Should I Ask Out The Man I Just Started Dating?

Should I Ask Out The Man I Just Started Dating?

Evan,

First off, thanks for all the info online and for “Why He Disappeared”. Every time I start to obsess or get emotional now, I take a deep breath and go reread your book.

Last weekend I went on second dates with two men that I’d met online. On one of the dates we had lunch. He asked. The other date, I broke the mirroring rule. When I purchased tickets to the symphony a month ago I figured I would just end up dragging my son along with me. Instead I invited one of the guys a couple of days after our first date. We went, and we had a good time.

Now I’ve just gotten GREAT free tickets to a local concert that I know both men would enjoy. These are VIP box seats with preferred parking etc., and the concert is Saturday! I haven’t heard from either man since the weekend and, while I’m not bothered by this, I don’t want to go to this concert alone (alas, not something I can drag my son to this time).

How do I let the man be the aggressor and how do I mirror while dating when I’m the one with the tickets all the time?

– Meredith

To everyone who hasn’t yet read “Why He Disappeared”:

If he calls, call him back. If he texts, text him back. If he says he wants to get together with you, say you want to get together with him.

a) You should.

b) It introduces a not-so-revolutionary concept that I call “mirroring”. Essentially, when you’re starting to date a new guy, the best thing you can do, to see if he’s genuinely interested in you, is to simply react to what he does. If he calls, call him back. If he texts, text him back. If he says he wants to get together with you, say you want to get together with him. And so on.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Fiona

    This is so true. After reading “He’s Just Not That Into You” years ago it totally changed my perspective and I stopped second guessing what men were thinking after a first meeting because it is so obvious by their actions. Men who are interested follow up right away. Often these are unfortunately not the guys you want to hear from so lots of single women spend a lot of time and energy wondering what they can do to make the men they do like more interested in them after a date which is a waste of time and energy. A lot of women really seem to struggle to grasp that point for some reason.

  2. 2
    Ruby

    I struggled with this concept for a long time. I’m not sure why, but it probably had to do with low self-esteem, and the idea of having to “make” someone like me. Plus, I tend to be an “initiator”, so when I get excited about an activity, I want to share it with the person I’m dating.
     
    However, in Meredith’s case, why does she have drag her son along to the concert? Doesn’t she have any friends who’d be happy to go? She shouldn’t be sitting around waiting for either man to ask her out. She should have plans made, and if one of the men contacts her last-minute, then that is his loss if she is not available. When a man has been interested in me, he will either make plans at the end of the date or within 2-3 days after. You know the old rule about a man calling by Wednesday for a Saturday night date? I still follow that.
     
    I firmly believe that we teach others how to treat us. If I have to be the initiator, or if I accept last-minute planning, then I am further reinforcing the guy not to initiate, and not to make plans with enough advance notice. if we want a man to value us, we have to be diligent about this.

  3. 3
    Amy

    I end up going to a lot of events with my brother or with a friend, not the idyllic romantic evening I often have in mind, but still. Getting a pair of ticket’s in one’s hand can be a slippery slope, you might end up initiating something simply because you have tickets, when otherwise you would let the guy take the lead. Waiting it out is always better. When a guy does initiate, you’ll have a better time because you’ll know he really wanted to go with YOU, regardless of what the tickets were for. In the meantime, a few nights out with a friend or sibling isn’t terrible, right? I have to admit that I kind of hate these rules, and here I am endorsing them, but they do tend to work with most guys most of the time.

  4. 4
    Henriette

    I agree with Evan wholeheartedly but also know how difficult this advice can be to follow.  Most of the women reading and posting here are educated go-getters and it can feel unnatural to suddenly have to switch to playing a more passive, receptive role.   I empathise with every woman reading this who wants to take initiative, plan and make things happen. 
    I hope the original poster will take a girlfriend, instead.  I have a number of women who’ve been supportive and fun for decades; why wouldn’t I want to share a special treat with one of them instead of with a guy who I’ve only seen once or twice? 

  5. 5
    Amy

    Amen, Henriette!

  6. 6
    Lily2

    Whenever I’ve had this dilemma, I have to simplify or I will get caught up in my head rationalizing like crazy.  I do this by asking myself one question… Do I want to feel chosen when I am out with this guy? The honest answer is YES! That brings me back to my senses pretty quick. It’s really all about how I want to feel. When I lead, I feel insecure and uncertain…yuk!

  7. 7
    Kathleen

    Following the simple concept of mirroring, since I read about it on Evan site, has made dating so much EASIER!!!  Sitting back and observing who’s making an effort has been an epiphany and not difficult to follow in any way. 
    Think its wise to have a zen like outlook of observation without attachment while being warm and gracious.   Thanks for another great topic!

