Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! Single? Taken? Don’t give an EFF about today? Who cares! In our opinion, every day should be treated like Valentine’s Day – whatever this day means to you. Check out an older post of mine The Other 364 for more on that topic.

If you are single and are feeling bummed about not having a significant other, please be kind to yourself today. This Hallmark-generated holiday shouldn’t be solely about celebrating your romantic relationships, so tend to your other relationships and people that are currently in your life.  

Grab dinner with the girls. Enjoy a guys night or some bro time. Go see a movie or schedule a movie marathon for the weekend. Let’s be real here – we can’t be having slumber parties on a Thursday night. We are grown-ass working adults. If for some reason you can have mid-week slumber parties, I’m jealous.

What do S and I have planned you ask? We’ll be making some low-carb calzones and enjoying red wine berry spritzers! I’m actually pretty excited about it. We’ve been better about getting out and exploring romantic spots of Indianapolis, but a night in is always the height of excellence for us.

Enjoy the day, everyone!

J

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A New Kind of Date

Mother Nature gave us a bit of a scare over the weekend. Earlier in the week we’d planned to have a Starbucks date, where we’d both work on personal projects or career focused activities. Indianapolis did get rocked by a little weather, so our Saturday cafe productivity session got moved to Sunday.

 

We’ve been holding ourselves accountable, so far, in 2018. S and I have plans and feel that it’s time for the both of us to take control of our professional and creative futures. Making time for dates during the week can be challenging when you’re fighting the weight of the day’s work, so a weekend dose of productivity with each other felt like a great move for us.

 

The important thing here is finding a way to make time for each other and to support one another. We pinpointed a newer location on our side of town and stuck to our commitment. I got a ton of PR work done and S made some major moves on the career front. I’m hoping we can make this a regular thing.

 

The both of us are so motivated and energized about what’s next right now, and harvesting that continued support of your partner – of each other –  just puts us in overdrive.

 

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Sure, dates are supposed to be sexy and romantic, but the idea of fueling each others’ professional and creative drive is kind of a turn on, right? Even if you’re single and only focusing on you at the moment… find your support system. Parents? Siblings? Your own circle of VIPs? Who is that person that will help you hold yourself accountable at the end of the day?

 

Think outside of the box and get that productive, quality time in 😉

Put in the Work.

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October 23, 2017 will mark the 6-year mark for S and I’s relationship. “Where has the time gone?!” would be the common response to this fact, but you can’t ask me where all this time has gone so quickly. What you can ask is how we’ve managed to keep things pushing forward.

Six years is like 20 years in gay years. All jokes aside, and in my opinion, this amount of time in a relationship can be defined as “long-term,” or at least be bordering the category. Some couples stay together for one to three years and consider that to be long-term, but that’s a blip of time in the grand scheme of things.

So how have we lasted this long? We put in the work. From first days of our relationship, communication and being open with each other has been the sole requirement and expectation for each other. Sure, there are other factors to consider –  like not being a shitty human being –  but communication ties to every aspect of our relationship.

You’ve all heard me go on and on about the importance of communication’s presence in any relationship, but I won’t bore you with those points for hundredth time. Where things get interesting is when you’ve been together for an extended period and you check in on your relationship.

How are things going?

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So many couples get caught up in the ebb and flow of their relationship routines and lose sight of the work it takes to maintain a solid partnership. This is a lesson S and I learned recently. For the most part, we’re a pretty easygoing pair of husbands; handling any issues as they arrive, if we have any at all. So when we discovered a couple of glaring blind spots, we knew we had to take action.

The past handful of weeks have been dedicated to just us. We’ve been social here and there, what with the baby shower and all, but our attention has been on each other. We noticed that we’d been stuck in our relationship routine; if you can even call it that. Work… work… tv… more tv… sleep… more work. We were very much together but caught up in the chaos or our individual worlds. It’s no wonder some relationships don’t survive when spouses have higher-level careers – there’s no time to put in the work.

