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Relationship Advice for Same Sex Couples

Weird and Annoying Questions Gay Couples Get Asked
Lesbian Life: Tips for a Healthy Lesbian Relationship

Jennifer Aniston Interviews Ellen and Portia

Relationship Advice From Lesbian Couples

Lesbian Guide to Being a Good Girlfriend

How Gay Menís Relationships Differ from Straight Relationships

 

Famous LGBTQ Couples

Elton John & David Furnish
Wanda Sykes and Alex Sykes
George Takei & Brad Altman
Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak
Rosie O'Donnell and Michelle Rounds
Mario Cantone and Jerry Dixon
Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni

 



Orlano Cruz and Jose Manuel
RuPaul and Georges LeBar
Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka
Martina Navratilova and Julia Lemigova
Anderson Cooper and Benjamin Maisani
TR Knight & Mark Cornelson
Ellen Degeneres & Portia DeRossi
Jamal and Octavius Terry-Sims
Lily Tomlin & Jane Wagner
Mario Cantone and Jerry Dixon
Jayne Lynch & Lara Embry

 


 

Rufus Wainwright & Jorn Weisbrodt
Maurice Sendak and Eugene Glynn
Johnny Weir and Victor Voronov
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita
Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison
Rosie O'Donnell and Michelle Rounds
Lance Bass and Michael Turchin
Mario Cantone and Jerry Dixon
Raven-Symone and Azmarie Livingston
Cheyenne Jackson and Monte Lapka

 

 
 

David Hyde Pierce and Brian Hargrove
Chely Wright & Lauren Blitzer
Brandi Carlile & Catherine Shepherd
Anthony Wayne and Kendrell Bowman
Wanda Sykes & Alex Sykes
George Michael and Kenny Goss
Bryan Batt and Tom Cianfichi
BD Wong and Rickie Jackson
John Barrowman and Scott Gill
KD Lang and Jamie Price
 

Pop Sugar: LGBTQ Celebrity Couples

In Style: LGBTQ Celebrity Married Couples

Info: LGBTQ Love

Ranker: Coolest Gay Celebrity Couples

News Day: Gay Celebrity Couples

 

Dating Tips for Gay Men

Consider these tips to help gay and bisexual men make better choices about dating and relationships.

 

"Check in" with yourself to understand whatís behind your motivation for dating or being in a relationship. How much are you affected by othersí opinions of you based on whether youíre single? Do you feel more alive when youíre involved with another guy? Are you genuinely attracted to this guy? Are you reacting to feeling lonely or rejected?

Identify what kinds of experiences have been satisfying when dating or being in a relationship in the past. And what has left you wanting something else. How you've felt about past experiences can direct you to what will work for you in the future.

 



Get in touch with what you value, what you need and what you desire in another guy and in a relationship. Without this awareness, you may well make choices that donít satisfy whatís really important to you. This is your life... follow your bliss!

Recognize that dating or being in a relationship makes demands on you. Not only time, effort and sacrifice, it also demands that you reveal who you are to another guy. It's important to know how prepared you are to do this at this time in your life.

Timing is (almost) everything. Are you really ready to date or be in a relationship? Or are difficult life circumstances (dealing with significant health changes, substance use, experiencing oppression, grief over a loss) stressing your ability to handle the additional challenges of connecting with another guy?

Be aware of the power balance between you and the other guy. If you feel you have little power, how will you be able to negotiate what you need or desire? If you feel you have most of the power in a relationship (not an easy thing to recognize), will you be able to really hear what the other guy wants or desires?

People change over time (and so do relationships), particularly in the early stages of getting to know someone. Itís important to be prepared for the natural evolution of relationships and the first step towards this is to accept that change is inevitable.

 



Before you begin to date or start a relationship, make sure friends and family are there for support. Youíll appreciate them helping you celebrate the highs and deal with the lows!

Recognize you have a choice in saying "yes" or "no" in any situation and that choosing to be single is a choice.

Be prepared for the feeling that dating or being in a relationship is not always easy. Many dates do not lead to an ongoing relationship and most relationships youíre in will not be the "final one." If this was true, we would all still be in our first relationship!

[Source: Greg Garrison, Counsellor, David Kelley Services]
 

Relationship Success Tips for Coupled Gay Men

Sometimes I Wish I Was a Lesbian

Info: LGBTQ Love

Gay Therapy: What Gay Men Should Expect in a Relationship

Dan Savage: Gay Sex vs. Straight Sex

Suze Orman Talks About Her Wife and Soulmate

Info: Sexual Activity

Common Lesbian Relationship Problems

Huff Post: How Gay Menís Relationships Differ from Straight Relationships

 

 

Tips for a Healthy Lesbian Relationship

Good relationships don't just happen, they take dedication and work. But you also need to know what to work at. Here are some tips for a happy and healthy lesbian relationship.

