I quit my tech job to be a stay-at-home boyfriend who cooks, cleans, and sews for my girlfriend. I have no plans to return to the 9 to 5.

  • William Conrad, 25, and his girlfriend Levi Coralynn, 26, have been together for three years.

  • Conrad is a stay-at-home-boyfriend, while Coralynn, a content creator, supports them financially.

  • Conrad previously worked in tech but has no plans to return.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with William Conrad, a 25-year-old stay-at-home boyfriend and content creator from Canada. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

For the last three years, I've been a stay-at-home boyfriend. I cook, clean, and do the laundry — and I've never been happier.

My girlfriend Levi is big on social media and makes enough to provide for us both financially. She works from home, and I do 90% of the domestic chores. Our dynamic very much flips societal norm on its head, but it works for us, and we love it.

On a typical day I wake up a little earlier than Levi to make us some coffee. We usually share a coffee, hang out for a while, and do Wordle together. Then, she'll do some work while I either prepare food or do other household chores. If we're not ready to eat, I might do some work on the computer alongside her.

Since she works from home, we pretty much spend every minute of every day together, which I love because she's my best friend before anything else.

We lead a very communal life, and that applies to how we navigate money too. We've never had the perspective of "this is my money, this is your money." It's very much a joint venture, and most of our purchases are done together anyway.

I help with the backend of her business, doing the accounts and bookkeeping, just as much as I do things around the house.

Being a stay-at-home boyfriend allows me to do what I love

Levi and I met on Hinge around three years ago when we were living in different cities. I was living in Toronto, near where I grew up, while she was in Alberta. We started talking online and knew we needed to meet in person, so she came to see me in Toronto.

Our first date was a week long and we stayed in an Airbnb. Shortly after that, we moved in together in Ontario, and we've been together ever since.

Growing up, I didn't have a strong sense of what I wanted to do, but I knew I didn't want to sit in an office all day looking at a monitor. I've always liked creating things and working with my hands. But I ended up studying computer science at college and then found a job at a tech startup.

When I met Levi, I was doing freelance jobs here and there, and some more consistent stuff in the tech world. She was deep into her career as a content creator and needed help running her online business. She thought I'd be the perfect fit and asked if I would work for her. So I quit my job and became a full-time stay-at-home-boyfriend.

It wasn't that I didn't enjoy my job, but this was just a greener pasture that I could step toward. It was an opportunity that was better suited to me, I think, in the long run. I was really into cooking and sewing before I even met Levi, and this meant I could focus on those interests more and hone my skills.

I have no plans to return to the 9-to-5 and would only do so if our online businesses stopped working.

I started posting online to show the world a softer type of masculinity

In August 2022, I started posting snippets of my life on TikTok. My videos mainly showcase the meals I cook for Levi, but sometimes it's me braiding her hair, hemming her clothes, or fixing things around the house. I'm soft-spoken and have a gentle manner, and the comments from my mainly female audience have been overwhelmingly positive. These are all things I do anyway, but it was Levi's idea to share it with the world.

It was around the time that Andrew Tate, the anti-feminist influencer, was really popular, and there was an oversaturation of toxic masculinity online. We saw this need and an opportunity to present a kind, loving man in the online space. One thing I'm very proud of is showing the duality a man can have. I have both feminine and masculine characteristics, but I'm still a man.

I was raised in a very nurturing household where both my parents worked and split the domestic tasks evenly. Everyone contributed to the household, and gender was never tied to a specific role, so living this way has never affected my sense of masculinity.

William Conrad holding a cup of coffee
Conrad has been a stay-at-home-boyfriend for three years.William Conrad.

Social media is giving young men a skewed image of what women want

Women often comment things like "Where do I buy mine?" on my content. And while it's always nice to hear that someone thinks I'm a good boyfriend, it's also sad that a loving dynamic seems to be a scarce thing.

Lots of women are looking for a man who will cook them a nice meal and be gentle, but maybe not enough men value these things.

I think toxic masculinity on social media might be giving young men and boys a skewed perspective of what women want. I hope to inspire other men to lean into their feminine traits more without feeling like it threatens their manhood.

Read the original article on Business Insider