Tag Archives: relationship dynamics

Relationship Goals by Sophia Ned-James

Don’t let all these online images of “perfect’ couples fool you, Sis. There are no “perfect” couples! That’s because couples are people, and people aren’t perfect! You only get to see the good times on social media, the happy times people choose to share. You don’t see the hard work and the messy arguments. You don’t get to witness those long, awkward silences that occur in ALL relationships.

They’re not showing you the fights about bills and money. No one’s posting or sharing pictures of the unanswered texts, the ignored calls, or the insecurities that make them doubt themselves. All relationships have tough moments, but you don’t see them because we don’t share them.

So, judge your relationship on it’s own merits and stop looking for perfection. Stop seeing #RelationshipGoals whenever you see pictures or video of that seemingly “perfect” couple. Comparing your relationship to some celebrity couple’s fabulous public display of love and romance will always leave you feeling wanting. And holding your guy to some ridiculous standards established by some jet-setting media “influencer” will always leave your guy looking unnecessarily lacking, when in reality, your guy is absolutely wonderful to you and for you.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a relationship that’s built on love, respect, and friendship, and you’re truly getting all that you deserve and desire, then you’ve already achieved #RelationshipGoals. After all, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.

Should I Ask For A “Wife Bonus” Or Offer A “Husband Bonus”?

Trending these days – at least in the U.S. – is Primates of Park Avenue: A MemoirIt’s a book documenting the trials and tribulations one woman endures, as she attempts to become a part of the most elite of elite “tribes”:  Upper East Side stay-at-home moms married to hedge fund managers or other investment banking types. These women are highly educated and accomplished – as well as very competitive – and have opted out of the workforce to stay at home and raise their children. They rely on end-of-year “wife bonuses” for discretionary income and showy gifts.  As they aren’t earning any income – even from home-based entrepreneurial efforts – they are completely reliant on their husbands for money. “Bonuses” are given for getting children into elite private schools, keeping the house clean – and of course for sexual performance.

Really? Okay. Well, this sort of economic “behavior” isn’t that uncommon in other “tribes” or social milieux. To a certain extent, there is some truth behind the saying “Whoever pays the piper, calls the tune.” A lot of relationships aren’t “balanced,” and not everyone wants a balanced relationship where each partner has equal say in all decisions or each partner is more or less equally contributing financially to the household. While most marriages aren’t as extreme in their fundamental inequality as those depicted in Primates of Park Avenue most couples wouldn’t admit that their relationship isn’t one of total equality (or equity) for each partner.

Wow. So, should I ask for a “wife bonus”?  Maybe the question is would I ask because I’m not married. I’m kinda competitive so I would be really offended if I didn’t get a top bonus. Like – what do you mean my blow job needs some work? I don’t think so. And, if Buster can’t get into a good school, it’s not my fault. Let’s talk to Buster.

Okay. So, this wouldn’t go over well for me. But, what about “husband bonuses”? Or ones for Boyfriends and Partners? As women of color, a lot of us are the main breadwinner or have the main professional gig. White women are feeling this, too. Showing some love when our man takes care of much needed repairs around the house or is the barbecue grill master all through the summer may feel more natural or be a part of the relationship dynamics.

Okay. But, I don’t have a boyfriend either. But, I do have a friend. Friends. Okay, one special friend. And, I am the type who likes to “spoil” people, too. I do try to hold back from giving a lot of gifts, which ultimately does shift the power dynamic. But, I do like to treat my man friend when it comes to going to out to nice restaurants. Is this a “bonus” after some good romantic attention? I don’t think so. But, let’s not go there. Since we’re not living together, don’t see each other on a daily basis, or have children, it might be hard to compare our situation with spouses and partners.

But, I also like to treat women friends who don’t have the same pay check as I do. Are these relationships skewed because I have the economic power? Some of these friends will still cuss me out and tell me about myself right after I’ve left the tip on the restaurant table.

In essence, the book – or the commentaries and reviews, which is all I’ve read – is a good read and good fun. It also gives a you a chance to pause and reflect on the power dynamics of your own relationships.