Happy gay relationships take work
Everyone has an idea of how gay men in strong, happy relationships must behave. For many, this vision of what a relationship should be informs their own relationship expectations. However, the reality of what life is like for happy couples is almost always different from what is imagined.
Unfortunately, believing in erroneous ideas about what makes good relationships work can cause someone difficulties in their own relationship.
Here are five big myths about happy gay couples that no one should believe. FYI: many of these apply to all couples, regardless of sexual orientation.
1. They rarely fight
Only in fairy tales do couples get along all the time. In the real world, fights are inevitable. However, happy couples don't allow fights to take over the relationship. For these couples, any fights are leavened by happier, more amicable moments. The key is for the good times to far outweigh the bad moments.
Happy gay couples also learn to fight fair by never making things too personal. By avoiding hateful or demeaning statements, happy couples retain their respect and love for each other even during clashes.
2. They agree on almost everything
In reality, many successful gay couples differ even on big, important issues like politics, finances, and religion. It's both unrealistic and immature for someone to expect their partner to share the exact same views and beliefs.
The willingness to agree to disagree on some things is a crucial aspect of making a relationship work. Instead of trying to completely resolve the underlying difference, happy couples are willing to manage the issue through compromise.
3. They are always romantic
The popular vision of the ideal male couple is of two people who perpetually remain in a state of passionate love, forever experiencing the giddy emotions common to the opening stage of a relationship.
But in the real world, infatuation inevitably fades, and that head-over-heels feeling never lasts.
That doesn't mean that love disappears, but simply that it changes form. Someone who expects otherwise is ultimately never going to be satisfied with any long-term relationship.
4. They do everything together
To have a strong relationship, a gay couple must enjoy spending lots of time together. However, that doesn't mean they should never be apart. In fact, it's a sign of a healthy, happy romantic partnership for both halves of a couple to have a life outside of the relationship.
Pursuing outside interests and activities is normal, and individuality is not a bad thing in a relationship. Couples who are always together are more likely to be irritated and resentful of each other.
5. Love comes easy
This might be the biggest myth about successful gay relationships of all. No matter how it might appear from the outside, strong, happy relationships always require lots of hard work. Happy couples are devoted to maintaining their relationship and understand that without constant effort, the relationship will founder.
The best gay couples know that while setbacks, disappointments, and hurt are inevitable, resilience and dedication can always get things back on course.
Believing in these myths about happy couples will make it much harder for someone to build a strong and happy relationship themselves.
An idealized, untethered to reality vision of what a relationship should be will lead to absurd expectations and irrational behavior. Having a more realistic conception of what happy couples are like and how they behave is much healthier.