When it comes to dating, it feels like many of its aspects belong to a different era entirely?
Women who identify as heterosexual and lean toward progressive ideologies frequently assert that they seek equal partnerships with males. Dating, on the other hand, is a totally different ball game. The women I questioned for a study project anticipated that men would start dates, make plans for them, and pay for them. They also anticipated that men would affirm that the relationship was exclusive and propose marriage.
Then these women desired to have a marriage in which they would share the tasks of child rearing, housework, and financial obligations in a manner that was relatively equal. Virtually none of the people I interviewed considered these types of dating relationships to be a potential obstacle to their pursuit of egalitarian marriages or to their feminist credentials. But they were completely incorrect.
Since I started getting interest in the field of feminist sociology, I’ve had a long-standing fascination with the ways in which gender affects the conduct of individuals in romantic relationships. I have spent the better part of the last few years talking to people about their dating experiences and what they want from marriage and other types of partnerships. I have done this because I am curious to investigate some of the factors that contribute to these numbers. More than one hundred heterosexuals, LGBTQ persons, and other young adults were all well-educated and on the path to professional careers when I interviewed them. The majority of respondents expressed a desire for equal partnerships in which they could jointly handle financial and familial responsibilities. The vast majority of people I talked to were extremely outspoken in their support of gender equality, and they didn’t try to hide the fact that they were feminists.
On the other hand, I saw a striking disparity between the perspectives that heterosexual women hold on marriage and those that they hold on dating. After they got married, it was very difficult to steer these women in the proper direction, so to speak. The gender roles and expectations that they had when courting was carried over into the relationships that they had for a longer period of time.
A vast majority believes that egalitarian marriage is the ideal and that gender equality should be promoted in the workplace as well as in the home. As a result of this, I had an expectation that the young women I interviewed would be models of feminist liberty. However, when they considered the concept of equality between men and women, they focused more on the chances available in the workplace than on the relationships between individuals. The women I spoke with anticipated partnering with people who would back their lofty professional aspirations because of the enormous amount of time, money, and effort they invested into creating this career. Males claimed that they desired and appreciated these independent women who had achieved a high level of success, and that as a result, they considered these women as more compatible companions.
Despite this, many of the women I met with had implemented stringent dating guidelines, which was a throwback to a bygone period. According to a 29 year-old-woman’s observation, if a man doesn’t pay for a date, he just definitely don’t like you very much.
They felt that the majority of men were interested in nothing more than a one-night stand, which is why many of these courting rituals consisted of tests to determine whether or not the man was actually interested in a long-term relationship. It’s seems like males need to feel like they are in control, and if you ask them out, you end up appearing desperate. This is a turnoff to them.
When the women went on dates, they discussed playing it cool and letting their dates do the majority of the talking. They claimed that men found women more beautiful when it seemed as though they were out of their reach, which is why women favored it when men followed up with them after a date. Because it was the responsibility of the males, none of the women entertained the idea of making a marriage proposal.
My conversations with heterosexual women revealed that not all of them felt equally passionately about these dating guidelines. Getting down on one knee and offering a ring, would be just ludicrous. However, even the few women who fell into this category tended to go along with traditional dating rituals anyway, making the argument that the men they dated wanted them and that the women simply didn’t care enough to disrupt the current quo of traditional dating practices.
The heterosexual men I interviewed stated that the pressure was relieved when a woman was confident in herself and her abilities. Some people like paying for dates because they felt that it was a pleasant way to show that they cared about the other person, while others were opposed to the idea. One man confided in me that he and his date divided the bill fifty-fifty. That fits in well with the thinking I have about the kind of person I believe to be my equal. It is not necessary for me to provide you with food just due to the fact that I am in possession of the penis. Take a stand; you’re a woman, you’re educated or you want to be educated, and you want to be independent.
In spite of this, the males I spoke with maintained their double standards throughout the course of the relationship. They anticipated that women would walk a tight line between having sufficient and an excessive amount of sexual experience. They stated that they had run into disagreements with ladies who stood their strong wills. In addition, men desired to have companions who were shorter, weaker, and less manly in appearance than they were themselves. And a significant number of the males anticipated that their wives would eventually adopt their surnames.
When men and women early on in a relationship approved these traditional gender norms, it was difficult for those ideas to be undone once they were married. The married males I spoke to frequently delegated caring and housework responsibilities to their wives, despite the fact that they saw themselves as the primary decision-makers and providers in their households. This conduct was consistent with what was observed across the country. According to polls of how people spend their time, women continue to perform roughly twice as much unpaid labor in the home as men do.
When asked about her husband, one woman confirmed that her husband would take their son on bike rides with him, but, on the other hand, she was the one who got up in the middle of the night. Moreover, in order for her to be able to participate in this interview in such a public setting, she needed to guarantee that he would have something to eat.
A man voiced his dissatisfaction with the fact that he did not have an equal partnership by stating that his girlfriend should perform a greater share of the housework because she had a greater emotional investment in maintaining a tidy home.
People who identified as LGBTQ and who were questioned by me presented a different partnership model. They didn’t want anything to do with the dating scripts since they believed the scripts promoted gender inequity. They had made it quite clear they were neither typical or conventional, which means that they were free to write the script themselves. Because many LGBTQ relationships do not depend on well-established ideologies, norms are frequently considered, questioned, and then rejected in an effort to make room for egalitarian practices instead. This is done with the goal of creating space for LGBTQ relationships that are not constrained by ideologies. During the process, many of the couples I spoke with included the aspects of a healthy relationship that they believed were essential to its success. These characteristics included an emphasis on ongoing communication, appraisal, and bargaining. They actively strove to strike a balance between their own requirements and those of their partners in order to achieve the objective of increased individuality and equality.
Equally as significant is the fact that the LGBTQ individuals interviewed established the expectations of equality at the very beginning of the dating process, rather than later on. Because of this approach, their perception of what was achievable in terms of personal relationships was transformed, and as a result, they were able to have relationships that were, for the most part, more equal and last longer.
In conclusion, if you want to have a marriage based on equality, you should date men on the same level as you.