Whether you’re just starting out in a new relationship or have been long-term partners for many years, how does a gay couple maintain their relationship over the long haul and sustain that “magical spark” that drew them together in the first place? Relationships do require attention and focus, and this article will present five deadly mistakes that you can make that can wreak havoc in your partnership, almost ensuring conflict and unhappiness. Remedies will also be offered, and keeping these points in mind can help stave off relationship discord—and even prevent a potential breakup from ever being considered!
Deadly Mistake #5: Getting into predictable, monotonous routines: Once you get into the groove of your relationship, you can begin to feel comfortable with the safety and familiarity it breeds. However, in the long run, this can create a stale environment of boredom and “same-ness”, leading many couples to feel restless, unfulfilled, and “itching” for a change. Break out of that rut by bringing more spice and novelty to your relationship.
Shake things up a little bit and dare to be different! Surprise your lover with a night out on the town to break up the mundane workweek. Introduce more creativity and variety into your sex life. Keep him guessing and on his toes for what’s coming next. By bringing in a little more excitement and stimulation, the chemistry between the two of you will be nourished, reaffirming your connection and strengthening your bond.
Deadly Mistake #4: Making assumptions about what your partner thinks and does: Interpreting your partner’s thoughts and behavior through your own lens can spell disaster, especially when you make decisions based on these judgments. You cannot read minds and jumping to conclusions will only erode the trust and security of your relationship.
Even if your guy has a history of responding in a certain way in given situations, it would behoove you to not jump to conclusions and generalize his actions, as he may alter his responses or have a different mindset. Always check things out with your partner to make sure you’re both “on the same page.” This will save you from a world of grief and insecurity.
Deadly Mistake #3: Not updating your relationship vision: Relationships grow and change over time, and so do the individuals in the partnership. Revisit from time-to-time with your partner about your hopes, dreams, aspirations, and goals for your relationship and yourself. This will help troubleshoot any “growing apart” tendencies by keeping the communication open. For example, with monogamy, some couples change their views on the role this plays in their relationship.
If you’re in a monogamous relationship and want to open it up, don’t just act upon it without dialoguing about it with your partner first. And if you have an open relationship, don’t assume you and your partner share the same views about it as time goes on.
Revisit your “relationship contract” to ensure genuine agreement still exists, avoid making assumptions, and don’t be afraid to bring up difficult topics of discussion. It’s better to hash it out than to act it out to protect the foundation of trust you’ve built.
[ continued tomorrow ]
©2006 Brian L. Rzepczynski
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com