Has feminism ruined dating?

Bear with me and this terribly click baity title. And don’t comment giving me shit until you’ve read the whole thing, k? I was having drinks with a friend recently. I was telling her my philosophy on dating – how things should be equal. How women should act however they want and if guys don’t like it, they can jog on.

Then my friend said, ‘I don’t think you’ll ever find a man that way. Feminism has ruined dating.’

Before swilling her with my G&T, I had to dig a little deeper. What the flibbing heck does that mean?

She went on to give me a ‘lesson’ in male psychology. Men love the chase. Men want to be the dominant figure. Men want to take the lead. Men want to graft. Men don’t want it all on a plate.

I’ve heard this all before and always put it down to misogynistic tripe and then I thought about guys I’d dated. And all of them, at some point, had said things exactly along those lines. Now I had always put it down to the old, ‘if they think like that, they’re not the one,’ schtick. But what if they’re all like that?

What if no man wants to date someone who organises the first date, who offers to pay, who puts out early, who does the chasing, who takes on all of the traditional ‘male’ roles in the name of equality?

My friend was adamant that in dating, women, no matter their views, should always take on the feminine role to ensnare a man. Women should wait for the guy to suggest a date, shouldn’t offer to go Dutch, shouldn’t sleep with someone too early, shouldn’t show they’re keen, should leave a man wanting.

My problem with that view, is this. I don’t want a man to want me because I’ve adhered to some 1950s, ‘women are a delicate flower’ bollocks. I want a man to want me because I’m independent, because I see him as my equal and because I don’t believe anyone should have to ‘chase’ me if I like them.

If that really means that there are no men out there who will appreciate those traits and all of the feminine but not feminist gals get snapped up before me, then so be it.

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12 Comments

  1. AJ Wathern
    October 10, 2016 / 5:58 am

    Here here! I changed myself for every man I dated prior to my husband. I played my part and allowed them to play their’s but it was all bullshit! When I met Damian (husband) we sat up until 6am just truthing it. We were completely ourselves and completely honest and I picked up the tab at the end of the night, no drama. When women say that they play the feminine part when dating I always just think about Amy from Gone Girl and wonder when they are going to go full psychopath!!

  2. Nia
    October 10, 2016 / 6:07 am

    Maybe it’s not feminism’s problem, maybe the whole subtext of dating is still really old fashioned and needs to get with the times. And guys particularly on some level still subscribe to it. Like, I was watching vlogs on youtube the other day and one of those annoying ads cut in right in the middle (ffs, the middle! Grr!) – "Three things to say to guys to make them fall in love with you." I raised a sarcastic eyebrow but listened anyway, turns out one of those things is; "I feel so safe around you," because it makes them feel, hunter/gatherer Tarzan love Jane awesome. Oh okay. I don’t know if it’s that women who are "delicate flowers" are more attractive, maybe it’s because that version of women makes men feel more attractive. Men and their flipping egos. Pfft.

  3. Lizi Legge
    October 10, 2016 / 6:15 am

    I do entirely see your friend’s point as on at least some level we need to appreciate that men and women aren’t ‘the same’ and there is a gut/primal/whatever instinct in there somewhere. However, all decisions should be dependent on circumstance rather than principles so I wouldn’t say that feminism has ruined dating as it’s simply making decisions which feel right at the time – and it’s feminism which has empowered both women and men to be able to make those choices. Great post 🙂 xx

  4. Lexie
    October 10, 2016 / 7:04 am

    This is really interesting Vix- I have just started dating again after a long time out of the game and I have been pondering this very issue!!!! Hmmmmm…. confused.com X

  5. Ada Lovelace
    October 10, 2016 / 8:23 am

    Interesting post! (although it’s been a while since I’ve been out of the dating pool so my view probably isn’t the most current). I can see your friend’s point, I guess- most men still perceive their willingness to pay and organise things to be gentlemanly as opposed to overtly chauvinist. Maybe though, it’s not that feminism has ruined dating but that dating as a concept has fallen into a rut of being old fashioned? When dating men I let them organise the first date and was happy to let them pay- although I always offered- but when I started seeing my current boyfriend I made more demands of what I wanted our date-ship to be because I’d gotten used to living life on my own terms. If a woman is happy letting a man take the lead then fine, but the worst we can do is allow ourselves to fit whatever relationship mould they might deem attractive x

  6. Jimmy Choose
    October 10, 2016 / 9:31 am

    Feminism hasn’t ruined dating. But attitudes certainly have for some. Not all men think are like that, nor will they ever.

