The #MeToo Movement was the ROAR heard around the world. It ushered in a much needed and overdue discussion, in which we here at Good Girl Mafia will be participating. We couldn't help but wonder about dating in the wake of the #MeToo movement????? For that, we turned to the Founder and CEO of Three Day Rule, Talia Goldstein. Here's what she had to say... In the world of #MeToo, men and women are both towing the line on how they treat each other in the workplace, where boundaries are clear and clean. While we coach our clients NOT to treat dating like work,in the dating space, expectations are trickier and lines are easily crossed and blurred. As if dating weren’t difficult enough, these new unspoken rules dictate what’s appropriate and what’s not. When you’re on a date, you’re supposed to be flirty, but in the era of #MeToo, when does flirting become harassment? When does chivalry extinguish female empowerment? As the CEO of Three Day Rule, a leading tech-enabled matchmaking company, we help singles around the country navigate this complicated new dating world. We provide actionable tips on everything from online communication to how to appropriately take it offline to what is now acceptable behavior once you’re actually on a date. Unfortunately, online apps and dating sites give people the freedom to hide behind their keyboard, making someone feel free to say things to a stranger they’d never say in real life. It doesn’t help that some of these dating apps have a reputation for being venues to look for a quick hook-up. Despite the cringe-inducing opening lines many women have received (we’ve heard them all), data shows that the overwhelming majority of singles using the popular dating apps are, in fact, actually looking for real relationships. Despite Vanity Fair’s 2015 prediction that we were at the dawn of a dating apocalypse, TDR’s data shows that among our millennial clientele, we have far more men than women who work with us to help navigate dating for them. These guys are absolutely exhausted by the 12 hours a week typically spent online and want to be in committed relationships, just like their female counterparts. Acknowledging that our culture has changed in the months since #MeToo sprang to life, here are ways that single women can and should assert themselves:
Be proactive. At TDR, we’ve always believed that women should be proactive in landing a first date, and this is true now more than ever. If you are interested in someone, you shouldn’t hesitate to initiate first. Men are generally flattered when a woman makes the first move, and are actually telling us that they are more cautious and nervous to make a move these days because they don't want to overstep boundaries. When women initiate and show interest (in person & online), they essentially give guys the green light to feel more comfortable pursuing without wondering if they’re being presumptuous or inappropriate. After the woman assists in landing a first date, she can go back to being traditional -- chivalry is NOT dead!
Give people the benefit of the doubt. When communicating online or via text, remember not everything is as it seems. Try not to mistake an awkward message for harassment. I’ve seen so many examples of men trying to open a dialogue on a dating app with a slightly off-color or even risque line. Before blowing the guy off and alerting the app’s administrators, take a second and think about whether the awkward and risque line could be taken out of context. The majority of people online are looking for relationships, and I think it’s helpful to keep that in mind. It’s easy to forget, on both sides, that regardless of the screen in the middle of you two, the person on the other side is a human being who is (hopefully) just trying to find connection. If it’s questionable and seems harmless, perhaps give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s a fine line, but don’t go looking for a reason to call him out or make him uncomfortable if it’s not warranted - it’s only going to perpetuate the cycle.
Speak up. On the flip side, though, we’ve certainly run into some dating site trolls who are just blatantly in the wrong, and there are, of course, men whose behavior is just plain bad. Don’t settle for this and always stand up to inappropriate behavior and quickly exit any situation that is making you uncomfortable. If you’re on a date, address the behavior and explain why it’s not okay. If you’re communicating online, it is absolutely okay to block this person or if you feel it’s necessary, to report them. In the #MeToo world of dating, we are our own best advocates.
So, while the dating dynamics certainly have changed with the #MeToo movement, there are still plenty of opportunities to enhance your love life. The good news is that I meet plenty of great, respectful single guys every day who are looking for committed relationships -- and for you!