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These days, I love being the big spoon in the relationship and feeling like I am Paddy's teddy bear. This one tends to come from women who are actually quite strong, feminist role models and personal inspirations of my own.
And I never feel unsafe or unprotected, emotionally or physically, due to our size difference. And so, it's all the more proof that this [quite frankly] nonsensical gender role is one engrained in all of our minds, at least to an extent.
I could tell that my parents (divorced but still practically the same person) were disappointed that he was so small, when I was so big.
They expected me to bring home the aesthetic equivalent of Christopher Hemsworth, I guess. I would be lying if I said that it didn't bother me — that it didn't make me wonder whether I'd done something wrong, or chosen a partner prematurely.
It was more that I was taught that a woman (especially a fuller-figured and tall woman) must only date a man who was even more fuller-figured and taller than she was. Until I met the guy, that is (and I don't say that to be cheesy or naive or to claim that we're the "greatest couple in the world"). He was kind, unable to tell a lie with a straight face, funny, nerdy, creative and musical.If you're going to get mugged, then you're going to get mugged.You know, so he could "slim" her down, and make her seem more "womanly" or "dainty" or whatever. The majority of my family — both of my parents and EVERYONE else — firmly believe(d) that the woman of a heterosexual relationship was meant to be the slimmer one of the party of two. He respected and encouraged every dream and every goal to implant itself into my brain.I don't think these beliefs were sparked by inherent anti-feminism or anything. From the Kevin James's and Steffiana de la Cruz's of the world. He can protect her and look after her and make her feel and look like a princess. Well, she may as well be castrating him of all his manly cis-glory and strength. And she'd look even fatter (can't you just hear all those audible gasps in the distance? But, of course, he was two inches shorter and 100 pounds lighter. When I first introduced Paddy to relatives a year after we'd gotten together (because that first year was spent whilst I was studying abroad in Europe, and so meeting anyone in the family was pretty impossible and unnecessary ), the obvious reactions ensued.To them, it didn't matter that he was intelligent or loving or good; it just mattered that I would be the one carrying my boyfriend over the threshold someday. Logic and love prevailed over sizeism and antiquated gender roles! To see a larger woman with a smaller (be it shorter or skinnier) man just isn't the norm (unless the woman is a tall and statuesque model — then it's OK).
I started to see our size difference as funny and cute. So in the course of these three years, here are some things I've heard and been asked.