As an active member of the single, Gen-Y female population, I've suffered the slings and arrows of what it means to participate in "modern dating."
First of all, in our world of dating, going on actual dates is becoming a thing of the past.
We're meeting up with groups of friends instead of having one-on-one dates. We're actually participating in "Netflix and chill" dates. We let him show up at 1 am because at least he's with us and not someone else, right?
I recently went to meet a guy for drinks, and automatically assumed he was gay and just wanted to make a new friend, or he was just looking for someone to go home with.
It turns out he was straight and wanted to get to know me. I was flabbergasted.
Then, I realized how disturbing it was that the idea of a guy just wanting to go on a date in order to get to know me was such a completely foreign concept.
When the night ended and he gave me a mere kiss on the cheek, I was even more confused. It's actually come to the point where I'm shocked when a guy doesn't try to take me home upon meeting me for the first time.
Thoughts of how troubling it is to be a single Millennial started to furiously consume my mind. I needed to figure out how we got here.
Why is it that if a guy kisses us, we pretty much assume sex is coming next? As my dear friend so eloquently once stated, "Making out has really lost its steam."
But think about it: If you're somewhere private just kissing a guy, you don't expect it to end there. We almost don't see the point in a passionate kiss if it isn't leading to more.
Well, I'm here to tell you that's NOT OK. What I've realized is that to an extent, we let this happen.
Yes, ladies. Us.
We don't say "no." We're afraid if we try to take it slow, he'll just go find what he's looking for with someone else.
And guess what? He probably will. But how else are we going to gain the self-respect that we as modern women are fighting so hard for?
This isn't to be confused with the idea of open female sexuality.
Women are just as entitled to participate in casual sex if they so choose. We just can't be surprised when the guy doesn't want to marry us afterward.
We can't have our cake and eat it too.
Casual sex is just that: casual. But with that being said, there's this insane pressure on women to be "chill" and go with the flow... whatever that may be.
We even let ourselves feel guilty for shutting a guy down, as if we're the bad ones for not putting out on the first date... or any date, really. I mean, how crazy does that sound?
The same guy from the kiss-on-the-cheek-date told me, "Women are so eager these days."
That's right: eager. We actually promote this behavior we aren't comfortable with because we're so afraid of falling behind on the social sex trend.
We're convincing ourselves we're totally OK with open relationships, and that we aren't looking for anything serious. And we act like nope, we aren't hurt when he takes another girl home from the bar when we're standing right in front of him.
We've made it known to him that we're "cool girls."
We don't need reassurance, commitment or even common courtesy: We're cool.
We don't want to get the title of crazy, needy or clingy.
By simply acknowledging the natural human emotions that are completely acceptable while engaging in a new relationship of any kind, we've received these negative titles. It's no longer considered normal to say how we feel. We need to convince ourselves we're down for whatever.
There's no reason to be down for whatever if that isn't what your heart is telling you.
Somewhere, someday, there will be a guy who wants what you want. So stop pretending to be comfortable with nothing when you want – and deserve – everything.
Say "no" if you want to: It's your right. And it's a right you should never feel guilty about.
The men of our generation are having their cake and eating it too, while we're on a liquid wine diet, hoping we lose our inhibitions long enough to not realize how miserable we are.
Be honest. Put yourself first. Let your emotions exist. The idea of catching feelings is not the plaguing disease we've let it become.
Let's redefine the Gen-Y cool girl.