Good Advice, Bad Advice

22 Feb

It's a wild world of 'good' dating advice out there. Most of it is heavily gendered and aimed at heterosexual couples, but that doesn't mean that queer communities escape unscathed.

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We absorb this advice, and then discover that half of it doesn’t apply – for example, the man should always pay for the date (which of two men? What if you’re lesbians?). The other half is, for the most part, bad. We get advice from family and friends who may or may not have a track record worth listening to. Everyone has things that are passed down; things your grandmother told you, or something your mate thinks they were told by a therapist but they really are misremembering something from Cosmo.It can be overwhelming, and confusing. The good news is that there are no rules. The bad news is that there are no rules. That’s not to say that you’re all on your own but the best advice for looking for long-term gay partnerships are the same words of wisdom that apply to a lot of other aspects of life:

Be yourself. It’s natural, and sensible, to want to be your best self for the first few dates. It’s early days so put your best foot forward. But many people try to project an ideal self, or what they think the other person might want. This isn’t sustainable and it’s not going to help you form a lasting, deep connection. If the other person doesn’t love that authentic you, then you probably shouldn’t be together long-term anyway!

A long-term gay partnership is a marathon, not a race. Not every argument needs to be won. Sometimes compromise is better than getting your way. There will be days when you’re frustrated, or they are, and things are hard. Marriages and partnerships that last take work. They require effort to maintain. This effort is worth it.

People are not static. The best relationships are the ones where you grow and change together. When you’re early stages of dating it’s impossible to be sure how your life will go, and what you and your partner will be like in many years to come, but how you work together to overcome conflict and obstacles is a good indicator of relationship resilience.

And lastly: Be patient, kind, and honest with yourself. Good manners, politeness, and careful consideration are always attractive traits.

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by Jacqueline Burns

Head of Gay and Lesbian Matchmaking

Vida’s Head of Gay and Lesbian Matchmaking- Jacqueline’s academic research into homosexual relationships and her ongoing application of psychology has made her an integral member of the Vida team, and a reputed matchmaker, since joining the business in 2012. Her speciality is gay matchmaking London. With a genuine interest in people that is evident on first meeting, and a quiet intelligence that instantly puts clients at ease, Jacqueline is widely regarded as an expert in her field and has an impressive track record of matching her clients successfully.More by this author