  8. 8
    Tom10

    Henriette
    “Most of the women reading and posting here are educated go-getters and it can feel unnatural to suddenly have to switch to playing a more passive, receptive role. I empathise with every woman reading this who wants to take initiative, plan and make things happen.”

    I agree with you and also empathise with women in this situation as it’s a double standard. However, Evan’s right; it really is the only way to gauge a man’s interest. If a man is ambivalent about you, but sense’s that you really like him, he will settle into a three-month fwb situation. Sad but true.

    Perhaps you could suggest a particular activity, but only after he initiated it.

    Amy
    “a few nights out with a friend or sibling isn’t terrible, right?”

    Right. I also go to events with my sister or with a friend; it’s not so bad 🙂

  9. 9
    B.

    I’m a bit of a go-getter and have had problems sitting back and letting the man lead. While I continue to struggle with it, the whole mirroring principle makes so much sense. Every time I think about picking up the phone to either call or text a guy I’ve just started to date, I have to remind myself that if he’s interested in me, he will contact me.

  10. 10
    MAXINE

    Another conundrum solved! Thanks so much Evan.  You are “The Man”!!  Your wisdom is over the top all the time. 

    Evan, after purchasing your e-book and reading it all in one night, I have become a much sought after woman.  I have listened and used all of the advice you gave.  Everything you said works!  I finally got it.  Thank you so very much for all the advice you continue to give.

  11. 11
    Jackie Holness

    Yes, simply…”He’s Just That Not Into You.” Harsh, but true…preserve the sexy and keep it moving…

  12. 12
    julie

    Seem like if you want to go to a concert with a guy you should just ask him without the expectation of it going any further though. If he says yes he probably has at least a remote interest anyway, right? Even a night out with a man who may be a friend is funner than taking one of our children or a girlfriend who won’t pay us for the ticket. 

    1. 12.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Julie @12 – said
      “Even a night out with a man who may be a friend is funner than taking one of our children or a girlfriend who won’t pay us for the ticket. ”
      If you get free tickets, why would you ask a girlfriend to go with you and then ask her to cough up money for it ?  With my best GF’s we treat back and forth, don’t keep track, and always have fun. In fact, when we go for lunch or dinner together, a check grabbing fight usually ensues, with EACH of insisting on treating the other.  I usually have MORE fun out with a GF than I do with a man I have just recently met.  And I would NEVER offer my free $75 ticket to a girlfriend for a night of theater, and then demand or expect her to pay for it, but if she offers to buy me a $3 glass of wine in the lobby, I’ll accept.  Even if I have PAID for tickets, and I ask one of my GF’s, since I did the asking, and I have already bought the ticket, I don’t ask her to pay.  And I have a great time out with my girlfriends, (in some cases, more so than with a new man) No awkwardness, no wondering if I should do this or that, should have worn this or that, should or should not have said this, that and the other,  and absolutely NO PRESSURE for sex at the end of the evening ;).
      Maybe before trying to find a boyfriend, you should learn to be a better girlfriend to your girlfriends.

      1. 12.1.1
        Jennifer

        Such a well thought out response. I completely agree. Take a man for free but expect a friend to pay for FREE tickets? That’s a crappy friend!

  13. 13
    Ruby

    Julie #12
     
    ” Even a night out with a man who may be a friend is funner than taking one of our children or a girlfriend who won’t pay us for the ticket. ”
     
    Why wouldn’t a girlfriend pay for the ticket? In Meredith’s case, though, the tickets were free anyway.

  14. 14
    Fusee

    +1! Letting him initiate is indeed one necessary (but not sufficient) way to discover his level of interest in the early stage of dating. For a while in my twenties I made the mistake of not respecting this basic advice and wasted my time and energy on a few 2-3 months flings because of it.
     
    @julie #12: “Seem like if you want to go to a concert with a guy you should just ask him without the expectation of it going any further though.”
     
    It’s at the risk of finding yourself attracted to him – or even worse, physically involved – while you still do not know his true interest level. Dating is not about making friends. Sure way to end up in fantasy land. I think it’s a much better long-term happiness investment to go to these events my byself or a true old-time friend than with a stranger.
     
    It’s a case of giving up the short-term gratification of the illusion of a hot date for the longer-term benefit of clarity and eventually dating effectiveness.
     

