Does Chivalry Need to Die?



Dear Dharma,

I’m a hardworking small business owner and my little company is thriving. It’s taken a lot of my time, capital and energy, but I don’t mind. I’ve made a good and increasingly recognizable name for myself in my industry and I’m really proud of that.

The problem is, it’s killing my love life!

It’s not just the long work hours or the phone ringing with clients all hours of the day. At my age I’ve achieved success and stability when most of my peers are still paying off student loans and looking for a job. So many times I’ve not gotten past the first date because “successful business owner with her own home and willingness to ask for and pay for her own dates” is really intimidating to men my age.

Either I wind up with someone looking for a sugar momma or someone that looks at me like I’m out of their league! I spent all this time working and now I’m ready to date and get on with my life. I don’t care if I make more than a man and I don’t mind making the first move or paying, but it seems this is too “aggressive.”

What gives? I thought we weren’t living in the 50’s anymore. Is this what success and assertiveness really costs a modern woman?


Single and Disillusioned

Dear S&D,

So, the first thing I notice is that you interchange the words “aggressiveness” and “assertiveness”.  Of course there’s a difference between them, and it might be useful for you to determine which one you actually are.

There’s no right or wrong answer to that, it’s just simply having a stronger understanding of what you are putting out there.

If you’re coming on like, “Hey, pal, I don’t need you for anything.  I don’t need you to initiate anything, I don’t need you to pay my way, I don’t need you for nothing.  Hear me roar, okay?” that might be considered aggressive.

And no, it’s not the 50’s anymore, but there’s still a balance to be maintained, right?

Nobody, man or woman, likes to be overpowered, especially on a first date where there is no other point of reference as to your character.  And am I going to be crucified by the modern women of the world for saying that when a man feels useless to a woman, then his role becomes… blurry.  I probably am.

But before I start ducking for cover, interchange the genders in that statement any which way you want… if anyone feels useless in any relationship, their need to participate kind of dwindles… doesn’t it?

Anyway, if after assessing how you might come across, and you’re good with it, then feel free to tell me to stuff it.  If you’re perfectly comfortable with what you’re putting out there, I can live with that.

It just means you need to work as hard as anyone else does to find a well suited partner.  If you are using dating sites, use ones that are more professionally based.  I’m sure these exist, just Google something like “dating sites for professionals”.  I have a feeling you’re going to find someone better suited for you in a pool like that rather than, I don’t know… Tinder or something…  🙂

I’ll leave you with this, though… and I mean it when I say this is a puzzler for me and probably a million other people… Does being considered a strong, modern woman have to rule out things like chivalry, manners, kindness, balance, generosity, reliance, partnership and teamwork?



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