Should Women Ask Men Out on First Dates?

women wearing black suit asking 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?


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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  1. 321

    PS.   I think this is just advice for “alpha males”.   You know the kind who want to spread their seed across the earth and for whom the word commitment brings terror and rage.   I think most marriage material men who are yes “less masculine” being more nurturing, open hearted, better communicators and in short better fathers and husbands, would have no problem being asked out.   I read somewhere that in most long lasting and successful relationships the men develop lower than normal male levels of testosterone and the women develop higher than normal female levels of testosterone and the roles become less black and white.

  2. 322

    Most of what Evan says is pretty well the reality.   I’d just like to add after decades of soaking in and up TONS of dating stimuli, that since females are suppose to be long since Liberated thus Equality is suppose to be exercised, then Equality should not be only include Equal Opportunity For Careers (which is the case), shouldn’t it apply to not mattering who asks who out?   That’s true Equality. Yet this is not, the Reality.   What’s real is this > today, women have just as much Income as men especially younger women AND separated/divorced EX wives can be doing better than men too.   So, whoever is doing the asking, not only will have to pay on first date, but in setting this precedent of usually the man, it will be expected that HE put out more than her from then on.   This is not right or moral.   It may be instinctive or natural that men USE TO ALWAYS to the asking and thus pay when they became the sole bread winners however, those days are long gone for so many out there.   In fact, a huge reason why so many younger men don’t date is because of the Income problem.   Same for many older men who are damaged goods after a split when children are involved.   They’ve often given up the home to the EX where the children spend most of their time, and he pays child support.   A father in that position isn’t about to feel like asking many women out while licking his wounds.   I’m an advocate of going dutch for sure. Having shared   these concerns, the dates I had in the past where the women initiated, did not work out well even though it was always easy for me to sit back and let them come to me because there were so many.   if I were to do it over again knowing what I know now, for certain it would ME doing the asking.   IF I received a no, on to another woman I would go and forget the shyness or rejection.   Easier said than done in your 20s and green under the collar.

    Men, through the years with its ups and downs with females, do not get hung up thinking that there’s only ONE for you so IF she says no, you will be depressed for the rest of your days.   BAD move.   Carry on with other prospects who tickle your fancy so to speak.

  3. 323

    I agree with Evan for the most part accept for YES, a woman should most certainly ask a man out even if he isn’t taking that step.   Why?   Firstly, a woman can tell if a man likes them and of so, most men (more than women) will then say YES. How does that make the woman feel?   Wonderful.   Secondly, that man likely wouldn’t ask you out (like so many will not do today) for so many reasons most people already know.   Economic – academic Status is one big reason and of course the initial fear of rejection.   There’s also, she is just too attractive so will say NO.   Once you are out together, he will soon come into his own and thereafter, who asks who out is forgotten.   

    So many women who do not ask a man out get left hanging for sometimes years with regrets such as IF ONLY I had asked say David out.   Time waits for no-one.   I have had women ask me out and have always said YES.   I have had tons of women who have take interest but I rarely asked them out, which on my side of things like you, was a mistake.   Equality, which BTW I don’t believe in, surely has given women what it takes to ask a man out?   It doesn’t mean you are taking control or that he’s not a man.   Men can be very shy too.   AGAIN, most men will say YES and pay his way too, while more women as stats show, will say no.   Rejection therefore, comes more from men asking women out, which is yet another reason why more and more today do not.     

    1. 323.1

      Great point,John! I have NEVER asked a woman out, never   really knowing if she is really interested. When she asks ME out, I pay and we do the town,since I can KNOW that   she is actually interested. I cannot imagine ANY other way!

      1. 323.1.1

        I see what you mean. If there’s ever a date for me again, I will do the asking because every situation wherein she asks me out, it has turned into her power-tripping me Greg.   So it could be that the people herein who say a man should do the asking and face rejection, are right.

  4. 324

    I strongly disagree that women shouldn’t ask me on dates ever. I prefer women to ask me on dates. It is the 21st century, time for complete equality.

