LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RESOURCES

RELATIONSHIPS
 

Relationship Advice for Same Sex Couples

Weird and Annoying Questions Gay Couples Get Asked
Scientific Report: Gay Couples are Less Stressful

Lesbian Life: Tips for a Healthy Lesbian Relationship

Jennifer Aniston Interviews Ellen and Portia

Relationship Advice From Lesbian Couples

James Corden: Teaching Children About Gay Relationships

Gail and Audrey: Unexpected Love Story

Lesbian Guide to Being a Good Girlfriend

Music Video: I Wish You Were Gay

How Gay Men’s Relationships Differ from Straight Relationships

Portia Talks About Falling in Love With Ellen

 

Famous LGBTQ Couples
 

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas

Ismail Merchant and James Ivory

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird

Pete Buttigieg and Chasten Glezman

Elton John and David Furnish
Wanda Sykes and Alex Niedbalski
George Takei and Brad Altman
Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak
Rosie O'Donnell and Michelle Rounds
Mario Cantone and Jerry Dixon

Rickie Martin and Jwan Yosef

Robin Roberts and Amber Laign
Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni

Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli

Matt Bomer and Simon Halls

Ellen Page and Emma Portner

Alan Cumming and Grant Shaffer

Kate Pierson and Monica Coleman

Matt Dallas and Blue Hamilton

 



Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger

Sam Smith and Brandon Flynn

Orlano Cruz and Jose Manuel
RuPaul and Georges LeBar
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
Martina Navratilova and Julia Lemigova

Jonathan Bennett and Jaymes Vaughan
Anderson Cooper and Benjamin Maisani
TR Knight and Mark Cornelson
Ellen Degeneres and Portia DeRossi
Brittany Griner and Glory Johnson

Jamal and Octavius Terry-Sims
Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner

Sara Gilbert and Linda Perry

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent
Mario Cantone and Jerry Dixon
Jayne Lynch and Lara Embry

Zachary Quinto and Miles McMillan

Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard

 


 

Meredith Baxter and Nancy Locke

Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti

Dan Savage and Terry Miller

Lee Daniels and Jahil Fisher

Rufus Wainwright and Jorn Weisbrodt
Maurice Sendak and Eugene Glynn
Johnny Weir and Victor Voronov

Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita
Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison
Rosie O'Donnell and Michelle Rounds
Lance Bass and Michael Turchin
Mario Cantone and Jerry Dixon
Raven-Symone and Azmarie Livingston
Cheyenne Jackson and Monte Lapka

Simon Woods and Christopher Bailey
Nathan Lane and Devlin Elliott

Lea DeLaria and Chelsea Fairless

 

 
 

David Hyde Pierce and Brian Hargrove
Chely Wright and Lauren Blitzer
Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd
Ellen Page and Samantha Thomas

Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne

Andy Mientus and Michael Arden

Anthony Wayne and Kendrell Bowman
George Michael and Kenny Goss
Bryan Batt and Tom Cianfichi
BD Wong and Rickie Jackson
John Barrowman and Scott Gill
KD Lang and Jamie Price

Victor Garber and Rainer Andreesen

Sarah Paulson and Taylor Holland

Kristen Stewart and Stella Maxwell

Manila Luzon and Mic J. Rez

Jillian Michaels and Heidi Rhoades

Cheyenne Jackson and Jason Landau

Cara Delevingne and Annie Clark
 

Pop Sugar: LGBTQ Celebrity Couples

Alyson and Jazmyne

In Style: LGBTQ Celebrity Married Couples

My Story: Blind Date

Whitney and Jade: How We Met

Info: LGBTQ Love

YouTube: Top Ten Sweetest Lesbian Couples Married

April and Tiffany: Wedding Highlights Video

Ranker: Coolest Gay Celebrity Couples

Taylor and Annicka: How Our Relationship Started

Video: Gay Hollywood Couples

Gail and Audrey: Unexpected Love Story

News Day: Gay Celebrity Couples

Cory and Davonta: How We Met

YouTube: LGBTQ Celebrity Couples

 

Dating Tips for Gay Men
 

Consider these tips to help gay and bisexual men make better choices about dating and relationships.

 

"Check in" with yourself to understand what’s behind your motivation for dating or being in a relationship. How much are you affected by others’ opinions of you based on whether you’re single? Do you feel more alive when you’re involved with another guy? Are you genuinely attracted to this guy? Are you reacting to feeling lonely or rejected?

