Emotional intelligence, something young girls are conditioned to have, and boys are conditioned to lack. I find that when I interact with most men I often have to teach them how to be sensitive in general, as well as sensitive to me. It’s not my duty to teach my partners how to have a healthy baseline of emotional intelligence; it can be exhausting.
To me, it is not fair to have to over-think in order to translate how to have basic relationship skills to my partner. When I think of a partner, I think of someone who’s evenly yolked in multiple different areas (spiritual, mental, emotional, sexual, and practical). This is so in a relationship we can focus on bettering each other from a shared baseline.
What happens if you’re not evenly yolked with someone, and you have mix-matched baselines?
The way I see it, a relationship is the meshing of two people to create a partnership (one unit). Follow my metaphor:
- Relationship = Hybrid plant
- Partner 1 = Mango plant
- Plant 2 = Lemon plant.
For these two individual plants to become a hybrid, each must coexist with full consideration of what each plant requires.
Well, what does “full” consideration look like?
Fair question don’t you think? I’m going to start with what full consideration isn’t. Full consideration is not selfish, nor is it self serving. Full consideration is the act of taking yourself out of your own body (metaphorically speaking), and into the perspective of an imaginary third party to then decide what is the best decision for all parties involved. Women in my experience are taught this level of consideration from an early age. These teachings can range from reasonable considerations or to unfair considerations. See an example of both:
“I’m really stressed out, and having a drink is what I’m used to doing to feel better. But now I’m pregnant, so I have to find a new coping mechanism.”
“Damn, I really feel confident in this dress. But it’s a bit short, and I don’t want guys to think they can grope me because I’m wearing it.”
As where the latter consideration may be accurate, it is unfair to expect women to give an unfair level of consideration to others. If men were condition to have high levels of emotional intelligence, women may not consider their safety and survival when choosing to do ever day activities. Studies show that once girls begin puberty (sexual development), they are twice as likely have an anxiety disorder than men are. A clear correlation can’t be made without further research, but I do think that it’s a study worth conducting.
Should women stop being so considerate? No, that’s not what I’m arguing. I think that our society does not raise men and women to be evenly yolked emotionally, so in return you see women having to be hyper-sensitive to the needs of others and men lacking in that area of emotional intelligence.
So what can be done to even the playing field?
In order for men and women to be evenly yolked, a desire to increase their emotional intelligence and unlearn unhealthy habits is needed. This desire should not be motivated by a girl they are attracted to, because women do not exist to be rewards for men who learn basic decency. The desire should not be motivated by the desire to have sex, because if you’re only a feminist to get laid then you haven’t truly increased your emotional intelligence (i’mma challenge y’all to think about why that is). The desire must be driven by the want to improve as a person, and to the best version of who you can be as a human being. This in turn will breed more emotionally intelligent people who are taking balanced consideration into each other’s needs, which makes it so one person does not have to be hyper-sensitive and over-extend themselves because of the other person.
So back to our plant example:
- Semi-Consideration: Only looks at the type of environment that the mango tree is comfortable in, and developing an environment that’s best the mango plant, thus leaving the lemon plant as an afterthought.
- Full Consideration: Takes into account what both plants need to survive on their own, and find a way to create a compromise for those plants so they can have an environment conducive to mutual growth. Only when both plants have a fair amount of their needs met can they become a hybrid plant and have a healthy relationship.
I would argue that if someone isn’t able to/doesn’t desire to give full consideration in their relationship, I do not think that they are ready to be in a healthy relationship. I also think that there are situations where no matter how much consideration is given, two people are not able to meet their own separate needs together (these people are incompatible). It does hurt if people aren’t ready to be in a healthy relationship, or when they aren’t compatible with you. But, it’s better to know that then to over-extend yourself, and eventually find yourself in a toxic or abusive relationship. I think that when we respect people, we treat them with consideration because they matter. I hope you noticed that this post was cis-normative
, because now the next step of consideration for men and women is to consider the feelings and needs of people who don’t fit in the gender binary.