8 Feminist Quotes About Dating That Remind Us We Don't Have To "Follow The Rules"

The portrait of dating and relationships has changed quite a bit over the decades. Heck, it's changed over the last few years alone. People who have hitherto been bound by cultural norms are finding their voices, breaking the smothering and overwhelming rules once hurled at them, and deciding that the best approach to dating is whatever makes them happiest. While people who "step outside the box" are still often viewed as rebellious, difficult, and even taboo, reading through feminist quotes about dating from notable figures proves that simply by putting the words out there, we're making them more acceptable and accessible.

Reading through what these feminist figures have to say about the world of dating was more than refreshing; it reminded me that not only is there no one-size-fits-all approach to relationships, by we should never let ourselves feel confined by stereotypes and what everyone tells us we're "supposed" to do. Games are not meant for relationships, women are not property, and you should never settle for less than what you know you deserve — because you're awesome.

There are some brilliant individuals amongst us; and while there are a great variety of beautifully spoken words out there, these are some that resonated most with me.

1. "If I want to see someone, I want to see them, and if I don't, then I don't. My friends are always telling me I have to play hard to get. ... And I'm just like, 'No! I won't! I just want to go on the date!'"

— Emma Watson, actress and activist


2. "'Easy': Is there, we wonder, some virtue in being difficult?"

Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy, authors of The Ethical Slut

3. "'You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?' Aunty Ifeka said. 'Your life belongs to you and you alone.'"

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, novelist

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4. "None of my actions have ever sort of been motored by the search for a husband or wondering if I was going to have a family someday or wanting to live in a really great house or thinking it would be really great to have a diamond."

— Lena Dunham, actress and writer

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5. "A woman doesn't have to provide access to her body as proof that she likes you or loves you."

— Zellie Imani, teacher and activist

6. "Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in."

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, novelist

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7. "Don’t settle for a relationship that won’t let you be yourself."

— Oprah, entertainment extraordinaire and philanthropist

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8. "I find dating exhausting and uninteresting, and I really would like to skip over the hours of conversation that you need just to get up to speed on each other’s lives, and the stories I’ve told a million times. I just want to get to the watching TV in bed."

Sarah Silverman, comedian, actress, writer, producer

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Image: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle