There are guides all over the internet that can help guide you in your quest to be the raddest partner ever. Unfortunately, a lot of these guides give us mixed messages on what it means to be a good partner.
For example: Women are often told ways that they can please their male partner, and ways in which they can prevent themselves from seeming crazy. This assumes a couple of things.
2. That the purpose of a woman is to please her male partner
3. That sex is a one way encounter
4. That women must work hard to not seem too emotionally needy
5. That women who do have emotional needs are crazy
(And so forth.)
Guides for men often have the guise of “acting” like a good boyfriend to “get what you want” out of the relationship. Compliment her, listen to her feelings, show support on hard days, buy her chocolate and candy when she is feeling sad. It’s not much better than a Valentine’s Day commercial.
I think the best tips for relationships are really tips for being a good person. Everyone – regardless of gender or sexual orientation – should be respectful to their partner. They should listen to them, and be able to communicate openly with them. They should be honest, and trustworthy. They should be clear about their needs and be willing to listen to and hear their partners needs.
The problem is that these are very vague things and most people don’t know the small steps to take. How does one listen honestly and openly? How does one communicate when they are feeling nervous? How does one show someone else that they care in a way that the other person can understand and interpret as “caring”?
These are the things we should be talking about. We shouldn’t be taking one-size-fits-all models of intimacy.