MYTH # 1: GAY RELATIONSHIPS ARE EASY
No relationships are easy, gay or straight! I am always amazed how people spend so much time, money and energy studying, training and applying themselves in their professions to become the best they can be. Yet, when it come to relationships, many people think they will just happen and take care of themselves without much investment of time or effort.
Relationships do take work, commitment, time and energy! To create a truly rewarding relationship, you may need to make sacrifices in other areas. You may need to work less, earn less money or invest more energy into spending time with your partner. Your relationship is like a garden. You need to attend to it, spend time in it and water it frequently. The result will be you will see it bloom and it will provide you with ongoing joy and happiness.
MYTH # 2: GREAT RELATIONSHIPS DON’T HAVE CONFLICT
This is a very common myth. If you have been in the early stages of romantic love with your partner, it can come as quite a shock the first time you experience some conflict. Some couples think that it is a sign that the relationship is doomed and will not survive.
Conflict is a normal and healthy part of all relationships. Think of conflict as growth trying to happen. It is an opportunity to look at your differences and understand a perspective other than your own. It is also a time when you can look at your own values and beliefs and understand your partner’s values and beliefs. When conflict is used as an opportunity for you to grow as a couple, it can actually facilitate a greater emotional intimacy between you.
MYTH # 3: ROMANTIC LOVE LASTS FOREVER
This is one of the most common relationship myths. Hollywood movies have a lot to answer to for sustaining this myth for so long.
In most relationships, it is a normal part of couple development that when you fall in love you often experience a symbiosis. This means that you and your lover will feel like ‘one’. The brain releases chemicals that facilitate this process and help in the bonding between two people. However, it is a stage of couple development and not one that can be sustained indefinitely.
Romantic love and the ‘honeymoon stage’ does not and cannot last forever. Thinking in this way can actually cause you distress and place your relationship under enormous stress.
MYTH # 4: MY PARTNER SHOULD THINK THE SAME AS ME
Again, this relationship myth seems to relate to the magical thinking of the symbiotic or bonding stage of couple development. Sometimes the thinking is ‘if my partner and I are one, then we must think, feel, want and need the same things.’
It is important to accept that your partner is a separate individual to you with different likes, dislikes, wants, needs and interests. When you take this perspective, you can see your partner through new eyes and approach them with curiosity. This then brings a freshness and aliveness to your relationship.
MYTH # 5: GAY RELATIONSHIPS DON’T LAST
I think one of the challenges for gay people is we often don’t have obvious role models that we can look up to and aspire to be like. As a result, there are a lot of gay men and women that cycle through relationships. When the going gets tough, it seems all to easy to move on, hit the bars or online dating and start all over again.
Fortunately, there are many gay and lesbian couples that do sustain long-term relationships that are loving, respectful and rewarding. While there may be a degree of invisibility with these couples, they do exist and they disprove this myth!
I think the challenge is to not let the pervading gay culture affect your beliefs around what is possible in a gay relationship. I want you to aspire to create an amazing long-term relationship that deepens and grows with time. Begin by visualizing what this relationship looks like and seek out friends and connections who are in long-term relationships, so that you can learn and model yourself on their success.
Click here to read the remaining top 10 gay relationships myths of all time.
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