In general, relationships are hard work no matter your sexual identity but it is perceived to be harder in the gay community because of the assumed promiscuity of everyone. This page will aim to guide you in a safe direction as well as give advice about how to approach certain topics around relationships.
"Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. - Baz Luhrmann
Relationships are complex. The basics to it though, are simple – you like someone, you want to be with them, you are with them but there is more to it than that really. A lot of people rush into relationships, thinking it’s a good idea after knowing someone after a very short period of time – this can be good, but it can also be bad.
To start a fundamental and influential relationship you have to know the person you are about to ‘commit’ to. Knowing them a matter of weeks isn’t the best way to claim you know someone. If you like someone and they like you in return, you can afford to take things slowly and get to know the person more – rushing in blindly into something that could hurt you in the long run is not clever and it’s not a relationship. First impressions do count but so do second, third, fourth and hundredth impressions because each situation is different and each mood causes different behaviour.
Asking people if the time is right is sometimes good in these situations. Someone’s viewpoint from outside of what is happening can be more observant and less bias than one from the internals of the situation but ultimately only you know if it is right to either admit your feelings to the other person or to start a relationship.
Only you know if a relationship is right for you, but there are types of relationships that better suit others. If you’re the type of person who can get jealous and want to be with one person who you like a lot, then a closed relationship is probably right for you as long as the other person feels the same. People who want a relationship but also to be able to see other people, you have to come to an understanding with your partner and an open relationship is probably more suited to your needs. Honesty is the best policy and you should adopt this from the start of any relationship.
Other factors always come into play with relationships. If you are dating someone who is “in the closet”, or if you yourself haven’t disclosed your sexuality to family and friends then relationships and dating can get hard. People like to be open with their lives and some people prefer to be closed but when it comes to “coming out” in a relationship, your partner should understand that they shouldn’t force you to do it if it’s not the right time for you. Some people find it easier once they are in a relationship to tell others but it is the individual’s choice.
The Internet and Dating.
The internet has made meeting people easier in this day and age, putting you in contact with people you may never have met and providing services you may never have dared go to in person or in public. However, using the internet for a way of meeting people can be a dangerous place. Key points to consider when using this method are:
- Talk to the person and get to know them as best as you can.
- If you decide to meet them, tell one of your friends or family where, when and who you are meeting with in case anything goes wrong.
- Always aim for a public place to meet so if there were lies made, you can easily escape rather than being stuck at someone’s house.
Dating can be a hard time. You can go on numerous dates with numerous people and they may never work out but you should stay persistent if that’s what you want to do. Sometimes you’re not compatible with someone and you have to accept that and try again. There are people out there in exactly the same position and they will feel the same as you – dating is a continuing thing when you are single and eventually you will find someone with whom you bond with.
When it comes to dates, either with people from the net or people you know in person already, you should do something both of you want to do even if it’s a compromise but you should never feel pressured into doing anything. You can finish the date whichever way you want but make sure, above everything, it is something you want to do.
Every relationship comes with its unique sets of problems. It’s nothing to be scared of and usually the best way to sort out these problems is to sit and talk to the other person about them – sometimes this doesn’t work but problems are better off in the open then closed away. The range can span from minor problems to major problems and usually the minor ones are easier to sort out – major problems take work and sometimes action from outside the relationship necessary in the form of help clinics and lines that can be used for such severe problems as domestic abuse.
If the problem lies within both sides of the relationship, usually the two of you can work it out – if the problem lies with one person, then they will need your help to sort it out – it’s a two way process no matter what the problem. The best advice possible is for you to talk to your partner about the situation at hand for it to be resolved, otherwise it will just continue being a problem.
When the problems get too much and the relationship breaks down, it is possible that either immediately or over time, that the two of you can remain friends – obviously sometimes this is not possible and it depends on the people and the situation. It is sometimes best to remain friends with ex-partners as a place to go to when you need advice about yourself. They know you and what you were like in that particular relationship and may be able to provide you with help. Of course, if the person you were with is an ex for reasons that made you fall out, sometimes it better to leave the past as the past and not try to sort out some form of friendship as it can be detrimental to your own wellbeing.
Cheating is a problem which most commonly occurs in any relationship and there is no excuse for it. If someone cheats and gives you a reason that you feel will help you get over it and forget it ever happened, then it’s your own choice to forgive the person, but if you feel you can never forgive them, it is best to get out of the relationship before it truly turns bitter. The only problem with forgiveness is that the person is more than likely able to do it again – playing a game of tit for tat is also not advised as this can lead to more severe problems.
Sex in relationships.
As a society we promote sexual health, the practising of safe sex and treatments if you don’t practice safe sex. Still here, we want to promote safe sex as the best option in a relationship but if you feel that you can trust your partner to have unprotected sex, the best way that we would advise is for sexual health testing before you continue down this path. One in three people has HIV and doesn’t know and it’s always safer to know than not to know. Go together and get tested and that way you know the risks of what you are about to do. Of course, treatments are in place if you go down this path blindly and consulting a sexual health clinic is your better option in this circumstance.