Could gays teach straights about relationships?

Link for discussion.

This article is from ‘UWEEK,’ a publication ‘for faculty and staff’ of the University of Washington.

Discuss …

If a professor said it then it must be true.


Well if they are equal… it makes equality easier no ? I wanna see them try and maintain a relationship with someone from the other sex…

Typical bizarrerie.

However, there’s one point that probably ought to be made – it’s very easy to assume things, and we all do it to some degree or another. One problem that impacts a lot of marriages (and other het. relationships) is assumptions that he/she will do what I expect a man/woman to do from my own past experiences, what my parents did, what members of other couples did, etc. This leads to great dissatisfaction on the part of the assumee and the assumer.

Gay couples, who are both of the same sex, and who have rejected the social norms for interpersonal behavior (by which I mean, e.g., the assumption that the man asks the woman out and covers the check, or the woman cooks dinner and the man mows the lawn, doesn’t apply when it’s two men or two women, etc.), they have learned to communicate hopes, fears, dreams, values, etc., on a deeper plane than the typical MxF marriage starts at. Barb and I have found that we need to talk out such feelings at a much deeper level than we assumed going into our marriage. This can be an invaluable lesson for any couple.

Over and above which, there are things such as jealousy and friendships, the idea that no human relationship ever fits perfectly into a stereotype of what such a relationship “ought to be,” and so on, that gay people have had to work through. Something that comes to mind is matt_mcl and Hamish being roommates – what can be learned from their relationship that will help straight people deal with their own relationships?

If “Know thyself” is wisdom, then the degree to which gay people have had to intospect to decide who they are and how they fit into a world that seems Hellbound on refusing to accommodate them, means that they have something to teach the rest of us.

They are doing amost the opposite in DC metro stations. But the free advertising might be over.
Remember - Gay love is the only true love. It is not based chemical tiggered biological need to reproduce, so mother nature is not fooling you into partnering to fulfill a biological imparative.

Could gays teach straights about relationships?

Some could. Some couldn’t.

I’ve seen gay relationships which were astonishingly stable, remarkably mature, giving, loving, caring, communicative, and supportive.

I’ve seen gay relationships which were tempestuous, immature, selfish, spiteful, abusive and demeaning.

If you want to learn something about relationships, examine the good relationships you can find, and try to emulate some of what they seem to be doing right. You can learn a lot by observing bad relationships, too, and avoiding their mistakes.

You’ll never learn a damned thing by making broad generalizations.

Even if the guy’s claims are true, it is likely due to something about nature of gay relationships vs. straight ones (or possibly a selection issue), rather than to any unique relationship insights which have been mysteriously imparted only to gays. So there’s nothing to teach, and the answer is no.

Uh huh, so I guess all those bath houses were places where men experienced true love beyond any mere biological imperatives.


I guess I’d have to know what standards this professor had when determinging what homosexual couples could teach heterosexual couples. He says “Gay and lesbian couples are a lot more mature, more considerate in trying to improve a relationship and have a greater awareness of equality in a relationship than straight couples,” but I don’t really know what that means.

[li]Are homosexual unions less likely to be abusive?[/li][li]Do homosexual unions face less internal tension?[/li][li]Are they less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol?[/li][li]Are they happier?[/li][li]Do homosexual unions last longer then heterosexual unions?[/li][/ul]


Straights are just as likely able to teach gays about relationships as gays are likely to be able to teach straights about relationships. It depends on the maturity and being of the person giving the advice.

Well, I think I could teach straight men a few lessons on how to tell if your girlfriend is a complete freaking psycho. Goodness knows I’ve had experience in that area.

Did you even read the article?


The OP-linked study compared 40 gay and lesbian couples from the San Francisco Bay Area with 40 heterosexual couples from Bloomington, Indiana.

Now, I’ve been to Bloomington, IN. If I were to live in Indiana, Bloomington would probably be at the very top of my list of towns in which to reside. It’s a nice college town, etc. But it sure ain’t the SF Bay Area.

