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|Written by Alexandra Trottier|
|Wednesday, 02 December 2009 00:00|
The Women's Movement has brought equality to many spheres of life. Yet for some reason, when it comes to the dating game, an inexcusable amount of men and women remain anthropological case studies for 1950s courtship rituals.
While many of us have moved past this, sadly, too many people refuse to give up on outdated gender expectations. Outlined below are six top sexist and old-fashioned traditions and what you can do to shake things up and date successfully.
1 Ask Him OutThe assumption that the guy should ask the girl out has gone on long enough. Sure, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, but you would not believe how many girls I know personally who still expect the guy to do the asking.
I know the thought of someone saying no to going out on a date with you is reason enough to accept dying alone, but think how the guy feels. If you're nervous to ask him out, odds are so is he. Why is all the pressure on him? You've got a mouth, use it.
Conversely, guys, don't make a girl feel silly, slutty, or stupid for asking you out. Her doing the asking does not mean she is a bold, sexual nympho, and certainly does not guarantee you'll be "getting any" on the first date.
2 Pay the Bill
So you got him to say yes to the date -- congratulations! Now that you've enjoyed your night of dinner, dancing, and so on, it's time to settle up. Here is yet another area where the gender card usually gets played.
Two girlfriends of mine seem to share this belief. Though they've never come out and said explicitly, "I expect the guy to pay," it has become clear in the types of questions they ask whenever we discuss new boyfriends that this is what they believe. "Is he nice?" "What does he look like?" "Did he pay?" I've never quite understood this mentality. Think of how much money you spend on a night out with friends . . . now double it. That is what you're expecting a guy to pay every time he goes out with you. I had a friend in high school whose boyfriend always paid for her whenever they went out. They were together for almost three years. By the end of the first year and half he finally had to say to her, "Listen, I can't do this anymore. I'm spending all my money."
Some people argue that whoever initiated the date should be the one to pay. These are probably the same people who think that guys should be the ones to do the initiating. In my opinion, simply asking someone out does not obligate you to pay for him or her. It's a nice gesture, but let's say you're in a situation where you're dating around. You'll possibly have many first dates that don't go anywhere. Think of how much money you'll be spending on people you may never even see again. I think of a first date much like getting together with a friend. When a friend asks you to go to the movies you don't expect them to pay, so why should this be any different when the possibility of a "romantic liaison" is involved? If anything, this mentally brings you closer to high-risk hooker territory.
Guys are also to blame. I have male friends who would prefer to go dutch on the bill but for whatever reason feel it's best not to go there. Guys, you must go there! If you continue to perpetuate this stereotype then you are a part of the problem. The only way change can happen is by making a point. Stop offering to pay! Let her pay for herself. Pay for your half and let her know what she owes. If she's got a problem with that, then, adios muchacha!
3 The Day After Follow-Up
You're thinking about what a lovely time you had last night when you get a sudden urge to call. Oh, wait, what is the protocol? Who is expected to make the post-date phone call?
Seriously, is this still an issue for people? If you have the urge to call, do it! I mean don't be super freaky and call them a million times, but a phone call the next day is just fine. I always think it's nice for the person who was asked out the first time to make the next move (so long as you are actually interested). Unfortunately, not everyone I know shares this opinion. Some people feel that it is still up to the guy to make that call no matter what. Come on, ladies, grow a backbone! What truly annoys me is when girls obsess over questions like, "Why hasn't he called yet?", "When will he call?", and, "What did I do wrong?" You really want to know? Here's an idea . . . PICK UP THE PHONE AND FIND OUT! If you're thinking, "Why hasn't he called yet?" isn't there a possibility that he's thinking the same thing about you?
4 UncertaintyYou're going over the evening and aren't exactly sure how you feel about the person. The conversation was okay, but are you attracted? Or maybe the hot factor was there but the conversation, not so much. Keep in mind, people are nervous on first dates. If there is a possibility of a connection, then give them the benefit of the doubt and give them a second chance. Attraction -- both physical and mental -- has a way of growing on you.
5 They're just not that into you
Sometimes you do know right away whether a person is not for you. It's best to just let the other person down gently without playing games. Games are a waste of time and can be a huge loss to the receiver's pride.
Not sure if someone is playing games with you? Here are some things to look out for:
6 Say I Love YouOkay, so we're jumping ahead a few spaces in the dating game.
Saying these three words is a unique experience for every couple, so it's difficult for me to tell you how to go about it. One thing I do know for sure is that playing games is never the way to go. You like someone? Tell them. You love someone? Tell them! Don't beat around the bush, play guessing games or leave thoughts unfinished. Life isn't an episode of Friends. Ross and Rachel may not have gotten together if they were real life people rather than fictional characters. If you don't tell someone how you feel, it's very likely that you will miss the boat. This whole "things happen for a reason" mantra is for those too shy and too insecure to follow their hearts and too scared to acknowledge their regret. Don't miss your chance: be bold . . . say it proud and, more importantly, say it out loud!