Should Women Make The First Move?

Name: Toni
Age: 39
Comment: Should women ask men out?  I was raised very traditional and have actually asked 2 men out in my whole life. There is this guy at work and we went from smiling at one another, to saying hi.  Then I introduced myself, stating that hey we always say hi but haven’t been introduced.  So now it’s been a month since then – he looks up every time I walk by, he makes a point to say hi or to find some reason to talk to me.  Today he came by my office and said wow that’s a big bowl of candy – I said oh please come in and help yourself.  He walked away.

I would love to go out with him and get to know him outside of work. Should I just have patience and wait for him to make a move?  Or should I do something and what and how?  HELP!!
State: Maryland

My personal opinion? If he were interested or even comfortable with dating someone from work, he’d make a move.But I’m someone who doesn’t like the idea of a woman asking a man out. (With the exception of online dating, where I think all bets are off. Somebody has to make the move to taking things offline. It’s never wise to sit back and wait.) I’ve changed my mind on a lot of things over the last 6 years of writing this column. But this is one opinion I just can’t bring myself to adjust. My main reason for thinking that women shouldn’t ask men out is that I felt it disrupted the power dynamic. Well, in the past couple of years, life in general has disrupted the power dynamic in relationship. That’s already been skewed. Now I just fear that women are setting themselves up for disappointment by asserting themselves in this area. If you are going to do it, ladies, really examine the situation from the appropriate angles and know what you need to know to make an informed decision. Are they single? Do they date just to date? How interested are you…really? Because often times we – men and women –  feel compelled to ask someone out simply because they present themselves as a challenge.

My opinion on this subject has nothing to do with thinking that it’s the man’s “job” to ask the woman out or anything like that. I just think that it puts the woman in far too vulnerable of a position. I don’t hear a lot of stories from women saying they had sex with a guy even though they weren’t attracted to him. I do hear stories like that from men. I think a lot of men will accept an offer of a date even though they have moderate to no interest in the woman, simply because they see an opportunity to get laid.I know that sounds so sexist and jaded, and I apologize. I think I give men a lot of credit around here. But what they’ll do or even forgo for sex? Yeah, I’m sticking with the stereotypes just because I don’t see enough men out there going against them.

Of course, men are also vulnerable in their own way, and often take out women who have no intention of ever seeing the man again but who want a free meal. The difference, for me, is that most men seem to know either on the date itself or soon after when their calls are not returned that the woman was never interested in the first place. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to be led on for days/weeks and will believe whatever nonsense it is the man tells them about why they haven’t gotten together again.The woman has no idea she’s being set up as a Break In Case of Emergency Lay.

Most men don’t have a problem being “used” for sex. They get annoyed if they are used for a meal, but they don’t take as big a hit to their self-esteem as a woman who sleeps with a man believing he’s genuinely interested.

Just ask him out. He could be worried that, since you work together, you might reject him just on that basis. Or maybe he’s someone who won’t date someone in the work place. Or maybe he has a girlfriend and he just enjoys some inter-office flirting. I don’t know. I think you’re opening a can of worms by trying to date someone you work with. But then, no risk, no reward.

Just don’t let things move too fast. You’ll have to see that man every day. Remember that.

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113 Responses to “Should Women Make The First Move?”

  1. K Says:

    Totally agree – I wouldn’t ask him out either. He interacts with you every day and knows enough about you that, if he’s interested and doesn’t have a problem dating co-workers, he will make a move.

    A couple of points of clarification, though, after reading Moxie’s response. Moxie, you mentioned that a guy will go out with a woman he’s not all that interested in, and potentially go out with her multiple times, if he thinks sex is a possibility. And by asking him out, I guess you send the message that sex is a strong possibility. Just wondering though – isn’t that dynamic also highly possible if the man asks the woman out? Meaning, if a guy thinks a woman is interested, wouldn’t he ask her out and potentially go on multiple dates even if HE’S not that interested, because he wants to have sex. So although I agree the OP shouldn’t ask this guy out, I’m curious as to why the dynamic you mention would be unique to her asking him out. Are we assuming that guys only ask women out who they’re really interested in?

    Also, I see a ton of references on this site (including in Moxie’s response to this OP) to “dinner whores” or women going out with guys just to get a free meal. Does anyone really do this??? Seriously, are there women who go out with a guy they have no interest in just to eat dinner? I will go out with a guy a second time if I’m not totally sure about him, just to get another shot at seeing if there’s chemistry, but I’d never go out with a guy I have NO interest in just to eat.

    • Andrew Says:

      A bridge too far, as of right now. But we will get there. It’s inevitable. While we are in transition, the OP has to make that hard choice. I personally feel every situation or person is different. It’s really hard for any of us to judge if the exceptional, her asking him out, is sensible.

      I would advise her to do what women have done for ages and worked. Engage him in conversation. Try to establish commonality of personal interests. Maybe one day casually ask him about a lunch place close by. Ask him if he ever tried the food. Ask him where he has lunch and if the food there is any good. Maybe suggest that you two could have lunch there today or tomorrow. While at lunch. ask him what he does for fun. Show interest. Ask if you could partcipate. Or tell him that you might kck his butt at that activity. Guys like a challenge now. Or ask if he can show you how. Guys like that too.

      Shameless flirting also works. Tease him a little!

      • Laura Says:

        I would love hear people’s opinions of this “dinner whore” thing. I can’t IMAGINE sitting through an entire dinner with someone they don’t like just to get a free meal (or sitting through a round of drinks just to get free drinks for that matter). Is your time really worth that little? There are plenty of quality places for cheap eats; I can’t see how anyone would resort to this.

        Have I met someone online, arranged to meet for dinner, and knew from the first five minutes that it wasn’t going to go beyond a first date? Sure, and at that point I’m not going to bail. But you’d better believe I’ll split the check as an extra “signal” that I’m not interested.

        • dimplz Says:

          That’s really not the topic at hand. There was another post yesterday about paying and etiquette for first dates/first meetings.

        • Selena Says:

          Men don’t always pick up on this “signal” though Laura. Those who believe each person should pay their own way might still assume you are interested.

          • Laura Says:

            Fair point – and as mentioned in my comments on yesterday’s post, I’m fine with picking up my share or even the whole tab. But I think lots of little signals can add up to avoid an embarrassing situation when one person likes the other and it is not mutual, so this may serve as one of those signals to a more traditional guy who DOES pick up the tab :)

            • Selena Says:

              How to determine if one is a traditional or non-traditional guy on the first date is the question. :)

              • Angeline Says:

                Ahh … now we’re sorta circling back to the OP. Ask him out? That might sort out the traditional/non-traditional right there. At 39, she’s kind of at a crossroads – in between the guys who’d be flattered but a bit uneasy, and the guys who think it’s long overdue. I think the workplace issue is more important than the asking him out issue, but I assume the OP has already decided they have enough workplace separation that she considered it.

                I think one of the things women used to do more of (back in the day of taking things at an easier, slower pace) was start asking around about the guy with friends. This is slightly complicated by it being a workplace and not a circle of friends, so tread carefully. Find out if there’s a policy about coworkers dating. Ask around, and word might just get back to him that you’re interested (especially if you choose carefully who to ask). It still gives him the option to ask you if he so desires, but let’s him know it would be received well. Just ask a few people, and then leave it alone, or *he* might have a workplace harassment case.

