Why Women Don’t Have to Ask Out Men

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Sadie Hawkins Day is famous as a day when girls take the initiative by inviting the boy of their choice out on a date

If you go to Wikipedia and read up on the 1937 origins, it’s not nearly as empowering:

“In  Li’l Abner, Sadie Hawkins was the daughter of one of Dogpatch’s earliest settlers, Hekzebiah Hawkins. The “homeliest gal in all them hills,” she grew frantic waiting for suitors. When she reached the age of 35, still a spinster, her father was worried about Sadie living at home for the rest of her life. In desperation, he called together all the unmarried men of Dogpatch and declared it “Sadie Hawkins Day”. A foot race was decreed, with Sadie pursuing the town’s eligible bachelors. She was specifically interested in a handsome boy named Adam who was already in a courtship with a cute girl, Theresa, whose father was the area’s largest potato farmer  and, unlike Sadie, had a number of courtship offers. Adam was invited to the race because Miss Theresa and Adam weren’t actually engaged. With matrimony as the consequence of losing the foot race, the bachelors of the town were running for their freedom. Adam scored fourth place out of 10, leaving John Jonston  as Sadie’s prize.”

Because if a man likes you, he pretty much knows it’s his job to ask you out. And if he hasn’t asked you out, he probably doesn’t like you all that much. Sounds logical doesn’t it?

That’s neither here nor there, but I thought it was interesting. Over 80 years later, we still have a culture where men are the primary initiators of interest and women debate whether or not they should ask out men.

My take: you CAN but you shouldn’t HAVE to. Because if a man likes you, he pretty much knows it’s his job to ask you out. And if he hasn’t asked you out, he probably doesn’t like you all that much. Sounds logical doesn’t it? And yet, according to Kate Neuman, writing in the New York Times a few months back, women should ask out men even more.

“As the MeToo movement threatens to uproot the patriarchal assumption of women as objects, we need to recognize that women’s self-denial is connected to the mentality that allows men to believe that our desire is their prerogative. Our conditioned passivity leaves a vacuum that male narcissism fills with its version of us.

Until it is no big deal for a woman to say, “I want,” as well as “I don’t want” – until heterosexual women no longer feel the need to wait for the man to propose or to invite us to the prom or to kiss us on a beautiful summer evening when we want to kiss – we leave ourselves at the mercy of men’s desires.

Sadie Hawkins should be any and every day we choose.”

I don’t think that expecting a man to ask you out is an act of “self-denial” as much as it is an act of common sense. The vast majority of 30+ men picked up on the idea that it’s their job to approach. How many adult men are passively waiting for women to make the first move? And how many of those men do you actually want to date?

Listen, I know stories of women who asked out their boyfriends. Hell, I probably would have liked being asked out as a nice guy who wasn’t too confident when he was younger.

Then again, nothing is preventing you from asking out men. Go ahead, do it. What you’ll likely discover – especially with a man you already know – is that the reason he hasn’t asked you out is that he’s not interested. If he was, he would have done it himself.

Thus, it doesn’t hurt to take things in your own hands, but, to me, the blessing of being a woman is that if you’re out and about and smiling and flirting, you can rest assured that (most) interested men will express their interest.

Men, on the other hand, can’t wait to be approached.

Which is exactly why we don’t.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    MilkyMae

    1930s was before my time but I had several great(great) aunts from that time who never married. The 1930s was difficult time for women to find a husband. Men were out of work and deaths/disabilities from WW1 didn’t help. If there aren’t enough men and/or you are not meeting men, you need to do more than hope.
    BTW. If you are out and about smiling and flirting with men, you may ask men out without even realizing it. When you are happy and comfortable, nice words pop out of your mouth. Many people in relationships aren’t sure who did the asking.

  2. 3
    Chris

    I agree that a woman shouldn’t have to specifically ask out a man if she’s interested in him. By flirting with him, she gives him the signal she’s interested and there’s a decent chance she’ll say yes if asked, and the balls in his court. This requires she be decent at flirting, which I think is a skill that women (and men) can develop.

    the blessing of being a woman is that if you’re out and about and smiling and flirting, you can rest assured that (most) interested men will express their interest.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this though Evan. Targeted flirting with a man she’s interested in is one thing. But just going about the day lightly flirting with strange men that cross her path and expecting them to ask her out? Women usually don’t appreciate being asked out by complete strangers, except maybe for such venues as bars and parties. Most men know that such “cold approaching”, outside of these few select venues, is a waste of time. Furthermore, it seems to be classified as “street harassment” now. Actually, asking out strange women you barely know is a nerve wracking experience for most men and they won’t do it.

     

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Disagree. Some men are too afraid to ask you out. Those men don’t get the privilege of going out with you. Sucks for them. For men with enough confidence to try – whether it’s in real life or online – you do not have to ask them out because if they want to meet you, they will do the asking. It’s not all that complicated.

      1. 3.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Evan

        While I agree with you in theory, they reality is that confidence with women stems from being successful with women.   You and I both became confident through experience, but that was because we received more “yes” and than “no” answers.   That is not the experience of the 80% of men who women overlook.

      2. 3.1.2
        Chris

        I mostly agree with you. I just disagree that if a woman is going about her day and smiling and being friendly she can expect sexy strange men to come up and ask her out. Few men can ask out strange women they haven’t met before. They need to have known her, at least for a short while, first. And being asked out by strange men in public is apparently usually disconcerting and unpleasant.

        1. Clare

          I don’t know, Chris.

          I know this post is not about individual women and that what I say is only anecdotal, but I have been hit on by:

          * The cashier at the supermarket;

          * A complete stranger at a showjumping tournament while I was waiting for my friend to arrive;

          * A complete stranger at a pub while I was waiting for my friend to arrive;

          * A guy who jogged past me while I was out walking and had my headphones on;

          * Numerous guys I’d never met before at bars and nightclubs during my clubbing days. Hell, this happened to me at a Halloween party and while out having quiet drinks at my local with a friend, just in the last few months.

          These are just ones I can think of off the top of my head. These were not insanely good looking or impressive guys. Just guys with balls. It’s not at all unusual.

      3. 3.1.3
        Wanderer

        Evan, I generally agree with this but I have so many caveats and I’m curious to hear your thoughts on them:

        1) Most of my life, I’ve let men pursue me and not been very helpful or sympathetic to men who couldn’t bother to take the initiative. The result is that I’ve dated a bunch of very masculine alphas. I’m starting to realize this type of man might not be the best match for me. When I look back, I feel like I recognize lots of quieter, sensitive men who were probably interested in me but didn’t take the initiative to ask me out. What’s wrong with hand-holding these guys a bit through the courtship, especially if they might be better partners for me in the long run? And how should I do so? Is it ok to drop a hint like “we should get dinner/go for a hike sometime” for those who seem to like me but aren’t asking me out? Or what about “hey, I like you, do you like me?” for the guys who seem totally googly-eyed but can’t seem to get it together to make a move?

        2) Likewise, I’m marginally a public figure/an influencer (ew). I often wonder if the kind of guys I want to date are a little intimidated by me, and not the kind of guy to make a bold cold approach. A lot of the men who do make bold approaches to me I often suspect fall somewhere on the player spectrum/guys who love to chase difficult women. I feel like if I just sit back and let the men come to me, I’m sorting through a bunch of questionable dudes. Is this an irrational fear?

        3) A lot of the men I meet, I meet initially on a professional basis. I get the sense that some of them would be interested in dating me but are wary of crossing the line and creeping me out. How do I give them permission to ask me out?

        4) Finally, what about when you’ve come out of a long-term relationship? How do you let the guys who approached you or flirted with you or were interested in you during your relationship — until you told them you were taken — know that you’re open for business again (gross), without it being a tacky/desperate turn-off?

        1. Nissa

          Wanderer,

          Your job is to put yourself in a situation where it is appropriate for them to ask you out. That’s it. So:

          1) Join a dating site that appeals to your vibe – Tinder, Raya, CoffeeMeetsBagel, Tawkify(a matchmaker).

          2) As an influencer, you already have the tool in hand to make it known you are single. FB, Insta, Pinterest, whatev. If Gigi Gorgeous can find someone, we can too (although her off the scale hotness sure helps). Raya in particular is well known for the famous and near famous.

          3) Don’t worry about giving them permission. If there’s no ring on your finger, that’s plenty of permission right there.

          4) If you really must, tell your friends that you are possibly interested in that person. Let a 3rd party tell him you’d be open to it. They can say something like “You are actually her type of guy. She’s open to dating right now, in fact she just made a video about it”. Heck, why not contact Carol Allen and get one of her Vedic Astrology reports (yes, total plug for Carol) and make a video about it. You already have the space to lay out exactly what you want. Why on earth would you not utilize that?

  3. 4
    Emily, to

    As much as I hate to agree with this post, because I think a woman should be able to go after whatever man she wants and I hate having to wait to be picked and sit around like a passive flower, the problem is that if a woman does the initial approach work, he’s either not that interested or too shy. If it’s the former, she could end up having to nudge the dating interactions/calls along while he goes along for the ride. If it’s the latter, she could end up having to take on the role of sexual aggressor, at least in the very beginning, which turns a lot of women off, unless that’s the role she likes to take on.

    1. 4.1
      D_M

      Emily,

      It’s simply the road not traveled. Who knows how “ex-coworker” would have responded if you made the call. Sexual banter is likely to provide more insight than whether or not he makes the first move.

      1. 4.1.1
        Emily, to

        D_M,

        It’s simply the road not traveled. Who knows how “ex-coworker” would have responded if you made the call.

        I missed a one-night stand with someone I’d never see again. I was moving hours away. I’m ok with that.

        Sexual banter is likely to provide more insight than whether or not he makes the first move.

        Completely disagree. Banter, flirtation mean nothing.   90% of flirting is just something to do. I know a man is serious if he makes a direct offer. Then I have something to work with and can decide if I want to run with it or not.

    2. 4.2
      Nissa

      Yes, 100%. I say this as someone who believes in equality and feminism and the idea that men might just be a little shy or awkward. That being so, for years I tried to “make it easy” for men by asking them out or just being really friendly. In response, I got grabbed, propositioned, went on a few dates that I paid for (because, hey, it was her idea), and ended up marrying someone whose general attitude toward me was “meh”. I’m very much with Evan when he says his focus is on what is effective, vs “how things should be”. I tried being the one asking for dates. It was profoundly ineffective in achieving my goals. In addition, it wasted my time and subjected me to a lot of inappropriateness. Almost universally, the men I asked on dates interpreted this behavior as my being either desperate or up for sex (neither of which was true). The ones that didn’t think that, seemed both bemused and bewildered, like they didn’t know what to do. I had expected men to be flattered, but since they viewed my behavior as desperate or sexual, they weren’t flattered. In fact, they seemed to feel that they were expected to put out, which they seemed to feel was surprisingly distasteful.

      So this experiment was a massive failure, both for me and the men involved. Like Emily, to, I despised having to wait to be picked and sit around like a passive flower. It was completely incompatible with my beliefs about being able to achieve what I wanted in life if I just tried hard enough and was direct enough about what I wanted. It was crushing to me that something I wanted so badly was essentially contingent on the whims of others.

      That’s when I really started to pay attention to what men want. Not because I agreed with it, approved of it or was even angered by it. I needed to understand it so that I could achieve my desires, by baiting my hook with whatever men found most desirable. I needed to understand why doing what most men said to do, had the opposite effect.

      As archaic as The Rules seem to be, it’s founded on principals that are very effective. People value things they work for more than things that come easily. People value things after they have invested, not before. It’s why having men pay for things is an important component. It’s the investment that generates value. For whatever biological reason, women value relationship at a lower level of investment, which results in the lopsided appearance of this dating behavior.

      1. 4.2.1
        Jeremy

        It’s funny, Nissa, I’d like to think that men would like women to ask them out.   That I’d like to have been asked out in my youth, having been shy myself.   But is the advice for women to ask men out equivalent to all the bad dating advice for men out there?   The things women think “should” be true about themselves but aren’t?   Maybe.   Not sure.

        Only once in my youth was I asked out.   I was at a club with a group of people waiting for a chance to leave (I hate noisy, pretentious places), when a woman approached me at the bar and struck up a conversation.   I was so surprised I didn’t even really know what to do.   She asked for my number and I politely declined.   It was just so against the social script I’d internalized.   I had nothing against it in principle, in fact I liked the principle, but I just had zero experience with the dynamic.

        I was a person who needed signals from a woman before I’d ask her out.   If I didn’t think she was interested at all, I generally wouldn’t ask.   So if a woman was interested in a man like me, she’d have done well to learn to flirt directly (not generally), in a way that makes it difficult not to understand.   Advice that a man with confidence will ask you out if he wants would have weeded me out, unless it was tempered with advice to express your interest overtly.

        We’ve often disagreed on what “overtly” means on this blog.   Nassim Taleb writes that “a woman who calls a man smart is sometimes saying that he is handsome.”   The sometimes is the problem.   Those with the intent think the intent should be obvious.   Those without think the without should be obvious.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I highly encourage flirting – on and offline – so he has the signals and opening to ask her out. I don’t generally recommend asking men out.

        2. Jeremy

          I know, Evan, and in the end I think the advice is good in most cases.   Nissa’s comment just surprised me by turning the narrative I like to present on its head – by describing the advice for women to ask men out as advice that men give women about themselves that is bad advice, in spite of the fact that it’s about themselves.   I think often about the reverse, and have never before been presented with a solid example of the gender-flipped equivalent.

        3. Nissa

          Jeremy,

          A lot of us are flirting directly. I’ll give you a few examples:

          Pizza guy taking my order: Do you want peppers with that?

          Me: (Looking into his eyes and smiling): No thanks…I’m already spicy.

          Video store guy: sorry I’m being rough with this (video) but I can’t get it out (of the container).

          Me: Don’t worry…not everyone minds a little roughness. (To which the woman next to him, glanced at me and said: Damn).

          On another occasion,   I was talking to a friend of my husband’s (who I went to high school with, and had had a serious crush on for about 2 years) and mentioned to him (in a non flirty way, since I was married): You know, I always like that about you. It’s nice. (I have completely forgotten what this compliment was about).

          Him: Are you fucking with me?

          Me: Huh? (Bewilderment about why he would be angry about a compliment ensued).

          What’s really funny is, neither of these first 2 men did anything about it. The pizza guy said “I’m going to be thinking about that all day”, smiled, and handed me a receipt. The video guy literally didn’t notice I said anything, he was too busy wrestling with plastic. The third was flat out angry. When men aren’t interested, they aren’t interested. You could show up naked, and they would start looking around for Ashton Kutcher, thinking they were being Punk’d.

           

        4. Chris

          Nissa with men #1 and #2 you were approaching them while they were working, with ambiguous   comments that would probably just be mere playfulness and not an invitation to ask you for your number. If you had approached them similarly in a club or at a party they probably would been a lot more agreeable.

