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?