Flipping the script and focusing more energy on things like date night, versus corporate fatigue, has kept us engaged and energized. Instead of complaining about work and becoming a prisoner of exhaustion, we put time into activities and entertainment we can enjoy together. Things like: going to dinner, playing our favorite video game together, our low-carb health, organizing our house, or exploring Indy.

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S and I weren’t so far gone that we couldn’t recognize an opportunity to build a stronger foundation. Becoming that disconnected couple who puts on a show when friends and family are around can never be an option for us. I’m grateful for our drive and for the focus we harbor. It shows us that no matter what, and for many many years to come, we’ll have each other’s support in maintaining us.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, turn to your partner and surprise them with a kiss. Ask them something other than how their day went. Hold their hand and meet their eyes with a smile. That feeling you’re experiencing? Don’t ever let go of that.

Unpack with These 3 Tools

What’s next when you reach the point of feeling like two bumps on a log? There’s talk of this and talk of that, but how can the message be received when it’s coated in moodiness.

Interpretation can be a very helpful or disastrous factor when it comes to this. A joke that’s taken the wrong way after a long day can feel like sandpaper on a fresh sunburn. A half-smile or a noticeably thoughtful demeanor could be an opening to ask “hey… you okay?”

It’s best to process these signals without ego though. You’ll quickly enter a downward spiral if ego is your focus. Be wise and truthful in your interpretation.

Or maybe it’s action… it all comes back to action really. Because what do you have outside of what you’re doing – what you’re both doing together – to inspire growth. A lot of us talk extremely well but drag our feet when the time comes to perform.

Is this you? We’ve all had our moments, so be honest with yourself.

Be present. Be present in your interpretation, your actions, and your relationship as a whole. Not every moment together needs to be filled with words or deep thought, so keep that in mind if you feel like you have just one more thing to say.

Let love breathe, let whatever nonsense go, and remember these few items when things seem a little foggy.

*Reblog* You Take Out the Trash, and I’ll Do the Dishes.

Original entry here

“Who’s the girl in the relationship?” is a popular inquiry among curious heterosexuals I’ve met in the past. Like a gust of wind, the gender roles within my marriage lean towards societal normativity, but depending on the day will quickly whip in another direction. Society has programmed most of us to think that men and women have specific roles when it comes to households, jobs, and various other avenues of life. I always have to laugh when the questioning of roles within my relationship comes up in conversation, because you’d think that here in the year 2015, that there would be a better sense of freedom within any relationship. Relationships and marriage are both partnerships, and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who did what chores. Views of how a relationship should work will vary, and not everyone will agree. I believe this disagreement is important because not only does it encourage learning, it promotes individual growth that could can potentially be shared with other relationships and marriages.

I’ve always joked that – stereotypically speaking – I’m the woman within my marriage. Pinterest is one of my most used apps on my iPhone, and I’ve known how to crochet since I was twelve. I’ve never liked getting dirty, I enjoy a good outfit, and I absolutely love a good bag. My mouth waters over a good-looking messenger or weekender-styled bag, and sports have never been my thing ever since I could remember. I only learned how football truly worked when I joined marching band at Indiana University – Did I mention I played football one year in high school? Yep, now read back those last couple sentences, and collect that laugh.  Over half of my work experience was spent in retail stores, so I’m cursed with the ability to organize any closet, and I actually enjoy it. Every outfit and accessory has a place, and when things get cluttered my mind nearly explodes; there’s instant stress when I come across clutter in my home. When we moved into our condo, I told my husband not to touch anything that was going to a closet. All the traits I’ve mentioned above – things I love about myself – would typically be matched with the gender labeled “female.”

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My husband does not mind getting dirty, and this is a result of growing up on a horse farm.  He had real chores: cleaning horse stalls, moving haystacks, breaking horses – the act of socializing a horse to the point of being able to ride it – and various other farm chores that would make most city kids cry. I believe my husband to be the most handsome man in the world, but his wardrobe can be pretty plain – nothing against the plain and simple types.  It’s easy and refreshing most of the time. He’s a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy, and I love any opportunity to play dress-up with him before going out with friends, or heading out to a dinner. I watched him change the oil on his own car some months back. I ended up retreating to the house, and probably ended up playing on Pinterest, but returned to the garage to find quite the mess. Outside of the dirt and simple manliness that makes up my husband, is his love for Indiana basketball. He can talk college basketball like no one I’ve ever heard before, and gets completely into the games. He’s most emotional during an IU basketball game, and when players from the team make the news because of some coach drama, or team scandal.

