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Is it the man’s job to keep romance alive?

We’re supposed to be a gender equal society today.  Women are supposed to treated as equal to men.  They are entitled to have careers, live the way they want to live, and don’t you dare assume that a woman can’t do something a man can.  There (allegedly) is no such thing as man’s job or a woman’s job any longer.  That would be sexist.

So why is it that men are still expected to keep the romance alive in relationships?  Every once in a while, I’m prodded by my lovely wife to do something romantic for her.  I really don’t understand a woman’s need for romance, but every time she does this I can’t help but think:  why is this my job to keep romance in the relationship?  She likes to be surprised with flowers or some other small act that to remind her that I love her.  Apparently, telling her and stopping her as we pass in the house to give her a hug and a kiss don’t suffice.

The problem is, I don’t think about these things.  It’s not that I don’t want to do romantic things for my wife, but on my way home from work it never occurs to me to stop somewhere and pick up a rose or some such.  I really am just concerned with getting home just as fast as I can so I can see her and, more importantly, my children.  Once I’m home, I’m normally home for the evening.  After a long day at work I don’t feel like going back out.  Moreover, even if I wanted to go out and buy her a small gift or flowers I wouldn’t be able to.  If I try to go shopping she always tags along.  Not that I mind, but if she’s with me I definitely won’t be able to surprise her with anything.  So I’m not sure how she wants me to do this.

I can’t help but think every time she lightly berates me for not being romantic; why is this my job?  Why is it solely my responsibility to keep romance alive?  When do I get surprised with flowers or something else more suitable to my tastes?  When are romantic things done for me?  Not that I expect or need them, but fair’s fair.

I love my wife dearly, and I know that I need to make a conscious effort to do these things, as they make her happy.  And I do want her to be happy.  I hope she knows how much I love her even though I evidently don’t show it often enough for her tastes.  Life is hectic with an infant, and her needs honestly don’t occur to me very often when there’s a 1-year old whose needs are more pressing and abundant occupies the majority of my time.  And maybe it’s slightly selfish, but what time I do have (when he’s asleep, for example) I try to keep for myself in an attempt to salvage my sanity.  This is when I try to write, read, or just try to relax. I guess I’ll have to set myself random reminders on my phone to do these things.

Do you think it’s fair that the man is the only one expected to keep the flames of romance stoked?

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Is it the man’s job to keep romance alive?

  1. Love is a two-way street, my friend!

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    Posted by The Hook | January 26, 2012, 2:10 pm
  2. I will say I agree with you on this to some extent, but not entirely. Women aren’t ‘entitled’ to shit! Nor are the men. Everything is earned. And I mean everything. Think back to when you were dating. Everything that happened between the two of you happened because you were trying to earn her affection. And she was trying to earn the same. In life, men and women both try and earn their places in the workforce, in society, in everything. No one is entitled to anything. Save for children and such, but that goes without saying.

    But to hit on the subject at hand, you are probably right. It does seem like it falls on the mans part to keep the romance alive. But if you think about it, being a guy, how much of the romance is just lost on us men? I obviously don’t know the intricacies of your marriage, but in my relationships, the romance parts that I often overlooked were when my gf would do things like poke her head around the corner of the hallway, smile and say ‘I love you’. Or something as simple as preparing me a plate of whatever it was she had cooked for dinner, or coming up behind me when I was at the computer, wrapping her arms around my neck and kissing me on the neck. Things like that. I appreciated things like those, however it wasn’t until after the fact that I realized that was her way of being romantic for me, the way she thought I would want to be romanticized. Its all about perception, and beyond that, as men, we don’t readily pick up on things like that. We know we like them, but we don’t harbor the mental capacity to figure out on the spot, that is her way of being romantic for her man.

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    Posted by Happy Hooligan | February 24, 2012, 5:22 pm
    • You are probably more right than I know, but you still never hear about a woman having to keep the romance alive. That responsibility always seems to get assigned to the man.

      My wife occasionally will not so subtly hint that I need to do something romantic. I understand this is something she wants and likes, but it just baffles me that she wants me to do these things yet doesn’t do the same for me. I, of course don’t expect her to and just knowing that she loves me is enough for me. It’s all just so damned confusing.

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      Posted by twindaddy | February 25, 2012, 9:10 am

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