I think many of us can agree that the world of relationships and dating can be a little messed up sometimes. Emotions run high, societal expectations get in the way, lifestyles clash, and nosy friends constantly give you unwanted advice. Here are some common assumptions regarding relationships that bother me the most.
#5. You’re together, so you and your partner must be having sex.
Yes, I get that for the majority of couples, this is the norm, but just because you and all of your friends are sexually active, doesn’t mean that every man and woman you meet will be. Either way, what someone is doing with their partner is none of your business. Making assumptions about someone’s private life is just not cool, so don’t do it.
#4. Girls are clingy because they’re girls, guys are emotionally distant because they’re guys.
I am so tired of hearing stupid jokes about how random girl #1 must be soooo sad that she hasn’t seen her partner in four days, while random guy #2 just needs some alone time to play video games. Can we stop dividing relationship issues along gendered lines? Sure, there’s usually going to be one person in the relationship who wants more alone time than the other, but it won’t always be the more female one. I’ve dated guys who’ve positively smothered me with attention, while others have been perfectly happy to disappear for five days straight when some video game sequel was released. In one case, I was the distant one, in the other, my partner was. It all had to do with our personalities, not our genders.
#3. Guys want to have sex all the time, girls have to be convinced.
Just because someone is male, doesn’t mean they are always up for sexual activity. Sometimes they just don’t feel like it, sometimes they want to wait, sometimes they have personal moral limits, and sometimes they aren’t interested. So just because you have your sights on that fine man in the bar, doesn’t mean you can take what you want. Consent matters. It matters when a guy is pursuing a girl, and it matters when a girl is pursuing a guy.
Seriously, this is so important so I am just going to repeat it: consent matters.
On the other side of the coin, just because a girl is sleeping with someone, doesn’t mean she was coerced into it. Sometimes girls want sex, sometimes they (*gasp*) even want it more than their partners! Moral? People are individuals, not gender stereotypes.
#2. People cheat because monogamy isn’t practical, it’s just the way it is.
No, scumbags who aren’t brave enough to end a failing relationship cheat. The rest of us dump our current partner and find a new one. Or, if we decide that monogamy is not for us, we find partners who are totally fine with a bit of polygamy, instead of putting our partners through hell by trying to convince them that they really want a lifestyle that they know they don’t actually want.
#1. We owe our faithful partners (or anyone else who is nice enough to find us attractive) sexual intimacy.
No, just no. You do not owe ANYONE sexual intimacy. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dating someone for a year, if you’ve been married for 10 years, or if you’ve started hooking up at a bar. If you decide you don’t want to do something, then you have the right to refuse to do it. This applies if
- you’ve been dating a really great person for awhile, but you still want to wait
- if you’ve been sexually active with someone for awhile, but want to slow down for a bit
- if you’ve had kids together and feel that you need some alone time
- if you’ve gone home with some random and decided that you don’t really want to sleep with them
- etc …
NO MATTER WHAT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES ARE, if you don’t want to, you are not obligated to, and don’t let your partner make you feel guilty for saying no. Just because they’ve been nice to you, haven’t cheated on you, or bought you dinner, doesn’t mean you owe them anything. You are not a machine where someone inputs “nice things” and you output sex. You’re a human being.
So, that’s my list of relationship stereotype pet peeves. What are yours?