                • Skiz Says:

                  This is exactly the way I went about things with my husband I met at work. I let a few friends know. It got back to him so he asked me out knowing that he was going to get a favorable response.

        • M Says:

          Splitting the check doesnt necessarily send the message you are not interested. It could say “I dont believe one person should bear the brunt of all dating expenses” or “I want to financially contribute to this date – its only fair.” Insisting – really insisting – that you pay half would send your desired message, but not just what you described.

      • Andrew Says:

        Would like to add. Reading ur post, I don’t get the sense that you have worked all the standard things a woman can do. Exhaust the tried and tested methods before moving on to the riskier “Asking a guy out”.

  2. Selena Says:

    I’ve never known anyone either who went out with men they weren’t interested in just to get a meal. Pretty counterintuitive – why spend an awkward evening with someone who turns you off?

    I suspect it’s more like salve to a bruised ego to claim your date was only interested in free food.

    • dan Says:

      Selena, you clearly wear blinders or think your gender can do no wrong. I can’t even believe you made that statement (the last one) which only serves to reveal your ignorance. I know plenty of women who do it or have friends that do it.

      Please, there are plenty of women who go out with guys when not interested. Women know quickly if they are interested in a guy or not. For example, say a women goes out with a guy on the first date and does not feel it. Well, there are plenty of women who will go out on a second date and claim that they wanted to make sure that there was no interest. Total b/s. INotice how they won’t even offer to pay their share.

      I’m not saying that all women do it, but to believe no women go out on a dinner date when they are not even interested is just pure and unexcusable ignorance. In any event, stop being so biased and quit reading Cosmo. And for the guys, it’s time we stop excusing this b/s that women do.

      • Selena Says:

        Whoa Dan!

        Not sure which insult to address first – I stopped reading Cosmo eons ago! LOL.

        Perhaps you are the one who needs to read more Dan, and I don’t mean Cosmo. Women know if they are repulsed by a man on the first meeting, but if they are not, many if not most will see him again to see what developes. Many, MANY of us have found attraction grows the more we get to know a man and LIKE him. And many of us have found immediate, intense sexual attraction does not lead to a relationship. Instant infatuation can disappear as quickly as it arose. For both men and women. It is in a woman’s best interest to “give a nice guy a chance” by not dismissing him after one date, rather than making a snap judgement.

        And let’s look at this “dinner whore” thing logically. If you were attracted enough to a woman to ask her to dinner, don’t you suppose other men are as well? Why would a woman spend a boring evening with a man who didn’t interest her when she could be out with one who does?

        Do you really think women go out just for a meal? Are the women you date unable to afford groceries? Do they earn their own living? Women who can afford to feed themselves, or go out on their own, or with friends are not going to go out with a guy they don’t like simply for a free dinner. They aren’t doing it Dan.

        • Selena Says:

          Shit! Forgot to turn the italics off. I blame you for this Dan.

        • Laura Says:

          I completely agree with Selena on this one. If someone can’t afford to eat without going on a date… wow. You might want to take a closer look at your standards if those are the woman you are attracting. Either they don’t have their life together, or their self-esteem is INCREDIBLY low to think that a free meal is worth their valuable time.

          • K Says:

            Agree, if the question is, do women go on dates with guys they know they have zero interest in, just to get a free meal, the answer is no. I’ve never met one who did that. They might agree to go out with a guy if they only have *some* interest in him but not necessarily a high level, maybe partly to see if something could develop, and maybe partly for something to do. That’s as far as I think it goes.

            That said, it’s common on the first or second date to realize you’re not actually interested enough to go out again. And if the guy insists on paying, you might let him. Does that make you a whore? I say no. Why would a guy only be willing to pay for my meal if I’m super interested in him?

            • dan Says:

              Selena and Laura, I don’t know where to begin with you two. You are looking at this incorrectly. First, if you are mildly interested and want to see if something happens that still makes you a dinner whore. Now, if at the end of the date, you offer to pay your share then you are outside the dinner whore stage. Second, I don’t buy this nonsense that women want to see if something develops. No, their primary reason for going out with that guy is for entertainment–the trained monkey phenomenon.

              Laura, I read your post and applaud you for paying if you are not interested. Look, I went out with this one blonde and she paid her share on our first date. She was full of shit but I got what she was trying to tell me.

              Selena, did not mean to insult you. And it’s not just dinner–it’s entertainment and something to do–that’s why a dinner whore goes to dinner! Free food/entertainment /something to do. The dinner whore is all about entitlement and satisfying herself.

              K, I respectfully conclude you are a dinner whore.

              Laura and Selean i am guessing both of you or twenty-something year olds.

              • K Says:

                Haha, ok Dan, if you say so, I’m a dinner whore. But I couldn’t be one if you guys didn’t keep letting me get away with it, rewarding me for bad dinner-whore behavior, and helping me feel entitled.

                • dan Says:

                  Thank you for clearly illustrating and conclusively proving my point. Selena and Laura please meet K-dinner whore. She demolishes your earlier arguments.

                  • nathan Says:

                    Dan, I don’t get the “dinner whore” obsession. I’ve been on a good hundred and fifty dates over the past 7 or 8 years, and I can count on my fingers the number of women who truly seemed to be looking for a free meal or drinks.
                    In other words, they’re out there, but not in the numbers you seem to suggest.

                    Part of the problem is that your definition is so loose. I mean, it’s fairly often that I choose to go out with a woman for a second date, not really sure that I’m “into her or not.” Often, we’re both testing things out. That’s kind of what the dating process is all about.

                    • Andrew Says:

                      That was yesterday. why are we still on this? I guess that phrase “dinner whore” hits hard.

                      Let me end it right now. I had this woman tell me. If I like the guy I will start sharing in the financing of future dates, but if I am unsure, I just let him go ahead and pay. She however does not see herself as a dinner whore.

                      What I hastily assuired her is that the guy she doesn’t really like will see her as a dinner whore. It’s really a question of perception and delusion.

                    • Paula Says:

                      Andrew, that might be that woman’s practice, but most common is the opposite practice, where if you *don’t* like someone, you’ll offer to pay, so as not to be beholden or perceived to be taking advantage of him, but if you do, you’ll let him pay if he wants to, fearful of sending off the wrong message, or insulting him if he happens to be more traditional.

                      Even Dan thinks that’s what a woman should do, and a number of us are actually doing it already.

              • grace Says:

                Andrew, that’s one woman. A male friend of mine once told me that women have no idea of how angry men are with us. I guess comments like yours and Dan’s is a good example of what he was talking about.

                • Dan Says:

                  I’m not disgruntled at all women just the shady and immoral ones-which are a lot. Also, why is it that women will cover or explain away these womens’ bad behavior? Women are like the mafia. They all cover for each other and just blame men in general.

                  Even when a woman is clearly wrong, other women will overlook that and just blame men.

                  • K Says:

                    Really? Women are criminals?

                    Dan, could you please explain one more time what constitutes shady and immoral behavior on “a lot of” women’s part? I’m not getting it.

                  • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                    Even though I find you at times to be grating, repetitive and antagonistic , I have to say that you’re on to something with this.

                    I don’t know when it started, although I think Social Media and Blogging once again is a culprit, but women seem to use men for punching bags constantly, setting them up to look bad, and then demonizing them. And you know what? Men are tired of it. That’s part of the reason why men have taken such a passive role in dating and become, like Dan here, jaded and cynical. No offense.

