9 relationship double standards you should never have to deal with

Relationships should be about equality and balance, but sometimes they’re not.

We’ve all been in situations where double standards sneak into our relationships, creating unnecessary stress and conflict.

These double standards are often subtle, making you feel like you’re always on the losing end. It’s not fair, and frankly, it’s exhausting.

In the following article, I’ll be discussing 9 relationship double standards you should never have to deal with. It’s a no-holds-barred look at some of the common scenarios you may find yourself in, reminding you that you deserve better.

Let’s dive right in and make sure these double standards have no place in your life.

1) The emotional load

It’s an unspoken expectation that often creeps into relationships: one person shouldering the bulk of the emotional load.

This typically involves taking on the responsibility of managing emotions, resolving conflicts, and maintaining harmony in the relationship.

More often than not, it falls on women.

The problem with this double standard is that it puts one person in the position of always being the peacekeeper, the problem-solver, the emotional sponge.

It’s not only unfair, but it also creates a power imbalance within the relationship.

2) The communication conundrum

In a past relationship of mine, I noticed a recurring trend.

Whenever we had a disagreement, it was always on me to initiate the conversation, navigate the murky waters of our feelings, and find a resolution.

This expectation that I should always be the one to clear the air after an argument is one of those double standards that’s not only unfair but also exhausting.

The truth is, I felt like I was the only one invested in resolving conflicts and ensuring our relationship’s health. This caused a ton of resentment and insecurity in the relationship.

Ultimately, we all deserve a partner who is equally willing to communicate, make amends, and strive for resolution.

3) The career compromise

In many relationships, there’s an unspoken expectation that one person, often the woman, will be the one to make career sacrifices.

Whether it’s turning down a promotion, passing up on a dream job, or even leaving the workforce entirely to raise children.

Interestingly, a study published in the Harvard Business Review found that 43% of highly qualified women with children are leaving careers or off-ramping for a period of time.

This is a double standard that no one should have to deal with.

Everyone should have the freedom and support to pursue their professional ambitions. After all, your individual growth and satisfaction contribute significantly to the overall health of your relationship.

4) The domestic duties dilemma

Even in this modern age, domestic duties often fall disproportionately on one person in a relationship.

From cooking and cleaning to managing the kids’ schedules, this ‘invisible workload’ can become a major source of stress and resentment.

This double standard is rooted in outdated gender roles and expectations.

It’s high time we moved past this.

In a balanced relationship, household chores should be divided fairly and according to each partner’s preferences and abilities, not based on antiquated norms.

Take my aunt and uncle – they share pretty much all the responsibilities. If he cooks, she cleans and vice versa. 

Equally, if one is busy with work, the other will pick up the slack at home. I honestly believe their 50+ year marriage is a success because they’re always so focused on helping each other through whatever life throws at them.

5) The social circle sacrifice

It’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to make the majority of social sacrifices.

This could mean seeing less of your friends, missing out on activities you love, or constantly accommodating your partner’s social preferences.

This kind of double standard can lead to feelings of isolation and loss of individuality. It’s important to maintain your own friendships and interests, even while being part of a couple.

Both partners should respect and support each other’s social circles and personal passions. A healthy relationship allows room for both shared experiences and individual pursuits.

Not to mention, a little time spent apart with other people can actually be a great thing for a relationship. 

6) The forgiveness factor

In some relationships, there’s an expectation that one person should always be the first to forgive.

This double standard can be incredibly hurtful, especially when it seems like your feelings and needs are being brushed aside.

Here’s the thing:

Everyone makes mistakes, and forgiveness is a crucial part of any relationship.

But forgiveness should never be one-sided. It’s not about who says sorry first, it’s about understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.

So never forget – your feelings are valid. You should never feel pressured into forgiving before you’re ready or brushing your emotions under the rug.

True forgiveness comes from the heart, and it takes time.

7) The financial imbalance

I once found myself in a relationship where the financial responsibilities were unevenly distributed.

I was the one always picking up the check, managing bills, and budgeting for our future, while my partner enjoyed the benefits without contributing equally.

The problem is that this double standard can breed resentment and tension.

Finances in a relationship should be a shared responsibility. Whether it’s splitting costs, saving for your future, or making investment decisions, both partners need to have an active and equal role.

If not, the burden and responsibility on the partner left to deal with it all can become too much. 

8) The expectation of change

In some relationships, there’s a presumption that one person should change to suit the preferences or comfort of the other.

From altering personal habits to modifying core values, this expectation is not only unfair but also detrimental to one’s self-esteem and individuality.

The truth is, no one should feel pressured to change who they are to satisfy their partner’s whims.

A healthy relationship celebrates each person’s individuality and encourages growth, but it doesn’t demand you to morph into someone else.

It’s important to remember that you are enough, just as you are. Any changes you make should be for your personal growth and happiness, not because someone else expects it.

9) The freedom to be you

Finally, the most significant double standard, and perhaps the most insidious, is the denial of the freedom to be yourself.

Whether it’s expressing your emotions, pursuing your passions, or simply living life in a way that feels authentic to you, no one should feel constrained or stifled in their relationship.

Your partner should love and accept you for who you are, not who they want you to be. They should celebrate your uniqueness, encourage your dreams, and respect your boundaries.

Never compromise on your right to be yourself. You deserve to be loved and appreciated in all your wonderful, unique glory.

Final thoughts:

The cornerstone of any healthy relationship is balance. It’s about understanding and respecting each other’s needs, preferences, and boundaries.

In the face of these double standards, it’s crucial to remember that you are entitled to equal treatment, respect, and freedom in your relationship.

Love should never come at the cost of your happiness, self-esteem, or individuality.

Now that you’re aware of these double standards, you’re already on the path to cultivating healthier relationships.

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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