Relationship roles should be flexible

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There is no rule book telling men and women their defined roles in romantic relationships. 

As time changes society and culture, it alters the role for both sexes in relationships. 

To me, men and women, have traditionally always followed a non-official guideline when it comes to what responsibilities they take upon themselves in their different relationships. 

I noticed that men typically fulfilled the role as the authoritative figure, were the primary breadwinners and had the last say in conversations. 

Women were the nurturers. They fulfilled the balance needed to counteract the stubbornness of men and were the emotional structure that dictated the mood within the relationship. 

Unfortunately, society ran with these ideas for centuries and they eventually became the stereotypes for both sexes. Our culture embraced these ideas so well that they became the expectations both men and women were supposed to live by. If either sex failed to live within these boundaries, society immediately placed judgment upon them for being different from everyone else.

In today’s world, traditional romantic relationships have become retro and old-fashioned. Society is all about changing those aspects and seeking evolution. 

I have noticed that men are starting to acknowledge their feminine traits while the women acknowledge their masculine traits. In today’s world, you can see more stay at home dads and men who portray a touchy-feely personality in comparison to women who deal with the discipline and courtship decisions.  

Can a man still hold on to his man-card while participating in something feminine or can a woman fit the macho-man description? 

My answer to these questions is yes. 

“Neither men nor women are all a certain way, and society is now allowing people to openly allow their personalities to show, which is a great thing,” Shanelle McArthur, a senior communication major from St. George, said. 

If a man wants to think outside of the box by planning a date for his partner that would resemble a female’s touch, then I say go for it.  What is wrong with planning a candlelit dinner with beautiful music in the background that sits as a precursor for a chick-flick? My wife would love it. 

If a woman feels she needs to make tough decisions because her partner can’t, then all the power to her.

Dannelle Larsen-Rife, an assistant professor in the psychology department, said, “[As an example], it’s more acceptable now for women to ask men out on dates [and] for women proposing marriage to men.”

Shelby Yung, a senior communication major from Upland, California, said it should be normal for men in relationships to show emotion. Yung said she knows some women who want their men to have a sensitive side and be willing to talk about how they feel.

“It doesn’t make me think of men any differently if [they are] emotional or want to share [their] feelings,” Yung said.

For some people, like myself or Ross Salanoa, a junior CIT major from Laie, Hawaii, we grew up under a traditional relationship between our parents. Our dads were the ones that worked in the business world while maintaining order and control at home. Our mothers watched out and cared for the well-being of the children, while being emotionally supportive to every individual in the family.

The traditional roles for men and women have their good and bad aspects. I believe each couple ought to find what works best for them in each and every situation. Maybe it is necessary for the female to work because the male can’t find work or for the male to show compassion and tenderness in a difficult time for the woman. 

Salanoa said: “Every situation is different; when I got married, I had initially thought that I would always work and my wife would stay at home with the kids. [Due to attending school, I] kind of had to take a step back and [let my] wife go back to work.” 

Whatever style or balance a couple has, they need to make it work because each relationship is different. Roles should be defined but flexible at the same time.