Some facts before we get started: 1) I’m a man 2) I wear an engagement ring 3) Why is your face doing that thing?
Most of my previous relationships involved a lot of codependence, gendered chivalry, and emotional suppression – which have all become kind of relational norms for men – so the fact that there aren’t many things about my relationship with my fiancée that I would classify as “societally traditional” is an incredible relief for me. I’m grateful to have a partner who has encouraged me to question fundamental aspects of my personality and how I viewed relationships. I’m grateful to have a partner who has been an example for me to become more self-aware and more comfortable and eloquent about having and expressing my emotions, both negative and positive. And I am most grateful to her for introducing me to, and challenging me to internalize, the core ideas of feminism and the societal problems around gender and racial inequality. She’s been instrumental, not to mention infinitely kind and patient, in my evolution toward the man I’ve always wanted to be and can finally be proud of.
I’m grateful to be in love with someone who I can refer to as a “partner”.
Some of the most surprising things for people to comprehend, I’ve found, are the circumstances and details of our engagement so I’d like to talk about those things because I think they’re not only really cool for us but also what I wish modern relationship norms looked more like.