Identify what kinds of experiences have been satisfying when dating or being in a relationship in the past. And what has left you wanting something else. How you've felt about past experiences can direct you to what will work for you in the future.

 



Get in touch with what you value, what you need and what you desire in another guy and in a relationship. Without this awareness, you may well make choices that don’t satisfy what’s really important to you. This is your life... follow your bliss!

Recognize that dating or being in a relationship makes demands on you. Not only time, effort and sacrifice, it also demands that you reveal who you are to another guy. It's important to know how prepared you are to do this at this time in your life.

Timing is (almost) everything. Are you really ready to date or be in a relationship? Or are difficult life circumstances (dealing with significant health changes, substance use, experiencing oppression, grief over a loss) stressing your ability to handle the additional challenges of connecting with another guy?

Be aware of the power balance between you and the other guy. If you feel you have little power, how will you be able to negotiate what you need or desire? If you feel you have most of the power in a relationship (not an easy thing to recognize), will you be able to really hear what the other guy wants or desires?

People change over time (and so do relationships), particularly in the early stages of getting to know someone. It’s important to be prepared for the natural evolution of relationships and the first step towards this is to accept that change is inevitable.

 


 

Before you begin to date or start a relationship, make sure friends and family are there for support. You’ll appreciate them helping you celebrate the highs and deal with the lows!

Recognize you have a choice in saying "yes" or "no" in any situation and that choosing to be single is a choice.

Be prepared for the feeling that dating or being in a relationship is not always easy. Many dates do not lead to an ongoing relationship and most relationships you’re in will not be the "final one." If this was true, we would all still be in our first relationship!


[Source: Greg Garrison, Counsellor, David Kelley Services]
 

Relationship Success Tips for Coupled Gay Men

Bryan and Mwinga: Blind Date

Eight Types of Gay Guys I've Dated

Sometimes I Wish I Was a Lesbian

Info: LGBTQ Love

Gay Therapy: What Gay Men Should Expect in a Relationship

Teamates: Justin and Brad

Dan Savage: Gay Sex vs. Straight Sex

Video Advice: Unique LGBTQ Dating Problems

Suze Orman Talks About Her Wife and Soulmate

Info: Sexual Activity

Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor

Healthy Girl-Girl Relationship

My Story: Blind Date

Common Lesbian Relationship Problems

Huff Post: How Gay Men’s Relationships Differ from Straight Relationships

Corey and Russ: How We Met

 

Longtime Filmmaker Couple: Merchant and Ivory

Merchant Ivory Productions is a film company founded in 1961 by producer Ismail Merchant (1936–2005) and director James Ivory (born 1928). Merchant and Ivory were partners from 1961 until Merchant's death in 2005. During their time together they made 44 films. The films were for the most part produced by Merchant and directed by Ivory, and 23 of them were scripted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (1927–2013) in some capacity. The films were often based upon novels or short stories, particularly the work of Henry James, EM Forster, and Jhabvala herself.

 


James Francis Ivory is a gay American film director, producer, and screenwriter, born in California.
Ismail Merchant, born Ismail Noor Muhammad Abdul Rahman, in Bombay, was a gay Indian film producer, director, and screenwriter.

 

Merchant and Ivory met in 1959. In May 1961 they formed the film company Merchant Ivory Productions. Together, they are famous for such films as Howards End (1992), A Room with a View (1985), and The Remains of the Day (1993). Their films won six Academy Awards.

 

Merchant and Ivory were long-term life partners. Their professional and romantic partnership lasted 44 years, from 1961 until Merchant's death in 2005. Their partnership has a place in Guinness Book of World Records for longest partnership in independent cinema history.

 

 

In 2018, at the age of 89, James Ivory became the oldest Academy Award winner for his film Call Me By Your Name, starring Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer.

 

James Ivory: My 44 Year Relationship With Ismail Merchant

Merchant and Ivory Film Production

Biographical Notes: Ismail Merchant

IMDB: Ismail Merchant

Merchant and Ivory: Secret Hollywood Couple

IMDB: James Ivory

Biographical Notes: James Ivory

Merchant Ivory Returns Without Merchant

Merchant and Ivory: Like Elio and Oliver

 

 

Tips for a Healthy Lesbian Relationship

Good relationships don't just happen, they take dedication and work. But you also need to know what to work at. Here are some tips for a happy and healthy lesbian relationship.

