Domestic Violence: It Happens in Gay Relationships Too

Extra stress in gay relationships may raise risk of domestic violence.

 

Domestic violence occurs at least as frequently, and likely even more so, between gay relationships compared to opposite-sex couples, according to recent studies.

Previous studies, when analyzed together, indicate that domestic violence affects 25 percent to 75 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. However, a lack of representative data and underreporting of abuse paints an incomplete picture of the true landscape, suggesting even higher rates. An estimated one in four heterosexual women experience domestic abuse, with rates significantly lower for heterosexual men.

“Evidence suggests that the minority stress model may explain these high prevalence rates,” said senior author Richard Carroll, associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a psychologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Domestic violence is exacerbated because same-sex couples are dealing with the additional stress of being a sexual minority. This leads to reluctance to address domestic violence issues.”

Domestic violence — sometimes called intimate partner violence — is physical, sexual or psychological harm occurring between current or former intimate partners.

Research concerning the issue began in the 1970s in response to the women’s movement, but traditionally studies focused on women abused by men in opposite-sex relationships.

“There has been a lot of research on domestic violence but it hasn’t looked as carefully at the subgroup of same-sex couples,” Carroll said. “Another obstacle is getting the appropriate samples because of the stigma that has been attached to sexual orientation. In the past, individuals were reluctant to talk about it.”

Of the research that has examined same-sex domestic violence, most has concentrated on lesbians rather than gay men and bisexuals.

“Men may not want to see themselves as the victim, to present themselves as un-masculine and unable to defend themselves,” Carroll said.

He suggests that homosexual men and women may not report domestic violence for fear of discrimination and being blamed for abuse from a partner. They also may worry about their sexual orientation being revealed before they’re comfortable with it.

Mental health services for people involved in abusive same-sex relationships are becoming more common, but this population still faces obstacles in accessing help, reports the paper.

“We need to educate health care providers about the presence of this problem and remind them to assess for it in homosexual relationships, just as they would for heterosexual patients,” Carroll said. “The hope is that with increasingly deeper acceptance, the stress and stigma will disappear for these individuals so they can get the help they need.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make Your Love Last: 7 Tips for a Strong Relationship

It takes more than love for your relationship to work.

Although love is the foundation of any happy romantic gay relationship, love is not enough. In order to have a healthy relationship, both parties have to be willing to work on it.

Most gay couples strive to have a successful and rewarding relationship, yet it is normal for gay couples to have ups and downs. To meet these challenges, and to keep your relationship healthy and happy, you need to work at it. Relationships are like bank accounts – if there are fewer deposits than withdrawals, you will run into difficulties.

 

Here are some tips that may help you improve your relationship (and be better prepared to meet the challenges along the way).

1. Have fun

Gay couples who engage in exciting and enjoyable activities together have greater relationship satisfaction from before to after the shared activity.

2. Develop empathy and really listen to each other

Good communication often starts with a desire to understand other points of view. How many arguments have you had that have just spiraled out of control because no one is really listening or attempting to understand? I think one of the most important things we can all do, whether for a relationship or not, is to develop a strong sense of empathy and compassion. Grudge-holding, bitter thoughts and and negativity towards others will only backfire if you hold onto it.

3. Appreciate the little things

When you’ve been together for quite a while, it might seem easy to take your partner for granted. Say “thank you” more, tell them you love them, or send cute texts (in moderation of course). Let your partner know how much he means to you so they never feel taken for granted. This is probably one of the most important tips for a strong relationship.

4. Learn from arguments

Accept that arguments will happen, and try to resolve them with respect. The strongest predictor of a breakup is ‘contempt’, which is any action whereby your partner feels ‘put down’ by you, whether it is the tone of your voice or what you say. In arguments, we sometimes become overwhelmed and this often leads to behaviors that harm our relationship.

5. Have good sex

Increasing research is pointing to a great sex life as predicting better relationship satisfaction—but not the other way around.

