Part of an article I recently wrote for Your Tango’s Expert series contained 5 pieces of advice that women should never take at face value when they hear it from their girlfriends. One point has actually been getting some coverage in the dating blogosphere of late. That would be the “controversy” over whether or not a woman should ask a man out.
Unless you genuinely believe that a man is too timid or shy or otherwise in the dark about your interest, you should wait for him to do the asking. The reason is simple: because men freely admit to arbitrarily raising and lowering their standards depending on the situation. Meaning that, if sex is offered, he’s likely to take it regardless of how attracted or interested he actually is. Since there isn’t the rampant slut shaming amongst men like there is women, men aren’t particularly concerned with being labeled “easy.” – 5 Misleading Dating Tips Your Girlfriends Give
The reason I don’t think women should ask men out has nothing to do with shifting the power dynamic or setting a precedent. It has to do with one simple issue:
From the How About We piece:
But, most guys aren’t assholes of such cartoonish proportions. I think most guys actually try to do “the right thing.” And on a conscious level, they know it’s not cool to feign interest in a girl just to get her naked, especially if it seems like she wants more than just a fling.
And that’s when the subconscious rationalizing begins:
“Well, I’d sleep with her. And I’m pretty sure she’s interested. But, I’d never want to date her….”
“Alright, be cool then. Just talk to her and be friendly….”
“Oh, look at that. She just kissed me. Hmm….”
“Alright, Conscience. Look, dude, she freaking just kissed me! You can’t possibly expect me to turn her away, right? As long as she kisses me first, then I can totally hook up with her, and you won’t lay all that guilt on me afterwards, right? Right?”
I disagree that men rationalize anything when they have sex. If it is offered and they’re up for it, they will take it. They don’t feel bad about it afterwards, even if the woman starts in with, ‘But I thought we really connected!” If she doesn’t state very plainly upfront what she expects from the relationship (not the sex!) then he’s just going to say yes. He’s not responsible for her feelings, even if he senses that she’s more interested than he is. That’s because most men don’t attach expectations to sex. The whole “but she’s a woman! She has Feels!” doesn’t fly with them, and frankly it shouldn’t. Especially if she’s choosing to do the asking, thereby assuming the male role. Never, ever expect a man to feel responsible for you or your feels before he’s invested or committed.
Few men have to rationalize having sex. That’s mostly a female trait. But the guys who do, along with the guys who don’t, present a “danger’ to the women who make the first move. Even if he’s moderately interested, he will accept that date. And if sex is offered quickly, and I’m betting it usually is in these situations, he will take it.
See, there’s a connection between the women who ask men out and the women who put out. That’s what many men are banking on, which is why they accept. The women who ask men out often times – but not exclusively – are of the “I can date like a man” mentality. Which means their perceptions of dating and sex are based on their usually negative experiences and reliance that their girlfriends are telling them the truth about how they met their guy. They are the ‘I can have sex like a man’ women. And they can’t. Sorry, ladies. You do it to yourselves.
Since women tend to be more status conscious and picky, they believe that men are as discerning when accepting a date. They aren’t. Unless you’re completely unfortunate looking, and they have a slot open on the calendar, they’ll say yes. Sometimes they’ll say yes with absolutely no intention of every meeting up. They just want to back out of the conversation slowly. Others will accept the invitation thinking their chances of scoring pretty effortlessly are higher. And, yes, some will actually be interested but were too shy or in the dark about the woman’s interest to do the asking. But those men are not the majority.
The only time a woman should ask a man out is if she’s completely accepting and understanding that a man might say yes but not be terribly interested. If she can function under the belief that what he or her girlfriends think doesn’t matter, then she should go for it. Otherwise, don’t do it.
**This does not include online dating. With online dating, all rules go out the window.