Should Women Ask Men Out on First Dates?

Should Women Ask Men Out on First Date

Dear Evan,

What’s the truth? Should women ask men out on first dates? Is it true that a man is “really not that into you” if he’s not asking you out?

Thanks!
Danielle

Dear Danielle,

You asked me a question, but you really asked me two different questions which have two different answers:

1) Should women ask out men on first dates?

No. No, they should not. Women asking men on first dates can be taken as aggressive, desperate, and masculine. At the very least, it can signify a loss of power. So I wouldn’t recommend that you ever utter the words, “Would you like to go out with me?” to any men.

This doesn’t contradict anything I’ve said before, because God knows, I’m not an advocate of women acting like helpless, shrinking violets. Not at all. But there’s a difference between asking a man out and getting a man to ask you out. I vote strongly for the latter.

There’s a difference between asking a man out and getting a man to ask you out.

So let’s get this straight:

Women asking men out? No.

Women using all their feminine wiles to get men to ask them out? Yes.

So what are these feminine wiles of which I speak? Besides your everyday, run-of-the-mill flirtation, there are TONS of things a woman can do to aid in her own dating process.

Let’s say you’re at a party and you see a cute guy across the room. Your friend tells you to go up and ask him out. But you’ve read this article and you know that he probably won’t respond to such a direct approach. What are you gonna do? How can you take action to make HIM take action?

So, if you see a man  you want to meet, how can you meet him? By putting yourself in the position to meet him. You can cross the room, park yourself seven feet to his diagonal, turn and smile. Now that he’s in your line of sight, he has an opportunity to make eye contact with you. And when men make eye contact with you when you’re smiling, that’s their invitation to come over and introduce themselves.

Result: Woman takes action. Man makes a move. Woman stays in control and keeps her feminine energy.

It’s important to understand this dynamic when we get to Danielle’s next question.

2) Is it true that a man is “really not that into you” if he’s not asking you out?

Yes. Kind of…. See, we men know, and have been conditioned, and may even have the biological imperative, to be the “aggressors”. For better or worse, this is the way society is set up. Men ask out women. We ask them to prom. We ask them to go steady. We ask them if they want to have sex. We ask them if they will marry us. Women are the gatekeepers to what we want. When that energy shifts, it often throws us for a loop.

This is why women shouldn’t push men for sex. Or ask men to commit. Or ask men to marry them. It’s not that they shouldn’t desire these things; it’s that generally, the man asks and the woman says yes/no.

But there are some men who don’t embrace these traditional roles – not because they’re iconoclasts or neo-feminists, but simply because they’re shy or insecure. Unless you give them the key to your heart and half-way unlock the door, they’re never going to get inside. Mostly because they’re afraid of rejection and don’t want to put themselves out there.

If you have the hots for the cute, quiet guy in IT, he may be totally into you, but be too shy to do anything.

So where does this leave a woman with a crush? Depends on the guy. With guys who are alpha male types – confident, secure, good with women – yeah, if he’s not asking you out, he’s just not that into you. Type A men know that they need to ask out women, and are usually adept at doing so. However, if you have the hots for the cute, quiet guy in IT, he may be totally into you, but be too shy to do anything.

That’s when it’s your job to make it easier for him. Not to ask him out, but to make it clear that you’re amenable to being asked out. Being flirtatious, hanging around his desk, joining him for lunch… As long as he knows that his advances will be well-received, he will probably make the advance.

And if he doesn’t?

Just ask him out.

It’s only rejection. Guys deal with it every day.

(And yeah, I’m contradicting myself, but only for shy guys!)

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Comments:

  1. 301
    GL

    TOTALLY agree. I really encourage men online to converse, because I go on the possibility they might be shy/not into electronic communication. Sometimes I straight up give them my number, and if they don’t call…well, ok they aren’t into it. I have also asked out guys and usually get rejected, LOL, but it’s worth a shot. My first love, well I asked him out. We had the best relationship I’ve ever had.