          Most men have internalized that asking out strange women outside of approved venues is risky and probably unwelcome, and would require either a very strong attraction or some kind of ongoing rapport to motivate them to do it.

        5. Jeremy

          Nissa, I’ve got to say regarding the examples you gave, that I’d have no idea you were flirting.   Or, let me clarify – I’d have no idea you were flirting in such a way as to encourage the guy to ask you out.   Though I know you thought you were being obvious.

           

          IME, some women are very flirty and like to say outrageous things.   Doesn’t mean they want you to ask them out.   They just talk that way with everyone. Every man on earth has experience with this.   The pizza guy asked if you wanted peppers and you responded that YOU are spicy.   Doesn’t mean you think HE is spicy.   Him specifically.   The roughness comment to the video store guy….I’d honestly have no idea how to respond to that – were you asking him to be rough with you?   Your husband’s friend may or may not have understood your intent.

           

          I say this just to reiterate what men have told women on this blog over and over.   Just because you (and other women) think you’re being obvious doesn’t mean you are. It’s not necessarily that the men weren’t interested.   If the first 2 guys had misinterpreted you, asked you out, and offended you, your resulting complaint could have cost them their jobs.   Men think about this sort of thing a lot, because we’ve all misinterpreted women’s signals and experienced not just rejection, but also anger.

        6. MilkyMae

          The word “nice” is not a good word for women to use while dating. It’s code for “not interested” these days. I found this out the hard way.

        7. MilkyMae

          I read about a study where dates were video recorded and impartial observers listened/viewed the dates to determine if there would be a second date.   The observers failed.   Both men and women couldn’t tell if the dates were a success with any accuracy.

          I sometimes flirt less enthusiastically when I’m interested. When the pressure is on, I clam up and I start talking about the weather.

           

        8. Nissa

          Chris and Jeremy,

          I’m in agreement with you guys on this. The venue itself made my words ambiguous. Now, had I said them in an email in response to someone on a dating site? I would expect it to be far more obvious. Even if those men had responded, it would have been a response, and therefore not inappropriate in my mind. All I really expected was a smile, which in one case I got. My point is that for someone looking for an opening, they have that. If he then chooses to overlook that opening, it’s probably because he finds you uninteresting.

          BTW, I was not offended that neither man took me up on my playfulness. I just saw them as examples of men ignoring an opening. I always keep it in mind that when someone is working, that’s what they are thinking about. I know this concerns you Jeremy, but most women are quite forgiving in regard to this. Even me, as an abuse survivor and as someone who almost brained a female coworker for putting her hands on me at work. If I sense that a man is putting feelers out for interest, that’s fine – even when it’s not returned. It’s only when she has made her disinterest clear, and he proceeds in spite of that, that it gets mucky.

        9. Adrian

          Jeremey said,”I say this just to reiterate what men have told women on this blog over and over.   Just because you (and other women) think you’re being obvious doesn’t mean you are.

          DING! DING! DING!

          This here deserves to be posted on every woman’s mirror!

          I observed something similar from female friends when they would wonder why guys who they were not interested in keep coming around. They said they told these guys but the guys wouldn’t stop. However when I watched what and how these women told these men to me it looked so ambiguous that it could almost be considered flirting… the OPPOSITE of her intention.

        10. Emily, to

           

          Adrian,

          I watched what and how these women told these men to me it looked so ambiguous that it could almost be considered flirting… the OPPOSITE of her intention.

          Men do this, too, Adrian. They can be very flirtatious with no intention, which is why I assume a man is flirting for sport unless he point-blank asks me out.   Then I know he’s serious. This may be why women sometimes decide to do the asking. They want to know if the guy is serious if he’s been flirty but hasn’t moved things forward himself and it’s been a reasonable amount of time to do so. Maybe deep down she knows he’s not serious but needs to get him out of her system.

        11. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          What I have seen are women try too hard to be nice. Most women (I’ve seen) aren’t direct because they don’t want to be mean, and by doing so they reject the guy in a way that seems like flirting/playing hard to get.

          Also looking at Nissa’s examples I must say that flirting is a skill and just because someone is a woman doesn’t mean they automatically know how to do it well (just like most men are not good at it).

          I use to assume that highly attractive people were good at things like flirting, kissing, sex, etc but the truth is that they are probably the least skilled. The men and women I know of who are model level attractive are approached and courted so much that they rarely have to put in to much effort, so they never had to develop the skill set that we normal mortals do to get and keep a partner.

          Oh and yes I agree both men and women flirt for sport; they love the attention even if they don’t really want the person giving them the attention.

        12. Emily, to

          Adrian,

          Oh and yes I agree both men and women flirt for sport; they love the attention even if they don’t really want the person giving them the attention.

          I’ve been guilty of that in the past. The less interested I was, the more flirtatious I was. I might have genuinely liked the guy but not been interested sexually. But a few of these guys came onto me, and when I did the dip and dodge (didn’t answer directly but didn’t accept), they stopped speaking to me. So I stopped doing that because I was leading people on. It’s not a nice things to do.

      2. 4.2.2
        D_M

        Nissa,

        I’m not following your last sentence. “For whatever biological reason, women value relationship at a lower level of investment, which results in the lopsided appearance of this dating behavior.” Expand on that a little more for me.

        Men know that we are expected to pay for things, so we pay for things. If the happy medium could be achieved by buying tools and working on the house, a larger number of men would do just that. Discussions about those little teal boxes would never come up in the jockstrap circles. Having men pay for stuff is only meaningful with men who subscribe to the view that monetary expenditure equals affection.

        1. Nissa

          D-M,

          What I mean by this is that women (in general) have more interest in relationships than men do. Men tend to be satisfied with less talk, less contact and less commitment (again, in general). Since women already, intrinsically  value relationship, it takes less investment to interest her. Men, by virtue of having less interest, require more investment (focus, time and money) to get them to the level that matches the level of the woman he’s dating.   It’s not based on tradition or expectation – it’s functional. And it’s not limited to men. Women also invest more when they have to work harder for it. That’s why women who have sex with a man, tend to chase him longer and harder than is generally warranted by his behavior. It’s because she has invested, which literally changes her feelings toward him. That’s why it’s a losing strategy for a woman to be sexual right away. It increases her investment in him, and increases her feelings for him.But since the woman tends to be more interested and invested initially, this leads to an ongoing imbalance between the two. If the woman refrains from sex, and requires the man to initiate, plan and pay, it balances investment and interest between them.

          I’ll give you an example. I have a dog who was born with a birth defect in his eye. I had to medicate him, starting twice daily, then up to 4 times daily. After multiple vet visits, I ended up having to remove his eye via an expensive surgery. He became my favorite, over his sister that I got at the same time, who was objectively easier and better   behaved. The acts of caretaking   (the focus, time and money) invested me in him in a way that I would not have been invested without that. It changed my feelings about him.

          By extension, a woman who would like to have a man be more interested in her, would do well to require him to be the one that initiates, plans and pays. It invests him and changes his feeling, usually in a way that matches the level of feeling already present in the woman. That’s why a woman of integrity will not continue to date a man once she has determined that she is not interested in him. She knows that the process itself will tend to cause an increase in feeling. That is why women who find they have no interest in their date, insist on paying. It’s a way to decrease his interest in her and mitigate his costs (in the name of fairness) simultaneously.

          IMO none of this is about hurting men or using men in any way. It’s a functional way to create balance of interest in a burgeoning relationship. Once the relationship is established, a woman’s ongoing investment via sex and management of his household tend to keep her invested. Men continuing to initiate, plan and pay keeps him invested. Both are flexible enough to be maintained even when the woman pays for some things, or does more of the planning, such as when children are involved. Working on the house does count as part of the man’s investment. BUT – if either one discontinues the behavior, the function ceases, and disregard begins to grow.

          However, women tend to get saddled with kids (and kid costs) over time, so it’s harder to her to transition from this investment once it’s made. She no longer has the physical assets to make a new contract with someone else at the same level. She’s physically compromised in the way men feel financially compromised in divorce. But when money is replaced, it has equivalent value to what was held previously. The physical does not. IMO that is the basis for the traditions we saw in the past, which balanced that irreplaceable physical with finances.

        2. Emily, to

          Nissa,

          That’s why women who have sex with a man, tend to chase him longer and harder than is generally warranted by his behavior.  

          Its all the bonding hormones. A woman can be decently interested in the beginning (enough to accept dates and see where things go) and he ‘s pursuing her, but if she sleeps with him too soon, she becomes  very interested, and then she’s chasing him. The whole things shifts. Maybe that’s why the men on here are pushing for sex so quickly. It’s a way too get women hooked and chasing them! 🙂 (It’s even worse if she really likes him and has sex too soon …. BAD news.) So I agree with you. A woman is best to hold back a little. It gives her time to see if she really likes the guy or likes him because she slept with him.   I think the only way women don’t get attached at all after sex is if they don’t like the guy. And who wants to do that?

      3. 4.2.3
        AdaGrace

        This is consistent with my experiences asking men out, something I was never reluctant to do but now reluctantly keep myself from doing.   Unfortunate, but more effective.

    3. 4.3
      Clare

      My experiences tally with Emily’s, Nissa’s and AdaGrace, and so I definitely think the advice being offered by Evan here is solid.

      I’m a very strong, independent woman, and like Emily and Nissa, I’ve had my efforts for going after what I wanted proactively rewarded in every other area of my life, so I saw no reason why it shouldn’t also work in dating. Every time I tried being the one to ask a guy out and get the dating process rolling, it backfired. That’s why I always gulp back a mouthful of skepticism when guys on this blog (and in real life) talk about how they’d love to be pursued by a woman. It’s not that we (women) are unwilling… we’ve just tried it and found it ineffective. I’d happily ask out a man I was drawn to and found interesting and attractive – I’m not shy at all; I’ve just learned that it’s not my role.

      That said, I’m not happy with an entirely passive role, and I’ve learned that there are plenty of ways women can nudge things along. Flirting is obviously a big one. Positive reinforcement, maneuvering things so that you can spend time together and responding in an encouraging way to his communications are others. Basically, making it as easy as possible for him to move things along.

      Of course – and this is probably not a very popular feminist notion – there is the effort we put in to being an “alluring” female as well. Being exciting and fun and charming… someone he wants to get to know more and also feels he could keep learning about you because you’ve got your own life going on. I dunno. I think there’s a great deal of power and proactivity about the kind of woman we present to the world and the guys we’d like to date.

      With my current boyfriend, he made 100% of the moves and took 100% of the initiative (still does most of the time), but I was not passive. I thought about the kind of person I wanted to be in a relationship, and I presented that.

      1. 4.3.1
        Emily, to

        Hi Clare,

        I agree with you that it’s not effective to go after a man. You either get someone who wasn’t interested enough to pursue you or someone who’s passive and you will be taking on the more assertive role in the relationship. If a woman is ok with that, it may work.

        Flirting is obviously a big one. Positive reinforcement, maneuvering things so that you can spend time together and responding in an encouraging way to his communications are others. Basically, making it as easy as possible for him to move things along.

        I understand what you’re saying, but these efforts don’t get someone interested. What I mean is … you can see someone you want and approach him, start the chatting and flirting … but he’s into your or he’s not. We’re still at the mercy of whether someone comes after us.

        1. Clare

          Emily,

          “You either get someone who wasn’t interested enough to pursue you or someone who’s passive and you will be taking on the more assertive role in the relationship. If a woman is ok with that, it may work.”

          I have been in the situation before (three times actually) where the guy was initially interested enough to ask me out, but then I had to take the initiative for us to keep seeing each other, and that is equally as bad. If you have to chase a man to get him to know you’re alive and to spend time with you  at any point  in the relationship, it’s just probably not worth your time.

          “What I mean is … you can see someone you want and approach him, start the chatting and flirting … but he’s into your or he’s not. We’re still at the mercy of whether someone comes after us.”

          Absolutely true.

          I have flirted with a guy and maneuvered myself into position and still come up empty handed a couple times.

          I just like to know that I’ve done something from my side if I’m interested in a guy. 🙂

      2. 4.3.2
        Tim

        And THIS here is why Katz champions  sexist behavior from women in dating.

        A Man walks into a room with 10 women and only 1 is attracted to him. But if he becomes hesitant to keep approaching the last 3 after 7 rejections he is told by experts like Katz he’s not really confident and she’s better off without such a coward.

        But a woman in a room with 10 men with only 6 interested in her receives one rejection and all of a sudden she is told her APPROACHING him is what turned him off. I mean do women never consider that the few guys they asked out were NEVER INTERESTED in them to begin with.

        A guy gets rejected he is told “she wasn’t into you and she has that right” A woman gets rejected she is told “its NOT you, men just don’t like women asking them out”

        So Scarlet Johansson asks a guy out and I suppose Katz and his female audience just knows that the guy will run for the hills screaming you’re not attractive anymore because Me Man and Me Creave Chase.

        I’m not sure if it’s just sad or insulting to be told that women have evolved beyond cavemen antics (aren’t women on here always screaming about how the research that says women evolved to discriminate based height, money, etc and only choose those types of men is B.S) but at the same time they are disgusted with men who say they also have evolved beyond not being able to control an urge to chase and lose interest in women who ruin the chase by approaching. Of course these are the same women who almost riot calling it B.S when a man quotes the same caveman research that says his looking at other women, watching porn, and wanting multiple sex partners.

        So I guess the science on mating is only valid when it supports women???

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Welcome, Tim. We haven’t had a troll in awhile. I’m sure you’ll find our demeanor to be slightly more hospitable than MGTOW sites in that you won’t be called a “mangina” around here.

          As to your above statement, it’s reflective of your own experience (and bias), the same way women’s bias is implicit in their statements. However, I’m an impartial observer whose loyalty is to truth, not to a specific gender. So…

          I understand if you don’t want to be rejected by 10 women in a bar in one night. I didn’t either. That’s why I got good at online dating. I had more time to be clever in my marketing/emailing, I didn’t have to face the sting of face to face rejection, and I was less likely to be judged on pure looks. I recommend this to you if you’re open to it.

          I was really confused about your statement in which a woman gets rejected and is told “It’s not you, men just don’t like women asking them out.” Of course, it’s flattering to be asked out. Of course, no one would run from Scarlett Johanssen. But Scarlett Johanssen surely knows that she does not HAVE to ask out anybody and she will still have limitless opportunity. Why? Because men who are interested – online or offline – for the most part, know it’s their responsibility to take action. If you fail to take action, because you’re tired, sad, and insecure, then guess what? Some OTHER guy is going to get to go out with Scarlett Johanssen, not you.

          You want to come here to complain life isn’t fair. You’re right. It’s not. Men can get grey and heavy and still be seen as attractive. Men have more dating options at 50 than they do at 20. Men are happier than women when having sex without commitment. And you’re all “Whoa is me” because women prefer when men ask them out? Yep. That’s the way it works. I didn’t invent it. I’m just observing it. Same way I report that it’s normal for men to look at other women, look at porn and want multiple sex partners.

          So I guess your accusations of me favoring women are a little dimmer, aren’t they?

        2. Emily, to

          tim,

          A guy gets rejected he is told “she wasn’t into you and she has that right” A woman gets rejected she is told “its NOT you, men just don’t like women asking them out”

          I think most women know that a man turning them down means they aren’t interested. The meaning of no is pretty universal.

        3. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          You said, “I think most women know that a man turning them down means they aren’t interested. ”

          Yikes! I agree with Evan, this is either a troll or someone who is deeply hurting… Anyway, would you explain what I’m not seeing? If it’s just a case of duh he’s not attracted to me why every time this subject comes up women always say they were rejected BECAUSE they approached and not because he didn’t like me? It’s always used as a justification as to why women shouldn’t approach.

        4. Emily, to

          Adrian,

          It’s always used as a justification as to why women shouldn’t approach.

          I never wrote women shouldn’t approach. I wrote they shouldn’t chase after or ask out. Read my response to Clare.

          I just read a piece on askmen.com about women asking men out and a guy wrote about being at a bar with his friends. He ended up sitting next to a woman and they talked. When he got up to leave, she told him she wanted to go out with him and asked for his number. He admitted to being surprised by the role reversal but also admitted to not wanting to go and saying no. Surely if he’d wanted to go he would have said yes.

        5. Clare

          Tim & Emily,
          “A guy gets rejected he is told “she wasn’t into you and she has that right” A woman gets rejected she is told “its NOT you, men just don’t like women asking them out.”
          Haha, I’d love to know who is telling women that. Because it’s certainly not our girlfriends (who are telling us “He’s Just Not That Into You”) or our guy friends (who are telling us, “if he was interested in you, he would have asked you out”) or dating coaches, who are saying “Sure, give it a shot and ask the guy out, but an interested guy will ask  you  out if you are warm and flirtatious.” And lo and behold, that is what we find in real life.

          I understand men do the asking out so they experience a lot of rejection  in that way. But they do not have the market cornered on rejection. There’s plenty to go around, and women experience their fair share. Aside from the initial first date asking out, women can get rejected at any point from then onwards. Most women who have been dating for any length of time have had plenty of knockbacks, I can assure you.

            

        6. Yet Another Guy

          @Tim

          A guy gets rejected he is told “she wasn’t into you and she has that right” A woman gets rejected she is told “its NOT you, men just don’t like women asking them out”

          I am usually the dark cloud on this site, but you have topped me in this blog entry by a considerable margin.   The reality is that men pursue, women accept or reject.   It is one of the few traditional gender roles that has escaped feminism.   I agree that it sucks getting turned down by women, but that is the price of playing the game.   The beauty of being the pursuer is that you get to select the women you approach.   The pursued has to hope that a person in whom they are interested approaches.   Yet, most women will still take those odds instead of facing the specter of active rejection.

          With that said, I do agree that it does not matter if a woman in whom an emotionally mature man is interested approaches or he approaches ( even if he is confident, there are reasons why a guy who is interested will not approach, especially if we are taking about the modern workplace).   It does not make a bit of difference because a guy who is into a woman is into her.   Nothing short of being a total basket case is going to change that opinion, so, yes, the “men do not like being asked out” argument is a lie that many women tell themselves in order to avoid active rejection.   The reality is that women are significantly more selective than men.   There is just no way around that truth (if you did not have to risk active rejection in order to get a date, you would become more selective as well).   Remove part of the sting of active rejection, as occurs on dating sites, and women are more likely to initiate contact.

        7. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          You said, “I never wrote women shouldn’t approach. I wrote they shouldn’t chase after or ask out. Read my response to Clare.”

          I know you never said that Emily (^_^). You are the only regular commentor that says that she approaches a guy, that’s why Chance, myself and a few others use to call you an outlier.

          I was surprised to see Tom10’s blog jaded side in a recent comment (though he often spoke about suffering from it) I think perhaps you to are affected? I was just asking your thoughts not attacking or accusing you my friend (^_^).

        8. Tron Swanson

          “…but that is the price of playing the game.”

          To quote one of my favorite movies, “The only winning move is not to play.”

          Ironically, I’m in the same position as many of the women in this thread. Though I’ve never asked out a woman, I’ve spent far too much time pursuing them…and it’s never really worked for me. So, like them, I’ve ceased to carry out an unproductive strategy.

          Asking someone out usually fails, regardless of gender. Women say, “See, it doesn’t work. I’ll sit back and wait for men to ask me out.” Men say, “See, it doesn’t work. But I want sex, so I guess I have to keep trying.” Women can get away with being passive; men force themselves to do something stupid.

        9. Emily, to

          Adrian,

          You are the only regular commentor that says that she approaches a guy, that’s why Chance, myself and a few others use to call you an outlier.

          I will approach a guy. I am shy but I get frustrated with myself and push through it.  

          I was surprised to see Tom10’s blog jaded side in a recent comment (though he often spoke about suffering from it) I think perhaps you to are affected? I was just asking your thoughts not attacking or accusing you my friend (^_^).

          I know you weren’t attacking me, but you are right. I need to get off this blog. The redundancy of the comments is starting to irritate me. I think I’m going through a period of general irritation. I have to get a new job. Have been trying for 2. 5 months. No luck and my hope is waning. I’m about to go in now for what is going to be at least a 10-hour day. I dread it.

        10. Nissa

          @Tim,

          I hate to break it to you, but people absolutely say to us women: he’s not into you and he has that right. And, on top of that, they say: also if he liked you, he would have asked you out. If you asked him out in spite of that, you deserve what you get when he uses you for sex and convenience.

          I believe that if a woman asks out a man, who already likes her, but who has not asked her out for various reasons, will date her. However, the woman loses out on the investment that he would have made in her if he had asked her out. It shifts the paradigm forever. The only time I have not seen this is when the man is completely whipped, and she has asked him out because she only saw him as a friend who would do anything she asked, and she fell into a relationship with him more out of habit and convenience, than by conscious choice. So they have a dynamic where he’s always afraid she’s going to walk out, because her choice was always based first on convenience, and second on liking him. And that guy….just seems like he walks on eggshells all the time.

        11. GoWiththeFlow

          Tim,

          You said:   “A guy gets rejected he is told ‘she wasn’t into you and she has that right'”

          Let me be blunt here:   What is so wrong about that?   Finding out someone is not interested in you up front, is way better than finding it out after they have gone out with you for awhile, despite not being that into you, and you wound up investing time, money and emotions into them.   Not only do you wind up being rejected, but you get to feel that your time was wasted and you were used as well.

          Next you said that, “A woman gets rejected she is told ‘its NOT you, men just don’t like women asking them out'”

          What’s so great about that?   Not only is the woman rejected, she gets slapped down for stepping out of line by asking the guy out because what did she expect?   It’s not her culturally approved role.

        12. Adrian

          Hi GoWithTheFlow,

          Where have you been?

           

        13. Jeremy

          I agree with you, GWTF. We all have our burdens to bear   and just because yours doesn’t look like mine doesn’t mean you don’t have one, or that it isn’t as onerous. I hope all is well with you and that life has been treating you kindly.

  4. 5
    camille

    What if you have gone out a few times, does the rule still apply? I don’t like asking for the first date, but date number four, five or six?? Is that more acceptable?

  5. 6
    Chelsea Malesa

    I agree whole heartedly with Evan. Women most seem to use the excuse of ‘he’s probably just shy!’ Or ‘he’s probably too intimidated!’ And to that I simply always say, do you truly want to be with a man who’s too wimpy or intimidated to ask you out? If he’s not confident enough to ask for a date, he’s probably not going to be confident enough to make the first sexual move, plan a proposal, etc. total turnoff for me personally. I’ll never ask a man out again simply because I’m turned off by guys that aren’t interested in me, and turned off by guys who may find me intimidating.

    1. 6.1
      No Name To Give

      I’d take it a step further. When I was still dating, any guy that said after the first date, “call me if you want to get together again” never got that call from me. He was either just killing time with me until someone better came along or wanted to get me to chase after him.

  6. 7
    K

    I made the first move in my relationship (been dating him almost a month, Thanks Evan!) and here’s what I learned:

    He thought I was a bot.

    He said he couldn’t believe a woman as sexy as me would contact him because most of the “women” on internet dating sites are bots.   Sexy picture, generic profile, scripted conversation.   He scrolled past my photo several times and never bothered to click on it because I was too attractive.   Even after I messaged him, and he replied, and I messaged again, it took him two days to convince himself that I wasn’t a bot.   The reason he realized I wasn’t a bot was (following Evan’s advice) I had a very unique profile.   And, when I messaged him, I mentioned local things as well as things from his profile.

    I asked him to meet first, too.   He said until we met, he kept expecting me to ask for a credit card number or direct him to a porn site.   I wasn’t real to him until we met.   Now, he’s on my like flees on a hound (sorry, not a particularly romantic image, but you get the point) and is always asking when he can see me next.

    The current guy is not the first guy to complain about bots on internet dating sites.   If men are scrolling past our picture because they see us as little more than “fake news,” or fear that they’ll ask for a date and we’ll suggest a “pay-per-view” porn site, then we women are going to have to take the initiative.

    Just my two cents worth.

    1. 7.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @K

      I will admit that I “next” profiles with professionally-shot photos because it looks like a setup.

    2. 7.2
      D_M

      This subject has come up before, but I always find it fascinating.   Women are apprehensive about asking out a guy that appeals to you. A guy that checks your would like to get to know him box, for because he asked me out. It comes across as a recipe for discontentment. Shouldn’t you be finishing in the salmon stream, rather than hoping salmon is mixed in with the trout?

      1. 7.2.1
        K

        @D_M
        Your analogy isn’t quite correct since trout and salmon swim in the same rivers.   Also, steelhead offer just as much sport at salmon and are just as tasty, though, I prefer the pink-fleshed mackinaw (lake trout) who come from waters inhabited by mysis shrimp.   The texture and flavor is superior to salmon and lake trout are much easier to come by.   Anglers, like women, enjoy a good catch no matter the species.

        As for the rest, aren’t women better off by proving their humanity to a good catch who fears they’re a bot over dating the guy whose message consists of a carefully crafted “Sup?” accompanied by a photo depicting his torso, but per terms of service does not extend so low as to show they only head he thinks with?

    3. 7.3
      Gab

      My ex-bf said exactly the same thing about my profile. He thought my profile sounded too unique to be a bot, but that my friendliness and attractiveness made him question whether I was real. He said that within the first few days of being matched, we had exchanged more words (texts) than all his previous matches combined.

      In regards to women doing the asking out, I think it’s case by case. If I’m just meeting a match but not overly optimistic I’ll suggest a coffee somewhere local to me. If I’m very keen and there’s good online/phone rapport I’ll let them plan a date.

      1. 7.3.1
        K

        @Gab

        I don’t advocate for planning a big evening date.   But I do think it’s beneficial to suggest meeting for coffee at lunch, simply to prove you’re real.   After that, if the guy wants to date, the ball is in his court.

  7. 8
    Tron Swanson

    As the rare guy who’s never asked out a woman, I suppose I should chime in. I don’t blame women for not asking out guys–the whole thing sounds terrifying, to me. I’ve dealt with enough rejection as it is; I don’t need to open myself up to even more. I’m a cautious, risk-averse kind of person. Of course, I never liked the idea of dating, anyway, so I didn’t have much motivation. And these days, I have motivation not to do it. Combining my legendary lack of social skills and the current MeToo climate…if I bungled something on my end, or if the woman misinterpreted or misunderstood, I could be in serious trouble.

    Some women are very, very good at making it clear they’re interested, but without actually asking the guy out. When I was younger, a few girls practically threw themselves at me, and I was either too blind or too nervous to see it. I eventually learned to pick up on those deafeningly-loud signals. I’ve technically never had a woman ask me out…but my long-term (for me) girlfriends did tell me that we should get married, as did a long-term FWB, so maybe I kinda got proposed to? I’ve actually had some very serious and detailed marriage offers, come to think of it. This is why I fear that many women are struggling–they shouldn’t have to bother with the likes of me…

  8. 9
    Olongapo

    Bwahahaha!!!!   All of this intellectualizing and deconstruction belies the fact that being “rejected” is tough.   Most men learn how to handle rejection from a very young age and the smart ones learn to calibrate well with indicators of interest.   I believe that women don’t handle rejection well but, I don’t think that’s a cultural thing.   I believe this is hardwired into the biology because they’re at higher physical risk if they pick wrong.   What I’ve observed lately is that men are real gunshy these days for a number of reasons.   Some have been taken to the cleaners in a divorce, some have seen friends or co-workers #metooed (yes, that’s a verb these days), and some have realized for whatever reason, the juice just ain’t worth the squeeze.   This all complicates matters for a lot of women looking for a partner.   My recommendation is to develop some “wingmen” to practice on to develop skills.   Safe guys:   Brothers, safe co-workers, etc., to develop your chops to put men at ease and to decrease your own anxiety levels about potential rejection.   Men who don’t want to have sex with you will tell you bluntly what they like because “we”, like to be helpful (that’s one of our system features).   Personally, I’ve been hit on by women a lot and some I’ll go out with and some I won’t.   It feels real good to get asked out……even for coffee.   Men, like women, love to know they’re desirable.   Good luck with this!!

    1. 9.1
      James

      “All of this intellectualizing and deconstruction belies the fact that being “rejected” is tough.”

      Exactly. We can talk in circles and cloud this issue till the cows come home, but in the end what it all boils down to is nobody likes being rejected. Women in particular want to avoid rejection, even when they think the risk of rejection is small. When women claim it doesn’t work for them to chase men, what they are really saying is it doesn’t work for them to be rejected by men. Yet they seem to think it works just fine for men to be rejected by women.

      OK, so we know women don’t like being the pursuers because they understandably hate being rejected. But as it’s been mentioned, the prevailing socio/political climate these days (#MeToo, “toxic masculinity”, etc) has made it very daunting for men to risk pursuing women. Men who assertively pursue women are risking legal problems, career problems, financial problems, and a shattered reputation, whereas women who pursue men are essentially just risking a bruised ego.

      Even bold, confident men can believe their advances are considered predatory and unwelcome in this environment, and they can feel guilty until proven innocent just by virtue of being male. So if a woman expects a man to pursue her in this day and age she needs to make it very clear, as in CRYSTAL clear, that this is EXACTLY what she wants – no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And that means no more coy and cagey hard-to-get games from her as well.

      But the problem for her is that by making her interest so glaringly obvious she now risks rejection the same as if she had been the pursuer, since the lines have now been blurred in terms of who is chasing who. So at this point she may as well just abandon all pretense and pursue men to her heart’s content with no apologies.

      Or, she can always just wait around and hope for one of these gun-shy men to pursue her…but she might have to wait a long, long time.

