There are lots and lots of words, questions and statements to avoid when dating, especially in your 20s and especially in New York City. Here are a few:
A few months ago, I went on a date that was as successful as Kanye’s VMA speech. The dude asked me lots and lots of questions, which made the date feel like an intense job interview for a job I really, really didn’t want. He asked me one straightforward question, “What do you do for fun?” I rattled off the usual white girl activities: working out, travelling, reading, and writing. I then added, “I am also very passionate about feminism.” His face quickly transformed from smiley “I-want-to-learn-more” to wide-eyed “holy-shit-this-girl-is-a-psycho-run-for-the-hills.” He openly shared with me that he thinks feminism is stupid and that women “do it to themselves trying to keep up with the Kardashians by buying fur jackets and jewelry.” I’m still unsure what fur jackets and jewelry have to do with feminism, perhaps he was saving that for the second date.
Needless to say, we weren’t matches made in millennial dating heaven and I never saw him again. The F-Word is just as startling as the L-Word. In college, I told a guy I was a feminist and he responded, “Can we still have sex?” I am deeply proud to be a feminist and consider it a part of my identity, it’s the same as saying, “I’m a Pisces” or “I’m Drake’s future girlfriend.”
Given my personal experiences, I’m fully aware that this word can bring about a negative or confused reaction. I usually wait a few dates before dropping the F-Word bomb because it’s annoying to explain that yes, I shave my legs and no, I don’t have daddy issues. But if I had waited to share this big part of who I am with this date, it would have been an even bigger disappointment. I knew within 30 minutes the dude wasn’t for me.
So, go ahead and say all the “bad” words on a first date. Your passions matter. Feminism matters. If your date isn’t about it, he’s not the guy you should pick fancy kitchenware at Pottery Barn with. Say the F-Word on the first date. I dare you.