  2. 302
    jason cole

    I disagree, but who am I. What does it matter who ask who out? Male or female. Women are going to have to let the ammale know they are interested. Giving signs so forth. What’s the difference in asking someone to go for a walk or expressing your feelings, that means speaking, body language and signs can be hard to read sometimes. I see nothing wrong with a female asking a male out. Or at least verbal saying she is interested in him.

  3. 303
    Jason Cole

    I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even bother asking women out. To much trouble. Lets say I’m at work. I have to worry about a harassment complaint being filed, possibly resulting in job loss. The hand book is clearly discriminating against men, saying sexual harassment can be in the form of leering at a person. What? If I see something I think is beautiful. I can harass it by looking at it. Okay so I don’t look at women period while I’m at work. I walk around all day with my head down. Especially when a pretty women comes in I go the opposite direction.  ;)…..I’ve tried dating sites. They are horrible for me, I’m not sure about others. Never can tell who I was talking to. One time my mom tricked me, made a fake profile. Needless to say that didn’t go so well. Church isn’t a good place either. I’ve talked with a few women there they seem to think its not a good place. I don’t go to bars often but have heard that’s the worst place to find a good women. Back to the point. Id rather a women verbally say she is interested in me before I ask her out.

    1. 303.1
      Karmic Equation

      Jason,
       
      Then you are going to die a lonely bachelor.
       
      The reality is that men get rejected up front (e.g., girl says no to a date) whereas women get rejected after dates (guy disappears). As much as it may sting for you to get rejected up front, at least you have closure. Most women yearn for that, but few get it. So men are lucky in this sense.
       
      Just as men need to be attracted to a woman to ask her out, women need to be attracted to a man before she accepts a date. You don’t mention your looks, so I’m going to assume you’re average looking. My suggestion is that if you’re thin, buff up; if you’re overweight, lose it. Head for the gym and put on some muscle and develop a six-pack ab and those lovely hip flexors that only men can develop. lol.
       
      If your face is plain, you can get plastic surgery, too, you know. Men can have PS just like women. This might be better than a six-pack ab, because, for most women, we need a face we can envision kissing.
       
      And then you’ll face rejection less, both online and IRL. Women don’t tend to reject lunch dates with cute guys from work. And online, good looking guys get approached by women (e.g., written to) whereas the average looking guy, not so much. And in the meantime, while you’re working out to get in shape, write a better profile. You should use Evan’s e-Cyrano service. I highly recommend it. Most men’s profiles are poor. And the ones who like to write tend to write wayyyyyy tooooo much!
       
      And lastly, if you DON’T want to go to the gym or get P.S., then you need to evaluate your own league and approach women within it. If you’re really a 5 but knocking yourself out trying to date 8′s you’re not going to be successful. Start writing to 5′s and keep dropping the number until someone responds. If 5′s respond quickly, you can try for 6′s. Works in both directions. You just need to find out which women find you attractive and then go date those women. There is a lid for every pot :)

      1. 303.1.1
        Jason Cole

        Karmic I squat 450 and bench press 300. I have a 6 pack of a Greek God. So really don’t think the GYM is going to save from my loney exile.

  4. 304
    Jason Cole

    Plastic surgery please. You shouldn’t even say something like that to someone. God made my face my body. If a women can’t love it done it. No one should have plastic surgery. Shame on you for pushing it!!!

    1. 304.1
      Karmic Equation

      Jason,
       
      Women very rarely accuse good looking men of sexual harassment — even if he were oftentimes, unless he’s a douche. So if you’re afraid of being charged with sexual harassment, then you need to connect the dots.
       
      It’s not shameful for women to have P.S. if she wants to. Most celebrities do, male and female. So it’s ok for guys too.
       
      So let me clarify further, IF you have a great body BUT your face is less than optimal then EVEN great body may not get you the chicks you want. You need to have a kissable face OR you need to date within your league. It’s all within your control.
       
