Behind the Couple Photos: A Relationship Advice Blog

In this blog post, we’re switching it up a bit. While we normally discuss issues in relationships for both partners, we’re going to discuss a subject a lot of people don’t like discussing nowadays: toxic masculinity. Now I’m a woman, I don’t experience this firsthand, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a subject to talk about in a relationship blog. So, we’ll be discussing what it is and what we can do to abolish the mindsets, especially in relationships.

Photo by Jasper Graetsch on Unsplash

Generations of male ideals focus on making them seem as masculine as possible— almost like a “Who’s the biggest?" sort of contest going on constantly in their lives. The concept of toxic masculinity is an adherence to the social construct of traditional male gender roles that limit emotional responses, social development, and being the “alpha male.”

This mindset affects so many relationships, including with themselves. In relationships, this mindset can negatively affect the emotional aspects, since there’s an innate wall there. To understand a proportion of the mindset, here’s a summary:

Suppression of Emotions

They’re human: they can cry, they can be sad, they can feel anything that we as people feel. They may have grown up shamed for their emotions because it wasn’t considered “manly.” Toxic masculinity is based off two large pillars: strength and power. Therefore, the only emotion to be displayed besides general merriment is anger. Studies have shown that suppressing emotions can easily lead to anger even more so than normal. Pushing the suppression of emotions constantly will only make them unhealthy to lead normal relationships. But it’s 2018, if there are robots petitioning for human rights, men can cry.

Seek help? No.

In a 2016 study, 7 out of 10 suicides consisted of white men and nearly 4% more suicides are from men. Men rarely seek help, as it’s seen as a sign of weakness— therefore only 15% of men take medications for mental disorders. The constant pressure of being masculine means showing no weakness. In this society, mental disorders are seen as one. Well, first off, no it’s not. Accepting that there’s an issue and working on it is only a strength, don’t let generations of mislead gender roles lead you astray.

Misogyny and Femininity

Remember recess and the little boys yelling at one of their friends, "You fight like a girl, you swing like a girl, you cry like a girl?" Well, that implemented in men’s minds that being a woman is inferior; therefore, hello misogyny. With this, anything seen as feminine or a woman’s role is seen as weak.

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 So, the next question: how can I help? Well, generations of this mindset are truly toxic, so you have to take it little by little with sadly, pretty basic steps:

  • Highlight that you’re there for them

Just saying that you’re there to hear them vent and for any of their emotions is more than enough. Remind them whenever you can.

  •  Safe space

They can cry, they can be feminine, they can be anything they want, and you’ll still think of them as wonderful.

  • Little by little

Try to implement the change of mindset little by little (with their permission, obviously) through deeper conversations, more relaxed dates, and talking it out.

  • Ask them why

Through talking it out, ask them why they feel the way they feel. Get to the root of the problem, even if it is more of a psychology session— it’s needed.

In 2018, it’s the year we try to end stigma with discussing so many topics like sexual assault, abuse, and suicide— let’s add toxic masculinity to the list.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

LDR— right for you?!

When you meet the love of your life, but they’re some 1000 miles way— it’s complete BS that the universe throws at us. Quite frankly, I’m kind of going through this right now, and it sucks. Because someone is so right for you, but you must get a flight to see them. When you know someone so far away, it gets difficult at times, so you gotta ask yourself some things before you even CONSIDER a Long-Distance Relationship:

  1. Are you someone who needs physical touch as a main factor in relationships?
  2. Could you handle not seeing them for weeks at a time or do you need to see them weekly?
  3. Could you handle a limited sex life or are you someone who needs sex frequently? (No shame in either one!)
  4. Could you handle the distance on an emotional level— like can you deal with possibly not talking to them for awhile or having a hard time connecting at times?
  5. Can you trust them enough, even being far away from each other?
  6. Why do you want to date someone so far away? Be honest with yourself.
  7. Are you an easily jealous person?
  8. What are your goals in life, your expectations, your core values? Evaluate both your's and their's.
  9. Are you ready?
  10. Are you happy being alone?

To have a successful relationship, you need to be honest with yourself on all fronts. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but what in life isn’t difficult? At least try to make relationships a lil less stressful.

Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

Cover Photo by Matthew Fournier on Unsplash