Traits of the Equal Relationship

scales-equality

Many people hope that their relationship or marriage will be one that is mutually supportive — a relationship of equals. Less actually achieve an equal partnership because they or their relationship lack the essential traits to support a mutual relationship.

What are some of the basic features of an equal relationship or marriage, and an equal partner? Ideas about equality in relationships vary, but what follows is a compilation of the most mentioned traits from studies, surveys, and polls across the world.

  • Conflict

It may come as a surprise that conflict is found in the most equitable relationships. But shouldn’t these relationships have the least conflict? Not really.

Conflict in itself is not what promotes equality — it is the ability to accept and manage conflict that creates an equal partnership. If one partner refuses to discuss their differences or is unskilled at handling conflict, the other half will be forced to compromise for the sake of the relationship. This may happen several times in the course of a relationship, and inequality is created.

  • Androgyny

Research has found that a combination of masculine and feminine traits in both partners helps in creating equality. In addition, androgyny is correlated with overall marital satisfaction.

Androgyny makes one more comfortable with expressing or taking on roles typically assigned to the other gender. A male partner, for example, will see no issue in expressing his feelings directly, or helping out with household chores.

  • Belief in Nurture

One aspect that has been found repeatedly in equally, mutually satisfying relationships is a belief that nurture plays a stronger role in creating human personality and behavior than does nature. In other words, few “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” supporters find themselves in equal relationships.

A fundamental part of establishing an equal relationship is the believing that men and women aren’t locked into different, unequal mindsets and skills. It is easy for a guy to dismiss his partner’s feelings as unimportant if he believes that women are innately over-emotional.

  • Accommodating/Mirroring

equal-partnersAlthough conflict is essential to an equal partnership, it is necessary for partners to harmonize and become in tune with the other and their experience. Mirroring occurs when you mimic the expressions, attitude, communication, and other aspects of another person.

Accommodation and mirroring feed into each other; one creates more of the other. Once you see something from another’s point of view, the give-and-take of an equal relationship naturally follows. But accommodating shouldn’t be done by one partner only — doing so creates the opposite result: inequality.

  • Listening

Listening is crucial to any healthy relationship. But listening doesn’t mean simply following what the other person is saying.

In order to create an equal relationship, both partners must listen to the other and try to understand their viewpoint. In doing so, both learn how to better meet their partner’s needs. Listening is a seemingly simple, but very effective and essential step towards creating a mutually supportive relationship.

  • Timing/Mental Health

Even if a relationship contains all of the above ingredients, an equal relationship will not be established unless the relationship is formed at the right time and partners are mentally fit.

Relationships formed early on are less likely to be equal. Everyone needs time to adjust to the boundaries of a committed relationship, and that takes time. And if a person is not comfortable with themselves and their identity and is insecure, a relationship becomes one of parenting — an unequal relationship.

Equality in relationships is beneficial to both men and women. Those in equal partnerships are more intimate, less depressed, and have greater satisfaction with themselves and their relationship. They may be hard to create, but the benefits of an equal relationship are plenty and long-lasting.

What do you think helps create an equal, mutually beneficial relationship?

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24 thoughts on “Traits of the Equal Relationship

  1. I think this is basically it, yes. Some people would say you need similar interests (books, movies, music), but I don’t think it’s that important, at least not in the long run. Strangely enough, similar personalities aren’t necessary for a stable relationship either. But you do have to be COMPATIBLE and willing to communicate. I know it sounds cheesy, but I think it’s true.

    Oh, and I agree with the last point. Sadly, some people do meet to early, in the wrong moment. And some meet to late.

  2. Mira,

    “Some people would say you need similar interests (books, movies, music), but I don’t think it’s that important, at least not in the long run.”

    Maybe for an interesting/engaging relationship, but I don’t think that’s integral to an equal relationship.

    “Strangely enough, similar personalities aren’t necessary for a stable relationship either. But you do have to be COMPATIBLE and willing to communicate. I know it sounds cheesy, but I think it’s true.”

    It’s true that you have to be compatible, not necessarily similar. Communication is key, cliche, but true. I learned that the hard way.