      1. 9.1.1
        Nissa

        James,

        You are drawing a parallel that does not stand up to scrutiny. If you approach a woman who is in a situation where she does not expect to be approached (during her business day, at a work function, while she’s working out (and probably feeling sweaty and gross), while she is in a non secure location, such as walking down an unfamiliar street, while she’s on her laptop/working – all of which constitutes an inappropriate situation. If you run into a woman in one of those situations, you can only reach her by acknowledging the inappropriateness of the moment first, such as : I see you are working/exercising/whatever, and I’m not going to interrupt you, but I couldn’t miss out on coming by to say hello and giving you my number. Or I’d be thrilled to take yours and give you a call when you are less busy.

        Other than that, it’s not that “it works fine for men to be rejected”. It’s that women expect you to make your requests in an appropriate situation, where she expects to be approached: at a bar, on a dating site, in a group of friends.

        All of the issues you mention are basically a function of approaching women in inappropriate situations. What you are ignoring here is that several posters here are telling you, we have cheerfully been the pursuers, and only stopped when it was glaringly obvious that it was not effective.

        1. AdaGrace

          Yes… and, to make sure there’s no mistake about this, “not effective” doesn’t necessarily mean “got rejected”.   Most of the men I’ve asked out in person have said yes, and a pretty high proportion have gone out with me when I’ve done the asking online — but the resulting date (or, in two cases, year and a half relationship) has invariably been with someone who turned out to be very low in motivation, self-esteem, or both.   Regardless of where they fell on the introvert-extrovert scale, how shy they considered themselves to be, or whether or not they were on the autism spectrum.

          I realize there are probably exceptions — however, given lack of knowledge about what will work with a particular man, I stand a much better chance of having a favorable outcome if I flirt than if I ask him out explicitly — if he’s likely to be wrong for me, not going on a date or being in a relationship with him IS a favorable outcome… it leaves me available to go out with a guy who’s more likely to be a good match.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Nissa

          What you are ignoring here is that several posters here are telling you, we have cheerfully been the pursuers, and only stopped when it was glaringly obvious that it was not effective.

          Yet, you appear to be unwavering in your inability to hear what men have been saying, and that is being the pursuer involves the risk of being rejected.   Knowing how and when to approach in the #MeToo era amplifies the risk.    The reality is the men are rejected more often than they are accepted, even men who are successful with women.   Men who become successful with women learn to brush rejection off (it is part of the learning how to be emotionally unavailable social indoctrination to which men are subjected from the time that they are little boys).   Men who internalize rejection like the average women does never become successful with women.   Why would it be any different for a woman who throws in the towel after being rejected by a few men?   We are not discussing a male versus female problem. We are discussing a pursuer versus persuee problem.     As in any other negotiation, the person who approaches has the weaker hand.   If the average guy took the approach to rejection that the average woman takes, very few people would date.

           

        3. Jeremy

          But YAG, listen to what she’s actually saying.   It isn’t what you’re hearing.   It’s not that women don’t believe men will go out with them if they ask.   It’s that they don’t like the power dynamic that results when they do.

           

          Here I go on again about power.   Emily will probably skim it and Mrs Happy will likely shake her head in disgust and go read a book about bears.   After all, no one likes re-runs of their favourite soap.   But it’s about power nevertheless, YAG.   Listen to the women as they tell the stories of their successes at asking men out, not their failures.   The men lacked motivation.   Motivation to do WHAT?   To plan, to pay, to pursue, to do the things that make women feel special, feel comfortable…..feel powerful.   The stories of how, when women pursued, they too often found themselves having to be the pursuer, having to be the one to give up power…and it didn’t feel good to them.   They didn’t like the dynamic.

           

          It’s not that women don’t think they can ask men out, it’s that the resulting power dynamic is not congruent with the type of relationship they want.   But note to the women, this  does not mean that men don’t worry about the same thing.   Men just want their own power less than they want you.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          You are absolutely right that it is about power.     That is why I wrote:

          We are discussing a pursuer versus persuee problem.     As in any other negotiation, the person who approaches has the weaker hand.

          It is about being able to dictate the rules of engagement.   When a person is pursuing a partnership with you, you can dictate the rules of engagement.   This process is less about finding a man who is interested in finding a true equal and more about finding a man who is interested to the point where he is willing to allow his actions to be controlled.   This anachronism was necessary when women gained their power through their husbands. By controlling her husband, a woman controlled his power.

        5. No Name To Give

          And maybe, just maybe Jeremy and YAG, it’s not about power but about knowing that if we become the pursuer, the guy doesn’t see anything special in us because he didn’t do the choosing. He’s just biding time with us until someone he really wants comes along.

        6. Fromkin

          if we become the pursuer, the guy doesn’t see anything special in us because he didn’t do the choosing. He’s just biding time with us until someone he really wants comes along.”

          Aha! Is that what women have been thinking all this time when asked out? Well, as the philosopher Willis once said: “Welcome to the party, pal.”

        7. Emily, to

          Jeremy,

          The stories of how, when women pursued, they too often found themselves having to be the pursuer, having to be the one to give up power…and it didn’t feel good to them.   They didn’t like the dynamic.

          One of the things that hasn’t been addressed in this power discussion is that women aren’t necessarily wanting power over men, but power over themselves. When you really like someone and you’re hoping to God they like you, you feel of control. If you’re really feeling it, you’re out of control. You’re opening yourself up to a world of expectations and hopes and it’s like jumping over a cliff. So some female behavior that may come off as controlling to the man could be self- protection or attempts to control their own feelings.

        8. Jeremy

          No Name To Give, what special thing do you think the guy will see in you before he knows you at all?   Other than how you look, I mean?   He will either see that special thing once he gets to know you or he won’t.   Same as you either will or won’t for him. Has nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, to do with who asks whom out.      Flip the argument and realize that when men pursue you, they don’t know if you find anything special in them at all.   There are all the excuses in the world for not doing something you don’t want to do…

        9. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          Flip the argument and realize that when men pursue you, they don’t know if you find anything special in them at all.

          Absolutely!     It is a leap of faith for us, but we still do it.

          I believe that the issue with which we are dealing has more to do with socialized perception than reality.   I recently read an article about the #MeToo movement and how men are socialized that is getting them into trouble.   The reality is that men are socialized from the time that they reach puberty to pursue women with the same single-mindedness that a hunter hunted prey that was essential to his survival.   That socialization is getting men into trouble today because the difference between objectification and flattery/admiration is completely dependent on a woman’s interest. In times past, unwanted attention was written off as “boys will be boys.”   Women knew that unwanted attention was part of the bargain they made, so that the men they wanted would pursue them as described above.   Today, women still want the wanted attention like the generations of women who came before them without the unwanted attention those women had to endure (heck, almost all of the physical traits that women generally find attractive are those of the prototypical hunter, including “hunter eyes”).     I am not saying that women should have to endure unwanted attention. I am saying that the pursue, plan, and pay doctrine is in its sunset because it is not sustainable in a post-#MeToo, “Yes Means Yes” world.     It is just too dangerous for men to continue the current model that is based on socialization that leads to behavior that can end a man’s career.     Men are going to be far more cautious about approaching and being behind closed doors with women.   Here we have a case of “be care what you wish for.”   Even Miss Lean In herself has commented on the negative ramifications #MeToo has for women.   Why? Because executives no longer feel comfortable mentoring female subordinates one-on-one.

        10. James

          “What you are ignoring here is that several posters here are telling you, we have cheerfully been the pursuers, and only stopped when it was glaringly obvious that it was not effective.”

          I’m not ignoring them, I just don’t believe that it is any less effective for women to pursue men than vice versa. I doubt the average woman’s success rate would be any lower than the average man’s, and in fact it might be significantly higher. What definitely IS lower however, is her tolerance for rejection and her willingness to persevere in the face of it. Men too have cheerfully been pursuers in appropriate situations and found it largely ineffective. Like Tron said, the overall success rate is probably low for both genders. But society charitably allows women to be passive and throw in the towel when things get rough, whereas men are expected to shake it off, man up, and try, try again, otherwise they are just being lazy cowards and not “real men”.

          I totally agree some situations are more appropriate than others, but I think the #MeToo-toxic masculinity stuff has less to do with the appropriateness of the situation and more to do with the whims of the woman. A woman could be working out, sweaty and gross like you said, but if a man approaches and she likes him enough or is just in the right mood, she will probably welcome his advances. On the other hand, she could be at a singles bar or party and putting out the come-hither vibe, but if the wrong man shows interest he will be politely turned away if he’s lucky, but if he’s not he will be publicly ridiculed for daring to hit on her, and maybe accused of harassment to boot. And even if she likes him she may still feign disinterest so as not to seem overeager, and/or test him to see how bad he wants her, and/or knock him down a few pegs for the pure sport of it or to impress her girlfriends.

          And I still think for most women the reluctance to pursue men is first and foremost about fear of rejection, and not about “It’s just not effective for women to chase men” or “Men just don’t like to be chased” or “It’s not the woman’s role to be the pursuer”. These excuses are just red herrings intended to obscure the real truth.

          And why would women want to obscure the truth about their fear of rejection?

          Maybe because by admitting to their own fear of rejection, women think they will give validation to men’s fear of rejection, and thereby provide men with an easy excuse for not pursuing?

          Maybe because her pride makes it difficult for a woman to even acknowledge the possibility that she can be rejected?

          Maybe because the very subject of being rejected is so deeply painful for a woman she would just rather not discuss it?

          And please understand, I am not trying to BLAME women for their fear of rejection. It’s a perfectly natural fear that we ALL have – male and female, young and old, black and white, gay and straight. I just think women need to be more honest and upfront about admitting to this fear.

        11. Nissa

          @Adagrace,

          You are exactly right when you note that when I said “not effective” I did not mean “got rejected” – although, heck, I got a lot of that too.

          @YAG,

          I admit, that I never realized how much it stung to be rejected until I began to pursue more. And I was shot down really badly, because I got pretty much got everything wrong. I approached in inappropriate situations, misread friendliness for interest, and had no idea of what constituted a “green light”. That’s how I realized that men would do far better by utilizing appropriate situations, like dating sites, and by utilizing “green lights” by pursuing women that show interest by viewing their profile, “liking” or “favorite” their profile. It dramatically decreases the probability of being rejected.

          @Jeremy,

          I am interested in your discussion of power, although I am not completely in agreement :-). I would say that nature itself has put women in a biological, inherent power negative situation. Women start at a negative based on attractiveness and fertility (aka power) that peak at a very early age. For men, their power becomes greater over time and can be strongly influenced by non biological factors, such as inherited wealth or national policies that favor one group over another.   Once a woman has children with a man, she cannot unlink herself from him until the children are grown. However, a man can easily unlink from a woman and start over with someone new. A woman’s body never really recovers from childbirth, but money is replaceable. A woman’s career will be irreparably damaged by time off for children, including forever decreased income. Most men will not want to take on responsibility for another man’s children, further decreasing her social value and power.

          I have never seen asking a man to plan, pursue and pay as a way to feel comfortable, special or powerful at someone else’s expense. I honestly don’t remember feeling those things when I was dating either. I do remember feeling pleased that I was able to find someone who wanted what I wanted, who seemed to be achieving his own goals by being with me.

          I see that women are biologically, inherently more interested in relationship, in contact, in talk and in commitment. Biologically, men are much less interested in those things. In terms of power, the woman is starting from a power negative position. He is perfectly fine without any of that, she is not. If both show equal interest, she remains at a deficit. If the man offers more, she can come up, which then makes them equal.

          This is why women are saying what we are seeing: women pursuing men puts them at an even greater power deficit, which does not create the desired result, and is therefore discarded. You are exactly right when you say even when women are successful, are not rejected by men, they are not obtaining their desires, and so they stop that behavior.

          Nature then has another little treat for women, bonding hormones. As she has sex, she becomes even more tied to this man. Her investment continues to grow over time. The previous equilibrium is unbalanced in favor of the man, even in the presence of his ongoing planning, pursuing and paying. It’s not that women value money per se (although they do), it’s that men value money, time, effort – and by providing those things, they invest in the woman, and bond themselves more tightly to her – again evening out the bond, making it equal once again.

          Money and giving up freedom are important, not because women value them, but because men do. After all, if they are giving up something they don’t value, it doesn’t create investment. The effect is not the same. It’s the investment that causes the equalization.

           

        12. Nissa

          @YAG,

          How do you then account for what we women are reporting here – that in places where women expect to be asked out (such as on a dating site), where they are giving green lights and sometimes pursuing men…they are not seeing any hunting going on? And in fact, are hearing crickets?

          It takes us back to, minimum attractiveness levels. Most people in general write to those more attractive than themselves and get back no answer, so that’s not gender based. So all of us are reduced to waiting for either initiation or response.

          But what is interesting is that, even when men respond, or initiate, it happens at a level that can only be called “tepid”. Example? One man that initiated contact with me on a dating site, after 4 hours long conversations where he asked me each time when he could call again, but never asked me on a date. So, making it easy on this possibly shy guy, I advised that I was available on 2 different days to meet him if he’d like, and I was willing to drive an hour one way to meet him in the middle. Suddenly, he “was having work done at his house” those days. Huh? I then said that I was open to a no cost date, if that was an issue. (He said no, he always pays for friends when he goes out). Then, he “was busy” over the weekend, but “could I please just talk to him on the phone a few more times?”

          Experiences like this just flabbergast me. I can’t make sense of them. You can’t get enough of me over the phone but don’t want to meet in person? Huh? A lot of women are bending over backwards in order to make it easier for men, to help minimize their rejection. Are those the top 10% in attractiveness? Probably not. But that’s a choice in who to pursue, so if one is interested in less rejection, it’s a choice in not asking those who are less likely to reject.

        13. Nissa

          @James,

          I agree, there are women out there who are (as I would call them, “weenies”) not asking men out based on fear. I don’t think they are thinking about men and not giving them validation. I think those women are just willing to make someone else responsible for their experience, which I see is a poor choice for both genders.

          Jeremy has made an excellent point about women who do pursue having greater success in terms of not being rejected (getting a number, going on dates, access to short term sex) but equal failure in getting what they really want. But both genders are basically at the mercy of the whims of others. A man can date a woman, have sex with her, and refuse to have an LTR or want to marry her. For most women, that’s a failure, a rejection and a painful one at that. Plus, it’s a huge amount of time, which is a cost for her. Being rejected up front is at least, inexpensive in terms of time.   It’s rough on all of us.

        14. No Name To Give

          Jeremy, I learned a long time ago I am nothing special in the dating world. I don’t expect to be seen as such. And I’m ok with it.

        15. Yet Another Guy

          @Nissa

          That’s how I realized that men would do far better by utilizing appropriate situations, like dating sites, and by utilizing “green lights” by pursuing women that show interest by viewing their profile, “liking” or “favorite” their profile. It dramatically decreases the probability of being rejected.

