What if you like traditional gender roles?


I found this question on the dating advice subreddit and thought it was an interesting topic:

What if you like traditional gender roles? 

I like thinking about working all day for someone I love and doing things so they don’t have to. I love someone who appreciates more than just words to come home to. I am attracted to motherly girls and I am finding that this is problematic

Demetrius says:

Here’s the deal, what you like or don’t like is entirely up to you, I think what bothers people is when and how you broadcast your preferences.

It’s okay to want to date someone who meets your preferences, whatever they may be, because that’s your choice and I’m not your dad. Have racial preferences? I’ll be polite here and say I think it’s lame, but it’s still your preference so date whatever race(s) you want, but just know that you’re missing out on some quality people. Have religious preferences? Again, your preference, your choice, you do you. Want to date women who subscribe to traditional gender roles? Not my cup of tea, but hey, your dating life your choice. All your preferences are valid for you(whether I agree with them or not), what matters is how you discuss them.

We all have preferences, some more superficial than others, so it’s not like that’s the problem. Whether it’s education, body type, financial, race, temperament, etc., everyone has at least one thing they would prefer their potential partner be. Most people aren’t offended when you say “I would prefer to date someone who treats me with respect”, but what does offend people is when you state a preference but do so in a negative comparison way. It’s one thing to say “I prefer to date curvy women”, it’s another to say “I only date curvy women because I think skinny women are gross”. By the by, that’s just an example, I don’t actually believe that. All body types are cool, and you should love your body, even if you want to or are working to change it. Digression aside, it’s that sort of way of bringing up preferences that generally upsets people. When you say “I would never date x, because of this!”, what people hear is “If you are x, you are undesirable”. Even if it’s not your intent, it can sound that way. No one wants to hear that whatever they are at their core, is undesirable.

There’s also this thing that people do where they bring up their preferences in settings where it’s not called for. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve definitely met people who when I told what my ethnic background is, they’ll say “Oh I love dating mixed guys” and I’m just like…okay, cool? Thanks for the heads up I guess? Religion, body type, career, it’s not uncommon for someone to tell someone else “Oh I love or hate to date people who are X” in a situation where no one asked, and no one cares.

If you want to date someone who is all about traditional gender roles, you can be honest and upfront about it without being rude, and you can be honest and upfront about it without ever actually saying it directly. Here’s a thing you should avoid saying in general “I would never date someone who didn’t believe in traditional gender roles”. While it’s true for you, there’s no need to lead with a negative comparison, because it will only invite negativity. If someone asks about your preferences, you can say “I would prefer to date someone who believes in traditional gender roles” which is also true for you, but less likely to invite a negative reaction. Notice that I said IF SOMEONE ASKS ABOUT YOUR PREFERENCES. There are very few times where, unprompted, you need to tell someone what your preferences are in dating and relationships. I prefer to date women who are kind and have empathy, but it’s not like I go around saying that to random people on the street, or even to women I’m on a date with. If you want to date women who adhere to traditional gender roles, you’ll be able to suss that out solely by talking to them. I don’t need to tell someone “I am attracted to women who are kind” because I can figure that out through conversations. If you prefer to date women who are a bit old-fashioned, ask their opinions about traditional gender roles. You’ll find out where they stand without ever having to explicitly state your preferences.

I think that applies to just about any preference you have that isn’t physical. If you want to date people who are sarcastic, have a conversation with them. If you want to date someone who is funny, have a conversation with them. So on and so on. If you’re wondering how to get on those dates to begin with, online dating works really well here, but the same sort of rules apply. You can indirectly say “I like traditional gender roles” on your profile without actually using those words. I’ve come across plenty of women with profiles that allude to their desire to enter into a relationship that has more in common with the typical 1950s homemaker than a 2010s lady boss, and they manage to do that without directly insulting me, or other women. Instead of saying “gender roles”, which is likely the part of your statement that people would consider “problematic”, you can just use words like “traditional”, “old-fashioned”, words that imply a conservative view on how relationships should work. Whatever words you choose, just do so in a way that is positive, and not in a way that implies that if you aren’t those things, you’re somehow a bad person.

My dating profile says a lot about what I’m looking for without being a dick about it, and your dating profile can do the same. My profile says, and I’m not joking here, that “All my shirts are made of boyfriend material”. While it’s a joke line, it also tells anyone seeing it that I’m more commitment minded than not. I gave it some thought and I think a good line for anyone looking to meet someone who conforms traditional gender roles for straight men and straight women would be something to the effect of:

I’m a traditional guy who is just looking for an old-fashioned romance like my {insert parental units}

Nothing makes me happier than the idea of coming home to the woman who I love.


You can probably do a way better job than me if you actually want to meet someone who wants to be Suzy Homemaker,  but you get where I’m going, right? It gets the point across in a way that is fairly neutral but gives a good idea of what you’re looking for. You might find it a bit harder to meet people who are looking for what you’re looking when your preferences are bit more specific, but it’s not impossible to look for someone who meets your preferences, whatever they may be, and do so in a way that doesn’t invite negativity. My “all my shirts are made of boyfriend material” line works because it signals that I’m more commitment minded AND also signals to people who are looking for a hookup that I’m probably not their cup of tea. No one has ever messaged me to say “Your profile is problematic” but they have said “Weird, all my shirts are made of girlfriend materials” so, I guess I’m doing something right.

I think you can find someone who meets your preferences, whatever they may be. Just don’t go out of your way to make people feel like crap because they aren’t what you’re looking for, and really only ever bring up your preferences in a direct way if you are directly asked, and you’ll do fine.

Good Luck Out There.

2 thoughts on “What if you like traditional gender roles?

  1. Good topic and good advice. There’s nothing wrong with having preferences for traditional gender roles in either yourself or your partner. There’s also nothing wrong with having nontraditional preferences. Where people tend to go wrong is having a sour attitude towards each other for not having the same preferences.

    This guy will likely find himself frustrated that seemingly not many women are into traditional gender roles, which is a part of what sparks that negative attitude towards “modern Western women.” They want to blame feminism, but where I’m from, good feminism applauds women doing as they please, be it becoming a housewife and mom or becoming a lawyer.

    Personally I’ve tried the traditional female role, and it’s just not really me. I enjoy a long term, monogamous relationship and we live together, but most of our roles in working and domestic are shared, and it works well for us.

    Also, just a tip for the men coming from my own past experience. If you want to turn more women on to traditional gender roles, you might not want to act like it’s beneath you if she’s sick for a few days and you might end up having to do the cooking and cleaning. I’ll never forget the guy I went on one date with once who referred to such chores as “bitch work.” Yet he wanted a wife who wouldn’t mind doing it. You can probably see why we only went out on one date, ha.

    To each their own! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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