6. Give your partner space

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer used porcupines to explain a dilemma which often exists in human relationships. Two porcupines trying to keep warm will move closer to one another. However, if they get too close they prick each other with their spines.

The same thing happens in human relationships: we want closeness, but we also want space. The key is to find that sweet spot at which we feel the warmth that comes from being in a relationship, while at the same time allowing each partner to have enough space so that neither one feels like they’re being pricked by the other’s spines (feelings of lost individuality, feeling crowded, and so on).

7. Have a good relationship with yourself

The relationship you have with yourself is arguably the foundation on which your other relationships are built, and studies are supporting this notion. High self-esteem predicts better relationship satisfaction, and high self-esteem of both partners is an even better predictor of strong relationship satisfaction. Moreover, people with high self-esteem appear to respond more constructively and positively during conflict when they think their partner is committed to the relationship, whereas people with low self-esteem don’t do this even when they believe their partner is committed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gay Dating 101: Seven Habits Of People In The Happiest Relationships

Strong, happy gay couples don’t phone it in — they make their relationship a priority.

 

Happy gay relationships don’t happen by accident. It takes two emotionally healthy, loving people who are committed to being the best partners they can be.

Below are some habits that will help create and maintain a happy and healthy twosome.

1. They always kiss their spouse hello and goodbye.

Far from being a meaningless habit, this ensures that you connect, even for just a moment, at least twice a day. Many people in unhappy relationships say that they can’t recall when they stopped kissing at greetings and goodbyes, it just slips away without effort. When you make the time to make eye contact with your partner and kiss them, it shows that you prioritize your relationship even during the busiest of mornings or evenings.

2. They are generous with compliments.

Everyone needs compliments and they especially need them from their partner. You cannot give too many sincere compliments ― whether you have been together 5 years or 50. It can be simple things like saying, ‘You look especially handsome today’ to deeply felt statements like ‘I was so proud of you today when you gave John such wise advice.’

 

3. They disagree at times, but they fight fair.

If partners don’t disagree now and then they’re either not being honest or aren’t human. Disagreeing isn’t a relationship problem ― it’s normal. It’s how couples work through their disagreements (or rather don’t) that can become bad for their relationshipDisagreements are opportunities to practice conflict resolution and build communication skills. Take a look at your disagreements and see what bad habits each partner has when you disagree. Do you talk over each other? Get angry? Yell? Swear? Name call? Disengage? Each partner should make a list of their bad tendencies and use future disagreements to practice responding differently and building better communication skills.

 

4. They don’t expect their partner to read their mind; they ask for what they need.

The happiest couples we see make it a habit to ask for what they need and listen to each other’s needs (without being resentful). Running around hoping another person will know what you need or that you are supposed to know exactly what they need is a recipe for disaster. The happiest gay couples are delighted to openly talk about needs and honor differences in needs without feeling like anyone should have already known or that their ‘soulmate’ will have the same needs as them.

 

5. They set aside time to reconnect and make it a priority.

They understand that in long-term gay relationships, affection and sex don’t just happen, gay couples need to have a commitment to cultivating connection instead of hoping it just happens. For example, at the beginning of a relationship, most gay couples can’t keep their hands off each other. Later on in a relationship, they can’t seem to keep their hands off their phones or computers. Gay couples who commit to prioritizing time to be together, to show affection and to keep learning and growing around sex, are definitely the happiest.

 

6. They laugh together ― often.

It’s easy for a relationship to deteriorate into just talking about logistics, saving your funny anecdotes for your best friend or coworker. This is a mistake. When gay couples get out of the habit of laughing together, their relationship is at risk of losing its joy and spirit.

 

7. They give each other the benefit of the doubt.

When people are struggling in relationships it’s not unusual to feel that your partner is on a completely different team that you. Remember that you are on the same team and that you both care about one another. Giving your partner the benefit of the doubt is a great strength in a happy relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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Gay Relationships: How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

Being in a long distance relationship can be difficult, that’s why we created this guide to help you find ways of coping with the trials that distance can bring to a relationship.

