“I’m a Lesbian and I’m Fed Up with Having to Act Like the Man in a Relationship”

Outdated gender norms still influence our relationships — even for queer couples, conventional ‘gender roles’ persist. Studies have shown that in gay couples, traditionally feminine duties are often assigned to the more feminine partners, and vice versa — often causes frustration for partners.

When speaking to the dating app Flirtini, 24-year-old open lesbian Victoria admitted she was fed up with the gender expectations in relationships. “I remember when I went for a walk with a girl — not even a date — and she asked where we were going and whether I had come up with anything at all. It turned out that she already expected me to organize everything, just as women expect men to call a taxi for them in a straight relationship. And I was asking myself: come on, where is the initiative from the other side?” — she said.

“I felt stress, irritation, and anxiety. So I quickly called my friend and left the date under the pretense of an urgent business matter,” — Victoria confessed.

Navigating gender role expectations in same-sex relationships

According to Anastasiya Pochotna, a dating expert at Flirtini, navigating the complexities of dating can be challenging, especially when traditional gender role expectations seep into homosexual relationships. “If you find yourself in a situation where your date expects you to take on a specific role traditionally assigned to the opposite gender, don’t just accept it. Relationships are built on communication and compatibility, so use your words and if you can’t find a middle ground, move on to the next match,” — said Anastasiya.

In time for the Pride Month of June, Anastasiya Pochotna shared her 3 pieces of advice on how to navigate the gender role expectations in same-sex relationships.

1. Be honest

“The cornerstone of any healthy relationship? Communication,” — Anastasiya said. “If your date has assigned you an uncomfortable role, address it. You don’t have to be confrontational. Simply tell them how their expectations make you feel. It’s better to talk it out now and ensure you’re on the same page before the relationship progresses. If you can successfully work through the problem, it sets a precedent for honest communication moving forward.”

Tip: Use “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory. E.g. “I feel stressed when all the planning is left to me. I would love for us to share this responsibility.”

2. Establish responsibilities

According to Anastasiya, if you don’t communicate, misunderstandings are a certainty. “Before you meet, discuss your plans and decide on your responsibilities. Who will make the reservation? Who is the designated driver? How will you split the bill? Planning together will only strengthen the partnership and ensure you both feel included,” — she suggests.

Tip: When planning your next date, brainstorm ideas together. E.g. “What fun places would we both want to visit?” or “What are some activities we’ll both enjoy?”

3. Evaluate compatibility

Anastasiya explains: “Not every person you meet will be a perfect match. Even if you find them attractive and their personality is just what you desire, they might want a partner that fits a particular gender role. If your expectations don’t align, that’s okay. There are plenty more fish in the sea. Just don’t waste too much time hoping it will all work out.”

Tip: Look for patterns in your dating experiences and adapt your approach to avoid matching with those who are unlikely to share your views on equality.

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.