I was on the phone with my boyfriend the other night, just having a simple conversation and without notice he said, “You’re definitely the one that’s settling.”
This got me thinking. In our relationships, is there actually one partner who settles for the other one? Even in friendships, do people have that Alpha/Beta relationship or is there really such a thing as sharing a life with someone equally?
The Alpha/Beta relationship, specifically to a dating or married couple, refers to the idea that one partner is more attractive or a “leader” in the relationship. The common term for this idea is being, the “trophy” husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
We live in a society that even shows this and emphasizes the “bread winner” of the relationship. Beyonce totally got that one over Jay Z.
But why do we make such a big deal about the Alpha or the Beta of a relationship?
As I was talking to my boyfriend on the phone, I realized the perfect answer. We, as a society, only put Alpha and Beta types onto other people’s relationships. We don’t to our own.
As we see other couples, we judge them. Not even meaning to, we place labels on the hot one or the smart one of the relationship. We have so much access to other people’s relationships through social media, like Instagram and Facebook, that we think that we know the details of a relationship that is not ours.
Clue: we don’t.
The hashtags and the “relationship goal” pictures feed into this idea that relationships have one strong figure, and a figure that is following behind. You’ve totally seen the twitter post with the guy holding his girlfriend off a dangling rock with the caption, “if this is what trust is, then i definitely want it.”
Even though that picture is demonstrating the want of "a stronger partner", trust is not something that portrays an off-balance of power in a loving, and caring relationship.
So when did I have this realization you must ask?
While in a relationship, the two people who are actually in it, accept the flaws of the other person. That’s what makes it so much fun. You might snore in your sleep, or he might be a big fan of the 4am phone call.
But the point is, everyone has flaws when it comes to being with the person they love. No one is “settling” or “reaching” when you think about relationships that are actually happy in love. The relationships that are based on reaching or settling, are rather on the shallow side and are forgetting the real reason we all want to be in a relationship.
Happiness doesn't care about the Alpha/Beta relationship, and it shouldn’t affect your happiness in a relationship.
As I think about my own relationship, there is not one time when I think either my boyfriend or I are more powerful when it comes to the relationship. Trust is only achieved in a relationship - either romantic or friendship - when both people involved give and take.
Even though sometimes I forget this, I accept all the little things about my boyfriend that sometimes annoy me -
Because he accepts mine.
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