If He’s Interested, He’ll Ask You Out

Name: Maryannaskhimout
Comment: Im curious if you think its always best to wait for a man to make the first move.  Ive always taken the view that a man who is interested will make his interest known, and if he doesnt he probably just isnt into you.  When I have attempted to pursue guys in the past I have never had it work out in my favor and have never found that any of them had been secretly interested or shy or waiting for me to do anything – they just werent interested at all.  Is it safe to say that if a man is attracted to you and has no reason to think you’re taken or otherwise unavailable he would make some attempt to act on it? – or am I being way too old fashioned in my thinking?
Age: 28
City: Madison
State: WI

I don’t think you’re being old fashioned at all. I agree with you. Shy, schmy. If the guy really wants to ask the woman out, he will. While the fear of rejection can sometimes overwhelm just about everybody, people (read insecure men and impatient women) like to use that as a reason why it would be wise for women to make the first move. Do I think it’s the worse thing in the world? No. I’ve done it once or twice and it turned out well. But, like you, the majority of the time it didn’t.

The reason why I think it’s best for women to let the guy do the asking out is that I tend to think men are less selective. Meaning, they’ll say yes to a date even if they aren’t all that interested depending on their options at the time. They’ll have sex even if they aren’t terribly attracted to the woman, especially they’re in the midst of a dry spell. Of course, even if he does do the asking, there’s still no guarantee that he’s interested. However, I think the odds are in a woman’s favor should she wait for the guy to make that move.

Obviously, a lot of men like when women ask them out. But I happen to think what they like is the novelty of it and nothing more. It’s a nice break from the norm. But, in my opinion, I think men prefer to do the asking.

Should women 100% abide by this “rule” and never ask men out? No. As long as they trust their judgment, don’t take things too personally if things don’t go how they hoped and feel comfortable sticking to whatever personal guidelines they have for their love lives, they should be fine. Not taking rejection or fades personally is very difficult and requires a thick skin. If they have that, then they should do whatever the hell they want.

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37 Responses to “If He’s Interested, He’ll Ask You Out”

  1. M Says:

    To answer the OP’s question, yes, you are being too old-fashioned. Sometimes guys are interested in a girl, but they won’t make a move. For us, there are different levels of interest that we might having a girl. If a guy is not asking you out, all that means is that his level of interest is not high enough for him to risk the rejection, and anything else he might be risking, by asking you out. We have lots of reasons for not asking a girl we like out. If you are interested in a guy, then ask him out. If you won’t do that, then at least give him a clear sign that you are interested in him. Make this sign clear as day because for us guys, a lot of times a girls signal that she’s interested in us won’t even register; we don’t pick up on subtlety the way you do.

    • Petros Says:

      “If a guy is not asking you out, all that means is that his level of interest is not high enough for him to risk the rejection”

      No, it means he thinks the rejection is 100% guaranteed.

    • C Says:

      ” If you are interested in a guy…at least give him a clear sign that you are interested in him. Make this sign clear as day because for us guys, a lot of times a girls signal that she’s interested in us won’t even register; we don’t pick up on subtlety the way you do.”

      This is pretty old fashioned but it totally works. Just openly flirt with the guy a lot! If he still doesnt respond he has a reason for not doing so which may or may not be lack of interest.

      As for the rule of “if he isnt asking you out he isnt interested”, that may be true more often then not but it certainly isnt written in stone. I met my current partner at work and we remained platonic friends for years. The reason for this is a long and boring story that dragged on for 4.5 years with both of us interested and neither of us making any moves until a mutual friend told him I was interested (yes, junior high school style). And the rest is history…

  2. AnnieNonymous Says:

    I don’t make any rules about this sort of thing. To answer the implied question here: if a guy already likes you, he won’t stop liking you if you ask him out. Asking a guy out never “ruins” anything. If he says no, he was never going to ask you out anyway. If you ask him out the first time, I’d wait for him to ask you out the next time though.

  3. GI_JANE Says:

    Guess what? Shy and clueless guys get into relationships.

    1.When guys say they’d love a woman to ask them out, what they mean is they’d love a woman THEY FOUND ATTRACTIVE to ask them out. And by him not asking you out, you don’t know if he finds you attractive enough.

    2.The few times I asked a guy out (like giving him my numb before he asked, or suggesting a movie or restaurant when all he ever said was “we should” hang out sometime) it typically hasn’t worked out for me and the guy would coast on me initiating things the remainder of the relationship.

    3.It’s your life, take however chances you will. But I think there is a better way to go about it, flirt with him a lot.

    • M Says:

      I hate to tell you this, but the examples you gave above are not you asking a guy out. They are you hinting that you would like to go out with the guy, or they are ways of making it easier for the guy to ask you out. However, they are not you actually doing the asking.

  4. Sherry Says:

    I’m a female in my early 30s who does not believe in initiating the first contact with males because, when a woman approaches a man first, she forever misses out on one of the only genuine indications of his interest.

    Men are different from women. When it comes to dating and mating, men are wired to respond to a challenge. Men who are genuinely into a woman will pursue. Men who are attracted to a woman will approach. When we eliminate a man’s need to pursue a woman because she has already initiated contact, he loses interest as time passes.

