For instance, records show that lesbians register more same-partnermarriages, while most statistical reports indicate that more lesbians are inlong-term relationships than gay men. Frequency of sex in lesbian relationships can also be problematic, because many women are socially programmed to bepassive recipients of sexual overtures, rather than initiators of contact. Finding and committing to an appropriate partner is difficult for people of all sexual orientations. Whether a couple is heterosexual or homosexual, many experts feel that the biggest, potentially most divisive issue they will have to face is power, or control.
This struggle frequently comes up as the initial glow of romance begins to fade--reality and everyday aspects of life start to intrude on the new couple's briefly insulated microcosm. Power issues commonly center on two mainareas: In a heterosexual relationship, the man will often make more money than the female. Since earning money confers power because it can buy necessary goods and services, the woman will feel less powerful--even if she spends her time in such valuable, though unpaid, pursuits as raising the couple's children and caring for the home.
Online Dating & Relationships
She may even feel guilty about spending her husband's money, which can lead to strong resentment of her perceived role as the less powerful partner. Resentment oftentimes leads to a power struggle over sex, where the person who perceives him- or herself as the less powerful person will withhold sex as a way to increase control.
This generates other problems, since sex is an important means of communicating intimacy and love. Intimacy is another area where couples often get into trouble. The main reason for this seems to be that many people are terrified of becoming very closeto another person, thus letting someone else see the "real" them, because they are afraid of being vulnerable, hurt, and rejected. This is one of the paradoxes of close relationships--that what we most want intimacy is what we most fear.
What is a Healthy Relationship?
It is not unusual for people to go through multiple marriages to avoid becoming truly intimate with a partner, all the while mourning that they cannot seem to find the right person with whom to share their lives. These people, in effect, reject their partners before they imagine their partners can reject them. Granted, many people merely make poor choices when finding a mate, but the fear of intimacy is a powerful force that can prevent otherwisepromising relationships from reaching their full potential. As mentioned above, men have a special handicap in the area of intimacy thatrequires them to work even harder to maintain a quality relationship, whetherheterosexual or homosexual.
Frequently encouraged from birth to be stoic and"tough," men often have a hard time even identifying their feelings, much less being able to express them openly and effectively with a partner. This expression is essential to intimacy, since an accurate understanding of our partner's feelings helps us know what is going well in the relationship and whatneeds work. One barrier to intimacy that seems to apply especially to women is the tendency to believe, unconsciously or not, that their partners should somehow "justknow" what they need, want, or mean without their having to explain or be specific.
This may be a product of the "perfect relationship" myth, in which people expect that once they have settled down with a partner, life will be idyllic and trouble free without any effort at all. In reality, relationships are hard work, though immensely rewarding. Taking responsibility for communicating what you need, want, or mean is one of the keys to a healthy relationshipand helps partners avoid misunderstanding and disappointment. Intimacy has become even easier to avoid since the Internet has come into widespread use. While there is no disputing that the Internet has made communication much more convenient and, some would argue, more effective, there is ample evidence that it is also changing how we relate to each other.
For example, some people use the Internet as an excuse to spend long periods of time away from their significant others, even while in the same room. It has also become possible to "communicate" extensively online, spending hours e-mailing or"talking" in chat rooms and discussion forums where the intrinsic anonymityand personal distance make many people feel safer and more confident.
Peopleeven look for dates online, perhaps starting friendships or romances via e-mail--all from the safety of their own homes and offices. Personality, appearance, social skills--all the traditional criteria so crucial to that all-important first date--are virtually irrelevant in the world of electronic communication if one can craft a witty, appealing e-mail.
Unless the correspondents decide to meet in person, they need never become vulnerable or intimate with each other. In addition to the issues surrounding intimacy, there is some debate about whether men and women have different ways of communicating, and, if so, whetherthis makes their love relationships even more problematic. The title of author John Gray's book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, exemplifies the common feeling that the sexes' communication methods are polar opposites. The fact that this book almost immediately became a bestseller when it came out in suggests that people are bothered enough by gender communication differences to want to learn how the "other half" thinks.
Another book, Deborah Tannen's You Just Don't Understand, about how men and women arepractically members of different cultures and suffer all the communication problems characteristic of such a situation, was a number-one bestseller in It continues to be popular as a tool for couples and others who want to improve communication with the opposite sex. The majority of people are vitally interested in finding, maintaining, and improving their primary love relationships. This leads many to buy "self-help"books such as those mentioned above, to join discussion groups, or to seek individual or couples therapy.
In all of these resources, there is likely to beextensive analysis of what attracted the two people to each other in the first place. For instance, some psychological theories suggest that people onlychoose mates who are similar to their own parents, i. The reasoning behind this theory is that people are far more comfortable aligning themselves with somethingfamiliar, even if that paradigm is unhealthy or patently damaging. In this scenario, a woman might choose to marry a man who is not affectionate toward her because that was her experience with her father, even though the experience was hurtful and detrimental.
In fact, the original psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, believed that when two lovers talk, their conversation actually involves four people. In addition, most experts feel that the quality of our romantic relationshipsas adults depends on how we experienced and perceived our parent's relationships as children. If two people whose respective parents were distant with each other meet and fall in love, their manner with each other is likely also to be distant.
On the other hand, conflict can occur when one member of the couple had parents who were loving and affectionate with each other, while theother's were bitter and solitary; each person will have different expectations of what it means to be married. People enter into relationships for all kinds of bad reasons.
They may believe that opposites attract, and although while this may be true, it rarely forms the basis of lasting relationships. They may feel attracted to someone whoseems to need their help in some way, drawing on the ancient human desire tobe needed, although the appeal of "rescuing" or "fixing" someone is nothing to base a relationship on.
They may feel that they should be with a certain person because he or she is handsome or beautiful, makes a lot of money, or hasmany important friends, although such criteria are seldom good indicators ofa person's value. Some people settle for someone they are less than happy with because they feel they may never do any better. Relationships are complex, living organisms that require much care and attention.
Whether romantic or not, they are essential to living a fulfilling, healthy life. Although they sometimes cause grief, anger, frustration, and anxiety, they also represent important avenues for growth and can bring the most rewarding human experiences.
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Show my email publicly. Type the code shown: Disclaimer The Content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Relationships that are not healthy are based on power and control, not equality and respect.
In the early stages of an abusive relationship, you may not think the unhealthy behaviors are a big deal.
When to Share Personal Information While Dating
However, possessiveness, insults, jealous accusations, yelling, humiliation, pulling hair, pushing or other abusive behaviors, are — at their root — exertions of power and control. Remember that abuse is always a choice and you deserve to be respected. There is no excuse for abuse of any kind. Consider these points as you move forward:. Even though you cannot change your partner, you can make changes in your own life to stay safe.
Consider leaving your partner before the abuse gets worse. Whether you decide to leave or stay, make sure to use our safety planning tips to stay safe. Remember, you have many options — including obtaining a domestic violence restraining order. Laws vary from state to state so chat with a peer advocate to learn more.
10 Rules For Dating When You Want a Serious Relationship | HuffPost
Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call loveisrespect at or TTY Skip to content Healthy Relationships Healthy Relationships. What is a Healthy Relationship? Healthy Communication Open, honest and safe communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship.