The following is a guest post by a Gay Lifestyle writer Peter Minkoff.
Whether you’re in a first real relationship right now or you’ve been out there in the dating world for years, you are still bound to make mistakes – even the best ones are susceptible to them. From neophytes to relationship pros, everyone makes mistakes, it’s simply human nature, and sometimes we don’t pick up lessons from our past experiences. That is exactly why everyone needs a friendly reminder of what to do and even more importantly, what not to do in your current relationship. If you find yourself ticking any of these following ‘boxes’ and patterns of behavior, and you want to have a solid, lasting relationship, make a real effort to clean up your act and be the best boyfriend there is.
‘He’s better than me’
This is the first thing that separates straight and gay couples – in a straight relationship, it’s almost impossible to compare yourself to your partner, and almost impossible not to in a gay one. This is highly counterproductive thinking as it can not only diminish the quality of your relationship but your overall self-esteem. Simply accept the fact that everyone is different – he may be more successful professionally, but you may be more creative. He may have a better body but you are a kinder, more generous person. These differences should be celebrated, not be a cause for resentment. After all, how fun would it be to date someone who’s exactly like you?
Speaking of comparisons…
The one thing everyone seems to be guilty of (impossibly confident people excluded), is comparing ourselves to our partner’s ex (or exes). Yes, there is a reason you aren’t like them, but this, believe it or not a great thing. Ask yourself this question – what do all of the exes have in common? Answer: none of them are in his life now. That’s the whole point, they’re exes for a reason, and again, it’s a great thing you’re not like them because your boyfriend probably learned his lesson and has found someone better than all of them – in you.
Tone down the snark
As a group, we can be a tad snide and sometimes bitchy, and while that’s (kind of) ok and fun when there’s a juicy gossip involved, you should definitely avoid being bitchy with each other. This kind of behavior is a gateway to real insults, plus, you never know if your partner will take a slightly mocking joke at his expense seriously, so leave the snide comments for when you’re dishing about your friends, but don’t dish it out on each other.
Honesty is the best policy
While this should apply to every aspect of your relationship, we’re discussing sexual honesty now. While great sex can’t fix a bad relationship, bad sex can certainly ruin a great one. If your sexual needs aren’t being completely fulfilled, you need to have an honest and open conversation with your partner; otherwise, dissatisfaction will just eat you up inside and by the time you burst, it will be too late. If you have any particular fantasies or want to experiment with toys more, you have to be frank about it. Sex is a huge part of a relationship, and if we may say so, perhaps even more important in gay than in straight
relationships. So, express your wishes, and who knows, maybe he’ll go to an adult store and pick up some interesting toys with you. Just be careful your cleaner doesn’t find them!
Stand by your man
Ok, this one goes for all the fellas who’ve been in a relationship for more than 3 months. By this time, you’ve probably introduced your boyfriend to your friends and perhaps even parents. Whatever your parents’ stance on the ‘whole gay thing’ is, always be there to support your man. They may not like him because they haven’t fully accepted you as a proud gay man, or because they simply don’t like something about him. Whatever the reason, if your family, or anyone for that matter, is being rude to your partner or talking trash behind his back, you need to have his back and always defend and stand up for him. This is what true partnership is – sticking up for the one you love.
Don’t let the romance fizzle out
Yes, being comfortable enough with someone to just stay in sweats and watch a movie or simply just hang is wonderful. However, there is a fine line between casual movie night and being in your sweats all the time. Take your man out, dancing, clubbing, romantic dinner, whatever he likes. Never underestimate the power of little gifts that come as a result of careful listening and being in tune with your partner’s needs. For instance, there is something that I’ve always wanted – a private and cozy home massage in Melbourne, and when I came home one day and found my room transformed into an oasis, I was beside myself – not only because of the gift itself, but the fact that my partner listened and paid attention to what I like.
This is the key to it all – you don’t even need expensive gifts, just show that you care and gift something that will hold meaning, instead of just splurging on items with no sentimental value. As the song says, ‘Show him that you care just for him, do the things he likes to do’.