Allow me to compare and contrast two widely understood approaches to dating:
1) Short-term hookup
2) Long-term relationship
There are others, but I think these are the most popular.
From a man's perspective, it makes more sense to go for (1). This isn't just because we're all superficial cavemen who have a physical itch we want to scratch, although that is sometimes the case for everyone, regardless of gender.
It is because for cisgen men, dating requires a lot of work and expense. It takes planning, and while women might say they have to do hair and make-up and clothes, guess what? We have to do variations on all of those "look nice and classy" things too.
A short-term hookup means that for all of our efforts, there is an immediate or near-term reward. I don't know about all of you, but I like immediate gratification.
To be honest, though, I have to admit I am unhappy always going for (1), because as we all know, it ultimately leaves one feeling empty and abandoned. It makes us question our worth. That said, I am also tired of dumping time, energy and money into (2) only to get dumped after the third or fourth date. I couldn't be more burned out of dating using either approach.
Even when (2) is going well, all of that evaluation/being evaluated is exhausting. It's not fun, and it never feels natural, especially if you start out in a mental state of leaving (1) open as a possibility.
I don't imagine the pursuit of (2) is working well for a lot of the ladies out there, either, but I encourage their comments on this Take.
So let's start brainstorming a new way, right? Because is anyone getting married and starting families anymore? I am sure many are, but at the same rate as 1946?
I will start with my suggestion, but welcome others.
How about this? If it's a (2), let's both plan and both pay.
You know, like we're friends. Like we're starting out as friends. Like we always say that's what we're going to do, except we still expect the man to plan and pay. Like you do when you're hanging out with friends of the same cisgender.
Working together to plan and pay teaches us about one another - what our values are, what we're willing to put up with, what we enjoy, what we don't, and how much we're willing to invest in a given activity — without having to commit to hours of possible agony.
Also, planning an event with someone who is awesome is fun. If they're not awesome, it's not fun, which is one more reason this approach save everyone the requisite time, expense and heartbreak.
Now I get that for many, this approach is not a good option. Some men still want to dominate, and women want to be submissive. Men will want to behave like princes and women might want to be treated like princesses. Many will prefer the old heteronormative traditional relationship -- and that's great! Whatever works best for you is the thing you should do. This is just another option, and we shouldn't necessarily assume it's terrible … unless it is?
If a woman won't do this and wants to be a princess, I sure as hell want to know before we agree to go out.
Let's consider whether this approach, which (I hope) is compatible with a more egalitarian, pro-feminist agenda, will at least not be considered outrageous if and when it is proposed in real life.
I realize I am proposing something radical and some might not trust it. If a guy just wants to be cheap and lazy, and doesn't want to use this to get to know you better, you'll know. You'll know! You will have gotten to know him well enough -- and this approach will have done its work.
Anyway, this isn't so much a myTake as an extended question. I am more curious about what kinds of comments it will get. So please, do take your turn now.