How to build a feminist relationship

Marta Grabowska shares her view on upholding feminist values in a relationship.

Marta Grabowska
29th November 2020

The definition of feminism is quite simple for me: feminism = equality between women and men, that's it.

However, when it comes to feminism in a relationship the definition is not quite as clear, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. A feminist relationship should be based on values like equality and respect, not only towards each other but also in regards to respecting each other's time, energy and capabilities. This means also rejecting stereotypes and typical gender roles, hence rejecting outdated demands towards your partner.

"Women can earn more than men and men can do laundry and cook a meal."

You should not expect your boyfriend to earn more than you, just like you shouldn't expect your girlfriend to do all the cleaning and cooking. Get these stereotypes out of your head. Women can earn more than men and men can do laundry and cook a meal. Create a better system, that will suit both of you.

Communicate with your partner and split your chores, grocery bills, date expenses and any contraceptives costs (condoms, birth control or whatever you are using). These do not have to be split exactly in half unless that's what you want. What matters is that you are both satisfied with the outcome, no one feels like they're doing or giving too much.

In a feminist relationship, you are not your other halves. You are both whole, independent beings, equal partners. You both have your passions, hobbies and are fine with spending time apart. You should not depend on your partner neither financially nor emotionally. Naturally, you look for comfort in your partner. However, you should know how to deal with emotions on your own, if that's necessary. Your partner should be lifting you up, but you also need to be your own rock and know your worth. You have to work on yourself as much as you are working on your relationship because you won't be able to love someone until you don't love yourself.

"Be honest with yourself and identify the things that are off-limits for you."

Personally, what I value most in a good relationship is having a similar belief system, as this is something you both base your whole life around. Since I have quite strong opinions about certain topics (eg. feminism, religion, racism etc.) I can't imagine being in a relationship with someone, who does not share these morals with me. Though this is something you should assess yourself and set your own boundaries. Would you be able to be with someone with different beliefs? Are there any things you would not do in a relationship? How would your perfect relationship look like? Be honest with yourself and identify the things that are off-limits for you. You should not lose yourself while in a relationship. And remember, communication is the key to a great relationship, feminist or not.

Image credit: Viarami on Pixabay.

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