                    I read so many blogs, and the bloggers are constantly telling tales where the man is almost always made to look like an asshole while the woman completely glosses over her contribution to the disconnect. His words and actions are documented to the detail. Hers? Yeah, not so much. And none of the women ever question the blogger. They immediately jump on the bash the guy bandwagon, never once asking any questions. It’s ridiculous.

                    Of course, men do it too, as witnessed by the comments that have been posted here of late. But I see far more women doing it than men. And it just has to stop. Both genders just have to cut this shit out. You want to vent? Do it privately. The constant negative messages out there are seeping in to people’s heads and making things worse.

                    • K Says:

                      I don’t bash men, or generalize, nor have I seen that done on any blog, not that I read a lot of them.

                    • Dan Says:

                      No offense taken. However, grating?

                      And continuing with Moxie’s comment, one of my friends made a comment last night, duing the N.O. Saints and Green Bay Packers game, that a lot of recent commercials consist of the stereotypical stupid guy being told by his smart girlfriend what to do. So, even Madison Avenue has picked up on this vibe.

                    • peppermint Says:

                      Personally, I am grateful to the entitled women of New York for making dating so much easier for me, even in my geriatric 40s. All I have to do is show up, be considerate, easygoing and appreciative, and men are eager to please.

                      What’s funny is that their entitled attitude doesn’t even get them what they think they’re entitled to. To be critical, demanding, never satisfied AND expect the guy to treat you well and want to see you again? I’m really curious about that logic…

                    • Andrew Says:

                      Thanks Moxie. I call out both genders for the stupidity perpetuated by each gender. When I call out the guys, I get no negative responses or thumbs down. But when I call out women, it’s like the dam breaks loose. And trust me when I call out women, I do my utmost to be as objective as possible without any hint of bitterness.

              • 1stMaverick Says:

                There was a story on this some time not long ago saying women go out with men just to get a free meal. I know at least a couple of girls who are friends of mine that will go out with a guy just so they don’t have to get their own dinner that night.

              • 1stMaverick Says:

                You should ask to meet up for drinks only Dan and if they have the nerve to order anything more than some finger food…they pay their way.

              • 1stMaverick Says:

                Let’s face it here Laura & especially Selena are just clueless about dating in general to think that a woman would not go out with a man just for a free meal.

                It’s only your opinion ladies and you don’t speak for anyone but you 2. Although if either of you 2 are democrats then the conversation is over because democrats never ever admit they are wrong, they blame others and make up bs.

                • Paula Says:

                  This is not a political blog — let’s keep it that way.

                • Laura Says:

                  My only response to that is, I can’t imagine it because I can’t imagine people being so classless/cheap/tacky. If they can’t find it in their finances to pay for their own dinner, they obviously don’t have their act together. That’s not the caliber of person I am interested in dating, and I don’t see why guys would tolerate it either.

                • Paula Says:

                  I’m sure there are some woman who would go out with a guy for a free meal, just as there are guys who think paying for the meal entitles them to sexual services. I think the numbers on that are at least equal, as a noteworthy but not that significant part of the dating population.

                  Basically, both sides have to deal with some bozos.

                  • Andrew Says:

                    I don’t believe that women go out with any jerk just for a meal. The truth is much more convoluted than that. It’s a question of human beings liking to do things they can get away with. Trust me if men could get away with doing the same, they would do it too.

                    It also seems that while women are busy making up their minds, they feel the guy should keep paying. Funny thing is, If she really likes the guy, then she starts contributing to financing the date early in the process, because she does not want to take the chance that she might lose the guy.

                    Some guys like Dan have just decided to not let them get away with it. Some guys don’t want to take the chance. Rather than take the chance for the sake of a few dollars, they participate in a patently unfair process. And I am not going to be a hypocrite here. If I really like the woman, I fall in the latter “not take a chance” category. If I am “not sure”, then I fully expect a woman to at least leave a tip on the second date, and contribute on the third date.

                    As of late I seem to be in the “not sure” category most of the times. I guess that state where a man is completely overwhelmed by a woman is testosterone driven.

                    • Selena Says:

                      Don’t you think the confusion (and hard feelings) might be coming from people making it up as they go along depending on who they are out with?

                      There are men who:

                      Follow standard etiquette with all women
                      -Follow standard etiquette only with women they REALLY like, expecting the ones they feel casually about to pay their own way
                      -Expect women to offer to pay, even though they plan to turn down the offer
                      – Won’t go out with a woman again if she doesn’t offer
                      – Don’t care if she offers as long as she is appreciative and interested
                      -Feel insulted if a woman offers to pay
                      -Feel if she offers to pay that means she doesn’t like him
                      – Believe the cost of dating should be shared equally
                      – Believe the cost of dating should be shared equally, but will make exceptions for women who make less money than they do, not for ones who make as much or more
                      – Believe the cost of dating should be shared equally unless they REALLY like her

                      And there are women who:

                      – Follow standard etiquette and don’t offer to pay
                      – Follow standard etiquette, but offer to pay because they think it’s expected, but won’t go out with a man again if he accepts their offer
                      -Follow standard etiquette if the man makes more money, will make exceptions for the man who makes the same, or less than themselves – especially if they find him “hot”
                      – Believe if a guy expects them to pay it means he’s only interested in something casual/FWB (He doesn’t REALLY like them)
                      -Believe in sharing the cost of dating
                      – Will insist on paying if they don’t want to go out with the guy again (and hope he gets that message)
                      -Believe a man who insists on paying is controlling and an insult to feminism
                      -Insist of paying for themselves believing men will expect sex as repayment for drinks/a meal if they don’t

                      With all these conflicting premises surrounding dating it’s surprising we ever find anyone to connect with.

                    • Paula Says:

                      Selena pretty much covered all of the bases here, although what she described as “standard” etiquette I would call “traditional”, as it’s clear from her description we’re at a point where there aren’t any standards anymore.

                      As someone who believes in paying and generally ends up doing so, I’ve worried about giving off the “I’m not interested” vibe, to all you guys who think that a woman who isn’t interested, or even not sure yet, should be paying her way. Coupled with my ineptness at flirting, I’m sure the signals get crossed sometime. Guess I’ll have to wait for DMN’s book…

                    • Selena Says:

                      What I find interesting in forums, regardless of whether they follow standard etiquette, or make up their own – people claim to have no problem finding others who share their views. So all these “filters”, as awkward as they appear, must work. Shrug.

                    • Paula Says:

                      Selena, a lot of it is due to like dating like…if you have traditional values yourself, you’re most likely to be looking for and going out with those who also have traditional values. If you believe in equality of gender roles, then you’re more likely to gravitate towards those who also do things more equitably.

                      I think online dating is responsible for making things much more convoluted, in that people are going on a lot more dates that don’t work out, so finances do become a real problem, and they’re going out with people they never would have met in real life, so are less likely to know in advance what values they bring to the table.

        • M Says:

          I think there needs to be a discussion of women’s feelings toward men. You dont just have a choice between liking a guy and being repulsed by him. There is a middle ground, where you dont feel strongly about him either way. If you dont see this third option, then I’d say you are being too harsh in judging guys. I know guys dont sort girls into one of two extreme categories. Maybe that’s part of the problem – half of guys (probably almost all in practice) you feel are average you consciously decide you “are repulsed” by. Maybe if you were more reasonable in your judgment you would find it easier to find a guy.

