There’s a trend that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the dating world.
It’s not so much of a trend as it is a line of distinction.
Girls can date around and they’re “fickle”, “slutty”, “flaky”.
Guys can date around and they’re just “checking out their options”.
It’s so subconscious that it’s alarming.
Just a couple weeks ago, my male friend was telling me about a girl he was interested in, but hesitant to ask out on a date because he’d heard that “she dates a different person every three months”.
Confused, I asked him what was the difference, especially when just two or three months ago, he himself was dating another girl.
He frowned, and had to actually stop to think about it for a few seconds before coming up with “Well, that’s different.”
“Why, though?” I prodded.
“Because she’s a girl,” he replied.
As soon as he said it, his eyes widened in realisation. He himself was near horrified at the double standards he’s been subscribing to all his life, without choosing to or even knowing it.
It’s everywhere, though.
Guys who proudly boast that they’ll only ever marry a virgin, or someone sexually inexperienced, as if the state of a hymen has any bearing on character.
Girls who receive judgmental looks and comments when they’re the ones who end relationships, even if they were cheated on or treated unfairly.
Parents who allow their sons to do whatever and see whoever they like, but impose curfews on their daughters and demand intimate details regarding their social activities.
People who gossip and speculate madly about girls who hang out with boys who aren’t their boyfriends, but have nothing to say about guys who do the same with girls who aren’t their girlfriends.
Movies and TV shows and books that tell us that Tinder is basically Google for guys looking to have sex on the first date, but girls only resort to dating sites and apps when they’re desperate and afraid of ending up alone in their empty houses with seven cats. (Which sounds amazing, tbh. Though maybe not if you hate cats.)
How did we get to this?
I thought the whole point of dating apps and online dating was to make dating more accessible, more manageable, just a whole lot easier — for everyone who uses them, not just those who happen to be male.
So many of my female friends are hesitant to admit that they’re on Tinder, even though the men seem to have no qualms about talking at length about their Tinder selection process.
So many of my female friends have been criticised as being “too high-maintenance” for turning down guys eight years older than them. And yet, I can’t even begin to count the number of guys I know who have rejected romantic prospects with girls simply because these lovely ladies happen to be born a mere one or two years earlier than them.
So many of my female friends have been criticised for being “high maintenance” when they ask one too many questions about a potential match’s personality, while I watch literal groups of guys gather around a phone screen and openly debate whether or not they’d fuck a certain girl.
If a guy leaves his girlfriend for another girl, that girl’s a home-wrecker.
If a girl leaves her boyfriend for another guy, that girl’s unfaithful and untrustworthy.
It seems that when it comes to the dating game, girls can’t ever win.
Unless they’re sexy (but innocent and virginal), pretty (but don’t know it) and cool and fun (but not popular, because why the hell should they be spending time with anyone they aren’t in a relationship with?).
There will be people who read this and feel confused, or perhaps even offended. “That’s not what dating is like at all!” they’ll say. “I haven’t seen or heard any of this in my own experience with dating!”
That’s great. Truly, that’s wonderful. That’s the dating experience everyone deserves — one free of judgement, free of invisible, unfair standards and subject to no one’s whims but your own (insofar as is respectful to other parties, of course).
But that doesn’t change the fact that this is happening, every single day.
Maybe not to you.
But to someone, it is.
To several other people, to hundreds and possibly thousands others, it is.
And that’s enough to make it a problem.
You can find out more about Mel on her author page.
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