Adult relationships can be complicated. Friendships between people have become more complicated as gender equality becomes more prevalent and traditional gender roles break down. People have become aware that gender stereotyping need not define the relationship, and that relationships can be based more on genuine interest and that the entire spectrum of friendship is possible, from frenemies to rivals to just friends. There are some basic guidelines that can lead to even more successful relationships.
- Assumptions are the beginning of disaster
Do not make assumptions based on gender.
Not all women like children or cooking; some women openly acknowledge that they make horrible parents and are better at ordering dinner than making it. By the same token not all men like sports, and liking musicals is not necessarily effeminate. As traditional gender roles continue to disintegrate, gender stereotyping is not a useful tool in determining what an individual likes or even what that individual can do
- Personality shines
Do know the specific likes and dislikes of the person you are dealing with.
Every person has a uniqueness that make them different than everyone else. Each individual has their own personality and that needs to be allowed for. Gender stereotyping has little use when it comes to dealing with individuals, and that can make life difficult for someone who depends on that in his relationships. You should know something about those you know anyway; there is no excuse for not knowing the likes and dislikes of someone you like.
- Politeness in friendship
Do not be overly polite when it comes to enjoying your time with someone else.
It is a common enough joke in sitcoms that two people absolutely hate doing something but keep doing it because they think that the other likes it; you should take pains to avoid becoming that joke. Make sure that your time together is based on a genuine interest that the two of you share and you should do fine. The best way to enjoy a good time is to do things that you both enjoy doing, not pretending to enjoy just for the sake of other person. This may be polite but won’t last too long. True friends can be very different in attributes but there is always something or one particular thing that they rather do with just their best friend in the whole world.
- No trespassing
Keep in mind that everyone has their own boundaries. Although basic sexism would imply that men like more physical contact while women do not, basic sexism is usually wrong. There are also some subject matters that will be always be controversial, and it pays to know when to avoid them and when to discuss them. Figure out what a person’s boundaries are and try to stay within them. Find out more about non creepy flirting in a blog post here.
The bottom line is that your relationships need to be honest. You may need to each of your relationships in order to ensure that they are free of sexism and other presuppositions. Take each relationship on its own merits and you should do well.
- Love and confusion
Disclose your relationship status authentically. If you are in a relationship, let them know about it. Being transparent about your relationship status in adult friendships is the key to having a durable relationship. This helps to not lead the other person on and know where you two stand. You do not have to share all the details if you don’t like, but always remember to mention if you are dating someone. Just to keep things transparent.
Overall, friendship needs two people who enjoy each other’s company. Whether you include the sexual equation or not is entirely up to you and your friend. But always remember the beauty of having a friend surpasses one night stands.