          • Selena Says:

            Ofcourse there is a middle ground M. It isn’t just repulsed by, or instant infatuation. Most of the time there is a measure of interest and we want to see where it might go.

            As Nathan put it: “Often, we’re both testing things out. That’s kind of what the dating process is all about.”

            • Andrew Says:

              What Dan, Nathan, me and most of the guys on this board have a problem with is that in its real essence the man pay rule is patently unfair. And its seems a difficult thing to get women to admit to that, as much as getting women to admit that some other women can do questionable things. A good example of this was, Selena’s post, right after my last post, which was very good and thorough but avoided giving a clear position on the essentially unfair nature of the man pay rule.

              Most men are not stupid enough to be screaming about the unfairness of anything on an actual date, just as much as we would rather not listen to a woman complaining aboud the unfairness of the world. In fact most human beings in life are pragmatists. We vote for the lesser of two evils in lots of elections. We put up with bosses we can’t stomach. We put up with employees we can’t stomach. Trust me, I have a few that work for me.

              • Vox Says:

                I don’t know anything about your dating habits since you haven’t posted details, but we know that Dan likes to date intoxicated party girls who are 10+ years younger than him. If he is going to date younger party girls, it stands to reason he is going to have to pay. Complaining about it is no different than women who only date high-earning, attractive alpha males, yet they constantly complain about being played after the guys have their fun then dismiss them. Stop clamoring for people out of your league, and you will find an easier time dating.

                Yes, yes, you are the exception, will date older fat chicks, I know the drill…

                • Andrew Says:

                  You see. That is the difference. I don’t do that personalize thing. You have no idea as to whether I would date older fat chicks. I don’t even know how to interpret these assumptions on your part, especially coming after your opening statement where you admit you don’t know who I would date. It is easily seen as a contradiction or an intended insult. Either place that puts you, is unenviable.

                  “He is going to have to pay” That clearly shows your line of thinking. And that is precisely the problem, Entitlement. If an older woman dates a younger guy, does she have to pay? If I recall from the coffee talk posts here, a younger guy invited an older women out with a cryptic message. The response by another woman, “was he paying”.

                  • Vox Says:

                    I wasn’t talking about you, I was talking about Dan, and I clearly stated that in my post.

                    Your victim mentality is very unbecoming… And that’s why you’re single.

                    • Andrew Says:

                      re. “And that’s why you’re single.”

                      Thanks for the compliment. Oh, you meant it as an insult. I guess you must be confused. Divorced men in their forties who were married for a long time, actually like being single. I am having the time of my life. Oh, I guess you are projecting your feelings about being single. I guess you actually believe men feel the same way about being single.

                    • Vox Says:

                      If your posts on this blog are the writings of a man having the time of his life, the rest of your life must be downright miserable.

                • Andrew Says:

                  And in case you are interested, I tend to date bright women with objectivity. The last woman I dated was very attractive; made close to a million dollars a year; was six years my junior; and I didn’t have to play sugar daddy. Our issues were lifestyle ones. The ridiculous social whirl and going to see a Broadway play two three times a week was just a little too hectic and materialistic for me. I guess I have spent too much time doing volunteer work. Don’t assume that anyone who posts on this board is a loser.

              • Selena Says:

                “What Dan, Nathan, me and most of the guys on this board have a problem with is that in its real essence the man pay rule is patently unfair.”

                In that long list of ‘filters’ I wrote this morning – I’ll venture every person believes their version of etiquette is “fair”. Whether or not you, I, or anyone else agrees with them. But apparently they ARE finding people who agree with them, because in every blog, forum I read where this topic is brought up – ALL the commenters claim they meet/date/have been partnered with others who share their philosophy.

                So where is the problem, really?

                • Andrew Says:

                  So if women who don’t mind getting bashed, hook up with guys who like bashing women, does it make bashing correct? That is about the summation of your argument.

                  • nathan Says:

                    I actually think all of this is worth talking about and debating. Just because people seem to be muddling along and making due doesn’t mean we should just let it be. Women on this board have no problem speaking up about issues that they find interesting, confusing, irritating, or downright screwed up. And that’s great. This paying for dates issue is one that is really charged for men, precisely because we’ve been on the hook for the lion’s share of responsibility for it. So, you can expect that men will have a lot to say, some of it not terribly pleasant to hear.

                    I’d like to make a further point, though, using an example of my own learning through reading blogs. Several months ago, I was a part of an on-going discussion about dating and gender. During that discussion, a handful of men, including myself, expressed frustration that so many women seemed guarded in public, and not willing or interested in engaging in conversation on a bus, or at a coffee shop, to give two examples. Anyway, as the discussion unfolded, several women, one after another, offered up numerous negative experiences they had had with men trying to hit on them in public, and what they had to deal with when trying to reject these guys nicely failed. Now, I had certainly thought about these kinds of things before, but seeing story after story like that had an impact on my attitude. Basically, it lightened up any frustration I had, and was a great reminder of how we do experience things differently because of perceptions around gender.

                    In bringing that up, what I’m saying is that conversations like this could have an impact on people’s thoughts and behaviors, if they choose to be open to listening and considering other views. I keep stepping into these “who pays first” discussions specifically because I tend to value experiences and non-material gestures, and find that such things get lost when caring or expressing interest is tied to buying dinners or movie tickets or whatnot. And I guess that I hope that in sharing something like that, perhaps it might complicate what many think is a black and white issue. I don’t really expect or even desire to change everyone’s mind. But I do know that sometimes my own mind, and sometimes behavior, has been changed through these kinds of exchanges. So, I’d rather have the conversations than just say “people will find each other eventually” and move on.

      • 1stMaverick Says:

        Hey Dan,

        I keep meeting deadbeats, tons of em and I can’t even keep track. What I want to start doing since I normally pick the place is choose a place I probably won’t like or go back to and that has a front and back exit. If they date is going nowhere and I’m glad we all agree its obvious if you are interested or not or if there’s a connection. Just ask for the bill and say brb to your date and say you will use the bathroom and walk out the door. That way shes stuck with the bill and she gets what she deserves. These women are such a joke especially women from Long Island. They are downright horrible people in general. Just last month I went out do dinner with a girl and she didn’t thank me nor offer to pay half…It was a formality that I would pay and she was entitled. I knew I would never go out with her again based on that and there was little connection so I messaged her and in conversation I said to her “so when you taking me out” and she said Oh I never treat guys in the early stages…..I wanted to see her response, I had no intention of seeing her again and I saw the response I expected from someone who has no manners.

        • Dan (grating, repetitive and antagonistic) Says:

          I know what you mean, Mav. All men have been through this. Not all women are like this–i.e. dinner whore– but there are plenty of them. The thing is, as I pointed out in my posts above, other women don’t call them out on this behavior. They just ignore it, condone it or seem to think that women are entitled to this. Case in point, Laura, Selena and K. I bet these ladies have friends that are dinner whores but these girls will never call out their friends for bad behavior. They need to stop watching Chelsea Handler, Oprah and the like for dating advice.

          One time I went out with this crazy chick to dinner. Not only was she a dinner whore, but she grabbed the bill and wrote down what she felt the tip should be and called it a tip! However, to the ladies here that would be appropriate behavior simply because I asked her out and , thus, must pay the bill.

