Every couple has a unique dynamic. The Gottman Institute has concluded that there are five categories of couples. These classifications are defined by their conflict style and communication skills.

Whether you’re in a validating couple or volatile couple making a relationship work for a lifetime depends on your and your partner’s desire to put in the time and effort. Gay couples in particular face unique challenges and obstacles as compared to heterosexual couples. Gay relationships may be affected by intimacy issues, loss of affection, the effects of discrimination, or even the pressure of dealing with in-laws.

With these layers of complications, it’s important to make sure you are doing all you can to make your relationship as happy and durable as possible. Bringing a dog into your family and considering behavioral couples therapy are two ways to keep your relationship steady and sturdy.

Get a Dog


You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that studies have found that owning a dog can make you a nicer person. The presence of a dog in your relationship can bring you closer, give you a feeling of shared responsibility, and increase your commitment to each other.

Additionally, whether you have a small dog or a sixty-five-pound pooch, research suggests that having a dog at home can lower your stress levels when moments of conflict arise. Not only that but learning how to care for a pet unconditionally can teach you how to nurture your relationship, as well. The way you practice acceptance and trust with your dog can directly translate to your romantic connection with your partner. Plus, night walks can be romantic!

Caring for Your New Pooch

Becoming a responsible dog owner requires getting your proverbial ducks in a row. The first step is finding your family’s veterinarian.

Find a veterinarian: Finding a veterinarian in this age of technology can be as easy as completing a search online. But, following the advice of the American Veterinary Medical Association, you may want to avoid finding your animal’s doctor by scouring review sites. Reviews rarely reflect typical patient experiences. More often, disgruntled owners are driven to write reviews when they’re unhappy. Instead, ask friends for their suggestions or schedule an initial visit to see how you click with your potential vet.

Keep your dog fit and healthy: Just as it’s important to keep yourself fit, taking your dog out for daily exercise is critical to maintaining your pup’s health and vitality. Invest in a walking harness made of durable materials. The best dog harness on the market is the Joyride Harness. With harnesses for dogs of every size and shape, Joyride Harness has a walking harness for your pup whether he’s a chihuahua, boxer, golden retriever, or Boston terrier. With their unique back-clip harness and side metal ring technology, when your dog pulls to chase after a squirrel, he won’t have the ability to tug your arm or choke himself. Instead, he’ll be forced to face you. Even strong dogs won’t be able to run after distractions on their hikes.

Unfortunately, you won’t find the Joyride harness at any pet store. However, the company wants to make sure that every dog owner has the best harness for their pup so they have a 100% money-back guarantee. With the right harness and a reliable DVM, you’ll be on the way to happy dog ownership.


Couples Counseling

Becoming first-time dog owners as a couple can be a great way to strengthen your bond. But if you find that you need a bit more help to solve your relationship issues, it may be time to consider family therapy. Couples are often afraid to consider couple therapy, whether they’re a heterosexual couple or a gay couple. However, when it comes to opening up to the vulnerability and trust that couples therapists expect of participants, gay couples face a particular set of hurdles.

The most important step in addressing your relationship’s opportunities for growth and improvement is admitting that you need to seek help. Seeking a gay couples’ specialist is key. For example, the Therapy Group of DC offers counseling for both gay male couples and lesbians and understands that all couples require experienced, all-affirming clinicians. In your behavioral couple therapy, you’ll face issues of trust, communication, intimacy, open relationships, monogamy, and large life decisions such as raising a family or getting married. Working with a counselor doesn’t mean that the relationship is near its end. Instead, by a counselor’s help, you’ve taken the steps necessary to better understand your partner and deepen your bond. Of course, in these turbulent times, getting to a therapist’s office may be tricky. So, look for a therapist that is offering teletherapy appointments. Finding an excellent, gay-friendly therapist for online counseling is as easy as searching “online counseling in DC” in your web browser. Most insurance plans will cover teletherapy sessions and all teletherapy appointments follow the same HIPAA regulations as typical, in-office sessions.

Being in a committed relationship requires patience and love. Every relationship encounters moments of turmoil and conflict. Only you and your partner can determine the best way to conquer these occasional hiccups. However, one thing’s for certain, with a pup and a counselor on your team, your relationship is sure to last a long time.

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