For ages, gay people have been fighting for equality in the eyes of the public and the law. And there’s no reason why we shouldn’t get equal rights and opportunities when we’re just like straight people, but with a tiny little tweak. It’s true that gay relationships have many more similarities than differences with straight ones—we love, we have sex, we laugh, we argue and we try our best to make it work. But even though small and subtle, there are differences between gay and straight relationships, so let’s explore them: 

The way we meet our partners

Probably the most commonly noticed difference between gay and straight relationships is the way we start them. According to research, gay people are more prone to dating websites and apps than straight people, mostly due to the history of the lack of social acceptance of homosexuals. Due to lack of acceptance, it’s very hard for gay people to just come up to others and start flirting—what if that person is not gay? Straight people can safely assume that a person they are approaching is straight because 80% of people are, and very openly so. On dating apps, you can set your gender preference and connect with only homosexuals, bisexuals, trans people, etc. Gay bars are also a common way of meeting your partner, as well as small gatherings where usually everyone knows everyone. 

Relationship roles

This is the 21st century, so straight relationships also often have inverted gender roles, but not as much as gay people. In straight relationships, women are still expected to be submissive to dominant men. The biggest proof of this is sugar dating apps that connect rich men and beautiful women. These relationships are 100% consensual and can be very healthy, even though there’s a clean perceived difference in the relationship dynamic. On the other hand, gay relationships are much more flexible in gender roles, and we learned a long time ago that the “manly” one doesn’t have to be dominant in a physical, sexual or financial way. 

Difference in sex

Obviously, the way gay people have sex is much different than what happens in traditional straight relationships. It’s not only that you have two of the same parts involved, but you have familiarity with them. According to statements made by gay people of all genders, gay sex is much more relaxed because, in most cases, everyone knows how to handle each other’s bodies. There’s much less exploration and learning necessary, even though every body is different. 

Arguments are a bit different as well

It’s thought that lesbian relationships involve a lot of communication and talk about feelings, which can be true in some cases. However, women can also often choose to take a more passive-aggressive approach to arguments. This might be due to the historical obligation women had—being passive and quiet. In general, same-sex couples are more likely to look at disagreement from a positive perspective and feel positive about each other after conflict. According to studies, gay people tackled issues in a gentler manner, practiced fewer defensive moves and used more humor to defuse tense situations. 

Body positivity 

This might be a more anecdotal observation, but gay relationships often consist of partners with wildly different body types. It seems that the LGBTQ+ community is more accepting of bodily differences. While most straight people are attracted to conventionally attractive bodies, gay people defy this greatly. For instance, chubby bears get a lot of attention in gay bars! 

Parenthood differences

Only relatively recently has gay people got the right to be full-on parents and support children through surrogacy, adoption or fostering. Gay people of all genders can have strong parental instincts and be amazing parents. Parenthood is hard for both gay and straight people; the only difference we can see is that gay parents might need a bit more support. Having a baby in a gay relationship is much more complicated, involves a lot more research and requires strong support from family, friends and authorities. 

Gays just wanna have fun

To end this list on a fun and happy note, here’s one advantage gay relationships clearly have over straight ones—gays seem to have a lot more fun! Gay couples often demonstrate playfulness with each other and their peers. Going out dancing and clubbing, booking gay cruises, having adventures between the sheets, attending events, traveling, being creative with celebrations, and treating themselves, their kids and their pets are all often perceived in gay relationships. This might come out of the fact that most gay relationships have dual incomes, so more money to spend on fun. Or we just tend to stick to our adventurous spirits for longer! 

It is true that straight relationships are more accepted and glorified, but times are changing and soon we’ll all be on the same level. When that happens, it will be easier to see that gay relationships come across the same obstacles as straight ones, we just find different ways to get over them.