          However, in fairness, not all women are like that. Recently, I went out with this one broad and had a few drinks. She paid for her own. Of course, she was full of shit and she never repsonded to my text asking her out again. Meh, easy come easy go.

          • Laura Says:

            I don’t know what my friends do on dates (we don’t discuss what happens when the bill comes), but see my response above. I would certainly hope none of my friends are like that, but hey, I can’t say for sure so I guess you win.

            I do think it’s funny that apparently anyone who isn’t interested in you is “full of shit.” She has a right not to go out with you again if she’s not interested, and she picked up her part of the tab, so why are you complaining?

            • K Says:

              I think at this point Dan is trying to give us all some lolz.

              I sincerely didn’t mean to hijack this post. My original comment to the OP addressed her question but also addressed some points Moxie made in her advice. I guess it’s an issue people have strong feelings about. Maybe we can use Coffee Talk for things we have strong feelings about or want more clarification on.

              Personally I just started dating again after a long relationship and am reading everything I can to try to learn what’s going on out there. I appreciate the different perspectives. When I ask a question I am truly looking for clarification, not trying to start something.

  3. Hi Yah! Says:

    I think asking someone you work with out on a date is a bad idea all the way around. Unless he works in a different department and you don’t have to see him every day/all day long then it might be ok…MIGHT. If you think you could handle the work gossip about you and the possibility that it might not work out and turn your work environment uncomfortable, then I say go for it. If not, then like the saying goes, “You shouldn’t fish off the company pier.”

    • Andrew Says:

      Dating a co-worker can bring unfavorable results. But love conquers all! At every job I have worked, co-workers dated each other. It’s actually quite common. The results were sometimes unfavorable. There were however many marriages too.

      Dating a co-worker is like a girl dating her friend’s brother or dating her brother’s friend. It’s a high stakes situation where things can go really wrong or really well. And amazingly enough, lots of marriages result from these types of situations. precisely because the stakes are that high, causing people to better evaluate their intentions and commonalities before jumping in.

      The guy in the OP’s post seems interested. He however sounds shy or worried about breaking the unwritten rule. And guys do worry about being accused of harrassment.

  4. dimplz Says:

    The last place I’d want to look for someone to date is at work. There’s too much of a possibility that it won’t work out, and then you have to see the person all of the time. While your relationship may not end acrimoniously, it’s really not worth it. Not to mention some workplaces have strict policies about it. I would say don’t ask him out, because you work together and it seems like he’s awkward with you and you haven’t even expressed interest yet. I think you should interpret that as not a great way of beginning a relationship. While there are exceptions to every rule, it seems safe to say he’s not interested.

  5. Selena Says:


    Why would you want to date someone at work anyway? Give it some real thought: how do you see this working out? And how will you feel if it doesn’t? (The more common scenario)

    If he’s not asking you out there is a reason. Either he’s been down the workplace romance road before and knows it’s a bad deal…or he has a girlfriend/boyfriend. Is it possible you may be reading more into his friendliness because of your own attraction?

    • Divorced Joe Says:

      Or he’s very shy or he’s unsure of how she would react and/or doesn’t want to make her uncomfortable in the future. Or he doesn’t want to get reported to HR for sexual harrassment. Or is under the impression that she’s in a relationship.

      As for why you would date someone at work; because it is one of the most common places spouses met for the first time. (After all, for someone fairly busy, it’s often the only time you actually interact with people on a consistent basis.)

      • Andrew Says:

        My ex-wife’s best friend is a nurse. She got married to a doctor she worked with, at the hospital. She is still married to him after 20 years. I met my ex-wife at a birthday party a mutual friend had, and we are divorced. So go figure?

        • Selena Says:

          I don’t believe where a couple meets has any bearing on how happy, or long-lasting a relationship will be. The doctor and nurse you used as an example may have many different factors besides that. As well as NOT having some of the issues you and your wife had that led to your divorce.

          • Andrew Says:


            Agreed. The point is this: If two people are meant for each other, why does where they meet prevent them from having a future together?

            • Selena Says:

              It doesn’t. The fact we spend most of our waking hours with the people we work with makes forming relationships in some ways easier – people get to know each other over time and perhaps better than if they met elsewhere and started dating.

              It’s the drawbacks of melding work and home life – which can effect BOTH. And also the fact most dating relationships don’t work out and that can be very awkward, even painful, if you still have to work together everyday.

  6. marsi Says:

    ask the guy out,if you really want to, take a risk, its worth it.its not such a big deal, you are both grown up and should be able to handle the situation should something go wrong.

  7. bill Says:

    Most women probably do not know this but average guy who dates a lot is going to get rejected at least twice a week. After being rejected twice a week times 52 weeks a year times 10 years (varies) you build a resistance to rejection. We men also figured we have to build rapport/connection with so many single women/rejection/dating that equals one girlfriend.

    Since you have only asked out two men in your life you are not going to be able to handle the rejection if he says no and if he does you will become over obessive.

    The question is what about those two guys you asked out. How did those turn out? Depending on how those two turned out we can figure if your asking below your league, within your league, or above your league. If you are a girl who ask a guy who is within your league, or above your league 99% of the time it will turn into casual relationship if he does choose to go out with you.

    Women always complain men they are overly interested are not giving them enough attention. Asking out a guy with moderate interest is going to lead to that.

    9/10 times when a girl gives me this story this means she creates this whole high level attraction matrix in her head. When she asks she will often be disappointed.

    I say go for it, ask him out. Just know you gotta behave like a man be immune to rejection because if your the one who is asking them out that means YOU FIND THEM MORE ATTRACTIVE THAN THEY FIND YOU thus you risk rejection!

    • Nan Barbara williams Says:

      Yes, or else you might be sorry

    • D Says:

      Hm. I never really built up much of an immunity to rejection until the last couple years, and I’m 43. Until then I almost never asked a girl out until she practically beat me over the head showing interest.

      I’m an introvert and work in the tech community. I know a lot of people in my world are the same way.

      Asking out a co-worker is dicey, but not as bad for women as for men. Many guys fear being accused of sexual harassment.

    • datingdiva (Toni) Says:

      The first one said yes and we dated for awhile – the second one said no and I was fine with it. Sure rejection hurts – I’m sure it hurts everyone…but become obsessive – NO…. not me. I’ve dated enough in my life that I know I don’t need a man in my life. I’m secure with who I am and am fine being alone. As for this one – who knows – yes we flirt – every day – he makes a point to talk to me. He makes a point to look at me every time I walk by. Is he interested? I don’t know. Would I like to get to know him better? Yes.

      As for those who asked about why he hasn’t asked – well it could be that I am a government worker and he is a contractor. He doesn’t work in my chain of command. I asked HR if there was anything against dating a contractor as a government employee – there isn’t.

      so who knows….. but I do appreciate all the comments – I am gaining a lot of insight and thoughts I didn’t think of.

  8. Saywhat! Says:

    Careful with asking him out. You don’t want to get into a cat and mouse chase. I mean, the guy refused your candy, c’mon! who does that! hah.. kidding! But remember, if you ask him out and accepts, don’t try to then play the submissive role, like the type expecting the man to then take the lead on everything else. If you are going to be asserative you best maintain that role throughout the entire relationship, if it turns into that. If you don’t the guy will think you were just playing some game to ‘get them’

    Good luck. You’re brave.

