Adding ‘Gay’ To The Mix
Some additional factors that I might add to the list for making relationships work that are more specific to gay men in a couple include:
• Having solid self-esteem and comfort with being gay
• Both men being at the same level of “outness”; and the more “out”, the better to allow for more openness, relaxation, and honesty in all environments
• Having a support system of people who honor, value, and validate the men’s relationship as a gay couple
• Each man having his own individual identity, as well as commitment to a relationship identity to allow for more balance and vitality
• Having a clear agreement about monogamy vs. non-monogamy in one’s relationship and having an understanding of what that means and looks like and abiding by that faithfully
• Recognition that relationships take effort and work
• Having a shared vision for the future as a couple
• And most importantly, as in all relationships, communication is key! Productive conflict resolution is critical! Honesty is a must! The ability to be flexible is also important.
This article merely scratches the surface of what constitutes a healthy relationship. There are many ingredients that go into creating a successful partnership, but the topics discussed here provide you with a basic foundation of what’s most needed to get you on the right track. What’s important is that each couple defines for themselves what works best for them and what happiness and fulfillment would look like for them.
The above skills will help promote a working atmosphere to help the two of you co-pilot the type of relationship you’re seeking. Identify your strengths and weaknesses as a couple from the tips and craft a plan for making things even better between the two of you.
Society desperately needs to see healthy gay couples functioning in successful relationships. Could you be a role model as gay partners if you choose? If so, let us all share the wealth and wisdom with each other as a community, to learn from each other on what it takes! Cheers to your relationship 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