I’ve never felt pressured to have sex on the third date, or felt that any guy I was with expected it just because they paid for dinner, etc. I publicly applaud the men I’ve gone out with for never making me feel that way, and thank them for their gentlemanly ways.

That being said, I think that kissing, like sex, needs to be mutually decided upon. I recently had a pleasant dinner out with someone. We laughed and joked but we both agreed why we would not work out as a couple. So it should have been clear, right? But at the end of the date, as we were standing by our cars and I reached out to give him a friendly hug, he held me tight and would not let me go until he kissed me.

I pulled back and tried to laugh it off, quickly opening my car door and jumping inside.

No more kissing!” I cried out, wagging my finger at him.

He held the door so I couldn’t close it, reached inside and said, “Just one more on the cheek – just the cheek!”
And he grabbed my face and despite me saying “No! No!” insisted on kissing my cheek before finally backing off so I could shut the door.

I exclaimed, “I’m out of here!”

I quickly drove off, feeling like maybe I should have been ruder or more serious, but I had defaulted to joking or laughing, my usual response to uncomfortable situations.

A friend of mine had been on several dates with the same guy, so I asked her if he ever did it to her.

“He was an aggressive kisser is what I would say.” She answered. “Never hurtful, just always wanting to kiss and not shy about trying. Makes it hard to know when to push back. . .Does that make sense? Very alpha, take charge. Which is nice some times, just not every time.”

I thought for a moment before typing back.

“It makes sense, but it’s not okay. He shouldn’t be doing that. I feel like I can’t go out with him again because I can’t trust him not to respect my personal space.”

It was one of my issues too,” she replied. “. . . He’s a nice guy, just not for me and apparently not for you. I think we both like a little give and take rather [than a] constant demand without checking with us.”

So how does one fix this? Ideally, I’ve been on dates where I have given a clear signal that holding my hand or kissing me would be okay (like leaning in with a smile) and my date has understood that, and it worked out well. I’ve also been on dates where the man has asked permission every step of the way – holding my hand, giving me a hug, kissing me, etc. Sometimes that can seem awkward and clunky, but at least both of us know it is okay to proceed.

As a woman, and maybe a more retro version of one, I don’t want to be the move-maker all the time. I want to be romanced and charmed and flattered and flirted with. I like to know that someone wants me.

By wanting to be in that role, does that mean I’ve increased my chances of the Alpha Male domination? Maybe. I don’t have a clear cut answer for how to change my ways to decrease my odds and still be in a role where the man is not emasculated, left waiting for me to make all the moves.

I don’t think it’s easy for the man to be the one who extends himself for possible rejection. I know it’s rough to put yourself out there.

This is not one of my pithy, “Look what I just figured out” stories. I don’t have an answer for this one. It is just something that frustrates me.