    "women should act however they want and if guys don’t like it, they can jog on."

    Agreed. But not without some level of understanding for others. Just imagine it the other way around:

    "men should act however they want and if girls don’t like it, they can jog on."

    The truth is we should all act however we want. But not be blind or dumb to the repercussions of doing so. We need to be mindful, and considerate of both our own wants, desires and needs, as well as that of the person we’re courting/attempting to court.

    It’s not a feminism issue. It’s a two people being decent to one another issue. Forget the bigger picture when it comes to dating, and try to make yourself happy via your choices. If that clicks with another human, and you’re not being a dick about it – then you’re on to a winner!

  7. Jessica Steffan
    October 10, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    If it makes you feel better, I slept with my fiancé on the second date, I paid my way at the first date, and we moved in together after a year together, on my offer. Sometimes he calls me a robot because I’m bad with adhering to normal emotional responses, but hey, we are still getting married in less than a year, so there’s that! I ended dates early back in my dating days whenever guys would comment on my lack of feminine charm, because I didn’t see the point in pretending that I was dainty when I swear like a sailor and used to fix law mowers around the old house.

    And I mean really, is the kind of guy you need to fake out to "ensnare" really worth it? He’s the type that would probably run off the second you forget to shave your legs or ask where the plunger is.

  8. October 10, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    It is such a sad state of affairs that women are still expected to conform to the 1950’s tripe as you so rightly said just to get a bloke! I feel sad to say however that the majority of men out there really do want to be ‘the bread winner’, the ‘manly man’ and all that shit – my problem with that is GO AND DO IT! Rather than whinging about why people don’t give them everything on a plate! Can you tell it irks me!

    Great post hun as always and there is much more that I wanna say but I’m a bit pfffft about the whole thing at the mo!

    Hugs xx

  9. Sarah
    October 12, 2016 / 7:11 pm

    I can see her point, I’ve earnt more and had a better job than all but one of my exes, the one who had a better job and earnt more treated me a billion times better, and he’s the only one I still am friends with. And the others were really shit, acted insecure and like I was obsessed with my work and some sort of business bitch while spending my cash. Of course not all are like that at all, but I’d say a lot are, especially those in a typical old school family that worked well and everyone was happy. It’s what they’ve grown up feeling like what a relationship is supposed to be like. I feel people who’ve had some shit in their life, like their parent died or parents got divorced, brought up by grandparents etc those people are more accepting as they’ve dealt with far more important shit and can relate to people more and don’t have such specific family roles set in stone in their mind.

  10. Arash
    October 13, 2016 / 5:39 am

    I think that first of all we should stop making generalising sweeping statements about the opposite sex. All this does is make us feel shit and insecure about ourselves. Both genders are guilty of this. Whether it be ‘all men enjoy the chase’ or men thinking ‘all women want xyz’.

    Do I enjoy the chase? I enjoy meeting new people and both love and hate the feelings that go along with having to typical make the first move, putting yourself out there to do that. It’s both liberating and scary at the same time.

    Would I love a woman to approach me if she saw me in a bar and was interested… Absolutely!

    And the thing is if I wouldn’t be put off by a strong independent woman… I’m sure there’s other guys out there that would feel the same way!

  11. Jessica
    October 15, 2016 / 5:56 am

    5 years ago I asked a complete stranger out on a date. We went for drinks and come the end of the night I offered to split the bar bill but accepted when my date wanted to pay in full. Now 5 years on my date is now my husband and everything we do is split down the middle. We cook together, wash up together, take turns doing all the menial house chores we could all do without.
    Friends tell me I’m lucky to have found a man like him (of course I know I’m lucky to have found the man I want to spend the rest of my life….and who feels the same!) but I don’t think I’m lucky to have found a man who is happy to take on equal roles, in 2016 I would bet my bottom dollar that there are more men like him around than aren’t.
    Interesting read none the less! X

  12. October 23, 2016 / 10:25 am

    I would rather spend the rest of my life with my cats than with a man who couldn’t accept me for me- I won’t become a simpering woman, acting like I NEED the help of a man just to obtain a date! I’m strong, independent, have my own career- I don’t need a man, and if this stops me from getting dates…well, I shall just be single forever! Yet again, another brilliant post from you Vix! Really enjoyed it 🙂 x