    “Oh, and I agree with the last point. Sadly, some people do meet to early, in the wrong moment. And some meet to late.”

    Yes. I hate when that happens.

  3. Oh you did write about it! *beams my best smile at Alee*

    I think hubby and I have a pretty equal relationship, It comes with his culture that he makes an effort to treat me as an equal and not just a cook and baby-maker.

    Conflict

    Well. We do fight, Actually I do most of the fighting lol. I like to throw and break things, but he’s so used to it nowadays that he lets me have my little rants because I make up with super special sex.

    But when he gets pissed he lets me know as well 🙂

    He’s generally lets me have my way on the little stuff but if he feels strongly enough about a thing, he will argue for it quite well and we usually come to some kind of agreement.

    Androgyny

    I think its more in how he was raised than he’s being feminine. I can be one of the boys if needed lol.

    Belief in Nurture

    Very big in Sweden nowadays. A silly example, but if a boy wants to play with doll in kindergarten it’s encouraged. Anything boys can do girl can as well and the vice versa. Not locked into any roles at all.

    Accommodating/Mirroring

    Hey we do that all the time I think, just but not thinking. sometimes I give in on stuff and sometimes he does it. At least it feels like that when I think now. He lets me most often get my way on little things though because he’s sweet like that.

    Listening

    I’m the talker in our relationship lol. Really he can be very quiet and just like to think thing over before talking while I spout out whatever I might have on my mind at the time.

    Agree, its important to know how your partner feels.

    Timing/Mental Health

    I guess we met at the right place and right time. Did not get married right away but had just lots of fun until he pretty much said “wanna get married?” and I’m like why not, mom is always wondering when I should come home and marry a nice Zulu man anyway so I might as well get her off my back lol.

    I think that is important for every relationship though.

    I think the main part about finding a guy who you can have a “equal” relationship with is looking at his family as well. If he come from a more traditional family he might not be open to having one and have a more set view on how a family should look, not taking any “crap” as it were from a mere woman who just wants her voice to be heard.

    You should not be a leech on your partner, carry your own weight is quite important. You know how doctors often marries nurses? That relationship most of the time is not equal I would think.

    It’s sad though to see people diss these kind of relationships, I have heard middle eastern girls and black girls here say for example Swedish guys ain’t manly enough because they can’t stand up for themselves meaning that their women ain’t women you push around.

    Not that every relationship is equal in Sweden, it’s not (men will be men) but I think there’s quite a few here and I think a lot of our friends are in these kind of relationship as well.

  4. Nkosazana,

    “Oh you did write about it! *beams my best smile at Alee*”

    Yes, it’s for you and Bunny. A lot of research went into this post. 🙂

    “Well. We do fight, Actually I do most of the fighting lol. I like to throw and break things, but he’s so used to it nowadays that he lets me have my little rants because I make up with super special sex.”

    Lol!

    I guessed that you’d do most of the fighting. Your husband seems very nonchalant and laid-back; you can rarely get guys like that to fight with you, even when it’s necessary.

    “He’s generally lets me have my way on the little stuff but if he feels strongly enough about a thing, he will argue for it quite well and we usually come to some kind of agreement.”

    That’s good, because if it’s a one-sided conflict, that’s not equal either.

    ‘I think the main part about finding a guy who you can have a “equal” relationship with is looking at his family as well. If he come from a more traditional family he might not be open to having one’

    Yes, family and upbringing are really important. There are people that manage to go a different path from what they were taught, but many people repeat the same patterns.

    “You should not be a leech on your partner, carry your own weight is quite important.”

    Yes. But define “leech”. 🙂

    “It’s sad though to see people diss these kind of relationships, I have heard middle eastern girls and black girls here say for example Swedish guys ain’t manly enough because they can’t stand up for themselves”

    Well, considering the situations that many Middle Eastern and black women are in when they marry men from their cultures…

  5. These are on point, I’m always reading up on relationship articles and studies. I have also read the book “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus”…lol. It is so refreshing that you wrote about Timing/Mental health, so many people won’t touch on this because most people don’t want to look in the mirror and fix themselves. Great read. 🙂

  6. Yes, it’s for you and Bunny. A lot of research went into this post. 🙂

    Hey it’s not that bad, now you know exactly what to look for 🙂

    I guessed that you’d do most of the fighting. Your husband seems very nonchalant and laid-back

    Haha, Accentually he finds it cute when I’m on my temper tantrum. He told me that once and now whenever “we” fight I justs think about that and get even more pissed off lol.

