In the world full of homophobia and discrimination, growing up gay can be the hardest thing to conquer for some of us. The combination of punitive laws, the lack of better understanding due to ignorance and a spiral of silence, gay men have been systematically excluded from accessing services and enjoying the same equal rights that majority of the citizens are entitled too. In a society that has little tolerance of our love, it becomes difficult to maintain a long healthy relationship.
The lack of positive role models of gay couples in the public sphere that provides hope and life lessons for successful, lasting relationships, where gay men can mirror or reflect on. As men, the society and media expects us to be masculine and be responsible for our family too. We are also conditioned to not exhibit any weakness or emotions, thus the vicious cycle of expectation and conditioning further affects many gay men’s self esteem too.
Yet, through all of these, many couples have created their own blue-print for a healthy long term relationship, sure any relationships comes with its own fights and bickering, but they have found ways to cope, stay together, support each other and grow their lives together.
Here is GayHealth.sg’s top 10 characteristics for a successful relationship. It doesn’t mean it is suitable for everyone, but this is a good starting point. Build on your own list and share with us in the comments.
1. They shared similar interests and outlooks.
Similar does not equate to being the same. We’ve found that successful couples share relatively similar (yet different) interests e.g. love to travel, but doing different things while traveling is an example. It doesn’t mean every interests have to be the same or else it’s boring. Bring your own interests into the relationship.
2. They communicate openly.
Not just about the day to day subjects but also openly about sex, including the different kinds of sex, sex outside of the relationship and what each expect form the relationship.
3. They have a supportive network of family and friends who honour their relationship.
Continue to keep your friends and family close even in a relationship. Too many people fail to acknowledge the importance of their support network and stops all contact with their friends. Friends are also a great sounding board, that provides a different views when you a conflict arise with you and your partner.
4. They have a balanced lifestyle that comprises of both individual and couple identities.
Me time. You don’t have to do everything together. Keep some of your lifestyle with your friends and family also.
5. They have fun with life and try not to take things so seriously.
Do laugh at each often and always remember don’t take things seriously.
6. They enjoy a sensual and sexual camaraderie that helps them to meet their erotic potential.
Just because you are together it doesn’t mean your sex life should die. Help each other fulfil fantasy by communicating openly.
7. They know how to manage conflicts.
Don’t fight over little things!!!! Listen and offer support when needed AND always take your partner’s side when he needs you.
8. They are comfortable with their sexuality and not afraid to show it.
Once you come out as openly gay, the rest will follow. Some people who came out said that they don’t need to worry about it and focus on other things in life. This is all depend on you and when you/partner is ready.
9. Have positive outlook and energy.
I don’t need to say more about this.
10. Don’t take each other for granted.
Nothing last forever even your long term partner. Keep in mind that we have our own personal live and that we also share with someone. Don’t take anyone for granted!
If you are unsure about your relationship, then you need to talk to your partner and see where you two can work out the minor/major issues. Remember, you need to find people who connect with you and want to be with you. It’s a long journey so enjoy every minute of it.
Once again, this list isn’t exhaustive and may not be suitable for everyone, but this is a good starting point. Share with us what worked and what didn’t in the comments below. Remember to share too!!!