By Josh Lockhart, Professional Home Economist
It is that time of year again, Twilight! The Twilight fans and moms are currently getting their Edward or Jacob fix at the local movie theatre.
I may have once upon a time recommended the Twilight series as wholesome material, and as they way a man should treat a woman. However, the more I am exposed to the series by the films and the synopsis from my wife, I question my original thinking.
I first began to realize some issues in the relationship dynamics when Edward left Bella, for an undetermined amount of time, and Bella became incapable of functioning on a daily basis. As if to say young woman, to be able to have self-worth you need a man. Never mind that, in order to function on a daily basis you need a boy chasing you. After that point it all began to spiral downward, for me.
Think of the patriarchal teasing that occurs in the relationship, where Bella wants to be like Edward, instead of accepting herself as she is.
Recall the times when Edward would watch Bella in her sleep? Unknown to her? That’s stalking behaviour being branded as puppy love.
But also think of the role reversal on appearance. In society as a whole, we tend to promote feminine beauty as a 21 to 25 year old woman, and that even if you are 45 in order to be attractive you have to maintain that 21 year old beauty and physique. However, Twilight women go batty over a man who is born in 1901 but maintains his 17 year-old appearance, as if to give preference to youth. Now don’t get me wrong here, I think both pressures are truly inappropriate and limiting on personal and societal development.
Relationships and love is built on treating each other as equals, having respect for one another, and growing and changing together; not this fantasy of being caught up in a teenage crush, and remain at that same level of immature passion with bodies deemed to be youthful forever.
Now, it’s not just women who get caught up in unrealistic love stories and expectations of relationships. Men do to. So to curb this, and bring you both back to real human romantic relationships try some of the following:
First, hug your spouse for 10 seconds each day.
Second, tell them that you love them on a daily basis. Send a text message, leave a love note, or some sort of other small expression of love.
Third, have a date night, weekly. Doesn’t have to be extravagant, just have at least one hour once a week, out of the house, with no kids.
Fourth, keep getting to know your spouse. Keep in touch with their new favourite songs, new tastes in food, and other interests that change over time.
So get out of the movie theatre and off of the sofa and enjoy your life-long partner.
Josh Lockhart works for the College of the Rockies in Kimberley BC. He is also a columnist with the Battleford’s News Optimist and a Co-Author with Notes On Parenting. Josh is currently a graduate student at Gonzaga University. You can learn more about Josh at his blog: Locking Hearts Together.