 

What kills a long distance gay relationship is the constant underlying uncertainty to everything. “Is this all worth it?” “Does he still feel the same way about me as he did before?” “Is he secretly meeting other guys on Grindr without me knowing?” “Am I kidding myself with all of this? Maybe we’re horrible for each other and I don’t know it.”

The longer you two are apart, the more these uncertainties will fester and grow into legitimate existential crises.

That’s why when making any long distance relationship work it’s necessary to always have some date that you are both waiting for. Usually, this will be the next time you are both able to see each other. But it can be other major life moments as well — applying for jobs in the other person’s city, looking at apartments together, a vacation together, and so on.

The minute you stop having some milestone to look forward to together, you’ll be stuck in emotional limbo. One thing that is true about all relationships is that if they’re not growing, then they’re dying. And this is more important than ever in long distance relationships. You must be evolving towards something. You must both have a converging trajectory on some point on the horizon. Otherwise you will inevitably drift apart.

There are few ways to portray long distance relationships as pleasant experiences, but there are steps you can take to make them easier until the time comes when you will be back in the same place. Which brings me to my first and most important tip:

1. Since you don’t have the benefit of in-person time together, daily communication is a must. Whether you prefer text messages, IMs, emails, telephone calls, or video chatting, keeping in touch is the most important thing you can do in a long-distance relationship. There are even smartphone apps that allow long-distance couples to share photos, videos, send voice messages, and more. And don’t forget good old snail mail! A cute handwritten letter or small unexpected gift goes a long way to making your LD partner feel loved and appreciated.

 

2. Be slow to judge. 

A funny thing happens to humans psychologically when we’re separated from one another. We’re not able to see each other as we truly are. When we’re apart from one another or have limited exposure to a person or event, we start to make all sorts of assumptions or judgments that are usually exaggerated or untrue.

This can manifest itself in various ways within a long distance relationship. In some cases, people get insanely jealous or irrationally possessive of their partner because they perceive every casual social outing without them as potentially threatening to their relationship. They become paranoid, asking “who the fuck is Dan, tell me who the fuck this Dan guy is, and why is he writing on your Facebook wall — oh, he’s your stepbrother? I didn’t know you had a stepbrother. Why didn’t you tell me you had a stepbrother, are you hiding something from me? OK, maybe I wasn’t listening when you told me, but I still don’t want you hanging out with Dan, got it?”

 

3. Make Time to be Boring.
Reuniting after time apart can make relationships feel honeymoon-y a lot of the time, especially if you’re visiting on weekends. If your times together feel more like mini-vacations than real life, it’s hard to know if your relationship would work under ordinary circumstances. Be sure to plan some downtime during each visit so you can get a better sense of how you function as a couple under more typical day-to-day conditions. It’ll help you realize whether or not the relationship will be worth the effort in the long run.

 

4. Send nudes.

Sexting is wonderful at any time, but in a long-distance relationship it is vital. Let him know you still think about him sexually, and that you can’t wait until you guys are naked together again.

This is important. Everybody wants to be seen as sexy, especially by the person they’re dating. When you are apart, it is easy to feel unattractive – there’s no one there to kiss you and touch your butt and tell you that you look good even when you think you look terrible.

When you are far apart, remind him often that you think he’s sexy, that his new pictures on Facebook or Instagram are hot, and that you want to do nasty things to him when you’re back together.

 

5. Make sure the distance is temporary.  A long distance relationship cannot survive without hope. And for there to be hope, there must be some possibility that you two will one day be together and achieve your Happily Ever After.

Without that shared vision of Happily Ever After, everything else will quickly begin to feel meaningless.

Remember, love is not enough. You both need to have life visions that are aligned, shared values and mutual interests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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5 Gay Dating Tips and Practical Advice for Singles

Dating is often awkward, sweet, and challenging. But don’t worry! We’ve put together some top gay dating tips to consider when meeting new people.

 

We’ve put together some top gay dating tips to consider when meeting new people. Let us save you some time, energy and heartache. You can thank us later.

