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What to Learn from Same-Sex Couples When it comes to arguing with your partner, heterosexual couples can take some cues from same-sex couples.


Same-sex researcher Esther Rothblum, a women's studies professor at San Diego State University who has edited more than 20 books on gender and sexual orientation, has discovered that same-sex couples and heterosexual couples face their conflicts in strikingly different ways.

2: How do same-sex couple conflicts differ from those of hetero couples?
Rothblum: Same-sex couples tend to use effective arguing. They give each other a fair hearing, and their conflicts are brief and quickly forgotten. Hetero-sexual couples argue ineffectively. Their conflicts are more frustrating and don't get solved for days.

2: Why don't hetero couples work out their differences as quickly?
Rothblum: Men come from Mars, and women come from Venus. Women and men are socialized differently. They come from two completely separate worlds. But if there are two men or two women in a relationship, they come from similar cultural backgrounds. When women argue, they tend to focus on the relationship, and when men argue, they tend to focus on logic and problem solving. So, if a same-sex couple gets into an argument, it's easier and not such a big deal because their focus is the same. With a man and a woman, it could become a war zone because of the differences.

2: Okay, so what can heterosexual couples do to improve the way they fight and their relationship?
Rothblum: It's important to be open to listening to and learning about the opposite sex's culture. Heterosexual couples need to ask their partner what they want and need from them.