When I was in middle school, my mom used to enforce the idea that “girls are not supposed to chase guys.”
No disrespect, Mom (I would never!), but it is absolutely a different dating world for millennials than it was for you. Especially for women.
As a champion for the equal rights of women in all aspects of life – from work, to social circumstances, to dating – I think it’s only fair to say that the roles of women in the dating world have changed, and should have changed since the days of courtship that I’ve only seen in movies that took place in the 1950s.
So, how have dating roles changed for women?
Women can (gasp) ask men on dates.
We don’t have to just stand back and wait for a guy to come to us with a dozen roses to invite us to dinner. No…we can be bold. If we are interested in a man, it’s more socially acceptable for us to say it. We don’t have to make the first move, but there’s no unwritten rule saying not to. It’s all about the circumstance — and about what a woman is comfortable with.
Women have different lives and goals than the previous generation’s women.
Today, it’s the norm for a woman to go to work – and it’s not as unusual as it once was for a woman to not want children. We want to focus on our careers. We’re getting married later in life. We’re priding ourselves on our collective education. Dating, with the chance of later “settling down,” is just not as important to women as it once was.
Women can be themselves.
Back in the day (and by that I mean when my mom was dating) women had to act a certain way. That’s not to say that we don’t still have to be nice, respectful, attentive, engaged…I could think of many other “nice” adjectives. But we don’t have to be that way just as a result of the sole fact that we’re women. We have to be that way because we are decent human beings, and men are now held to similar standards because they, too, are human beings.
Women are, overall, more empowered.
Yes, we can speak our minds, or not speak them, if that’s what we choose to do. Dates between men and women were undoubtedly different before it was socially acceptable for women to speak their minds (and, of course, if you find yourself on a date with a man who doesn’t feel this way, you show him the door).
While dating for millennials in general has changed, for women specifically, what’s socially acceptable on a date has changed – some would say for the better. However…that’s not to say some women don’t still subscribe to the notion that men are the superior gender – a notion that manifests itself in their respective dating lives.
In sum, ladies, you are allowed. You are allowed to ask for a date. You can ask why the man you’re sitting awkwardly across the table from feels the way he does. You don’t have to get married, you don’t have to have kids…and if you do want both, that’s also more than okay. You control your own destiny.
And Mom, while you may still disagree with me on the “asking for a date” front, don’t think you can argue with that last point.