      Love your one liner, Evan. Made me laugh and spit out my tea.

      1. 304.1.1
        Tom10

        Me too Karmic :)

        1. Karmic Equation

          Great minds think alike, eh, Tom?

  5. 305
    jason cole

    We are total off subject. The subject was should women ask men out. Not can Jason get a date. Excuse me for explaining why I don’t ask women out and feel it wouldnt be awkward for a women to ask a man out. 

  6. 306
    jason cole

    Excuse me I didn’t read the hole article Evan wrote. This site is not good for a not so smart phone.

  7. 307
    Jason Cole

    Karmic all I can think about is Ric Flair chopping you in the chest and yelling wow. If you are a male? So I must go blog elsewhere.

    1. 307.1
      Karmic Equation

      I’m all woman, hon.
       
      Ric Flair is no match for me! hahaha
       
      I just have this uncanny ability to think like a guy. And I have full access to all my emotions, like most women. So not only can I feel all my emotions, I can also analyze them. And I’m hot (or so I’ve been told, IRL, not just online) So I’m quite lethal. Beware! ;)

  8. 308
    Ric Flair

    Nothing funny at all about what Evan said. 

    1. 308.1
      Karmic Equation

      Welcome back from the dead!

  9. 309
    Ric Flair

    Well thank you for clarifying that. I appreciate your help with my relsationship status. You should be more confident with those I’m hot remarks though. Have a good day

    1. 309.1
      Karmic Equation

      Well, “hotness” needs 3rd party corroboration. If I think I’m hot and no one else does, am I really hot? The answer would be no. I would be delusional.
       
      And we all know that men online will tell a woman she’s hot to try to get dates :) 
       
      And we know that both men and women often photoshop their profile pics, sometimes so much so, they don’t even resemble them IRL upon meeting. — Men I’ve had dates with have disclosed this…and I myself have experienced it with men, although, most men don’t shop their photos, per se. The most deceived I’ve felt was when a man used pics of himself 50# ago or have pics with dark hair and when I met him he was all gray. NONE of their photos were recent, but since they both had MULTIPLE photos, I thought they were legit. Not cool.
       
      Hence, I qualified my hot statement to show that I’m not being delusional :)

  10. 310
    Ric flair

    Well my mirror qualified me so. :p

    1. 310.1
      Karmic Equation

      But you could be delusional. Remember, women like ABOVE the neck looks more than BELOW the neck bods. I can’t tell you how many not-hot men post close ups of their hot bods and then when I see their face go, not good. Jowly, craggy faces. Even Led Zeppelin like beards. Not for me. Might be for other women, but doubt it. Bods were rocking though. But the face couldn’t save it. There is NO equivalent in women-speak for “But-her face…” Great bods help an above average face. But won’t help a below-average face. In this sense women are lucky. But that woman needs have really good guy-dar, or she faces being used and becoming embittered or end up in the wrong kinds of relationships.

  11. 311
    RFC

    Evan and to everyone else-Why does it seem like so many men online are complaining about women NOT making the first move? For every article that says that men should ask women out (which I agree), there’s someone else saying that women should ask men out.  I came across an article saying that men are lazy, why should men do all of the work, and that a woman asking a man out shows confidence. But, I’ve seen so many examples of women chasing men that don’t work.  When men say that they like it when a woman asks them out, they don’t tell you that they will actually commit or fall in love with that woman. If you’re getting hit on a woman that you don’t like, you’re just going to feel awkward.  At least a man asking the woman out shows that he genuinely likes her, and put enough energy into it.

  12. 312
    Geoff

    Speaking as a man, I am not emasculated in the slightest when a woman demonstrates enough interest in me to ask me out.  Quite the opposite, in fact; it is a major turn-on for me because I know for certain that she is into me, she’s likelier to be compatible, and I will be bolder as a result.  I like decisive, assertive (not domineering) women.

