09 Feb WHO’S WEARING THE TROUSERS?
WHO’S WEARING THE TROUSERS?
Is There A Place For ‘Leaders’
& ‘Followers’ In Our Relationships?
It’s that time of year again.
The time where the shops all kind of look like a Care Bear threw up inside of them and if you’re in a relationship, you’re supposed to love your partner even more than normal (- usually expressed via cards, gifts, sex and dinners) or, if you’re single, to mope about, give your thumb some exercise on Tinder or grab a few girlfriends for some alcoholic beverages.
Some of us love it and some of us really, really don’t, but either way it usually gets us thinking about relationships. And this year it got us thinking about our perceptions of relationship dynamics in particular.
The old adage is that we can never really tell what’s happening in a relationship from the outside, which is definitely true. But from that outside-looking-in perspective, we’ve all come across couples who seem to be #winning at this whole love thing. It might be that they’ve just bought a house together, or that they were childhood sweethearts, or it may be that every time you see them they’re making eyes at each other, but whatever it is, you can tell that they seem to be happy.
But there’s also the couples out there who might seem to be kind of imbalanced in some way. Maybe one of them brings in more cash than the other, or one of them might dominate more of the conversation at a dinner party. Maybe it’s just that one of them seems to be much more of an extrovert than the other and you kind of wonder how their relationship works.
// But How And When Did We Decide What Balance Would Look Like In A Relationship And How Much Does It Affect The Partners We Choose? //
If you’re a female who’s the driving force in your relationship, it might be that you’ve had someone say that you’re the one who’s ‘wearing the trousers’. As a team of badass females here at Fable & Matter, we’ve heard these kinds of comments about our own romantic relationships several times. And it is true that when it comes to making decisions, whether it’s where to live next or what to have for dinner, those of us who are a bit more ‘dominant’ might often be the ones who have the final say.
But that’s not to say that it’s the feistier ones who have all the power in a healthy relationship. Not at all actually, tbh. What it’s actually come to mean for us, is that our partners in general are just happier to go with the flow and to have their say when it really counts.
And it cannot be stressed enough how much of a blessing this is.
When you’re the perceived ‘leader’ in a relationship and your other half is also a ‘leader’, there’s a strong probability that that dynamic could result in a few fireworks, right? (Well perhaps not – it seems to work for Beyonce & Jay-Z well enough, and congrats to the couples who do make it work). But for us it probably wouldn’t fly. In fact; we’ve previously made the mistake in thinking that perfect person for us would be the one who is just like us, when actually, the opposite has been true.
And the beauty of having a partner who is fairly different to us is multifold.
If you’re someone who is quite dynamic and can get fiery or stressed, the chances are, having someone around you that will constantly heighten these factors isn’t going to feel that great. Yet a partner who can ground you in those moments could be the ultimate compliment to your personality. That’s why the half of the partnership who is more of the supporter and the stability isn’t a ‘follower’ – they’re actually likely to be the cornerstone of a successful, stable relationship. Plus, it works both ways. What if you’re the half who prefers to be guided, needs a push or is happy to let your love take the reins? Well if it’s dreams, adventures, goals or impetus you’re after, the likelihood is that you can share some of your partners.
// They Probably Have Plenty To Spare. //
Anyway, who says that any relationship is always tipping in the direction of one particular partner more than the other, regardless of how the balance looks? Yes, it may seem like certain personalities in serious relationships are “wearing the trousers”, but the reality is that there are likely to be non-negotiable points for which their partners stand firm and that they have strengths or qualities that their partners don’t possess. It’s also obvious that no-one wants to be in a relationship thats one-sided, where they’re either dragging an unwilling partner along or being chivvied around – that’s only going to make one or both people miserable.
These are the elements that make a relationship balanced, even if it doesn’t seem like it from the outside. Ultimately, its all about the partnership; having similar values, a deep understanding of each other and enriching one another’s lives in some way. In the end both parties have to bring something significant to the party, otherwise what would the point be?
So, no, nobody “wears the trousers”, and there isn’t really any room for ‘leaders’ or ‘followers’ because there are naturally built-in ways in which our relationships level out. Our partners are, always have been and always will be, just as important to our relationships dynamic as we are.