Earlier, I blogged about my relationship with my partner, and that it’s not all based on sex, as some straight guys think. I also described several differences between my partner and me. That caused my best friend to ask me about it… so let me elaborate further about the “good stuff” besides sex.
I am describing what forms the bedrock, or foundation, of our relationship. Our differences are there, but what we have in common is greater than our differences.
Ultimately, the foundation of what caused each of us to say to ourselves, “he’s someone I want to spend my life with” is based on these shared values:
- Trust. First and foremost, we trust each other. We never do anything that would compromise that trust. We both get highly irritated by gay guys who play around behind their partner’s backs, have profiles on Recon, GearFetish, or GayRomeo that the other doesn’t know about and who use those profiles to meet other guys, and on and on. My partner knows where I am on the ‘net and where I am when I am not at home. For example, if I go on a business trip and meet someone who I have met on the ‘net, I tell my partner about the planned visit in advance and then I tell him all about it after we’ve met. My website, this blog, and my other internet profiles all state clearly that I’m in a monogamous relationship and while I enjoy making friends, that’s IT. I have never given my partner reason to doubt my honesty, nor has he done that either. Trust is a value that is maintained throughout a relationship by constant work. We both communicate with each other so that the trust remains solid and strong.
- Honesty. Being honest with one another is what maintains the trust we have in each other. We never lie to each other. If we make a mistake, we own up to it and fix it.
- Financial Matters. We are two peas in a pod when it comes to money. We don’t spend money that we don’t have. We don’t borrow. We pay our bills in full and on time. We have no interest in buying or having the next new toy, “thing,” or gadget, just because it’s there or other people have it. We sit down with each other every month and review our combined household budget, bills, and our checking and savings accounts. Each of us knows where our money is, where it went, and what our priorities are for future spending. Our financial priorities are intuitively the same. It’s often quoted that some of the biggest fights that couples have is over money matters. I am delighted to say that in our case, that is never an issue.
- Respect. Man, we’re different, but we respect our differences. We respect that each of us has his own thoughts and insights that he brings to the discussion and to the relationship. We respect that we do different things in our respective professional lives. My partner respects that I have a strong interest in politics and civic affairs, and supports my activities as the man behind the scenes. This value, respect, forms the foundation for how we communicate with each other. Even when we disagree, we discuss what factors or issues we disagree with, and not make the disagreement personal. This is how we show respect for one another even if we’re not in agreement.
- Family. While one may not think that family has anything to do with a relationship, where I am going here is that we both treasure family in our own ways. We appreciate that we care for others. My partner works hard to help his mother, and I care for my elderly aunt regularly. We each value that we spend time and energy extending our care to those we love. We think that is important.
- Love. I almost said, “this goes without saying,” but you really have to express it in words and in actions, each and every day. From a hug and a kiss, to a smile and an embrace, to saying each time we greet or part, “I love you.” This is incredibly important. And each of us never forgets to tell and show his mate that he loves him.
- Who Is Number One. I said this in my earlier post today, but wish to reaffirm, that to each of us, the other is Number One, numero uno, il primo. Whenever we do anything, we’re always asking ourselves, “how would he feel about that?” or “what would he think?” or “how would this help him?” or things like that. We keep our priorities straight (… the only straight thing about us) that our first and foremost person is our mate.
So, that’s that. Everything listed above is a description of core values. Our relationship, our partnership, is based on sharing these values. It is pretty simple, but somewhat complex at the same time. Maintaining a healthy relationship is work. Some people try to make a relationship work and when it doesn’t, it is because some of the basic values on which the relationship was built were compromised. That’s why I consider myself richly blessed, because my man works as hard as I do in order to ensure that our relationship, our partnership endures through the tests on which we are challenged each day.