When it comes to relationships, no two are alike.  In 2018, things like sexuality and gender are fluid in the sense that people aren’t defining themselves in that traditional way.  So why do we continue to apply gender roles to our relationships?  I am someone who actually really likes traditional gender roles.  But that’s not to say that I don’t see the benefit of the reverse, or not having them at all.  For me, I like a man who can and does take charge.  That’s not to say that I can’t, or haven’t been in that role.  It doesn’t suit me as well.  I was in a long-term relationship where I was the breadwinner, and while there’s nothing wrong with that it sometimes felt draining.  Why did I have to be everything, and he didn’t have to contribute to the relationship in any way?

Women can, and do make more money than their male partners, but does that give a woman the right to take on the “male” role in the relationship?  I don’t think so, and it irks me that society thinks it should.  It’s emasculating to men and it can certainly cause issues within the relationship.  Take my previous relationship for example.  As I said, I made more money than my partner, and as a result, I made all the financial decisions.  From buying a house (including picking it out) all the way down to which groceries we would buy and where would we get them from.

According to a 2017 survey by Chase Bank and Refinery 29, women are the breadwinners in 40 percent of American households. Among those women, 37 percent outearn their partner; the other 63 percent of them are single mothers. According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2012, there were nearly 2 million stay-at-home fathers.  Is there anything wrong with that?  Absolutely not.  So long as we all understand that how much money you earn doesn’t necessarily equate to your self-worth.

The other question we have to ask ourselves is whether these gender roles should exist at all?  If a woman is in the traditionally “male” role in the house, where she’s making more money and bearing that financial burden, she’s being put in an unfair position.  Why?  Because women are still expected to take on the domestic work, regardless of how successful they are in their professional lives.  Which is what happened to me in my previous relationship as well.  I worked longer hours, had a farther commute, and was still expected to cook supper, wash the dishes, prepare lunches, do the laundry, cut the grass, get groceries.  Yes, every “domestic” task possible was also mine.

What about two partners being equal?  Even if the one makes more money than the other, regardless of gender, is it possible to split things straight down the middle?  Whether that’s alternating who’s doing what this month, or who is going to pay what bills, you and your partner need to be able to work together.  I have written this post from a heterosexual perspective.  I suspect that in some same-sex relationships roles are more defined, but not necessarily based on gender.  And that could be a good thing.  I think that we need to view our relationships less in terms of gender, and more in terms of equality and some of these issues might get solved.

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