What do you think is the most important quality in a long-term lesbian relationship?
Love, sex, acceptance, mutual goals & visions and compatibly are very important but so is reliability, and trust. First I followed my heart then my head and now my gut. Lesbian relationships are different from straight relationships. I’m asking you as the High Priestess Lesbian, what is the best requirement for long-term happiness?
Dear Requirements for Long Term Happiness,
I agree that lesbian relationships are different from heterosexual relationships. The gender roles become insignificant in lesbian relationships and the criteria for happiness is measured by a different set of values. Let’s go through the attributes you have listed in order of importance. Love, sex and mutual attraction are perquisites for getting together in the first place. Without them, Cupid’s arrows or Aphrodite’s blessing would appear to be missing. They are the flame that draws us, and the impetus for wanting long-term relationships. So they are mandatory, but we all know that they change over time with age and reality.
Without mutual goals and visions, trust and reliability, relationships do not withstand the test of time. This leaves us with acceptance. I am leaning towards acceptance being the most important value after love, sex, and mutual attraction. Without acceptance you could have one person judging another badly for political, ethical or aesthetic differences. Acceptance is the key to unconditional love. Acceptance makes one feel at home. When one feels comfortable at home one is more comfortable in ones own skin.
Imagine any situation where you are not accepted or found to be acceptable. If it was at work or school you couldn’t wait to get home, but what if you weren’t accepted for being yourself at home? Home is the last safe refuge for everyone. If you had to leave your own home to be accepted, you would quickly move acceptance to the top if the criteria list. Acceptance means you get to be yourself in your house and no one can give you grief for your political beliefs, your eating style, your hobbies, your habits, or the way you live your life. Acceptance is the grace to accept someone as they are.
Pointing out someone’s flaws consistently makes life a living hell, please trust me on this one, we are all flawed. Unacceptance leads to resentment, disagreements, and low self esteem. Accepting someone you already love, as they are, usually guarantees acceptance in return. It is a sign of emotional maturity and gives you the confidence that you are OK, and the freedom to be yourself at home. So I’m thinking Acceptance is a lot more important than it initially sounds.
Of course there are actions, habits and mental mindsets that are unacceptable. Gamboling, addictions, religious chasms have led many couples in opposite directions and with good cause. If you knew your lover smoked, drank to excess or had a different dietary philosophy when you got together and you secretly planned to convert them, then you are playing games with other peoples lives. One thing I have learned is no one can ever change someone else. You can only change yourself. Constantly setting new benchmarks of acceptance is unpredictable and unfair to all involved.
Acceptance doesn’t mean your relationship will last forever, but it probably does mean you will continue to be friends after you part as a couple. It also means you will be more comfortable in your home and with yourself. There is a catch though, we can only accept others if can first accept ourselves. Acceptance. It means much more than it implies, especially if you don’t have it from your partner. Acceptance doesn’t mean you condone bad behavior but it does indicate that you accept the other party’s freedom to make choices, good or bad, that allow them to learn and grow, both within the relationship and as human beings. Whether you can live with their bad choices or not is your choice. Home is where you are accepted. Accept that it is her right to make choices that you might not make. Acceptance, ah it feels like so safe, just like home.
PS Acceptance is the key to unconditional love.