It’s incredible to realize that just six short years ago, gay couples weren’t even allowed to get married in the United States, and today we’re finally free to follow our hearts and be with who we love. While we’ve made incredible progress in being allowed to live our own lives and be true to ourselves, there’s still so much work that still needs to be done before true equality is finally achieved. However, even though we’re mostly able to be who we are — out in the open and with pride — there are a few things that we’re nevertheless still struggling with.
The fact is, trying to navigate the world as an LGBTQ+ couple is rife with its own unique challenges, and avoiding unwanted relationship problems can sometimes seem like trying to tiptoe through a minefield. Nevertheless, no matter what your gender identity or your sexual orientation is, we all deserve to have happy, safe, loving, and stable relationships. Whether you’re in a brand-new relationship, or you’ve been with your partner for quite a while now, here are five tips to help you fall even deeper in love with them than ever before.
Spend Time Together
This one may seem like a given, but it’s a fairly common truth that once couples settle down, they may start to forget why they fell for their partner in the first place. Between work, trying to raise a family, and your own hobbies and interests, it’s far too easy to put your partner on the sidelines. Rather than taking them for granted, make sure you carve out enough time each day to catch up with them. Making a meal together, unwinding with a heartfelt discussion, and even watching a movie together are all fantastic ways to help keep that ember glowing.
Use Your Words
It’s understandable to want to avoid unnecessary conflict, especially if someone you love has said or done something to upset you, but one of the worst things you can do in your relationship is to shut your partner out. Rather than trying to conceal your emotions and bottle them up, instead approach your partner and let them know — in a gentle, non-confrontational tone — how they made you feel. Be prepared to listen to them, too, as well. Above all, though, it’s important to remember to never raise your voice or your hands against your partner in anger.
Focus On the Future
If you’re like many, it’s fairly likely that you’ve had your own share of relationships in the past, both good and the bad. While it’s perfectly reasonable to want to avoid repeating past mistakes, you still need to recognize that your current partner is not your ex-partner. Not only is it essential to not let your own emotional baggage keep you from opening up to your partner, but it’s also important to not hold their past relationships against them, either. What matters is that you’re together now, and you have a whole life ahead of you both to enjoy.
Respect Each Other’s Sexuality
A common struggle that most intimate relationships face is having an unbalanced drive. One partner may have a more voracious appetite, whereas the other may be content with less intimacy. If you’re wanting to reignite the passion in the bedroom, there are a few ways you can do so, such as a sensual massage, fun toys like anal beads or a g-spot vibrator, and even roleplaying. However, that said, it’s never okay to pressure your partner into having sex with you, especially if they already declined.
Foster a Community
As an LGBTQ+ couple, it can be incredibly isolating sometimes, especially if you find yourself unable to connect with other couples in your neighborhood. The sad truth is, not everyone is tolerant, and many people have found themselves rejected by their families and people they believed to be their friends once they went public with their relationship. Because of this, a close-knit community of like-minded friends can go far in helping you achieve a sense of belonging, further bolstering the relationship you have with your partner.
Ultimately, your relationship with your partner is just that: a private, intimate bond you share with someone you love deeply. No two relationships are identical, and it’s important to not get caught up in the comparison trap, especially if you feel as though your friends are reaching relationship milestones that you haven’t yet met. However, by following these five tips — and focusing exclusively on the relationship you’re currently in — you can help ensure that you and your partner are happy, safe, and deeply in love for many years to come.