1. Finding a romantic partner is only one of many goals you can have at once. There’s a difference between making something a priority and having an obsession. No one wants to be the Captain Ahab of the dating world.

2. It’s not about getting someone to think you’re good enough for them. It’s about finding someone you can stand to spend a ridiculous amount of time with. It’s about finding the puzzle piece you fit with and the Ernie to your Bert.

3. Stop worrying about potential paramours rejecting you for being too fat, too short, too whatever. It’s entirely possible that you would’ve had to reject them for never having seen Star Wars (your essential piece of pop culture may vary) anyway. People who simply are “not the right fit” exist. The sooner you weed them out of your life, the happier you’ll be.

4. A first date is not an audition for marriage. It’s just a tryout for a second date. No one ever fell in love while analyzing every detail of their momentous first meeting.

5. If a man says that he’s too damaged for you (or too neurotic, or too anything), just take his word for it. Even if it is his low self-esteem talking, you’re not going to be able to fix him. And it’s probably just a euphemism for “I’m just not feeling it.”

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Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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What’s it like to be in a gay, sexless relationship for two years? (Hint: It kinda sucks)

Original Story from Queerty.

 

The first thing to go was the kissing.

We were on the bed when I went to go kiss him. “You know, we don’t have to make out EVERY night!” he spat, as if the mere thought of our lips touching was poison. We had been dating for less than three months.

Things only got worse from there.

Before long, making out was out of the question (My lips hurt his beard, he’d say. Looking back, I’m just like HAHAHA, WHUT?!). Then around the six-month mark, we stopped having sex. It wasn’t even like anything dramatic had happened; we had simply stopped. Every time I tried to do anything sexual with him after that, I was made to feel guilty for wanting him. The one time I tried talking to him about it, I was immediately shut down.

“I don’t get why you won’t have sex with me,” I whined, sounding like someone whose ice cream cone had melted before they had a chance to eat it. “It makes me feel like you aren’t attracted to me.”

“That’s not what I said at all,” he replied, which admittedly, wasn’t the clearest answer in the world. “I’m just not like other gays that need to have sex all the time. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”

“Well, me neither,” I said, with the sexual frustration of a mistress without a plaything to keep them busy.

And with that–silence. We never had sex again.

Read more at: What’s it like to be in a gay, sexless relationship for two years? (Hint: It kinda sucks).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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Five Fast Ways to Get Over a Breakup

Can’t get over a breakup? They’re uncomfortable, painful, and affect us immensely. Here’s five fast easy ways to get over it and forget:

 

Everyone seems to have their own bounce back timeline and their own methods for getting over a breakup. While some people seem to be able to flip a switch and be done with it, we all have a friend (or are the friend) who is still 90 weeks deep in their ex’s Instagram every night and sends way too many drunk texts. And if you are that person, I get it.

1. If you internalize rejection, it’s going to be harder.

Researcher Lauren Howe of Stanford worked with a team of researchers on a survey of over 800 people and found out something really interesting: those who internalize rejection have a harder time with breakups. These are people who look at rejection as a reflection on them — proof that they aren’t good enough or lovable — and they find it more difficult to move on than those people who think that rejection is just a natural party of life or even an opportunity for learning and growing.

 

2. Accept the empty feeling

That moment when you realize you’ve been dumped by the love of your life feels like death. The key is to allow yourself to embrace the grief if you ever want to move past it. Breaking up is very similar to a death because it is in fact the death of a relationship. For at least a couple of days, remember the good times and allow yourself to cry like mad.

 

3. Cut off all contact for real

In this case, absence does not make the heart grow fonder. Absence is exactly what you need to cool off, process your feelings and change your perspective at the end of a relationship. Give yourself a period of no contact. No texts, emails or social media messages because you need time and distance to get emotional clarity. When you just break up with someone, your emotions are all over the place — you will likely miss them desperately and overlook all the reasons why the breakup happened in the first place just to have them there with you again.

