What Do We REALLY Want From Our Men (the evolution of partnership + gender roles)

painting and paint colors

For centuries, the institution of marriage served as an expression of chemical instinct + culture. Culture = society’s norms, practices, rituals.  It’s what we, as a whole, understand as correctness.  Or truth.

As societal and cultural advancements flash past us, we – as a species –  are no longer in “survival mode.”  But in many ways, our biology compels us to continue acting like caveman + cavewomen. Our bodies haven’t quite caught up with our contemporary reality.

The info-technological age, the feminist movement + birth control have quickly altered traditional male and female roles. The instinctive drive to mate and procreate that’s been hardwired into us through the beauty of evolution is out of sync with what our culture is telling men and women to be, and do, and feel.
Modern women pride ourselves on our independence, self-sufficiency + productivity. Yet, when we look for a husband, our bio-instincts point us towards someone physically stronger and with more resources.  Someone that will be a good provider.

Except — here’s the catch: what we want a man to “provide” is quickly evolving.

Our grandmothers (and mothers) probably wanted their husbands to provide a bi-weekly paycheck + a roof over their heads.

Today, we want more than a paycheck.  We want him to be our best friend, help with the laundry and children + be an empathetic listener.  Women expect a lot more from the men in their lives, because we expect a lot more from ourselves.

Career + kids. Family + friends. Cooking + clean-up and decorating+ activity-planning.  We can do it all – why shouldn’t he? So what’s the problem, you say? Isn’t this all good? Isn’t it empirical proof that we are  truly evolving as a society? Fair + balanced, everyone contributing equal parts?

Equanimity is groovy. The trick is remembering to articulate our expectations. Because
when it comes to partnership, commitments, marriage and child-rearing, he might be
thinking “1950s” while you’re thinking “2050s” — or vice-versa!

So let’s tackle this puppy!  Some questions to ask before you commit:

* Who IS doing the laundry? Washing the dishes?

* Who’s going to stay home with a new baby?

* Does it bother you that he smokes? Have you told him? Do you think he’ll stop after you’re
married? (Really?)

* Does he drink too much? What if you enjoy a glass of wine every so often + he does not drink
at all? Does this ruffle your feathers?

* Is he exercise obsessed or would a light jog put your sweetie into cardiac arrest?

* Is he a workaholic? Or lack ambition? How does either rock your equilibrium?

* Has he told you he doesn’t want children? Or what if YOU don’t + he does? Do you think you’ll
change his mind?

Having these conversations might not be the easiest or most pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but it’s incredibly important that you and your mister are open about your expectations and needs. No matter how evolved, your man can’t read your mind. Value yourself (and your relationship) enough to be honest about what you want.


Like this spicy mix of science + sass?  Check out my book The Chemistry of Love.  It’s a digital guide to logic gaps, lustful longing and why we (temporarily) lose control.  Here’s a sneak peek.

I’m a Los Angeles based relationship + life coach. I offer a sharp combination of keen insight, know-how + intuition.   Want more life + dating advice?  Jump on my newsletter.   Interested in laser focused one-on-one treatment?   Hire me.  You won’t regret it.

© 2012 Danielle Dowling

Photo by LUM3N on Unsplash