Creating Intimacy in Gay Relationships
Intimacy is crucial in long-term relationships.
Especially, with two men in a relationship, communication can sometimes come less easily, as men are generally less communicative.
Therefore, whatever tools possible should be used to bring couples (whether in gay long-term relationships or straight) back to each other when the feeling of drifting away is occurring.
Making eye contact with each other
A video circulated Facebook a few years ago, that depicts several people – parents and adult children, siblings, married couples – who are tasked to stand, facing one another, and look into each other’s eyes for four minutes.
A similar task is used for couples on the verge of divorce, it doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, male, female the task to spend five minutes a day holding hands and looking into one another’s eyes will be useful. Similar studies have been done where heterosexual strangers meet and stare at each other while answering personal questions (and then inevitably fall in love).
In every one of these cases, the participants are initially uncomfortable. There’s some awkward laughing, they look away, they fidget, but this activity is very important because of what it can bring out.
People are uncomfortable experiencing intimacy
Intimacy is something that is often talked about but something that a lot of people are uncomfortable truly experiencing. Especially in places like the UK where men are not accustomed to talking about their intimate feelings in relationships.
This is a learned skill and can be helped with tools such as prolonged eye-contact which is used to connect us and pushes us past the initial rush of desire to fight or flee.
When we make prolonged eye contact with a long-term partner, we are not just seeing the other person, and allowing ourselves to be with them, but we are also allowing them to see us.
Humans have a natural ability to mimic and sync and four minutes of eye contact allows our brains to form harmonious patterns.
True emotions spill out during eye contact
The people in the video all reach out to one another. They hold hands, they hug, they touch each others’ faces. Most importantly, they all seem to have little epiphanies about how important the other person is to them, and how much they appreciate the long-term relationship.
For the couple on the verge of divorce, it immediately brought to the surface all the things that had been unspoken and allowed them to focus on the actual conflicts in the long-term relationship, and not on the minor details that spawned from those conflicts.
While standing still and gazing at your partner isn’t something that is appropriate for a first date, it’s something to keep in your back pocket for down the road.
Opening up is harder for gay men
Gay men, in particular, come from a community history of secrecy and discretion, which can make opening yourself up to another person more nerve-wracking than it might be for a straight person.
Being ready for a long-term relationship means being prepared to let other people in fully, even if the idea makes us uncomfortable. This is essential when embarking upon hiring a matchmaker.
Those who are open to intimacy find dates easily
The easiest people to matchmake are those in the most positive frame of mind for dating. Discomfort isn’t always a warning that something is wrong, it can simply be the strengthening of muscles we haven’t used for a while. In this case, the metaphor muscle of intimacy.
Don’t be afraid of getting rejected
Yes, being open and ready for intimacy in a long-term relationship can leave you open to rejection. And yes, rejection is painful. The immediate reaction when this happens is to protect ourselves and to either stop dating entirely or settle for the wrong person.
Being secure and strong enough in yourself means that we can weather those rejections when searching for our long-term partner and still be able to welcome closeness from others. So, don’t be afraid to get a little uncomfortable for the sake of a deeper understanding and closeness with the ones we love.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.