It is not commonly understood that same sex couples have the same features and issues as heterosexual couples when it comes to committed relationships. In the same way that cultural concerns can impact a relationship, so too, specific homosexual concerns can create specific challenges for the couple.
With the added pressures of societal attitudes, same sex couples may struggle for support structures around them. Identity can often be an issue with one or both members of the couple. This has usually been an issue for many years and is a direct result of feeling different, without this being understood or recognised by the individual or society in general.
Being a part of a minority group can be a struggle. Sometimes there is an inbred feeling among the social groups of same sex couples, particularly in rural and regional areas where there is just not the diversity of possibility that may be found in cities. This can be experienced as a hot bed of conflicts and jealousies making some couples withdraw to avoid the mess and then have to struggle with isolation. This happens with most minority groups.
Some same sex couples begin with either or both individuals being unsure of their sexual identity, particularly if they have come from a same sex relationship. Not all gay/lesbian individuals are certain of their sexual identity. In these cases, the couple not only has to negotiate the usual relationship difficulties plus the minority group pressures but also the sense of maybe not being in the right place in terms of sexual preference. Same sex couples can still, even with today’s generally more accepting attitude to differences in sexual preference, be cut off from extended family supports, greatly increasing loneliness and isolation. With marriage not yet being validated there may also be a difference in couple status, compared with heterosexual couples.
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