Why are gay relationships different?

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    Dec 03, 2010 6:55 AM GMT
    I've really been struggling with my identity as a gay man as of late. I see so many of my friends in dysfunctional and open relationships, and even on here, guys that have boyfriends but still show their dick in their private pics and in chat rooms. I don't get it. Are my expectations too high in that I expect gay relationships to be more conventional: no websites exchanging pics with other guys, no Grindr on the phone, etc? I've seen so many relationships get to 4, 5, 6 years and beyond and then they break up because of cheating or because they become bored with each other. Are we incapable of working through problems? Doesn't give me much faith in my community. Am I the outlier here or are there other guys that see the same thing?
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    Dec 03, 2010 7:12 AM GMT
    By conventional, you mean making kids, jacking off in the shower, hiding your porn in the garage, going to strip bar when you have business trips, and divorcing after two years ?

    Most men are pig, gay or straight.

    Doesn't mean they are bad person, just that sex drive is easily stronger than best resolutions.

    We should avoid to speak about 'gay behavior' when we are just referring to male behavior.
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    Dec 03, 2010 7:34 AM GMT
    No your not alone! I kinda agree with you. When it comes towards relationship for me I like monogamy and I think thats really hard to find in the gay community. Especially among younger guys its hard to find a stable relationship and by the time they reach their late or early 30s they start wanting to settle down cause no one wants them anymore (thats how I see it). I dont know, I have little faith in the gay community as well. I think everyone on RJ always complain over relationships, being single, and being cheated on or cheating themselves. I think most of the gay community is driven by looks and sex. Thats how I see it. Today you can be the hottest dude in the world, and then 5 years later your alone and looking for a relationship and cant find no one cause everyone wants a young stud. Thats just my observation about the gay community, I could be wrong on this and I might get alot of "heat" for saying this but w/e.
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    Dec 03, 2010 8:44 AM GMT
    I know what you mean but I know a lot of guys that seriously are looking for committed long-term relationships. It can be hard as hell to find them sometimes but they're still out there.
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    Dec 03, 2010 8:57 AM GMT
    minox saidWe should avoid to speak about 'gay behavior' when we are just referring to male behavior.

    I agree, and say this all the time about many aspects of gay behavior. Men are men, regardless of their orientation.

    If there is a difference with gays, it's the lack of having natural offspring with their same-sex partner, and the absence of a binding marriage contract in most US states. These 2 things are a major factor in straight men staying with their spouses and children, whereas gay men are less constrained in doing what most other men might do if they could get away with it.
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    Dec 03, 2010 2:55 PM GMT
    Not that I'm really qualified to give any kind of relationship advice, but I'd like to think that a relationship has nothing really to do with someone's sexual orientation.
    Either gay or straight, what I think it should come down to is the 2 people in the relationship and how hard both people work at the relationship.

    I don't particularly believe in opposite's attract or love at first sight or fate bringing two people together. I'd like to think that if any 2 people decided to work hard in their relationship equally, that it would be joyfully successful.

    After all, anything worth doing is worth doing well.

    But then again I don't know if I have a naive perspective.
  • tuffguyndc

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    Dec 03, 2010 2:56 PM GMT
    MascMuscle425 saidI've really been struggling with my identity as a gay man as of late. I see so many of my friends in dysfunctional and open relationships, and even on here, guys that have boyfriends but still show their dick in their private pics and in chat rooms. I don't get it. Are my expectations too high in that I expect gay relationships to be more conventional: no websites exchanging pics with other guys, no Grindr on the phone, etc? I've seen so many relationships get to 4, 5, 6 years and beyond and then they break up because of cheating or because they become bored with each other. Are we incapable of working through problems? Doesn't give me much faith in my community. Am I the outlier here or are there other guys that see the same thing?

