There is not a “right way” to date. I’m here to encourage you to step into your authenticity, and not conform to what society, media or the people around you suggest are things to do/not do in a dating relationship. I dare you to to be yourself.
I once read about a social research where six hundred ninety-two women were surveyed re: heterosexual dating and initiating. Results showed women who initiate asking men out are likely to be more commitment-oriented, more confident, self-aware, keeps the relationship moving forward, and are more open to cohabitation.
The implications of this finding suggests that women who had asked men out were more likely tohave been faithful in previous relationships than those who had not initiated the dating relationship.
While certain gender stereotypes still exist today, gender role relationships have become more egalitarian- women are more likely to ask men out.
Now before I go further, I just want to say that because I’m a heterosexual, I look for research and studies done on heterosexuals, as it pertains to my lifestyle. And so this post happens to lean that way. But what I’m about to say applies to everyone pursuing any type of relationships.
Stereotypically and traditionally, men are labeled as/associated with being aggressive and emotionally detached. They are logical, know what they want, go after it, are brave, and supposed to overcome rejections easily; they lead with their head and not with their heart. Thus, men are expected to initiate asking a woman out.
Women, on the other hand, are stereotypically and traditionally said to be dainty, emotional, sensitive, vulnerable, and needy. Although those terms are benevolent stereotypes and don’t necessarily carry a negative connotation, women are expected to be patient, wait to be chased after, and swept off their feet. Women who do the pursuing are said to be “too aggressive,” and may be perceived as sexually experienced, and not ideal candidates for a wife/housewife. She is “too loose.”
Those arestereotypes. I’m here to tell you to NOT allow misconceptions that were told to us and engrained in our head be the negative voice that holds you back.
I’m not telling you to go out there and initiate a dating relationship with every person you meet. But I am asking you to not allow anybody to put you in any box. You are uniquely and wonderfully made, just the way you are. Brave, shy, resilient, graceful, patient, ambitious, fighter, quiet, extrovert, introvert, emotional, assertive…whoever you are. You are who you are. And yes, we can all use some-or a lot of-growing in certain areas (don’t settle and don’t be complacent). But don’t you dare let anybody put a label on you! Because you are YOU. Limited Edition. Special. One of a kind.
Don’t fall into the trap that there is only one way to date or initiate. Because there is no “right” way, no “norm.” Initiate, don’t initiate, be upfront, or not. Yes, there are people looking to just play and fool around. But there are also people who don’t want to play games, and really just want to get to know you for who you are, as you are. PLEASE just be you.
And if you need some support, encouragement, empowerment, and/or accountability to sort out the clutter of other people’s opinions in your life, so you can find your self identity and step into your true authenticity, I’ve got you.
I help people find their inner badass, so they can live life authentically. If you’d like to discuss more about how your authentically unique Empowerment Journey might look like, you can reach me via the contact form HERE or email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although gender stereotypes and double standards continue to affect how men and women initiate and sustain dating behavioral scripts, changes in dating in the last sixty years have changed to be more egalitarian, where what used to be frowned upon are now becoming more normative.
The hope is that one day, gender stereotypes will no longer exist. However, I wouldn’t doubt that while more “traditional” gender stereotypes may dissipate, postmodern gender stereotypes would take its place and be equipped with a new set of rules and expectations on “how to date.”
Social research: (Source: V. Ross, D. Knox, and M. Zusman. 2008. “Hey Big Boy”: Characteristics of university women who initiate relationships with men. Poster, Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Aptil, Richmond, VA.)
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