    Yes. But define “leech”. 🙂

    Pretty much not contributed to the household as much as your partner. I admit I don’t make as much money as hubby, but my job ain’t exactly as prestige filled as his. But it’s enough to make more than the average Swede.

    Must be hard to have a “equal relationship” in such a environment where one is the main cash-cow.

    Well, considering the situations that many Middle Eastern and black women are in when they marry men from their cultures…

    I know right. Heck it’s even dangerous for a Swedish guy to date a Middle Eastern girl here.

  7. OMG, it’s Nikisha and her fabulous hair and style! Welcome, Nikisha.

    🙂

    ‘I have also read the book “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus”…lol.’

    Lol is the right reaction. 😉

    “It is so refreshing that you wrote about Timing/Mental health, so many people won’t touch on this because most people don’t want to look in the mirror and fix themselves.”

    Yup. You could do all these things, but if it’s not the right time and you’re not in the right place mentally, it will all basically be for nothing.

  8. Nkosazana,

    “Haha, Accentually he finds it cute when I’m on my temper tantrum. He told me that once and now whenever “we” fight I justs think about that and get even more pissed off lol.”

    Lol! Many guys find it cute or sexy when their partner is mad. I just think “as long as you don’t take it too far…”

    “Pretty much not contributed to the household as much as your partner…Must be hard to have a “equal relationship” in such a environment where one is the main cash-cow.”

    Well, monetarily, most women don’t make as much as their husbands. But they contribute in other ways.

    I also want to add that just because you’re relationship is unequal, doesn’t mean it’s unstable or unhealthy! There is a well-known blogger who is a stay-at-home mom while her husband brings in all of the money and gives her some for whatever she needs. They’re very happy together and I would say her relationship is stable and healthy, even though it’s slightly unequal.

  9. I also want to add that just because you’re relationship is unequal, doesn’t mean it’s unstable or unhealthy!

    Yes of course! everyone should have the kind of relationship that they want. Nothing wrong with it.

  10. Many people want the ideal ratio of 50/50 or 100/100 in a relationship but few get it. On any given day the relationship is unequal because energy levels or belief systems based on unique prior experiences being what they are…80/20, 60/40, 30/70 could easily be the reality. But not all the time for the same person. Although a lot of times in history women have had to be the compromisers and the ones that swallow their pride to keep a marriage going.

    All the marriages that end because of a man’s infidelity these days would have been the long-term stable marriages of yesteryear if today’s woman swallowed her pride and hurt feelings by staying in.

    Unfortunately the talk of equality in relationships hasn’t really required men change much of anything, because women are still the ones trying to “get” and “keep” a husband…way more women of any given age ready to become a Mrs. than there are men of the same age willing to make them one…as long as that supply and demand curve isn’t bent in women’s favor, we have things starting out on a base of inequality. Minor exceptions might be Jessica Rabbit marriages (where the woman is supremely out of the man’s league and everybody, including him, knows it), and marriages of convenience (where both parties have something the other not only wants, but need and can’t get without marriage to the other party).

  11. Eloquence,

    “On any given day the relationship is unequal because energy levels or belief systems based on unique prior experiences being what they are…80/20, 60/40, 30/70 could easily be the reality.”

    This is true. Overall, though, the ratio should be closer to 50/50. If it’s an equal relationship, that is.

    “All the marriages that end because of a man’s infidelity these days would have been the long-term stable marriages of yesteryear if today’s woman swallowed her pride and hurt feelings by staying in.”

    Would such marriages really be stable, though? If a man is constantly cheating, that is putting the marriage in jeopardy. Who is to say he doesn’t fall for one of his mistresses? And the relationship wouldn’t be a healthy one, for sure, regardless of how long it lasted.