  5. 325

    Some part of me feels like this is sound advice but another part of me, the independent woman, the goal oriented woman, the woman taught to go after what she wants and never to stop until I get it rejects this advice as antiquated. First lets discuss how men’s gender roles have changed in modern times. Men are now taught that they should have women throwing themselves at them. This is there new ultimate goal and they are no longer taught to pursue a woman they are interested in. Women now are more independent than we have ever been in history. Even women who struggle financially and don’t have the best education still find that they have to do everything to support themselves and their families. They don’t have time to wait on any one to give them the OK to go after what they need, they have to take what they need and want. Men nowadays are taught that they have little accountability. They no longer feel the pressure to provide, many feel as if it is perfectly fine to let the woman work and support them. These are the same men that let women come to them, put them down and make them feel insecure so the woman won’t wake up and realize that she could be fine alone. No matter how well a woman’s feminine wiles work, they won’t be enough to change today’s dynamic.

    This is the scope of dating today. Women have to decide if they want to turn off their alpha female, we have to decide if we should shut off our heightened hunter sense and become the pursued. How in the world can a woman dial back her daily hustle to be that shrinking violet that men want?  In  today’s world of  dating, women’s gender roles have changed so drastically that we don’t know how to be pursued when all the men in our  sphere have been taught that they don’t have to work hard to pursue the things that they want. We have to show so much assertiveness and initiative to make our dreams come true or simply to just survive and we look for that in our equals, for a man who is doing the same thing that we are meeting your goals and making your life better. But  you all are so few and far between. We women are asking you to step up!  Work just as hard as we do. When you see something go after it instead of waiting for it to come to you.   If you are naturally wired to be the hunters and pursers than do that to the best of your ability. We women are not going to wait for you forever.

  6. 326

    Seriously?   Women asking us men out?   God forbid if they did.

  7. 327

    I couldn’t disagree more with Evan here.   Waiting around for a man to throw you a bone (literally) sucks.   This is the kind of [email protected] peddled by elders and society in general to keep women down.   I’m almost 43 and never get asked out. Recently I realised the problem is me – not that I’m not a catch, but I don’t take the initiative. Now I start asking, and with some success. It puts the woman in the driving seat. Waiting for men to ask you out breeds bitterness, fear, envy and resentment. From a purely physical perspective, the responsibility should be the woman’s anyway – men, for obvious reasons, have the power to hurt a woman. Effecting a cultural shift towards a position where the woman by default does the asking will bring about more openness and happiness for all.

    1. 327.1

      So true, waiting for men to ask you out does suck and ruins girl friendships.

  8. 328

    You say let them pursue you, but they dont and I have a certain age, waiting for them to do it.


    What do you think about nice men who are intimidated by beautiful women? How can a beautiful woman (fed up with player hunters of a bad quality) pursue a good nice man without seeming desperate ? Can she pursue him several times if he doesn’t do it at all? People tell me that I am too pretty and because of my career nice men are scared. I am so polite and nice to all people, shall I give up my career or stay single?

    For instance, to have an idea of my life,I met a man -network party,, I talked to him (I went to him, not him )then later I wrote him an email asking him out. He answered yes, we went out, he seemed shy and his face was red. He did not call since then, nor write me . I think, let’s say 60% that he liked me, but I feel shy to write him again. We have no friends in common, I only have that mail. The problem is that in my town there are mostly women and he’s new in town, he’ll be taken soon if I don’t do something and wait for him to do…What do you suggest? I am very shy and afraid of rejection. Thank you

  9. 329

    I see so much incorrect information and dating mythology on the internet!! Of course it’s fine for a woman to ask a man out, why wouldn’t it be? It’s wrong to say that if a man doesn’t ask a woman out then he’s not interested, that is a total myth!!! We are all individuals and human beings first and foremost!! So whoever wants to ask the other out just do it!!

