“Do you want me to pay for dinner?” and other awkward questions

An interesting point was recently brought to my attention by a male friend: it’s hard to respect someone’s expectations about things like going dutch and gestures like holding doors open when you don’t know what those expectations are, but asking about them can be awkward and come off as rude. When you’re dating in a pool that contains a wide spectrum of views on these subjects, how can you have a conversation about them early in a relationship without it getting weird? While this sort of question applies to everyone, it has specific relevance to heterosexual men, because they traditionally have the most distance from the feminist discussions on these subjects.

I don’t really have any deep insight into this question myself, but I thought I’d bring it to the community’s attention, since it could make for interesting discussion.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 5, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I try not to be offended by people just asking what they expect of me: I prefer things to stay straightforward.

    Now, when you bring up HOW they ask — it is possible to be rude in tone and attitude. There’s a big difference between a ‘Would you like me to get the door for you?’ and a ‘Ugh. So, you want me to get the door FOR you?’ That’s a pretty good sign if they’re just incredibly sensitive to your needs or if you need to DTMFA.

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