Is Your Boyfriend Holding You Back?

Zoe Samuel

Image: Jacobs Stock Photography/Photodisc/Getty Images

About This Quiz

It's a very popular idea these days that modern relationships are some sort of ticking timebomb that invariably ends up exploding and leading to divorce or perpetual dissatisfaction. However, the reality is quite the opposite: Many relationships are better than they've ever been. This is because equal relationships between two strong partners are finally considered the gold standard. Two people with their own dreams and potential decide to take on the world together, knowing that they are each more likely to win because they have one another. They want their partner to be as free, as strong and as ambitious as their nature will permit, because that's great news for the team.

Of course, not everyone works this way, maybe because their personality requires them to be the center of attention, maybe because they don't think one relationship can sustain two sets of dreams, or maybe because they were raised to buy into a system where the boyfriend gets to demand that his other half's preferences make way for his own. Are you with a guy like that? If so, it's best to find out now, so that you can make an informed choice. Perhaps you're cool with a division of labor that means some parts of you will be held back, because there will be plenty of compensations. Perhaps you think you've got a supportive partner on your hands and you want to make sure. Fortunately, we've got the information you need. It's time to find out whether your boyfriend is holding it back!

When something big happens (good or bad) is he the first person you want to tell?

Would he mind if you earned more than him?

Do you know his number one insecurity?

Does he listen when you talk about your day?

Has he ever told you to change your hair?

How often does he offer you an unsolicited compliment?

Does he brag about you to other people?

When he brags about you, what does he mention most?

Does it bother him that you're smarter than him in some ways?

Did he just expect you to take his name if you marry?

Does he have any genuinely platonic female friends?

Does he have any female role models who aren't his mother or you?

Can he be a little standoffish around gay guys?

Does he self-describe as a feminist?

If you have a big deadline, does he offer to step up and handle errands and domestic tasks for you?

Does he use you as a sounding board for his own work?

Does he talk about your individual long-term goals at least as often as your shared goals?

Has he ever helped you acquire a new skill or qualification?

Does he run interference with people in your life who put you down?

How does he handle it if you put yourself down?

Has he ever talked down to you about a field in which you both know you're better informed than he is?

Can he respectfully disagree with you on subjects where disagreement is possible?

Has he ever seen you though an illness?

If you say you need something, how soon does he start trying to get it for you?

How good is he at giving you presents specifically tailored to you as an individual?

Does he speak respectfully about his exes (where they warrant it)?

Does he treat his mother as equal to his father?

Have you ever seen him hire a woman for a senior role or recommend one for such (or if that's not in his power, at least explicitly root for one)?

Does he get mad when he sees casual sexism on TV?

Would he move for you if you got your dream job?

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