This week I had to opportunity to sit down for a bit and talk with two completely different individuals about dating and sexuality and what it all means to them. For sake of anonymity I will be referring to the two people as Bob and Sue (wow, how original).

Bob is a 21-year-old white male who has just graduated from college. He identifies as straight and has been in a relationship with his girlfriend for over two years. Sue is a 27-year-old white female who is about to get married. She identifies as lesbian and will soon be marrying her girlfriend who she has been dating for almost five years. In these two separate interviews I was able to ask similar questions to both Bob and Sue to learn more about these different types of relationships. Below are parts of the two interviews.

Interview with “Bob”

What are some typical stereotypes you fall into when dating?
– I tend to be the leader of the relationship. I plan most dates, I pay for meals when we go out, you know, the typical stuff. I feel like it is expected for me to do these things since I am a man.

Do you think your sexuality and dating style fit our society’s stereotypes of you?
-Yes. I tend to be more macho and tough now that I have a girlfriend because I feel like it is expected for me to be that way.

Do you think it would be easier for you if you were another sexuality and/or gender?
– No, I don’t think so. I am a straight white man, and for some reason society thinks that I am what is best and what should be achieved for. Being something else would probably be more difficult for me.

Interview with “Sue”

What are some typical stereotypes you fall into when dating?
– Well I am in a softball league, so there is that. Joking aside, [my girlfriend] and I try and not think about stereotypes in our relationship. Neither of us really ‘wear the pants in the relationship’. We just do what makes us happy.

Do you think your sexuality and dating style fit our society’s stereotypes of you?
-Yes. [My girlfriend] and I started off trying to act as friends in public just because we were afraid of how people would act about us being together. But now we just say ‘f*ck it’ and live our lives how we want, not how other people want us to.

Do you think it would be easier for you if you were another sexuality and/or gender?
– Yes. It wasn’t until last year that I was finally legally able to marry my girlfriend. Straight people never had that problem. And for some reason gays are more glorified than lesbians in our society. With all the hate going around lately, it would be so much easier if I were straight.

After completing the two interviews I was surprised with what I had in front of me. Bob, a straight man, seemed to be having a more difficult time dealing with dating norms than Sue. While Bob has to worry about being a man like society wants him to be, Sue and her girlfriend just do what makes them happy. Maybe this is something to be seen in other relationships. Do gay and lesbian couples tend to be more happy because they don’t feel the same societal pressures as straight couples? I don’t have the answer to that, but what I do know is that every couple, regardless of gender or sexuality, seems to have it’s own dating norms to deal with.

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