  9. Beth B Says:

    Please don’t ask him out; the reasons for this have been stated by Moxie and previous posters very well. But all is not lost! There IS another way!

    There is no such thing as a man too shy to ask someone out if 1) he’s interested, and 2) he thinks you probably are too. Why the impatience? You work together, so there are plenty of opportunities to develop a relationship and to show, using your girl mojo, that you like him. If you are really that interested, as you talk with him and get to know him, use your wiles (positively) in the way that Nature intended and see what happens.

    Good Luck!

    • Andrew Says:

      Sure there is a man too shy. Rejection is devastating. You ever heard the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman spurned”. Men are just as devastated by rejection. In this situation, the guy also has to worry about accusations of sexual harrassment.

      • Divorced Joe Says:

        Yes, but note her caveat; that he knows she’s interested. I would add that for many, including myself, she needs to make it safe for him (me) to ask her out. Quite commonly it’s not HR that’s the issue, but whether a request for a date will upset a productive working relationship or a friendship.

        I’d expand this beyond workplace dating. Now, how to indicate interest without being blatant about it is difficult, though I agree with Beth and typically you can do this over time.

        (I recently faced this with a coworker who has since moved to another company. We’re friends, but she played her emotions so close that in the end, I decided to play it safe rather than upset what was a very good working relationship. In this case, I suspect religious differences would be an impediment, but again, she is extremely private. Now that she lives a thousand miles away, if I’m ever in her town, I’ll ask her out on a date. My gut feeling is that she’ll accept, but it won’t lead to anything, which is fine.)

  10. Saj Says:

    This one is easy. Just tell another coworker that you find him attractive and wished he would ask you out. If this coworker isn’t completely clueless he/she will pass the word. Then it’s up to the guy at that point to go for it or not. You can’t blame shyness then if he still doesn’t ask you out because his risk for rejection will be low plus it forces the guy to make the necessary effort to get you to go out on a date with him.

    Moxies advice is right though guys want girls to ask him out but if guys didn’t see that as (She wants me bad I’m going to rush past all the courtises and try to get sex as soon as I can) more women would do it. Men DO treat women who ask them out (unless he was ALREADY pining for her) more poorly then vice versa where if a woman accepts a date she’s accepting the chance to see if there is a spark there.

    I can have crippling shyness too but I still am able to get dates from the men I wanted and take the necessary background steps to make it happen. If guys use that excuse I say get some paxil and get over it.

    • dimplz Says:

      I disagree. This is the reason why I discourage dating at work. Too much office gossip. There are many office functions (company picnics, Christmas parties, team building outings) where you would have an opportunity to get to know him better and see if he’s really interested or not.

      • Selena Says:

        Not only that, but office gossip can get pretty nasty if it is perceived the workload is being affected by a co-workers romance. Special treatment? Too much time spent talking to each other instead of doing their own work? Prioritizing a lover’s output over other workers?

        The issue may be lessened if the two do not work in the same department, but if their supervisors perceive they are spending too much time in each other’s respective departments a reprimand could be forthcoming. Same thing if an argument or breakup is perceived as affecting their work.

        And although some workplace romances develop into marriages, many more do not. And what happens when one of the parties starts seeing someone else in the company? More gossip. Possibly other allegations of being treated unfairly. “Sides” being taken.

        Why risk getting into such a potential mess?

      • datingdiva (Toni) Says:

        Selena and dimplz
        there are no office functions – we work at a huge government agency. But yes there could be office gossip.

        and yes usually I have been against dating in the office because normally I have worked in small offices. This one is huge – granted he works outside my office.

        And that poses another question – besides online dating (which sucks – been doing it for years and I think the quality of men gets worse and worse each year) (sure I have had some good relationships in there but overall…ugh!!) where else do we meet men? I mean we spend a lot of time at work – I spend at least 50 hours a week at work if not more do to my job – I think this week is the first week I will have only worked 40 hours.

        another topic to discuss???

        • Selena Says:

          Thanks for joining in and answering some of our questions/concerns. :)

          So, with all this interest he seems to be showing, why do you think he’s not making a move to go out?

          • datingdiva (Toni) Says:

            well a few reasons…

            1) he’s married and doesn’t wear a ring
            2) he’s worried about the contractor/ government thing (I am not his boss or in his chain of command and even asked HR if it was allowed)
            3) he is older and maybe worried about rejection
            4) doesn’t do the dating at work thing
            5) or maybe he is gay
            6) or maybe he is just being friendly to me and I am reading more into it then what there is? (although I am pretty good about when a man flirts with me)
            7) maybe it’s just a flirt at work thing?

            or maybe something I haven’t thought of???

  11. Craig Says:

    I just think that it puts the woman in far too vulnerable of a position. I don’t hear a lot of stories from women saying they had sex with a guy even though they weren’t attracted to him. I do hear stories like that from men. – Moxie

    Ah, so we’re back to the good ‘ol “women need to be protected from sexual predators” routine. Spare me. If a woman has concerns that a man just wants her for sex, the solution is simple: refrain from having sex until you’re absolutely sure of the man’s intentions. If you’re pursuing quality men, whoever does the asking out isn’t a filter for being played. If a woman asks me out that I’m not attracted to, guess what? I’m not going out with her and I’m definitely not going to bang her. Why? Most guys who have it going on don’t have to bang chicks they aren’t attracted to because they can get the women they actually want. If a guy does use women who ask him out, he’s using women that he asks out too.

    The reason women resist asking men out has no basis in “tradition”. It’s all about them not wanting to shift the risk of rejection to themselves. I don’t blame them – because rejection sucks. But let’s drop the “tradition” B.S. as the baiss for this point of view. I would never want my options in life to be limited solely to whomever decides to approach me. I’d want to choose for myself. Why women resist the opportunity to choose the men they want for themselves and pursue them is beyond me.

    A parting thought for Toni, the OP: Dating people at work is generally not a good idea. The only time it works out for the best is if you end up together permanently. Any other result in which you do not stay together, but continue to work together is a very shitty situation. Trust me on this.

  12. nathan Says:

    I’m split on this. In general, I think that it’s really time to move on from the adherence to the old “men should ask out” rule. The more men that face women asking them out, the less surprising, and perhaps upsetting to men who currently are invested in being in control of such things, it will become.

    On the other hand, I agree with the others who question the idea of dating a co-worker. I’m not totally against it, but I do think it needs to be done with care, and consideration for the larger work context. If it’s handled sloppily, it’s really easy for things like sexual harassment claims to come into play, even if no such intent was present.

    It seems to me that the Op’s office guy might be interested, but also might be worried about the potential consequences if he makes a move and is wrong. But given the context, I think it might be better to up the signal giving, like a bit of flirting or effort to engage in conversations, for awhile to see if something more naturally develops.

  13. Paula Says:

    There’s the generic question of whether women should ask men out, and then there’s the specific question of whether the OP should ask out her coworker. Each consideration is almost completely independent of the other, in this situation, anyway.

    There seems to be a real difference between men in terms of self-confidence, and their willingness to take the initiative in dating. There are the 1) cocky players who just wanna get laid, have no intention of settling down with anyone, and will definitely take the lead in asking women out, figuring it’s a numbers game, and the more women they ask out, the more women who will say yes. They’re online to boost the volume (or because they’ve already dated their way through their social circle, and everyone is on to them), but are also asking out women they meet at work, in bars, wherever they can. There are the 2) normal, self-confident good guys who will ask out women they’re interested in, won’t toy with the affections of someone that they’re not interested in, and have been able to meet and have dates with women both online and offline. Then there are the 3) nerdy, socially-awkward guys who rarely ask anyone out, and primarily date online because they figure a woman who shows interest in them in that environment is interested in dating them, and not just in being friends with a “nice guy.”

