Let’s be honest:
Modern dating isn’t working for a lot of women as all the new cultural norms have made things very confusing. It can be especially hard if you are a “people-pleaser” and find it hard to say “no” to some habits that seem to have become second nature in our society. I’m talking here about hanging out dates, casual sex, moving in without engagement, and other less than desirable treatment. Women don’t have the support of society anymore to say no to these things as they have now become normal. So you must buck the norms in order to say “no.”
But, that’s often easier said than done.
In fact, one of the major reasons that women have trouble with modern dating is because it can be hard for them to be their own “Brand of Sexy.” I coined that term in my book, and it means doing what’s best for you, whether other people like it or not. Since dating rules were thrown out, it’s now up to each woman to decide for herself what works for her.
And, that requires a lot of work as many women today can still be “people-pleasers,” so saying “no” to men can be quite difficult for them. They agree when they actually want more. As a result, women have trouble getting the relationship they want, and often are not even treated well by men. That’s just one of the many problems faced by women who are dating in today’s confusing culture.
What follows are selected excerpts from my book. that might help you see the big picture.
Is Modern Dating Not Working for You?
Take a second to answer honestly to these questions:
- Has being a “modern woman” worked for your love life?
- When a “microwave romance” got too hot too quickly, did it explode in your face?
- Could you tell whether he was into you or did it feel like you were gambling with your heart?
If you are unsatisfied with what modern dating brought you, then it’s best to admit it:
It’s time for a new sexual revolution!
The old one didn’t turn out the way we had hoped—especially for women. Instead of liberating ourselves, we’ve traded one unrealistic expectation (June Cleaver, 1950s TV perfect wife, and mother) for another (Kim Kardashian, modern-day sex goddess). In today’s culture of instant intimacy, with the old rule book long ago discarded, single women don’t give themselves time to figure out whether guys can be trusted. Instead, we gamble with our emotions. We feel we’re not supposed to complain about the risks because we’re modern women. The truth is that we’re making decisions based on what seems “politically correct” or what we think everyone else is doing. We often don’t consider what’s best for us emotionally. It’s no wonder so many of us don’t feel fully satisfied with our relationships.
It’s Becoming Harder for Women to Feel Confident and Say No
Women in particular are socialized to be “people pleasers.” And because women are generally less confident than men—the “confidence gap”—women are more vulnerable to pressures from others. We often do what others expect from us to the point of denying our own needs. This is how our culture can pull us away from our true selves. Being a people pleaser steeped in a culture that emphasizes sex, youth, and beauty and it can drive you to become a sex object (at any age).
Older women feel invisible, younger women lose sight of what works for them as individuals, and mothers are scared to raise daughters in a world where clothing stores offer t-shirts labeled “jail bait” for 10-year-olds.
And none of us will get treated well unless we’re strong enough to be our own Brand of Sexy. Instead of simply yielding to social pressure, being your own Brand of Sexy means doing what is best for you as an individual.
We’re All Different and That’s a Good Thing
The Women’s Movement and the Sexual Revolution were a huge leap forward for equality and freedom from inhibitions. Yet they set in motion a chain of events that turned upside down the way we date and relate. Now we’re pioneers, trying to navigate a strange new territory without a map or a guide (or lots of conflicting maps and guides). We each need to develop a strong inner compass to help us navigate this journey. That means figuring out what you want, what works for you individually, and what strategies to use to achieve your relationship goals—whatever they may be.
The new sexual revolution means understanding that we are different from one another. We are beautiful in our differences, just as each type of flower has its own unique beauty. (Nobody tells a lily, “Your petals are too fat.”)
Let’s take what we learned from the last Women’s Movement and Sexual Revolution and move forward. The Women’s Movement challenged the belief that women are all alike and inferior to men. Why would we want to replace those old judgmental attitudes (What’s wrong with her that she’s not a virgin) with new equally judgmental ones (What’s wrong with her that she is a virgin)?
Do we have to act in certain ways to be “modern”? Do we really believe that we’re still all alike and that our individual needs don’t matter?
A New Sexual Revolution Starts Now
Change is challenging, especially in a world so polarized by our differences. But a new sexual revolution involves acceptance rather than judging and endless loops of arguments. It’s OK to be different.
We now need to work together to find workable solutions by understanding our differences and vulnerabilities. We can achieve this through a new sexual revolution that is founded on being your own Brand of Sexy and sisterhood.
The most effective way for women to have power on a societal level is when we all stick together. If enough of us stopped letting men get away with bad behavior, many of these men would be forced to change.
Stay tuned when next week we’ll discuss what it takes to be your own Brand of Sexy, and how it makes modern dating easier for you.