Don't Expect to Get Your Needs Met  -  Expecting someone else to meet your needs is a failed concept. Instead, focus on taking care of yourself and what you can do to support your partner. This will bring out the best in both of you.

Establish Meaningful Rituals  -  Whether you take a walk after dinner each night or make pizza together every Friday night, establishing rituals allows you to stay in touch with each others' lives. Make dates on Saturdays or even just doing regular household chores together, like cleaning or grocery shopping helps keep you connected.

 



Work on Improving Yourself  -  For a relationship to be healthy, you need to grow and change. Work on yourself and also on trying to be a better partner. Try on new behaviors. Take some risks.

Have More Positive Than Negative Interactions  -  Try to have a five-to-one ratio of positive to negative interactions. Give more compliments, hugs, affection and appreciation than negative comments or blaming. Better yet, try to eliminate negative comments all together.

Surprise Her  -  Keep things exciting with surprises. Take her on a special date night, sneak a love note into her briefcase, send her flowers, bring her lunch at work. Buy her tickets to her favorite musician or write her a song and sing it to her while she's in the tub. Surprises little and big are important to keeping things fresh.

Take Care of Yourself  -  No one is a good partner if they're stressed out and unhappy. Make sure you take the time for yourself to stay healthy. Eat right, exercise, do yoga, take alone time when you need it. The better you feel about yourself, the more you're going to be able to give to your relationship.

Develop Common Interests  -  Nothing kills a relationship faster than sitting around on a couch, looking at each other with bored looks on your faces. You're going to be spending a lot of time together, get involved in something that excites both of you. It can be golfing, traveling or volunteering at the local animal shelter. Find your common interests and develop them into pleasurable experiences.

 



Be Kind, Not Right  -  Whether you're right or wrong is not really the issue. Think about not being right, but about what you want, which is to have a loving relationship. Spend more time being kind and you'll argue less and enjoy each other more.

Fight Fair  -  When fights or arguments do happen, don't say things in the heat of the moment that may damage your relationship. Walk away to cool off and come back to the discussion later.

Make Alone Time a Priority  -  Your lives may get busy with work, children and social activities, but make sure you schedule in time each week for alone time. It's great if this time is something fun, like a date night or sexy time, but even just turning off the TV and sitting on the back porch and talking about your hopes for the future can bring you much closer together.

 

[Source: Kathy Belge, Lesbian Life Expert]
 

Relationship Advice for Same Sex Couples

Weird and Annoying Questions Gay Couples Get Asked
Info: Having Sex

Lesbian Life: Tips for a Healthy Lesbian Relationship

Jennifer Aniston Interviews Ellen and Portia

Info: Falling in Love

Relationship Advice From Lesbian Couples

Lesbian Guide to Being a Good Girlfriend

 

 

Breaking Up

My boyfriend and I just broke up. After a year and a half of loving and living together, we have decided that, for lack of all originality, we simply "weren't right for each other." I won't bore you with the specific reasons and events which brought this about, though I will say that there is rarely a single issue or action which ends a solid romance. The question at hand is why all of my relationships seem to break up, and more importantly why gay men seem to have so much trouble with keeping romantic relationships together.

First and foremost among the reasons is the homophobic stigma of the sad, depressed, ever-alone homosexual. It's what our parents always feared and fed us: by being gay we were throwing away all chances at happiness in the arms of a committed wife and family. It was a self-hating prophecy, one which robbed us of our hopes just as they were being kindled. Even I, stable-Mabel and ever-optimistic-in-romantic-affairs, fell victim to this societal trap: after every break-up I would wallow in pity and misery, bemoaning my gay inability to sustain a romance for longer than a month.

 



Of course, after a while I saw what a complete pile of crap this was, and how it was mostly in my (and everyone else's) head. That doesn't make it any less powerful: when people found out I had been going out with someone for a while, they raised eyebrows and questioned constantly "You're still together?" as if doubting that any gay man could stay with someone monogamously and not have it end in pain and heartache. Sometimes it seemed as if the whole world was conspiring against us, and this is a difficult hurdle to get over. Maybe this is why our relationships don't last.

Second, there's the sex that we as gay men must constantly have with each other. Another stereotype to be sure, but one which has grounding in truth. The simple fact is that we can find sex much easier than straight people can. I'm going on my own experience and the ready admittance of all of my straight friends and acquaintances. Call it what you will, we know who's gay, we know how to hook up sexually, and we're not afraid to do it. With such ease and availability of sex, staying committed in a relationship can prove difficult for many of us. 