While most of these gender role stereotypes are entertaining and fun to identify within any relationship, they’re not the norm anymore.  Sure, back in the day women had their roles, and men had theirs, but in today’s world, you can identify ALL gender roles within a single gay relationship. So what does this say about gender roles in general? Like sexuality, these roles within a relationship are fluid and ever-changing. One person doesn’t have to do one specific chore, or act a certain way because of their sex. For S and I, all that matters is that our condo – and life – isn’t burning down. I imagine this to be a similar and common thought when it comes to other relationships and marriages across the globe. There are plenty of straight, uber-masculine men that can sew, cook, and clean, and a great deal of women who enjoy getting their hands dirty, and who could teach any man a thing or two inside a garage. The traditional views of the inner-workings of a relationship are slowly fading, and my hope is that by acknowledging the fluidity of gender roles – across any type of relationship – we can stop answering a question like “So, who’s the girl in the relationship?”

3 Years A Husband.

Anniversaries happen every year, yet I’m still unsure where the time goes so quickly. “So, does being married feel any different?” I’ll ask good friends after receiving a save-the-date magnet – I know they aren’t technically married yet, but come on – or during their wedding receptions.  It’s a question we got from family and friends after our courthouse ceremony.

Being married feels no different to us and I never expected it would. We’re the same two schmoes that met in a wild and crazy bar during our college years, but sure, we’ve calmed way down in the party category. While we now have a legal title, everything feels as it did when we first became boyfriends in Fall 2011; fun and mostly light (lol).

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Remember, not all relationships are the same. Having each other and keeping up with our joint goals is enough to drive our relationship and keep us flourishing. Nine times out of ten we are on the same page when it comes to any topic within our marriage. And if we aren’t? We take some time to discuss and get to the bottom of it.

A big factor that’s been adding to our relationship recently is encouragement. We’ve always pushed each other to do our best in all aspects of life, but it became extremely important this past year and a half when we ran into challenges in the corporate world. Wishing anything for an opportunity to run away from angst and frustration, we were able to keep each other focused and sane. I’m not sure how I would make some of the decisions that come my way without S.

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We truly take each day at a time. If there were some super secret to share, believe me, I would. I can count on one hand how many fights we’ve had in our almost six years together and we won’t be adding to that number anytime soon. I will say this: Keep each other level. It’s amazing what happens when balance is present in a relationship.

We’ll see what new lesson I’ve learned when year four is upon us.

Will You Go Out With Me?

Dating. It’s so important once you’re married. Any person that’s been in a long-term relationship knows this to be true. Long days (and nights) at the job start to eat away at you mentally and physically. Weekends seem to be the only time you can hang out, but somehow you’ve overbooked yourselves. You begin to question whether you’re slipping away from yourself and/or the relationship because there’s not enough time or energy for “us” time. That is when insecurity and doubt surface.

 

The great thing about S and I is that we can discuss these insecurities and doubts and figure out how to work through the fog. Just today we’ve identified that we’ve become too comfortable relaxing and hanging out on the couch together; binge watching old seasons of America’s Next Top Model. The mental fatigue that comes with working in the corporate world can’t rule every ounce of energy we have left in our free time together. It’s time to fight the lazy and rediscover who we are as a couple.

So what do we do? That’s the question. We’re both almost too easy to please and can never seem to decide what sounds fun; I know how that sounds. Thank goodness summer is near because at least we’ll be able to get back to our regular evening walks. Whatever it is we decide to do, it’ll be together. Our third wedding anniversary is next week – CRAZY – so we’re taking that as our cue to get regular date nights scheduled. In the past, I didn’t like the idea of scheduling time together. I see now that it’s a necessary pleasure.

