In today’s modern era of shared economy, what used to be unthinkable a few years ago (sharing cab rides with strangers, sleeping on a stranger’s bed and so on) is commonplace today. Similarly, the concept of monogamy has started losing relevance in modern societies as we embrace YOLO and FOMO and what not! Given that we are forging towards modern methods of loving, shouldn’t cliched roles of men and women in a romantic relationship also be outdated? You’d be surprised to know that our expectations of the opposite gender hasn’t evolved as much.

Earlier this evening, I was chatting with a girlfriend who wondered if she could apply the same rigour of finding that perfect job to that of finding a perfect partner, to which I nonchalantly responded “Yes, why not!”. She was worried that she’d be perceived as too forthcoming for a woman if she initiated every single conversation. Having been someone who has always chosen to go get what I’ve wanted on my own, I didn’t see much value in sitting around and waiting for something one knew they definitely wanted. Of course, one would have to draw the line between being interested and desperate and that’s one goddamn hard line to draw. Having said that, there’s no good way to be able to draw that line well without some practice (apart from following Wikihow’s approach on this). Given that there’s no return without risk, let’s not even argue about the rationale for practice.

While I thought that this girl might be overthinking or trying to fit a square ball into a round hole, etc. I was confident that men would more than welcome a woman taking the initiative and it could even be hot sometimes! So, I just advised her to follow her instincts and also, because I know the guy to be much more modern in his thinking. However, only minutes later, as I continued this conversation with a guy, I discovered that he’d be cautious if a woman, that too a great one, wanted to pursue him on her own and not wait for it to be the other way around. Why? Because this seems like a market for lemons. And what shapes this assumption? It’s the cliched relationship protocol that’s been painted by  our societies for eons now. While there’s a place for equality in the workforce, we are not yet ready to embrace a woman making the first move without an element of caution. So, are we really modern lovers yet?

A lot of the times men also get intimidated by women who make the first move simply because these men could be relationship virgins. They could benefit from some confidence boosting that they’re actually worth being pursued. One of the ways to get this sort of assurance is probably to get on apps like Bumble, that make modern women lovers seem normal. Now, the problem with such apps is that more often than not, women misuse this power by raising expectations of single men who are genuinely ready to meet these liberal thinking modern women, by not pursuing a chase that they appear to initiate!

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