    To be frank, I think encouraging women to “lead” men into asking them out reinforces social roles based on deception that are quite poisonous, and  stereotypes that we should be trying to dump.  In my view, a society that is truly based on equality is one where either gender is free to initiate a relationship. 

    Men who have a problem with being asked out have insecurities (such as issues of control) to work out, in my view.  And for the record, I have asked women out who have interested me, as well.  I think it’s only fair that women take the initiative and ask men out. too.

    1. 312.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It’s not about being emasculated, Geoff. It’s about the simple fact that most men got the memo that if they are attracted to a woman, they should ask her out. If he doesn’t ask her out, that would usually be an indicator of his lack of interest. Thus, it’s not that women can’t ask out men; it’s that, for the most part, they shouldn’t HAVE to.

      1. 312.1.1
        jeremy

        This is a bit of a re-hash of a disagreement I had with Evan on a related topic of women offering the first kiss.
        Evan, I have a ton of respect for you and the advice you offer, and I agree with much of what you write.  But I think you are off-base here.  You are committing what is known as “apex fallacy,” wherein you assume that the behavior of the top 10-20% of men is indicative of the behavior of 80-90% of men.
        The top 10-20% of men, the “alpha” men, the men who have effortless success with women (as you seem to have had in your younger days) are the ones that “got the memo” that THEY should be the ones to initiate.  The remaining majority of men are more self-conscious, and would LOVE it if women would occasionally initiate or show overt interest.
         
        Let’s temporarily flip the script.  Rather than asking whether women should ask men out on dates, let’s ask whether women should ask for raises at work.  “Men” seem to have gotten the memo that if they want something (like a raise at work), they need to ask for it.  However, many women have not gotten that memo.  Instead, they adopt a passive attitude and often get passed over.  Lesson learned – if you want something, ask for it.
         
        I believe the same applies in the world of dating.  If a woman is interested in a man, she need not adopt a passive attitude.  She can take risks and act overtly.  And 80-90% of men will not see her as too masculine (though I admit, the 10-20% that might see her so are the ones SHE is most likely to be interested in…)

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Blind spots are funny. You’re going to this length to defend the beta worldview – and you use the example that if women want raises (or men), they should ask. The onus is on them. You’re right.

          And the onus is on your 80% of men to ask as well, instead of saying that feminine women who get asked out all the time by men “should” ask them out instead. Doctor, heal thyself.

        2. jeremy

          I don’t understand your argument here, Evan.  The onus to ask is on the one who “wants”.  In the example of work, the woman who wants a raise asks for it.
          In the example of a man who wants to ask a woman out, he should ask (I agree with you).
          In the example of a woman who wants to ask a man out, she should ask.  I agree with what you wrote in your article that she might first try to position herself such that he might do the asking, but in the absence of success in that regard, she should ask, rather than feel rejected because he did not pick up on her covert messaging.
           

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          And yet, the easiest thing you can do as a man is to start asking women out, instead of complaining that they’re not asking you out. You keep coming back to me with what women are doing wrong; doesn’t that sound a bit like women complaining that men have sex without commitment but that they “shouldn’t”? This really isn’t that hard.

          Women WANT you to ask them out. They don’t like having to be the aggressor, put themselves on the line, all the uncomfortable stuff that guys have to do. You’re telling them that they “should”. I’m telling them that there are enough guys who will ask them out that they don’t need to start approaching men. I stick with my assertion. A woman can go her whole life without asking out a man and be perfectly happy. You’re pretty much saying that you want women to act like men, instead of accepting the idea that they WANT to be courted.

          My message remains the same to men and women: try changing to more effective behaviors instead of complaining that the other gender should change to accommodate your insecurities.

        4. Tom10

           @ Geoff #312
          “Speaking as a man, I am not emasculated in the slightest when a woman demonstrates enough interest in me to ask me out.  Quite the opposite, in fact; it is a major turn-on for me because I know for certain that she is into me…”

          Yes, but does she know for certain that you are into her?

