Being a feminist and dating

It's not uncommon for even progressive people to have problematic dating preferences, such as the preference for people of one race or for tall men, thin women, or others who fit a traditional gender role.

We can't always control these and shouldn't date people we're not attracted to just to defy them, but I have found that it helps to expose ourselves to unconventional representations of relationships and carefully consider what is actually important to us.

We learn to enjoy taking ourselves on walks or to dinner or just sitting at home reading or making art alone.

When nobody is able to give us satisfaction that we can't give ourselves, nobody can manipulate us into making sacrifices we don't want to make.

If they don't, they're not worthy of our time in the first place.

Since we know we deserve fair treatment, feminists will try to do something when we don't get it, whether that's cutting someone out of our lives altogether or confronting them.

Feminists won't be pressured into anything they don't want to do, whether that's going on a date they're not excited about, spending time with a significant other's friend whom they despise, or attending a social event that conflicts with their work schedule.

We give others our time on our own terms and believe that if we need to say "no" to an invitation now, another opportunity will come up again if the person really cares about us.

Our partners deserve to know it so that they can stop hurting us, and if they don't want to stop hurting us, again, they're not worth our attention.

It is one thing to believe in equality and another to reflect that belief in our actions, even when that means cutting ties with someone we love or speaking up for ourselves when it could make someone unhappy.

Here are some relationship habits of feminists that facilitate the process of learning self-respect and promoting gender equality in our everyday lives.

If we are in a relationship that includes sex, we know that we deserve pleasure as much as our partners.

We don't pressure them into anything, but we make it clear what we want, and we expect our partners to care. While we voice our desires, we by no means demand that anybody else fulfill them.

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Don't get me wrong — it's nice when anyone offers to foot the bill — but men shouldn't have to, since that expectation has roots in a problematic model of love and sex as economic exchanges.

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