5 Tips for Dating in the #MeToo Era
The #MeToo movement has helped lift the veil of silence, which has shrouded unprofessional and even criminal behavior from men in the workplace and beyond. While many women have bravely come forward about their experiences — as well as men like Terry Crews and Anthony Rapp — an unintended consequence is that well-meaning men now worry that their courtship behavior might be inappropriate or unwanted.
That is why Johnny Dzubak and AJ Harbinger, relationship development experts and hosts of the lifestyle podcast The Art of Charm, are offering men invaluable tips for dating the #MeToo era.
“Many of our clients have confessed that they are now uncertain of how to approach women,” Harbinger said. “How can you be flirtatious and engaging without crossing the line? How can you be sure you have consent without ruining the mood or making things awkward?”
“Things are changing for the better, but that means men will need to learn new skills and get out of their comfort zones,” added Dzubak.
Here are some of the pair’s best tips:
1. Offer compliments on her personality, not her body.
“We all like to feel desirable and know that we look our best, but if you shower a woman with nothing but compliments on her physique or her hair or generic compliments about how ‘hot’ she is, she is going to feel like a piece of meat,” Harbinger said. “Instead, give her a deeply meaningful compliment that will make her feel seen as a person and let her know that you’re paying attention to more than just her appearance.”
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for consent.
“Asking for consent doesn’t have to be a mood-killer. Saying ‘I really want to kiss you right now … Can I?’ is a simple and romantic way to let your partner give affirmative consent,” said Dzubak. “Remember, a lack of a ‘no’ is not consent … you want hear the affirmation that all systems are go.”
3. Watch how much you indulge
“Generally speaking, too many cocktails are a bad idea when you’re on a date. Not only do you run the risk of making a fool of yourself, but it’s impossible to accurately gauge consent if you’re both three sheets to the wind,” said Harbinger.
4. Get out of the bar scene
“Speaking of too many drinks, there is no good way to get to know someone (or to figure out their true intentions and true desires) when you’re shouting at each other across a loud bar,” said Dzubak. “Try dating in environments that are more conducive to true connection, environments which will encourage those important conversations about sex, romance and so much more. Think active, outdoor dates like hiking, kayaking or just having a picnic at the park.”
5. Don’t bargain, wheedle or presume
“When it comes to intimacy, be very careful about your language. You don’t want to presume that your partner is ready to be intimate unless you have received prior consent, and you don’t want to pressure or even pout about going ‘just a little farther,’” said Harbinger. “Consent which is coerced is not true consent. And let’s face it, rushing into the bedroom before you are both truly feeling it is probably going to lead to intimacy which is either regrettable or simply forgettable.”