Gay Men and Relationships
Gay relationships can often be difficult. There are a number of reasons for this, including a lack of societal blueprints and confusion on the part of some gay men about what being in a romantic relationship truly means. Given the unique challenges involved with gay dating and love, we thought it might be a good ideal to provide a list of top 10 reasons gay men (at least some) destroy their relationships.
The material appearing below contains some of the common culprits but certainly not all of them. Some of what you will read may strike you as common sense. Other points, however, may make you pause in reflection.
As a caveat, we want to say that not all gay men partake in these listed behaviors. But for those who do, it may be the reason why some complain they are hopelessly single.
Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!
1. Having unrealistic expectations
One of the fastest routes to destroying your gay relationship is having unrealistic expectations of the person you are dating. This means that you possess a list of “musts” that you feel a partner must have in order for things to work.
- Specific, unyielding salary requirements of your mate
- Expecting your partner to always be in a good mood
- Assuming your partner can “read your mind”
- Thinking your mate will be sexually satisfying each time you make love
2. Clingy codependency
Another way some gay men obliterate their relationships is by becoming too clingy. This means needing to know where your man is during every second of the day and approaching the relationship from a place of distrust instead of trust.
Over the course of time, the end result is the slow erosion of the bonds that once brought the two of you together in the first place.
- Robo-texting your mate and expecting immediate responses
- Demanding to know where your partner is throughout the day
- Check-call to their phone – including while they are at work
- Going through their phone to check messages and emails
- Projecting intentions from a previous relationship onto your current one
3. Passive aggressive game playing
Under this point, you will say one thing and mean another. Because of an inability to communicate, be it by design or lack of ability (or both) you drain the life out of your gay relationship by engaging in passive aggressive behaviors. The end result for you and your partner is confusion, anger and resentment.
- Not directly saying what you mean during a dispute
- Pretending everything is “OK” when it is clearly not
- Refusing to engage in meaningful dialog about a problem
- Withholding emotions, including physical and emotional affection
4. Selfish behaviors
Selfishness is perhaps one of the major reasons behind gay relationship breakups. And while the word selfishness may be subjective, there are a certain set of behaviors that clearly indicate one person is acting like a major narcissist.
It is important under this point to look at the totality of behaviors and not isolate just one thing.
- Acting like a selfish bottom in the bedroom (aka pillow princess)
- Not doing your part to keep your shared home clean (i.e. chores)
- Expecting your man to pay for everything because he makes more money
- Assuming that your mate will regularly attend to important tasks
5. Letting disagreements turn into major blowouts
All of us make mistakes from time to time but how many of us step up to the plate and “own” our behaviors? While it is certainly difficult at times to acknowledge we’ve done something wrong, that’s not a permission slip to act like it didn’t happen. In fact, this is a big reason disagreements turn into blowouts
Once a pattern of not talking about what’s bothering us sets in, a metaphorical clock begins ticking. At some point, there’s going to be a blowout. (See video below on how to avoid blowouts)
- Regularly blaming your man for things you have done wrong
- Not sincerely acknowledging and owning your actions
- Not being sincere when you say you are sorry about what happened
- Pretending “he’ll get over it” – even for egregious behaviors
- Not calling a “Time Out” before a blowout happens or when someone shuts down.
6. Ongoing use of drugs and alcohol
While this point is not true of all gay relationships, it certainly is an issue in some. If you or your man constantly require the use drugs or alcohol (or both) in order to have a “good time” or to be around one another, something will eventually give.
And while having fun from time to time has its place, it shouldn’t be the glue that binds you together.
- Regularly using alcohol as emotional lubricant in the relationship
- Needing to use drugs while being with one another to let lose
- Needing to be around other people who regularly drink or “party”
- Making alcohol and/or drugs a main component of your sex life
7. Not regularly making time for one another
While this point may seem obvious, it is a major reason why so many gay relationships find themselves in trouble. This is particularly true for longer term situations (3 years or more), where the dynamic often morphs from appropriate alone time to totally alone time.
Commonly, this happens when one or both partners in the relationship are more attached to their careers and by extension, career success, than they are to one another.
- Making work the primary daily focus of life instead of the relationship
- Not placing boundaries around technology, such as smartphones and pads
- Offering to take on more responsibilities at work when it is not necessary
- Validating oneself primarily through a job or career
8. Thinking something “better” will come along
This point may be difficult to read because for many gay men it is the truth. If you keep jumping into and out of relationships hoping the next person will be “the one”, you are setting yourself up for major failure. It takes a lot more than 2 or 3 dates to determine compatibility.
Unless there is a glaring reason that suggests someone isn’t going to be the right fit, there needs to be an opportunity to let a relationship blossom and bloom.
- Cutting off a relationship before truly getting to know someone
- Having super rigid requirements regarding looks, income, career type, sexual positions
- Constantly comparing your last relationship with the current one
- Focusing on the perceived negatives of a person and ignoring the positives attributes
9. Being too quick to open up the relationship
There is no judgement under this point. For some people, monogamy works quite well. For other couples, discussions are had whereby both parties agree to have an open relationship or bring in a third.
But if the two of you have only been together for just a few months – or perhaps one year – and are already looking to others for physical stimulation, it could be a problem.
- Thinking sex with others will “fix” the primary relationship
- Relying on an exclusive physical connection with another to remedy emotional issues
- Using third parties for emotional and physical validation
- Immediately opting for an “open up” the relationship as a response to infidelity
- Using adult videos as a crutch to intimacy and physical closeness on a regular basis
10. Not having shared goals
The final point is key. If the two of you don’t have shared goals, the relationship isn’t going to work for the long term.
And while it is true that each of you may hold a different vision for the future, there needs to be at least one or two common goals that you are working towards.
- Working as a team towards buying a home
- Determining if you want children
- Identifying and working towards financial goals
- Planning for retirement, “next steps” in life, etc.
Gay Relationship Poll
Below you will find a poll that offers the top 10 ways gay men destroy their relationships. While the results are in no way scientific, they can be used as a conduit for greater insight and knowledge.
After you make your selection, see how your vote stacks up against others.
Summing Things Up
Gay relationships are unique. Given the reality (finally) that marriage is available for all of us, it is important for us as a community to rethink how we approach dating and romance. It’s up to us to create the new blueprints.
A helpful resource you might want to consider is the book: 10 Smart Things Gay Men Do To Find Better Love by Joe Kort. Inside, you will find page after page of useful insight on building healthier romantic relationships.
What’s more, the book moves about the business of addressing real issues that many gay men face.
Submitted by: Couples Counseling Chicago