Do you find yourself asking questions like, why are modern-day relationships so hard? Why are they filled with insecurities, jealousy, and ego? Or why do they always end up failing? These are very common thoughts a person asks themselves and sometimes to others who they trust. Giving it a thought, we can identify a few key ingredients in a long-term relationship: love, compassion, trust, and the other very important ingredient maturity.
Just like maturity is very needed in different aspects of life, it is very crucial in relationships. Maturity in a relationship has multiple meanings- it could mean being trusted, getting and giving the benefit of the doubt, giving personal space, marking healthy boundaries etc. Effort, love, and maturity- everything should be shown and received in a relationship, that is the only way it can sustain. However, the burden of being the mature one in a relationship mostly falls on women.
Maturity in relationships: A woman’s burden?
I want to share a situation that I have seen my friend go through. Her relationship with her boyfriend of seven months was just like that of any other couple I knew. They shared cute moments, and they used to talk on the phone for hours, fight over silly things and patch up again. Until one day she caught him flirting with another woman. When she confronted him he countered it with statements like, ‘it was nothing, I was just talking, or ‘you can’t accuse me of something I didn’t do,’ and many more.
My friend was very depressed about this situation and she shared her feelings with us, her friends. But while consoling her, a friend of mine said, “You also shouldn’t have been so immature, boys will be boys, we have to understand them better, over all these things, we have to understand the real him.” At that particular moment, I felt that was a valid point, until later on.
Suggested Reading: Beyond Ice-Cream Tubs And Tissue Boxes: 5 Tips To Survive A BreakUp
My friend is a composed person and showed maturity in the situation and gave her boyfriend some space and drew boundaries; but instead, this just fuelled jealously in his mind. He started doubting everything she did, questioned her character and finally when she raised the previous issue, he just got even more mad at her. They eventually broke up, but the takeaway from this story for me is that society, and sometimes our women friends too, believe that maturity in a relationship comes from a woman’s end, because men are incapable of changing.
I would like to make one thing very clear I am not making any general statements based on gender here. Many men exhibit mature behaviour in relationships. The issue here is stereotyping of women as the responsible ones and men as the reckless ones, which given the latter a lot of leeway.
Most people believe that girls mature faster than boys(which is true) and they end up assuming that the maturity they gained should be portrayed in every aspect of life, even if their partner isn’t doing the same. Since childhood, many boys have grown up hearing things that shape them differently and they start assuming that everything they do is acceptable (thanks to our patriarchal society) the same is reflected in their approach towards their relationships.
It’s high time that people understand that any relationship is a two-way street, with trust, love, or maturity running both ways. That is the only way to make a relationship survive in the modern era.
This article has been published under SheThePeople’s Young Writers Training Program. Views expressed are the author’s own.