Building Rapport in Gay Relationships

Men Discussing

There is a widespread but erroneous belief that people in gay relationships have an easier time with their relationships compared to those in heterosexual relationships. And while that notion stretches the truth a bit too far, it is not surprising to see why people would think so. For centuries, it has been believed that the only reason why men and women have trouble with communication in relationships is because their thought processes are different and they are biologically wired to effectively communicate and respond to situations differently. Women tend to use nonverbal cues and their actions are often led by emotional responses. Men on the other hand, are natural problem solvers who like to face problems logically, and so approach issues with less emotion. And while it is true that the fact that people in same sex relationships have an easier time agreeing on certain things in their relationships, they might also experience greater hurdles in their relationship, especially if communication is poor.

One of the most difficult aspects of this kind of relationship is deciding when to go public with your relationship. If you are in a committed one, there will always be some trouble between partners if one of them is reluctant to go public or worse yet, if they still haven’t come out of the closet. Being in a relationship such as the latter can be very challenging, but not completely if there is effective communication. To begin with, if you are the partner in the relationship who chooses to stay mum about his/her sexual orientation, it is imperative to discuss your fears with your partner openly; whether that be fear of becoming ostracized, a religious family or the fact that you haven’t completely accepted or realized where you want to be. By sharing your most intimate thoughts and feelings, you’re able to help your partner understand that it’s not about you not caring about them but that you need more time to get acquainted to your new-found status or find the right time to come out.

Gay Couple Kissing

On the other hand, caring about someone who is still afraid of being who they are can be very challenging. By understanding that they are not at the same level as you and may be having trouble with themselves, you are able to sympathize and offer your support where necessary. You should always put yourself in their shoes and remember what it was like for you before you got to where you are. If you had immediate support from friends and family, don’t think of the matter as trivial. Not everyone has the opportunity to get accepted as easily as you did. Don’t push your partner to come out or worse still; try to manipulate them into doing so. Doing this will only damage their trust in you and you may end up losing them entirely. People like to be comfortable when trying to commit to a relationship and to effectively communicate is a must. Most importantly, don’t enter into a relationship with someone who is still in the closet if you are not able to handle it. Also, make sure that you define the relationship and your expectations before getting emotionally involved.

For those people who have already come out and are enjoying their relationship, communication has to be a two way street. Both partners should be involved in making decisions which affect the relationship. You cannot expect to have it easy just because you are in a same sex relationship. For starters, make sure you have your own personal interests and hobbies in a Gay Exchange. This way, you have something interesting to discus with your partner at the end of every day. No matter how much you love your partner, it is never a good idea to make them the center of your whole world. Surround yourself with people who care about you and love you and do things that are interesting. Just like in heterosexual relationships, every person needs to have some time to themselves.

Another aspect of communication that people in both gay and retro relationships fail in is listening. Being able to listen to your partner is probably the only thing that is more important than actually expressing yourself. Whether they are calling you out on behavior from you that they don’t like, complaining about their boss or job or whatever else, they should always feel like they can talk to you. The only reason why people fail in listening is because they confuse “listening” with “help me”.

Sometimes, he/she just wants to let out steam and know that someone is on their side, no matter how ridiculous or whiny they sound. So, just sit there and actively listen. Remember, your partner isn’t stupid, so just sitting there, newspaper in hand and nodding your head isn’t going to cut it. It may actually hurt their feelings. Instead, pay attention, show your support and give your unbiased opinion. If you feel like they are asking for your help but are unsure, always ask if there is anything you can do to help. Half the time, they don’t really want any help; they just want you to be there to talk to.

Last, if you’re in an argument, don’t always be in it to win it. Your partner might let you win some arguments, but they are not always going to want to. In time, they might get fed up with it. Apologize when you are wrong and be willing to find middle ground in cases where neither one of you is willing to back down.  Additionally, keep in mind that communication transcends word of mouth. Sometimes, that long hug will make your partner feel much better about a bad situation than a conversation. When you’re lost for words, non-verbal cues will do the trick just as easily. Always remind your partner how much you love them with little gestures and a whisper about your feelings now and then. We’re not saying that you should be sappy, but don’t be afraid to let your emotions show.

A gay relationship like all relationships needs to be fueled by trust and understanding; both of which can only be achieved by open communication.

 

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