Why Do I Always See Love as Power?

I’ve always thought that I would be bad at relationships. As a teenager and in my early 20s, I felt that I would never be able to be honest with my partner, never allow myself to open up — I feared that no one would love me if they knew who I really was (a phenomenon quite relatable, I’m sure).

Now, in my 30th year, it seems I have the opposite problem: my callous candour, mostly in relation to patriarchal standards and expectations.

For example, my boyfriend can choose, at any time of the year, to switch from trousers to shorts. Simple as. If…