 

4. Look toward the future and don’t look back

After an especially bad breakup, it may seem impossible to think that you will ever love again — trust me, I know. This sense of loss can open the door to great possibility. When you find yourself at the end of a relationship, ask yourself this compelling question: “What else is possible now that wasn’t possible when we were together?”

Even in the midst of heartbreak, the end may be just the beginning. Move forward to create your life, and if the relationship can be created again with that person you desire to be with, it will be created from a greater, deeper place and not the same old place that made you break up in the first place. In my point of view, a breakup, especially stemming from an unhealthy relationship or perhaps just one that wasn’t meant to be, always leads to something greater.

 

5. So you need to form some new memories without your partner.

So you have to get your ex out of your autobiography, out of your view of yourself. How do you do that? Well, it’s why we see so many people taking up hobbies or going through big changes after a breakup. It’s really is good for you because you start to form new memories and rewrite your autobiography without your partner.

Breakups are always going to be hard — especially if it was a significant relationship — and there’s never going to be a magical cure all. But we can help ourselves get over them faster. The most important thing? Stop dwelling on the past and make a new future. So it’s time to get off of their Instagram account and go try something totally different — it’ll help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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Disney-Obsessed Gay Guy Proposed to His Boyfriend on Splash Mountain

Original story from PinkNews.

 

A Disney-obsessed man popped the question to his boyfriend at Disneyland in a truly heartwarming style.

Reddit user Eugenius310 shared the incredible moment that he popped the question in style to his boyfriend Chris.

He sprung the surprise proposal on his partner during a trip to Disneyland, during a ride on the log flume Splash Mountain.
Read more at: PinkNews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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Gay Relationship Tips for Long Term Couples

So what makes a healthy and lasting longterm gay relationship successful? Here are some good tips.

Developing You: Many gay couples fall into the trap of expecting their partner to fill the hole in their lives. Coupledom does not provide an escape from self-development. The truth is there is no effective long term escape from self-development. At any stage of life—even into your eighties and nineties—you need to keep growing in order to reach greater contentment.

Daily Rituals: Aim for a daily check-in. This is some version of “How was your day, honey?” Try to practice this without multi-tasking. Hide your cellphones and other portable electronic devices and spend a few minutes just hearing what your partner did that day. It is your job to know about some (but not all) of the seemingly insignificant details of your partner’s office gossip, health issues, and favorite pop culture references. A “check-in” is a part of my daily practice. As Oscar Wilde said: “Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.”

Sex Matters: Gay couples that convince themselves that sex is no longer important after years of togetherness sometimes get into trouble. Sex can grow and develop just like other parts of your life together. To add spice to a sex life that has become routine you’ll need creativity. This can mean ramping up your curiosity about role-play, exploring breathing practices like tantra, or sharing your fantasies. Fantasy makes what is familiar new and exciting again. This is one aspect of relationship development that requires a spirit of fun: sexual negativity and complaining kills sex drive.

Boundaries = Closeness: Everyone needs time alone. You need some friends and activities that are yours and that are not always experienced with your partner. Sometimes you may need to shut the door, put on the earphones, or go for a walk by yourself in the neighborhood. It is okay to “go away” for a while, as long as you commit to authentically coming back later.

Keep Talking: As humans, the key method we have to repair hurts is communication. If you are not a “good communicator” then now may be a time to start learning. Communication is a skill that can be learned, just like knitting or skiing—it just takes instruction and practice. Fortunately improved communication is something that many gay couples can learn in a few hours. I don’t recommend waiting to seek couples counseling until a crisis occurs. Just a few sessions can enhance a relationship that is already doing well. Believe it or not, it can be fun, especially when you go out to dinner afterwards.

Ultimately what keeps long term relationships strong is paying attention to the emotional bond between you. The work of fostering emotional intimacy—which means feeling free to share your feelings without fearing rejection—can be supported by experimenting with some of the practices outlined here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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7 Relationship Tips That Gay Couples Often Forget

Once gay couples have settled into a relationship, things can fall into a bit of a rut. Routines form, the attentiveness that was present at the beginning of the courtship might be replaced by content complacency, and ultimately tensions arise. These simple gay relationship tips may seem like common sense, but you may be surprised at how often people forget about their importance.

