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Long Distance Dead End?

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How Do We Sustain Gay Relationships?

DEAR Q&D How Do We Sustain Gay Relationships? Q: First and foremost, I believe that we, as Gay individuals, haven’t had the time to nurture our relationships the way straights have.  We haven’t More »

Are Gays Less Committed?

DEAR Q&D Are Gays Less Committed? Q: Due to the intolerance of homosexuality in our society, LGBT individuals have not been able to live openly and form relationships in the past.  LGBT couples More »

Is Conflict Inevitable?

DEAR Q&D Is conflict inevitable? Q: Opposition working together creates forward motion. It’s a law of nature, Yin and Yang in equal balance creates harmony.  It’s the imbalance of opposing forces that causes More »

 

Do Gay Men Need to Fight to Maintain Relationships…

putera

Dear Q&D

Do gay men need to fight to maintain relationships more than straight couples?

Q: Discord and disharmony in a relationship is a natural occurrence. We are constantly growing, maturing, and finding ourselves on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis.  We are never the same person twice – even on the micro level, our very cellular structure is changing, nanosecond by nanosecond. Suffice it to say, we are also emotionally and psychologically metamorphosing.  Every encounter is an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to change.  So beginning with that nucleus of understanding we can better begin to explore relationships.

D:  There is no additional amount of fighting within gay relationships, nor is fighting necessary to sustain them.  When you see yelling matches that escalate into a physical confrontation within gay/lesbian relationships, you are actually witnessing a kind of caution thrown to the wind, where suddenly couples find themselves evenly matched with their partners.   They don’t think in the traditional sense of men and women being outmatched.  This thought process can sometimes (but not always) thwart the onset of physical fighting in straight relationships, but gay relationships tend to find themselves even-keeled, and when the disagreement mounts to yelling, and yelling  mounts to aggression, the sentiment can become, “Well bring it on!”

Long-term gay relationships are still relatively rare, so we haven’t had as much practice as our hetero counterparts on alternative ways to deal with anger or disagreements.  Is the amount of disagreements greater in gay relationships, though? No.  Do we fight (non-physically, i.e., yelling, slamming doors) more? No. Do we tend to get physical more often?  I’m not sure; no studies have been done to support this.  Is fighting necessary to sustain a gay/lesbian relationship?  Absolutely not! Have Quincy and I ever gotten into a physical altercation? Yes, but we’ve learned from those mistakes, and now seek alternative ways to deal with our anger and disagreements – the same as a straight couple who is trying to get it right.

Do we fight because we’re gay? No; it has more to do with how we modeled ourselves after the straight relationships that we witnessed while growing up.  Is this what keeps us together?  No; it was the thing that almost tore us apart.

Q: Relationships require two individuals to merge with differing life experiences and very specific filters in which we process and understand phenomenon.  It’s like wiring the black wire and the red wire to make, not a spark, but sustainable energy.  Not only does a synthesis need to occur, but a relationship also requires two constantly changing individuals to make a commitment based on ideals they held true when they first entered into the agreement.

Does this make relationships difficult?  In my opinion, yes.  Does this require constant maintenance and circumspection? Hell to the yeah.  Is it worth the trouble?  In my experience, without a doubt.

All Relationships Fight – Straight or Gay. 

Q: I was never exposed to Gay relationships as a child. The relationships that I modeled myself after and those that contributed to the formation of what I believed to be a relationship, was that of heterosexuals.  My first were those of immediate family, then those in my community, and finally those portrayed in the media.  I took bits and pieces from the healthiest of relationships to the most dysfunctional of relationships and even a little fantasy from the media – too much fantasy.

It’s been through straight relationships that I have witnessed more than my share of Make Up to Break Up, Cheatin’ in the Next Room, Burning Bed, Ike & Tina, Black Eyed, Hot Grits, Jerry Springer, Ricky Lake, Babies Mamma Drama.  Maybe, not to such extremes as described above, but I’ve even witnessed the healthiest of relationships have its fair share of rounds in the ring. And I have come to the understanding that relationships are volatile and antagonistic by nature, regardless of our sexual orientation.

D: I too have only witnessed the discord that takes place between heterosexual couples. There was fighting between men and women in my house all the time while I was growing up.   I have seen everything from fist fights between my uncles and their girlfriends, to my mother’s ex-boyfriend shooting up our house.  So when I speak on gay relationships, I speak only on the ones I’ve had, and the rare instances where my gay friends have shared their experiences with me.  And in either of those, I couldn’t say that anything that I had heard or experienced was nearly as dramatic as some of these altercations I had witnessed as a child.

Originally published in February 14, 2008 8:49 AM

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RT @centerblacklgbt: May/June @SWERVmagazine includes an interview w/ @dlchronicles creators “Real Life Dynamic Duo” @thegossfields (@deondraygossett + @QLenear) via @thegossfields