Trans Relationship Tips

So you’re working on transitioning, and that’s awesome. You have the support of your loving partner, and their support makes everything much better. However, this period can be tough for both you and your partner. Here are a few things you can do to make the shift easier on both of you.

Don’t Give In To Stereotypes – Especially as you work toward blending in public and meshing with social groups, it’s tempting to adopt certain masculine or feminine stereotypes. Realize that some of these stereotypes can be damaging to your relationship. Trans men may be tempted to be more aloof, slack off on housework, or be less expressive with their emotions. Conversely, trans women may be tempted to become more open and expect the same of their partner, or may expect to be ‘taken care of’. Really examine these traits and determine if they are things you truly want as a part of your personality.

Be Selfish, But Not Too Much – Transitioning is ultimately a selfish act–and there’s nothing wrong with that! You’ve gathered the courage to do something for yourself, and that’s a very healthy thing. But it also becomes easy to let your transition take over every aspect of your life. Everything you do or talk about does not need to relate back to transitioning, as much as it feels like your life revolves around it now. Keep yourself diversified and keep the air clear with your partner. Remember their world is still spinning, too, and they still want to talk about their lives.

Talk About Sex – It’s very possible that your sexual needs and desires are shifting during this time. A loving partner will want to adjust with you, but they won’t magically know what to do and when. Talk openly with your partner about what you like, or what you want to try. If there are certain words for your anatomy that you prefer, or words that make you feel dysphoric, make sure they know. Be sure to listen to them, too: your transition may represent a shift in their sexual identity, and they probably need your help exploring these feelings.

…But Don’t Stress About It – Early on in your transition, you may be feeling desperate for validation. This makes it easy to start obsessing over things beyond your control, including your partner’s sexual history or orientation. If they have always been with women, and met you as a woman, do they still want you as a man? Do they like men at all? These thoughts will plague you if you let them. The key is not to let them. Once again, talking openly with your partners about these worries is important, but you also have to allow yourself to trust their word. If you’re still together, they obviously see something in you.

Don’t Be Afraid To Correct Them Or Assert Yourself – It’s a rough period for you both. Your partner may innocently forget to use the right pronouns and name with you. They may also be scared, confused, and angry. If they say something wrong, don’t feel bad about gently correcting them. Eventually, they’ll remember to use she instead of he, or Nick instead of Nichole. If the problem is deeper than a simple mix-up, make it clear you won’t stand for that. Do not tolerate any angry or abusive language or treatment from them. Make it clear that you need their respect and love, even if they disagree with something you’re doing. If they don’t come around, split.

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