Dating someone new can be really exciting. It can also be nerve-wracking, since you don't always know a ton about the person, what they're looking for, or how your values line up right away. So, there are a few things a feminist does when they're dating someone new to make sure they touch on the important stuff.
If you're a feminist, making sure your views on some key issues are aligned with someone you're dating is going to be particularly important, since feminists and sexists doesn't really mesh well in a dating scenario. On the other hand, dating is about having fun, and whether you're a feminist or not, and jumping into the serious conversations right away isn't always the most enjoyable approach.
During that awkward stage when someone's not quite your significant other but also more than just a friend or a hookup buddy, it can be hard to know when to broach certain subjects. And that doesn't have to be rushed. But if you're a feminist who has recently started dating someone, you might find it helpful to casually test the waters and see how the person you're dating reacts to your values and decisions.
Here are a few things that a feminist does when they've recently started dating someone.
1. Talk To Your Friends
As a feminist, it's particularly important for me to get my friends' opinions on the people I'm dating so that I keep my head on straight and don't lose myself in the other person. Our friends are looking out for our best interests, and while we may be too clouded in infatuation to interpret our dates' words and actions clearly, we're more objective about what our friends say. In a healthy relationship, you're able to see outside of what your partner believes and form opinions independently of them — including ones about the relationship itself. Talking to your friends about your relationship allows you to do this.
2. Talk About Sex (If There Will Be Any)
Talking about sex can be embarrassing, but feminists know it's also necessary. It's necessary to ensure that there's consent for everything you do, and it's necessary for people to get to know one another and what they like. And if sex isn't on the table right away, that's OK, too. It's feminist to talk about what you want and don't want, no matter what those wants and do-not-wants might be.
3. Discuss Current Events
While there's definitely a place for joking, partying, and doing other lighthearted activities when you're first dating someone, it's ultimately important that anyone you end up with will at least respect your social and political views, if not agree with them. If you're a feminist, this might mean that your partner is in favor of reproductive rights, accepting of LGBTQ people, and against racist rhetoric, for example. Discussing current events is one great way to test this without making anyone feel like they're in an interview.
4. Make Your Priorities Clear
Most feminists want to make sure they have a life outside of their relationships. So, early on in a relationship, it's important to draw boundaries. If, for example, you can't be interrupted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or can't go out every night because you work late, your partner needs to respect that. And, looking to the future, if you plan to work when you have kids or never even want kids, you don't want to end up with someone who expects you to be a stay-at-home parent. If someone has different priorities, that's not always a bad thing, but it may mean you're not compatible.
5. Make It Clear Who You Are
It can be scary to open up about who you are to a new date if your identity isn't always accepted by society, and "feminist" is one of those identities. But it's important to know you can be yourself around your partner, whether that means revealing your feminism, your gender identity, your ethnic identity, and every other aspect of who you are. Even if we sometimes get backlash, feminists know that who we are should be celebrated, and we deserve partners who will celebrate with us.
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