Dating can be very confusing for the modern woman. Do you put your career on hold? When do you start playing housewife? When do you relinquish your independence (or maintain it)? What is your role in his life, what is his role in yours?
This post is gained from my personal experience of dating, (I have been close to engagement twice) so this is just one woman's ideas. To give you background info, I am your typical modern woman - postgraduate degree, stable salary, travel experience, both parents with postgraduate degrees. I am very feminine in demeanor and appearance; I have no issues getting asked out. My issues with modern relationships is not about being feminine (although it fascinates and inspires me spiritually) but rather the roles for the modern educated man and woman.
The following are all linked to each other in some way.
1) Set the beginning foundation of the relationship as platonic.
Saying to have a platonic relationship can be controversial because we all want romance at the beginning. We always are attracted because of the butterflies. So why do I say be friends with him first? Two reasons - it's MUCH easier to vet and talk about each other's hopes and dreams, personal history and family background, philosophies and viewpoints, without having anything romantic involved. Your mind is not shrouded by your hormones and there is less pressure on both sides. Secondly, most strong marriages need a successful foundation outside of sex. Marriage is not only about sex (as important as it is) but the companionship. There are too many examples of couples being clouded by hormones and after the excitement wears off, there's nothing left.
Vetting your compatability as friends first allows you to explore each other's RMV over time, and it will be easier to see if you like each other as people first and foremost before the hormones set in.
2) Let him be interested in you first, and your job is to see if he's worth it.
You cannot deny attraction. When men are attracted, they chase. Would you rather marry a man that you had to bend over backwards to keep or marry a man you knew saw you as a catch from the beginning? Of course, it's your job to be a catch. This homework is a long process of understanding yourself, who you are, your personal philosophy and mindset, your interests.
Always invest in yourself and the right person will come along.
3) Invest in yourself.
Don't put your life on hold for someone you are not married to. This might be controversial but what I've seen among modern educated couples is that the man is usually the one chasing, until he catches her as his wife, and then you build your life together. And what I've also seen is no modern educated man is attracted to a woman who immediately and readily sets her life down for him, before marriage. As u/Shaela90 once wrote:
No matter what the RP tells you, high quality guys appreciate independence and a bit of a hard to get attitude in a woman...Taste, culture, education, the right hobbies and an enriched mind really matter a lot, therein lies the difference between a "used-to-be" hot girl who hit the wall hard and a post-wall woman who's still (or in some ways, even more) attractive. I'm assuming the possibility of a multidimensional wife who's committed to improving and never truly gets old and matronly was the main reason which made all these guys invest so much money, time and effort [...].
If you're going to use this route though, you better be an amazing woman, and that's the difficult part. Be a woman that is socially graceful, knowledgeable, responsible, disciplined. I don't mean even in a career sense. Know what your personal values are. What's important to you? How do you judge what's right and what's wrong? How do you have fun and enjoy life? How do you stay happy when things aren't going well? How's your perseverance? How do you tackle problems or bad moods? How do you handle life when other people are giving you trouble? How do you take care of your body? What are your interests? What's your artistic style?
4) Don't play housewife until marriage.
By this I mean chores like laundry or cleaning. Cooking, yes, is important throughout the relationship. Cook for him after you have vetted him and know he is interested in you and not what you can do for him.
But once you're in LTR, don't start to expect him to come home to you every night. Save that for marriage. You can offer to help with laundry in rare occasions but I advise never to clean his apartment for him. (This is all assuming you don't live together). Then when you're married or cohabitating, you can divide the chores accordingly.
Edit: To specify that this rule really pertains to women who end up ONLY being a maid for their boyfriends, and nothing else. Some women may need to pull their weight more. But for those that end up waiting around on weekends for him, only to find out he's made plans without you, or those that rush into their boyfriend's apartment cleaning and folding his clothes after dating for three weeks...give it a rest, show your domestic help slowly.
Anyways, like all else, use your brain. Don't be a whiney bitch when you've cooked together at his apartment and he's cleaning up by himself and you're sitting with your phone on the couch. By all means clean up with him. Just don't call him every week and ask if he needs his laundry done.
5) Never give more than he's giving you.
There was one book that stated to give back once every 2-3 times he gives to you. So let's say he takes you out twice in one week, then you offer to cook dinner for him after that. Is this a game? Of course, but there's more to it. Men like being in control of their lives, and the more you give to him, the more pressure it is for him. Allow him his independence during the dating phase. Let him determine how fast everything is going. That's what I mean by letting him chase you, letting him give to you more.
6) The basics of cooking and cleaning.
Please, modern women. There is nothing "feminine" about this but simply basic adult survival skills. I personally despise it when there's so much emphasis put on cooking and cleaning. You should already know how to take care of yourself before dating, and if you don't (or didn't have parents to teach you), start learning. Don't be a sad helpless case. Take responsibility for yourself.