So a crazy thing happened with my last blog post. It went somewhat viral. At the time of this post, it has had over 32,000 views. I am astonished by the number of people who have shared it and touched by those who messaged me, left comments or emailed me. I didn’t expect the post to be so well-received and am grateful for the opportunity to connect with so many new people. It is especially heartwarming to know that straight people shared the post and believe the same lessons can be applied to their relationships and marriages. It proves that we are not that different after all.
From the messages and emails I received, I noticed a couple of recurring themes.
A) There are lesbians who are hoping to have drama free, long term relationships and they hope to get married some day.
B) There are same-sex couples who have been together for more than 8 years and they have loving stable relationships. Some are married, others are planning to get married.
C) Both the people from group A and group B want to have children and they want to know how.
For those of you in group A, rejoice as I have discovered group B exists and it is indeed possible to have loving, stable same-sex relationships.
It was especially touching for me to read the emails or messages from queer couples who have been together for 8 years, 10 years or even more. I personally know very few couples who have been together for more than a decade. To have random strangers write to me and share with me their successful relationships makes me feel very blessed. It also gives me hope because I recognise it is difficult to see the future when there are no visible role models in our community. Most queer couples seem to go through this cycle of dating, moving-in, stagnation and dramatic break up. Find new partner, start again.
It is a depressing type of existence and I am sure many want to break out of this vicious cycle. Here are 3 tips that I hope will be helpful.
1) Communicate – In every relationship, communication is key. Most of us are not mind readers. We don’t know what you don’t tell us. Learning to verbalise your thoughts and feelings to your partner is very important. Irene and I talk everyday. We say what we mean and we don’t use hints. It wasn’t easy for me in the beginning, but I now understand how being clear and concise helps to minimise misunderstandings and drama in our relationship. So don’t be afraid to talk and always say what you mean. Don’t ask for a single scoop of Marigold ice-cream when what you really want is a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. No one will get the hint. Just ask for Ben & Jerry’s from the beginning and you will get what you want.
2) Trust – In the 7 years we have been together, I have never once thought that Irene would cheat on me. I trust her 100% because we have an agreement in place. Should either of us feels the need to cheat, it means our relationship is in trouble and we need to voice it out (leading back to point 1 – Communicate) Trust works both ways. If you want to be trusted, don’t do things to break the trust. If you say you trust someone, don’t stalk them, check their phone or read their emails. Trust is something that once broken can never be 100% restored. Remember that.
3) Innovate – While humans are creatures of habit, no one likes to be doing the same old thing every single day. Recognise that a boring relationship is a dead relationship. Even worst if you are facing the infamous “lesbian bed death” curse. Prevent this by trying something new every month. It can be a new activity, a new restaurant or a new position in bed. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Conquering new experiences is something that brings couples closer. If you want to take it up to the next level, surprise your partner every month. Life is full of surprises and you can make some of these surprises very pleasant.
I assure you that if you apply these 3 strategies to your relationship, you will find the drama level drops a lot and you will have a lot more fun. Try it and let me know if it works for you.
Now for those who want to find out more about having a child, do head over to Rainbow Parents SG. This is a community project we started in 2013 for gay and lesbian parents in Singapore and there are some tips on how to become a parent on the website. I am happy to share that we are not the only same-sex parents in Singapore. Other families exist and we are always looking to connect with more. If you know of any same-sex parents who are not connected to us, please write to me. I can be reached at olivia(at)thechiongs.com.
For those who have already written to me, thank you for reaching out to me. I will be replying all messages and emails that come in. As there are so many, please be patient and give me some time to respond. I promise that I will respond to each and every one.