    I wouldn’t advocate a woman to take any kind of foolish behavior from a man just to have him. That is setting up inequality.

    ‘Unfortunately the talk of equality in relationships hasn’t really required men change much of anything, because women are still the ones trying to “get” and “keep” a husband…’

    It doesn’t require anything from women, either… If a woman is bending over backwards to get or keep a man, while the man isn’t putting in any effort, that is an unequal relationship. Such a woman might have a relationship, but it won’t be equal.

  12. Men hardly make moves that aren’t required to get them the woman though, so often if she takes the minimum a man wants to dish, things never move forward…close mouths don’t get fed and all that. And as Chris Rock so hilariously put it, “if a man could get sex living in a cardboard box, he’d NEEEEVER buy a house!” 🙂

  13. Alee, thanks for writing this! Like I said, I had to do some thinking about it before I answered. For most of my 20s, I had a totally different idea about what equality in relationships supposedly meant… now, I think I see it in the way you posted.

    Like Nkosazana did, I’ll address each point.

    * Conflict

    I’m not afraid of conflict at all, although I certainly don’t want to have much of it! I try to minimize it when I can, while understanding that any two human beings in a relationship are going to have conflict!

    I once was involved with a very passive-aggressive man, and it was horrible. While I understand that one might not want to address an issue at a certain point, this guy took it to a whole other level — one that almost felt dangerous in its execution.

    With the hubster, I think he knows that I’m generally an agreeable person, and like you mentioned, he even kinda laughs or makes light of a situation when I’m upset (as in, he thinks it’s cute). I’ll usually respond with something pretty sarcastic and somewhat mean, and then he knows, “Uh oh, she’s really upset. Better deal with this.”

    But we work it out. He’s willing to talk things out, table it for a short period and pick which battles are worth fighting. I think I am as well. He understands that I’m pretty reasonable and if I am angry about something, there’s likely a rational explanation for it (even if he disagrees with it). I think our ability to handle conflict works because our personalities are pretty similar and we can deal with something without either person “flying off the handle.”

    * Androgyny
    I had never thought about this one before, but I find it to be true. I like to cook, but I’ve seemingly attracted men who really enjoy cooking as well. Hubby is a “guy’s guy” around his friends, but at home with me, he indulges me in my silliness and cutesy stuff and doesn’t feel like he’s too “manly” to deal with me in that manner.

    We both do housework as well. Now, he admits that he might have me do more of the baby stuff when that time comes — as we’ve talked about me possibly staying home for a while — but I know he wants to be involved with spending time with kids and being an active father, not just the guy who brings home the bacon and rarely speaks to the kids.

    * Belief in Nurture
    See above. I remember that passive-aggressive guy said early on that he found most women to be pretty irrational, and I was an exception. Of course, when I got angry with him, I suddenly became part of that irrational female horde. (rolling eyes). Hmmm, dude, seeing that you’ve never been able to establish a lasting relationship in your 40 years on Earth, maybe YOU are the problem?

    I knew the next time around, I couldn’t be with a man who held gender-based perceptions of behavior.

    * Accommodating/Mirroring

    I think we are excellent at this. I really like that he attempts to see things from my perspective. I’ve found this to be a difficult thing for many people to do. (And was the downfall of another past dating experience. The guy said, “I listen to all opinions, but ultimately, I still believe I’m right.” No wonder he was divorced twice!)

    * Listening

    Also see above! I will say that I’ve had to learn in general that a lot of men — even if they do want to listen — have said that they don’t do well listening to a woman talk for a somewhat lengthy period of time about a certain situation. Short and to the point works well for them, lol.

    * Timing/Mental Health

    I think that for women in particular, this is the biggest lesson to be learned. How many of us have mentioned how we met a GREAT guy, but nothing happened because… he was still in school, he lost his job, he got divorced recently and isn’t ready to be serious again yet, he’s moving, etc.

    I find that men, usually, want to really have all of their personal ducks in a row before deciding to seek out a serious partner. This doesn’t mean they won’t date, but I’ve seen many a perceived great match fail because the timing is off.

