There’s never been a better time to be a single woman

Who needs chivalry anymore?

Ever find yourself longing for the romance of the past? The days of being swept off your feet by a respectable man (no open LGBTQ+ dating in the past, remember), giggling tastefully at all his chauvinistic jokes and one day marrying him and bearing countless children? The Oxford grad behind backwards dating app Chivalry Not Dead clearly does: she wants to return to a patriarchal world of men wooing women and footing the bill at dinner.

What Beth Murtagh, the “brains” behind the app fails to understand though is that the idealised dating world she wants us all to live in is repressive, limited and patriarchal. Rather than going backwards, we need to keep going forwards, because at the moment there’s never been a better time to be a young single woman.

Talkative women are the worst

Talkative women are the worst

Now, women can actually ask the men of their choosing out, without feeling strange or masculine for doing so. We can have a say in where we go and what we do, or even pay the bill sometimes. Has this liberation upset the balance and scared men away? Of course not. In fact, many young men say they enjoy not feeling pressured to make the first move.

So go ahead girls, and ask the object of your affections out. Even if the answer’s no, they’ll be impressed by your courage. The same principle applies on nights out.  Like the look of that guy on the dance floor? Want to introduce yourself to him?  Offer him a drink? These moves will no longer get you shunned from society so give it a try.

Of course, not everyone has the confidence to approach someone they like in public, and that counts for girls just as much as it does guys. Thankfully, there are currently enough dating apps to cover every desire and fetish you can think of, and while an evening spent on Tinder might sound shallow, there’s no better way for girls to find a quick date (even if it means wading through some terrible chat-up lines first). Whereas girls were once expected to only be “stepping out” with one person at a time, Tinder and other apps have made casual dating more acceptable, for both genders.

This shift away from expecting the men to organise and orchestrate every aspect of our romantic world has also liberated women sexually. Now, we’re calling the shots and having sex when we want, whether that’s the first date, the tenth or after marriage. It doesn’t matter: we’ve finally got the strength to do what makes us happy.

Being in touch with your own sexuality can make you happier and more fulfilled in a relationship, whether it’s a committed monogamous one or just a fling. In fact, the very idea of a fling is now more acceptable. Women can have a friend with benefits, a sexting buddy or a girlfriend without being judged by the rest of the world (most of the time).

Of course, there is a danger that all this extra freedom actually just makes dating more complicated. Fortunately, as women have gained more control, men have also become more open. Gone are the days of stiff upper lips and emotionless “men’s men”. Now, guys know they can discuss topics such as consent, sexual health or domestic abuse with a freedom which didn’t seem to exist before. The ability to talk about things is so important. Women no longer need to lie back and think of England, instead they can ask for what they want and get it.

So why, when we have all of this on our side, would anyone want to go back to a time when dating was on men’s terms alone? When you couldn’t show affection in public? When you couldn’t date outside your ethnic group or religion? If that’s what old-fashioned romance is, screw your love letters and send a winking emoji my way instead.

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University of Bristol national