Dating as a millennial is hard (see: terrible dating app dudes); dating as a feminist millennial is even harder. So to help you avoid finding yourself on another soul-crushing first date, we came up with these tips to help you walk out of that restaurant/bar/club/barn feeling like your best self, AKA your inner feminist Beyonce.
On Who Pays
Feminism has done lots to help line your pockets with equal pay, but one place where it won't help your wallet is on a first date. It's 2015 ladies, and you should all be offering to split the check. If he won't let you pay, offer to get the next round of drinks or parking. Sometimes men really want to treat you, and there is nothing wrong with letting him–just make sure he is aware that you are perfectly able to pay for yourself, thank you very much.
On Doing You
If you take one thing away from this article, please have it be "do you." Do what you are comfortable with, on your own terms. So your comment/opinion/outfit offended the person you're out with? Fine, he might not be the one for you, and you can move on. Stick with what makes YOU feel good. At the end of the day, the most important relationship you have is with yourself.
On Where to Meet
Think of where you're most at ease. Hate dancing? Avoid meeting at a a bar with a dance floor. Don't like yelling over the volume? Pick a quiet spot. Basically, try and pick where you will most be able to focus on getting to know the person in front of you and have a good time—why make dating harder than it already is?
On Making a First Impression
It's one thing to want someone to like you, and it's another to obsess about how you are coming off to said person. You are a BAMF, and the absolute best thing that you can do it just be yourself. Yes, it sounds like something your mom would say to you—but moms are the greatest and she was right (as usual). Plus, your real personality will come out eventually–you might as well act confident in who you are and focus on what *you* think of him.
On His Feminism
Already found out that he's a feminist? Awesome–you can now discuss your favorite theories (Gender Performativity, anyone?). If you have the strong sense that maybe he's not down with the sisterhood, attempt to hide your confusion and decide whether or not that's a problem for you. But if he doesn't identify either way, make sure that you at least agree on the issues that are important to you. Just because he doesn't call himself a feminist doesn't mean that he doesn't believe in gender equality.
On Getting Out of There
Probably the easiest way to feel in control of the date is to actually be in control. Make sure that you have an escape plan; mention drinks with your friends afterwards or a work phone call that you might have to take and make sure that you have some cash. If it's a blind date, we recommend avoiding valet parking or anything else that could delay your exit–we've been there and it's not pretty.
On Making Out and Having Sex
Please refer back to: Do you. Make a move if you feel like it. Don't come within six inches of the guy if you don't want to. Oh, he paid for a $4,000 dinner? Cool for him, you still don't even have to shake his hand goodnight. If you want to have sex on the first date, go for it! If you want to have a crazy eightsome with him and 7 strangers, get it girl! Your body, your rules. Just remember that if you do have sex, you are both entitled to an orgasm. 😉
On the Second Date
You don't have to date someone just because they are pursuing you. If a guy that you had a mediocre first date with is trying to wear you down until he gets a second, block that number ASAP. Does he know what you want better than you know what you want? We didn't think so. If you had a first date that you spent 45 minutes gushing to your girlfriends about, then great! Don't be shy to text him and ask him out. Whatever you do, just make sure you're not doing something because you think you should.
Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.