Date Night Etiquette: A Glass Of Wine Doesn’t Mean I’m Going Home With You

Believe it or not, I enjoy going on dates. I like conversation, the promise of a future relationship and, essentially, learning about a new person. I like wine. I like dressing up, the anticipation of a planned evening and that final spritz of perfume before dancing out the door, just late enough to be mysterious.

I am also grateful for the fact that I live in a country where, as a woman, I have the opportunity to do all of the above and more, if I so choose.

In addition to a great night out, I enjoy wine. Not in a “I’ve got to down the bottle, oops, now let’s order more and be sloppy,” kind of a way, but in a “It’s Friday night and I want to chill and relax” fashion. Wine is great, although not the day before a long run. Wine is delicious, especially when enjoyed with the right foods (I don’t recommend a really tangy vinaigrette and Pinot Noir, unless you’re into tastebud shock). Wine on a date does not mean I want to sleep with you.

Just this year, I turned 30 and while many people fear this age (okay, at midnight on January 6th I felt on the cusp of something new, but nothing major), I embraced it as a truly fresh beginning.  And since then, this year has been about celebrating the innovative, the fun and the novel. It’s been about growth and learning and moving to better places physically and emotionally. It’s making peace with myself and the world and knowing that I would like to find, as we call it, “my person”.

In order for me to make the latter part of this statement happen, I have to go on dates and meet a lot of guys. And I do like to drink wine on some of those dates. (I’m also partial to a nice beer or two, sake occasionally, but I’ve been off liquor thanks to running.)

But as I mentioned before, drinking wine on a date does not mean I want to sleep with you.

Perhaps in the few years I was ensconced in a relationship , I might have missed out on some vital dating clues. For instance, the last time I was dating, I didn’t own a smartphone and Instagram didn’t exist. Nor did I know that many a couple meets via the online route; it’s everywhere today. And I guess somehow, somewhere, I missed the fact that it’s suddenly ok to assume a woman who has a couple of drinks on a date wants to go home and sleep with you.

Apparently, if you are female, sane, funny, friendly and all the other good things one can be, at the close of a first date, it’s natural to just go home with your companion, even though this might be the first time you’ve ever been out together. You might have even met them hours before and, of course, it’s simply totally logical that sex will end the night. Because, after all, a woman who has a couple of glasses of wine totally loses her inhibitions and is ready to do whatever, wherever which, apparently in this day and age, means hauling off for some random sex and a super classy, makeup-streaked walk home in the stark morning daylight.

I must have really missed something.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude. Sex is wonderful. But the issue here is one of respect. Just because a woman (myself) is having a great time, it does not mean her valiant date should immediately expect their female counterpart to put out. And just because the woman (myself) in question has a couple of glasses of wine, it doesn’t mean that I am willing to go to the far reaches of Manhattan, nor does my enjoyment of said wine mean that I am “loose” and want to. In fact, I guarantee I did nothing to imply I would like to come home with my date at the conclusion of this particular evening. Therefore, it all boils down to an issue of respect – for my body, my personality and my intelligence. The fact that your assumption that my time with you was going end up in a physical conclusion to the evening is entirely disrespectful in my humble opinion.

In other words, my enjoyment of a couple of drinks plus my potential enjoyment of you does not equally mean I will have sex with you after a few hours in your suddenly not-so-pleasant company. So give a little respect. And just freaking wait a week or two.

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