Don't Expect to Get Your Needs Met  -  Expecting someone else to meet your needs is a failed concept. Instead, focus on taking care of yourself and what you can do to support your partner. This will bring out the best in both of you.

Establish Meaningful Rituals  -  Whether you take a walk after dinner each night or make pizza together every Friday night, establishing rituals allows you to stay in touch with each others' lives. Make dates on Saturdays or even just doing regular household chores together, like cleaning or grocery shopping helps keep you connected.

 



Work on Improving Yourself  -  For a relationship to be healthy, you need to grow and change. Work on yourself and also on trying to be a better partner. Try on new behaviors. Take some risks.

Have More Positive Than Negative Interactions  -  Try to have a five-to-one ratio of positive to negative interactions. Give more compliments, hugs, affection and appreciation than negative comments or blaming. Better yet, try to eliminate negative comments all together.

Surprise Her  -  Keep things exciting with surprises. Take her on a special date night, sneak a love note into her briefcase, send her flowers, bring her lunch at work. Buy her tickets to her favorite musician or write her a song and sing it to her while she's in the tub. Surprises little and big are important to keeping things fresh.

Take Care of Yourself  -  No one is a good partner if they're stressed out and unhappy. Make sure you take the time for yourself to stay healthy. Eat right, exercise, do yoga, take alone time when you need it. The better you feel about yourself, the more you're going to be able to give to your relationship.

Develop Common Interests  -  Nothing kills a relationship faster than sitting around on a couch, looking at each other with bored looks on your faces. You're going to be spending a lot of time together, get involved in something that excites both of you. It can be golfing, traveling or volunteering at the local animal shelter. Find your common interests and develop them into pleasurable experiences.

 



Be Kind, Not Right  -  Whether you're right or wrong is not really the issue. Think about not being right, but about what you want, which is to have a loving relationship. Spend more time being kind and you'll argue less and enjoy each other more.

Fight Fair  -  When fights or arguments do happen, don't say things in the heat of the moment that may damage your relationship. Walk away to cool off and come back to the discussion later.

Make Alone Time a Priority  -  Your lives may get busy with work, children and social activities, but make sure you schedule in time each week for alone time. It's great if this time is something fun, like a date night or sexy time, but even just turning off the TV and sitting on the back porch and talking about your hopes for the future can bring you much closer together.

 

[Source: Kathy Belge, Lesbian Life Expert]
 

Relationship Advice for Same Sex Couples

Cory and Davonta: How We Met

Weird and Annoying Questions Gay Couples Get Asked
Alyson and Jazmyne

Info: Having Sex

Video Advice: Unique LGBTQ Dating Problems

Wedding Video: Amanda and Amber

Lesbian Life: Tips for a Healthy Lesbian Relationship

Whitney and Jade: How We Met

Video Advice: Signs You Have Found Your Soulmate

Jennifer Aniston Interviews Ellen and Portia

Info: Falling in Love

Relationship Advice From Lesbian Couples

Taylor and Annicka: How Our Relationship Started

Music Video: I Wish You Were Gay

Lesbian Guide to Being a Good Girlfriend

Info: Monogamy

 

 

Legendary Lovers: Gertrude and Alice

Gertrude Stein is an icon in the world of modern literature. Alice B. Toklas is often described as her partner and assistant, but she was a published writer as well, and “assistant” really doesn't cover how important she was to Stein’s life and work.
 

Five months after the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Toklas left the city and moved to Paris. On September 8, 1907, the day after she arrived in Paris, she met Gertrude Stein. This marked the beginning of a relationship which lasted for nearly four decades.

 

 

Occupying that special invisible area historically reserved for homosexual partnerships, Gertrude Stein’s relationship with her "companion," Alice Babette Toklas, was never entirely out in the open, but nor was it hidden from view. Between Gertrude and Alice, however, the nature of the relationship was unshakably clear.

 

Stein called the relationship a marriage, and love notes made public in the 1970s reveal more about their intimate lives than they discussed publicly during Stein's lifetime. Stein's pet names for Toklas included "Baby Precious" and "Mama Woojums," and Toklas' for Stein included "Mr. Cuddle-Wuddle" and "Baby Woojums."

