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  • Writer's pictureMandy Mee

Exploring the Value of Traditional Gender Roles in Relationships

Updated: Mar 21

Couples having tea

There is an ongoing discussion between men and women regarding their respective contributions in relationships. This debate has somewhat created a divide between some heterosexual individuals. One would agree it's a debate that can be avoided if both genders embrace the traditional roles that have been established over time, even though they may appear archaic to some.

In contemporary relationships, men are often expected to fulfil the role of the provider. Nevertheless, the advancements made through the first and second wave feminism have granted women the freedom to exercise their rights and pursue careers, while also maintaining their crucial role as the support system and influencer within the household.

Women can indeed, do both but only with a Man who stands firm in his masculinity and role as Provider and Protector. Otherwise, a Man whose masculinity is dormant will inevitably suppress his partners femininity and render her incapable of embracing her role in the relationship.

Here's how contemporary relationships have changed

Nuclear family

Gender roles have become fluid

Gender roles have become more fluid in contemporary relationships due to the ongoing process of social change and increased awareness of gender diversity. In the past, traditional gender roles were often rigidly defined, with men expected to be the breadwinners and women expected to be caregivers and homemakers.

However, as society has progressed, these roles have evolved to be more inclusive and flexible. Contemporary relationships now embrace a more egalitarian approach, where individuals have the freedom to express themselves beyond traditional gender norms. This shift is seen in various ways such as;

Sharing responsibilities: Couples are now more likely to share household chores, childcare, and financial responsibilities. There is a recognition that both partners can contribute equally to these areas, regardless of their gender.

Career Choices: Women are now more empowered to pursue careers traditionally dominated by men, and men are more open to taking on roles traditionally associated with women.

Emotional Expression: Men are now encouraged to express their emotions and vulnerability, challenging the notion that masculinity is synonymous with stoicism. This allows for more open and authentic communication within relationships.

Parenting Roles: Fathers are increasingly taking on an active role in parenting, embracing nurturing and caregiving responsibilities. This shift challenges the stereotype of the absent or distant father and promotes a more involved and balanced approach to parenting.

LGBTQ+ Relationships: The visibility and acceptance of LGBTQ+ relationships have also contributed to the fluidity of gender roles. Same-sex couples may not adhere to traditional gender roles at all, leading to a broader understanding of relationship dynamics.

Overall, the transition of contemporary relationships towards fluid gender roles reflects a growing recognition of individuality, equality, and the importance of personal choice. It allows for greater freedom in expressing one's identity.

Some may say it fosters healthier and more fulfilling relationships but I believe while that may be true, on the other side of the coin, you'll find that such fluidity promotes a substantial amount of "Busyness" that may affect the bond between couples whose relationship evolve like moving ships, causing them to drift apart.

Unhappy couples

There's a rise of CNM Relationships

Consensual non-monogamy (CNM) refers to relationships where all partners explicitly give consent to engage in romantic, intimate, and/or sexual relationships with multiple individuals. It's important to note that CNM is based on mutual agreement and should not be confused with infidelity. There are various forms of CNM, such as agreements that involve sexual relationships without romance, or relationships with three or more individuals who are romantically and sexually exclusive. Some common examples of CNM, also known as ethical non-monogamy, include polyamory, polyandry, open relationships, and swinging relationships.

Dating apps offers a diverse pool

We can all agree dating app has created a more diverse pool of options unlike the old days where meeting prospects were limited to our social circles, schools, neighbourhoods and mutual friendships.

Although dating apps has made it easier for singles to expand their reach and date outside their comfort zone, cultural backgrounds and social class, it does come with its own challenges. These challenges are even more of a reason why it's important for its users to be honest about relationship expectations from the onset and most especially the type of relationship they're looking for.

In traditional relationships where men fulfil the role of providers and protectors, men and women can experience several advantages

Here's how women benefit from a Traditional Relationship.

Financial Security

Women in traditional relationships often benefit from the financial stability provided by their partner. This can alleviate financial stress and allow them to focus on other aspects of their lives, such as personal growth, pursuing education or career goals, or raising a family.

Stability and Support

Men who fulfil the role of providers often offer emotional stability and support to their partners. They can be a reliable source of guidance, strength, and protection, creating a sense of security within the relationship.

Shared Responsibilities

In traditional relationships, men as providers not only contribute financially but also take on responsibilities such as home maintenance, car repairs, and other practical tasks. This division of labor can create a balanced and harmonious partnership, allowing both partners to thrive in their respective roles.

Pursuing Personal Interests

With a provider partner, women may have more freedom and flexibility to pursue their personal interests, hobbies, or career aspirations. The financial support provided by their partner can give them the opportunity to invest time and resources into their own development and fulfilment which in turn, is a benefit to the family.

Cultural and Personal Preference

For some women, adhering to traditional gender roles and dynamics holds cultural or personal significance. Traditional relationships can provide a sense of belonging and familiarity, aligning with their values and beliefs. It is important to note that these advantages may vary depending on individual circumstances and preferences. Every relationship is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Ultimately, the choice of relationship model should be based on mutual consent, respect, and the fulfilment of both partners' needs.

And some ways in which women contribute to the relationship to the man's benefit

Emotional Support

Women often provide emotional support to their partners, creating a nurturing and caring environment within the relationship. They offer understanding, empathy, and a listening ear, helping their partners navigate challenges, providing a strong emotional connection.

Household Management

While men may take on the role of primary provider, women often manage the household and take care of daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, organising, and childcare. Their efforts contribute to the smooth running of the household, creating a comfortable and welcoming space for both partners.

Relationship Maintenance

Women play a crucial role in maintaining the health and longevity of the relationship. They often prioritise communication, express their needs, and work towards resolving conflicts. Their emotional intelligence and ability to foster intimacy and connection contribute to the overall well-being of the partnership.

Parenting and Family Life

Women often take on the primary caregiver role in traditional relationships, nurturing and raising children. They provide love, guidance, and support to their children, ensuring their well-being and development. Women's dedication to family life fosters a strong sense of unity and creates a nurturing environment for the entire family.

Personal Growth and Fulfilment

In traditional relationships, women have the opportunity to pursue personal growth and fulfilment outside of their role as a nurturer. They can focus on their own interests, education, career, or personal development, contributing to their own well-being and ultimately enhancing the overall quality of the relationship. It is important to recognise that these contributions are not limited to traditional gender roles and can vary in different relationships. The value that women bring to relationships extends beyond their role as care-givers, and their contributions are essential for the overall happiness and success of the partnership.

Traditional family

Ultimately, Traditional gender roles exist to distribute the work that needs to be done for the fulfilment of the family and society as a whole. A traditional relationship allows women to fully embrace their femininity, creating a peaceful atmosphere in the household. Regardless of how contemporary relationships have evolved, if you want a partner who shares your traditional values, be expressive about your expectations. Pretending to conform to an ideology that contradicts your values, just to please your love interest or allowing attraction cloud your judgement, inevitably leads to wasted time and money.

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