Being a feminist and dating

Feminists understand that self-love is the best love.It's empowering to depend on nobody else for enjoyment or approval.Like taking time for ourselves, this prevents us from losing ourselves or defining ourselves by another person.We meet our basic needs ourselves, and everyone else is extra. And since we don't put all our eggs in the basket of other significant others, friends and family are equally important.This is an especially feminist statement for women who date men, since men are taught to avoid crying and always be strong, particularly in order to protect women.In general, feminists encourage their partners to follow impulses that defy gender roles, whether that's crying, taking up a hobby stereotypical of the other gender, or wearing something unconventional.We also want partners who will ask us questions about our jobs and other aspects of our lives and remember things about us that don't have to do with them.In short, we want relationships where both people are treated as people.

So, there are a few unique things a feminist does in a relationship — or strives to do, because we're all works in progress — aimed toward viewing ourselves as full humans and demanding that others acknowledge our humanity as well.

Feminists won't be pressured into anything they don't want to do, whether that's going on a date they're not excited about, spending time with a significant other's friend whom they despise, or attending a social event that conflicts with their work schedule.

We give others our time on our own terms and believe that if we need to say "no" to an invitation now, another opportunity will come up again if the person really cares about us.

If we are in a relationship that includes sex, we know that we deserve pleasure as much as our partners.

We don't pressure them into anything, but we make it clear what we want, and we expect our partners to care. While we voice our desires, we by no means demand that anybody else fulfill them.

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We don't all live up to this ideal, since confrontation is hard to begin with and women in particular sometimes have trouble speaking up for themselves, but we are at least developing the courage to advocate for ourselves when something's wrong.

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