 

Together they hosted a salon in the home they shared that attracted expatriate American writers, such as Ernest Hemingway, Paul Bowles, Thornton Wilder, and Sherwood Anderson; and avant-garde painters, including Picasso, Matisse, and Braque.

 

Toklas and Stein remained a couple until Stein's death in 1946.

 

One of Literature's Great Loves: Alice Meets Gertrude

Strangers in Paradise: Gertrude and Alice

Gertrude Stein: Literary Icon

Bio: Alice B. Toklas

Alice B. Toklas: Gertrude Stein's Lover

NYT: Alice B. Toklas Obituary

 

Breaking Up

My boyfriend and I just broke up. After a year and a half of loving and living together, we have decided that, for lack of all originality, we simply "weren't right for each other." I won't bore you with the specific reasons and events which brought this about, though I will say that there is rarely a single issue or action which ends a solid romance. The question at hand is why all of my relationships seem to break up, and more importantly why gay men seem to have so much trouble with keeping romantic relationships together.

First and foremost among the reasons is the homophobic stigma of the sad, depressed, ever-alone homosexual. It's what our parents always feared and fed us: by being gay we were throwing away all chances at happiness in the arms of a committed wife and family. It was a self-hating prophecy, one which robbed us of our hopes just as they were being kindled. Even I, stable-Mabel and ever-optimistic-in-romantic-affairs, fell victim to this societal trap: after every break-up I would wallow in pity and misery, bemoaning my gay inability to sustain a romance for longer than a month.

 



Of course, after a while I saw what a complete pile of crap this was, and how it was mostly in my (and everyone else's) head. That doesn't make it any less powerful: when people found out I had been going out with someone for a while, they raised eyebrows and questioned constantly "You're still together?" as if doubting that any gay man could stay with someone monogamously and not have it end in pain and heartache. Sometimes it seemed as if the whole world was conspiring against us, and this is a difficult hurdle to get over. Maybe this is why our relationships don't last.

Second, there's the sex that we as gay men must constantly have with each other. Another stereotype to be sure, but one which has grounding in truth. The simple fact is that we can find sex much easier than straight people can. I'm going on my own experience and the ready admittance of all of my straight friends and acquaintances. Call it what you will, we know who's gay, we know how to hook up sexually, and we're not afraid to do it. With such ease and availability of sex, staying committed in a relationship can prove difficult for many of us. 

Still, sex is often messy for us (in many ways) and if it's indeed true that men have a greater biological and instinctual need for sex than women, then two men together in a monogamous relationship is doubly more difficult. Perhaps this is why our relationships don't last.

Third, gay men have not had an open history of committed couples to look back upon. There are no great historical couples or romances from which to draw hope and inspiration. Heterosexuals are constantly reminded of successful romance. Almost everything in the entertainment world revolves around heterosexual love, from the very first Victorian novels of the 19th century to the cinematic super-couples of the 1930's to the lovey-dovey sitcoms of the 1960's all the way to the ballads of the boy bands today, where a "girl" must be mentioned at least seven times per song to ward off any gay rumors.

 

Gay men in successful relationships certainly did exist, but no one talked about it, including the gay men themselves. Only recently have we begun to look back on old diaries and writings and decipher what exactly is meant by "special friend" or "roommate." Then again it may be a mistake to attribute our romantic failures today to the lack of role models in the past: prior to the sixties and seventies there was barely a public gay anything, and we seem to have had no problem in refuting that. Even so, we have not had any prominent gay couples thus far to prove that we can do it. Could this lack of a gay-couple history be why our relationships don't last?


Finally, the reason for our failed long-term romantic endeavors may be the law: only until recently it just wasn't legal for many of us to get married where we lived. Such inherent homophobic oppression is a heavy burden on the most stable of gay relationships, and whether or not we know better, the fact that our unions were not recognized legally can still take an expensive toll. A healthy, happy marriage is difficult enough, denying us the chance to even try is an attempt to keep us alone and unhappy. Maybe people are simply afraid that gay couples will prove to be better at being married than straight couples, just as we have proven to be better parents (if people can bring themselves to acknowledge the latest studies.)

Now, I realize that marriage is in no means a guaranteed way of staying together, as straight people have proven over and over again, but it is one more way in which we are denied the rights of heterosexuals, and one more way in which the cards are stacked against us. This must be why our relationships don't last.

