As we close out Pride Month, I'm thrilled to announce that we've just been featured on The LIST.
In the segment, we talk about what we know best from both personal experience and years of LGBT couples counseling.
How same-sex couples navigate relationships.
My partner Alapaki and I started the Gay Couples Institute to provide our community with research-based gay couples counseling.
And based on our research, we've come to find that...
All relationships can learn a thing or two (or three) from looking at same-sex couples.
There are some dynamics same-sex couples enjoy that just work well.
So here are three lessons we believe all couples can benefit from.
#1. Same-sex couples typically ditch the gender roles.
There's less of a power differential between a male-male couple or a lesbian couple than you might see in straight couples.
We step out of that mindset of, "This is a job for a woman," or "That's a man's job," and make it more about, "This is our job, as a unit."
Having actual conversations around resources, preferences, and equity when assigning responsibilities is so beneficial in helping us run our homes. Plus, it's a great role model for children to see parents behaving this way.
#2. Same-sex couples typically talk about sex more easily than heterosexual couples do.
There's the obvious benefit here that if you're talking about it more, you're likely doing it more. And that's super healthy for keeping the passion alive in any long-term relationship.
But it's not just that. By coming out, you have to declare your sexuality. It's such a powerful, coming-of-age moment for you. This is particularly true for those who come out later in life, when you say to yourself that you like guys and you like guy parts. And both partners can collaborate on that.
What's more, by being comfortable with our sexuality, we can diffuse moments that might otherwise cause hurt feelings in heterosexual couples. It means less for a same-sex couple when one partner compliments a guy in jeans than it would in the straight world.
#3. Same-sex couples typically do a better job of fighting friendly.
From the way a conversation starts, we can predict with supreme accuracy how it's going to end.
It probably won't end well if you find yourself digging your heels in on a position and trying to convince your partner as to why you're right and they're wrong.
Same-sex couples tend to Inject some humor at the start of an argument to lighten things up and lower the tension.
Just remember who you're arguing with. "It's you and me trying to figure this out as a team," instead of an "I-must-win-at-all-costs" approach. By creating a baseline of connection, you make the landing softer.
But take care here, because the jokes have to be sincere humor. So you're going to want to drop the digs and sarcasm.
We can all learn from one another - gay or straight - and we can all work to improve our relationships.
Because the only certainty in life is that every relationship takes work.
Want to go deeper into learning how you can improve your same-sex relationship and make it last?