Committed relationships between two women are generally similar to heterosexual relationships, but they also have key differences. Lesbian couples are much more likely to resolve conflict positively and share chores. These core differences provide a snapshot of relationships between two committed women. Though many believe non-traditional couples may be predisposed to problems, lesbian relationships fly in the face of this opinion, creating positive benefits for the women in these relationships.
There are not many differences between relationships involving two committed women and heterosexual relationships. Lesbian couples are likely to report the same level of satisfaction as heterosexual couples, as well as similar patterns of relationship quality over time. Two women in a committed relationship may even argue about the same things as heterosexual couples.
No Room for Stereotypes
Committed relationships between two women defy common stereotypes about same-sex relationships. Lesbian relationships are often loving, durable and stable, in contrast to stereotypes which state that relationships between two women are less stable. Research in the November 2004 issue of the "Journal of Marriage and Family" indicates that two women in a committed relationship are not maladjusted and do not have innate traits that lead to issues within a relationship. On the contrary, these relationships are just as safe and secure as heterosexual relationships.
Positive Conflict Resolution
When women are committed to each other, they are more likely to handle conflict positively. According to 2005 research in "Current Directions in Psychological Science," lesbian couples more often argue efficiently, avoid patterns of demanding and withdrawing in conflict, and are more likely to compromise and find solutions. This distinct difference in relationships between two committed women may be due to a more equal power structure between the couple, as well as a strong value of equality.
Sharing of Household Chores
Lesbian couples are more likely to share chores compared to heterosexual couples. Two women who are committed to each other share household tasks in numerous ways. They are not bound by gender roles, are more likely to balance chores, and do chores based on skill. Each of these factors contributes to committed women sharing the burden of household work.
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- Washington Post: Same-Sex Couples Just as Committed as Heterosexual Counterparts
- Journal of Marriage and Family; Are Gay and Lesbian Cohabiting Couples Really Different From Heterosexual Married Couples?; Lawrence A. Kurdek
- Current Directions in Psychological Science; What Do We Know About Gay and Lesbian Couples?; Lawrence A. Kurdek
S. Grey has a Master of Science in counseling psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He is also pursuing a PhD and has a love for psychology, comic books and social justice. He has been published in a text on social psychology and regularly presents research at regional psychology conferences.
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