Being a feminist on the dating scene is tough.  We have all had our share of dick pics, mansplaining and outright gross texts and online messages from men. Many things our mothers and grandmothers have told us go against our very belief system.  Wait to hear from him, don’t make the first move, he should pay on the first date.  How can we be seen as equals when all of these “rules” put the ball in his court.  Our answer?  Just put it right out there on the first date!

While I certainly don’t quiz my dates on gender equality or go through a checklist of their political views, I like to gauge my date’s reaction to the idea that I'm a feminist, as a measure for whether or not I could go out with them again.

There are basically 3 reactions to this:

  1. If their immediate response is offensive or misogynistic Stop, just STOP. Game Over.
  2. If it’s respectful, and open minded, great I can work with this.
  3. If it’s team #heforshe, Game On!

Let’s face it, if we all sat around and waited for our own, real-life Ryan Gosling to appear, we’d never go out on dates. We aren’t responsible for providing everyone we date with their very own feminist awakening, but we can at least give them a chance to express and explain their views. As long as on some basic level they believe men and women are equals we can move forward. So Step One, Stay Open Minded.

Another thing you can do is to put that you are a feminist on your online profiles.   Now this is tricky.  It will attract some trolls.  However, it will save you a lot of time by weeding out the men who do not believe in gender equality.  If you can handle a few sexist rants in your inbox this may be a good starter. This is Step 2, Be Real.  One thing we can’t stress enough is the true importance of embracing who you are fully when you enter the dating world. Be unapologetically you from the get go. There is no point in meeting someone who you cannot be yourself with and ultimately do not share core values with.

Finally, feel empowered to maneuver the dating world in a way that makes you feel in control.  Even if making the first move isn’t your thing, it’s essential to feel like you are in control of your dating destiny.  This leads us to Step 3, Keep Things Balanced and stay in control. No need to sit around waiting for the three day rule to go by or worrying about whether making the first move will make you look bad.  As long as you are reading signals correctly no need to edit yourself.  Ask him out if you want to but don’t hunt him down.  Pay for a date if you invite him, and even feel free to make the plans. Keep it balanced though.  Ask once, then let him reciprocate.  Trust me, if he is in to it he will. 

What's the point of dating someone who doesn't fully embrace you or share your values.  Let it all hang out. Forget those dating rules of the 50s.  Men and women now are much more open minded.  It’s time to meet people who are willing to stand right beside you and say, "Hey! I'm on your team! I'll fight for your rights!"  I'd expect nothing less from a potential suitor.


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