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. 31
    bringwedding

    if a man doesn’t ask a women out first dates, than probably he probably “not that into you”, but don’t you think by being brave and asking him out for the first date might be her chance to make him get to know her better ?
    Who knows that might change his mind about her ?

  2. 32
    BooBear

    Steve, What makes you so sure I am female? Perhaps I am a man whose penis does not shrivel when I am asked out by a woman? Again, pathetic.

  3. 33
    Michele

    Steve, your post # 26……..and those “books” all claim to have the answer(s) to a blissful life forever. Their marketing efforts certainly provide incredible creativity for the desperate.

    Yet another approach is that some of the online dating sites are offering FREE extended memberships for those who don’t find Ms/Mr Right, w/in a specified time frame. Seems rather clinical to me.

    AND……..then the couple finally connects. Relationship issues surface and back to amazon to “read up” on how to correct those problems. Perhaps even decide that counseling might be an option, when in reality a good number of “counselors” are riddled with difficult lives themselves

    What a tangled web life becomes………:-)

    My posture will continue to remain positive, try to enjoy each day and take things with the proverbial grain of salt (that would be sea salt).

  4. 34
    BeenThruTheWars

    I agree with everything Evan advised, with the exception of asking out “shy” guys. Far better to “put out the signals” that you are interested and see if he responds. If he doesn’t… move on. You’re wasting your time. He either A) doesn’t find you attractive (just because he’s shy doesn’t mean he has no “type”), B) is already in a relationship he doesn’t advertise at work, C) is gay and also may not advertise that, D) any one of a dozen other reasons he doesn’t want to ask you out, and won’t. People tend to do what they want to do, and not do what they don’t want to do.

    Case in point. When I was in my twenties, there was a “shy guy” in the department of the big ad agency where I worked. (It turned out he had almost zero dating experience — he was a 27-year-old virgin). I thought he was cute in an intense/nerdy kind of way. I knew it would be kinda icky if I asked him out directly, so instead, when the whole department was out celebrating someone’s birthday or something at a bar one night, I mentioned within his hearing that I was dying to see the new Woody Allen movie! Had anyone seen it, was it any good? The next morning, he walked into my office at 9:01 a.m., helped himself to some candy from my candy jar, and stated very matter-of-factly, “So: last night you said you wanted to see ‘Purple Rose of Cairo’… it’s playing at the such and thus theater, would you like to go see it with me this Friday after we have dinner someplace?”

    See? Shy, inexperienced guy asks out woman he’s attracted to ALL ON HIS OWN! All he needed was some encouragement/smiling/light flirting (appropriate for a business setting) and an “idea” of what might please her on a date.

    I’m in Mensa and when I was single, I dated a lot of guys in that organization. Trust me, male Mensans are not, by and large, Captain Suave in their personal lives. Lots of tech guys, engineers, IT types, etc. who work in mostly male environments and have very little contact with women. When they are in comfortable surroundings with females they’re attracted to, they have NO problem asking someone they like if they would like to check out the Star Wars convention downtown that weekend and maybe go out for Ethiopian food after.

    Etc.

    So in this one instance, I must respectfully disagree with Evan’s advice. But the rest of his advice was dead on (as usual). Heed it, and you will weed out the guys who really aren’t that interested in dating you without a single ouchie; and you will invite into your life the guys who ARE interested. It really is that simple. I don’t think of it as “old-fashioned” or outdated as much as I think of it as “classic, tried-and-true male/female dynamics” when you are dealing with two emotionally healthy people who aren’t manipulators or game-players.

  5. 35
    JB

    ^^^^^^^^

    I’m so sick of seeing women on their cell phone when they’re alone.
    I always walk up and open with “how come whenever I SEE a woman alone she’s talking on her cell phone but whenever I call a woman’s cell phone she never answers” …LOL !
    Which isn’t true but it’s a great opener !

    I’ve been dating 30 yrs, I can count the times on 2 hands when a woman has asked ME out on a first date (excluding weddings & such).
    Most of the time I can remember it was “lower status” women meaning women I wouldn’t persue anyway. Although I’m flattered, I usually gracefully decline. I’ll do the asking out. Thank you very much.

    If you want to email me first online or wink. I have no problem with that. ;)

  6. 36
    Steve


    BooBear Apr 4th 2008 at 09:17 am 32
    Steve, What makes you so sure I am female? Perhaps I am a man

    I wouldn’t be surprised

  7. 37
    Steve

    Michele;
    I wouldn’t make it a mission to go through the self help books and blogs with a fine toothed comb either. If you want to ask a guy out just be less forward about it than a man. Use your own judgment. Experiment.

  8. 38
    Steve


    BeenThruTheWars Apr 4th 2008 at 09:30 am 34
    Case in point. When I was in my twenties, there was a shy guy in the department of the big ad agency where I worked. (It turned out he had almost zero dating experience he was a 27-year-old virgin).

    Since I have never asked shy men out I was wondering what your opinion is on my intuition that guys you have to ask out come with issues the average woman would not want to deal with?

  9. 39
    Li-Ann

    I am with Evan 100% on this one.

    I totally respect those who commented who would like women to ask men out, but my life time of dating experience tells me that this doesn’t work in practice

    As Evan often says, he wishes it were different, but the reality is that most men lose respect or interest when you ask them out. Suddenly you are suspect in the eyes of the man. Is something wrong with you? Why are you so available? Does no one else want you? Are you desperate? Again, I stress, I wish it was not this way, and I wish it could work both ways, but it doesn’t.

    I have found that if you even give the slightest hint of being too eager – it more often than not works against you. It would be nice to think that the men out there appreciate women doing the work, but deep down most don’t once it actually happens. I recognize that there are some men on this board who do like women asking them out, and I respect and salute that, but they are in the minority of what I’ve experienced out there.

  10. 40
    Steve


    Li-Ann Apr 4th 2008 at 11:57 am
    Again, I stress, I wish it was not this way, and I wish it could work both ways, but it doesn’t.

    Isn’t it sad and tiring that you do have to stress that? I know, “welcome to Planet Earth”.

    It seems like many problems in life are about people being slow to accept that a rock is a rock and not something else.

    It seems like Evan’s business is mostly about getting people to accept then work with reality rather than giving out straight information.

    I guess the name of the blog would “Advice From An Unemployed Single Dating Expert” if people could work with reality from the get-go on difficult issues.

  11. 41
    hunter

    To selena,

    I remember being clueless in my 20′s and 30′s. Women come up with subtle messages, and unless you are a good looking man, we may get a subtle message, oh, say, maybe once a year. Average looking men don’t get trained by mountains of women like the good looking men do….

  12. 42
    hunter

    to Selena,

    I guess what I am saying is, give the “dork”, or short, fat, bald man a second chance, he might wake up and see your invitation.

  13. 43
    hunter

    To beenthruwars,

    Mensa does attract herds of men, and mostly professional. The few women mensans are attractive also.

  14. 44
    Selena

    hunter-
    I’m confused. Which post of mine are you addressing?

    I’ve dated all types of men at one time or another–short, bald, dork, over-sized body builder, really different “types”. One thing I’ve learned is that the more I get to know someone, and LIKE them, the more attractive they become to me, whatever my initial impression was about their looks.

    I was shy as a child, into my early 20′s to an extent. Now in my 40′s I’m outgoing (go figure), so “my thing” (persona?) whatever you want to call it, is open and friendly. I’ve never asked anyone out first (yet) because they have always beaten me to the punch. We’ll see what may happen this year–last 11 mos. I have spent ‘seasonal’, haven’t decided what city I want to settle into yet.

    You?

  15. 45
    KAREN

    I am definitely listening to Evan’s advice on this one. I am always complimented on my looks, my figure and my charismatic personality. I also receive many dinner date offers.

    Therefore, with all this confidence, I decided to ask a very nice, very handsome business associate out. I had a few discussions with this man during the past few months and we really seemed to enjoy each other’s company. He did appear to be a bit shy so I decided to ask him out. Wow! I was so very embarrassed when he turned me down. I was utterly speechless as he explained why. Unfortunately, for me, he is a shy gay man. As confident as I am, I shall never ever ask a man out again! I now know how men feel when they are turned down by women.

    Yes, this has changed my outlook on dating. I tend to accept dates now from men that I normally would not otherwise date due to their height, weight or looks. As long as they are sincere, honest and have a great sense of humor I date them!! See what happens when the shoe is on the other foot!!

  16. 46
    Lance

    @JB: That’s a nice little opener, I’ll file it away. I have an opener for women who walk around and text: “Hey, I know you’re texting me, but I’m standing right here.” Something along those lines. Works great on college girls.

    Here’s a Brad P phone/text opener: Send yourself a text that says, “I think you’re hot, please introduce yourself.” Then, when you see a girl texting, walk up to her, act delighted, and show her the text. Say something clever and charming.

