A new survey has shown some interesting data on the health and happiness of people and 702 ABC Radio wanted me to comment on some of the findings. The results of this survey of 17,000 Australians showed that Australians living in the bush and those in childless de facto relationships are more likely to be happy than those living in metropolitan areas and married with children.
Gay relationships draw surprisingly little interest from psychologists and counsellors when you consider that in many ways, the challenges gay couples experience can be much more complicated than heterosexual partnerships. Part of being in a minority when it comes to sexual orientation is that you are often unable to draw on your culture’s acceptance of you.
Larry Cappel is a licensed psychotherapist and clinical counsellor in Denver, Colorado who specialises in working with gay men and the issues they struggle with. Larry is a certified teacher of mindfulness and meditation and has a passion for working with gay men and the issues that prevent them from living rich and rewarding lives.
Why do gay men have problems sustaining long-term intimate relationships? It’s a big question with no simple answer, but there are lots of reasons that contribute to the difficulties that gay men have in finding a long-term partner. Chicago therapist Brian Rzepczynski is known as The Gay Love Coach, and he recently interviewed me on the difficulties that gay singles and couples experience.
As a gay man you probably have a really good idea about what you DON’T want in a relationship. You may have experienced at least one and perhaps several bad relationship experiences that have influenced the ‘don’t wants’ in your relationships. Some gay men have a checklist either mentally or written down about what it is they want in their partner and how the partner can satisfy them.
One of the topics that frequently comes up with my gay private practice clients is the issue of using Grindr to meet other gay men. I’m always interested in the wide range of reactions to this app and what men think and feel about it. Some of my clients have occasional fun using this app, while others get hooked on constantly being online and cruising for other men- often leading to lots of frustration and despair.
Gay mens’ group therapy is a powerful and effective way of changing negative patterns in your relationships and help you learn how to communicate and relate effectively to create deeper relationships with other gay men. As I prepare for our next Sydney gay men’s group therapy, one of the most common questions we get from gay men is how can group therapy help build better relationships?
Some new research reported in the New York Times suggests that couples that engage in more touch report higher levels of relationship satisfaction. This might sound like common sense, but it is also a good reminder of what helps sustain successful relationships. Although it is hard to know what came first for these couples, the relationship satisfaction or the touch, it is clear that there is a link between the two, and that touch is a powerful tool for building relationships.
Time and time again in my clinical practice, I am coming across clients who report gay relationship breakdown because of problems in communication related to social media and the web 2.0. Web 2.0 refers to the new era of the internet where we have moved from static websites that people visit to an interactive social web where people form online communities and share information and resources.
Some people believe that whatever kind of childhood they had, it has no bearing on the relationships they form in adulthood. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is impossible to not bring the influences of your childhood into your relationship. It is in childhood that we develop a ‘blueprint’ for relating. We learn and internalize what we perceive love is and how it is expressed.