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Relationship Advice for Gay Couples: Boundaries, Vulnerability & Weekly Check-ins

Isaac Archuleta

Relationship advice for gay couples


After a long season of tolerating major stressors, my husband and I stared to spiral a bit. In all of our busyness we started to neglect one another and it was our emotional needs that suffered the most. He had shutdown and I had resorted to anger. We were both resentful. I had, slowly over time, forgotten to implement the stabilizing techniques upon which our relationship was built. It was our turn for couples therapy. Regardless if your a seasoned therapist like me, in a 20 year relationship, or a 2-month situationship, the following steps might just help you get your relationship up and running, but this time with a little more ease.

Step 1: Learn how to implement mature boundaries

LGBTQIA+ couples or polycules usually start their relationships, like everyone else, with the need to negotiate new boundaries. When we have poor boundaries we are convinced that we can manage someone else’s comfort- and more so that our partner should be capable and willing to manage ours. A mature boundary system is like a snow globe keeping our emotional temperature regulated no matter what happens on the other side of the glass dome. Demanding that our partner leaves their snow globe to adjust the thermostat inside our snow globes, we start to judge their performance based on how well they can keep us comfortable, happy, pleased, seen, etc. 

As a means of stopping repeating arguments and in attempt to create a healthy dynamic inside of your relationship(s), learn to regulate your emotional climate instead of demanding that your partner(s) do it for you. A poor boundary system will keeping you emotionally jabbing your partner for more in ways that don’t clearly communicate your needs. The jabs themselves are violations of normal and healthy boundaries and these violations can set your relationship up for resentment and escalating pain. A healthy boundary system will not only keep the emotional interactions organized and healthy, but you will also create a safety that will allow your partner(s) to grow in authenticity and vulnerability. Speaking of vulnerability…

Step 2: Practice vulnerability

Opening up emotionally has all sorts of  fears and baggage that come with it. As children our needs and wants, as well as our honesty and our insecurities might have been squashed. Dating and all the ways we’re trained to manage one another’s thermostats has convinced us that our needs and wants don’t matter. I have seen it time and time again: not talking about what you emotional crave will set you up to get it elsewhere. Cheating, lying, or building resentment that comes out as anger or criticism will be the new accessory to your relational decor. And trust me, you don’t want that. 

No matter where vulnerability went array or how, it is hard to find the safety to open up, especially about our emotional needs. Expressing your desire for more attention, more thrill, a deeper sense of connection, or the need to be seen in a more significant way can feel completely awkward and possibly even selfish. But don’t give up too soon. Vulnerability will not only change your relationship, it will change the ways you experience love, trust honesty, and grow in self-esteem. 

Step 3: Weekly Check-ins

Terrence Real, a world-class relationship expert, had an idea that transformed my marriage: Arena Times. 

Having a weekly meeting on your calendar to share your thoughts, express your pains, and articulate your needs and wants is a great opportunity to not only practice boundaries and vulnerability, but also to repair your relationship. 

Having a set weekly time for Arena Times not only helps stabilize your sense of being safe, but it will also keep your connection honest and—dare I say—sexy. Emotional intimacy will produce sexual intimacy.

In this blog entry I listed Arena Times after boundaries and vulnerability on purpose. You will need mature boundaries and healthy vulnerability before entering weekly check-ins. Let me give you one small, yet profound piece of advice: enter the arena willing to loose. When we enter to loose, we stay humble, we show up willing to grow, and we come prepared to be curious about our partner’s pain and needs- a curiosity that is like a healing balm for any relationship. Obviously, Arena Times can be very heavy at first, especially for a relationship that has a weak infrastructure. But once your structure is solid, Arena Times will decorate your relationship with safety, honesty, and a connection that will protect the relationship even through the roughest storms.

Don’t Let This Opportunity Slip Away – Take Control of Your Relationship Today!

If you’re ready to invest in your relationship and unlock its full potential, consider working with a licensed therapist or relationship coach. Professional guidance can provide invaluable insights, tools, and support tailored to your unique circumstances.

Take action today and commit to nurturing your relationship. Your future self will thank you for prioritizing this essential aspect of your life. Connect with us to schedule a consultation and embark on a journey towards a more fulfilling, emotionally connected partnership.

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