Is It Easier to Ask for a Raise or a Date?

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Over the past few years, much of the debate about women’s lives has centered on our roles in the workplace. We have been coached to Lean In, assume the Power Pose and balance career and family in Unfinished Business. While the approaches differ, they share a commitment to one essential call to action: Women must continue to fight for greater equality and leadership roles in our chosen careers.

With the rise of Tinder and the hook-up culture, much has also been written about how women are owning their sexuality in a similarly independent and assertive manner. But, when it comes to actual romance, particularly courtship (remember, courtship???) many women are far more conflicted, if not downright confused. (Yes, this is a big generalization, to say nothing of assuming hetero-normative roles. For the sake of argument, work with me here.) When women are honest with each other, they admit they are not nearly as secure in expressing their needs and expectations in romantic relationships as they are increasingly on the job front. Somehow asking for a raise became easier than asking for a date. Here are some questions from Jyst: “I’ve been dating this guy for the past four months, but he hasn’t asked me to be his girlfriend yet. Do I wait or ask him?” “Ladies, do you text your boyfriend first?”

While the national conversation rightly centers on equality in the workplace where there is still so much progress to be made, it is also time to have a more open discussion about the stereotypical roles we continue to play in relationships. The dialog must include men as well as women for we are all participants and we will all be the beneficiaries of change. It’s time to be honest about our desires, confusion and vulnerabilities. Isn’t that what the best relationships are based on?

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