AIBU to like it?(15 Posts)
I have nc simply because I do not want this to taint my posting history.
I am in a newish relationship with a man I have fallen madly in love with. He also feels the same. We have know each other a very long time so it doesn't feel too quick.
I was chatting with a close friend over the weekend and she asked me what I loved about him. I listed various things including the way he opens doors for me, helps me with my coat, pulls chairs out for me and the feeling I get of being "protected" when I am with him.
Friend was shocked at this. She explained that she has always thought of me as one of her more feminist friends and for me to "like" such macho behavior as changed her view of me.
I tried to explain that my views on equality/feminism remain the same but having never experienced "gentlemanly" behavior in any of my previous relationships it is new to me but something I like.
I changed the subject as it made me feel uncomfortable but I now wonder AIBU to like the way he treats me and not think it affects my values?
Horses for courses really
Both me and DH open doors for each other (and anyone else who needs to go through it), we occasionally help with each others coats, we don't pull chairs out cos frankly I find that a bit odd. And we feel protected by each other.
So I wouldn't call it 'macho' behaviour.
As long as you don't think you shouldn't do these things for him because you're female, then I can't see how it matters.
I'm a very staunch feminist and like the way my partner is more active according to his skills than me - he gets stuff from high shelves and carries all the shopping, runs up the stairs for things and does all the heavy work.
This does not affect it so that my opinion isn't equal and we are equal according to skill set in every way. Still allows for differentiation though.
I'm not sure about the helping into coat and 'protection' feeling - but yes to door opening, if I yank doors open it hurts my back and hips so he does stuff like that.
Feminism is a political view and if politics is important to you (it is to us) then agreement is helpful.
If I were you I'd be wanting to know why he does them and in a new relationship to check its not because he sees you as incapable or inferior.
There are many ways to be courteous to each other in long term relationships.
Thank you for the reply.
I would struggle to help him with his coat as he is about a foot taller than me but I do open the occasional door (if he doesn't get there first) and pay for lunch/drinks etc.
I am going to just enjoy the attention and not let my friends comments bother me.
Thank you for replying Laurie
I am not concerned that he thinks me inferior. We have had many discussions/debates and he appreciates and wants my views and opinions on various subjects. I work in a very male dominated environment and he encourages and supports me to use my skills and work against the issues I face.
I have never out right asked him why he does those things but having witnessed his father being this attentive to his mother I just assumed he has followed that example. His mother by the way is a formidable women and by no means a wallflower.
It's not 'macho' behaviour, if anything it's (extremely) old-fashioned male courtesy - which might accompany 'macho' behaviour, but isn't the same as it. You know better than your friend or a bunch of strangers on the internet why your new man pulls out chairs and helps you on with your coat - does he simply realise you like it, and hence keeps going? If you made it plain you didn't like it, would he stop? Does he get off on the idea of women as fragile and 'other', needing to be helped and protected? Or is it a completely unthinking reflection of the way he was brought up?
The only potential red flag for me would be whether his performance of 'gentlemanliness' requires a coresponding performance of 'ladylikeness' from you. Does it grate on him if you are direct and straightforward, don't dress or behave 'femininely', or act in any way which doesn't 'allow' his gentlemanly behaviour?
(I personally find gentlemanly 'performances' such as having my chair pulled out/pushed in, and being helped on with my coat, enormously irritating, and the kind of man who automatically gravitated to the kerb side so he could protect my frail person from any annoyances generated by the traffic would get short shrift from me. Opening doors, on the other hand, is a gender-neutral thing for me - the person who has their hands free or is in front opens the door as needed for someone burdened/rushing/whatever. As is paying for meals etc.)
As long as he's being loving and considerate rather than hiding a lurking patronage toward women as the weaker sex, it's fine.
YANBU. I think it's nice, personally. In a relationship, you take care of each other.
Of course YANBU. I'd have thought the vast majority of people like to feel 'looked after'. I think you'd have to be pretty insecure to translate someone helping you on with your coat, into 'you are not my equal' - what a sad way for your friend to go through her life.
Manners are a good think, not something to be challenged.
I think it is unthinking on his part. As I said his father is the same.
In regards to my "ladylikness" I am very direct and straightforward and no wallflower which he seems to like about me. He is not the type to find frothy attractive, he likes to be challenged.
Before we started dating I would have said eww at the chair pulling, coat helping stuff but with him I like it .
Personally I wouldn't give it a second thought. It's politeness. You're finally dating a polite person. I'd smile if I were you
Maybe you like it because you feel equal? It's not fakery?
Well, fair enough. You like having it done, he likes doing it, and he doesn't need you to impersonate a feeble damsel in distress in order to legitimate his gestures - everyone's a winner!
(It does also sound as if you have been out with some underwhelming men in the past, though...)
Ha yes underwhelming is a word for them
Thank you everyone for replying. I am just going to enjoy the relationship. I have known him a long time so I don't have any red flag concerns I was just a bit put out by friends comments.
It's consideration of someone elses wants, needs and even their presence. I lived with one guy who thought he was so amazing for the door holding. But wouldn't make me a coffee even when getting himself one.
Husband will hold doors, offer umbrellas but it's as extension of taking out my plate with his or buying a birthday card for my dad when getting his sisters.
Maybe she has only experienced the first type (where gentlemanly is an act). Rather than the second type (being a caring human)
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