My guy gets upset if I grab the bags first when we check out at the grocery store. He thinks he looks flaky if someone sees him "making" a woman carry the groceries. So whenever we leave the store and I happen to pick up the bags first, he takes them from me or takes the two heavy ones - which is offensive to me for feminist reasons. Here's what I want to know: Are men programmed to be old-fashioned and carry groceries, open doors, etc.?
DEAR REDBOOK READER:
I'm going to clear up a common misconception here: Lifting groceries, opening doors, and offering to pay for dinner have nothing to do with feminism or being an Old Time-y guy. They have everything to do with having good manners and being considerate toward your fellow human beings.
Here's a gender-neutral example: If my buddy invites me to a Phillies game and takes care of the ticket, then you'd better believe I'm buying food and beer, because it's the polite thing to do. It ain't that different for dating: If I've invited you, and you've been nice enough to say yes, then the least I can do is offer to pay for hot dogs and beer. Again, it's just the polite thing to do.
I hold the door for women. I hold the door for kids. I hold the door for old folks. I hold the door for other dudes who have their hands full, or really for anybody who might get hit in the face with the door if I let it go as soon as I walk through it before them. (My one exception is teenagers - I stay away from them because they seem shifty and aimless and nothing but trouble.) I take the groceries into the house for my wife because it's a nice thing to do for her.
Related: 5 Things Super-Happy Couples Do Every Day
It's called being thoughtful. If your boyfriend is lifting groceries only because he doesn't want to look like "flaky" to strangers, then not only is he missing the point; he may, in fact, actually be "flaky." But maybe he's kidding. Check to make sure he's not kidding. Good grief, I hope he's kidding.
Need help decoding odd male behavior? Redbook columnist Aaron Traister, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two kids, is our resident male who is happy to answer any questions you might have about the mind of a man. Either leave your questions in the comments or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Whys Guy in the subject. Letters, emails, and comments may be edited for clarity and length.
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