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. 61
    downtowngal

    I’m totally w Evan on this one. I’ve often heard guys say, ‘gee, I wish a woman would ask ME out for once’ but truth is, that same guy would be the one pursuing a woman he likes.

    And I agree with BeenThroughtheWars, even the shy guys will muster up the courage to ask a girl out. He might need more encouragement but he’s still a guy. I had a boyfriend who was a very shy introvert but was very aggressive in pursuing me and very expressive, wrote amazing love notes; and I knew he was sincere as he wasn’t a player.

    I think guys get turned on by asking a women out as it’s a very masculine thing to do, just as I get turned on if a guy asks me out. Even if I’m not into the guy I respect him; likewise, if a woman directly asks out a guy I think he loses respect for her.

  2. 62
    vino

    Should Women Ask Men Out on First Dates?

    Yes. DS has some points.

    “Getting attention is the feminine equivalent of scoring.

    He’s got that nailed. “For women, all it takes is knowing that you want her. That’s it. . . That’s why women lead men on and then give them the cold shoulder. Once you give her that look, you gave her what she was after.

    “She doesn’t need anything else from you, so she sees no need to continue treating you nicely.”

    “She just wanted to know that you wanted her, and she’s all done.”

    Funny thing is that the coolest women I meet are the ones who initiate contact with me. Since I don’t care if I date anyone, including them, it’s intriguing to them. When women who are used to being pursued aren’t, it takes them aback. Why? They know you cannot be controlled, as DS describes. They like this ‘challenge’ since most men they meet aren’t.

  3. 63
    Hot Alpha Female

    I really think that guys that think its OK when a girls asks them on a date don’t really know what it going on.

    Guys are build for a little bit of a challenge. Its not a logical thing. Its a irrational inbuilt thing.

    Just how a girl can be attracted to a guy and not know why. A guy is inevitability much more attracted to a girl who lets him do the chasing.

    Simple as that

    Hot Alpha Female

    http://www.hotalphafemale.blogspot.com

  4. 64
    hunter

    Another factor to consider…..if a man is fighting depression, he will, most likely, never ask a woman out…

  5. 65
    vino

    “A guy is inevitability much more attracted to a girl who lets him do the chasing.”

    Huh? Girls who sit back & expect the girl to do all of the work are simply not worth the effort. Nothing like starting out prostrating yourself to another. Nonsensical.

  6. 66
    vino

    Made a typo.

    “expect the girl” should be expect the guy.

    Multitasking not strong suit.

  7. 67
    Michele

    Hunter…..your #64 post.

    Depression can be cured. Sometimes the meds are a necessary element to do so. How do I know? They were my crutch after a bitter divorce. Am OK now and back to my positive (often times) idealistic/liberal self.

  8. 68
    hunter

    to Michele,

    There is a new therapy going around, I believe it is called, cognitive behavioral, works without meds, most men won’t even do that…

  9. 69
    cinnamon

    to vino,
    I do see the points in your’s and DS s reasoning . From my personal point of view I think there is one more aspect that might need considering. If a woman shows you interest in any way or even initiates contact with you and you give her an impression that you don’t care if you date her or not, then there is a big chance the woman will conclude that you’re not that into her. I would like to underline that this is not a matter of the amount of effort or power in the relation, these should be more or less balanced in my opinion. It’s a matter of letting someone know that their interest is being reciprocated.
    Especially if you’re looking for a girl who is feminine, the chance that she will actively pursue a man after she started to suspect that he’s not into her is very small

  10. 70
    JerseyGirl

    “Just remember that men get no status from rejecting women, but women do get status from rejecting men. Sometimes they reject men for sport, to impress their girlfriends, or to satisfy their ego and sense of superiority.”
    —————————————————————————–
    Neither myself, or any of my girlfriends reject men for “sport”. We have however, rejected men because we were just not attracted back and did not want to lead him on. If these area the type of women you keep encountering, then you need to look at yourself and why you are driven to be attracted to the same type.

    As for the intial question. I think typically men should ask women out. Just the natural course of nature between men and women. But I will also argue that men are not always so good at picking up signals and women are not always good at giving good signals. Sometimes men are very literal and straight forward in the sense that a coy smile doesn’t always give them the hint. Sometimes, a woman thinks she is being obvious and giving many signals but she really isn’t doing anything that they guy really reads as interest. I don’t think people always realize what message they are giving and I certainly don’t think people always interupt other people’s messages clearly. I would bet there are a huge number of men and women out there that were interested in each other but never came together because of mixed signals.