Still, sex is often messy for us (in many ways) and if it's indeed true that men have a greater biological and instinctual need for sex than women, then two men together in a monogamous relationship is doubly more difficult. Perhaps this is why our relationships don't last.

Third, gay men have not had an open history of committed couples to look back upon. There are no great historical couples or romances from which to draw hope and inspiration. Heterosexuals are constantly reminded of successful romance. Almost everything in the entertainment world revolves around heterosexual love, from the very first Victorian novels of the 19th century to the cinematic super-couples of the 1930's to the lovey-dovey sitcoms of the 1960's all the way to the ballads of the boy bands today, where a "girl" must be mentioned at least seven times per song to ward off any gay rumors.

 

Gay men in successful relationships certainly did exist, but no one talked about it, including the gay men themselves. Only recently have we begun to look back on old diaries and writings and decipher what exactly is meant by "special friend" or "roommate." Then again it may be a mistake to attribute our romantic failures today to the lack of role models in the past: prior to the sixties and seventies there was barely a public gay anything, and we seem to have had no problem in refuting that. Even so, we have not had any prominent gay couples thus far to prove that we can do it. Could this lack of a gay-couple history be why our relationships don't last?


Finally, the reason for our failed long-term romantic endeavors may be the law: only until recently it just wasn't legal for many of us to get married where we lived. Such inherent homophobic oppression is a heavy burden on the most stable of gay relationships, and whether or not we know better, the fact that our unions were not recognized legally can still take an expensive toll. A healthy, happy marriage is difficult enough, denying us the chance to even try is an attempt to keep us alone and unhappy. Maybe people are simply afraid that gay couples will prove to be better at being married than straight couples, just as we have proven to be better parents (if people can bring themselves to acknowledge the latest studies.)

Now, I realize that marriage is in no means a guaranteed way of staying together, as straight people have proven over and over again, but it is one more way in which we are denied the rights of heterosexuals, and one more way in which the cards are stacked against us. This must be why our relationships don't last.

 

Which brings me to my latest break-up, and a revisiting of my past six break-ups. They don't seem to have happened because of the reasons just proffered. None of those reasons seems important enough to have been the sole cause of the disintegration of love. I never broke up with anyone because of an innate self-hatred and self-fulfilling idea of unhappiness as a gay man. I broke up with someone because they fell in love with someone else. I never broke off a relationship due to an insatiable sexual need that caused my partner to stray. All of the guys I've dated have remained faithful to me while we were going out, and if they wanted sex on the side then I knew enough to end it.

My romances did not dissolve because of any lack of successful gay couples in history. We make our own history. Besides, all of the straight romances of the past don't seem to have helped any of my straight friends with their hapless romantic plights either; one recently called off a wedding. My boyfriend and I did not break up because of the legality or non-legality of same-sex marriage. We were smart enough to know that we didn't even want to be bound for life at such a young age. We broke up because we weren't right for each other right now. So maybe the reason that our relationships don't last isn't because we're gay, but because we're human, and living in the 21st century. That's why any of us breaks up. Sometimes being gay just doesn't matter.

[Source: Alan Bennett Ilagan / Rainbow Arch]
 

Relationship Success Tips for Coupled Gay Men

Sometimes I Wish I Was a Lesbian

Gay Therapy: What Gay Men Should Expect in a Relationship

Dan Savage: Gay Sex vs. Straight Sex

Suze Orman Talks About Her Wife and Soulmate

Common Lesbian Relationship Problems

 

Safer Sex and Partner Communication

To reach mutual understanding and agreement on sexual health issues, choose a convenient time when you will both be free of distractions.


Choose a relaxing environment in a neutral location, like a coffee bar or a park, where neither of you will feel pressured.

Use "I" statements when talking. For example, "I feel that abstinence is right for me at this time." Or, "I would feel more comfortable if we used a condom."

Be assertive.  Do not let fear of how your partner might react stop you from talking with him/her.

Be a good listener. Let your partner know that you hear, understand, and care about what she/he is saying and feeling.

 



Be accessible.  Let your partner know you are open to questions and that you wonít jump on him/her or be offended by questions.

Be patient with your partner, and remain firm in your decision that talking is important.

Recognize your limits. You canít communicate alone or protect you both alone, and you donít have to know all the answers.

Understand that success in talking does not mean one person getting the other person to do something. It means that you both have said what you think and feel respectfully and honestly and that you have both listened respectfully to the other.

Get information to help you each make informed decisions.

Avoid making assumptions. Ask open-ended questions to discuss relationship expectations, past and present sexual relationships, contraceptive use, and testing for STIs, including HIV, among other issues. For example, "What do you think about our agreeing to avoid sex until after we graduate?" Or, "What do you think about our using hormonal contraception as well as condoms?" Not, "Did you get the condoms?" Or, "When will you have sex with me?"

