You are in a loving, mutually-fulfilling relationship at last! You’ve learned a lot from your past relationship mistakes and want to do everything you can to make sure this relationship stays happy for you both. What are some of the ways that you can keep your gay relationship enriching, satisfying and successful?
1. Know why you have chosen each other
Remind yourself of the reasons past relationships have failed. You dated that one guy because he had money and loved to spend it on you, but you ignored that he was a narcissist and constantly unfaithful. Another of your past boyfriends was gorgeous; the problem there was you two had nothing to talk about when outside the bedroom.
This time, however, you sense that everything is there with the right balance. You don’t “need” to be with each other for any other reason but love. Your attraction to him is not based on his bank account or his physical looks. You know that you love him for all the right reasons. This is the best start to ensuring that your relationship will be a long term success.
2. Define relationship parameters from the get-go
This is an important element for a successful gay relationship because it requires communicating with your partner to make sure you both are seeking the same type of relationship. If one of you needs things to be open and the other is looking for an exclusive arrangement, it is obvious that you two aren’t meant for each other in a romantic sense.
No matter how much you thought that this man was the one for you, if he doesn’t view relationships in the same way you do, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. This is a conversation worth renewing every six months or so, because as your relationship evolves, your expectations may as well. Some gay couples who started out with a premium on monogamy decide, after years together, that opening up the relationship is something they both wish to explore. Whatever the parameters look like, it is important that you both agree on them together.
3. Trust each other
Nothing can put a damper on a budding relationship faster than jealousy. Contrary to what some people think, exhibiting jealousy when you see your boyfriend interacting with other people is not a sign of love. (Not healthy love, in any case.) If you are a naturally-jealous person, consider unpacking the reasons behind this insecurity with a professional counselor so that it doesn’t lead to a breakup with your partner. No balanced relationship can survive if there is not a strong level of trust between the two participants.
4. Avoid being clingy
There may be a tendency especially in the beginning days of your love story to want to be with your boyfriend night and day. This is a common mistake to make and can be the reason that new relationships burn out quickly. Make sure to leave each other space and breathing room. Even if it does not come naturally to you, force yourself to go out and participate in the activities you loved before you were a couple. Your sports, your writing workshop, your volunteer work with the LGBT group—whatever you were involved with prior to meeting Mr. Right, keep on doing it. It keeps you interesting and will keep your guy interested in you.
5. Keep things dynamic
Nothing dims the flames of love faster than routine. Once you hit your relationship stride, it is easy to fall into the trap of routine. While it is nice to feel secure and stable, it is boring if you don’t break out of the same old same old from time to time. Ask any successful couple how they keep the fires burning, and they will tell you it’s all about shaking it up from time to time. Surprise weekend trips, an exotic vacation, a new sport, trying something different in the bedroom…get out of your comfort zone and see where this takes you and your partner.
6. Make the relationship a priority
Make sure you time take to show your partner that you prioritize your relationship. What are some of the ways you can do this? Go to events with him, even if you aren’t interested in his office Christmas party. Dedicate one night each week to date night, where you try a new restaurant, go to the symphony, listen to a lecture at the local university…anything where you are doing something together. Take time to focus on each other and talk…about your week, your work, your stresses and your successes. And don’t neglect your sex life! It is normal to find your sexual activity reduced after many years together, but that doesn’t mean you should accept “normal.” Touching is part of showing your partner that he is a priority. Remember the power of mere kissing and long hugs. Even if one of you is too tired for sex, a long, relaxing massage is a great way to communicate how much you value your partner.
When you are with the right person, you want to do what it takes to make the relationship a success. Fortunately, because you have chosen the right person, these things will not seem like chores! If your gay relationship is happy and mutually-enriching, putting into place these tips will seem natural. Good love is a priceless gift, and working to ensure that it lasts is worth it.