Let’s be really honest with each other for a second. Relationships can be pretty hard. When you’re a member of the LGBT community, things can be even harder, because you’ve got to deal with extra pressure from society (and maybe even your own family). Coming out isn’t even an option for everyone, which adds its own issues, on top of everything else out there. Yet, amazingly, lesbians still end up in these tough relationships – the work is worth it. Humans are inherently social creatures, after all.
Looking to make your tough relationship just a little bit easier? Follow these 5 rules and you’ll find yourself well on your way.
Embrace your disagreements.
When things start to get rough, we may find ourselves tempted to just go straight into denial. Put the problem out of your mind, and it can’t bug you, right? But, realistically, that’s a poor way to handle your relationships. Denial is rarely the appropriate response to a stressful situation, at least in the long-term.
You are different people with different opinions and different histories. It’s completely understandable that you’re not going to agree all the time. You just need to know how to channel those disagreements into a better understanding of one another, instead of letting them tear you apart.
Learn about the past.
Any time it seems like the woman you’re dating is crazy, clingy, or needy, take a minute to think about what led her to that point. Sure, sometimes it’s just her personality – but most of the time, you’ll find that there were experiences that molded her into the person she is today. Take care not to repeat her ex’s mistakes, and your relationship is going to have a much more solid foundation.
You need to understand your own past, also – so make sure you’ve learned the lessons your past relationships were meant to teach you. No one is magically perfect in relationships, but you can make sure you get better every time.
Be a team.
Too many people take their relationships way too seriously. It’s good to have feelings for your partner and be attracted to her, but that’s not what your relationship is all about. You need to be conscious of each other, and you need to work together.
You can’t expect her to make unreasonable changes, either, especially if you aren’t willing to make changes for her. Relationships need balance and compromise – they don’t run on ideals and miracles. And it would be completely unfair for you to expect her to change just because you asked her to.
Slow things down.
There’s a stereotype that lesbians move way too fast (you know, the whole U-haul joke), but it’s actually recently been backed up by science. Chances are, your relationship is moving a lot faster than it needs to. Rushing into things is rarely sustainable, and things are going to fizzle out a bit eventually. Make sure you take the time to work on things even after the shine is gone.
This happens at a different point for everyone, but the sooner you recognize it and adjust your gameplan, the better off you’ll be. Just because there are some lulls in the relationship doesn’t mean that the relationship is over – it just means that things are a little harder for a while.
Talk more, listen more.
Now, time for some hard truth: Communication is more important than everything else put together. It makes the good things even better, and it makes the bad things a little easier to take. Your sex life will be much more fulfilling, and you’ll have the tools to keep minor frustrations from turning into major resentment.
It’s not just about talking, though – you and your partner need to be actively listening to one another, too. Honesty is an important part of the communication process, and you’ll need to make sure your talks are a safe space, free from judgment. That way, you feel more comfortable expressing the things you need and want, and she has time to explain her needs and wants, too. You’re not mind readers, so stop trying to pretend you are!