Dating him, and others before that, has allowed me to see my self-contradictions and insecurities.I am self-conscious of my independence and womanhood.The more we talked about our future, the more afraid I became that I might not be his perfect life partner.I kept on worrying about whether I could satisfy his friends or parents’ expectations of a “good woman.” My fears were not the only reason we parted ways, but they were certainly a factor.Here are some things I heard from my ex’s: “Why do you have so many male friends? But the same guys would get angry when their own girlfriends tried to drink more than one can of beer.
I thought it more a fantasy of men who craved unequal power relations with their girlfriends than a reality.
It dawns on me that my battle isn’t just about fighting South Korean men’s expectations of how women ought to behave.
I learned that I need to fight my own expectations for myself, too.
I stopped going on different social gatherings because I wanted to be like him — being considerate and focusing on our relationship.
Through him, I learned relationship is like a mirror that reflects one another, because I realized it was he who had first engaged in some form of in reality had been a part of my nature all along.