    I just remembered, I HAVE been asked out by a woman, two weeks ago in fact. She’s a very nice girl who asked me to go watch a softball game with her. I would have said yes, but unfortunately we work together and I have a rule that I don’t date co-workers. It’s too bad, because she’s cute. It did take me by surprise, but I don’t recall losing my frame or feeling emasculated.

    I’m still on the fence on this one…

  17. pingback
  18. 47
    Deathslayer

    WHY don’t women ask men out? They don’t want to face the same rejection men get for asking them out. What rejection is that?

    THIS:

    A rant from a friend:
    “Why I don’t speak to you anymore” and it’s addressed to women in general.

    I don’t speak to you anymore. And I know you find this unthinkable. In your mind, what young single guy wouldn’t leap at the invitation to be a bit player in the drama that is your life, in which you’re the lead actress?

    After all, you’re young, female, attractive, sexually nubile, maybe even single. Aren’t all guys supposed to leap at that?

    Yet, I refuse to speak to you.

    What you’re seeing is the pinnacle in the evolution of an attitude created and reinforced by thousands of minor transgressions. Each a grain of sand in size, but so numerous, they collectively create a mountain.

    I don’t speak to you because I’ve tried before.

    I’ve been genuinely interested in your life. Yet, when I ask questions in an attempt to build a bridge of friendship between us, to seek a common ground upon which we can both meet, I receive a glassy-eyed look as if I’m bothering you. As if, deep inside, you’re screaming

    “Why are you bothering me, won’t you please shut up and leave?”

    Eventually, I learned that the common ground is neither there, nor is a place upon which I wish to walk. So, I quit building bridges.

    I don’t speak to you because I’ve tried before. I’ve tried to develop interests in the things that interest you. No matter how insipid, trivial, or dull I find the stories of your friends I’ve never met, of people I do not know, of things on TV that have no interest in watching, I try to make the effort to learn about these things.

    Because what interests you is a part of who you are, and if you are going to matter to me, I’d like to see what you like. Exposure to new things is part of growing as a person, and each person can learn from the other. A cross-pollenization of ideas.

    However, you never seem to be interested in my life. You behave as if my life is a bother to you.
    You’re not interested in finding out who I am. I’m supposed to be off in the shadows, only to step into the limelight when the central drama needs me to support you.

    When my time has passed, it’s back into the shadows I go, replaced with someone else. So, I quit trying to learn from you. After all, trying to drive the wrong way down a one-way street is as foolish as the experience is nerve-wracking.

    I don’t speak to you anymore because you’re no different than anyone else. You’re not unique anymore. There’s nothing special about you. The colors may vary, but you dress the same as everyone else. The names and faces of the other bit-actors and actresses in the central drama that is your life may be different, but the plots the same. You’re no different than a low-budget porno movie. Any novelty you may have is purely superficial, the substance is the same. Forgive me if I leave early, I’ve seen this movie before, I know how it ends, and it’s never worth the price of admission.

    So, I refuse to speak to you anymore. It doesn’t surprise me why you do not understand why I do not speak to you, though it does astonish me that you find my silence odd.

    Perhaps, you mistake the noise that emanates from you for my voice.

    Perhaps it’s because you’re so busy communicating you never bother to listen for a response. What ever the underlying cause for your lack of comprehension, one thing remains clear, what you have to say simply does not matter to me anymore.

    Deathslayer

  19. 48
    Sarah G

    DS: Here’s a checklist for when you approach a woman you do not know/are interested in.

    1) Have you bathed and washed your hair today?
    2) Have you brushed and flossed recently?
    3) Is your hair cut in an attractive and not scary style?
    4) Have you hidden the PC Magazine in your backpack?
    5) Have you left your backpack at home?
    6) Did you smile sincerely and address the woman in a cordial tone?

    If you answered “no” to any or all of the above, you might get the response(s) described in your post.

    Just a thought. From one of the few people on this board who finds you amusing and not a complete turn-off.
    5) Ha

  20. 49
    hunter

    to Selena,

    There is a role reversal, as people mature. Women lose their shyness and men become less aggressive.

  21. 50
    starthrower68

    I agree wholeheartedly with the poster waaaayyyy above that said she doesn’t want to have to convince a man to be interested in her. To that I say, AMEN my sister! I believe it’s the man’s job to pursue and the woman’s job to be open and graciously receive what he offers. I don’t mean she should be a gold-digger, bleed him dry, or anything like that. However, I do realize there are exceptions to every rule, so if any of you girls here have tried it and been successful, way to go!

  22. 51
    hunter

    to Sarah G,

    Good list, thanks..

  23. 52
    BeenThruTheWars

    >> Since I have never asked shy men out I was wondering what your opinion is on my intuition that guys you have to ask out come with issues the average woman would not want to deal with?