 



Ask for more information when unsure. Ask questions to clarify what you believe you heard. For example, "I think you said that you want us to use both condoms and birth control pills? Is that right?" Or, "I think you want us both to wait until we graduate to have sex? Is that right?"

Avoid judging, labeling, blaming, threatening or bribing your partner. Donít let your partner judge, label, blame, threaten, or bribe you.

Do not wait until you become sexually intimate to discuss safer sex with your partner. In the heat of the moment, you and your partner may be unable to talk effectively.

Stick by your decision. Donít be swayed by lines like, "If you loved me, you would have sex with me." Or, "If you loved me, you would trust me and not use a condom."

[Source: Youth Resource]
 

Relationship Advice for Same Sex Couples

Weird and Annoying Questions Gay Couples Get Asked
Lesbian Life: Tips for a Healthy Lesbian Relationship

Jennifer Aniston Interviews Ellen and Portia

Relationship Advice From Lesbian Couples

Lesbian Guide to Being a Good Girlfriend

How Gay Menís Relationships Differ from Straight Relationships

 

What Straight Couples Can Learn From Gay Couples

Research suggests that married heterosexual couples can learn a great deal from gay and lesbian couples. Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley have published what is said to be the first published observational studies of homosexual relationships.

John Gottman, one of the lead authors is quoted as saying that "Gay and lesbian couples are a lot more mature, more considerate in trying to improve a relationship and have a greater awareness of equality in a relationship than straight couples. I think that in 200 years heterosexual relationships will be where gay and lesbian relationships are today."

In the first of two papers, the researchers explored the conflict interaction of homosexual and heterosexual couples using mathematical modeling techniques.

 



In the second study, they looked at factors influencing gay and lesbian couples' relationship satisfaction and dissolution.

"In the modeling paper we looked at processes, and they look so different you could draw a picture," said Gottman. "Straight couples start a conflict discussion in a much more negative place than do gays and lesbian couples. Homosexuals start the same kind of discussions with more humor and affection, are less domineering and show considerably more positive emotions than heterosexual couples.

"The way a discussion starts is critical. If it starts off in a bad way in a heterosexual relationship, we have found that it will become even more negative 96 percent of the time. Gays and lesbians are warmer, friendlier and less belligerent. You see it over and over in their discussions, and their partner is receiving the message they are communicating. In turn, their partner is allowing himself or herself to be influenced in a positive way. With married heterosexual couples a discussion is much more of a power struggle with someone being invalidated."

Gottman describes gay and lesbian relationships as being characterized by "the triumph of positive emotions over negative emotions." He stated that "Negative emotions have more impact in heterosexual relationships. This is why our previous research has shown you need a 5-to-1 ratio of positive to negative statements. This seems to be universal in heterosexual couples. But it may be different in gay and lesbian relationships where positive emotions seem to have a lot more power or influence."

 


The subjects of the studies did more than complete questionnaires. Researchers videotaped discussions each couple had about what occurred that day, a topic of ongoing conflict, and a pleasant topic. They analyzed the verbal and nonverbal content of their interaction during the talks and again at a later time when the partners viewed the tape individually. The researchers also collected an array of physiological data, including heart rate, during the conversations.

Homosexual couples were recruited in the San Francisco Bay area and they filled out a questionnaire that assessed relationship satisfaction. Forty pairs (12 happy gay couples, 10 unhappy gay couples, 10 happy lesbian couples and 8 unhappy lesbian couples) were chosen to participate in the study. The comparison sample of married couples was drawn from a larger study that recruited couples from around Bloomington, Indiana.

It was matched in terms of age, marital satisfaction, education and income to the homosexual couples and consisted of 20 happy and 20 unhappy couples. The researchers went on to collect data for 12 years on the relationships of the homosexual couples. By then, eight couples (20 percent, one gay and seven lesbian) had broken up. This rate, if projected over a 40-year period, would be almost 64 percent, which is similar to the 67 percent divorce rate for first marriages among heterosexual couples of the same time span.

The research found that high levels of cardiovascular arousal among straight couples during a conflict predicted lower relationship satisfaction and higher risk for relationship dissolution. The reverse was actually true with homosexual couples. With gays and lesbians, low physiological arousal was related to these negative outcomes.

The gay and lesbian couples talked more openly about topics such as monogamy and sex. Heterosexual avoided talking about sex. This may be because their sexuality is already an issue when they deal with a largely heterosexual world. The authors content that such open and honest communication may improve the relationships of heterosexual couples.

[Source: Leonard Holmes PhD, Journal of Homosexuality, October 2003]
 


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