          To be frank, I think encouraging women to “lead” men into asking them out reinforces social roles based on deception that are quite poisonous, and  stereotypes that we should be trying to dump”.

          I don’t think Evan has any interest in reinforcing deceptive social roles or stereotypes; rather what are effective dating techniques for women.

          “In my view, a society that is truly based on equality is one where either gender is free to initiate a relationship.” 

          But in our society either gender is free to initiate a relationship – who is stopping women initiating relationships? What concerns this blog, however, is not social equality; rather what are effective dating techniques for women.

          I think it’s only fair that women take the initiative and ask men out. too.”

          It might be only fair, but unfortunately fairness has no place in dating. Effectiveness, however, does.

          @ Jeremy #312.1.1
          I normally agree with your comments Jeremy but I have to agree with Evan on this issue.

          Here’s the problem: let’s say that women get your memo and start asking men out en-masse. Take a guess at which guys they’ll ask out? Well, most likely they won’t go for the self-conscious “beta” guys; they’ll go for the hot 20% of course. And what will these guys do when faced with all these women asking them out? Rather than perceiving them as masculine or feeling emasculated, most likely they’ll simply sleep with her for a while, whilst still looking for the woman he really wants; the woman he wants so much that he’ll ask her out himself.

          The reason men and women should take different approaches to dating is because men and women behave differently. Women, usually, don’t string men along for sex the way that men often do to women. Therefore when a guy asks out a women and she responds positively she most likely considers him as relationship potential. When a woman asks a guy out she has no such assurances.

          As Evan said, instead of hoping for women to change and start asking guys out; the 80% of guys would be better served forcing themselves to come out of their shells and ask women out (or, “up the alpha” as I think you put it before).  

        5. Nathan

          Overall, I believe it’s healthy to offer people the opportunity to experiment with all this stuff. Frankly, I don’t care if the majority of men do the asking, and the majority of women do the accepting. If some strategy isn’t working, then break the damned script and see what happens. If a woman is really into a guy, and the positioning herself to get asked out hasn’t worked, then flip the script. This happens more than some of you think it does anyway, it just doesn’t get much attention. The same goes for men who are shy or not outgoing. If all your efforts to get asked out are failing, then start asking women out. Again, the arguments that a given approach works for the majority, and therefore everyone should do what works for the majority, doesn’t fly for me. I’d encourage experimenting for those who aren’t having success, not conformity. If the experimenting happens to go along with the majority, that’s totally fine. But the experimenting framing, in my view, is very different from telling people to just act like other women or men do.

          “Therefore when a guy asks out a women and she responds positively she most likely considers him as relationship potential. When a woman asks a guy out she has no such assurances.” Tom, in my experience, this isn’t true. I had literally dozens of 2nd and 3rd dates over the years, and there were plenty of times when the woman I was out with either wanted nothing more than a causal relationship, or didn’t have any idea what she wanted, or simply wanted to date, but never had any clear “you’re relationship material” notions. While it might be true that women are overall more “relationship oriented,” this doesn’t easily translate into the conclusion you’re offering here. In my view, the reality is that there are no assurances that getting a positive response to an ask will translate into the other person “really being into you” or seeing you “as relationship material.” Asking is a risk, no matter who does it.

          What I find interesting is that there are a couple of men at the end of this thread disagreeing with the suggestion that men should be the ones who ask women out. In one case, Jason has tried asking women out in different places, and it hasn’t worked. Telling him to keep doing the same thing and suck up the rejection is pretty ridiculous in my opinion. Maybe he could try expanding his activity circle, or a new online dating site. Maybe if he’d let go of the past rejections, and have a more positive attitude about the whole thing, he might have better luck (whether or not he asks women out). Who knows. In the other case, Geoff and Jeremy are  saying they like women asking them out. Now, if both of them are having a hard time finding a woman who will do this, then perhaps it’s time to experiment with doing the asking out.

