Dating is a mixed bag.
For every sultry glimpse across a table and awkwardly adorable goodbye kiss, there’s the guy who clicks his fingers at a waiter or the girl with a laugh like a cat going through a blender. Alas, years of human development has not prevented every new generation from suffering from the blunders of love. Like any ritual dating comes with rules, some which we should embrace and others which belong on a twee Tumblr post which girls reblog along with images of Bambi and models with rainbow dip dye.
One rule that needs to die? That men should always pay. In fact, can we just lay off guys having to do everything with dating? There is this preconceived notion that on dates it should be the man that chooses the restaurant and the man that pays. Look at Adnan Januzaj; he takes a girl on a date and she sells her story because he asked her to pay for parking and took her to Nandos. For Christ sake we are living through the fourth wave of feminism, can’t we begin to tear away all these beliefs that women need to be ‘princessed’? Yes it is nice to be treated, but if you are seriously looking to create a stable, healthy relationship then financial balance is key. Most women work, we have our own money and are quite able to pay for our half of a date. It’s lovely and polite when a man offers to pay but it shouldn’t be mandatory and women should be just as willing to foot the bill or suggest somewhere to go. To be honest I would prefer to have a say on where I’m eating; I’m a human being with my own fully functioning mind. I appreciate if a guy wants to show me his favourite night spot but I’m not willing to bounce about like a lovesick puppy, giggling at his every word just because he’s offered to pay.
Also; there is nothing wrong with Nandos on a first date. There is nothing wrong with going pretty much anywhere on a first date as long as the both of you are comfortable and happy there. Whilst the location can enhance the atmosphere, if you both like each other you’ll be too busy sharing your love of Tom Selleck to notice the Georgian architecture or the bit of gold leaf frazzled over your plate. Falling in love shouldn’t be effort. And poor Januzaj, he’s 18. At 18 most boys can’t put on a condom properly let alone plan some sort of sensual rendezvous with some bird he met on the net. He probably just wanted a kiss and someone to tell him his trainers were really cool. We honestly should be more grateful that someone wants to take us on a date and spend time with us and potentially see us naked, which is quite a commitment for some.
We put unfair amounts of pressure on guys to be these suave, Byronic romance masters when, really, they’re just as nervous about us at dating. Equality comes in all forms and if girls want to achieve this ideal we need to stop the double-standards. Telling men not to objectify you then batting your eyes when the bill comes isn’t right. This is 2014, we’re no longer Damsels in need of financial rescue.