When my boyfriend Ethan and I got together, we both agreed that we didn’t want to be the type of couple to fall into old-fashioned gender roles. I’m an independent woman, I have a job, and I don’t need a man to open doors for me. Ethan treats me as an equal. That’s why we always split the bill when we go out to eat. That, and he never offered to do it.

On our first date, Ethan suggested this really romantic Italian restaurant. We had a wonderful time and connected right away. When the check came, I thought he would pay for it because he was the one who asked me out. Instead he said, “Want to put it on your card and I’ll give you cash?” That was when I decided that we were a modern, progressive couple.

It’s been two years, and Ethan has never once offered to pick up the check. And I love it. Seriously, it’s so great. I have a decent job, and I don’t need a man to take care of me. Especially not on my birthday!

Even for the six months that I was unemployed, we still made sure to split things right down the middle. I’m no damsel in distress! I don’t need some knight in shining armor to rescue me. Would it be helpful sometimes? Of course.

But things are totally great the way they are. I prefer it this way. Because I know that Ethan respects me, and also it’s my only option.

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