          The reality is that women almost never reach out to men who are of equal attractiveness and status on dating sites, let alone men of lower attractiveness or status.   Why?   Because women do not have to reach out to men of equal attractiveness and status.   If that is what they desire, all they have to do is respond to messages in their mailbox or the indicators of interest that you outlined in your second comment because guys use them too.   While both genders attempt to date up in attractiveness when reaching out on dating sites (at my age, that includes fitness level too), I believe that women engage in this practice more than men due to the fact that women find 80% of the men on dating sites to be of less than average attractiveness.   When the average woman reaches out, it is usually to a 20% man.   That is fine if a woman is a 20% woman; however, only one in five women are 20% women.    The other four women need to adjust for this reality.   If a 20% man responds to an 80% woman’s attempt to gain his attention, a woman should not be flattered.   It should set off the “I am about to get used” alarm.

  9. 10
    Jenn

    I can confirm from experience that showing interest, asking men out, flirting, or passing them your number when you think they’re cute are all mistakes I have made in the past. In my late teens and early 20s, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache had I been properly forewarned against chasing men.

    Alas, I came of age in the 90s when The Spice Girls’ “Girl Power!” was all the rage and feminists were all insisting that calling a girl a “chick” was sexist. I read Teen, YM and Seventeen magazine religiously, and they all said the same thing: “Boys TOTALLY love it when you ask them out!” and “37 Flirting Tips GUARANTEED to Work”. Uh, yeah, not-so-much.

    My first boyfriend was a guy who flirted with my friend before he met me. She pointed him out to me because she was so turned off by him she wanted to make fun of him with me, but I was intrigued and asked her to introduce me. I passed him my number through her before I left – I was too chicken to give it to him myself, but she had no problem talking to him of course. We dated a few months before he broke up with me over the phone. I later found out that he’d blatantly flirted with her at a party in our friend’s basement while I was there. This was a couple months after we’d met. Thinking back now, I sometimes wonder how disappointed he must’ve been when she came to him with my phone number and not hers. I was 17 at the time and really, it wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t  that into him.

    It didn’t get much better after that. I fell HARD for a guy at work a couple years later. He was exactly my type and he was a rookie cop part-time, just working at the clothing store to make ends meet until his career took off. For almost an entire year I was obsessed with this guy. I practically followed him around like a lost puppy dog and he, of course, knew how much I liked him and tried to use it to his advantage. I made a fool of myself in front of all my coworkers because they all knew how crazy I was about him.

    I flirted very suggestively, thinking it would help him see me as a “woman” and not just some girl he worked with. Well, it did make him see me as a woman – a woman he wanted to have sex with! He tried to make that happen but I declined his advances.

    I still tried to get him to see what an awesome girl I was so he’d fall for me. When I found out he actually had a girlfriend the entire time I’d been practically throwing myself at him, I was devastated and humiliated. After I finally realized he was never going to be into me, I stopped trying and completely ignored him.

    Funnily enough, that’s when HE started coming around ME, just for the attention of course. I was an ego boost to him so when I withdrew my attention, he felt the need to seek it out again.

    Things still didn’t get much better after that. I met a guy through a friend about a year later. We made out at a party and I was completely hooked on the guy after that, but after asking my friend for my number and setting up a day to go out, he completely stood me up and never called again. Months later, he came to see my friend where we worked one night and approached me again. He wondered what had happened and I had to remind him he’d stood me up. That night, the three of us hung out at his house and he got quite cozy with me on the couch. After my friend left, he tried to show me around the house (at 3am) but since I knew where this was heading, I said good night.

    That kicked off about a year of agony (for me) because this guy was a master at keeping girls on the hook but never actually delivering. Every time we hung out together with my friend, he was all over me, flirting, touching, hugging, saying we should go out, blah blah, etc.

    But then, nothing. No call, no date, nada. Hard to believe, but I made an even bigger ass of myself with this guy than I had the last. This one, I actually chased down all the way to Wal-Mart when I called my friend’s house to find out where they were and her mom told me they were there shopping.

    I knew they were hanging out and that the “bitch” hadn’t invited me on purpose (she could see what was going on even if I was totally blind). They were quite surprised to see me there and they left without inviting me along. Naturally, I was crushed.

    I finally got a clue when our friends announced their engagement. I was to be a bridesmaid and he was to be the best man – perfect scenario if he really wanted me to be his date, right? WRONG. He asked a friend he’d been in love with since high school, who never returned his interest, to be his date. I was 21 and that was as close to heartbroken as I have ever been without being in a relationship with someone. Since I’ve never actually been in a relationship my entire adult life, I’m kinda hoping maybe I can skip out on the whole heartbreak thing now, and just go straight to the happily-ever-after part and get married. We’ll see what happens.

    Even after those two idiots and all the valuable, if excruciating, lessons I’d learned while pining after them, I still didn’t quite learn the error of my ways. I took a few more times getting stood up or treated as nothing more than a friend or a potential booty call, before I figured out that it does. No. Good to try to chase men, to flirt with them, to try to arrange things so that the two of you just “happen” to run into each other.

    A couple years later I got a crush on a guy I’d worked with for years and never noticed until he took his shirt off in the parking lot. Once I saw how ripped he was, things changed! One day, we were at work talking about movies. He suggested I see “Alien Vs. Predator” because he had, and it was so awesome, at least according to him. I cocked my head to the side, smiled and said, “Yeah? So, are you going to go with me?”. He got flustered and said I should invite my friend to go see it.

    So, there was my answer. I was in my mid-20s by then. After that, I vowed never to flirt first, never to ask a guy out, never to do ANYTHING to signal my interest. I was done.

    I figured that because there had been guys who did like me and asked me out through no prompting on my part, that it was just better that way (even though I didn’t like any of the guys who liked me, unfortunately). My friend’s husband urged me to ask that last guy out on a real date. I told him there was no WAY I would ever do that again. He continued to press me and I asked him, “When you first got together with your wife, who asked who?” He said “I did.” I replied, “Exactly. You went after what you wanted. That’s what guys do when they like a girl.”

    I was on quite a long dating hiatus after that. I was in school and even though there were some cute guys at work, they showed zero interest in me and since I was done chasing men, I let it go and focused on school. In my early 30s I found The Rules and I was ecstatic. It explained literally every single mistake I had ever made with guys and completely affirmed my hard-earned view that pursuing men does NOT work.

    Sure, you may get what you want in the short term by initiating things. But the truth is, flirting with that cute guy and trying to get the ball rolling will only backfire in the end, because if you are not his look or his type of woman, no amount of “skillz” with flirting, etc, will keep him interested. He may keep you around for a little while because he just got dumped or he’s lonely and it’s been a while, but as soon as he finds the girl he really likes, you are donezo.

    I don’t believe in every single thing the authors of The Rules say to do, but I know this much: the right guy is the one who knows he wants me and pursues me. I won’t need to do anything to convince him except show up and be my sweet, happy, feminine self. For the right guy, that is going to be enough. I’ve seen dozens of stories of women who have gotten engaged and married after learning to date this way and they couldn’t be happier, even years later. I want nothing less for myself.

    1. 10.1
      Chris

      “except show up and be my sweet, happy, feminine self”

      then you would have already have flirted with them a bit beforehand.   Maybe longer if you already know them. You’ve engaged with them, bantered with them, joked around with them. That’s flirting. I was thinking there for a minute you were saying you could just walk around completely ignoring men while expecting them to throw themselves at you. That of course is not going to work.

       

       

      1. 10.1.1
        Jenn

        Chris,

        Actually, it has worked many times. I’ve gone to Meetups where I have barely noticed a guy and he later messages me on the site saying how beautiful he thought I was. I don’t flirt with guys, I’m just a naturally friendly, humorous person with everyone. To me, flirting suggests a certain sexual element of speech, tone and body language. I don’t do that. First, because I suck at it and would feel like an idiot. Second, since I’m a virgin who’s waiting until marriage for sex, I don’t advertise what ain’t for sale!

        1. Adrian

          Hi Jenn,

          I’m assuming that you are in your mid-late 30’s. If you found yourself turning 50 and was still single because of your desire to wait until marriage would you continue to wait or change your strategy?

        2. Jenn

          Adrian,

          It’s not a  strategy.  I decided to wait until marriage initially because once I turned 30, I figured eh, why not wait until marriage since it had taken this long to find love anyway. I didn’t imagine I’d still be single at this age (I’ll be 38 next month). I figured when I was throwing myself into the dating pool at age 32 that it would only take a couple years to find someone. In that time, I came to realize that waiting is the right thing to do because it’s what God wants for us. Sex wasn’t designed to be shared with every Tom, Dick and Harry that comes along and if it takes until age 50 to find the right guy, so be it. Michelle Hammond, a prominent Christian who’s written her story about finding first love at that age, would agree that it’s worth it. I’d rather be alone than with the wrong guy.

          Of course, to fall in love that means I actually need to get out and get found, as Pastor Mark Gungor would say. For the last four years I’ve been hiding myself away in part cuz I can hardly stand the thought of trying again (there have also been other life concerns, such as my current job situation not being very conducive to dating).

          I resolved to at least try to go to speed dating events when they’re held here once a month, but the idea of online dating again makes me cringe. Not only because of all the stress and disappointment, but because I’m a lot heavier and older than I was six years ago when I first started out, and bonus, I have horrible acne again because I swore off using hormonal birth control ever again when I had a related medical scare.

          I just hate the thought of going through all the trouble of getting photos taken, posting profiles and paying for memberships just to be largely ignored by men who want younger, thinner and more beautiful women. It doesn’t seem worth it even though I know it’s what I need to do if I’m to have any chance at all of getting to “I Do.”

          I guess all I can do is try to work on myself, get a job that’s more conducive to dating, and hope for the best, really. It takes as long as it takes. In God’s time, not mine.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          You are putting a lot of pressure on God to solve your dating woes, Jenn.

          Please join Love U when you get a chance. I really want to help you find a man who appreciates you, the way I’ve helped other Christian virgins to love.

        4. Jenn

          Evan,

          What I mean when I say “in God’s time, not mine” is that I can (and should, I know) be doing everything I need to in order to meet a good Christian man, and it still isn’t fully up to me to make it happen. I know I have to do my part and get myself out there, to meet God halfway, but he’s gotta do the rest. That’s what I meant.

          I have a friend who’s been divorced for the past six years. She’s consistently been on dating sites and had a handful of long term relationships in this time and is no closer to finding her forever love than I am, it seems. All her boyfriends have dumped her. I’d rather be by myself than go through that over and over again.

          Still, at least she’s trying. I made a decision last year that once I leave my current job and get one that leaves my nights and weekends free, I will try again regardless of whether or not I’m as “good enough” as I can be. That’s all I can do.

        5. Nissa

          Jenn,

          Maybe I can help you with the acne. Mine was awful,   but I finally figured it out. I had the kind that was deep underground and just hurt, until it came to the surface, seeped oil and was impossible to cover. I conquered it with 2 products (neither of which is expensive, and I don’t sell them). I use Kerasal, which is actually a foot ointment of 8% salcyclic acid used to rip dead skin cells off. This preps the skin so the next product can get into the pores. It’s 20% glycolic acid. This stings a little (to me, and I’m wimpy in regard to pain). You can get stronger, but I wouldn’t start with that. Just use one product one week (Kerasal left on for 20 minutes, then wipe off) and the other product the next week (acid as per instructions…I no longer bother to wipe it off as it doesn’t sting anymore). That’s it. Both are available from Amazon. Kerasal is about $12, and the glycolic acid (I prefer Skin Obsession) is about $16. Clear skin in about 3 weeks. SO also sells Acne Stop, which is 10% salcyclic acid, but I can’t use it because I’m allergic to the lactic acid. (This is also amazing for psoriasis, y’all). Please, please, please try it. I had acne even after I was married because no one really “got” my skin. Retinols made my white skin scaly and red. Benzoyl peroxide (at 2, 5 or 10%) didn’t really help unless it became infected (which it did, sometimes). Clay helped with oil, but stuck to the skin and had to be rubbed off, which sometimes tore the skin. Most products on the market are either 2% salcyclic acid (which is not strong enough to actually do anything) or benzoyl peroxide (which only helps with infection. Charcoal didn’t actually seem to do anything except brighten a bit, mostly because it’s mixed with cleansers to take off dirt.

          It’s a risk I highly recommend you take, it’s worth it. What have you got to lose?

      2. 10.1.2
        Nissa

        Jenn,

        Also please consider trying the Ketogenic Diet. It’s been used in the US since the 1920’s by the very well regarded May clinic for epilepsy, to control seizures. It is also recommended for PCOS, as it rebalances hormones. It’s a higher fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. It’s known in SA as Banting, if you know that. I’m (to be humble) a pro at this – I’ve been low carb for 10 years and keto for 3. Mixed with intermittent fasting, it’s truly amazing. Mind you, I mean keto that you make yourself, not junk shakes, premixes and food plans. I mean food you buy and prepare yourself once a week. It’s a life changer.

        1. Nissa

          Oops – Mayo clinic

        2. Jenn

          Nissa,

          Thanks for the tips! I have been meaning to contact my primary care physician for a referral to a good endocrinologist who can help with the hormonal acne. I know that’s what it’s from so maybe they can give me something that’s not as harmful as hormonal birth control that’ll do the trick. I know what you mean about the retinoids. I went back to my old dermatologist and they prescribed Tretinoin and Dapsone cream. The Tretinoin never used to bother me in years past but it makes my skin flake like crazy now so I just use the Dapsone cream. They also tried to get me back on a 3 -month daily, low dose of minocycline antibiotic but that started to wreak havoc with my digestive and female flora yet again, so I stopped it. Something’s gotta work though, I’m going to be 38 years old next month, I should not have to deal with this crap still!

  10. 11
    Lynx

    “What I’ve observed lately is that men are real gunshy these days for a number of reasons.”

    What I’ve observed among the single 20- and 30-something men in my family is that they are way too self-absorbed to pursue a woman. They’re focused on school   and/or work and/or hobbies. Don’t get me wrong — I love these guys. They’re totally decent, not users whatsoever. And they think they’d like to be in a relationship, but based on watching one opportunity after another sputter out, it appears what they really want is a rapt audience — there’s lots of concern with finding a woman who “gets” them, but far less interest in “getting” her.

    Maybe my family has unusually self-centered genetics and their behavior does not reflect a broader trend. It will be interesting to see if they ever pair up. If they do, it will be because a woman Sadie Hawkinsed them, but did so deftly, knowing how to massage an ego.

  11. 12
    Noquay

    Spot on Evan. If you have to approach a guy, he is either not interested, involved with someone else, socially awkward, or has some other serious emotional problem. I understand that men get rejected a lot but then, so do we women. As a Brown, highly educated, outspoken old chick currently living in a geographically undesirable area, I’m often rejected by the caliber of men I want (true peers) and will not waste my time with folk that are incompatible. I’m also more OK alone than being with someone I do not wish to be with. Lots of women need to learn this.

    Dating involves a great deal of emotional risk and if you cannot deal with that, don’t date. A confusing part of this whole flirting thing is the huge range of individual behaviors vs intent. I’m one who tries to be polite and kind to all but that often gets misunderstood as interest. I’m a good listener and conversationalist but never very sexual in public. On the other side, there are men who aggressively approach yet they have no interest and men that seem to be nearly indifferent and are actually interested.

