My partner and I have a happy modern relationship.
Our relationship has a few aspects that happen to align with traditional gender roles (for example, my partner makes more money than me and he courted me) but we don’t set to follow them.
We both have full-time jobs and I do plan to keep progressing in my career. The idea that I might make more money than my partner doesn’t make him feel threatened — he’d be thrilled.
We celebrate each other’s success. We do household chores together. We make our expectations clear. We check in often. We’re fully ourselves. We show up every day for each other.
Our relationship works for us more than we work for our relationship.
We don’t care about what it means to be a man or a woman — we express our masculine and feminine side whenever we feel it.
We care more about core values such as respect, honesty, kindness, and commitment.
Since we’re committed, we put each other first. We face every problem as a team. We want to have children in the future, but that desire doesn’t come before the relationship between us and our happiness as individuals. We’re open to options as long as they serve our relationship.
There’s no toxic masculinity or ego between us. Instead, there’s vulnerability and gentleness. We both focus on making the other person happy, and so our happiness is always doubled.
I don’t want to speak for him, but I can say with confidence that he’s the best man I’ve ever met. He makes me laugh every day. He’s my partner, my best friend, my inspiration, my love.
When I think of him, I feel a deep sense of warmth and comfort and zero anxiety. When I talk to him about sexism, racism, and feminism, he listens and doesn’t interrupt me; he learns. He respects me.
Life together is exciting and meaningful. It allows and inspires me to be a better person and help others more. I feel seen and loved, not just as a woman, but as a human being.
My relationship might sound too good to be true to some people, but it is not unique.
My sister’s relationship is the same, even with a kid.
She’s a successful woman married to a loving, well-put-together man who prioritises her before all else. She isn’t tied to the kitchen or childcare because she doesn’t want to be and he’s involved all the way.
And I know many other people who have happy modern relationships.
What do they have in common?
They prioritise relationships.
They have high EQs.
They know what works for them.
They do what works for them.
They’re committed to each other.
They show up every day.
A happy modern relationship neither is effortless nor happens by chance.
Two individuals need to both be ready to bring their best to the table and have strong identities outside of the relationship.
It also takes luck. But you can increase your luck by deciding what you want and advocating for it wherever you go while staying open to new connections.
I’m in the relationship I am in because it’s the only type of relationship I’d be in. I would have been happy being single if I hadn’t met my partner.
It’s also because, when I met my partner, I had worked on myself and become capable of nurturing our relationship the way I wanted it. Along the way, I stopped having gender-stereotypical expectations for my partner — I let him be him and take pleasure from getting to know him as a separate person from me.
Now when I look at him, I see a full person who has many different sides that can’t be boxed in any definition of “a man.” These different sides of him make me even more attracted to him and deepen my love for him.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, I want you to treat yourself as a human and see a relationship as part of your life that is supposed to enhance your experience of being a human.
The world is changing; norms are being challenged all the time. There’s no set idea of how a relationship should be; it’s up to you to decide for yourself. Have good reasons and know your reasons. Don’t let anyone shame you for having certain needs and standards.
You can find role models and apply what they do to your own relationship — but don’t be afraid to leave out the bad and unsuitable.
You’re empowered to design a life that works best for you!