 

Which brings me to my latest break-up, and a revisiting of my past six break-ups. They don't seem to have happened because of the reasons just proffered. None of those reasons seems important enough to have been the sole cause of the disintegration of love. I never broke up with anyone because of an innate self-hatred and self-fulfilling idea of unhappiness as a gay man. I broke up with someone because they fell in love with someone else. I never broke off a relationship due to an insatiable sexual need that caused my partner to stray. All of the guys I've dated have remained faithful to me while we were going out, and if they wanted sex on the side then I knew enough to end it.

My romances did not dissolve because of any lack of successful gay couples in history. We make our own history. Besides, all of the straight romances of the past don't seem to have helped any of my straight friends with their hapless romantic plights either; one recently called off a wedding. My boyfriend and I did not break up because of the legality or non-legality of same-sex marriage. We were smart enough to know that we didn't even want to be bound for life at such a young age. We broke up because we weren't right for each other right now. So maybe the reason that our relationships don't last isn't because we're gay, but because we're human, and living in the 21st century. That's why any of us breaks up. Sometimes being gay just doesn't matter.

[Source: Alan Bennett Ilagan, Rainbow Arch]
 

Relationship Success Tips for Coupled Gay Men

Whitney and Jade: How We Met

Sometimes I Wish I Was a Lesbian

Video Advice: Unique LGBTQ Dating Problems

Info: Monogamy

Gay Therapy: What Gay Men Should Expect in a Relationship

Together: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird

Wedding Highlights: Toni and Samantha

Eight Types of Gay Guys I've Dated

Dan Savage: Gay Sex vs. Straight Sex

Gail and Audrey: Unexpected Love Story

Suze Orman Talks About Her Wife and Soulmate

Common Lesbian Relationship Problems

 

 

Safer Sex and Partner Communication

To reach mutual understanding and agreement on sexual health issues, choose a convenient time when you will both be free of distractions.


Choose a relaxing environment in a neutral location, like a coffee bar or a park, where neither of you will feel pressured.

Use "I" statements when talking. For example, "I feel that abstinence is right for me at this time." Or, "I would feel more comfortable if we used a condom."

Be assertive.  Do not let fear of how your partner might react stop you from talking with him/her.

Be a good listener. Let your partner know that you hear, understand, and care about what she/he is saying and feeling.

 



Be accessible.  Let your partner know you are open to questions and that you won’t jump on him/her or be offended by questions.

Be patient with your partner, and remain firm in your decision that talking is important.

Recognize your limits. You can’t communicate alone or protect you both alone, and you don’t have to know all the answers.

Understand that success in talking does not mean one person getting the other person to do something. It means that you both have said what you think and feel respectfully and honestly and that you have both listened respectfully to the other.

Get information to help you each make informed decisions.

Avoid making assumptions. Ask open-ended questions to discuss relationship expectations, past and present sexual relationships, contraceptive use, and testing for STIs, including HIV, among other issues. For example, "What do you think about our agreeing to avoid sex until after we graduate?" Or, "What do you think about our using hormonal contraception as well as condoms?" Not, "Did you get the condoms?" Or, "When will you have sex with me?"

 



Ask for more information when unsure. Ask questions to clarify what you believe you heard. For example, "I think you said that you want us to use both condoms and birth control pills? Is that right?" Or, "I think you want us both to wait until we graduate to have sex? Is that right?"

Avoid judging, labeling, blaming, threatening or bribing your partner. Don’t let your partner judge, label, blame, threaten, or bribe you.

Do not wait until you become sexually intimate to discuss safer sex with your partner. In the heat of the moment, you and your partner may be unable to talk effectively.

Stick by your decision. Don’t be swayed by lines like, "If you loved me, you would have sex with me." Or, "If you loved me, you would trust me and not use a condom."

[Source: Youth Resource]
 

Relationship Advice for Same Sex Couples

Alyson and Jazmyne

Weird and Annoying Questions Gay Couples Get Asked
Video Advice: Signs You Have Found Your Soulmate

Relationship Quiz: Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris

Lesbian Life: Tips for a Healthy Lesbian Relationship

Jennifer Aniston Interviews Ellen and Portia

Relationship Advice From Lesbian Couples

Dream Wedding: Getting to Know Elana and Amanda

Lesbian Guide to Being a Good Girlfriend

How Gay Men’s Relationships Differ from Straight Relationships

 

 

What Straight Couples Can Learn From Gay Couples
 

Research suggests that married heterosexual couples can learn a great deal from gay and lesbian couples. Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley have published what is said to be the first published observational studies of homosexual relationships.

John Gottman, one of the lead authors is quoted as saying that "Gay and lesbian couples are a lot more mature, more considerate in trying to improve a relationship, and have a greater awareness of equality in a relationship than straight couples. I think that in 200 years heterosexual relationships will be where gay and lesbian relationships are today."

In the first of two papers, the researchers explored the conflict interaction of homosexual and heterosexual couples using mathematical modeling techniques.

 



In the second study, they looked at factors influencing gay and lesbian couples' relationship satisfaction and dissolution.

"In the modeling paper we looked at processes, and they look so different you could draw a picture," said Gottman. "Straight couples start a conflict discussion in a much more negative place than do gays and lesbian couples. Homosexuals start the same kind of discussions with more humor and affection, are less domineering and show considerably more positive emotions than heterosexual couples.

"The way a discussion starts is critical. If it starts off in a bad way in a heterosexual relationship, we have found that it will become even more negative 96 percent of the time. Gays and lesbians are warmer, friendlier and less belligerent. You see it over and over in their discussions, and their partner is receiving the message they are communicating. In turn, their partner is allowing himself or herself to be influenced in a positive way. With married heterosexual couples a discussion is much more of a power struggle with someone being invalidated."

Gottman describes gay and lesbian relationships as being characterized by "the triumph of positive emotions over negative emotions." He stated that "Negative emotions have more impact in heterosexual relationships. This is why our previous research has shown you need a 5-to-1 ratio of positive to negative statements. This seems to be universal in heterosexual couples. But it may be different in gay and lesbian relationships where positive emotions seem to have a lot more power or influence."

 


The subjects of the studies did more than complete questionnaires. Researchers videotaped discussions each couple had about what occurred that day, a topic of ongoing conflict, and a pleasant topic. They analyzed the verbal and nonverbal content of their interaction during the talks and again at a later time when the partners viewed the tape individually. The researchers also collected an array of physiological data, including heart rate, during the conversations.

Homosexual couples were recruited in the San Francisco Bay area and they filled out a questionnaire that assessed relationship satisfaction. Forty pairs (12 happy gay couples, 10 unhappy gay couples, 10 happy lesbian couples and 8 unhappy lesbian couples) were chosen to participate in the study. The comparison sample of married couples was drawn from a larger study that recruited couples from around Bloomington, Indiana.

It was matched in terms of age, marital satisfaction, education and income to the homosexual couples and consisted of 20 happy and 20 unhappy couples. The researchers went on to collect data for 12 years on the relationships of the homosexual couples. By then, eight couples (20 percent, one gay and seven lesbian) had broken up. This rate, if projected over a 40-year period, would be almost 64 percent, which is similar to the 67 percent divorce rate for first marriages among heterosexual couples of the same time span.

The research found that high levels of cardiovascular arousal among straight couples during a conflict predicted lower relationship satisfaction and higher risk for relationship dissolution. The reverse was actually true with homosexual couples. With gays and lesbians, low physiological arousal was related to these negative outcomes.

The gay and lesbian couples talked more openly about topics such as monogamy and sex. Heterosexual couples avoided talking about sex. This may be because their sexuality is already an issue when they deal with a largely heterosexual world. The authors are content that such open and honest communication may improve the relationships of heterosexual couples.

[Source: Leonard Holmes PhD, Journal of Homosexuality, October 2003]

 

 

Pop Sugar: LGBTQ Celebrity Couples

In Style: LGBTQ Celebrity Married Couples

Bryan and Mwinga: Blind Date

Video Advice: Signs You Have Found Your Soulmate

Info: LGBTQ Love

YouTube: Top Ten Sweetest Lesbian Couples Married

April and Tiffany: Wedding Highlights Video

Video Advice: Unique LGBTQ Dating Problems

Gail and Audrey: Unexpected Love Story

Ranker: Coolest Gay Celebrity Couples

Video: Gay Hollywood Couples

Eight Types of Gay Guys I've Dated

News Day: Gay Celebrity Couples

YouTube: LGBTQ Celebrity Couples

 

