I think we can all agree that romantic relationships have changed dramatically over the past 50 years.
A mere two generations ago relationships and marriage were rather vanilla. Couples were heterosexual, of the same race/ethnicity, religion, social/economic and political background – so much for diversity. Also, marital roles were fairly circumscribed – men were the breadwinners and women the homemakers. There were shared expectations about sex roles for men and women, which were primarily based on what constituted masculine and feminine behavior. Premarital sex was taboo – at least for women. There were “good” girls and “bad” girls, and I don’t think I need to tell you what made a good girl good or bad girl bad. In any given couple, the man was usually older, taller, better educated, and financially better off than the woman. All things that defer more power to the man than the women. Few women worked outside the home. And when they did, it was to supplement her husband’s substantially larger income.
Well, so much for the good ole days. Today’s relationships run the gamut of the rainbow – heterosexual/gay, interracial/ethnic, interfaith, binational, older women and younger men, couples from widely different social, economic, political backgrounds. Women have full fledged careers and they are financially independent. For women, being a virgin – or almost a virgin – is no longer a prerequisite to marriage. All in all, women today have a range of options and opportunities that far outstrip those of our grandmothers or even our mothers.
It all sounds wonderful. However, as we enter the second decade of the 21st century, many of our social values that govern love, sex and marriage remain markedly different for men and women in many ways. While both men and women may openly and freely engage in the pursuit of love and sex, how they reach their quest is not always the same.
Our cultural traditions are strong and differences in the socialization and physiology of men and women remain a reality. And unfortunately, or fortunately – depending on your personal views–many traditional sex roles remain deeply embedded in modern-day relationships – straight and gay. When these traditional roles collide with the realities of modern day – which they often do – couples find themselves in conflict.
While contemporary relationships may be much more rewarding than the those of our parents and grandparents, they are also much more complex and difficult.
Through this blog, I want to explore the relatively new emotional and sexual freedoms that women have gained through their struggle for equality and freedom of sexual expression in contemporary relationships – including a woman’s option of having a lover(s) if she so chooses.
Each week I will post some specific thoughts about women in contemporary relationships for comment and discussion. Hope you will join in on what I believe will be a fun, enlightening and rewarding blog.
- Single Women May Now Seek Lovers and Not Husbands (pickingalover.wordpress.com)
- A Deal Breaker: The Sexless Marriage (pickingalover.wordpress.com)
- Married Women Will Seek Lovers Too (pickingalover.wordpress.com)
- Sexual Affairs: The Extramarital Connection (pickingalover.wordpress.com)
- 5 myths about marriage (bangordailynews.com)
- The other half : Unequal unions (thehindu.com)
- The Case for Shacking Up (thedailybeast.com)
- Survey: Married women overwhelmingly dissatisfied with sex life (pointsofhype.wordpress.com)
- Why Women are Skipping Marriage and Leading the Single Life (prfire.co.uk)