He slides into your DMs and you two get to chatting. Your first date is happy hour at the local oyster bar. The next date is floor seats at a Lizzo concert. Before you know it, you’re grabbing your ankles as Adina Howard’s “Freak Like Me” bumps in the background. You’re finally connecting with someone again and it feels really good — how did you get so lucky to find someone so sexy, smart, funny, and amazing in bed? You deserve! You invite him to Friendsgiving with your squad from college and all is going well until he says, with a smile, “Make sure you put extra macaroni and cheese on my plate, babe.”
You pause. You look around to see who else might be posing as “babe” today. Seeing no one else, you realize that your boo expects you to fix him a plate of food like he isn’t an able-bodied adult in need of no assistance with the mechanics of fixing one’s own plate. You can’t stop the incredulous “excuse me?!” before it escapes your lips. Bae looks at you confused and responds with a chuckle, “What? A man can’t get his plate fixed?”
You quickly glance around to make sure no one else can hear this exchange. You’ve only been dating a few months and you’re not in any type of kinky/ BDSM dynamic, so you’re not sure why he even expects this. He follows you on Twitter and Instagram, so he’s well aware of your women’s empowerment work. You thought he was “woke” and was down to fight the patriarchy with you, but now? You’re not so sure. To avoid making a scene, you fix the plate, but for the rest of the evening, you’re feeling some kind of way. While this might work for others, this isn’t what you had in mind when it comes to being in a serious relationship. Who knows? Maybe it was just a one-time thing.
A lot of us grew up hearing about “tradition” as it relates to dating and marriage — men do this, women do that, and that’s just how it is. Little to no consideration for queer identity or relationships that exist outside of this tradition. From childhood, we were inundated with pretty narrow, heteronormative ideas about gender roles and responsibilities within romantic relationships that have…