Last updated: August 23. 2013 5:16PM - 80 Views

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LIMA — Every relationship goes through stages, from acquaintance to a stronger bond and unfortunately sometimes to the end.

And in saying “relationship” Friday, Dr. Don Mack meant all relationships.

“We have the same needs and risks in intimate relationships as compared to opposite sex couples,” he said.

Mack, of Spencerville, discussed the advantages and disadvantage of same sex couples compared to opposite sex couples at Friday’s Lima Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) meeting.

While all couples face challenges, some are unique to same sex couples, Mack said.

“We are confronted by gender and societal norms. We may feel inadequate or inferior, particularly when in the same situations with other opposite sex couples,” he said, adding that different levels of “outness” between partners can cause stresses.

Mack cited research showing that same sex couples may have an advantage in working on a relationship and making it last.

A University of California couples therapist and psychology professor evaluated 40 same sex and 40 opposite sex couples, Mack said. They concluded that same sex relationships displayed more kindness and humor in arguments, with less belligerence, domineering attitudes, and fear.

Studies also showed, Mack said, that same sex couples share household duties and tasks more equitably, and demonstrate more flexibility in defying traditional gender linked parenting and household roles.

“Since we are going into things with no preset rules, we seem to negotiate things more easily,” he said.

PFLAG meets at 7:30 p.m. the third Friday of the month at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church, 875 W. Market St. The March meeting will be in the Public Service building on the OSU-Lima/Rhodes State campus.

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