    1. 12.1
      Paul

      Dating – in fact, just approaching any woman at all – involves a lot more than emotional risk for men. Just smiling at a woman can get a guy accused of harassment, which can be very costly. I can deal with emotional risk, but I won’t put myself in a position where I could lose everything just for introducing myself.

      Before anyone tells me that it’s the ‘way’ I would approach a woman I’m interested in that determines her reaction to me, let me say that I agree with Noquay that “[a] confusing part of this whole flirting thing is the huge range of individual behaviors vs intent.” Like Noquay, I am “one who tries to be polite and kind to all…” and I’m [also] “a good listener and conversationalist.” But I never act sexual in public – no matter how attractive I find a woman – not because I’m wimpy, lack confidence, or anything of the sort – but precisely because I won’t put myself in a position where I could lose everything just for introducing myself as the polite and kind guy I am. Fact: Misinterpretation of my intent by a woman could land me in court and I won’t go there.

      1. 12.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Enjoy your celibacy.

        1. Paul

          How is that supposed to help, Evan? Since misunderstanding happens often – irrespective of intent – as a guy with basically no experience in this area, I run a high risk of being accused of harassment for saying hi to a woman I find attractive.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          I am not trying to help. I’m only pointing out that your fear-based victimhood stance will leave you alone forever. If you’re fine with that, go your own way, man.

        3. Paul

          [Response to second comment] – I think you misread my comment. I’m not portraying myself as a victim because nothing has happened. And I’m not fearful either. I’m speaking of the real risk – as a guy – of being misinterpreted and significant negative consequences arising as a result. Are you implicitly saying that I should be OK with that?.

      2. 12.1.2
        ezamuzed

        @Paul

        “Misinterpretation of my intent by a woman could land me in court and I won’t go there.”

        This is is silly statement. “intent” never landed anyone in court. Words (unless they are threats) never landed anyone in court. Actions land people in court.

        1. Marika

          Paul

          I’m afraid you’re coming off as incredibly fearful. Plenty of men all day everyday smile at, say hi, (and much more) to women without landing in court or being accused of harassment.

          The likelihood of approaching/dating and certainly of saying hi or smiling turning into a court case is actually quite low. I would say very, very low. Just because you read about some high profile cases in the paper doesn’t make this commonplace.

          I would say a man smiles at me multiple times a day. Most days a man will say hi to me. At least once a week someone leers suggestively. Less often I get approached by a stranger. Multiply that by all the women on all the earth, and if court cases from those things were ‘commonplace’, billions of men all over the world would be in court.

          But they aren’t.

          That’s why you’re coming off as a fearful victim.

          Why don’t you give it a try and see. If you get charged with harassment for smiling at a woman, then you were right and it would be reasonable to stop.

      3. 12.1.3
        SparklingEmerald

        Paul said “Just smiling at a woman can get a guy accused of harassment, which can be very costly. ”

        Can you post a link to a credible article about someone being accused of harassment for “just smiling” ? I have read some of the high profile cases, and they usually involved groping, demanding sexual behaviors, etc. Perhaps I missed the one about the man accused of harassment for “just smiling” and it ended up being “very costly” TIA.

  12. 13
    Adrian

    Hi Emily,

    You said, ”  I need to get off this blog. The redundancy of the comments is starting to irritate me. I think I’m going through a period of general irritation.”

    It’s not the blog, it’s not even the commentors. It’s as you said: going over the same arguments again and again without feeling that the other side acknowledges or understands your struggle is the problem. The comments section feels like being trapped in a box with contentious people.

    You said, “I have to get a new job. Have been trying for 2. 5 months. No luck and my hope is waning. I’m about to go in now for what is going to be at least a 10-hour day. I dread it.

    If I remember correctly like me you moved to a new state/city for your new job. I also remember you went back to school to help you get that position so I can only imagine how unhappy you are with that job; especially because you did so much to end up in a place that doesn’t have any social connections at work or in the town.

    Just this weekend I was greatly angered by someone over this very subject. He is a local while I’m from another state so when I commented that it was hard to find friends here he blow me off saying it doesn’t matter and that perhaps I am the problem. Of course he can say it doesn’t matter he has both friends and family here. If I didn’t put in effort than I would agree with him that perhaps I was the problem, Seattle isn’t the only city with a freeze.

    So trust me when I say Emily that when you speak about your unsociable co-workers or your struggles to meet people in your city I understand. I looked into meetup but the few I found that I would be interested in the activities usually only had about 3-5 members who were all socially awkward guys… I think they only joined to find women and not to actually make friends. The groups with 300 plus members are just to big.

    1. 13.1
      Noquay

      I understand Emily too. Some places, regardless of how hard we try, we just cannot bloom where we are planted. Very frustrating when one has worked hard to get the job, the home, made the land into something functional. I’ve also been told “ it’s you” by locals who don’t want me to leave but also do not care to be supportive either. It’s kind of like “stay here although you’ll have to put up with crap I don’t have to”; hypocrisy really.

      1. 13.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi Noquay.

        You are exactly right. I now realize that so much emphasis is placed on the job, the weather, the cleanness of the neighborhood, etc when we are told what to research about moving to somewhere new but little to no acknowledgement on ease of making friends.

        I say making friends instead of friendliness because I’ve found that most people are generally friendly towards the new neighbor or co-worker because it only requires short-term almost effortless personal commitment from them. A quick hi or 2-3 minutes of small talk at most before continuing on their way. But to actually build a good friendship takes more work and commitment than most people want to offer.

        Many of the themes we have spoken about concerning finding a good romantic partner on here can easily be applied to finding a good friendships as well. There is the user who hangs with you until someone better comes along, the one who text, or calls you because they are bored, the one who strings you along, the one who wants to spend time with you but you feel not excitement (chemistry) when you hang with them.

        1. Mrs Happy

          Dear Emily and Adrian,

          I once moved to a new city, lived there for 18 months, and was so lonely and friendless for the first 12 months, I used to go down to the beach on weekends and talk to the sand crabs in the rocks and caves.   It would be the only time I’d speak out loud all weekend (I lived alone) and until returning to work Monday.   It was amazingly hard to integrate into a place where everyone else had been their whole life.   They were friendly but it took a year for me to do something social with acquaintances outside work hours.   I finally caved and just started dating again (it’d been a New Years’ resolution to not date), simply mostly for company.

          So I am with both of you in spirit and sympathy, from across the planet. xxx

        2. Noquay

          Adrian

          Thanks. I think it is very hard to find out exactly what a new region is like without putting in the time for some 6 months. Very much like dating someone new; places, like people, unfold over time. Academic jobs (I’m a now retired Prof) are seasonal, rare, and cannot be changed quickly like most jobs, so one digs in and tries hard to force things to work. Workplace culture can change rather quickly. Friends retire and leave and are replaced by far younger folk. Studying income, cost of living, demographics, and (for me) proximity of public lands tells one nothing about the reality and values of a community. Overall, I’ve found that one must be content in their private life and in their job before even bothering to look for a partner, and, if that contentment cannot happen, one must leave and start from square 1.

        3. Emily, to

          Noquay,

          Overall, I’ve found that one must be content in their private life and in their job before even bothering to look for a partner, and, if that contentment cannot happen, one must leave and start from square 1.

          I agree, which is why I’m applying to different cities in what will hopefully be a job that is far less stressful than the one I have so I can then start building a life. And when I have some of that in place, maybe I’ll be in the right head space for dating. When the rest of your life is in upheaval, dating isn’t really on radar screen. I don’t have the emotional bandwith for it right now. I’m so drained, I don’t have anything to give.

        4. Jeremy

          Hi Emily.   We regulars on this site are a bit like the Breakfast Club.   Each of us damaged in some way, pigeon-holed in some way.   Seeking connection, coming to grips with the dawning realization of the larger picture.   I know you’re a cinephile, so I’m assuming you’ve seen the movie.

           

          My son has been having issues at school where the other boys have been teasing and excluding him at recess.   He feels lonely, angry, isolated.   When he approached my wife for advice, she instinctively focused on how he can be more social, avoid the truly bad apples and be friendlier with kids more like him.   But when he approached me for advice, I instinctively started teaching him how to be ok with being alone.   The lesson I learned at his age.   My lesson is useful, but my wife’s is better.   Mine comes from being damaged, damaged in a way I’d rather he not be.

           

          I never had an ocean to explore when feeling lonely, never had sand crabs to befriend.   So I built a piece of the ocean in my living room and in my office, with lots of creatures to watch and even talk to.   It is peaceful, relaxing, serene.   But no less lonely.   The crabs, the fish, the clams, the anemonies…..they are beautiful but never have much to say.

           

          I have no advice for you, no wisdom.   I can only say this and hope it helps:   I like you.   I like talking with you, albeit on a computer screen.   I feel like I understand you.   I missed you when you left last year.   Knowing that may not help you hate your job any less, or feel less frustrated with the flakiness of the people around you….but maybe it might provide some sense of comfort.   Comfort is my pigeonhole, after all 😉

        5. S.

          @Emily, to

          It’s really tough to be in a new place.   Good reminder.   And about Sex in the City, though I never watched that show. Your ‘on-duty’ sign is off!   Good to take care of you at this time and get yourself somewhere better for you, that’s a better for you.

          That’s maybe where some men are, though I wish their ‘signs’ were made of electricity sometimes. 😉

        6. Emily, to

          Jeremy,

          We regulars on this site are a bit like the Breakfast Club.   Each of us damaged in some way, pigeon-holed in some way.   Seeking connection, coming to grips with the dawning realization of the larger picture.   I know you’re a cinephile, so I’m assuming you’ve seen the movie.

          I know the movie well. I’m Ally Sheedy, the weird one in the back. Here’s a piece of trivia for you: What record is she looking at when the group eats lunch? Prince’s “1999.” My favorite artist.

          Thank you for the kind words. I hope you will accept my apology for getting snarky with you earlier.

        7. Emily, to

          Mrs. Happy,

          Thanks for the supportive message.

          S.,

          That’s maybe where some men are, though I wish their ‘signs’ were made of electricity sometimes.

          The difference is that not only is my light off but I’ve also removed myself from the streets. I’m not still out driving around 🙂

        8. S.

          @Emily, to

          You are really out of dating!   I get it. I’m kind of out right now but “on duty” for so many other wonderful things and feel really happy.   It’s not about my job, either.   I’m also starting to make my own groups too. Not meetups, but scheduling dinners with folks around interest we have in common.   I’m at a place where I can be the leader and it’s better because I get to invite folks I’m interested in getting to know better.   Not in a dating sense.   Though I just found out one acquaintance now works for a matchmaking agency!   I’ll keep you posted on that. 😉

          I hope you’re in a good place (literally, mentally) soon too.   You remind me of the OP in the other letter.   You fought your way here so you’re a fighter. You can do it again and land in a better place.

        9. Emily, to

          S.,
            Though I just found out one acquaintance now works for a matchmaking agency!   I’ll keep you posted on that.
          That could be interesting.
          You fought your way here so you’re a fighter. You can do it again and land in a better place.
          Looking for a job is a lot like dating in that you are putting yourself in a position to be picked, which I abhor. But there’s no way around it.

        10. S.

          @Emily

          That could be interesting.

          We shall see. 😉

          Looking for a job is a lot like dating in that you are putting yourself in a position to be picked, which I abhor.

          I’m jobseeking as well, but I don’t think of it that way at all.   I look on LinkedIn and I think, “Which of you gets the benefits of all my skills and whose office will I brighten for the next four years?” (I don’t leave jobs more often than that.) I usually think, “Not you.” “Or you.” “Maaybe you.”   And I apply to the maybes. Only one has been yes from the outset and that turned into a volunteer opportunity that I may end up doing. I know I should just blanket send applications out, but I might end up getting them!   I’m clear on what I’m looking for and only apply if I really want to do the job.

          I’m also much pickier with jobs than with men.   Seriously, I spend more time at work than I do with anyone or anywhere else.   And since current job is yucky, I’m way cautious about where I land next.   Only similarity to dating?   Patience.   Not my strong suit but I really believe I’ll find the right place.   I’m also networking a lot and telling people about my career goals. I would never network in that way about what I want in a relationship.

        11. Emily, to

          S.,
          I’m jobseeking as well, but I don’t think of it that way at all.   I look on LinkedIn and I think, “Which of you gets the benefits of all my skills and whose office will I brighten for the next four years?” (I don’t leave jobs more often than that.)
          I like the attitude, but I never stay at jobs that long. (Your resume is probably more solid than mine.)   I just want something where I can earn enough to live reasonably, work only 40 hours, know exactly when I’m going in and when I’m leaving, and   play the game as little as humanly possible. The rest of the time I want to work on my side hustle and find some cruising chicks to hang out with at the disco. I’m not expecting work to be fulfilling or challenging. Just a means to an end, but I’m looking for a less hideous end than what I have now.
          I’m also much pickier with jobs than with men.    
          I’m the opposite. I actually should have been pickier. I mean, if someone is going to get up in your undercarriage … you should be picky.   🙂

    2. 13.2
      Emily, to

      Adrian,
      If I remember correctly like me you moved to a new state/city for your new job. I also remember you went back to school to help you get that position so I can only imagine how unhappy you are with that job;  
      Yes, it’s been very disappointing. I clawed my way out of the chorus line a la Joan Crawford … all that hard work to land … here.
      Just this weekend I was greatly angered by someone over this very subject. He is a local while I’m from another state so when I commented that it was hard to find friends here he blow me off saying it doesn’t matter and that perhaps I am the problem.  
      It’s not you. From what I’ve I gleaned from your posts, you are a pleasant and considerate man. Some people are very insular and closed off.
      I looked into meetup but the few I found that I would be interested in the activities usually only had about 3-5 members who were all socially awkward guys…
      That’s what it’s like here. I don’t know about awkward guys but hardly any meetups and then 2 people sign up for the few that are available.
      I think they only joined to find women and not to actually make friends. The groups with 300 plus members are just to big.
      300 is too big. Even 100 is too big. Before I moved, I had narrowed my groups down to 2. They both had about 10 to 15 people at each and they met regularly so you could develop a rapport with people.

      1. 13.2.1
        Nissa

        @Emily, to –

        I know what you mean, I never had success with meetups. I’ve forgotten where you are, are you in the US?   I get most of my socialization from volunteering at my local metaphysical center, from a class I take, and from dancing at a local bar. I get something different from each. At my center, we talk about concepts. At my class, I get emotional support (it’s an ongoing class about being heart centered) and to practice opening up to others. When I dance, I really connect to my body (which is a huge need for me as a single person). I don’t know if it’s a dance thing, but the other people that dance really seem open and friendly. Even if they don’t say anything, they are smiling and laughing, even if it’s over an “oops” or grimacing over a step they just flubbed. I also belong to a few Facebook groups, like Childfree Bookworms, and have thought of trying to meet a few of those folks. I haven’t had time or help with my senior pets in order to do it, but I’m a huge low carb / keto fan, and every year they have a conference in Breckenridge, Colorado with 3 days of lecture that I’d love to do. There are similar conferences in San Diego and a few other places that I’ve been planning to attend. In fact, I just missed the Conscious Life expo in LA that I’d been planning to attend for 6 months, because I got sick that weekend – ugh! Oh well.

