I’ve always taken an interest in romantic relationships, not so much as a participant, but as an observer. I want the logistics. I want to know how they function as individuals as well as how they function as a couple. I want to know how both parties define a successful partnership and what is detrimental to one. Unfortunately, however, I don’t encounter many couples who present any sense of partnership. When I do though, I definitely soak in all I can.
Last week, during an unnecessary trip to Wal-Mart, my sister and I found ourselves standing in the middle of the supercenter for two hours. We were running our mouths. We had run into one of our cousins and her husband of over a decade. Midway through, the conversation turned into one about marriage. I was all ears. Finally, after years of me wanting this type of sit-down with them, it finally happened, only we weren’t sitting [Lol].
So, of course, the topic that spearheaded our conversation is one that is ongoing on social media, the infamous 50/50 debate. If you’re unfamiliar, the 50/50 debate questions whether couples should split the cost of living. This argument is heteronormative in the sense that it stems from the traditional belief that the man is supposed to cover all expenses. Anyhow, my cousin made it clear that she was on the traditional side of the debate. I found it interesting that her husband agreed with my “new age” perspective and simultaneously supported her beliefs. The more they talked, the more enthralled I became. After telling us how he did cute and considerate things like cutting up her food for her, I literally uttered the word “goals”.
I won’t go into too many more details about our conversation, because I don’t want to put them out there like that. But, it was ultimately refreshing, not because they said everything I hoped they would, but because it was genuine. They didn’t tiptoe around any subject matter. It was like, “this is what it is, and this is how we approach” it. I felt as though I had one of my rare encounters of a true partnership. Even more so, it affirmed to me that there are no general, right rules for relationships. Individuals set standards that work for their partnership, and those standards are established and upheld through honest communication.