  11. 71
    hunter

    to jerseygirl,

    you said, ‘I bet there are a large number of men and women out there, that, never met because of mixed signals,” I agree with you on that one….but most of us know the problem, and have known for years, question is, “do you have a solution?”

  12. 72
    vino

    I do see the points in JG’s and cinn’s posts, particularly JG’s regarding missed signals and opportunities. My thing is if ladies want equality across the board societally speaking (job access, equal pay for equal work, etc.), it also applies in this area too. Simply put, if ladies can do everything men can, they should in the dating arena also.

    I’d also see if I can get a few responses to this question – Why, specifically, do you ladies prefer that men make all of the moves?

    Enough about what SHOULD be. The reality is that most guys are not great at picking up any but the most obvious signals from women as a green light to initiate contact/flirting. The further reality is that guys who are truly interested in meeting someone will have to initiate more, and get over any rejection fears they have of doing so.

  13. 73
    JerseyGirl

    If I did, I would be married to the man of my dreams right now. :)

  14. 74
    missy

    Vino: “Why, specifically, do you ladies prefer that men make all of the moves?”

    Evolutionary psychology – the deeply ingrained, unconscious attraction response by a woman to a man who appears to be able to lead effectively. Probably doesn’t stand up to reason in today’s day and age, but people can’t help being pulled by what they’re automatically drawn to.

    Thick forearms, meaty chest and a nice bulge in his jeans doesn’t hurt either. ;)

  15. 75
    cinnamon

    “Why, specifically, do you ladies prefer that men make all of the moves?”
    Probably you’ll get as many different reasons as there are women who prefer that. For me, making the first moves goes somehow with two traits that I value in men, i.e. being responsible and protective. I really do not see this as an opposition to wishing job access or equal pay for equal work…

  16. 76
    vino

    Missy: ” . . . and a nice bulge in his jeans doesn’t hurt either.”

    - As opposed to a nasty bulge? ;-)

    I don’t know that I agree it is ‘evolutionary psychology’ so much as societal conditioning. Men are conditioned they should do it and women to expect it.

    I’m going to be a bit argumentative with cinn – I see a flaw in your reasoning. If you or any woman can do everything a man can do in society (this is the key), not just work, then you can also assume the responsibilities of initiating contact with someone you fancy.

    As I see it women expecting guys to do all of the pursuing is a bit disingenuous. On the one hand, ladies can go out & slay the dragons in the working world just like the guys, but in dating, they’re suddenly seeking to be pursued like some shrinking violets. This is my point about picking and choosing responsibilities they don’t like.

    Being responsible & protective? I don’t understand how me walking up to you to flirt with you represents that. Also, if women can do everything I can do, they can protect themselves, and do not need a man to do it. If you’re responsible enough to do the same things I do in the working world, you are responsible enough to go talk to a guy.

    My issue is that women in general like to have it both ways – Equality at work, but treat me like a delicate flower 100 years ago, when women did little proactive work in courting/mating.

    If you want to be equal, then be equal. Go talk to that guy. Ask him out. As an equal, you are equally responsible for dating and finding someone. If you don’t talk to him, someone else will.

  17. 77
    frau kluger als wein

    Vino: “My thing is if ladies want equality across the board societally speaking (job access, equal pay for equal work, etc.), it also applies in this area too.”

    **************

    Men and women should have equal rights, yes. Equal rights should not be confused with psychologically sameness. A preference for the man making the first move could be lumped into the same category as liking shopping, shoes & makeup – a tendency exhibited far more strongly in women, but one which does not make them any less entitled to equal paying jobs.

    Furthermore, there are no laws in effect barring a woman from asking a man for a date. So you could say even here male/female equality remains intact. It just so happens that males choose to exercise the right to solicit dates more frequently than females as a societal trend.

    For the record, I see nothing wrong with a woman making the first move if she can pull it off smoothly enough. Just like any man. But if the assertion here is: “Women’s want justice in the workplace, therefore they should also want to be the initiator in mating matters”, my response is “Not necessarily.”

    Btw, specious arguments like Vino’s above aren’t exactly a competitive advantage for a man in the workplace. Lmao.

