The beginning of a relationship is always exciting. Two people are attracted to each other, begin to discover more about one another, and can see the relationship grow. Everything about a new relationship is novel and thrilling.
Once the relationship has matured however, the difficult work begins. The phase of everything being a new adventure is mostly over and focus switches to making the relationship work. Of course, there are still new and exciting things that happen, it’s just not as common. It’s easy to become complacent with another person and take them for granted past a certain phase.
Building and maintaining a long-term relationship can require some work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Watching the other person grow and sharing your life with someone else is wonderful.
A relationship cannot survive on its own. It needs the care and nurturing of two adults, giving to each other in a way that creates a mutually beneficial connection. To foster a deep and loving relationship, there needs to be:
Communication is Key to Any Lasting Relationship.
As a gay couple, you and your partner have to talk things out, and these include everything, from your joys to your qualms, your issues to your disagreements. You also have to talk about your own personal aspirations, so that you are able to understand each other in different aspects.
Discussing things that involve the both of you and your relationship as a whole is very important, as this keeps your bond alive. You may not agree on everything all the time, but through communication, you are able to channel your opinions in such ways that you come up with a compromise that allows you two to continue life together.
Maintain a Physical Connection.
In any long-term relationship, physical intimacy (in any form) is far more than just physical. It’s important in maintaining the health of your emotional connection, as well. The physical act of love is something that only you two share and revel in. It’s also important in reigniting the passion and bringing you back together if you drift apart.
As with most elements of a relationship, it is easy to spark this physical connection in the beginning. It’s more difficult with work, finances, home, physical changes, and whatever else makes intimacy more difficult.
Prioritizing intimacy with your partner is a great way to keep the passion flowing.
The Willingness to Work Through Difficulties and Disagreements.
Throwing in the towel, even if you don’t walk out the door, is not the path to happiness. You must face the discomfort that comes with differing opinions and ideas.
a.) Healthy couples don’t “fight” — not because they “avoid” conflict, but because they discuss, or disagree. They both seek to understand before being understood, listen, show compassion, etc. They both hear their partner’s side as much as sharing their own. They both know the difference between a mature, adult “discussion,” and an immature “fight” with a winner and loser.
b.) Understand how to apologize. (Note: “I’m sorry that you — ” and “I’m sorry, but — ” are not apologies. Those are bullshit, emotionally immature statements.)
And all of that? That will get you “a good thing” — for as long as it lasts.
Pick the Right Time to Argue.
Don’t start potentially tough talks if you’re not well rested and well fed. Hunger and fatigue can unleash nasty remarks and dark thoughts. Ban booze for the same reason. Save it for when you’ve achieved detente. That’s worth a toast. Don’t ever try to deal with serious relationship issues if you’ve got one eye on something else. Turn off the TV, the phone, the laptop. If you’re distracted or going out the door, pick another time to talk. You can’t resolve conflicts on the fly.
Acknowledge Each Other’s Strengths and Weaknesses.
Many gay couples end breaking up because they fail to acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They either feel like they are competing against each other, or that either of them is weaker and can be a burden anytime soon. Relationships are not like that. They are not created out of convenience; they are formed out of love, trust, friendship, and respect.
When you are in a relationship, you should be brave enough to accept your partner’s flaws and work your way from there (and vice versa). By doing so, you get to inspire each other into becoming better partners and better individuals, thus allowing your relationship to grow.
Emphasize The Positive.
We’re somewhat backtracking to communication (everything, remember?), but it’s important to demonstrate your appreciation of the other person. Emphasizing the positive is relatively easy when the attraction sparks fly when compared to a 10, 20, or 30 year relationships. It’s also much easier to do when things are going well. It’s still very important to tell the other person the things that you love about them.
The fact that relationships do get stressful and busy is exactly why you should reiterate your appreciation of your partner.
Maintain the Sweetness.
Sweet nothings always give a breath of fresh air for every gay couple. It’s because they add color to your dullest days as a couple. And they don’t cost a thing most of the time.
You may want to write a letter to your partner saying how much you love and appreciate their efforts, and give it at a time they least expect it. If you want to be more romantic, you may surprise your significant other with flowers or simple presents even when there’s no occasion to celebrate. But seriously, the simplest actions would do.
Learn to Compromise.
Two different people sometimes mean two different viewpoints. This is most evident when making any kind of decision – big or small. Sometimes, the two people agree and sometimes not. When there is a disagreement, don’t allow it to become a full-fledged argument. Instead discuss it calmly and rationally.
Be thoughtful and empathetic with the other person’s view on something. Don’t hear their response and immediately become defensive, insisting that you should have the final say. If you are unsure about why your partner thinks the way that they do, just ask questions for clarity.
For smaller decisions, simply take turns allowing each other to decide. If you picked the place to eat dinner, then allow your partner to choose which movie you will see.
Lastly, when working towards a long lasting gay relationship, you should be always willing to listen. You not only hear your partner’s voice, but pay attention to every detail. It is because when you listen, you not just take into account your partner’s side, you provide time, patience, and the heart to understand where they are coming from.
By listening you learn what’s in your partner’s heart, and they learn what’s in yours. You two then find ways on how to improve your relationship, slowly but surely, through the years.
Making it for keeps is probably the primary goal of every gay couple. It wouldn’t be surprising to know if this is also your ultimate relationship goal, because who wouldn’t want love to last a lifetime, right? And mind you, it’s not an impossible dream. All you have to do is know how to do it right.
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