    Women seem to be more into the “throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may” approach to relationships, feeling that love can conquer all and that you don’t throw away a good thing if you’ve found it. Which is why I think a lot of us get hurt when a man we think feels the same way can just walk away when the timing is wrong.

    I really paid attention to this when I was ready to enter into a serious relationship that I hoped would lead to marriage. Some folks (usually women) thought I was being unfair to not give a particular guy “a chance” just because XYZ, but I really looked for a man who seemed equally ready (emotionally, financially, mentally, socially) for a relationship before deciding to date seriously.

  14. Hi Bunny — you made it! 😉

    “I’m not afraid of conflict at all, although I certainly don’t want to have much of it! I try to minimize it when I can, while understanding that any two human beings in a relationship are going to have conflict!”

    I understand — I’ve dated guys who were the same way. But severe conflict avoidance in a partner is something I’m not too fond of. Primarily because conflict avoidance in these cases doesn’t have to mean you’re avoiding conflict; it just means you’re avoiding having outward conflict. In your heart and mind, you can be as angry at the person as ever.

    And something I read in one of the studies that really stuck with me is that in an equal relationship there are two voices and these two voices won’t always agree. But what’s important is that they are both heard.

    “I remember that passive-aggressive guy said early on that he found most women to be pretty irrational, and I was an exception. Of course, when I got angry with him, I suddenly became part of that irrational female horde. (rolling eyes)”

    Lol!

    When guys make generalizing statements like that about gender, it’s a bit of a red flag… orange-red. Because I know that his personality likely won’t mesh well with mine.

    “The guy said, “I listen to all opinions, but ultimately, I still believe I’m right.” ‘

    Well, he’s being honest. 😀

    So many people think like this, but they won’t let you know about it.

    “I really looked for a man who seemed equally ready (emotionally, financially, mentally, socially) for a relationship before deciding to date seriously.”

    That’s good. I’m starting to pay more attention to this as well. I usually look at things more holistically, but I should start looking at where a guy is in different aspects of life.

  15. Better late than never, right? 🙂

    But severe conflict avoidance in a partner is something I’m not too fond of. Primarily because conflict avoidance in these cases doesn’t have mean you’re avoiding conflict; it just means you’re avoiding having outward conflict. In your heart and mind, you can be as angry at the person as ever.

    Exactly. The fact that passive-aggressive guy avoided outward conflict didn’t mean that the conflict went away. Oh no. In fact, it made it worse. I completely understand that one wants to avoid a yelling and screaming match (although that’s not my style anyway), but if one does the “freeze” tactic, I find that to be much worse.

    That’s what passive-aggressive guy attempted to do with me, although I flipped the switch and packed my stuff and went to stay with my parents for the weekend. He thought I was just going to hang around until he was ready to talk! Ha.

    But I’ve heard women say that their boyfriends/husbands will simply decide to not talk to them over an extended period of time (a weekend up to a week). So said women will share the same space with a man, cook dinner, share a bed, etc., and the man will not even acknowledge her. That is so much worse than just letting the outward conflict happen naturally and then moving on.

    When guys make generalizing statements like that about gender, it’s a bit of a red flag… orange-red. Because I know that his personality likely won’t mesh well with mine.

    It definitely became something I noticed in interactions with men in the future. I had, at the time, written the guy’s statement off because most of his male friends were divorced and he had seen/heard it all, so I thought he was taking up for his friends more than anything.

    Instead, perhaps his friends rubbed off on him too much.

    Another orange-red flag I should have noticed from this guy was his reaction to his married brother’s statement about marriage constantly requiring work. The guy I was dating said, “That really doesn’t sound very appealing.”

    Now, with all of the knowledge I can share about married life six months in (LOL), I don’t find it to be “work” in an unpleasant way. It’s more about adjustment and learning how to become a unit, versus being autonomous. But it’s rather enjoyable, as both of us have found. The fact that my ex had such a negative reaction to his brother mentioning that he brought coffee to his wife every morning and that it had become like habit for them should have given me another clue.