        So perhaps you might try some of those things. If they work for me, someone who was a very isolated person, they very likely would do for you as well.

      2. 13.2.2
        Emily, to

        Nissa,

        I know what you mean, I never had success with meetups.

        I had success with smaller meetups where I used to live. (Friend success. Never with men at the meetups. They were much older or very awkward. ) It was a very progressive city with a lot of singles. But the meetups where I moved are almost non existent and have about 2 people in them. Very small, conservative town in the middle of nowhere. A circle of hell Dante should have written about.

        But I like your suggestions of things to try once I get out here.

    3. 13.3
      Adrian

      Hi Emily, Mrs Happy and Noquay,

      Noquay said, “Overall, I’ve found that one must be content in their private life and in their job before even bothering to look for a partner

      You are 100% right! Being financially ready to date is a lot different than being emotionally ready.   I’m  considering doing what Mrs. Happy said when she admitted to dating just to not be lonely. If I remember your post correctly you were struggling in your town to make friends and date. At this point I don’t know if Emily’s approach is right or Mrs Happy’s.

      Mrs. Happy said, “I once moved to a new city, lived there for 18 months, and was so lonely and friendless for the first 12 months, I used to go down to the beach on weekends and talk to the sand crabs in the rocks and caves.   It would be the only time I’d speak out loud all weekend (I lived alone) and until returning to work Monday.

      This was powerful; thank you for sharing. I’ve said it before but I think humans never were taught how to be friends. The majority of our friendships were formed when we were children; and that was out of proximity and convenience not out of shared goals, values, or moral similarities. Then we become adults who expect friendships to be effortless like when we were children; always willing to receive but rarely willing to give.

      Emily said, “When the rest of your life is in upheaval, dating isn’t really on radar screen. I don’t have the emotional bandwith for it right now. I’m so drained, I don’t have anything to give.

      I agree with you 100% but have you ever thought of getting a friend with benefits or some young hot guy whom you can enjoy his company without getting emotionally attached? Normally I don’t condone such things but your case is different from mine. I have close friends and family just not in this city. You don’t plus you admitted that many of the women you’ve met are fake and unwilling to welcome someone new into their circle. If the person becomes a drain then just toss them to side. My problem is that I get too easily attached but you are smart enough to differentiate from the ones you would and wouldn’t get attached to… in theory (^_^)

      1. 13.3.1
        Emily, to

        Hi Adrian,  

        You don’t plus you admitted that many of the women you’ve met are fake and unwilling to welcome someone new into their circle.  

        I was referring to the women where I used to live. They aren’t so much fake as wanting what I consider to be shallow friendships. Someone to go to dinner with but not someone you’d call if you had a problem.

        My problem is that I get too easily attached but you are smart enough to differentiate from the ones you would and wouldn’t get attached to… in theory (^_^)

        Huh? It all depends on how attracted I am. I was able to not get attached if it was with someone I wasn’t attracted to, which I tried but it was rather icky. Of if I was only somewhat attracted and the sex was bad. But if I was very attracted … a recipe for disaster.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          You said, “They aren’t so much fake as wanting what I consider to be shallow friendships. Someone to go to dinner with but not someone you’d call if you had a problem.”

          Which is worse? A fake friend or a shallow friend? I honestly can’t tell the difference.

        2. Emily, to

          Adrian,

          Which is worse? A fake friend or a shallow friend? I honestly can’t tell the difference.

          What do you mean by fake? They talk behind your back? I watch the people I work with do that to each other, and while I am friendly/chatty with a handful of them, I don’t trust them. What I meant by shallow is friends who don’t show up. I’ve come to realize the most important element in any relationship is showing up. It’s not sexy, but it’s reality. If the person can’t show up, you got nothing. I guess different people define friendship differently and if their idea of friendship is different then yours, you got to move on.

        3. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          Aww man Emily I just gave Tron this big speech about being an adult then I read your comment about adults doing childish things (^_^).

          I remember you, Jeremy, and Mrs Happy talking about this previously. Why do you think people would say they will show up but don’t? I mean as an adult why not just be honest and say I don’t want to go or lie and say they have other plans?

          Standing outside while everyone else is going in or sitting at the table alone (telling the waiting your company will be arriving soon) is super embarrassing.

        4. Emily, to

          Adrian,

          Why do you think people would say they will show up but don’t? I mean as an adult why not just be honest and say I don’t want to go or lie and say they have other plans?

          I meant show up both literally and figuratively, but more figuratively. Can someone show up and be supportive during a scary doctor’s appointment? Can she check in to make sure I’m ok? Would I do the same for her? I’m talking about someone being emotionally present, not someone who emails me 2 sentences once a month.

  13. 14
    ScottH

    I saw this in Mind Body Green and thought I’d share it here, if that’s ok.
    https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/dating-double-standards-embrace-male-vulnerability
    an excerpt:   “…But I had a rude awakening not that long ago. I was talking with a male client who was discussing the difficulties and challenges inherent in heterosexual online dating.
    “Why am I always the one who has to take the risk?” he asked me. “Why do I have to be the one who suggests we get together? And once we’ve met, why is it up to me to somehow figure out what works and make it happen? Doesn’t anyone get that it’s  hard  to take the risk to ask someone out? Are there any women who realize that by always asking, I am courting rejection at every turn?”
    My first response was to talk about the ways in which men have historically misled, subjugated, and mistreated women in pursuit of sex. Thankfully, this articulate, emotionally aware young man stayed engaged in the conversation.
    “Why do you think that a man is only, and always, interested in sex?” he responded. “I’m not saying this doesn’t happen and hasn’t been the experience of women for years. But really? What does it take to be seen as  who I am  rather than be painted by the brush of who women expect men to be?”
    It was a wake-up call for me.
    Truthfully, the first time someone talked to me about “men’s needs,” I scoffed and replied in a completely dismissive manner. Seriously? Isn’t that what we’ve been catering to for centuries?”

    1. 14.1
      Emily, to

      Scott H.,

      “Why do you think that a man is only, and always, interested in sex?” he responded. “I’m not saying this doesn’t happen and hasn’t been the experience of women for years. But really? What does it take to be seen as  who I am  rather than be painted by the brush of who women expect men to be?”

      It’s fine if a man wants to be seen as more than a cliche’ but then he shouldn’t lead with sex in his interactions with women. When a man leads with sex, a woman thinks that’s all he’s after, just as when a woman leads with sex, a man thinks that’s all she has to offer.

  14. 15
    Adrian

    Just a quick comment to all the guys here about men approaching. Researcher Dan Ariely was asked something similar and he quoted research that backed up what Evan and the female commentors are saying.

    Yes it sucks! I know trust me, but in general the women are right. We men place higher value on relationships where we had to approach and court.

    Oh and before any women start clapping he said that the data shows that it goes both ways, women place higher value on men who are at least +1 above them as Jeremy would say. This goes along with what Evan said about women wanting better versions of themselves.

    1. 15.1
      Tron Swanson

      Yeah, we place higher value on them…because we’ve put in so much work. It’s just the sunk cost fallacy. But, before we talk about which types of relationships men value more highly, we need to talk about how to get men to value relationships, period. A growing number of us don’t. We’re tindr-trolling for easy sex or cultivating FWBs or just giving up entirely. Don’t take “Oh, men will want relationships” as a given. That isn’t generally our nature, we need incentives. Yes, men tend to end up in relationships, but that’s mainly due to conformity, in my opinion. I’m sure that the women in their lives could tell us how little they’ve thought about those relationships, or invested into them. They’re just going with the flow. If things changed, they’d change with them. Look how quickly gay marriage became commonplace and accepted: radical cultural change can happen in the sexual sphere, and it can happen faster than anyone would believe.

      The real question is, does the burden of pursuit make us more or less likely to want a relationship in the first place? And if enough men do the math, and decide that they don’t like how it looks, well…

      1. 15.1.1
        Emily, to

        Tron,

        The real question is, does the burden of pursuit make us more or less likely to want a relationship in the first place? And if enough men do the math, and decide that they don’t like how it looks, well…

        You keep coming on here and posting similar comments like this as if they’re some kind of threat. What kind of response are you expecting? If a bunch of women posted on here that they were done with men, even sexually, what would your response be? “Ok. “

      2. 15.1.2
        Adrian

        Hi Tron Swanson,

        Do you realize that as long as we both have been commenting on this site this is the first time we’ve interacted? I’ve read Tom10’s warning comment last week, that you are really an Alpha master so I will be cautious with my words; least I fall into your hidden trap my friend (^_^).

        …     …     …

        I honestly can’t answer your question because all men I know personally are the opposite of what you speak of. They want relationships and want to be good to women. These are good looking men so it’s not like they had no other choice.

        No wait… I do have a distant cousin who is in his 50’s. Played around a lot because he could, dumped and cheated on a lot of good women, never settled down, slept with a lot of women but now that he is old with diminishing looks and health he wished he did have that someone good by his side.

        Evan once said that men have an expiration date to, not just women. Kids of both sexes take a while to settle down and that’s just their nature, but most adults realize that it is better to hold on to a good relationship when they find one because they won’t be as good-looking and statuesque forever.

        1. Tron Swanson

          Emily,

          I’m not expecting any particular response. If someone said they were done with men, my response would be “Not my business” and “More power to you”–as I think that marriage is a bad deal for women, as well. Just in a different way than it is for men.

          Adrian,

          That’s interesting. If you don’t mind me asking, what country/region are you in? How about class and ethnic group? In my own corner of the world, almost all of the married men I’ve known (with the exception of a few religious fundmentalists and a few male feminists) have warned me not to get married. The single men I know seem to be in no hurry to get married, and frequently badmouth the idea of relationships, especially if they’ve been burned.

          If you want to spend your time, money, and effort on women, or a woman…well, you and the PUAs can have fun with that, as far as I’m concerned. Better you than me.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          You are in your own bubble, Tron. It’s not “wrong,” but it is self-selecting. Where I live, everyone is married with children. I only know three couples who have gotten divorced in the eleven years I’ve been with my wife. So who’s worldview is better? I’m not going to say; I would only point out this fundamental divide:

          1. 2/3 of marriages are unhappy according to social science.
          2. Happy marriages are the happiest people of all according to social science.

          Your take on this is that it’s best to avoid marriage.
          My take on this is that if you want to get married, you’d better choose wisely, and if you do, you’re the big winner in life.

          Have I said anything with which you disagree?

        3. Tron Swanson

          Self-selecting? I don’t recall selecting my class, and I suspect that if we compared economic factors, we’d see why you know people who can afford to get married. Also, I lack the social skills to determine (beforehand) which people are divorced or struggling in their marriages, so I’m definitely not seeking them out. For the record, I’m not saying my worldview is better (or worse), nor am I trying to claim that my experience is the only representation of the larger truth. What I am saying is that I encounter a ton of people who are giving up on relationships, or struggling with them.

  15. 16
    Adrian

    Hi Emily,

    You said, “I’ve been guilty of that in the past. The less interested I was, the more flirtatious I was.

    This does not make sense to me; would you mind explaining the reasoning behind it?

    You said, “But a few of these guys came onto me, and when I did the dip and dodge (didn’t answer directly but didn’t accept), they stopped speaking to me. So I stopped doing that because I was leading people on. It’s not a nice things to do

    So I’ve been thinking a lot about this entire topic around rejection and I realize that YES! Rejection SUCKS! But honestly it’s better to be rejected up front and then move on. To emotionally invest time, energy, and especially hope into someone for them to finally reveal they aren’t into you is heart-breaking.

    I guess the best way to look at it is long-term reward vs short-term pain. If we keep seeking short-term rewards we will only gain long-term pain (loneliness, bitterness, hopelessness).

    1. 16.1
      Emily, to

      Big A,
      This does not make sense to me; would you mind explaining the reasoning behind it?
      The more I like someone, the more uncomfortable I am around them. My entire personality goes out the window. If I can be myself around someone, I’m not interested. And those are the guys who end up coming after me because I’m not giving off that “like me, like me” vibe because I’m not trying to impress them.
      So I’ve been thinking a lot about this entire topic around rejection and I realize that YES! Rejection SUCKS! But honestly it’s better to be rejected up front and then move on.  
      Rejection does suck but that guy I really liked where I used to work … I still think about him. I’m not going to do anything about it but it still bothers me. And the rejection was a while ago.

      1. 16.1.1
        Adrian

        Wait! You actually asked him out?

        Are we talking about the guy who you got weak around?

        The guy who you would literally avoid because how he made you feel?

        The guy who sometimes seemed to not notice you while his friend/co-worker who you didn’t want would always come on to you?

        You actually asked him out? What exactly did you say?

        …     …      …

        I heard a girl talking to her friend a few weeks ago and the little part I heard irritated me. She was saying that she liked some guy but she refused to ask him out because she felt it was the man’s job. I assume she felt that she made it clear that she liked him and was available… I hope.

        I’m not picking on Nissa by any means but I think most women truly believe that they are making it obvious that they are interested in a guy when in fact it is only obvious to her. To everyone else it is just her being nice in an ambiguous way like YAG was trying to explain to Jenn last week.

        I’m wondering that maybe the push back that we men give on this subject and courting in general is the air of entitlement that some women give off on this subject like those two girls I overheard. Maybe it’s not the actual act of approaching or paying itself. To us it’s like someone Demanding we go inside of a dark cave without any light and find gold. We say we can’t see and they irritatedly respond that duh they put a BIG fat X on the spot… Not realizing or seeming to care that even with a marked X pure darkness is still pure darkness.

        1. Emily, to

          Adrian,
          “Wait! You actually asked him out?Are we talking about the guy who you got weak around?”
          I said, “Do you want to hang out?” Not my best line. I was very nervous and it was unplanned.This was before I knew he was married. I learned in the response that he was.

          “The guy who you would literally avoid because how he made you feel?”
          Took me yearS, and I mean yearS, plural, to put up a wall and ice him out. I would attempt to avoid him for a while and he’d sense it, back off and then slowly return to chip away at my resolve. It was ego boost. Something to do. But my last year at the job I managed to keep my distance. It took everything I had.

          “The guy who sometimes seemed to not notice you while his friend/co-worker who you didn’t want would always come on to you?”
          I had a sex-only situation with one of the men he worked closely with every day. It was a ridiculous, misguided attempt at revenge. And then that guy wouldn’t leave me alone after I ended it. Ironic, huh?

          “I’m not picking on Nissa by any means but I think most women truly believe that they are making it obvious that they are interested in a guy when in fact it is only obvious to her.”

          I don’t know what women should do to make it obvious. But often there’s a difference between friendliness and FRIENDliness. The way they look at you, try to touch you, tease you, stare at you and only you when you come in the room, aim the conversation at you if there are other people there, light up when they see you. I tried to chat up a guy I work with now but it was obvious he was just being friendly. He did nothing to extend the conversation or flirt with me.It was friendly but dry.

