can get sticky and why it’s important to respect one another’s process. For couples who are at different points in their journey, it can be frustrating when one person feels invisible or the other feels scared or pressured to come out. Sit down and share what your differences trigger in one another and see if you can map out steps to support each other during this transitional time. Coming out is a very personal process and while you two might be at different stages in your journey, bring love, respect, and patience to the process.
Another secret to having a healthy gay relationship is striving to achieve a balance between your identity as an individual and as a partner. Either extremes can be unhealthy and can lead to adverse effects like feeling suffocated or out of touch with your social self.
Pick your battles
It can’t always be your way, your not always right, and you don’t always have to have the right answer. Respect each other. It’s better to find a solution that works for both partners. Yes, sometimes that means you don’t always get what you want, and that’s OK.
Define relationship parameters from the get-go
This is an important element for a successful gay relationship because it requires communicating with your partner to make sure you both are seeking the same type of relationship. If one of you needs things to be open and the other is looking for an exclusive arrangement, it is obvious that you two aren’t meant for each other in a romantic sense.
No matter how much you thought that this man was the one for you, if he doesn’t view relationships in the same way you do, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. This is a conversation worth renewing every six months or so, because as your relationship evolves, your expectations may as well. Some gay couples who started out with a premium on monogamy decide, after years together, that opening up the relationship is something they both wish to explore. Whatever the parameters look like, it is important that you both agree on them together.
Don’t get married just because you can
Stop rushing your man into matrimony. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, I was just as excited as everyone else. I told myself I needed to shop for husbands instead of boyfriends, but that’s not realistic. Relationships need to time to grow and progress — they’re not just a step towards attaining the “dream.” This is real life; never rush into something you aren’t ready for just because you can.
Institute daily check-ins
Create a few relaxing minutes each day to sit down and check in with each other by taking turns to find out about each other’s day. During this time the focus is on listening to each other rather than responding to each other. One of you talks, the other listens, and then you reverse the process.
Be vulnerable with each other
It’s easy to put up a wall when you don’t feel like you can share the excitement of being in love with your family, friends or co-workers. When you walk into the arms of your love, remind yourself to leave your armor at the door. Let your relationship grow and flourish, by creating the space to be open and vulnerable with each other. So, take a deep breath and enjoy! And, you may find your wall coming down when you gain strength from your relationship.
Enjoy your relationship sensually and sexually
One key lesson you can learn from successful gay couples is to find ways to show and express your affection toward your partner, both sensually and sexually.
Avoid being clingy
There may be a tendency especially in the beginning days of your love story to want to be with your boyfriend night and day. This is a common mistake to make and can be the reason that new relationships burn out quickly. Make sure to leave each other space and breathing room. Even if it does not come naturally to you, force yourself to go out and participate in the activities you loved before you were a couple. Your sports, your writing workshop, your volunteer work with the LGBT group—whatever you were involved with prior to meeting Mr. Right, keep on doing it. It keeps you interesting and will keep your guy interested in you.
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