I consider myself a feminist.
For those of you who don’t know what feminism means to me, it does not mean I foster ideas that women are better than men, that women should never wear heels or makeup or that women shouldn’t be stay-at-home moms if that’s what makes them happy.
What it does mean is that I think women have the right to make their own decisions regarding their body and lifestyles (be it wearing makeup/heels, shaving their legs, or making reproductive decisions that are right for them) and that they have equal rights as men regarding pay, taxes, owning property, voting, driving, etc. And because I believe in equal rights for men and women, I also apply these fundamentals towards dating.
Because I identify as a feminist and believe men and women should be treated equally, I make it a point to deconstruct the traditional ideas surrounding dating in my personal life. I always offer to pay my share of the bill on all dates if I can’t afford to offer to pay for the bill in full (though I admit I feel very special when someone – anyone – pays for my dinner, drinks, gives me gifts, etc.) and I’ve even been known to ask men out on dates.
Today I want to talk about the asking men out bit.
Recently I asked a boy out on a date and many of my girlfriends called me brave. At the same time, the few guy friends privy to my dating life said they thought that move was awesome. I don’t think I was being brave – a few of my friends can attest to my, “Oh shit, what the hell did I just do? I just asked a boy out….” freak out that I had shortly after.
When he finally gave me his yes/no answer I felt empowered. I knew what he thought about going on a date with me and I instantly stopped worrying if he fancied me or not – no more confusion, stress and what have you that we all experience when we don’t know if that special someone fancies us back. And all because I asked and got my answer I felt satisfied like when I find I’ve got a perfectly exposed roll of film.
In this moment I knew what the boy I fancied thought of me and nothing could change that.
Honestly, it felt great taking control of something and going for what I wanted. Instead of reverting back to ‘dating ideals’ with which I’d grown up – wait for the boy to kiss the girl, let him make the first move, etc.
So I say give it a go – Valentine’s day is approaching and, if celebrating it is your thing, why don’t you ask that special someone out? Who knows, you could be initiating the romance of your dreams! (Worst case scenario: you at least know he/she isn’t interested so you can get on with the moping and bingeing on sweets…)