It’s a sad fact, but many relationships don’t last forever. The hardest part of any break-up is being able to move on, give space and not be tied up with past feelings.

Relationships can diminish for many reasons. There are many pressures that apply to gay relationships. Counsellor David Bourne said the factors are heavily influenced by the culture of youth and beauty within the gay community.

“Extra-marital sex is available, which can make cheating very tempting, especially when couples are experiencing difficulties,” he said.

“Also, couples can become competitive and envious with each other, which can factor in the breakdown.”

Bourne said at times people have a need to be single to understand their being, which was important in the growth of any individual. He said the types of friends you associate with can affect your behaviour and views on relationships.

We’re all different and the same goes for our relationships, so some relationships are repairable. What’s important about being able to move on is being able to grieve.

“It takes a fairly lengthy period. Some psychotherapists say that it takes up to one or two years to move on,” Bourne said.

“You’re basically working through the process of mourning. It’s that kind of loss that means having to sit with one’s anger, one’s hurt, one’s grief and one’s denial.

“It requires the ability to stay with that process and to go through that sad and difficult period, instead of rushing off to find another relationship to fill the void.”

When people break up it’s important to give each other space and understand you can’t be friends immediately, or comfort each other.

“You can’t go from being a lover to friend just like that. A break-up is a break-up and it’s hard. Love can bring great pleasure and can bring great pain,” Bourne said.

“If you don’t have the resilience, then the pain can be so overwhelming that one wants to take flight from it – and that can involve going out and partying, taking drugs, rushing into a relationship or an extended period of sexual promiscuity.”

David Bourne can be contacted on 9361 4968 or [email protected]

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