  18. 78
    vino

    Frau:

    “Equal rights should not be confused with psychologically sameness. A preference for the man making the first move could be lumped into the same category as liking shopping, shoes & makeup – a tendency exhibited far more strongly in women, but one which does not make them any less entitled to equal paying jobs.”

    No one is saying it is psychological sameness. I certainly did not. One could also say that a woman’s preference for lack of initiation is

    “Furthermore, there are no laws in effect barring a woman from asking a man for a date.”

    - What does that have to do with anything? I bet most women would welcome that law, in any event.

    “So you could say even here male/female equality remains intact.”

    - It does in theory, not in practice. If this thread indicates anything, it’s that equal women want to be catered to in the dating arena (come talk to me 1st, ask for my #, initiate the call, ask me out, make the plan, take care of the arrangements, pick me up, take me there pay for the date..) as though it were 1925, and they were basically sheltered creatures till they were married off, usually by age 21. It’s an anachronism, not to mention a double standard.

    “t just so happens that males choose to exercise the right to solicit dates more frequently than females as a societal trend.”

    - It doesn’t just so happen. That’s what men have been historically trained to do. The funny thing is that more and more men are opting out of this. The related threads of “Where are all of the Good Guys” on this site is indicative of this. They’re leaving this way of dating & mating, so it’s not a trend of asking women more frequently. It’s trending away from that, if anything.

    “For the record, I see nothing wrong with a woman making the first move if she can pull it off smoothly enough. Just like any man.”

    - I agree. But most don’t. They expect a guy to do all the work.

    “But if the assertion here is: Women’s want justice in the workplace, therefore they should also want to be the initiator in mating matters, my response is Not necessarily.”

    - No, they shoudn’t WANT to be the initiator…the present situation favors them too much to WANT that.

    I read an interesting article a week ago. I want to say Rudov wrote it. that used the Biblical story of Adam and Eve that speaks to this. At its base level, the story is one of CHOICES and DEALING with the CONSEQUENCES of those CHOICES. It’s called adulthood.

    In the beginning (had to do that!) Adam was in Eden, protected by God. That’s how children are raised. God instructed Adam to eat as he wanted from the Tree of Life but never from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam did so.

    Then God made Eve and then the serpent. On cue, the serpent convinced Eve convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Eve, in turn, persuaded Adam to eat also. Because of this disobedience, God expelled them from the protection of the Garden of Eden to the big, bad, real world.

    The article’s interpretation was that taking Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve became human. In doing so, they CHOSE elected adulthood, freedom of choice, and accountability, instead of a coddled life in the Garden.

    So after leaving Eden, Adam and Eve lost their immortality via the Tree of Life, which now forced them to procreate and become parents. Adam also learned that going forward he would earn a living by the sweat of his brow. Knowing Right vs. Wrong separated Adam and Eve from the animals and made them responsible for the first time a depth they didn’t have in Eden. This abrupt change enhanced, not diminished, their lives. On the contrary, living forever like a protected, spoiled, entitled child is a punishment, not a reward.

    So Garden of Eden lesson is that life is about choices. However, this lesson is lost on the women who constantly decry the dearth or death of chivalry. Too many ladies fail to accept the premise that, once they leave their parents Gardens of Eden, they are choosing the responsibilities and accountability of adulthood. Unfortunately, these coddled, entitled women want the double standard of one foot in the real world college degrees, big salaries, home ownership and one in the garden of special privileges come talk to me 1st, ask for my #, initiate the call, ask me out, make the plan, take care of the arrangements, pick me up, take me there pay for the date, presumed wining & dining, etc. Such a woman wants to achieve and to be taken care of. But, life doesn’t work that way.

    What is this these entitled women so crave? Today, this ‘chivalry’ is a one-way street of give, give give from men to women. Men extend chivalry not out of respect but as a necessary means to an end (sex). Contrast this with civility, which is a two-way street of considerate, generous behavior. Civility is bereft of gender-based entitlement; chivalry is all about gender-based entitlement.

    Just as Eve made a fundamental choice about life, so, too, must women in today’s world choose: deferential treatment or respect. They can have one or the other, but never both. Women who want chivalry and also believe chivalrous men respect them as peers are kidding themselves. In an era when a woman can become anything she wants and earn as much as she wants, if she also expects men to do all the work and finance her social life, she is beyond audacious. She’s rude and narcissistic.