  10. 330
    To Tell The Truth

    Yes women should ask men out if she is interested, and men will more often say yes than when men ask women out; so there’s less chance of rejection.   As for who pays when she asks him out, almost always   a man will pay his way therefore “going Dutch” applies.   And GD is the way it should be too. Both make incomes so why should one have to pay for the other.   Also, a growing number of men can ill afford to pay for dates.   If females don’t start asking men out, as fewer men are doing this due to financial reasons plus others too like they receive so many Nos; there will be a lot more onely childless females saying Man Up … this latest insult only serves to turn men away.

    1. 330.1

      And have you ever said yes to a woman? Because if you find yourself getting female attention, your response might surprise you. Even when a guy says yes to be polite, I believe he’s less likely to encourage a follow-up date than he might have been had he decided to ask her out first.

      1. 330.1.1

        This can be the same for women, I feel less interested in guys that ask me out because there was no fun of the chase.

    2. 330.2

      I agree, as a women I want equal pay which means I am also more comfortable going dutch and would not hesitate to ask out a guy that I like. Thats equality.

  11. 331

    I don’t know… but I don’t the idea of guys asking me out or courting me. I don’t like being passive.

    The idea of rejection is horrible, specially to me who isn’t out going at all but I like more the idea of trying to conquer a guy I want then a guy come to me… it’s annoying. I have a weird nature but I don’t like the idea of “women being passive, men get women they want while you wait the guy as a princess inside a tower just waiting for the prince.” This idea sucks for me.

    1. 331.1

      Agreed, I find it much funning to go after the guy I want even if there is a chance of being rejected.

  12. 332

    I don’t really see the difference between making it obvious with your body language that you want a guy to ask you out and just asking the guy out. If I really like a guy I will ask him out. Normally the guy was already interested in me, but was to shy or unsure if I was interested in him to ask me out. .   Personally I find that waiting for the guy I want to ask me out, while lots of guys I’m not interested are asking me out, to be very frustrating and take forever. I have only ever been in one relationship where I did not ask for the first date. I have never had a guy be unhappy that I asked him out.   I have also been the one to ask for sex first. If women don’t ask for anything I’m afraid they will end up in relationships that they don’t want that and have no say in. Also, calling the guy the aggressor makes me feel like I’m being weirdly hunted and possibly about to be murdered when all I want is a best friend to do life with because life is more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with.

  13. 333

    What is this the 1950’s?   If a women wants equal rights why can’t she swallow her pride and ask him out?

  14. 334

    time to move on….  female reputational defense theory is a scapegoat to not accept the adult risk associated with relationship efforts.   its all in The Relationship Pamflet. time for everyone to make equal effort and take equal risk. 🙂

  15. 335

    If women will not ask men out on a date, then they are not equals and should not be treated as such.

  16. 336

    I’m a 36 year old man and I’ve never asked a women out. I’ve also never been asked out by a woman. I would love to go on dates with women like so many other guys get to do, but my intense shyness prevents me from even talking to them. If I did smile or say hello to a woman, I’m certain she would be horrified and either run away or – worse – accuse me of harassment. It’s best for guys like me to avoid social situations because no matter what I do, watching other guys get with women I find attractive (but who could never be interested in me) is too painful. Best of luck to everyone else out there!

  17. 337

    My Great Grandmother asked my Great Grandfather out on a date, the rest is history.

    No one back then thought about ” masculine ” vs   ” feminine ” energy, they didn’t obsess , they acted. These ideas about ” feminine ” as passive has no go, it’s ludicris and leaves women with fewer choices.

    If a man doesn’t like a woman to ask him out on a first date , then that is an indication he is mundane and trapped by dull societal norms.

    1. 337.1

      Kayla, thank you for posting. My grandmother asked out my grandfather to go on a bowling date.   Donna Reed asked out Jimmy Stewart in one of the most famous love story movies of all time(1940’s).   Previous generation(s) seemed to know how to get things done.

  18. 338

    You can blame feminism and poundmetoo for making men leave the plantation.

    Women have essentially ruined western civilization by making themselves so undesirable with their incessant man hating ideologies.


    Men do not approach you because of false rape accusations. Women have too much power to destroy men’s lives in this modern age, and they have an accountability for it.

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