          Overall, after nearly a decade on and off of online dating experience, I find a lot of these hard and fixed conversations kind of funny. The fluidity and flexibility of the internet has broken down a lot of the formalities. One can argue that it’s gone too far, but that’s not the point here. What is is that it was totally easy enough for some woman I sent an e-mail to through dating site X to write back and suggest meeting up. This happened to me plenty of times. At the same time, it’s also true that shyer men can do the same without feeling the same level of fear that comes with an in person ask. I used to be shyer, but got to the point where I didn’t fear it much anymore. However, I still had women sometimes stepping up and asking me out first. While much of this applies to just online dating, I think some of it has also seeped into the rest of the dating world. Younger folks are just as likely to ask each other via text and/or IM as they are in person.

        6. Tom10

          @ Nathan
          “Tom, in my experience, this isn’t true. I had literally dozens of 2nd and 3rd dates over the years, and there were plenty of times when the woman I was out with either wanted nothing more than a causal relationship….In my view, the reality is that there are no assurances that getting a positive response to an ask will translate into the other person “really being into you” or seeing you “as relationship material.” Asking is a risk, no matter who does it.”

          Fair point Nathan; in dating there are no assurances. But there are odds, and getting good at dating involves learning how to play the odds and tilt them in our favor. Tilting the odds decreases potential risk (and hits to our self-esteem), whilst simultaneously increasing potential success (and boosts to our self-esteem).

          You have agreed that women are overall probably more “relationship oriented” than men. So when a guy asks a woman out; the odds are high(er) that she is at least considering a potential relationship by saying yes.

          Conversely, although men are less relationship oriented, they are more sex oriented (in the initial stages at least). So when a woman asks out a man; the odds might actually be quite low that by saying yes he is at least considering a potential relationship – as the guy is initially considering the potential sex on offer. These odds are not in the interest of a woman looking for a relationship.

          Nathan, although I admire the way you advocate different approaches to dating, I do think dating is a game of odds that are based on real gender differences; which is why I usually agree with Evan’s dating strategies. I know that there are no assurances, but we can form sound dating strategies based on broad generalizations.

          @ Karmic
          Thanks, I love ya too :)

        7. Nathan

          “Nathan, although I admire the way you advocate different approaches to dating, I do think dating is a game of odds that are based on real gender differences; which is why I usually agree with Evan’s dating strategies. I know that there are no assurances, but we can form sound dating strategies based on broad generalizations.” Tom, I tend to think differences in-group are much wider than those between group. Dating advice usually gives far too much attention to differences between men and women (actual and imagined), and not nearly enough attention to in-group differences.
           
          Some broad generalizations can be useful early on in the dating process, but they can’t take you very far into any actual relationship with someone. In addition, I don’t think it’s much of a “win” if you have more “success” getting a foot in the door with a lot of people you aren’t really a good long term match for. If your seeking a long term relationship, just having more and more options isn’t really the goal. The goal is to be attractive to someone in a much smaller pool of matches that actually fit you. If learning to ask someone out helps a person be more successful in that smaller pool, then I’d support that strategy. 

          For me, a man in the middle of the alpha-beta spectrum, it was useful to learn how to ask a woman out. At the same time, I didn’t always need it. Especially when doing online dating. For a much shyer, more passive man, it actually might be better in the long run if he either learns to offer a soft ask (such as through e-mail), or develops other traits that a more alpha woman who wants to lead (yes, they do exist, my grandmother is one of them) will be attracted to enough to take a risk on. Go read a blog like Dr.NerdLove and you’ll see plenty of men who fit this profile. If I were to answer the question “Should women ask men out on first dates,” I’d say it depends upon what you seek in the long term. Women who seek a relationship leader probably shouldn’t ask men out because the kind of men they seek usually will do that already. Whereas if a woman seeks an equal playing field in terms of leadership and/or wants to lead, then perhaps asking men out sometimes is a good idea.

