One of the most common subjects to come up in a marriage is the idea of romance and gender roles. Who should take the lead, so to speak, when it comes to romance? The husband - or the wife? Let’s take a closer look at how gender roles relate to romance and whether or not the husband or the wife should be the one taking the first steps when it comes to the romance department.
Gender Roles and Romance
First, it’s important to consider where gender roles and romance come from - and how they have (and haven’t) changed over the years. Traditionally, men were expected to take the lead when it came to romance. This meant that men were the ones who asked women on dates, men were the ones who arranged for dinners and theater tickets, and men were the ones who proposed marriage first. Naturally, then, the traditional role for men in romance after marriage remained largely the same: he was in charge, so to speak, when it came to married romance.
Today, however, gender roles are often less strictly defined. While it is still traditional and not uncommon for men to take the lead during courtship, it is becoming more common for women to take on some of the responsibility in the romance department. This greater equality in romantic responsibilities naturally extends throughout marriage as well.
Who Should Be “In Charge?”
Now that it’s understood that gender roles and romance are no longer as strictly defined as they used to be, it begs the question: who should be “in charge” in the romance department after marriage? There is no one right answer - but for most married couples, the dynamic that works is for the husband to take up the traditional ‘leading’ role in the romance department... while allowing room for the wife to step up to that leadership plate as well. Indeed, on the flip side women have been more traditionally in charge of the relationship department while men have been more reluctant to take the lead in this role.
The end result of this modern gender role dynamic is that both parties should take the initiative to be the lead in the romance department after marriage. This means both the husband and wife should initiate dates, physical intimacy and yes, both should also initiate sex. While many couples may find that the husband is still the one who initiates the most - whether due to a sense of traditional gender roles or simply a higher libido - it should be up to both parties to take the reins of the romance department and keep them going. This is especially true when only one of you is taking the initiative here. When just one of you initiates sex it can leave the other wondering if their spouse even wants it and often causes unnecessary hurt feelings.
Gender roles and romance still go hand in hand, even if they have changed some over the years. When it comes to a husband and wife wondering who should take ‘charge’ in the romance department, don't wait you both can take charge! Consider this guide to help you understand how traditional gender roles can influence who takes the lead and what most modern couples can benefit from in terms of gender role dynamics in the romance department.
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