LGBT and Straight Relationships
Love is one thing that all forms of relationships have in common. People experience various types of love during the course of their life. Love shared in straight or LGBT relationships has the same goal – So, love is always the same, and it’s an emotion that individuals will pursue regardless of their gender, age, or geographic location. However, there are differences in LGBT and straight relationships, which we’ll go over in detail below.
The way you met is probably a lot different
Even though we live in the era of dating apps, dating websites, and large communities, finding a partner comes with a set of difficulties in both types of relationships. But, straight people do have it a bit easier in comparison to LGBT people. The reason is simple, not many people are openly out or authentic in this sense so knowing 100% that someone is gay can be tricky. The LGBT dating pool is smaller, so the way you met is probably a lot different than your typical straight couple love story.
Tying a knot as a straight couple is easier than tying a knot as a gay couple. While straight marriages are legal, same-sex marriages are not viewed nor made equally legal in all parts of the world. According to available data, same-sex marriages are legal in 30 countries in the world. Even though a piece of paper is not a guarantee that love will last, it still has its perks and it will continue to exist as an institution.
Two people of opposite sex holding hands – no one will even register such a gesture. Two people of the same sex or who define their gender on the LGBT scale holding hands – there’s a high chance a few heads will turn if not all of them. But, this also depends on the context. The attention people in LGBT relationships get is different from people in straight relationships.
The LGBT dating scene is harder than the straight dating scene
Navigating any dating scene is hard because you need to be in the right mindset, be open, curious and make decisions based on connection not attraction. But, if we have to compare one against the other, the LGBT dating scene is more complex.
That’s the main reason why gay people turn to gay matchmaking to shorten the process and get introduced to people that are their suitable matches. The key to success in any dating scene is to be authentically yourself and to be open to meeting people through online dating and matchmaking by friends or agencies.
Dating somebody’s ex is not so frowned upon
It’s like an unwritten rule of dating – you can’t date your friend’s ex in a straight relationship. Most often than not, this is something that is frowned upon. The situation is a bit different in LGBT communities because they are smaller communities. The chances of dating your friend’s ex are higher for LGBT people because their choices are limited. And maybe we can all learn something from this – if our love story ended, why would we feel hurt if someone we know tries their luck at love with our ex?
The sense of community is different
We’ve already mentioned that LGBT communities are smaller, which makes them more connected and closer than other communities. Gay people usually meet other people through friends and acquaintances, thus making their circle tighter, closer and different than others.
The freedom to express affection and love
Let’s be honest, people who are too affectionate in public get frowned upon by everybody else in their vicinity. People react in such a way because they either feel like they get to witness something that makes them uncomfortable or that PDA should be done in private. In some cultures, such a show of affection is even considered disrespectful and unethical.
When it comes to straight couples, they can usually get away with some PDA in public. People simply learn to look away. But, LGBT couples don’t have that freedom. In some parts of the world, holding hands may be risky. So, another difference is the amount of affection a couple can show in public.
These are some of the main differences between these types of relationships. There’s also one more – authenticity and struggle with societal expectations. LGBT people are generally more authentic because by coming out they’ve stepped away from societal expectations. Whereas straight people do struggle with societal expectations especially when it comes to expected gender roles in a marriage or partnership.
by Peter Minkoff
contributing writer at:
Queer Voices Ocean Road Magazine
Irreverent Gent …..and others