    buddy, i tend to agree with you. however, i have been fortunate to meet a couple of guys that have been with each other 10 years and 18 years. i have talked to them about this but they tell me they don't believe in that. one actually tried it and they both felt so bad afterwards that they never tried it again. they did it once in a 18 year span. they still love each other and they are still monogamous. but then i like you i do wonder if this is the norm. i mean i want the monogamous relationship. i also wonder if that is possible. i mean it just seems so difficult to find those types of guys. i mean every one says they want it but they never live up to it. relationships are hard work and i want someone who is willing to put in the work. which is funny because you would figure that knowing that a good person is so hard to find that most would work to keep the special person in their lives. i guess i am a little nieve
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:18 PM GMT
    No, you are not blowing the curve. I think there are a lot more of us than you or I can know, especially if you get away from the gay city's, living in happy obscurity off rule routs and township roads.
  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Dec 03, 2010 3:35 PM GMT
    I agree with you and see the same thing. But it's not just limited to gay relationships, I see it with all groups of people, it is pretty common with gay men though. Gay men are a pretty wounded lot, it's hard not to be growing up in this society and constantly hearing that we're not accepted and that many people believe there is something wrong with us. But yea having emotional wounds or baggage truly does make a relationship that much more difficult. It's difficult to be honest, genuine, to truly get close to people, maintain intimacy, to ask for what you want, to know what you want, to set boundaries, etc. many things required to make a relationship healthy and function. I also do believe like attracts like, if you have emotional wounds you'll also be attracted to people who do as well.
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:36 PM GMT
    its not inconceivable. its jsut that you have to find someone looking for the same thing.

    its a lot easier, in the gay community, to follow male impulses. ....because u have to guys impulses rather than a guy and a girls.

    if u know thats what u want, jsut hold on and be happy with who u are. (which is pretty impressive by the way) ur gonna find that guy looking for the same thing that makes u feel happy u didnt try to fix yourself
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:41 PM GMT
    I think relationships are hard these days whether they are gay, straight, monogamous, open, whatever.

    It seems the days of people staying together for 30 & 40 yrs are a thing of the past. The census bureau stated last year that in the first time in history there are more single parent families than dual parent families.

    Everyone wants instant gratification without putting in the work & effort to make it last.

    Any relationship gets old, thats why it takes work & more of a bond than just sex & material things to make us happy. Men are turned on visually but God forbid whether gay or straight we commit ourselves to someone and not pounce on every hairy dick that passes by like a pack of dogs in heat.

    I think having & wanting to be in a beautiful building changing relationship is a wonderful thing. Is it easy no....but in the long run is it worth it? God I hope so.

    I heard advice from someone one time on how their relationship had lasted so long over decades.....they said "we never fell out of love with each other at the same time."

    I found this to be so profound & so true. Will there be days that you dont get along? Yes...but that doesnt mean you give up.

    I love the idea of growing old with someone and reminiscing over years of memories together.

    Theres nothing wrong with you for wanting this & there are lots of guys that want it, its just hard to find someone to put in the work after they've found it.
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:49 PM GMT
    *edited and re-posted*

    We're monogamous, but do not see it the way you do MascMuscle425.

    You can't judge others' relationships like that because it is their relationship(s), not yours.

    "Are my expectations too high in that I expect gay relationships to be more conventional"

    Your expectations are not high, just restrictive, which is just as bad.


    There are some extremely horrible monogamous relationships out there. I've been in a few. There are some extremely horrible open relationships out there. I've been in a few.


    Conversely, there are many successful relationships, both monogamous and open.


    -Doug
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:54 PM GMT
    A sign of the times? It might not be just gay men. In the U.S., 39% feel marriage is obsolete, 52% of adults in the U.S. are married- the lowest level since records were kept and of those 52% that are married, for many it was not their first time. Today, 27% of adults have never been married, nearly double what it was in 1960.

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1802/decline-marriage-rise-new-families
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    Dec 03, 2010 4:15 PM GMT
    Now don't get yourself down about this perception, and believe you me, it is only a perception. The web is full of sites that cater to the single gay man and rarely does the long term crowd get noticed very much. I'm six months out from the end of a 16 year relationship and am just now trying to figure out the on-line way of meeting new people. There are all types of guys out there, the quick and easies and the ones that want love, want commitment and are searching for it, needing it.
  • Geoedward

    Posts: 657

    Dec 03, 2010 4:25 PM GMT
    Hey Masc,
    My partner and I have been together for 22 years. We are a monogamous couple. I don't think we are any different from any monogamous couple, straight or gay. In any relationship you have to work at it. I don't care what anyone says, no relationship is perfect. All couples argue, we can't always agree. If you love someone, you do what it takes to make it work. In the first few years Norm and I argued a lot. I had my ways and he had his. As a couple you have to be willing to compromise and work together. That doesn't mean giving up who you are but as a couple you become we. A relationship is about love, honesty, and trust. You should be able to talk about anything that is bothering you and as a couple be able to work it out. In the beginning that is really hard. Let's face it as a single man we didn't have to check in with anyone, we didn't have to ask anyone how they felt about something. We just go along a do what feels best for our selves. When you enter a relationship you have to learn to change me to us. It is so easy to walk away when things get hard or you are not seeing eye to eye. Trust me in the beginning there were a few times that I wanted to. The thing is I loved this man and I wanted to spend my life with him. We chose to work things out. After a couple years it got much easier. We learned to talk and to listen; I mean really listen to what each other is saying and more important feeling. It is so important not to use the blame game. That will take you down so fast. When we are mad or upset about something, instead of talking about it then we wait and then things have built up. Instead of talking about what you are upset about it turns into you make me mad because, you hurt me, you this you that. Well your partner goes in to the self defense mode because you are attacking him. That is natural, we all do this. Norm and I learned to stop and think before we speak. It is so much better to start with I feel hurt because; it makes me feel bad when you do this, etc. It is all about communication. We learned this at a time when we were very close to ending it. We were both so angry that we were yelling at each other. Neither one of us heard what the other was really saying. I sat down and I wrote him a letter telling him why I was upset, what was bothering me. I told him what I was doing and asked him to do the same. When we were finished I told him I want to read my letter and I don't want him to comment until I am finished but instead to really listen. He did the same to me. It was hard because you really want to speak up and defend yourself but it is important to really listen, think about it and then discuss it calmly. It was the best thing we ever did. We grew together so much that night. We agreed that we would no longer hold it in. If something was bothering one of us we would talk about it calmly. Our relationship today is stronger and more loving then I ever thought it could be. We still argue, no one is perfect. LOL We just work it out. Some couples need an open relationship. We need only each other. Straight couples are the same. You just don't hear about it much. There is a lot of couple that like to swing. There are a lot of couples that have affairs. It is not a gay thing. Straight or gay a relationship is what you make it. It is work and it is compromise. It is about love and commitment. Some guys just can't commit. They want to but they just can't. My ex was one of those guys. I know he loved me but he also loved sex with different guys. I tried to be in an open relationship with him but I couldn't handle it. You just have to keep going until you find that guy that want what you want. Good luck to you. Don't give up hope.

    George icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 03, 2010 4:30 PM GMT
    HeartRobb saidA sign of the times? It might not be just gay men. In the U.S., 39% feel marriage is obsolete, 52% of adults in the U.S. are married- the lowest level since records were kept and of those 52% that are married, for many it was not their first time. Today, 27% of adults have never been married, nearly double what it was in 1960.

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1802/decline-marriage-rise-new-families



    ^ that, yea. It seems more of a difference between conservative cultures that expect you to be married by 23 and have kids by 25, vs more liberal cultures (Western Europe) where most straight people who do marry at all hardly ever do so anymore before age 30.

    My parents were both in their 30s when they married, and were half way through their 30s before they had their first kid (me).

    So gay people are just similar in the sense that we're all very much a child of our time. I personally find the expectation that you can really find your mate for the rest of your life in your 20s a tad unrealistic. I mean "the rest of your life" is a damn long time, and stuff changes.

    Playing the gay card as the reason why we'd be different from straight people sounds more like a cheap answer for the sake of categorizing than a fair assessment to me.
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    Dec 03, 2010 4:31 PM GMT
    meninlove said *edited and re-posted*

    We're monogamous, but do not see it the way you do MascMuscle425.

    You can't judge others' relationships like that because it is their relationship(s), not yours.

    "Are my expectations too high in that I expect gay relationships to be more conventional"

    Your expectations are not high, just restrictive, which is just as bad.


    There are some extremely horrible monogamous relationships out there. I've been in a few. There are some extremely horrible open relationships out there. I've been in a few.


    Conversely, there are many successful relationships, both monogamous and open.


