Last night my boyfriend and I had a miscommunication of sorts. I like to call our fights miscommunications, because they are typically just that. Neither of us tries to hurt the other, but sometimes we do so unknowingly. Last night he incessantly accused me of acting weird and distant. He wanted to “fix it.” This frustrated me to no end because I didn’t know how to “fix it.” I didn’t see that there was a problem. Sometimes I get in distant moods because I am typically a distant person. So, why should I need to “fix” the person I am? When it came down to it, we discovered that he merely needed more affection that I wasn’t providing. We made compromises and promised each other to work harder, and it was resolved.
My distant personality and his needing a lot of affection would stereotypically make our gender roles switched. We’re like this in a lot of ways, I’m older, I like to buy him things, and I am more logically oriented while he’s more creatively or emotionally oriented.
I like having these quirks to our relationship because I like to show people we’re not bogged down by these bigoted, little categories people try to put us in. There also isn’t much of a power struggle as I see with other relationships. My boyfriend doesn’t feel like I am challenging his masculinity, because he’s confident, if not in his masculinity, in the person he is. Our relationship is strong because we allow each other to be primarily people before anything else.
Defying gender roles in a relationship isn’t about taking a feminist stand, although it feels nice, as a feminist, not to fall into the woman’s gender role. But instead, it is a manifestation of the people we are. We allow each other to be ourselves, which can be surprisingly hard in this world.
Now, I must go so he and I can listen to show tunes together.