How to act feminine in a relationship

• What are some defining traits of femininity, especially in the context of a relationship?

Andrew Byrne, LMFT:

I think this question needs to be broken down a bit in order to answer it completely. For me, it is not clear if the question is asking about the differences between men and women, and to discuss generalized traits of women, or if we are looking at the generalization of masculine and feminine traits, which can be found in both men and women. It is more widely understood now that men and women are not simply one dimensional and, therefore, to define a woman, or a man, based purely on the antiquated notions of femininity and masculinity would be missing the complexity and diversity of each human. With all of this being said, to answer the question more directly, I would say that femininity within the context of relationships is going to be more associated with caretaking, emotional availability, and empathy. Of course, it is clear that these traits are not found only in women, and, as relationships evolve and gender and sexual fluidity become more embraced, we are likely going to want to move away from the dichotomy of thinking purely about males and females, and more towards an understanding of the masculine and feminine traits that each partner brings to the relationship. If we can move out of the rigid dualism, perhaps we can begin to see each other more for each person is, rather than be judging each other based on preconceived notions of male and female.

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