My fiancé is a total gentleman.
And the feminist in me doesn’t mind that one bit.
He’s respectful and thoughtful, gives his undivided attention when you’re speaking to him and does little things here and there, just to remind me I’m well-loved.
While I adore each of these things, it’s often the things he doesn’t do which speak much louder to how he actually sees me.
For example, if I’m walking through a forest in high-heeled boots, on the way to one of our gang’s summer bonfires, he’ll continue to walk ahead of me without looking back.
Late at night, he wouldn’t walk me home from his condo to my house a few blocks away.
If I’m angry or upset, he won’t immediately wrap me in his arms.
And it’s these actions which make me fall more deeply in love with him compared to all else.
Because while the chivalry is beautiful (and I certainly don’t think it’s dead), what he doesn’t do for me means so much more than he’ll ever know.
It’s the unspoken truth that makes my heart skip a beat and swoon– he sincerely knows, deep in his bones, how truly powerful I am.
He understands the feminist in me who resents a culture that prioritizes teaching women preventative measures against sexual assault, rather than properly training its boys to respect women the way they appropriately should.
He admires the independent fire in me; the fire which will only ask for help when I really need it, and otherwise doesn’t want it.
Because he knows that, with or without him, I’m going to be okay because I’m strong.
He knows, better than anyone, that I can take care of myself.
He knows I’ve been through the wringer, and that I’ve pieced myself back together again, long before he arrived.
He respects my strength, he respects my tenacity, and he would never compromise an ounce of it just because others, or society, tell him he should act a certain way in order to be a gentleman.
I’m not saying he isn’t allowed to worry about me. I worry about him, all the time. Because that’s what it’s like when you love someone.
But he never lets his worry make him feel entitled enough to forcibly strip away my independence so that he can feel better about himself.
He’d much rather live in that discomfort, knowing that through his passiveness he is paying me the greatest and deepest of respects.
I love him most because he sees me more clearly, more brilliantly and more honestly than any other human being has seen me before.
Not helpless, not fragile, not dainty, or prideful, or weak.
But unquestionably, irrevocably, undoubtedly the most powerful and beautiful storm he’s ever laid eyes on.
And I’ll never be able to thank him enough for it.