Same-sex partnerships work just as well as mixed-sex ones. Gay and lesbian couples’ relationships are just as happy as those of heterosexuals. They are also as long lasting. The factors that make a relationship satisfying, committed and long lasting are largely similar in both cases (APA, 2008).

In this context, we would also like to refer to the study by Riggle et al. (2010), which demonstrates significantly lower stress levels and higher levels psychological wellbeing for same-sex couples in steady relationships. This heightened level of wellbeing is even higher in the case of same-sex couples who have entered into a state-recognized partnership.

However, like mixed-sex partnerships, same-sex partnerships are not without their difficulties. Two possible problem areas in terms of male-male partnerships were highlighted at the expert conference of the VLSP in 2009: the specific challenges that HIV discordant couplesface, and domestic abuse in homosexual partnerships.

In the context of analysing the particularities around lesbian couples, we recommend the somewhat older, but still current book by therapists D. Merilee Clunis and G. Dorsey Green entitled “Geliebte – Freundin – Partnerin” (Lover – Girlfriend – Partner) (1995). The authors here address in detail the joys and challenges that come along with being a couple. Topics include closeness and distance, cohabitation, family, age, sex, monogamy and communication. A considerable portion of the book deals with differences, be they related to ethnicity, age, physical or social.


  • American Psychological Association. (2008). Answers to your questions: For a better understanding of sexual orientation and homosexuality. Washington, DC. Available at]. Copyright © 2008 American Psychological Association.
  • D. Merilee Clunis & G. Dorsey Green (1995). Geliebte – Freundin – Partnerin. Berlin: Orlanda.
  • Riggle, E. D.B., Rostosky, S.S. & Horne, S.G. (2010). Psychological Distress, Well-Being, and Legal Recognition in Same-Sex Couple Relationships. Journal of Family Psychology, 21 (1), 82 – 86.

Last updated: 02/26/2021 - 11:19

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