Chivalry Versus Equality In Dating

By Erika Ettin
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dating expert Erika Ettin says what’s confusing for her and many of her clients these days is that chivalry and equality are butting heads.

Tribune News Service

I was reading some comments on a dating article last week, and they highlighted a point that I already knew: In this day and age, there are two opposing forces, chivalry and equality. (Please note that in this column, I am defaulting to opposite-sex couples, but similar concepts apply in same-sex couples.)

Chivalry: The guy pays.
Equality: You split the bill because no one is entitled.

Chivalry: The guy holds the door open.
Equality: Whoever gets to the door first holds it open.

Chivalry: The man asks the woman out.
Equality: Whoever wants to ask the other person out should just do it.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I’m all for women’s independence, and I believe that women should be paid the same as men in the workplace and have all of the same privileges in life. That doesn’t, however, mean that I believe women and men should have the same place when it comes to dating.

Equal partnership? Yes. But women also have a need to feel pursued, special, and secure. Does a man need to feel these things, too? I believe men need to feel appreciated, and sometimes needed, but not taken advantage of, especially financially.

Where does this leave most people? Honestly, confused.

When my female clients tell me that they want a take-charge kind of guy, the kind who asks them out confidently and who pays for the bill, what they have to remember is that things are now blurred.

One woman wants this treatment, and another wants to yell “I am woman, hear me roar” and not be treated to anything.

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