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    Naturals and What Sets Them Apart



    By Scott Tsui–

    In my previous column, I spoke about three broad classes of people when it comes to relationships:

    1. Naturals are people with personality traits that make them more “relationship ready.”
    2. Learners are those who have learned from their past experiences and can avoid relationship-destroying mistakes.
    3. Blamers are those who will never admit that they’re wrong and would rather point the finger at others.

    By knowing your own personality, and with a basic understanding of the above personality types, you should be able to avoid future heartache and headaches by being careful to pair up with someone more in sync with yourself.  

    Four years ago, while writing my book Lonely No More, 8 Steps to Find Your Gay Husband, I had the pleasure of interviewing Victor and George, a San Francisco couple that I immediately saw as Naturals and who have stayed together for forty years. My goal was to understand what made their relationship so successful. I discovered that they both possessed similar traits that made them a loving, caring couple. If success leaves clues, we can learn from what they have been doing right and use the knowledge to help us to improve our own relationships. 

    Victor and George met at a birthday party. George had a partner, but the relationship was coming to an end. Victor had never had a serious relationship. A month later, they began dating. George was accustomed to living by himself. He loved bars and cruising and told Victor that he was also free to do as he pleased. Within a few months, however, George wanted their blossoming relationship to be monogamous, and after discussing it, they agreed. 

    The above illustrates how Naturals have the ability to recognize someone special. They both felt comfortable and secure enough with each other to welcome a partner into their life. True Naturals, regardless of their past, have the ability to find their path and to recognize the importance of working out any conflicts or issues, rather than ignoring and running away from them.

    Every couple makes their own rules. For Naturals, it is not about whether monogamy or open relationships are better than the other. They simply know what is right for them, and work through things to connect and stay connected intimately with each other. Victor and George have never looked back; they consider they gained love and companionship rather than lost their freedom. 

    Views on finances can be very contentious in many relationships. Both Victor and George recognized they were frugal; they didn’t fight about money and they understood its value. In other words, Naturals gravitate to those with similar core values and qualities, which minimize conflict from the beginning. They become teammates or comrades, rather than competitors, and are willing to work things out. 

    Interestingly, George was an extrovert and Victor was something of an introvert, but in this case, opposites did attract. Victor appreciated that George brought out the hidden extrovert in him, while George learned to be more grounded, patient and less volatile. Thus, they influenced each other positively and appreciated their differences.

    Naturals are more likely to adopt new ideas from their partner and to let their partner influence them. eHarmony did a survey with their members that partnered up and stayed together. The results showed that adaptability is the number one factor underlying why the relationships survived. 

    When it comes to decision making, George and Victor would ask, “Is this something that both of us want to do?” Fifteen years into their relationship, there was a crisis. George was distraught because Victor closed a real estate deal without him. Victor claimed he was innocent and didn’t realize the realtor was there to close. George thought about ending the relationship because he felt left out, but deep down, he knew he trusted Victor. After working through it, they put the incident behind them.

    Naturals tend not to get vicious with each other, verbally or physically. They know better not to not say hurtful words that can’t be taken back. Instead, they show compassion, even when they’re upset or angry. They trust that their partner didn’t mean to hurt them intentionally. Naturals know how to “Forgive, Forget and Move on” instead of holding grudges, being angry or wanting to get even. They understand and know how to reconnect with their partner after disagreements or conflicts. They know there is a “reset” button to start over again.

    Victor and George help and support each other, no matter what. Naturals are selfless and considerate of their partner. They recognize their partner’s needs, not just their own. They have a “we” rather than a “me” mentality. For Victor and George, their thoughtfulness, consideration and mutual respect have helped to cultivate their life-long relationship. 

    Take a moment to reflect on why Naturals have relationships that are more effortless than others. See if you find yourself in agreement regarding the traits of Naturals. What have you learned about yourself? If you are having difficulties in a relationship, what might you do to rectify and improve the situation? 

    In the next column, I will share stories about “Learners.”

    Scott Tsui is the Relationship Results Coach, author of “Lonely No More – 8 Steps to Find Your Gay Husband” and the creator of the world’s first online gay relationship training: Gay Men Relationship Blueprint. Tsui works to help gay men find, attract and sustain meaningful relationships. For more information: