As relationships change, we have begun to change the titles of our significant others. The one I find most problematic and frustrating is ‘partner.’ Many women and men use ‘partner’ to refer to their husbands, wives, boyfriends, and girlfriends but what does being a 'partner,' really entail?
When I think of a partnership, I see equality in a relationship, I see mutual consideration, respect, and support. Yet when women try to empower each other, it focuses on how we should make time and space for our partner. There is no conversation about how to approach a partner about how they can make time and space for you.
I recently watched Netflix’s Bridgerton and I was pleasantly surprised, although taking place in the Georgian era, the show portrays the female role versus the male role in and out of a relationship very beautifully. While I understand that some believe that Daphne and Simon’s relationship is toxic, I beg you to read this in full and make your decision at the end.
Daphne and Simon share a true partnership and not one where one person is valued more than the other. The relationship is centered on their friendship and not status, though status is a benefit in the long run. Simon reiterates this when both he and Daphne appeal to the Queen for a license to marry earlier than society believes. He expresses his want to marry Daphne not because he was immediately attracted to her, but because he could be himself and wants no one but his best friend to live with him for the rest of his life.
There is endless relationship advice on how to pick a partner. My philosophy has always been to find someone who is and always will be your friend first. If you plan on marrying someone you have to think ahead; sex, looks, and even interests will change but if that person is your friend then your relationship can last a lifetime. Though there are innumerable foils to cause Daphne and Simon issues, they always have their friendship.
PHOEBE DYNEVOR, NICOLA COUGHLAN, ADJOA ANDOH AND CLAUDIA JESSIE IN CONVERSATION WITH DECIDER'S MEGHAN O’KEEFE
Fri, Jan 22, 7 pm, FREE – watch here
This is a rebroadcast of the event that took place on January 6, 2021. Lace-up your corsets for Bridgerton, the dashing, scandalous, and quick-witted Netflix series from Shondaland creator Chris Van Dusen that’s about to revolutionize the romantic period drama. Witty banter abounds as Daphne, the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family, makes her debut on Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Stars Phoebe Dynevor, Nicola Coughlan, Adjoa Andoh, and Claudia Jessie give Decider’s Meghan O’Keefe the low down on this highly entertaining — and eagerly anticipated — new Netflix production.
I also want to bring up the fact that Simon refuses Daphne’s dowry because he sees her as more than just the obtaining property aspect, he truly loves her. This is particularly important for a period piece such as this since marriage and dowries were crucial. If you are a Jane Austen fan, you know if a woman does not have a healthy dowery the odds of her marrying well are very slim.
Throughout the show, they reiterate the idea that women are groomed and coached their entire lives for marriage and nothing else. When Daphne and Simon marry and go to his estate to live, instead of running the house and maintaining distance from her husband, she participates in everything. His responsibilities are not above her and hers are not above him to participate in. What’s more, Simon refuses to let his wife follow the usual protocol of sleeping in a separate bedroom after the honeymoon.
This is a demonstration of Simon’s disinterest in following protocol to form separate lives from each other, they work together in everything now. This is a partnership. It is more than fights and love, it is respect. While fighting can sometimes be important to learn from and grow with another, respecting each other for their individuality, skill, and interests is so much more important than only love.
Don’t get me wrong, love is hugely significant, but love can become toxic if it is in a relationship that doesn’t value each part as their own person. Having a true partner is discussing everything with them. Being able to talk about big decisions and little frustrations with honesty and the expectation that they will either help or listen with understanding.
I use Bridgerton as an example because there is nothing quite as mutual as this relationship in media depictions. Even with the mistrust. If you want to explore a relationship with your partner, have a conversation about what true partnership looks like to you, it will solve so many problems in the future.
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