"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?"
If you’re in a monogamous relationship and want to open it up, don’t just act upon it without dialogging 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.
Deadly Mistake #2: Not attending to each other’s needs: We all have needs, and relationships are a great source for meeting the needs for belonging and attachment. Through communication and life experience with your partner, you’ll learn what matters most to him.
Many couples destroy their relationships by taking each other for granted and failing to attend to the needs of the other in the ways he likes them to be met. Schedule a “family meeting” with your partner at least once a month to talk about your relationship and how it’s going. What’s going well? Not so well? Are you in alignment with your relationship vision? Make a list of your needs and share them with your partner, making a conscious effort to be more attentive and proactive.
Deadly Mistake #1: Not making your relationship a priority: Life is stressful. Between the demands of work, family, friends, school, hobbies, and all the other obligations you may have, your relationship with your partner can really take a hit. Those couples who take their relationship for granted are writing a prescription for its demise. Try to work hard at creating more life balance to juggle all the roles you have to avoid neglecting your relationship. Imagine your relationship with your partner is a nucleus.
You must protect your nucleus from all external, outside forces. Don’t allow them to penetrate through or you risk jeopardizing the health and wellness of your relationship! Your partner is your home and haven. Let him be your number one priority above all else.
Make him feel special and appreciated. Schedule “date nights”, surprise him with gifts of adoration, plan a commitment ceremony, etc. Do anything you’re comfortable with that will validate and affirm your relationship as the blessing it is—and cherish it!
Conclusion: So there you have it—five deadly mistakes that can compromise the success of a gay relationship. By applying some of these possible solutions and brainstorming some of your own, you’ll be demonstrating your commitment to your relationship and honoring it in the way it deserves. This will promote more gratification and functionality in your partnership, solidifying your bond as a couple, and creating a level of bliss unlike no other. Cheers to your success!
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
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