Ladies, it’s time to step into your Dating Spotlight

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1902       Australian Women receive right to vote

1961        Australian Women gain access to The Pill

1963       Australian Women allowed in pubs

1972        Equal Pay case

2009      First female Australian Prime Minister

Aussie women have come a long way. We have worked hard to free ourselves from the shackles of patriarchy and gender stereotyping. We have made huge advances in our political, social and economic status and have created countless opportunities for the generations of women to come.

But.

When it comes to dating, in many ways we are stuck in the 1950s.

Although today’s Australian Woman forges ahead in her career and takes responsibility for her own financial future, she still expects the man to drive the dating process.

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eharmony’s latest Relationship Study results have revealed that men are more likely than women to take the lead when it comes to:

  • Initiating dating contact (men > 49%, women > 19%)
  • Suggesting a date (men > 56%, women > 13%)
  • Paying most of the bill (men > 59%, women > 6%)
  • Initiating a kiss (men > 39%, women > 12%)
  • Suggesting a second date (men > 46%, women > 11%)

Now, you might argue that based on the theory of evolution, men ‘need’ to hunt and women ‘need’ to be hunted. You might say that men need to feel in control and women need to relinquish control in order for the natural order of things to work. You might even say that men are turned off by assertive women.

But really, is this just an excuse for women to remain passive?

It’s time for women to step up

As modern women, we are assertive in so many other areas of our lives – career, health, social relationships and family – but we still hold back in the romance stakes. Many women have a fear of being seen as ‘aggressive’, ‘desperate’ or ‘needy’ and therefore choose to sit back and wait for men to initiate the dating activity.

Ladies, you wouldn’t sit back and wait for your career to flourish, so why do this with the most important relationship in your life?

Let’s get really clear about what assertiveness is and is not.

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Being assertive means asking for your needs to be met, without apology or too much emotion. It’s about believing that you deserve to be happy and taking action to facilitate this. Assertiveness will take you toward a win/win outcome, it facilitates compromise and openness in communication.

Everyone has their own opposite of assertive. This is the default position that you go to when you are not being assertive. Some of us become passive and avoid difficult situations, others become aggressive and bull-doze our way through tough situations. I recommend you spend some time reflecting on this, and asking yourself this question:

“When I’m not being assertive, what am I being…?”

Dating assertively

An assertive woman in the dating world knows how to send the message “I’m available and interested” to a man, without taking control. She has the ability to let him know that it’s safe for him to approach her, and if he takes a social risk with her it will likely pay off.

How do assertive women do this?

  • Smile and strike up small talk, then walk away and allow him to initiate a deeper conversation
  • Connect online and offer a compliment, then allow him to initiate a date
  • Suggest a date in an indirect fashion and allow him to fill in the details
  • Make physical contact in a non-sexual way and allow him to initiate a kiss

By taking actions such as these, you will have the best of both worlds. You will be taking action toward your goals and also allowing the man to ‘hunt’. This approach is like meeting men at the half-way point, somewhere between passive door-mat and aggressive bull-dozer.

I challenge you to try this method. Step into your power as an assertive woman and be mindful about the messages you are sending men. Be clear about what you want and let the men know that you are serious about finding a meaningful relationship.

Happy Dating!

Do you agree with these findings? Is it time for women to step up in the dating world? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

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