Things Your Partner Should Never ask You to Do
 

To Keep Your Relationship a Secret
"Some people like to keep a relationship private when they’re not sure where it’s going. Still, others want to keep a relationship secret because they are also involved with another person, or not completely over their previous relationship. They may be using you, or they may even be worried about being embarrassed. Either way, their secrecy should give you concern. Someone who truly cares about you should be proud to tell other people about you."
–Dawson McAllister, writer

To Take All the Blame for Their Discomfort
"We blame our partners when we feel discomfort, and this tends to create distance within an emotionally committed relationship. The distance, then, creates a feeling of further discomfort. The clue to dealing with this dilemma is to learn how to soothe your own emotional pain."
–Donna Bellafiore, licensed clinical social worker

 



To Just Drop It
"Communication and trust are two of the most important areas of a relationship. Getting answers to important questions helps build the foundation for a healthy relationship."
–Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, therapist, NYC

To Change Yourself Completely
“There is one major cause of relationship problems: self-abandonment. We can abandon ourselves in many areas: emotional (judging or ignoring our feelings), financial (spending irresponsibly), organizational (being late or messy), physical (eating badly, not exercising), relational (creating conflict in a relationship), or spiritual (depending too much on your partner for love). When you decide to learn to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself, you will discover how to create a loving relationship with your partner.”
-Margaret Paul, PhD, relationship expert, co-creator of Inner Bonding

To Pick Up Unhealthy Habits

"Undermining your fitness goals, constantly tempting you with cigarettes when you've quit, not respecting your decision to only have one drink rather than three-these are all ways that controlling people can try to thwart your attempts to be a healthier (and stronger) person. Since controlling people thrive on weakening their partners, it's a natural tool for them to use."
–Andrea Bonior, PhD

 



To Give Up Hobbies
You are my everything is a lousy pop-song lyric and an even worse relationship plan. No one can be everything to anyone. Create relationships outside your relationship, or your relationship isn’t going to work anymore.”
-Matt Lundquist, LCSW, couples therapist

To Agree With All of Their Opinions
"Whether you're being asked or if you're trying to show your love by saying yes to everything, definitely reevaluate things."
–Rhonda Milrad, therapist, founder of online community Relation Up

To Overlook Angry Outbursts
"Intimacy is built on the ability to feel safe enough to be vulnerable and authentic in your relationship. Your partner should never ask you to just take their sudden angry outbursts because they had a bad day or are stressed. This will ultimately foster a sense of anxiety and resentment in your relationship."
-Imani Aieshah, certified couples relationship coach

To Vote for Their Choice
"Politics are innately personal. Your partner should never ask you to publicly agree with or support them in a political stance you are not in agreement with."
-Toni Coleman, PhD, psychotherapist, relationship coach, divorce mediator

 



To Minimize Your Accomplishments
"Jealousy is common in romantic relationships, but asking you to dim your light so that your partner can shine brighter by comparison is completely unacceptable. If your partner is insecure about themselves and their position in the world, requesting that you diminish your power and accomplishments will only breed resentment. Becoming a downgraded version of yourself won't bring you any joy or satisfy your partner's ego."
-Rhonda Richards-Smith, licensed social worker, relationship expert

To Stop Crying
"Your partner should never ask you to not talk about your feelings. Holding things in is simply toxic and talking things through allows you to get to the root of a problem. Talking is never nagging if you approach it the right way."
-Michele Kerulis, PhD, relationship expert, professor of counseling, Northwestern University

To Talk About Past Lovers
"Your partner should never ask you to expose your past sexual escapades and lovers. This information is private and should be locked into the vault, never to be taken out, unless you feel you want to talk about it on your own terms. It is the right of every person to keep the details of their sexual past in the past."
-Audrey Hope, relationship expert, host of the Hope for Relationships show, addiction therapist at Seasons In Malibu rehab facility

To Lie for Them
"Your partner should never ask you to lie for them. All lies and secrecy are inherently damaging in a relationship. If your partner has something to hide and lie about, the best, most loving thing you can do is let them deal with the consequences of their own actions."
-Shirani M. Pathak, licensed psychotherapist, founder of Relationship Center of Silicon Valley

To Pick Up Their Socks
"It is not your job to pick up your partner's dirty underwear or do their laundry. You are not your partner's maid or servant. If you want to pick up their socks as a way to show you care, that's fine, but if they demand it? Remind them that they are not a child and you are not their mom."
-Audrey Hope, relationship expert, host of the Hope for Relationships show, addiction therapist at Seasons In Malibu rehab facility