    Actually, a friend of that ex, who had friended me on Facebook and never removed me, later told me privately by Facebook chat that his friend was such an a__hole for dropping me, but he wasn’t surprised. He always had a way of screwing up a good thing.

    (Sorry, I think I’ve gone off topic here!)


    Well, he’s being honest. 😀 So many people think like this, but they won’t let you know about it.

    Yes, he was indeed honest! The problem here though was that when he was listening to his partner’s point of view, he had no intention of really evaluating it to determine whether or not she had a point worth considering. So speaking with him was almost useless, really. I remember too when he was talking about his ex-wife, he brought up how much they argued and how she wasn’t very understanding of certain things happening in his life.

    That might have been true, but I bet his “I’m always right” attitude probably drove her mad and fueled their conflict!

    His honesty about that situation though, was the reason I didn’t entertain him when he showed up in my life two years later “ready” to try for a more serious relationship. I couldn’t deal with a man who was going to enter every situation fully believing that no point of view that conflicted with his own deserved consideration!

    That’s good. I’m starting to pay more attention to this as well. I usually look at things more holistically, but I should start looking at where a guy is in different aspects of life.

    It’s hard, because I think it goes against everything we’ve been led to believe about relationships. That two people are so well-matched, so perfect when they interact with each other, so much “in love,” that they have to end up together and live happily every after, right?

    WRONG!

    This explains why, when I met a guy who had completed undergrad and was taking some time off to chill before law school, this situation went nowhere. I was so mad at HIM because he said he didn’t feel he had anything to offer me because I had, “a master’s degree and a career,” although I told him I completely didn’t care where he was at that moment in life. (He played up my degrees, not me… I mentioned it in passing once when he asked why I had lived in Chicago for a few years.)

    It didn’t matter that I accepted him as the not-yet-in-law-school guy with a lot of potential. He wasn’t ready.

    Same with divorced guy… although he came back to attempt to pursue me, it took TWO years! By then, I had totally moved on (and wouldn’t have been interested anyway).

    There are even books and studies that mention the age ranges in which a man is most likely to marry/seek a serious LTR, and suggests that women who want to marry look at men in those groups.

    Sad in a way that romance takes a back seat to cruel reality, but if it was all about feelings alone, I probably could have married wanna-be lawyer guy a long time ago!

  16. Bunny,

    “Exactly. The fact that passive-aggressive guy avoided outward conflict didn’t mean that the conflict went away. Oh no. In fact, it made it worse.

    Bingo.

    When you hold your negative feelings inside, they tend to become worse. What was a minor spat can become a deal-breaker.

    “I’ve heard women say that their boyfriends/husbands will simply decide to not talk to them over an extended period of time (a weekend up to a week). So said women will share the same space with a man, cook dinner, share a bed, etc., and the man will not even acknowledge her.”

    Lolwhut? 🙂

    I don’t think I’d be able to deal with that. The silent treatment for a little while is one thing, that’s something else entirely.

    “with all of the knowledge I can share about married life six months in (LOL), I don’t find it to be “work” in an unpleasant way. It’s more about adjustment and learning how to become a unit, versus being autonomous.”

    You’ve only been married for six months? Could have fooled me into thinking it was six years! You two seem happy and well-adjusted [to each other].

    And losing autonomy is what a lot of people fear. They worry that they’ll have to be glued to another person for the rest of their life.

    “(Sorry, I think I’ve gone off topic here!)”

    Nope. Learning how to work as a unit is definitely part of an equal relationship.

    ‘I remember too when he was talking about his ex-wife, he brought up how much they argued and how she wasn’t very understanding of certain things happening in his life.

    That might have been true, but I bet his “I’m always right” attitude probably drove her mad and fueled their conflict!’

    I’ll make that same bet.

    This guy sounds very familiar. Very. I was with a guy who was like that — complained about always arguing and me not being understanding, but he rarely entertained my point of view and always thought he knew better. So what did he think would happen?

    “There are even books and studies that mention the age ranges in which a man is most likely to marry/seek a serious LTR, and suggests that women who want to marry look at men in those groups. “

    Ooh, I’d be interested in reading those. They might be post-worthy — that sounds like useful information and would make a great discussion.