    -Doug


    But how is his expectation of wanting to be in a relationship that is faithful restrictive? Yes there are bad monogamous relationships out there, but we're not talking about that. You know what I mean?
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    Dec 03, 2010 4:31 PM GMT
    Geoedward saidHey Masc,
    My partner and I have been together for 22 years. We are a monogamous couple. I don't think we are any different from any monogamous couple, straight or gay. In any relationship you have to work at it. I don't care what anyone says, no relationship is perfect. All couples argue, we can't always agree. If you love someone, you do what it takes to make it work. In the first few years Norm and I argued a lot. I had my ways and he had his. As a couple you have to be willing to compromise and work together. That doesn't mean giving up who you are but as a couple you become we. A relationship is about love, honesty, and trust. You should be able to talk about anything that is bothering you and as a couple be able to work it out. In the beginning that is really hard. Let's face it as a single man we didn't have to check in with anyone, we didn't have to ask anyone how they felt about something. We just go along a do what feels best for our selves. When you enter a relationship you have to learn to change me to us. It is so easy to walk away when things get hard or you are not seeing eye to eye. Trust me in the beginning there were a few times that I wanted to. The thing is I loved this man and I wanted to spend my life with him. We chose to work things out. After a couple years it got much easier. We learned to talk and to listen; I mean really listen to what each other is saying and more important feeling. It is so important not to use the blame game. That will take you down so fast. When we are mad or upset about something, instead of talking about it then we wait and then things have built up. Instead of talking about what you are upset about it turns into you make me mad because, you hurt me, you this you that. Well your partner goes in to the self defense mode because you are attacking him. That is natural, we all do this. Norm and I learned to stop and think before we speak. It is so much better to start with I feel hurt because; it makes me feel bad when you do this, etc. It is all about communication. We learned this at a time when we were very close to ending it. We were both so angry that we were yelling at each other. Neither one of us heard what the other was really saying. I sat down and I wrote him a letter telling him why I was upset, what was bothering me. I told him what I was doing and asked him to do the same. When we were finished I told him I want to read my letter and I don't want him to comment until I am finished but instead to really listen. He did the same to me. It was hard because you really want to speak up and defend yourself but it is important to really listen, think about it and then discuss it calmly. It was the best thing we ever did. We grew together so much that night. We agreed that we would no longer hold it in. If something was bothering one of us we would talk about it calmly. Our relationship today is stronger and more loving then I ever thought it could be. We still argue, no one is perfect. LOL We just work it out. Some couples need an open relationship. We need only each other. Straight couples are the same. You just don't hear about it much. There is a lot of couple that like to swing. There are a lot of couples that have affairs. It is not a gay thing. Straight or gay a relationship is what you make it. It is work and it is compromise. It is about love and commitment. Some guys just can't commit. They want to but they just can't. My ex was one of those guys. I know he loved me but he also loved sex with different guys. I tried to be in an open relationship with him but I couldn't handle it. You just have to keep going until you find that guy that want what you want. Good luck to you. Don't give up hope.

    George icon_biggrin.gif


    All I can say it...icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 03, 2010 4:37 PM GMT
    luvitohateit said
    meninlove said *edited and re-posted*

    We're monogamous, but do not see it the way you do MascMuscle425.

    You can't judge others' relationships like that because it is their relationship(s), not yours.

    "Are my expectations too high in that I expect gay relationships to be more conventional"

    Your expectations are not high, just restrictive, which is just as bad.


    There are some extremely horrible monogamous relationships out there. I've been in a few. There are some extremely horrible open relationships out there. I've been in a few.


    Conversely, there are many successful relationships, both monogamous and open.


    -Doug


    But how is his expectation of wanting to be in a relationship that is faithful restrictive? Yes there are bad monogamous relationships out there, but we're not talking about that. You know what I mean?



    His expectation is that gay relationships be monogamous. This implies all, not just his. That's restrictive and also unrealistic, in the straight and bi world as well.

    As for talking about bad monogamous relationships, he did in his first line (dysfunctional). icon_wink.gif


    -Doug

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    Dec 03, 2010 4:52 PM GMT
    I have to agree that men are men and they can be pigs at time including my self. I have been in a committed relationship now for 5 years and lookin forward to many, many more with him.
    I have a great set of friends who have been together for 8, 10, 13 years which I like to surround my self with. I believe that people are conditioned to their environment. Now if they do have an open relationship that is their business, but I have never witnessed any such behavior with them nor do i ask them.

    We as a gay community are no different then a straight relationship other then the marriage license or a tax sheet. We are just more out and about things. Straight men might be cheating or have an arranged relationship with their spouse.