        2. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          There was so much I was going to respond to but when you said, “I tried to chat up a guy I work with now but it was obvious he was just being friendly. He did nothing to extend the conversation or flirt with me.It was friendly but dry.” it really got to the core of my issue concerning our previous  conversation about making friends in new cities.

          Taking away the dating aspect and just focusing on just trying to get to know someone, the whole dry friendly act where they do noting to extend the conversation is what gets me.

          When they need something (work related or not) then they have no problem talking to me.

           

        3. Emily, to

          Adrian,

          When they need something (work related or not) then they have no problem talking to me.

          That’s exactly how it is where I work.

          But, anyway, what else were you going to respond to in my previous message?

          I was watching an Evan video on youtube and it was about how guys aren’t that complicated. I think all you have to do is get dryly logical for a few minutes, and everything you need to know is right in front of you. You’ve been dating a guy for 3 months and he’s never asked to be your boyfriend, never asked to be exclusive, and you’re wondering what is happening? Well, deep down, you KNOW what is happening. Not much.

          This ties in to the discussion we were having about men not being able to read women’s buyer signals. Do you know there were two guys at my old job who had someone else ask me out for them? I think they were having trouble reading me but I was intentionally not going overboard with friendliness so as not to give the wrong signal. If you have to have someone else ask a woman out for you, isn’t your answer right in front of you?

  16. 17
    jo

    YAG’s comment above is encouraging to women (and absolutely right), and yet blaming us unfairly. He wrote, ‘it does not matter if a woman in whom an emotionally mature man is interested approaches or he approaches… a guy who is into a woman is into her.   Nothing short of being a total basket case is going to change that opinion, so, yes, the “men do not like being asked out” argument is a lie that many women tell themselves in order to avoid active rejection.’  

    So I agree with you, YAG, that we’ve been led astray by this idea that men don’t like being pursued by women. It’s not true – at least, no more true than women do not like being pursued by most men (you got that right too). I don’t know where this myth started that we women enjoy being pursued. It’s not to say we NEVER like it, but most of the time, I dislike it, because a man who doesn’t know me will just start following me around and being annoying, almost stalkerish. And when we women turn them down or run away, they say some variant of ‘you should be flattered I’m pursuing you!’ It feels like gaslighting because no, we’re not flattered. We’re flattered if a man gets to know the real us and still likes us, and we like him. Not otherwise.

    So YAG, I think you’re right that the extent to which men and women do or don’t enjoy being approached is probably the same, although possibly men may enjoy it more or be flattered more than women, because most of the time they wouldn’t feel physically threatened by a woman approaching.

    But where I think you were not right is assuming that women made up this fallacy because we fear rejection. No, many of us girls are born wanting to pursue everything, not just partners. We only get it drummed out of us by messages like ‘boys / men don’t like it if you pursue.’ We can take rejection, we’ve taken disappointment a million times over a lifetime anyway.

    Not to mention that I don’t think it’s true anymore that all men know they have to pursue a woman they’re interested in. That’s true for older men maybe, but not as much for gen-xers or millennials, definitely not. Add Me Too to the mix, and men hold back a lot more collectively. It’s absolutely time for women to step up and pursue.

    1. 17.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Lemme know how that goes for ya. Sounds like something you WANT to be true rather than something that IS true.

      1. 17.1.1
        jo

        Evan, what is your proof that men dislike being approached more than women dislike it? I don’t think there is any proof one way or the other, since no objective study has been done on it. We all rely on what we do and see. For my part I actually agree with YAG and other men here that women do reject most men. So if women pursue, we should get used to that same rejection rate.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          My proof is reality. You think women have been socialized and brainwashed into being passive, but you ignore that biologically, men are the pursuers. It’s not just a “role”; it’s an entire way of being. My son saw a 7-year-old girl at a soccer game when he was 3 and he just pointed and said, “THAT!” My daughter will go to a park to run through a crowd of boys just to see who chases her. She doesn’t do the chasing. I don’t believe we need a study to point out what we’ve all observed throughout our lives, do we? As I said, you are perfectly entitled to approach men, compliment them, give them your card, tell them to call you and risk rejection. I just don’t see why you’d HAVE to do that when most men with a modicum of confidence are perfectly willing to ask you out. Sounds to me like you’re making excuses for their inaction, while I’m saying that if they wanted to ask you out, they would.

        2. jo

          Evan, I don’t think your examples prove your point (e.g., I could imagine myself as a 3-year-old pointing at a pretty girl and saying what your son did, even if I’m straight). Also, we have different interpretations of pursuing in biology and sociology. But that’s okay, we’ll agree to disagree.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Fair enough, Jo. I only engage here because I want to help and I don’t believe it’s optimal for you to ask out apathetic men because they are not doing it themselves.

        4. AdaGrace

          @Evan: I don’t think we can really determine whether men with a reasonable amount of motivation (willingness to participate actively in decision-making and initiative-taking at least, say, 30% of the time in a relationship or the dating process) are biologically predisposed to be the pursuers or whether this is (somewhat? mostly? entirely?) the result of most cultures expecting (training) them to be the pursuers.   To the best of my knowledge, it’s impractical and most likely unethical to do a large-scale study on men raised without *some* cultural influence.

          .

          However, the phenomenon many of us have *observed* is that the vast majority of men behave this way, whatever the reason — so if a woman is interacting with a relatively unfamiliar man, it’s more effective for her to expect that he’ll behave as most men do since afaik this isn’t a situation where the rare exceptions stand out due to their behavior or appearance until a woman has already decided to take action.   Regardless of *why* most men behave this way.   So I agree with you on the effect, and DEFINITELY agree on which strategy is more effective, but do not agree that the reason for the phenomenon can be easily determined.
          .

          (btw, unlike your daughter, I was the little girl who did the chasing 🙂 )

        5. Sandra

          It’s not that men dislike it, it’s that it is rarely advantageous for the woman.   Sure, there is a subset of men who need a more assertive woman and somehow they usually find each other.   It is not the immediate rejection that the woman risks, it is being used and seen as convenient.

        6. Tron Swanson

          Someone needs to tell my biology that it wants to pursue. Likewise, someone needs to tell my cousin that women are naturally predisposed against math and science, because she’s great at them…and someone needs to tell my other cousin that people are only attracted to the opposite sex. This “one size fits all” stuff is a bit 20th century, no?

          I have a profile that I check every day, just in case a woman has messaged me…I always hope that one will pursue, but they hardly ever do. I get lots of bots and scammers, though. Now, if it ever becomes more advantageous for me to pursue, I’ll consider it…

        7. Evan Marc Katz

          You do understand that there are general “rules” and plenty of exceptions to rules. People in the 20th century seemed to understand the difference between the two instead of feeling attacked over the concepts of generalizing. Men IN GENERAL are taller than women. Are SOME women taller than SOME men? Yup. Does that negate that men are generally taller than women? Nope. Men IN GENERAL pursue and women IN GENERAL don’t have to. Just because some guys get emails from women online or some women asked out their boyfriends doesn’t invalidate that observation.

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          Sounds to me like you’re making excuses for their inaction, while I’m saying that if they wanted to ask you out, they would.

          In reality, the statement that men will chase if they are interested is not a logical tautology.   There was a time not so long ago when I believed that drive to pursue was so strong that a man would throw caution to the wind was an innate male thing.   I am no longer certain that that is the case.   While there may be an instinctive predisposition for men to chase, it is strengthened by a heavy dose of socialization.   Younger men are taught to pursue women like they are game a man of yesteryear needed for survival by older men.   That socialization is so pervasive you can see the difference between teenage boys who were raised with a strong traditional male role models and those who had a less strong (e.g., male feminists) or absentee male role models.   The later boys take a lot longer to mature with respect to approaching women (i.e., the late bloomers, so to speak).   They usually do not do so until they are out of the house with men who had strong traditional male role models.

          Clare and Marika have taken me to task for having old-fashioned ways of looking at women and dating.   I cannot think of more old-fashioned ways of thinking about men and dating than the “a man will pursue if he is interested” and the “pursue, plan, and pay” doctrines.   These doctrines were ingrained in young men by men women on this blog would not date because of their old-fashioned ways.   I can tell you why Millennial men are apathetic about the “a man will pursue if he is interested” and the “pursue, plan, and pay” doctrines.   They were raised in a post-feminism world where they have received contradictory messaging their entire lives, not the least of which is men and women are equal until it comes to approaching and courting (let’s forget about “yes, means yes”).     What appears to be apathy to older men is the result of Millennial men behaving exactly as they have been taught to behave, to treat women as equals in every way, including courtship.

        9. Tron Swanson

          Are there really “rules,” though? Or is there far more diversity than we realize? I think that, if not for social pressure to conform, many men and women would feel free to do what they actually want, and would be much happier. I don’t think we’re talking about five percent of the population, here. My completely unscientific estimation is that twenty-five to thirty percent of both genders don’t fit the mold that they’re supposed to. I don’t “feel attacked by the concept of generalizing,” I just think that gender norms aren’t as relevant as many think they are, and that they should be left out of advice as much as possible.

    2. 17.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Jo

      First off, I am a trailing-edge Baby Boomer (born in the early 60s); therefore, I have more in common with Gen-Xers than I do with the Baby Boomer stereotype (the term “Generation X” was originally coined by Douglas Copeland for the cohort of people born between 1960 and 1980).   Older Boomers had stay-at-home moms.   Trailing-edge Boomers had working mothers and Gen-X siblings.   I just do not see that kind of behavior of which you speak with Gen-X men. I do not have enough interaction with Millennial men to make an assessment.   However, what I will say about Millennial men is that they appear to be apathetic about everything, including women.   As a generation, Millennial men are taking much longer to mature than previous generations.   It used to be that men left their childhood home first whereas women did not move out until they married.   Now, women appear to move out years before men.   In my generation, it was basically unheard of for a man to live at home until he was 30.   Those who attended college never returned, and those who did not attend college either went into the military or got a job and moved out, usually with several other guys.   Now, it is a common occurrence for a guy to live at home past age 30.

      1. 17.2.1
        MilkyMae

        A sad observation of stay-at-home gen X men is that they almost never use the benefit of living at home to get ahead.   Someone who lives for ten or twenty years with free/low-cost living arrangements has tremendous time and financial advantage but they have nothing to show for it.   I know gen-xer’s who lost their home in the housing bubble and/or still have student loans yet they are still better off than adult men living with parents.   There is way too much apathy out there.

    3. 17.3
      James

      “Not to mention that I don’t think it’s true anymore that all men know they have to pursue a woman they’re interested in. That’s true for older men maybe, but not as much for gen-xers or millennials, definitely not.   Add Me Too to the mix, and men hold back a lot more collectively. It’s absolutely time for women to step up and pursue.”

      Jo,
      You may be right about that, and the evidence to support what you are saying can be found by googling “millennials are having less sex”.   There are many different theories as to why this is, ranging from porn use to anti-depressant use to declining testosterone levels to changing gender roles to financial problems to MeToo. But for whatever the reason, young men these days simply are not pursuing women/sex the way they did in past generations. This means young women, and perhaps older women as well, will likely have to pick up the slack by chasing men more often going forward.

      1. 17.3.1
        jo

        Thanks, James. Being a skeptic, I wonder if the studies claiming that millennials have less sex are really valid. At least as I hear it from older generations, they often lie about how much they do it (at least, wives did with each other, and probably men did too), but it turned out that most people were lying out of shame or bragging rights. Maybe millennials just realize that no one is getting as much as they claim to, and are more honest about it.

        As for the part about young women picking up the slack: we would be happy to. I think it is human nature that everyone likes to pursue, and everyone values more what they had to work hard to get. Not just men. It’s not a gender thing, but a human thing. There’s no reason why women shouldn’t feel free to try, regardless of how many rejections she gets or how she has to learn how to do it right.

  17. 18
    Emily, to

    I know this site advises people to be wary of blinding chemistry, but I’m wondering what level of chemistry a man must feel to ask a woman out. I think when a woman asks a man out, she’s probably pretty smitten. (I mean “ask out” as in on a date to get to know each other. I’ not referring to propositioning someone sexually.) I’m guessing, but women are probably very selective in who they ask out and don’t do it often simply because of the role reversal. They are probably acting on blinding chemistry or a major crush. But surely men aren’t acting on that every time they ask a woman out since they do most of the asking and probably a lot more of it. They must also be asking women out who they aren’t ga ga over initially but want to get to know and   see where things go because they see potential as women often do when they accept dates … ?

  18. 19
    K

    I think the general gist is feel free to ask a guy out, but in a lot of people’s experience it doesn’t bear much fruit.   I don’t think it’s necessarily the act of asking out that is the issue, but why and who a woman asks out.   I’ve never seen a woman approach any of my male friends in a bar who was at their attractive level or better.   If any of those women are hanging around or showing interest, the guys with any interest will ask them out.   If a woman is smiling and making conversation, most of these guys see little risk in saying we should hang out sometime (in fact they’ll ask even when the signs aren’t there).   The times I’ve seen a woman ask a guy out, it’s usually when a guy isn’t making a move.   I saw a girl walk up to my guy friend and chat him up, of course he was polite, but it was obvious he wasn’t attracted to her.   She whipped out her number, he took it politely, but had zero interest in calling her.   I hate to often agree with YAG, but usually when women step out of their comfort zone to ask out, it’s a longshot opportunity.   I’ve noticed my male friends can better gauge their pay grade as they’ve been asking out girls their whole lives.   If you ask out a guy below your attraction level, someone that’s any easy get, it will likely work (but then again he would likely as you anyhow).   It’s just not productive in most cases, not that it’s wrong.

  19. 20
    Marika

    YAG

    I was making no comment on dating rules or norms – which are way less strict here.

    I was making a comment about coming here to criticize, boast and lecture. Speaking down to us. Speaking about us as though we are not to be trusted.

    And then justifying away all male behaviour.

    This is what gets to me. Planning, paying etc is relatively even here. So I have little to say about that.

    1. 20.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      Planning, paying etc is relatively even here.

      You cannot begin to understand why I write what I write because you and I operate in very different cultures.   I am the person I am and have the perspective I have because of the culture in which I have had to operate.   You are the person you are and have the perspective you have because of the culture in which you operate.   I and the tens of thousands of other American men who post about American women on the Internet are not wrong.   That many men do not sing a similar tune without their being more than grain of truth to what they are saying.   From what you have written, dating does appear to be more equal in your country.   That is not the way it is here in the United States.   I believe that you would be appalled to see how women treat men in the United States, especially reasonably attractive women.   That is why many guys who in the top 20% have no qualms when it comes to getting what they want without taking a woman’s feelings into account.

      1. 20.1.1
        Marika

        YAG

        I was in an abusive marriage.

        People everywhere go through hard shit.

        Not everyone comes out blaming the rest of the world for their bad attitude.

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