    ETA:

    “Better late than never, right? :)”

    “I know it’s late and I took all year/But you can stop complainin’ ’cause I’m finally here”. — Kanye West, ‘Late’

    🙂

  17. Bunny & Alee

    I can share about married life six months in

    Wow six month bunny! Congratulation 😀

    We’re coming up on 5 year anniversary soon. I wonder what he will get me.

    The silent treatment

    That silent treatment is not for me. Hubby can be a natural quiet person because, well hes Swedish and I’m a quite open person and very chatty. He talks but mostly listen to me talk. It works well in our relationship. I usually babble on for a while and he picks up on one sentence here and there and thinks it over before replying.

    People settle into roles quite fast I think in relationships. If you are going to have a equal relationship is clear after a while 🙂

    And losing autonomy is what a lot of people fear.

    I guess so. I think one good thing people can do is live together for a while to see if you work well together. Not to say you can’t luck out 🙂

  18. Oooh, I hate the silent treatment! That’s what my mother used to do (granted, not for that long period of time, but still). I hate, hate when people do it. My husband tried that a couple of times (well, a short silent treatment), but I went crazy. Literally. I got so upset he had to calm me down.

  19. Nkosazana,

    “We’re coming up on 5 year anniversary soon. I wonder what he will get me. “

    Ha. What are you getting him? Since this is a post about equal relationships and all. 🙂

    “People settle into roles quite fast I think in relationships. If you are going to have a equal relationship is clear after a while”

    You’re probably right about that. And I noticed that too about roles. It’s always interesting to see what role each person plays in a romantic relationship.

    “I think one good thing people can do is live together for a while to see if you work well together.”

    True enough. But cohabitation, for numerous reasons, can sometimes kill a perfectly fine relationship.

    Mira,

    Lol at you going crazy over the silent treatment. I don’t think I’ve ever “seen” you really upset.

  20. You’ve only been married for six months? Could have fooled me into thinking it was six years! You two seem happy and well-adjusted [to each other].

    You know, I feel silly talking about “marriage” on various message boards seeing that I haven’t been married very long and all… but I really think that in our case, we’ve always had a marriage mindset even when we had no partners in sight! I don’t think that has to do with age either (although I’m approaching mid-30s and he’s late 30s)… as much as I enjoyed dating and being single (heh heh, I did enjoy it), I always really saw myself being attracted to married life. He really did as well — his parents said that when he was growing up, he always talked about how he looked forward to having a family of his own, etc.

    So perhaps those traits made us fall comfortably into matrimony and give the impression that we’re veterans at this marriage thing! 🙂

    And losing autonomy is what a lot of people fear. They worry that they’ll have to be glued to another person for the rest of their life.

    I see this a lot from both genders. I almost hear it more from women than men. I think it’s implied as well when you hear other women advising a single woman in her 20s to “enjoy life!” “travel!” “party!” And I’m thinking, well certainly, if you are single, enjoy your life and don’t put your life on hold because you don’t have a partner, but you can travel, enjoy life and even party when you’re married too. Marriage isn’t death… in fact, you might enjoy doing the aforementioned things even more with a partner!

    Ooh, I’d be interested in reading those. They might be post-worthy — that sounds like useful information and would make a great discussion.

    The one book I remember off the top of my head is, “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others,” by John Molloy.

    This is not your usual dating book that says you should do this and be that to “catch a man.” (Although some reviewers on Amazon think it is). The author and his research team interviewed couples leaving marriage license bureaus to ask them and collected basic data on their relationships (age of marriage, educational level, previous marital status, etc.). Some were brought in for further interviews.

    In terms of “readiness,” it was found that men with advanced degrees often didn’t enter marriage-minded territory until a minimum age of 28. That didn’t mean they married at 28 en masse, but simply that 28 was the first age in which the researchers started to see a major climb in these men’s marriage rates.

    When I read this, it explained why I was striking out left and right with the mid-20 somethings I was dating at the time (I was also a mid-20 something.). It mentioned that ages 35-40 could also be a good range for highly educated men, especially in urban areas, but after 42 or so, it gets pretty unlikely for a never-married man to tie the knot.

