I'm all for equality between the sexes, but when it comes to dating in the straight world, gender roles often come into play. I've played it equal, I've played the dominant role, and I've even embraced the traditional female role. For many women, however, it's hard to reconcile their hard won autonomy and respect with having a man "take them out on a date" rather than simply "going out on a date."
Having been on a number of internet dates, the "equal" date is the one I've been on the most often. In that case, someplace rather neutral is suggested by either party, at a time that works for both, to meet without committing to more than a beverage. Anyone who's committed to an entire night, or even a meal, with someone they met online has probably regretted it. This date is ideal for the ability to slam down a ten and hit the road or stay and get tipsy .
Well, this is clearly a Moxie's or something, but you get the point. Never go to a chain restaurant on a date.
Another top reason to practice the equal date is that you have disparate incomes or you're both poor. Some ladies may also prefer this option because they don't want to feel like they owe their date anything. Obviously, this isn't a real issue, because no amount of money spent on you buys you or your body. That said, it's common knowledge that any overnight trip that a man is paying for comes with an unspoken agreement that you will share a bed. If you don't want to hook up but want to enjoy a getaway together, make it clear in advance to avoid any miscommunications. If you want to accept his invitation to do something together but can't afford it, just say so; he'll relish the chance to play the hero but can still easily say "another time, then."
Yeah, avoid this moment.
I prefer the dominant date to the equal date because I can orchestrate a date that's entirely geared towards getting in bed with someone I'm really connecting with. Ideally, whatever I plan will show off what I'm good at and increase my confidence. By the time we hit the sheets, I know that the dude I'm with is totally into being with a strong, independent woman. Getting the home advantage can be problematic, though, when a man isn't confident outside his home territory. I had one date say he was uncomfortable at the Standard because it was "fancy"; clearly he couldn't cut it for a minute with me anyways. I took my friend's little sister's friend to the Ottawa Food & Wine Show one year, but despite the initial attraction, the event made him uncomfortable. He kept tugging at his collar in jest, but bottom line is that this cougar would've been better served stalking her prey somewhere that he felt comfortable. I thought that inviting him to wear a t-shirt and jeans and seeking out sweeter whites that he would like would be enough to show him that I was totally cool with who he was, but no second date was forthcoming. When well executed, the female-dominated date is a great way to show off and get what you want.
I do believe that there is such thing as the faux-equal date, and I'm pretty sure it's symptomatic of living downtown and having more expensive tastes. Although the first couple of dates involve paying for your respective beers, covers, or meals, you might quickly find that things change the moment a guy is in your apartment. Before you know it, you're the one scrambling to clean your apartment so that you can share a bottle of wine before a show, watch a movie, or simply hook up. If he doesn't live downtown or has roommates when you don't, it becomes so easy for him to pop in and you might find yourself so grateful when he brings over a six pack. Sure, you could save some bucks on a cheap bottle of wine and skip making appetizers, but then you would be hungry and drinking swill! This definitely doesn't work in a scenario of "serious" dating, but I'm pretty sure that any girl who's dated a guy in a band has had some of the same experiences (I've certainly seen this played out at many a lovely lady's well kept pad). It's also seriously verging on doormat behaviour, but as long as you're getting exactly what you want in exchange, you have my permission to proceed with caution. Your friends will let you know if you're getting pathetic.
Tried to find a pic of KFed with no luck.
Finally, we have the traditional date. He announces the time he'll pick you up, tells you where you're going, and makes any necessary reservations. Even if it's a casual thing that's free, like skating or hiking, whoever is driving is in charge. If no one's driving and he doesn't pick you up at your place, it's equal. As an empowered woman who's used to calling the shots or working things out together, you will probably find that the traditional date is the most difficult and stressful date to prepare for. If you're unfamiliar with the venue, you'll need to find an outfit that you're comfortable wearing in a pinch, and possibly prepare to deal with an unofficial review board of industry friends like best friend bartenders, sister servers, or cousin cooks.
What rocks about the traditional date is that although the courtship process is rooted in wooing a woman in order to marry her and receive her dowry, it doesn't leave any ambiguity about your desirability. Offering to squire you about town shows that a man wants to impress you and show you off. Ideally, he's doing so in order to get your attention and learn more about you rather than to cater to his own ego, but you'll only find out by accepting the date. Try and relax because, in a rare modern moment, you're being pursued by a gentleman caller. Game on.
Not a member of the Rockford Peaches, but a strong female role model nonetheless; Peaches.