 

1. Be Honest

Some people lie to their partners for years out of fear of hurting or offending them, but that can lead to a whole lot of ugliness on all sides. The one being lied to will know that something is wrong, and the one lying may feel more and more frustration about holding back and the relationship may end up suffering badly as a result. This honesty doesn’t have to deal with outright lies, but rather personal interests or preferences that may have changed over the years. Alternately, there could be some serious issues that really should be dealt with, but are internalized out of fear of hurting the other person. Ultimately, honesty really is the best policy, and a strong gay couple will be able to work through just about anything together.

2. Communication is Vital

Very few of us are able to read one another’s minds, so it’s important to express things that weigh on us, whether they’re positive or negative. Little behaviors that bother us can become more irksome over time, so it’s good to address them early, before the irritation accumulates to the point of anger. Similarly, miscommunications can lead to some pretty ugly arguments, so if you’re uncertain about something, try to discuss it calmly so you can sort things out: you may have misheard or misread something your partner said/did and taken it totally out of context, so clarify before freaking out about anything. Even though we may feel that we know our partners well after being with them for several years, remember that we all grow and change over time, and methods of communication must change along with us as needed.

3. Never Take Each Other for Granted

Be aware of every wonderful thing that your partner does for you, and express your gratitude whenever possible. This might be as simple as thanking them for doing the dishes after you’ve eaten dinner, or telling them how much it means to you that they make your coffee/tea exactly the way you like it. They’ll feel appreciated for the love and kindness they show you, and will express their appreciation to you in turn, so no one ever feels like their actions aren’t being acknowledged.

4. Respect Each Other’s Alone Time

Togetherness is important, but just as important (if not more so) is the ability to spend time alone. Too much time spent together can make you irritable, especially if you feel like your personal space is always being invaded. Time alone is necessary for personal reflection, growth, meditation, or even just quiet contemplation. Remember that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and you’ll appreciate your partner a lot more after having some space away from them. If you live together, it might be a good idea to have personal spaces that you can retreat to: either individual offices, or a garage workshop for one person and an attic library for another, etc.

5. Don’t “Let Yourself Go”

It’s inevitable that once certain comfort levels have been reached and closeness wins out over early awkwardness, some behavioral patterns will change. You might not spend an hour prepping before dinner to make sure that you look and smell good, or your boyfriend might wear the same pants for two days in a row without worrying about what you might think of their outfit. That’s totally normal, and really quite hilarious. That said, closer comfort levels don’t mean that you should neglect your personal hygiene, or let your living space fall into complete ruin. You know they’re not going to judge you if you leave pizza boxes all over the floor, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Try to keep things tidy and your appearance a step or two above “slovenly,” and your partner will undoubtedly feel that they’re worth making an effort for.

6. Admit When You’re Wrong (or When They’re Right)

This may be difficult for some people to do, but it really is important. If you discover that you’ve been wrong about an issue/bit of information/whatnot, own up to it: you’ll gain your partner’s appreciation and respect if you do, and if you don’t, you’re just proving yourself to be an immature, pouty jerk. Additionally, if you’ve been discussing something and your partner turns out to be in the right, acknowledge that fact: they may have been filled with self-doubt, and acknowledging their awareness or knowledge may boost their self-esteem exponentially.

7. Have Faith In Your Partner

Having trust and faith in another person can be difficult, especially if you’ve been hurt by others in the past. If you’ve been cheated on or otherwise betrayed by another man, you might worry that the same thing will happen in your current relationship, and this may cause you to imagine things or accuse your partner without just cause. If you find that your own insecurities are poisoning your partnership, talk it out with them and consider seeking therapy: they’re not the person who hurt you, so please don’t assume that just because one person treated you badly, everyone else will too.

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