For Og’s sake, doesn’t it strike anyone else as bizarre that the geographical disparity is completely ignored in the linked article?

Could the study’s findings not partly be explained by the stereotypes that midwesterners are taciturn and reserved, whereas Californians love nothing more than to talk each others’ ears off about feelings, sex, spirituality, etc?

The fact that the researchers fail to even mention geographical bias makes me lose faith in their other claims.

Yes, I know that they claim that they matched samples for “age, marital satisfaction, education and income”. It’s still apples vs oranges demographically.

OK. I’ll be blunt.

I have had sex with more than 1000 partners…easily.

Then I met him.

My lover and I have now been together for 23 years.

We call during work three times a day just to talk.

We have never had a serious argument (never once throwing things, storming out of the house, screaming, crying, threatening). Granted, there have been a few disagreements, but we made an agreement that we would never go to bed mad at each other.

Both our families consider us to be part of their family.

We have been through some really hard times, and some really great times.

We are best of friends, we are lovers and we love to sleep together.

We have wills leaving each other our estate, and we have registered as domestic partners in West Hollywood.

If we have anything to “teach”, it is to be totally honest with each other, don’t rely on the legal system to back you up, and live
every day as if it were your last.

I really wish gay men would teach women how to be really promiscuous.
RUN AWAY . . .

DMark, your story mirrors my own in lots of ways: I was promiscuous from age 14 to age 22 (don’t know if my numbers reach into the thousands, though); I met the man who turned out to be the one for me. We’ve been together for 20 years. We hardly ever fight. Never stormed out, never threatened break-up, don’t bring up past transgressions (I think I did throw a Reader’s Digest at him once, when I was really pissed off). I would “teach” newly committed couples the same thing. The big difference between you and I is that you are a gay man, and I am a straight woman.

Bottom line: The rules for good relationships are pretty consistent across the board.

MrVisible seems to have it about right. Observe relationships that work, figure out why they work, and apply to your own relationship. Observe the ones that don’t work, figure out what the problems are, take care to avoid in your relationship. Doesn’t matter if the relationship in question is gay or straight.

Originally posted by kenibbling pin
Remember - Gay love is the only true love. It is not based chemical tiggered biological need to reproduce, so mother nature is not fooling you into partnering to fulfill a biological imparative.

So… more “natural” would be ignoring mother nature’s call to reproduce?

“Fooling” us into partnering?

I am sooo confused right now, but it would seem that you are spitting in mother natures’ face, after all it is she who got you where you are and made you who you are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pulling the old “Homosexuality is unnatural” string but I really don’t like the insinuation that nature is wrong.

But to try and stay on topic, I only know one homosexual individual (my god the conversation gets strained when you’re trying not to offend anyone…) who has had a long standing relationship. He and his partners have been together the whole time I have known them and I can’t imagine them breaking up. All my other gay friends (admittedly only 5 or 6) are so promiscuous that it makes even me worry, and I’m no saint in these matters. I think the same goes for gays and straights in relationships, this article only helps maintain the gap between us. We’re all just people and seperating us like this doesn’t help anyone.

Anyone else a bit perturbed by this bit? Of course it could easily be a statistical anomaly given the incredibly small sample base, but…wow, one (out of 22) gay couple break-up versus seven (out of 18) lesbian break-ups? Is this saying more about masculinity and femininity than heterosexuality and homosexuality?

Not trying to generalize homosexual relationships here, I myself am a lesbian and have alternated between masculine and feminine roles in my own relationships, but…yeah, perturbing!

It would have made sense to do 20 gay and lesbian couples in Bloomington and compare those to 20 heterosexual couples in Bloomington. Bloomington has a substantial gay population, nothing like the Bay Area, but I bet they could have found 20.

Or 20 heterosexual couples from the Bay Area. I know the Bay Area is short on straight people, but I think finding twenty wouldn’t be too hard.

He didn’t say anything about it being more “natural” or that nature is wrong. He said that gay love is truer, because it’s its own end rather than just some biological illusion with an alterior motive.