    I do agree it is very hard to find a great guy but they are out there, I hear this from my straight male/female friends too. Most men are 30, 40, or even older going on 16. They just don't have the correct tools to make a relationship happen or don't want to be tied down.
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    Dec 03, 2010 5:07 PM GMT
    MascMuscle425 saidI've really been struggling with my identity as a gay man as of late. I see so many of my friends in dysfunctional and open relationships, and even on here, guys that have boyfriends but still show their dick in their private pics and in chat rooms. I don't get it. Are my expectations too high in that I expect gay relationships to be more conventional: no websites exchanging pics with other guys, no Grindr on the phone, etc? I've seen so many relationships get to 4, 5, 6 years and beyond and then they break up because of cheating or because they become bored with each other. Are we incapable of working through problems? Doesn't give me much faith in my community. Am I the outlier here or are there other guys that see the same thing?


    Don't lose faith! I feel the same way as you, but I just keep hoping I'll find someone. Well... I did find someone, but it was long distance and it didn't work out. It still hurts, but I need to stay hopeful that all things happen for a reason, and I'll get what I deserve one day. Keep your faith man, I know it's hard, but there have to be others like us icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 03, 2010 7:10 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    minox saidWe should avoid to speak about 'gay behavior' when we are just referring to male behavior.

    I agree, and say this all the time about many aspects of gay behavior. Men are men, regardless of their orientation.

    If there is a difference with gays, it's the lack of having natural offspring with their same-sex partner, and the absence of a binding marriage contract in most US states. These 2 things are a major factor in straight men staying with their spouses and children, whereas gay men are less constrained in doing what most other men might do if they could get away with it.


    Sorry But one has to disagree, as many times I've see many differences to straights, and many gay men. But then I have also lived my whole life as a pure homosexual and look at the topic with both eyes too. But also Art Deco this is a gay topic and not a bi one, as these may well be less a diffrence in many bi men to straight men, yet a bigger diffrence with many gay men compared to straight men.

    Lot of similarities to many gay men and women through, and that certainly why so many gay men fall for straight men too.

    Also sex is more readily available for gay and bi men, than it is straight men, thus this makes a diffrence to our relationships, it can make it harder to maintain a long term relasionship, as one is always keeping that eye open for the best next root to come along. Also open relationships are more common in gay relationships, as straights don't have 24/7 bathhouses to visit, with each other to fool around with another. No there are many differences other than two men can not be breeders, without the help of a women.

    Also in my relasionship, there is no women role, we are two men together. I'm sure with Red, and how in the past he has described himself as a power top, still plays the heterosexual male, and his male partner the bottom is the women, and to him the only diffrence is he can't make anyone pregnant, tottaly diffrent to my homosexual relationships.
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    Dec 03, 2010 9:32 PM GMT
    minox said

    We should avoid to speak about 'gay behavior' when we are just referring to male behavior.


    Kinda true. But its way easier to find a man to fuck than it is to find a woman, theres more work involved. With men its easy. Like changing your underwear or brushing your teeth. Maybe even less effort than that, to get a man into bed.

    More effort to get a woman into bed for sure.

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    Dec 03, 2010 9:42 PM GMT
    CaliBoySwag said
    minox said

    We should avoid to speak about 'gay behavior' when we are just referring to male behavior.


    Kinda true. But its way easier to find a man to fuck than it is to find a woman, theres more work involved. With men its easy. Like changing your underwear or brushing your teeth. Maybe even less effort than that, to get a man into bed.

    More effort to get a woman into bed for sure.



    Hmm... not always lol. I've had women throw themselves at me and make fools of themselves just as often as men. Just put alcohol into any gender and they're inhibitions are goooone.
  • nicelyproport...

    Posts: 573

    Dec 03, 2010 10:06 PM GMT
    Over Thanksgiving I remember looking around the room and noticing that, while all the wives seemed happy, their husbands looked anything but. Concerned, I asked my cousin how he was doing. His response? That he was just trying to survive every day.

    Maybe those storybook straight relationships aren't all they're cracked up to be.

    If there are differences, why not embrace rather than fight them? I love that I can go clubbing with my better half, enjoy the half-naked men surrounding us -- you know what they say, what happens on the dance floor, stays on the dance floor -- and be secure in the knowledge that, at the end of the night, it's my better half I'll be going home with.