Girl meets boy, girl goes out with boy, girl kisses boy good night, or girl invites boy over to stay.
The social and sexual interactions of dating seem pretty simple.
If two people know that they like each other, there is a natural progression of events. But just like with all things concerning personal relationships, it is never as easy as it might seem.
We live in the age of consent, the age of freedom of expression. An age where a woman stepping up for what she believes in is no longer met with criticism or ignorance.
However, even with the power of four waves of feminism, there are still many things we have not quite figured out yet.
Whether it’s the night of a first date or months after going out, some women still feel like they need to explain their decision to not kiss their date good night, or invite them over for some “tea.”
I don’t do this on the first date.
I’m not feeling well.
My roommate is home.
The list goes on.
However, these explanations are not nearly as important as the reasons behind them.
Why do women feel the need to provide an excuse for not doing something that they did not have an obligation to do in the first place?
Why does the need to satisfy male expectations (more like sexpectations) became a natural part of our dating life?
As a young women who prides herself on being open and honest with both men and women; and tries to educate herself on the ideas of feminism and independence, I find that odd feeling a metaphorical step back.
While remaining a woman who will stand up for what I believe in, and tell a man no if he is going too far or making me uncomfortable, I sometimes still can’t fight the feeling of guilt after not giving a man what I think he expects.
I have found myself in situations where I apologise for not doing one thing or another for a guy without even realising it; or power through and give him that kiss good night just to get it over with.
After talking to other women, I realised how common the feeling is; the feeling of always wanting to please the opposite sex, or pretty much everyone around you. The idea that we would rather be dishonest about how we truly feel than risk hurting or disappointing another. The subconscious ache we just can’t scratch.
Sometimes, it has noting to do with our independence or our self value; just a mysterious notion that we didn’t even know we had.
The reason behind this ridiculous notion of owing an explanation may well come from years of sexual transactions that took roots in the deepest inequalities.
Imagine a couple: Karen and Jim.
Jim brings home the money; and Karen rewards him by keeping that house warm for him. Jim gives Karen a gift, and she thanks him by spending the night with him. Jim walks Karen home, and she kisses him good night.
All these actions have one thing in common: Karen being intimate with Jim is always a reaction to his actions.
We are convinced by hundreds of romantic movies, books and even princess bedtime stories that if a man does something for us, our natural reaction should be to thank him. What we don’t think about, however, is that Karen is going to be judged by the same man who came up with the equation itself, for not going through with our end of the deal.
We cannot only blame the less forward-thinking generations for brainwashing us. The truth is that feeling guilty and apologising are issues woman face in every aspect of our lives; whether it’s a job, a friendship or a relationship. We try our best to satisfy everyone around us, and feel bad when we don’t deliver on promises that we were not obliged to make.
It is often much easier for us to come up with an excuse or even do something we don’t really want to, rather than tell the truth and admit that we are just not that into it.
Sometimes those intimate moments are a natural turn of events that just happen, and become part of a happy story. There is nothing wrong with that kind of intimacy. However, there are other cases; the cases where women give in to the imaginary obligation and do it to because they think they should or have to.
That truly begs the question; can there be an honest relationship between two people, without one being offended or another feeling guilty?
All we need to understand is that we do not owe any kind of explanation for our behaviour.
We are free to leave the restaurant without kissing him or inviting him into our apartment. We are also free to say what we think; instead of excusing ourselves just to make the rest of the night a little less uncomfortable.
Perhaps that is the first step in the right direction of a guilt-free future; with less unexplainable expectations and unnecessary excuses.