    Of the three categories, only the first should you wait for the guy to ask you out, for the reasons that Moxie stated. If you believe a significant portion of the guys you meet and/or tend to attract are players, then let them play their game and you can decide whether you want to join in or not. Category 2, it can go either way: they probably have the confidence to ask you out, but they also won’t toy with you if you ask them out and they’re not interested. Category 3, a woman may need to take some initiative, because you often hear those guys saying that they were clueless, and they had no idea that certain women were interested in them. They’re also often guys with more passive personalities in general, who actually like women who are willing to take the lead. So the best thing is to figure out what kind of guy you’re dealing with before you ask him out.

    As for dating someone you work with, I could go on about that all day, especially about the legalities (but I won’t). Work is one of the primary places that you are likely to meet people with whom you have things in common, and certain work environments definitely do their job in bringing people together. You should not date a coworker if 1) you are in a supervisor/subordinate relationship, whether official or unofficial; 2) you are so devoted to your particular job that you cannot imagine getting a new one if things go sour, or to a particular industry where leaving a job would cause you to be blackballed; 3) your company has a policy against it that you would subject yourself to discipline or termination for violating; or 4) you are so devastated when relationships end that you can’t move on quickly, and wouldn’t be able to handle the ongoing proximity or continued need for interaction professionally.

    If nothing in 1-4 apply to you, then proceed slowly, cautiously and professionally, and see where things lead.

    • nathan Says:

      You know, I think you’re general categories are pretty helpful, but I also think there are guys in 2 and 3 who are interested in a more egalitarian playing field, including the process of asking people out.

      Also, there are contextual issues that sometimes come into play. My self confidence sometimes fluctuates, but I have asked out plenty of women in person, so I couldn’t really place myself in category 3. However, there have been times where I’ve experienced either enough rejection in a short period of time, or simply have had enough “not great” dating experiences, where I simply need a break from initiating. I’m actually there right now. I have a couple of women flirting with me, but I have had a summer full of not so great dating experiences, including a short relationship that didn’t work out. So, I’m not responding as quickly or forwardly as I might under better conditions.

      I sometimes think women believe men are almost machine-like. That we can just plow through and keep going all the time, and that any sign of emotional struggle or challenge means we’re basically weak and flawed. And that if we aren’t licking at the chops to take the lead in asking you all out, it must be due to lack of interest.

      • Paula Says:

        I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said, Nathan — you can be different ways with different people, depending on the dynamic between you or your own personal situation/timing. But not every guy is a player poised to take advantage of any woman who will let them, and not every guy immediately asks someone in whom he’s interested he’s interested on a date date without making an effort to get to know her as a friend first.

        >>And that if we aren’t licking at the chops to take the lead in asking you all out, it must be due to lack of interest.

        That’s what a number of people keep saying here, including Moxie. I’m genuinely trying to figure out whether it’s true or not, which is why hearing various male perspectives is helpful.

  14. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I totally agree with Moxie’s take on this. I don’t think it has anything to do with tradition but the more practical differences between men and women that Moxie explained.

    Men are more likely than women to agree to date someone with whom they are less than thrilled but who makes themselves available – even men who have it “going on” whatever that means. (Having it going on often includes men who are juggling lots of women who are similarly throwing themselves at him). Doesn’t mean all men will do this, but men are more likely to do this than women. If the cost is low enough, the guy will accept.

    It should be noted that asking a man out doesn’t CAUSE him to reject you or treat you worse. Its just that it’s more likely that you weren’t on the top of the list of the man you happen to choose. Men experience the same thing for the same reason.

    I do not agree that a guy who likes you will make the move and especially in a workplace environment where a person may hesitate to take risks.

    The solution is that women need to flirt enough to lower the risk of rejection for a “reasonable” guy to make a move but not make her “offer” so easy and cheap that the guy would accept just for the hell of it. It’s an art but people are hooking up all around so someone’s getting it right. Good luck.

    • Paula Says:

      >>>The solution is that women need to flirt enough…

      That’s the problem right there…some people of both sexes are very bad at flirting — I know I am horrible at both flirting with a guy I like (a combination of my more direct/literal nature and lack of self-confidence) and in reading when a guy is flirting/interested vs. just being a nice guy vs. flirting/bored. I think a lot of women are better able to directly address the situation by asking someone out than to appropriately gauge things to end up in the sweet spot you describe.

      Maybe Moxie needs a new set of classes in the art of successful flirting…some people just seem to have it down, while others like me really struggle with it.

      • Andrew Says:

        Paula, I like that post. certainly hope Moxie is reading.

        • Andrew Says:

          Guess some people just dislike me. Three thumbs up for Paula, and one thumbs down for me just endorsing what Paula says. When I comment about the thumbs down automatically given to guys on this blog, everyone lambasts me. Now the evidence is before our eyes.

          • Vox Says:

            I’m sure you got the thumbs down because your post had nothing substantive to say. The point of the thumbs up/down is to have a quick way of saying “I like/agree with this post” or “I disagree.” You should have clicked thumbs up to Paula’s post instead of cluttering the comment thread to say, “I like that post.” There really is no more to it, despite the fact that you have built up this strange conspiracy theory. Too many extra comments like yours screw with the mobile view of this site.

            • Andrew Says:

              That is B/S and you know it. Go thru all the posts on every topic. The guys always have far more thumbs down than the women. And that is irregardles of wheter the OP is a woman or man. It seems like what guys have to say is devalued. There are more women on this blog. Maybe that is a part of the reason. I happen to think divers opinion are always valuable. I have seen women do the same type of endorsement and not get the same thumbs down treatment, which is now up to three thumbs down.

              My endorsorement had a lot to do with the topic and was intended to really impress upon Moxie the need for this type of help. A thumbs up or down would have been insufficient. And whatever the deficiences in your mobile browser, is hardly of concern to the topic at hand. To rate a post on the deficiences of one’s mobile browser, is the the height of self-centered behavior. It’s not about you and your browser, or anyone and their browser for that matter.

              • dan Says:

                I get a lot of thumbs down and I agree with Andrew. But you know what? I could give a crap less if some chick disagrees with me or not. Women are biased in their opinions because of Oprah and Cosmo. The truth hurts and they have each others’ back just like doctors when one is sued for maplpractice.

                • Paula Says:

                  Dan, I am always going to give thumbs down to any post that says “women are X” or “men are Y” regardless of the gender of the author. Usually it’s either a cynical overgeneralization, entrenched in gender stereotypes, or both.

                  I don’t think it’s fair to malign either gender with the behavior of certain broken individuals, and every new person I meet deserves an individual assessment of their behavior, not some reliance on a past negative experience that has nothing to do with them.

                  You’re a lawyer, so I know you know how to be precise with language. The use of “some” or “many” would go a long ways to getting more support for your posts, or not constantly tarring all women with the same brush.

  15. Mark Says:

    There are at least a couple of big issues on this one. One is the ‘Should women ask men out?” question. The second is a narrower “Should women ask men out if they work in the same organization?”

