I guess we’re called “gay” for a reason. A new survey of 5,000 adults in the U.K found that childless gay couples have happier relationships than their hetero counterparts, and that they tend to view simpler things as more romantic and cherish-able — like their partner bringing them a cup of tea in the morning, or watching TV together.
Ironically, though, gay couples are less likely to show affection toward one another in public. “Many LGBQ couples, especially the younger ones, say they would not hold hands in public for fear of reprisal.” says report co-author Dr Jacqui Gibb.
According to Gay Star News, the study interviewed Joe, a 26-year-old from London who's been in a relationship with his partner for four years. He reiterated the finding: "Although I’ve never received physical or face-to-face abuse, I am very aware of stares and raised eyebrows when holding my partner’s hand. ... It took us a while to have the confidence to hold hands and kiss on the lips in public, for example when saying goodbye to each other. ... We spent a year saying our goodbyes at home in the morning rather than on the Tube, despite us both travelling in together, out of fear of potential disapproving looks or abuse. ... I know in London it’s probably much easier than other parts of the UK, or other countries around the world, but I don’t think we’ll ever feel 100% comfortable in public as a couple."
Here are some other more LGBT-specific findings in the study, which is called The Enduring Love? and conducted by the U.K.'s Economic and Social Research Council.
Non-heterosexual participants are more positive about and happier with the quality of their relationship, relationship with their partner and their relationship maintenance than heterosexual participants.
Parents appear to engage in less relationship maintenance than childless participants. Heterosexual parents also scored lower than non-heterosexual parents on this measure. Heterosexual parents are the group least likely to be there for each other, to make ‘couple time’, to pursue shared interests, to say ‘I love you’ and to talk openly to one another.
You can read the rest of the survey here.