    There are also tips about why some professional women in their 30s seemed more likely to marry than others. The 30-somethings who married began devoting more time and energy to the dating process (and spent less time giving Mr. Wrongs a chance), while those that finished the decade unmarried usually refused to take time away from work to hone their social lives and stuck around too long with men who had made it clear through their actions that they weren’t interested in marrying them.

    The biggest point of interest was that the vast majority of married women interviewed had made it clear to their partners that marriage was important to them and that marriage (and maybe children) were definitely a part of their futures.

  21. Wow six month bunny! Congratulation 😀

    We’re coming up on 5 year anniversary soon. I wonder what he will get me.

    Thank you, Nkosazana! And congratulations to you on five years! I can’t wait until we get to that point!

    Oooh, I hate the silent treatment! That’s what my mother used to do (granted, not for that long period of time, but still). I hate, hate when people do it. My husband tried that a couple of times (well, a short silent treatment), but I went crazy. Literally. I got so upset he had to calm me down.

    I would have gone crazy too, Mira! I cannot stand the silent treatment. I do understand that there are certain times when a man is not ready to talk and it’s good then to wait. For a little while. Like an hour or two. 😀

    BUT, if he is deliberately not talking for more than that, it’s like a punishment kind of tactic. And I don’t appreciate it… and it won’t happen in my home!!!

  22. Ha. What are you getting him? Since this is a post about equal relationships and all. 🙂

    Since you ask and I know he doesn’t read my blogs lol. I got two things for him. Not going to name the first thing you’ll have to guess for that, but it’s a fantasy of a lot of men that I haven’t dare to try.

    Whatever, I’m a married woman lol.

    But the second thing is, I saved up quite a bit of money (Cut down on my shopping 😦 ) and I’ll buy him a new very expensive watch. He had his old ticker for quite some time and its getting really worn lol. It’s an eye sore tbh.

    Anyway.

    You know, I feel silly talking about “marriage” on various message boards seeing that I haven’t been married very long and all…

    Hey you know quite a bit more about marriages than most single girls do 🙂

    you can travel, enjoy life and even party when you’re married too. Marriage isn’t death… in fact, you might enjoy doing the aforementioned things even more with a partner!

    Exactly! We kinda just got married and went on with out lives having a lot of fun. We did not even really settle in until 2 years go.

    Oh and yeah I’m with you Mira, I would hate that.

  23. Bunny,

    “perhaps those traits made us fall comfortably into matrimony and give the impression that we’re veterans at this marriage thing!”

    Oh, I could see that. You two do look very happy to be coupled up. 🙂

    ‘you hear other women advising a single woman in her 20s to “enjoy life!” “travel!” “party!” ‘

    I hope I’m not the only one who is not intrigued by talk of “enjoying life”. Because what I find enjoyable I quickly learned is not what most people find enjoyable…

    “Marriage isn’t death… in fact, you might enjoy doing the aforementioned things even more with a partner!”

    And I enjoy some things more with a partner.

    I will look up that book. Thanks for the synopsis.

    Nkosazana,

    “Not going to name the first thing you’ll have to guess for that, but it’s a fantasy of a lot of men that I haven’t dare to try.”

    In that case, I guess I can fill in the blanks. 😉

  24. Congratulations, Bunny! And Nkosazana for 5 years of marriage 🙂

    Alee,

    Lol at you going crazy over the silent treatment. I don’t think I’ve ever “seen” you really upset.

    Well, I guess it’s all down to online vs offline personality. When I’m upset, I don’t write online. And yes, I get upset pretty often IRL, and sometimes over stupid things other people don’t worry about.

    People often describe me as a person who’s always nervous and upset; somebody once described me as having Woody Allen charisma.

    Bunny,
    I would have gone crazy too, Mira! I cannot stand the silent treatment. I do understand that there are certain times when a man is not ready to talk and it’s good then to wait. For a little while. Like an hour or two. 😀

    No, no; he tried to do it for about half and hour or an hour. I don’t know. I got so upset after 10 minutes of it. I can be very irrational when I’m panicking.

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