For those of you who have not checked it out, GAYTWOGETHER has some great thought provoking articles on any number of issues, but particularly on topics dealing with gay relationalship issues. The author of the blog has some great insights and has certainly given me things to think about both via his blog and in our e-mail exchanges. Today, he has two posts that merit reading that cover aspects of intimate relationships. This one is particularly usefull (http://gaytwogether.typepad.com/gaytwogether/2008/03/healthy-intimat.html). Here are a few highlights:
Healthy intimate relationships, whether dating someone rather casually or being committed to a life partner, call for a bit of a balancing act. Intimacy requires an ability to act selflessly sometimes -- to put the other guy’s interests on a par with our own. At the same time, if we don’t get our own needs met, we are going to experience this relationship as pretty damn unfulfilling. We want to maintain our individualism, but also to open our hearts in a way that allows us to grow closer.
Healthy relationships require taking responsibility for our own selves, while allowing the other person to keep responsibility for himself. How to do this? Start by deciding that you are going to let go of the “v word:” victim. You are responsible for the choices you make.
Understand that there is a place for anger in relationships. Stuff happens. Learning to express angry feelings in the moment -- and in a way which doesn’t attack the other person -- keeps those angry feelings from festering into bitterness and hostility. Learn that anger doesn’t mean a relationship is over. Take responsibility for your feelings: “I feel angry when you do this because...” Don’t attack the other person.
Intimacy almost always challenges us and requires us to learn new skills. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Remember: with patience and persistence and a willingness to face the truth, you can get what you want.