After reading Feministy's post entitled 'How to be a Feminist Boyfriend' a couple of days ago , and then finding this article on the Guardian website this morning, I have been thinking about what it is I want from a relationship. I have been single for a very long time now, and have never (yet!) had a serious relationship. This is not because I can't get a boyfriend - I have probably been asked out more times since being at University than most of my female friends put together, and have been out on lots of dates with a variety of different men. I realise that the reason I am still single is actually very simple; I haven't found a man I want to be with, yet.
I think that Feministy's list of things that a thoughtful and caring man should consider on a reasonably regular basis is very perceptive. So many men that I have met over the years take so much for granted. I am not saying for a moment that this makes them bad people, or automatically unsuitable for me as 'boyfriend material', just that it is so easy to be thoughtless. I spend a lot of time worrying about a whole spectrum of different things, and I suppose I would like someone who shares at least some of my concerns.
The article in today's Guardian asks the question "Is it the case that a strong women can't desire a husband?" Obviously, for me this is a long way in the future, but I really think that a strong woman can desire an equally strong man in her life. This question, to me, is the first step on the path to that old feminist 'man-hating' stereotype. Of course it is possible to want to have a steady, secure relationship with a man.
Having such a relationship does not mean forfeiting your feminist beliefs. As Feministy says, what is important is that you have that relationship with somebody thoughtful, who respects you. I suppose that if I were to have a relationship with a disrespectful, egotistical and misogynistic man, then that would be forfeiting my feminist values. But I can't believe that I would feel secure in such a relationship, or remotely happy. Being a feisty and intelligent young woman, I would not last long with someone who tried to push me into an old fashioned 'female' role, which would not suit me for a moment!
So, in conclusion, I suppose what I am trying to say is that while I would very much like to find myself a boyfriend, it is not something I am going to rush into. Reading Feministy's post on Monday made me feel better about this decision, and I feel that, as a strong woman, I should stick to my guns.