Don’t date just for free food

By Taylor Wolf | Social Media Editor

Ladies, it’s uncool to use guys for free food.

I was walking to class the other day and overheard a girl say to her friends: “I’m not, like, interested in dating him, but like, it’s free food, you know?” I’ve also heard the sayings: “A girl has got to eat” or “Hey, it’s a free meal!” I just think these are examples of unhealthy ways to look at dating — and people in general.

On a fundamental level, we shouldn’t look at dating as just a way to see how much and what we can get out of someone else. Dating is supposed to be about getting to know other people and yourself. I think it often morphs into just using each other for selfish benefits.

Yes, prioritize yourself and love yourself first and foremost in dating, but don’t disregard another person’s feelings and justify it as self-love and self-care. Disrespecting and using people actually has a negative impact in finding your identity and taking care of yourself. It’s an indication that you’re not truly taking care of yourself and being the best you can be.

An argument I’ve heard in support of girls using guys during dating is that a lot of guys use girls during dating too — just maybe not for free meals — and that it’s just how things are. I don’t think that committing one wrong in exchange for another is justified. Dating should never be about taking back, in some form, what you think you’re owed. It certainly shouldn’t be about leveling the scales.

I implore you, if you’re going on a date with ingenuine intentions, don’t call it a date, treat it like one or let the other person go on believing it’s one. You’re smart; you know what you’re doing and what your intentions are when you agree to go out with someone. Don’t use people. Don’t shame guys for using girls if you feel justified in doing the same. Know what you deserve and treat people right, even when you haven’t always been.

In the end, it comes down to respect. Have enough respect for yourself and the person you’re dating, or even just going on one date with, to go into the experience with an open mind and heart — not with just the acceptance that it’s a good opportunity to get something out of someone, whatever that may be for you. That just sucks.