How The Rise Of Gender Equality Affects Dating


It's a common debate in my friendship group: some of us feel strongly that women should pay their own way, initiate messaging and sex, and not follow any "dating rules". But other friends of mine are much more old-fashioned and think that a heterosexual relationship should include more traditional gender roles. And while sexists like to hail feminism as the end of dating and romance, I'm happy to announce it's not the case at all.

Match's Singles In America survey is here, giving us insights into every aspect of dating — how we do it, what we like, even problems with FOMO and dating addiction. It's really fascinating stuff and considering it's the most comprehensive survey of singles in America (they surveyed over 5,000 men and women ages 18-70+), it's a huge wealth of information that even looks at larger social issues. And one of the most interesting issues is how gender equality and feminism have effected the way that we date.

Take a look at these stats, because it's time women starting making more first moves.


The Majority Of Men Like Dating Feminists

Boo-yah! Fifty-nine percent of male respondents said that feminism "has changed the dating rules for the better" and 54 percent said it was more enjoyable. And quite frankly, I don't know many women who want to date a guy who wasn't into feminism anyway, but it's still heartening to see that guys are liking it too.

And for women, 57 percent said it made them feel more empowered in dating, which is exactly what I like to see.


But Singles Really Need To Learn What Feminism Is

So this was less heartening. Only 37 percent of single men and 46 percent of single women thought that feminism meant equality between women and men. Forty-three percent said they thought it meant a lot of different things and six percent just straight up didn't know. We need to fix this.


The Reason Women Offer To Pay Is Depressing

So, I didn't like this. Seventy-one percent of men said they liked it when women offered to pay the bill, though 65 percent said they thought women just did it to be polite and 61 percent said it was because women didn't want to look like they wanted a free meal.

Not bad so far. But this was the troubling part — while 47 percent of women said they offered to pay the bill because they wanted to show their independence (which is great), a scary 74 percent said they did it so they didn't feel obligated to do anything with their date. Yup, that's gross. Even if it only meant a kiss or a second date, it's still upsetting that women assume they would be obligated — the implication being the men would feel they had bought them with food. Yikes.


Women Need To Take More Initiative

OK, I've been saying this forever but I'm so glad there are some stats to back it up. Over 90 percent of men said that they were up for women making the first move— the first kiss, the first sexual encounter, asking for their phone number, even calling after a first date. Men don't think it's weird!

But still, 29 percent of women initiate the first kiss, only 23 percent initiate sex, and only 13 percent said they would ask for a phone number. Come on, ladies! You can do this— it's so much better than waiting around wondering what's going on. Make that move.


We're Still Split On One-Night Stands

So with the rise of gender equality, how much are women embracing one- night stands? Well, we're still split on it — but so are the men. Thirty-five percent of men and 18 percent of women said casual sex could be exciting and 29 percent of men and 15 percent said of women said it could be the best sex. But 19 percent of men and women said it could be the worst sex, so we're really all over the map on how we feel about random hookups.

How has gender equality affected dating? In a lot of different ways. But the bottom line is men are embracing feminism and powerful, forward women. So ladies, it's time to make the first move.