    Steve (post 38)

  24. 53
    BeenThruTheWars

    Steve,

    Guys you have to ask out are guys who aren’t interested enough in a woman to ask her out themselves. That’s really all one needs to know, isn’t it?

    You never really know what kind of baggage or issues your date has until you’ve been seeing them exclusively for a while. Unless they are truly psycho and it’s all right out there in the open for the whole world to see! I’ve dated very outgoing men and very shy men, as well as men in between; and have not noticed that one personality type vs. another had the red flag market cornered.

  25. 54
    Steve


    Sarah G Apr 5th 2008 at 09:37 pm 49
    4) Have you hidden the PC Magazine in your backpack?

    Hey! I work in technology too! LOL! :). I can’t deny it Sarah there really are under-socialized people in IT. That being written, one of the reasons I went into programming was all of the cool people I met who were in the field. Seems like most people in IT I met are at one extreme or the other. Either they have all of their shit together or they are a basket case.

    I’ve noticed that it is common for the latter group to cling to the belief that they are special. Smarter than other people, misunderstood geniuses, etc ( they really aren’t ). The ironic thing is that belief holds them back socially, keeping them miserable and they don’t see it. The dirty end of the “special” stick is that they believe they lack something ordinary people have which prevents them from connecting with others. If they could accept that fact that they ordinary people, they would go out, socialize, take their lumps from their mistakes, form rewarding relationships, get happier and move on.

  26. 55
    cheryl

    ok my story is a bit long but here it goes…

    I really like this bouncer at my favourite club cos he’s always been very friendly and funny to me so one day i decided to ask for his number (cos i was drunk enough to, normally i would be too scared to), anyway he gave me his number right away and told me to call the next day cos he wont be working. Later he asked me if im really going to call him i didn’t give him a straight answer so he asked for my number. a few days later, we talked on the phone and he said we should grab coffee, but i was too busy so i said i’ll see you at the club on friday probably. so on friday he approached me and spend most of the night talking to me and he asked me out to dinner with his friends the next day. he told me when he’s getting off work, when he would call, and when and where dinner will be…and guess what….he Never called. why the hell would someone waste so much time if he’s not interested….does this have anything to do with me approaching him first?

  27. 56
    KAREN

    To Cheryl:

    Bouncers will be Bouncers! They all behave very interested in you at first. You must realize that many many women approach them all the time. In essence, they have a vast choice of women to pick from. In this case, possibly, he decided to play games with another flower from the garden. However, “don’t sweat the small stuff” (: Count yourself lucky that this encounter didn’t go any further. In other words “leave the bouncers alone because they always bounce”!! Much luck to you in the future!! Always Enjoy Life!!

  28. 57
    hunter

    to beenthruwars,

    If we define a shy person as one who is unaware of his own power,
    you might have a point there, about asking shy men out and having to deal with issues the average woman may not want to. How interesting….

  29. 58
    hunter

    to steve

    There is truth in your words! Undersocialized people!,,LOL! I love it!…They are out there!….

    Might I add to that, relationship challenged, uninformed, etc. It is sad that they are this way. They no longer have to be that Way!…..I think most are unaware, that there is so much relationship info, going around, especially on the internet!……

  30. 59
    Deathslayer

    DS: Here’s a checklist for when you approach a woman you do not know/are interested in.

    1) Have you bathed and washed your hair today?
    *
    Yes. I’m still ugly, but I smell good.
    2) Have you brushed and flossed recently?
    *
    Yes, having only one tooth makes that chore easy.

    3) Is your hair cut in an attractive and not scary style?
    *
    Define ‘scary’

    4) Have you hidden the PC Magazine in your backpack?
    *
    No. Actually more women ask me if I’m into computers, give me their email or phone number to help them with a computer problem.

    5) Have you left your backpack at home?
    *
    Why would I do that…It contains my tools, including the claw hammer. Consider it an alignment tool.

    6) Did you smile sincerely and address the woman in a cordial tone?
    *
    Yes I did smile…sadly she mistook my smile as one of a psychopath on a rampage and left me alone. I get that a lot. Something about wearing all black, tinted black glasses and a look that has made people say they don’t want to meet me in a dark alley.

    If you answered no to any or all of the above, you might get the response(s) described in your post.
    *
    Actually my real problem is making time to even talk to a woman…making money on computers is more fun.

    Just a thought. From one of the few people on this board who finds you amusing and not a complete turn-off.
    5) Ha
    *
    No offense taken.

    Deathslayer

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