As a recently single 20-something who has been in a relationship since she was a teenager, I know as much about dating as I do about soccer. There is a goal and there are positions, and that’s where my knowledge ends — in both scenarios.
When considering the prospect of being taken out, I gave minimal consideration to the fact that there were apparently socially-perceived notions about how people should act on dates.
Never having been coy and very much having the propensity to speak my mind, I often engaged in conversation topics such as the following: “Why did you break up with your last ex?” “So, am I supposed to offer to pay for this or something?” “At what point does this physical interaction give you the impression that I am easy?”
A fan of instant gratification and someone who has a long-standing addiction to her phone, I had barely read a text message from a date before I was already keying in a response.
My best girlfriend yelled at me: “What the hell are you doing? This isn’t how things work!”
Apparently, despite the fact that it is not 1955 anymore, there are several rules of dating I don’t particularly care to follow.
While exploring what people seemingly think they are supposed to do in order to appear busy, attractive or likeable, I concluded that this all just seems like a giant façade. It's getting in my way of getting to know people who I actually like.
Maybe I am wrong; maybe the art of playing hard-to-get or other such games truly is the way to find love. If that is the case, however, I find something intrinsically wrong with that concept in our society. I don’t personally think I am capable of changing these socially-evoked practices.
At least, for me, this type of dating (like soccer) is a game I have no interest in playing. Here are my gripes:
The Whole Game Of Picking Up The Tab
Back in the day, a dude was expected to buy the lady’s dinner on a first date. This time-honored practice is sort of adorable, and I am not one to turn down free food. However, with the rise of feminism, something a bit weird happened to this concept.
According to a bunch of my single friends, there is a bizarre, fake conversation you are supposed to have on a date about paying for a check.
The girl should offer to pay half (whether or not she intends to do so), and then the guy is supposed to tell her she definitely will not.
Supposedly, if the girl does not offer to pay, then she expected to be paid for, which comes across as presumptuous. However, if the guy accepts her offer, he is seen as cheap. To me, there are so many things wrong with this concept.
If someone offers to buy my dinner, it seems awkward for me to pretend-offer to pay. If I offer to pay, it is because I don’t think a man I just met should have to spend $60 just to hang out with me for three hours.
There are so many more women in New York City than men as it is; why make dating too expensive for them to want to do with regularity?
If you really like me, pay for the second date. The extra time will be worth the investment, and I promise to pay sometimes, too.
I don’t want to hear about your poop or anything (this has happened to me on a first date). However, when it comes to subject matters people usually deem inappropriate, I believe that if the topic comes up, it's totally fine.
For example, as long as you don’t spend half of your evening talking about your ex, your past relationship experience is interesting to me.
Why you're single and what you’re looking for are things people should talk about on a date. Okay, it does not have to be the first date, but I don’t get what the big deal is if it is.
When you aim to make a genuine connection with a person, letting conversation flow naturally and forgetting about societal stigmas is a much more honest approach than censoring yourself.
Sex On The First Date
Sure, you probably don’t want to do this on every date, but if the sexual revolution taught us anything, it’s that both men and women want to get it on.
Maybe this is a controversial opinion, but if you are really enjoying a dude, I don’t see what you are compromising about yourself by sleeping with him.
Yeah, you don’t know him very well, and he could end up being a crazy person. However, it’s your body and you have a right to decide what to do with it.
Maybe that involves sleeping with the hottie you’ve been chatting up for the past five hours. Do you (and him), girl. If he thinks less of you for that… well then, he’s missing out on lots of good sex and the pleasure of your company.
Wait To Communicate
The whole "wait a day or two to call" idea is so contrived and annoying to me that I really can’t even stand it. We live in an age when we literally communicate with almost everyone we know on a daily basis via social media.
I don’t know many people who don’t check their phone every several minutes.
Whether or not this norm is technically a good thing is not something I am here to argue. I am simply saying, why will I “pretend” I am too busy to text you while I am simultaneously sending a screenshot of your last text to three of my girlfriends?
Don’t flatter yourself by thinking I was waiting by my phone; I just happened to have it on hand. I’m sure a lot of people out there dig mystery, but if you have something to say, what are you waiting for?
An Awkward Ending
So, I haven’t been dating long enough for this to happen to me, but a lot of my girlfriends complain that guys will literally just stop contacting them completely.
After having a date that I wasn't really feeling, the guy texted me for a second date. I texted back (almost immediately because, as we went over, I was holding my phone): “I’m sorry, I wasn’t really feeling like we hit it off. But good luck with everything!”
I did consider that I came across as sarcastic, but honestly, I was just trying to do him the courtesy of not wasting his time. I think this is something people should do more often; it would save us all a lot of time and worry.
Maybe I am just an idealist, or I’m way too straightforward and should practice being more demure. However, that would just be dishonest.
I am into the concept of people liking me for who I genuinely am, not how good I am at pretending I don’t want to talk to, pay for or sleep with them. If you don’t like that, you don’t like me.
Being honest about dating just makes so much more sense to me because it allows me to weed out people who aren't working at the same pace. While you are feeling out the other potentially likeable suitors, everyone gets to be on the same page.
I am probably asking for way too much, but from a standpoint of pure logic, doesn't all of this seem like an easier way to go about things?
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