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Gay Rights Under President Trump — Thought Catalog

Flickr / Gage SkidmoreOne thing I’ve noticed since the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States is that most people don’t understand how national marriage equality came to pass in the United States, nor do they have an understanding of how it could be threatened. On one hand, there is a large…

via Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Gay Rights Under President Trump — Thought Catalog

WELCOME! And Thanks :)

I’d like to take a moment to say WELCOME to Gays in the Life’s new followers. We’ve been much more engaged on social media and work-shopping ideas for the blog and it shows with a great increase in your support and daily interaction. For those of you just joining us, be sure to keep up with us on the following platforms:

Facebook: Facebook.com/GaysintheLife

Twitter: @gaysinthelife

Instagram: @gaysinthelife

I’d also like to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all of you that have been with us from the beginning  – that’s now over two years ago – and THANK YOU to all of you new followers. I cannot express how appreciative I am of you all taking the time to read whatever mumbo-jumbo I’m serving up throughout the week.

Life has been an interesting ride and I know it’s not anywhere near over. In three days I’ll be celebrating my thirtieth birthday. The fact that I’ll be thirty on Saturday is wild in itself. When you’re younger, thirty seems so far away, but I fully plan on  continuing to embrace adulthood and share S and I’s lessons along the way.

Please know that you are all loved and welcomed with open keystrokes. Continue to share the blog, Facebook page, and social media accounts with your family and friends. I strongly believe that we can build a better world by educating each other through shared experiences and conversation. My only goal with Gays in the Life is to do exactly that.

If there’s ever a time you have a question or want to learn more about a post I’ve written or information I’ve shared, let us know in the comments or on our social media! Getting to know our followers and readers will only benefit the relationship we have with you and can only enhance the content we have coming down the pipeline for you.

Here’s a bit of a bonus for you all. S and I the night of our first date back in September 2011:

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We look a little different now 🙂

thank you, thanK YOU, THANK YOU. Be well,

J.

My Small, Grilled Victory.

I win. Want to know why? I successfully started a gas grill with no supervision! To be completely honest with all of you, I have this ridiculous fear that one day I would have been so clumsy to the point that I’d influenced complete devastation around everyone in closest proximity to me; like catastrophic levels.

 

Ever since I was a kid I’ve had the roughest time with accomplishing any task without getting hurt in some form or fashion.  Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. The last handful of posts probably have some reference to my shoulder injury I’ve been dealing with all summer. It’s just turning fall in Indiana and I’m JUST now able to hit the weights again. I feel so behind, but what can you do? Always listen to your body…

 

…it’s a kind of intuition, right?! Well, my intuition has always told me “stay the hell away from that explosive-ass’d propane tank! Are you crazy?!” S has shown me at least twice how to turn the gas on and off and how to ignite the grill. Growing up with charcoal grill skills in Alaska, I have a way different set of grilling knowledge – we never let snow stop us from throwing down on the grill. Slay, I say! So when the time came for me to fire up the monstrosity on my own… I had to take a few deep breaths and tell myself “maybe this isn’t the end.”

 

I open the hatch exposing the propane tank resting undisturbed in its home under the burners. “Here goes” I think to myself as I reach for the knob. “Turn counterclockwise…” I close my eyes as I perform the simple action. “Alright, we’re in the clear.” I quickly close the hatch as if to race a bomb, seconds away from reaching zero. Turning the knobs and pressing the ignite switch was way less stressful. My neighbors have already seen me do hot yoga on the patio, have the occasional cigar and bourbon in nothing but short-shorts and a tank, and now, probably the gayest-victory-dance ever invoked by the lighting of a grill.
I’m most proud that I didn’t need to wait for S to get home, out of fear of burning down my home. Let’s face it… there’s always a glass of vodka or bourbon not too far away from me when I get home, so I’m sure that would help fuel the fire that inadvertently would have started. My husband has taught me a lot in the almost five years of being with him – more than I can write about, for sure. Starting a gas grill without help proves to me that fear with S is non-existent.