(Closed) Souther Ladies: Is your relationship influenced by your southern expectations?

posted 10 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
6571 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

I’m from Fl, but I wouldn’t consider myself southern. Still, my husband initiated our relationship, opens all doors, all of that traditional stuff. I actually didn’t have expectations that our relationship would work this way, but I’m glad that it did. I think it’s sweet.

Post # 4
2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I grew up in GA and everything you said rings true for me.  I guess I, uh, didn’t compromise?  I married a man with similar views and attitudes.

Post # 5
7691 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Im from VA, husband from GA and raised with Southern values…my husband still opens all doors, carries things for me, initiated the talk about marriage…but it wasnt an expectation I had, I just got lucky

Post # 6
32 posts
  • Wedding: April 2010

I live in CA. Even thought its not Southern I think alot of women hold those values, but for some reason men never seem to get it. I don’t think its the northern vs the southern, but more of a men vs women. Those are all the values I was brought up with and expected and got from my husband!

Post # 7
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

It’s not necessarily a southern thing.  I was raised in a very conservative, Catholic family from NYC and feel the same way.  In fact, there were times in college when I was devastated by friends who initated relationships with guys I liked (I made that plurel because it happened multiple times!).

When I moved to Virginia, I was a little taken aback by how men approached me.  I actually found it a tad aggressive.  But, I soon realized that this was the style I had been raised to expect, but had assumed was gone.

Now, I know some southern girls who have no problem throwing themselves at men, so again, I don’t think this is necessarily a regional thing.  I think it’s just related to how you were raised.  If you slapped some searsucker and bowties on my brothers, you’d think they were from the deep south, not New Jersey.  🙂

Post # 8
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

This is a really interesting post, and also being raised in the south, I can identify with the examples that you gave. It is funny, it’s like some of these things are just instinctive, never really said out loud, people just know.

Somewhat of a superficial example that has been discussed at nauseam  on the bee, but at our wedding, I noticed a number of guests were confused as to why we had two cakes (the groom’s cake) and asked us about it in texts and FB messages in the days following the wedding. I didn’t think about it at first, but I later realized that every single one of the guests who asked had not been raised in the south. For me, it was a no-brainer to include it.

Etiquette wise, even though my husband is from the south, he acts like a northerner in many many ways, as in, he also spoke with his parents on the honeymoon. . .AT LENGTH, and is not in the practice of opening doors for me on a regular basis, which somewhat bothers me. Not that this is strictly a north/south thing, but for purposes of this discussion, you get the point J

Post # 8
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m not southern, but maybe I’m just old fashioned because I LOVE all these traditions and managed to find them in my non-southern Fiance. I think it’s all so romantic and chivalrous. Cheers to the south! 🙂

Post # 9
13094 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I am from Indiana (as is my whole family for multiple generations) and I hold those views.  So I agree with the PPs that it isn’t just a southern thing.

But I ended up marrying a GA boy so he understands the appropriate times/ways to be chivalrous!

Post # 10
7581 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

So I am not from the South, but my Daddy is 🙂 He was born and raised in Texas and raised me with certain expectations from men. Some of my expectations I realized were over the top when I started dating and I have up on them, however I got lucky! DH holds doors, takes the dog out at night, pulls chairs out for me, sometimes will order my food, etc. He also asked for my hand (which scored him huge dad points, and dad mentions that my sisters hubby didn’t do that all the time ooops!) We also had a groom’s cake, which some people thought was strange. 

Post # 11
2392 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I find this really interesting – I’m from the north (raised in CT, have lived in CT, NYC, and two different college towns in CA) and my mentality couldn’t be further away from this.  Two of the most important values to me are equality and efficiency.  If you want to ask someone out, don’t wait around for some sort of potential misunderstanding.  If someone is standing behind you, don’t check what kind of equipment you’ve got and they’ve got – hold the door open for them.

I think part of it’s regional, but there are also people who’ve spoken up who were raised that way in other regions.  I was raised to value being no fuss, no prentention, no needless ceremony.  So sometimes the more nuanced manners stuff kind of escapes me.  I think it goes both ways, though, that sometimes I have to compromise my sense of what should be in order not to come off as rude to other people.

Post # 12
1058 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Have any other southern ladies experienced these types of culturally-cultivated expectations in your relationships?  How do you deal with compromising your sense of how it “should be” versus realizing that others might not have been raised with the same expectations?


I love when my SO opens the door, helps me with my jacket, holds my hand for me to step off a curb… THE WHOLE 9 YARDS! I LOVE IT! Um, I do not compromise how I feel. I felt the man should approach the woman 1st and he did. He should ask for the number 1st, he did. He should plan most dates, he does. He should bring up marriage 1st, he did and always does. I didn’t know it was a southern thing I just felt thats how it should be done. I am so excited for my relationship.

I just always felt he should be the pursuer and I should be the one being sought after. Be a lady and let him be the man….

And “HE IS THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Post # 13
3400 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I was raised back & forth between rural Florida & Michigan, but my family is deep rooted southerns. I understand the points made. My SO is a born & breed mid-westerner, & he totally doesn’t get the “ways” of the south. He DEFINITELY has his own way of being polite, and sweet, and very romantic though. I’ve actually thought about it before, and some of the things I grew up expecting were kind of.. pointless?

Like, why walk all the way to my car door to open it when it is out of your way, and I have fully capable arms? Why should you have to open the door at the movie theatres when I got to the doors first?

But then I started to realize some of the things he does to be polite & sweet, and they seemed a little wierd. Like: he always orders my food for me after we have discussed what we want to eat. I thought it was kind of rude actually, but when I think about it I LOVE it because I’m kind of shy, and it just saves time!


Post # 14
4605 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

FH and I are both from Alabama. Of course, he opens doors for me and takes out the trash at night so I don’t have to, but I just see at as him being nice. He initiated us dating, but I didn’t hesitate to let him know that I was interested in him.

As far as the not calling newly married couples, we both agree that’s something we shouldn’t do. My phone will be going off during our honeymoon (well, not off but I’d only answer a call from someone like my mom). I didn’t think that was a southern thing though, more just courtesy.

I don’t know. It could just be that I’m southern and it’s what I’m used to being around most of the time.

Post # 15
20 posts
  • Wedding: June 2011

Im from Northern California and I keep all of those expectations.

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