To Ignore Insults From Their Family
"Your partner should not ask you to ignore the rude or disrespectful things their friends or family say to you. Your partner is the guide for how your loved ones treat you, so if they let them get away with treating you badly, you don't stand a chance. And if they ask you to just let it go it won't get any better. Your partner needs to stand up for you and should not ask you to ignore bad behavior."
-Julienne Derichs, licensed counselor, relationship expert, Chicago

To Give Up Your Religion
"You should never have to compromise on your values. Your partner should support you in your core beliefs and not ask you to change them."
-Kimberly Hershenson, licensed social worker, relationship therapist, NYC

To Give Them Your Phone
"Asking to go through your cell phone is a major boundary violation. If your partner feels the need to check your cell phone then you most likely have trust issues and that has to be addressed. Trust is the foundation of a healthy and respectful relationship. If you don't have trust then you're probably with the wrong partner."
-Michele Kerulis, PhD, relationship expert, professor of counseling, Northwestern University

To Quit Your Job
"Your partner should never ask you to relinquish financial independence against your will. This is trouble waiting to happen. If you were working when you met, you are the one to independently decide to change jobs or stay home."
-Linda F. Williams, behaviorist, relationship coach at Whose Apple Dynamic Coaching and Consulting

To File for Divorce
"If your partner feels like the relationship is over, it's unfair for them to ask you to be the one to take the initiative to file for a divorce. That's on them."
-Shannon Battle, licensed professional counselor

To Do Something You're Terrified Of
"Your partner can certainly suggest trying something scary, but they should never ask you to face fears you are not ready to confront. Let's say they love roller coasters but roller coasters scare you to death. They can ask you to go on one with them, but if you say no, they shouldn't shame you into trying it."
-Janet Zinn, licensed social worker, psychotherapist, couples counselor, NYC

 

To Ditch Your Best Friend
"You should never be asked to stop being friends with one of your friends just because your partner doesn't like him or her. They can point out how the relationship might not be healthy, but that's it. Especially if the friendship precedes the relationship, they should stay out of it."
-Bette Levy Alkazian, licensed marriage & family therapist

To Cover for Their Addiction
"You should never have to lie for your partner, covering up their addictions. Whether it's drugs, alcohol or sex, you're not helping them, you're just enabling them."
-Ava Cadell, AASECT certified sex counselor, founder of Love University

To Try Something Sexual, When You've Already Said No
"If you have already said no to a sexual act, whatever it is, your partner should refrain from asking you over and over. That says your partner isn't respecting you and your wishes, or even respecting you as an individual, because they would rather put their sexual needs first."
-Shirani M. Pathak, licensed psychotherapist, founder of Relationship Center of Silicon Valley

To Choose Between Them and Your Mother
"You should never have to chose between a partner and family. If there's conflict between your partner and family and it doesn't seem to resolving, you should never have to chose sides. If one or both parties are unwilling to work out their differences, accept it but never let go of one relationship for another."
–Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, therapist, NYC

To Change Your Outfit
"While it's nice to know what your partner thinks of your appearance, ultimately that choice is up to you. And be aware of what you ask as well. Asking which outfit looks better or if you have gained weight is a recipe for disaster, and the conversations may end in you being offended and angry."

-Samantha Daniels, relationship expert, founder of The Dating Lounge dating app


To Be the Family Go-Between
"Your partner should not ask you to carry messages for them to family members, kids or others as a way of resolving conflict. Their relationships are their responsibility."
-Jeanette Raymond, PhD, licensed psychologist, relationship expert, author of Now You Want Me, Now You Don't!

To Be Like Someone Else
"Your partner should never ask you to be someone other than your authentic self. Statements such as, Why can't you be like her or He would have never done that should be deal breakers."
-Linda F. Williams, behaviorist, relationship coach at Whose Apple Dynamic Coaching and Consulting

To Accept Abuse
"Your partner should never ask you to stay in a loveless, disloyal, or or abusive relationship. If your partner is not holding up their end of the bargain, it's not okay for them to expect your love and loyalty. People stay inside of relationship because they don't want to fail. I see it as a fail to stay if you're miserable."
-Megan Weks, dating and relationship expert

 

[Source: Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Alex Aronson, Redbook, June 2019]

 

 

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