and now for the wisdom of someone with no such life-experience
I’m hardly the most experienced person on this topic but here goes: Gay relationships are different from straight ones. Shocking to hear, I know. Think about who takes out the trash, washes the dishes, and sends out thank-you notes in a “traditional” relationship. You know exactly who to assume is doing each. I know from personal experience that few “traditional” relationships actually do things the traditional way. I know this because the church encourages home life to be composed of a loving dad who is not a tyrant and a loving mom who is not a harpy.
Successful families are encouraged to influence youth in the ward to behave like them. A good father leads the scout troop. A good mother leads the young womens’ classes. I’ve seen these examples all my life and been told to model myself after them. All the while I knew I was different and thought the teachings are only for straight couples.
But these behaviors aren’t invalid, are they? I may not know who will be taking out the trash but I know I’ll listen to his doubts and concerns. I have no idea who will wash the dishes but I know I will be faithful to him. I’m not sure of the proper etiquette for thank-you cards but I know he’ll be my best friend and closest confidant.
In theory, anyway. I don’t have even the faintest whiff of a role model to base this on. Instead I am twenty-five and a relationship-virgin. I get to learn this all from scratch. I didn’t get to practice. No dates in high school. No stolen kisses between classes. No modestly dressed social dances.* Not a single opportunity to figure any of this out. Not for a gay man. If you’re straight you are expected to have learned this. For a gay man, any one of the aforementioned activities would result in immediate disfellowship followed by excommunication.
So Romeo, wherever thou art, what am I supposed to do if I ever meet you?
*Actually, I hate dancing.