          Regardless, in my experience, what made me a better dater (regardless of long term outcome) was developing the skills to better connect with the individual I was dating. So that even if we weren’t a long term (or even short term) match, the experience of going out was a positive and enjoyable one. Basic kindness, respect, being a good listener, sharing about yourself, having humor and lightness, paying attention to specific details about your date – all of this in my experience trumped things like who asked who out, who paid for dates, who called or wrote who first after a date, etc. What I’m saying is that once I put more of my energy into developing the skills and qualities that make a great long term partner, I found my overall experience of the process much more enjoyable. And the quality of dates I met much higher.

           

        8. Michael Ejercito

          Here is something that does not make sense. tom claims that women would only go for the hot 20% if they were the ones asking men out on dates. And yet, in real life, how do women outside the hot 20% manage to get into relationships, if men only ask out the hot 20%?

        9. Tom10

          @ Michael
           
          “how do women outside the hot 20% manage to get into relationships, if men only ask out the hot 20%?”
           
          Michael, why is there a necessity for a blog for women looking for love? Why do women need relationship coaches? Why do we read about so much angst here from women looking for relationships?
           
          Newsflash: women outside of the hot 20% struggle to find satisfactory relationships because they have deal with so many men lusting after the same hot women.
           
          But this is where it gets interesting: the top 20% of men don’t behave the same as the top 20% of women. The top 20% of women only want their male equals (and will reject men they consider beneath them), whereas the top 20% of men are often more than happy to sleep with plenty of women who they don’t consider their equal (i.e. women in the 80%). Which is why I don’t think it’s sensible for women to ask men out for the first date. Make sense now?

        10. Michael Ejercito

          Tom,  are you implying that, on average, women are more judgmental than men?

      2. 312.1.2
        Karmic Equation

         

        I’ve said it before, but I feel I must reiterate. Men are the ones who control the depth of the relationship. He’s the one who gets to decide whether the relationship is “sexclusive”; he’s the one who gets to decide if they marry.
        The “price” of being able to control that decision is to be the one who “has to” ask the woman out first. That’s a very small price to pay for that kind of control. If a man is a player (or wanna be player) he can ask a woman out, have sex with her, give her the feeling that they’re exclusive, but because that talk has never taken place, he continues to date others, while the woman feels that she’s on track to–or is already in–an exclusive relationship. And when a “relationship” is in this phase, the man gets the benefits of being treated as a bf without actually having to be sexclusive. He lies by omission. And all he had to do was ask her out. That’s a lot of benefits for a small price.
         
        Let’s say a woman DOES ask a man out first. She has NO CLUE if the guy is accepting because he likes her or because he just wants to get laid. And this ego-stroke to the guy, ultimately cedes over to him her ONLY power at the beginning of a relationship, which is decide if she likes him as much as he likes her. We all know that once a woman accepts that first date (if they met IRL, online dating is a different animal), odds are she is interested enough in pursuing a relationship with him. EVERY man knows this. So once a woman accepts, she’s played the only card she has.
         
        What men like you, Geoff, are asking women to do is play that card out of turn, just because it would help you play yours. There are rules in poker for a reason. There are “rules” in dating for reason. To assure that there is an even-playing field for all the players. And giving up the ONLY control she has in a relationship, which is whether one can begin at all, is like a woman showing her cards out of turn, which helps everyone else at the table except herself. I think you will agree, that is playing poker extremely poorly and assures that she will lose. A woman asking a man out on a first date is equivalent to showing her cards out of turn and for no reason. 
         
        Believe me, if a woman could ensure that she “wins” if she shows her cards out of turn, e.g., control the depth of the relationship, whether the relationship becomes exclusive, whether the relationship becomes marriage—you can bet that women wouldn’t have any issues showing those cards whenever the mood strikes her.
         
        You and I know that she’ll NEVER win at poker playing this way. So why are you asking her to play poker this way? Because YOU want to win.
         
        Sorry, that’s a stupid move for women. And it’s not even a fair thing to ask. You would never ask a table full of men to play poker this way. Why would you ask a woman to play poker this way? Do you need to win that badly?
         
