7 Things Gay Couples Struggle With that Straight Couples Don’t Have to Deal With

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Same-sex relationships don’t differ much from heterosexual ones. Despite what people believe, gay couples often have long, committed, loving, and meaningful relationships. Furthermore,  They can also have similar problems to heterosexual couples when facing issues like family, finances, household chores, parenting, etc. However, for same-sex couples, there are some things that they struggle with that straight couples don’t because they are unique to them.

1.      No Gender Segregation Means Less Defined Boundaries

Same-sex couples usually find keeping boundaries between their partners and friends challenging. For couples in heterosexual relationships, gender marks the limits by ensuring partners don’t feel insecure or jealous when their better half goes out on a boys’ night, bachelor party, bridal shower, or girls’ night. However, in a same-sex relationship, if one of the partners has dinner with someone of the opposite sex, tensions can arise, mainly if that other person is beautiful or an ex-partner.

On the other hand, gay couples have exes and friends that are mainly of the same gender. That means that when they socialize, especially if they share the same friends, one cannot stay at home while the other goes out. At the same time, if one of the people in the circle of friends is an ex, the situation can become even more awkward.

Since spending time apart is healthy for couples, finding a solution to handle these situations makes the relationship easier. However, fear and jealousy can lead to anger, so listening and laying down the ground rules are necessary.

2.      Revealing Feelings in Public

In most heterosexual relationships, partners have no problem with public displays of affection like holding hands or kissing. However, sometimes one partner in a same-sex relationship may not feel comfortable showing affection while “out” in public.

Even though one partner is comfortable, pushing is unfair if the other fears negative repercussions. Therefore, partners should remain sensitive to each other’s feelings on this topic. Sometimes, therapy can help the same-sex couple reach a compromise.

3.      Introducing a Partner to Family

In-law troubles can plague any relationship, whether it is same-sex or between straight couples. However, for gay couples, the problem becomes worse if one of the partners has not yet come out or their parents refuse to accept their sexual orientation. Unfortunately, family get-togethers can become highly awkward in these situations, with couples having to decide if one partner should go alone or whether they should refuse the invitation altogether.

Making a partner choose between their parents or you may be one option, but most couples take a middle road and find a solution depending on their unique situation. However, allowing a partner to feel left out while visiting parents is also not another. When a solution cannot be found because one of the two won’t compromise, sometimes it’s worth looking to see if there is perhaps something wrong with the relationship in general.

4.      Duties and Gender Roles

Dividing chores is much easier for straight couples because, in most relationships, these duties are divided by gender. However, in a gay relationship, things become a bit more complicated since both partners can’t fulfill the traditional gender role.

In most same-sex relationships, couples usually divide these duties equally or according to personal preferences. Since they know what pleases members of the same sex, they typically show an initial understanding. However, some relationships can deteriorate because of difficulties created by one partner adopting a stereotypical masculine role, including a strong need for control and emotional distancing. When the passion diminishes in these relationships, initial expectations that arise from a deep understanding can quickly dissolve into a sense of intense disillusionment.

5.      Understanding the Relationship

In heterosexual relationships, the word ‘relationship’ usually means the couple is exclusively together. However, in the same-sex culture, the term can mean several things, often confusing one of the two.

Ensuring compatible views means the same-sex couple can avoid latent issues in their relationship. In addition, by becoming exclusive, the partners should take all the right actions to help this decision stick and reduce conflict.

6.      Emotional Intimacy

Every relationship requires more than awesome sex for success. Once deciding on a relationship, the next step requires deepening the relationship’s emotional bond by learning each other’s communication styles. Communication helps strengthen emotional intimacy, allowing for a deeper understanding when needing to resolve conflicts.

7.       Legal Protection

Spousal rights are easy to overlook, especially in the countries and states where gay couples can’t legally marry. However, same-sex couples must ensure that their partners are legally protected if a life-changing event occurs to one of the two. These include death benefits, medical benefits, power of attorney, and other spousal rights.

Final Thoughts

Conflict in all relationships is normal, but same-sex couples struggle with a few more issues than straight couples. Building a healthy and lasting relationship between partners requires understanding how to deal with potential issues effectively and conscientiously.

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