    Ladies can’t get special treatment from the bank, the IRS, doctor, or other places. Why should she get it from men? She shouldn’t. But, if a man accords her special treatment, it’s because by demanding it she has reduced herself to a sex object. And, that’s really how he views her. Their so-called relationship then becomes based on legalized prostitution, not respect.

    If women want to gain respect amongst men, they must leave the Garden of Eden permanently, with both feet in the real, tough world. They must stop demanding chivalry, act like peers, and treat men like peers. This critical behavioral change does not make women less feminine and men less masculine. It makes them peers equal in intelligence, capability, and potential with different sex organs and complementary styles.

    “Btw, specious arguments like Vino’s above aren’t exactly a competitive advantage for a man in the workplace. Lmao.”

    - Yes, pointing out hypocrisy has no place at work. Particularly applied to ladies. ;-)

    1. 78.1
      KJ

      Nice, I agree.

  19. 79
    cinnamon

    vino
    I’m glad to hear that the cases of women taking initiative have so far worked fine for you. However, it has not worked out for me so I would like to reserve my right to feel about the issue the way I do.
    Jennifer wrote in one of the posts above: I don’t want to start an association with a man trying to convince him that I’m worth his time if he doesn’t feel that way already. Well, I couldn’t agree more.

  20. 80
    vino

    Cinn, my pal:

    ” . . . However, it has not worked out for me so I would like to reserve my right to feel about the issue the way I do.”

    - You absolutely do. Not trying to suggest otherwise, just perhaps a different way of looking at things. :-) Also, please consider that while initiating dating may not have worked for you, I don’t know that you’ve done it much. Point is that if it hasn’t worked for you in your (likely) limited tries, consider that men always must to initiate, only get shot down the vast, vast majority of the time. This occurs from earliest interactions with women in teens going forward. Imagine the toll hundreds of rejections take over the years to most guys. Just asking you to consider the flip side.

    “Jennifer wrote in one of the posts above: I don’t want to start an association with a man trying to convince him that I’m worth his time if he doesn’t feel that way already. Well, I couldn’t agree more.”

    - Here’s my reaction to that thinking: too bad. Cold, I know. (I’m also working on 4 hrs of sleep, so crankiness is a factor). But it’s okay for a man to start an association with you as a woman trying to convince you he’s worth your time if you don’t already feel that same way… See the double standard in such a perspective? You want him to do things you are unwilling to do. Not because it’s so horrible, but because you don’t want to risk your pride and ego, 2 things which, IMHO, are big barriers in maintaining meaningful relationships, romantic or otherwise.

    Again, women can do everything men can do. In dating that means actually taking a risk, taking some initiative. It’s like being Goldilocks – you want the bowls of poridge to come to you…”No that one’s too hot.” “No, that one’s too cold.” “This one’s just tepid enough to do”

    Ladies like being Goldilocks, not the poridge. Understandable, but hypocritical.

    BTW, I agree with Evan that guys to maximize their chances, should take the initiative. Women on the whole expect this, so it’s about the likelihood of success. The reality, not what should be.

    The flip side is that there are increasing numbers of men don’t want to play this little double standard game where women are go-getter adults, but pampered princesses in dating and mating. So the pool of good guys dwindles further for women.

  21. 81
    Michael Ejercito

    Jennifer wrote in one of the posts above: I don’t want to start an association with a man trying to convince him that I’m worth his time if he doesn’t feel that way already. Well, I couldn’t agree more.

    A man could say a similar thing about a woman.

    So why should men ask women out on dates, but not the other way around?

  22. 82
    Hat Pines

    “Just asking you to consider the flip side.”

    She’s a WOMAN.

    She will refuse to understand the flip side.

    women expect us to understand THEM and to be considerate about THEIR feelings, while not making any effort to understand US or be considerate of OUR feelings.

    Is there any surprise we dont respect women? That we are only in it for sex?

  23. 83
    cinnamon

    vino, my friend

    I do see a lot of good reasoning and good will in your point of view :-) Especially, the one about the value of being authentic. What I cannot understand is actually one of the first statements from you in this thread:

    “Since I don’t care if I date anyone, including them, it’s intriguing to them. When women who are used to being pursued aren’t, it takes them aback. Why? They know you cannot be controlled, as DS describes. They like this challenge since most men they meet aren’t.”

