Sometimes Love is not enough
You may be “out” to everyone, but maybe your partner isn’t. So while you are thrilled about bringing your SO to your Aunt Mabel’s fried chicken dinner on Sunday, 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.
While safety isn’t always predictable, assess when it is safe to be out as a couple, meaning is it ok to kiss or only hug when saying hello in public?
Is it ok to hold hands, walk arm-in-arm, or is it better to walk arm’s length from one another? Can you hold hands across a restaurant table or cozy up close on a barstool
What about a slow dance together at a wedding? Assessing your environment is critical to your safety and to protect yourselves from glares to threats to physical confrontation.
Your safety is affected by many variables, including whether you are in familiar territory or on new turf, such as when vacationing in a state or country that may frown on your love.
Take care of each other by communicating in advance when you are unsure of possible dangerous reactions to your coupledom.
Advice for Gay Couples
Make an effort every day
You love your partner and want to show them every day. It doesn’t need to be a big demonstration of feelings; bringing them a hot cup of coffee made just the way they like it can be enough to send a message that you care about them.
When you are long past the heady, blissful beginning days of your relationship, continuing to do small, loving gestures for each other will go a long way in showing that your gay relationship partner is significant.
This is a very important first relationship advice for anyone but is definitely important in gay relationships as well
Develop your own “you” outside of your identity as a couple
When gay partners come together, like straight couples, it is natural to experience a sense of fusion, a state where you do everything together. It is thrilling to have finally found someone that “gets” you and you want to spend each waking and sleeping moment together.
But healthy gay relationships need breathing room to keep things interesting. Avoid the temptation to look to your partner to fulfill all your emotional and intellectual needs.
Even though you may be head over heels in love, this gay relationship advice implores you to carve out time to maintain your outside separate interests and continue to work on self-development.
When you come home, you will have something new to share, keeping the conversation and the “spark” alive in your gay relationship
Work on developing emotional intimacy
You and your partner have awesome sex. But now that you have committed to each other, you will want to also work on deepening the emotional bond between you. This means learning each other’s communication styles.
This is not always easy, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Spend some time out of bed, just talking and understanding each other’s emotional needs and desires.
As per this relationship advice for gay couples, a relationship that relies uniquely on a sexual connection isn’t one that will last long term.
Strengthening your mutual emotional intimacy through daily check-ins as well as time devoted to meaningful conversation will help you stay together through the inevitable conflicts that crop up in all relationships
Keep past relationships in the past
You are now in a new and fulfilling relationship. You both want this to be a success and are willing to do the work for it to be a healthy, life-enhancing partnership.
Part of this means letting go of past relationships, especially relationships that ended on a bad note.
Do what you need to leave these past hurts out of the present; perhaps some counseling sessions can be of help with this.
Protect each other physically
Remember this LGBT relationship advice: get tested, and keep getting tested. This is particularly important if you and your partner have an agreement to have an open relationship.
Sometimes being lgbtq+ can be very isolating, especially if you are concerned that your family is going to reject you, or you live in a conservative part of the country or if your religion conflicts with building a life with a same-sex partner.
Seek out lgbtq+ resources either locally, nationally or online that will give you an opportunity to connect with people who understand and can empathize
. Also, turn to trusted friends, whether they are lgbtq+ or straight, to build deeper relationships by asking for support and talking about how you feel.
Take cover from the bombardment of news reports of efforts to thwart or reverse progress for lgbtq+ families.
Oppression and discrimination is very wearing. Make time to celebrate your life together, even if others are trying to undermine or disparage your love
. Look in the mirror together and affirm the beauty of your relationship. If you are energized, get involved with an advocacy organization either by contributing your time or donating.
If you are worn out, nourish yourselves by spending time with family and friends who believe in your love. During the times that the world may not be so kind, your champions will give you the kindness you need.
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.
If your relationship issues are being compounded by the stress of being lgbtq+ in a straight world, or if you are finding this stress affects your emotional health, don’t go it alone, seek help because you and your love matter.
Be transparent about your sexual role and preferences
Are you a top or a bottom? Dominant? Submissive? Make sure your partner knows this from the start.
This gay relationship sex advice may help you not make the mistake of pretending you are something that you are not, or could never be, just to attract this person you are interested in.
Make sure you understand what your partner means by “relationship”
It is no secret that in the gay subculture, “relationship” can mean many things. If for you it means being exclusive, you’ll want to make sure that is compatible with your partner’s views as well.
If you both wish to keep the relationship open to include other people, outline what that means. Does it mean continuing to frequent gay bars solo?
Would you prefer a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, or would you require complete transparency from your partner when they see other people?
Whatever you decide in your gay relationship make sure both of you agree, or resentment will build and your relationship is unlikely to last.
If you and your gay relationship partner have made the decision to be exclusive, take action to help this decision stick.
You want to focus just on each other and build a legitimate relationship? Delete all those gay networking and dating apps.
You may have to stop going to the gay bars that you used to use for hookups; find new places that you and your partner can go to that cater to gay couples.
Do everything you can to foster support for keeping your couple intact, and do not venture virtually or physically into situations that tempt you to stray.
Protect each other legally
If you are at the stage of your same-sex relationship where you are ready to tie the knot, check with your State’s or country’s’ laws to see if gay marriage is legally allowed.
If it is not yet legal, research how you might legally protect your partner so that they have spousal rights such as power-of-attorney, medical benefits, or death benefits.
Schedule a weekly evening for quality time together
Once you have gotten into your relationship groove, it can be easy to take each other for granted. Don’t.
The number one death knell to a relationship is neglecting to communicate with the other person how special they are to you.
Schedule a date night each week, and honor it. Do not let anything conflict with the time that you have set aside to connect with your partner. When you are on your date, put away the screens.
Check-in not only with how their day/week/work is going but see if there are any relationship-related issues that need to be aired.
Happy gay couples will tell you that one key thing that they do to keep their shared life rich and interesting is to focus on each other with no outside distractions at least once a week.
No relationship is easy. Relationships and marriages take work and conscious effort to make them work and keep them healthy and happy.
The advice mentioned above is essential for every couple. However, you must find ways that work for you and your partner.