  15. 15
    Susan61

    I agree she should not ask him and should go with someone else.  And yes, as women who are expected to be go getters in every other aspect of life, in dating we must be passive and follow the man’s lead. This can be frustrating.
     
    I have had men complain to me that they are expected to do all the initiating, have to face rejection over and over while women just wait to be pursued.  These men said they have really appreciated it when a woman showed interest in them or made some plans or move, and it took all the pressure off of him.  They also said they liked it when a woman called them.  In fact, I know of two women with men that they pursued after the initial meeting and one is married to said man.  Yet, I think this is rare and it is indeed best to mirror the man and let him pursue. 

    1. 15.1
      Jen

      I married a man that I pursued. He stopped working and allowed me to support him for ten years. He sat at home and waited for me to plan his and our social lives. He was depressed and lethargic.

      Now I vigorously screen my dating applicants with Evan’s approach, and the type and quality of man has vastly improved. I may not have remarried yet but I also haven’t locked myself into a relationship with a passive, feminine man. In essence, I am in a neutral, hopeful state.

  16. 16
    Goldie

    Another side to this, you don’t want to set a pattern of being the one to always initiate everything. Even in the best case scenario, if you two end up in a relationship, you don’t want to be that person. I dated an old friend of mine for a few months where we fell into that pattern. All of a sudden I found myself initiating *everything* outside of the bedroom. If I didn’t plan anything, then we didn’t go anywhere outside of the bedroom. Oh and get this: he allowed me to make plans for our weekends together.
     
    If the concert is really that good, and Meredith cannot find anyone to go with, I’d consider going alone. People do it all the time…

  17. 17
    Stephanie

    I would ask out the same guy you offered tickets before and enjoy the show, since you already set the trend and wait for the other to contact you:)
     

  18. 18
    Ruby

    Meredith already asked one of the men out to a concert that she had previously paid for. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a sign of pursuit. If he likes her, he should be following up with an activity of his own, especially since symphony tickets are not cheap. But to ask him out yet another time would make her seem needy, pushy, or even desperate. Not the impression she’s going for. The other man hasn’t even gotten beyond lunch yet.

  19. 19
    Kristen

    Evan’s advice is spot on, as ususal.

    However, I wonder why Meredith thinks she only has the option of taking her son or one of the two guys she’s just recently met? It seems that, in the absence of either one, she’s not going to go to the concert. My advice for Meredith would be to start asking friends to go with you. It’s important for single women to have friends who can be counted on to go to social events. Otherwise, what will inevitably happen is that you’ll will end up sitting at home, feeling lonely and sad that you don’t have a date for the concert and are missing out. If all else fails, go to the concert alone!

    I speak from experience. I’ve found myself more than once in the situation where, when a relationship ended, I didn’t have anyone with whom to attend social events because I hadn’t made enough effort to maintain my friendships or to make new friends. And I was too scared to go alone. It took some time but I made new friends who I can generally rely to go to events with me. Or I just go by myself. I’m a very self conscious person and, while at first it was terribly awkward to go to a concert alone, it didn’t take long before I got over myself and learned how to make conversation with people I didn’t know. In fact, I’ve made a number of good friends that way and even a few dates. The bonus is that once you are confident enough and have a strong enough social circle to not need a date to an event, it becomes much easier to stick to mirroring.

     

  20. 20
    Still-Looking

    A guy’s perspective – Yes, I enjoy the chase.  Yes mirroring works.  That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind.
    1.  When you mirror, show some enthusiasm and passion.   When a woman responds 36 hours later with a 5 word text it is difficult to feel that she is showing anything but one step above indifference.
    2.  Men do have to take the initiative – just remember that men face rejection day after day.  If you are interested, drop some not so subtle hints.
    3.  Women and men think differently – guys aren’t so good at reading between the lines.  Show your interest without scaring him away but don’t be so forward that you scare him away.

    I realize that all three tips say basically the same thing – I’m lucky that  I can date a different woman every night if I so choose – If I’m left guessing whether she is interested i have one response — “next”

    BTW – nothing ventured, nothing gained — if the OP doesn’t make a move on one of these guys, I’m going to assume that  she will never see them again.  If she asks one of them out, she won’t be in a worse position than she is in now.  Maybe she’ll find one of them is a great guy and friend for life or maybe he’ll discover she is a wonderful woman.  There is an exception to every rule….

    1. 20.1
      nyxx

      Hmm… “next”- sounds defensive. What if she isn’t sure at once whether she is interested? Sounds to me you might miss out on a great girl just because she isn’t all over you at once… and like uncertainty is very uncomfortable for you 😉 shouldn’t it rather be exciting..?

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