WOMEN

HuffPost Her Stories: Creating A New 'Normal' For Relationships

Plus: Why some women are telling Instagram they're men.
Some couples are defying social expectations when it comes to how they incorporate space into their relationships.
Some couples are defying social expectations when it comes to how they incorporate space into their relationships.

Hi, readers!

“I’m always interested in our ideas of normalcy: what we call ‘normal,’ and the forces that guide us to arrive at that language,” says Connor Garel, an associate editor at HuffPost Canada. “It’s something I’ve always had in my head in terms of love. I was curious about how varied people’s romantic bonds are, and how they might navigate those relationships in ways that are different from what we expect.”

So Connor interviewed some couples who are defying social expectations and finding new ways of introducing space into their relationships, whether that means having a place to spend time alone or making time for their own interests. 

For some, finding space means “living apart together,” a term used to describe a committed relationship in which those involved keep separate homes. Curiosity about LAT relationships has increased as more celebrity couples have spoken about exploring them. Actor Gwyneth Paltrow, for example, announced in June that she and husband Brad Falchuk do not live together full time.

Annie Cox, who created the dating app Apartner for people seeking LAT relationships, told Connor she thinks women have grown more open to these arrangements as they’ve become more financially independent. She said some women are getting married and having kids later in life (or not at all), and they are ostracized less than they used to be for pursuing the types of relationships they prefer.

Many people exploring LAT relationships were previously in traditional marriages but not happy with them, according to Annie. However, there’s no one type of couple that is blazing these paths. Connor also interviewed some younger couples who determined a relationship with more space was the best fit for them.

“Some people just want to live by their own rhythm,” Annie said. “They want that independence and personal space — the autonomy that comes with not having a partner around all the time.”

Are you “breaking the rules” with your relationships? How have you incorporated “space” to be yourself? Share your story.

Thanks for reading,

Follow Connor Garel (@Nopecon) for more on arts, culture and lifestyle. And follow HuffPost Canada’s new Life page (@HuffPostCaLife) for more stories that celebrate how you live your life.

A new Instagram policy appears to disproportionately affect women.
A new Instagram policy appears to disproportionately affect women.

Some pole dancers, fitness instructors and sex workers have been changing the gender associated with their Instagram accounts because of a new policy that seems to disproportionately affect women, reports HuffPost U.S. The social media company began hiding photos and videos it considered “inappropriate” in April — without explaining specifically what that means — and blocking those posts from showing up in the public Explore and hashtag pages many people use to grow their audiences. “Many of us within the pole dancing community rely on Instagram to thrive,” said Michelle, who owns a studio in Australia. “We use [Instagram] to share training videos, connect with new people and, for lots of us, to grow our businesses.” Michelle and several other women said their posts have been doing better since they changed the gender on their accounts. A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, denied the platform is biased against women, although the company did previously say it restricted content from pole dancers. “The supportive community I found through Instagram is what gives me and so many others confidence,” said Carolina, who is also a pole dancer. “But now, with Instagram choosing who’s ‘appropriate’ and who’s not, it’s hard to feel welcome there.”

A new survey of European workers indicates domestic violence can permeate a person’s professional life.
A new survey of European workers indicates domestic violence can permeate a person’s professional life.

A survey of European workers published earlier this month provides insight into the effects of domestic violence in the workplace, reports HuffPost France. The information comes shortly before the end of France’s nationwide conference on domestic violence, which began in early September and is set to end next week on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Although the survey looks at a small sample of workers, it indicates abuse experienced at or near an individual’s workplace — including threats of contacting co-workers — are the primary ways such violence can permeate a person’s professional life. About half of the respondents who had experienced domestic violence said their productivity had gone down or that they had missed work altogether because of domestic violence.

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Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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