        For a man to ask a woman out first is just playing fair. Anything else, and the man is asking to change the dating rules to his advantage, when ALREADY has practically ALL the advantages.
         
        P.S. Tom10, I love ya. This statement is it in a nutshell:
        “Rather than perceiving them as masculine or feeling emasculated, most likely they’ll simply sleep with her for a while, whilst still looking for the woman he really wants; the woman he wants so much that he’ll ask her out himself.”

         

        1. Geoff

          Thanks, everyone, for your views.

          @Karmic Equation:  I found this sentence interesting, because it has not been my experience:  “We all know that once a woman accepts that first date, odds are she is interested enough in pursuing a relationship with him.”

          When I was in university I did manage to  score a series of dates with a handful of women (i.e., getting to a second or subsequent date – as background I was one of those well-mannered nice guys who had lots of female friends, but had great trouble parlaying that into relationships), and each time I thought I was doing well. 
          I was wrong, of course.  In one case the woman I was dating was also dating someone on student council, and dropped me after four or five dates (she was open about it, at least).  In another, she decided she wasn’t into me and ended it.  Regardless of my own role in how those relationships ended, the lesson I took from that (those were my first dating experiences) was that just because a woman agrees to go out on a date with you, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s *really* interested in you.  You might just be a stand-in until someone better (to her) comes along.  This is why I do appreciate being asked out by a woman.
          Just to be clear, I’m not trying to shoot you down or anything.  Your remark made me think, it dredged up some memories, and gave me an opportunity to clarify why I believe what I do.  Now that I am single again after a 15+ year relationship, and determined to find a better match, I’m trying to develop a more open mind to approaching dating.  These discussions are helpful.

        2. jeremy

          @Karmic
          Gotta say, I don’t agree with your argument at all.
           
          You wrote: “We all know that once a woman accepts that first date (if they met IRL, online dating is a different animal), odds are she is interested enough in pursuing a relationship with him.”


          Respectfully, Karmic, this isn’t true at all.  If a woman accepts a man’s request for a date, the only thing this signals to the man is that she considers him attractive enough to consider dating him – not that she is necessarily interested in a relationship with him, nor that she necessarily will want to have sex with him.  She would need to get to know him first to know that.  Which is EXACTLY what a man can assume if a woman asks him out – that she considers him attractive enough to ask out on a date, nothing else.
           
          You write “Men are the ones who control the depth of the relationship. He’s the one who gets to decide whether the relationship is “sexclusive”; he’s the one who gets to decide if they marry.”


          This is also patently untrue – or at least incomplete.  Men and women each control the aspect of the relationship to which their default answer is “No.”  For (most) women, that aspect is sex.  For most women, the default for sex is “no”, while for men the default is “yes.”  Thus, WOMEN control the depth of the relationship in the dimension of sexuality – they control what happens and when.
           
          For (most) men, that aspect is commitment (ie. marriage).  For most men, the default for commitment is no, while for women it is yes.  There are many obvious reasons for this (which I won’t get into unless you want me to), but the fact is that the ONLY aspect of relationships that men control is whether or not they want to get married.  Once they commit to marriage, they totally lose control in that dimension.
           
          This is not a game of poker, Karmic.  It is not a zero-sum game.  It is simply a question of who wants what.  If the man wants a date with a woman, he asks her – and he assumes the risk that she might say no.  If a woman wants a date with a man, she can either ask him (as I suggest), or flirt passively (as Evan suggests) – either way, she takes some risk of rejection. 
           
          But the question of who asked whom out first is completely and totally irrelevant to the power structure of any future relationship that may ensue.  What IS relevant to that power structure is the default position of each individual on any particular aspect in question.  The one who controls sex is the one who wants it least.  The one who controls marriage is the one who wants it least.  The one who controls sexual exclusivity is the one who wants it least.  And what makes a good match?  When both parties want all of these things in somewhat equal measure.

           
           

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