    I’m absolutely with you on the argument that says not wanting to risk your pride and ego are big barriers in maintaining meaningful relationships, romantic or otherwise. On both sides. So true! But how come do I read in one of your posts that you prefer showing indifference towards a woman because it gives you control over the situation, and just next to that you appeal to women to be authentic and initiate contact? I’m not afraid of an honest rejection. Unfortunately, I did not experience an honest rejection and I simply take it as a lesson learned.

  24. 84
    vino

    cinn, my friend

    About one of my first statements, maybe I wasn’t clear enough. The statement:

    “Since I don’t care if I date anyone, including them, it’s intriguing to them. When women who are used to being pursued aren’t, it takes them aback. Why? They know you cannot be controlled, as DS describes. They like this challenge since most men they meet aren’t.

    I don’t advocate showing indifference as a means to obtain control. I really don’t care. That’s the key. It is being authentic. It happens to give me complete control as a consequence. More often than not, women are used to guys pursuing them like dogs after a treat. It’s old hat to them. That a guy isn’t so into them and their charms (particularly if they are used to it often) many find a challenge, usually too much so. I don’t advocate indifference as a game, for the game becomes obvious soon enough, if it’s being played. I just don’t care to chase. It’s no game (Self-imposed hiatus from dating). Hope that explains it.

    About appealing to women to be authentic and initiate contact – I’m simply saying that if a woman wants to talk to a guy, go talk to him. Just as if a guy wants to talk to a girl, he should. the problem is expecting him to always talk. I think it’s hypocritical to expect people to do things you yourself are unwilling to do (not you personally, but the royal ‘you’).

    I think women on the whole like this double standard, because it is completely about power & control. They have all of it as long as men are expected and agree to put their ego on the line to initiate contact every time. Women can sit back like they are in Nordstrom where the clerk brings them sever different pairs of shoes – no, no , no, maybe, I’ll try that one.. Poly Sci tells us that no one wants to willingly give up power, so there you have it. I think it’s that simple.

    I’m sorry to hear you experienced a dishonest rejection. The thing is, men are expected to blindly put themselves up for rejection every time. You got but a taste of what every single guy experiences multiple times.

  25. 85
    vino

    As an aside….

    I enjoy cinn’s posts. They seek to understand. I hope mine convey the same.

  26. 86
    Hat Pines

    I think women on the whole like this double standard, because it is completely about power & control. They have all of it as long as men are expected and agree to put their ego on the line to initiate contact every time. Women can sit back like they are in Nordstrom where the clerk brings them sever different pairs of shoes – no, no , no, maybe, I’ll try that one.. Poly Sci tells us that no one wants to willingly give up power, so there you have it. I think it’s that simple.
    and then they complain about where all the nice guys are.

  27. 87
    hunter

    to vino,

    I would suggest you continue to study and research human(female) behaviour. Relating to the opposite sex, should involve some work, but it should be fun work. Keep asking and reading up on relatioships, you will find the answers, that you want to hear.

  28. 88
    vino

    Who says I’m looking for answers? Or specific ones at that?

  29. 89
    cinnamon

    vino,
    “I’m sorry to hear you experienced a dishonest rejection.”
    I love this one :-) No, what I experienced was rather in the direction of game playing, so I hope you understand that I see red when I see any indication of game playing. Especially in your post ;-)
    But I admit I see your approach more clearly now. I would like to believe the intention is the same as my backing off anytime I smell gameplaying (instead of involving meself in it).

    By the way, not that long ago someone recommended me a book by Gottman “The Relatonship Cure: A 5 Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Familiy, friends and Lovers”. The book is reportedly based on a very thorough scientific research of communication patterns in successful and unsuccesful couples. I haven’t read it yet, but I just thought of it because I have a feeling the question who should initiate contact is quite similar to the question who should say “sorry” first after an argument. I assume in good couples the question of who should do it first does not exist…

  30. 90
    JB

    We all know who has the MOST power in any relationship dynamic between a man & a woman. It’s not ALWAYS the woman. It’s the one who cares the least and/or has the most options.

    This book outlines it perfectly:
    “The Passion Trap: Where Is Your Relationship Going?”
    By Dean C. Delis & Cassandra Phillips

    Incredible book

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