    On the first: I tend to think that our culture seems more conditioned with the notion that a woman makes herself available, a man makes an overture, A woman then makes a decision about that overture. At least generally speaking. But if you say that you are uncomfortable making the first overt move, then why not look at it as making the first move but be subtle about it. Flirt a little, engage in idle banter and that sort of thing. I’m sure you know how and your post seems to show this. This gets the guy to thinking it was his idea all along and you don’t feel like you are hitting on him or he is hitting on you.

    The second part is workplace dating. A couple of poster mentioned this. In all fairness a lot has to do with what your company guidelines are. Even so, another consideration point is that if things go South, it can make people very uncomfortable working with/around an Ex. So many people are very reluctant to go down that road to begin with. Given your letter this might very well be the case.

  16. dan Says:

    Look, OP, I want to say you should ask him out. In fact, I think women should be the ones doing the asking out. Also, if a woman is not interested after going out with you to dinner, you should be able to seek reimbursement from her in small claims court or through collection. I may start drafting collection letters to women who I waste money on in the near future.

    Anyway to answer your question and back to reality:

    There are two things you should bear in mind. First, if he was interested in your DNA he would have asked you out already. Second, the women I have seen ask men out usually end up in a position of weakness and are mistreated. I have noticed that these types of women have self-esteem issues, too.

    So, my advice is to just move on. You sent the signals out and he did not bite.

  17. Mike Says:

    First you had to initiate being introduced. Then you invited him into your office for candy. This guy just wants to flirt in the office. Many people have an at work husband or wife and it seems he wants you to be his. Nothing more.

  18. datingdiva (Toni) Says:

    just want to thanks Moxie for posting my question and want to thank all of you for your comments! I appreciate them all. My friends don’t give me honest answers!!!

  19. datingdiva (Toni) Says:

    ok so update – after today’s afternoon flirt – which was about 15 minutes where he ignored a phone call to talk to me – I emailed him – if you want to get to know one another outside of work here is my number. He just emailed me stating he is just leaving work now as when “normal” people leave it tends to get busy! ;) I will call on my way home.

    so we shall see how it goes

    maybe it paid off being a little forward!!

  20. Selena Says:

    Good luck Toni! :)

  21. Christina Says:

    Wow, I thought this debate had been settled 20 years ago! By the time I was in college (20 years ago) it was perfectly normal and acceptable for women to ask men out, and I did it quite a bit, in spite of being shy and otherwise traditional. Whether I or the guy made the first move seemed to have no bearing whatsoever on the quality of the relationship. In fact, right now I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with a guy I made the first move with.

    I don’t buy the whole idea that men are more likely to use a woman who asks them out for sex. It paints women as victims who have no judgment or say in the matter. If I asked a guy out and he only seemed interested in sex . . . NEXT! Why would it be any different just because I asked first?

    For the OP I’d just say- ask him to have lunch with you sometime. That will give you the opportunity to find out if he’s gay/married/interested, and you can go from there.

  22. M Says:

    You should ask him out. I dont buy into this whole “women are more vulnerable than men” thing. As Moxie pointed out, men and women have different things at stake. Also, just because you are asking him out does not mean you are obligated to give him sex. Its your choice. Its always your choice. Is it possible he wont return your calls after you sleep with him? Yes. But how would that be any different from any other date?

    The other thing, and to me, the greater issue is that the whole process of dating is ass backwards. Given that women are generally pickier than men, women should be the ones asking men out. Disagree? Try this on for size: 99% of women will tell you they believe they are equal to men. So if the two sexes are equal, why should one have to always do the asking out? Yes, women would have to face rejection. But that the same thing we have had to deal with, so that just goes with the territory: gaining equality isnt always a good thing. But good can come from this: women may gain an appreciation of what guys go through in risking rejection when asking them out.

    As a guy, it would make dating MUCH easier if girls asked guys out. After all, in the end, isnt the only thing that matters that you find someone? Once you’ve found someone, who cares who asked whom? Women refusing to ask just gets in the way of that, and in the end, nobody wins. Besides, if women dont ask men out, then a woman can only go out with guys who ask her. Who would you rather go out with: just guys who ask you out, or anybody who feel like asking out?

    As for the workplace issue. its your call. It depends on how much you think of this person, whether you think it can work, and how close or distant your professional relationship with this person is. There’s a girl where I work I want to ask out. Although she works in another department on a different floor, and I’ve never dealt with her professionally, I am still reluctant to ask her out, just because she used to work in my office and comes by to visit periodically. If it doesnt work out, I can deal with that. I will still ask her out, but it will have to be out of the workplace setting. Either that, or I’d want to know she might be interested or something like that. Im not going to say do it or dont do it, but you have to decide if its worth it.

    • dan Says:

      Like I have been saying, woman are pickier than men. I got grief from the women on here for saying that but there you have it. Another woman comes clean and admits it.

      • Paula Says:

        M is a guy. “As a guy, it would make dating MUCH easier if girls asked guys out.” and “There’s a girl where I work I want to ask out.”

        Some women are pickier than some men. But some women need to be more picky than they are, because they keep attracting the wrong kind of men (the less picky ones who aren’t choosing them back for the right reasons.)

  23. Charlie Says:

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, when women show clear interest by doing things like asking us out or planning occasional dates it takes a lot of pressure off. And since I’m rather shy with women this makes a huge difference in how confident and engaging I am as a large chunk of the rejection fears disappear. I am all for women taking some initiative.

    A couple of nits I have:
    Moxie mentioned that men don’t mind being used for dinner/entertainment as much as women do with sex. I disagree. Maybe in a very general sense since no two guys are exactly alike, but I was crushed by a woman who I had feelings for using me for rebound attention. Similarly a friend was just about driven to Loonyville by a woman who was using him in a similar but more sexual manner.

    The OP mentioned a ways back in the comments that one of the reasons she thinks he may not have asked her out is that he is possibly gay. Maybe I’m a bit oversensitive to these things because when I take good care of my appearance women assume that about me (men don’t), but it can be incredibly insulting for a woman to immediately jump to the “he’s gay” conclusion when you are a straight man and doubly so if you are into the woman who assumes as such. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and boy did it sting. Ladies, please don’t assume we are gay unless we say so. Or if you have to, please at least keep it to yourselves.

    • dan Says:

      Charlie never listen to what a women says to you other than your mother, sister or significant other. Paying attention to what some female fool says is a waste of time. Save your attention for those ladies I listed because tehy will be considerate of your feelings and have your best interest at heart.

      Some women thought I was gay and told me so because I was not married. Well, I replied that I thought she was a stripper on the side. She shut -up really fast.

      Finally, never bases your happiness on a women. You need to have confidence in yourself and then you can be happy with a chick.

      • Kurt Says:

        I don’t understand why any woman would assume that a man is gay just because he doesn’t ask her out or doesn’t have a girlfriend at the time. The U.S. population is what – maybe 2% homosexual? Assuming that a man is gay is just a way women rationalize a possible lack of interest. I certainly don’t assume that a woman is a lesbo if she doesn’t want to date me.

  24. Kurt Says:

    He might not be interested. However, if he is interested, he might be waiting for a clear sign from the OP. Asking her out is a risky proposition for him if he doesn’t know whether she likes him because if she says “no,” it could be embarrassing and awkward for him and he might not want to put himself in that position.

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