    In summary, a man who is truly interested in a woman will make the first approach. Even most shy men will overcome their introversion to get female company. If he doesn’t attempt to initiate contact, he isn’t all that into in the woman to begin with.

    It is important to note that many males will go along for the ride and accept a woman’s advances when she pursues first, even if the men are not all that interested in her to begin with. When a woman approaches first, she risks wasting effort on chasing an uninterested guy who will ride the wave to see where it takes him (sometimes for years) and bail the very moment he attracts a female whom he perceives as ‘better.’

    I’ve seen relationships where the man simply appears to be drifting along, going along with the woman, and not too emotionally invested. In many of these cases the woman pursued him and wants more out of the relationship than he’s willing to give. He wasn’t that interested when she initiated contact, and now he’s simply riding the wave until something better crosses his path.

    A man can stare at a woman at the club or bar all night, but he really isn’t all that into her unless he swallows his pride, casts his fears aside, or gets away from his friends to take the plunge and approach her.

    • noquay Says:

      I too generally avoid pursuing most men unless I know them pretty well (fellow runners for instance). Had a dude stare at me almost to the point of rudeness this past weekend. Maybe he was attracted, maybe he was just gawking because I can mixed race and somewhat exotic looking. He couldn’t even be bothered to say hello so who cares. Whether one chooses to pursue or not, keep in mind that yep, many guys will merely coast along with it and many guys who pursue you will often just coast but there’s no real interest. We cannot emotionally invest too soon and we need to cut such men loose quickly.

      • C Says:

        Yes staring means nothing. I once ended up on a date with a guy from my dorm I couldnt have been less interested in. He looked so much like my father, I couldnt stop staring at him. He must have interpretted my relentless gawking as interest and asked me out. Awkward!!

    • Ken Besig Says:

      So true, we men love the “chase!”

    • M Says:

      A guy isnt into a girl unless goes up and approaches her? The same rule applies to all guys, even shy ones? No offense, but you have no idea what you are talking about.

      Guys have varying levels of interest in girls. It is not an on/off switch. There are lots of girls a guy might be interested in, but for whatever reason, does not approach. It doesnt mean he’s not interested in them. All it means is that he is not so interested that he doesnt care about getting rejected, or that he’s willing to risk the rejection to try and get the girl.

      • Tinker Says:

        Exactly. And why would a woman want to go out with a guy who is only marginally interested in her when she has other guys that were at least interested enough to ask her out? Guys that found her ‘worth’ risking rejection for? She has nothing to gain from entertaining marginally interested guy.

      • Sherry Says:

        Read my post more carefully. I didn’t exactly say that a man isn’t interested in a woman if he doesn’t approach. In fact, he might even have a lukewarm or moderate level of interest in the female.

        I said that a man isn’t ALL THAT INTO the woman if he doesn’t approach her. He might be mildly into the woman or, as another poster mentioned, only marginally interested in her.

        But I still stand by my assertion that men aren’t ALL THAT INTO a woman if they are not willing to brace themselves, face their fears, and run the risk of rejection by initiating contact with her.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          There’s also the Pick Up Artist “approach 1000 women” people. Approaching a woman (or man, for that matter) doesn’t necessarily mean one is “into” them, they could just be bored or drunk or hitting on anything with a pulse. I guess my point is that the approach doesn’t necessarily “prove” anything and that I don’t think shyness is the ultimate in undesirable traits that people often paint it as.

          As Craig said, “go and get yours,” and as D. said, “if it works, it really doesn’t matter who made the first move.”

          • fuzzilla Says:

            I do take Moxie’s point that a woman is more likely to find someone “just along for the ride” if she approaches first (though, as others have said, same holds for men, and someone’s got to approach or nothing happens). Just keep your options open and be ready to bail if things seem dead in the water. Then again, these are things should be doing regardless of circumstance until you get a firm, verbal commitment.

        • C Says:

          There are MANY reasons why a man wont ask out a woman he is very interested in:
          1. She is married
          2. As someone else said, he is 100% sure he will be rejected
          3. He is coming out of a nasty divorce and doesnt feel ready to date
          4. He doesnt feel right dating his best friends ex or sister or what have you.
          5. He is very attracted to the woman but thinks her messy personal or financial situation is not worth the trouble

          Just to name a few…

    • Anonymous Says:

      When my parents met, my mother approached my dad first and she did not miss out on anything.

  5. coffeestop Says:

    Asking men out never worked out for me. No doubt I might have just selected the wrong ones but it felt like I was out with a guy who was not that into me every time, so I stopped. It felt to me that I was always either initiating contact or coming up with date ideas and my enthusiasm decreased pretty quickly. Maybe it works effectively for women who are already considered universally attractive by a broad range of men.

  6. E-B Says:

    One idea to remember is to make yourself “approachable.” Use open body language, make eye contact, smile, etc. And most of all, don’t form a bunker with your GFs!

  7. Craig Says:

    But, in my opinion, I think men prefer to do the asking. – Moxie

    I have a problem with this statement. You’re not a dude, so you’re not qualified to make such a broad, sweeping generalization of what all men prefer. Even I can’t do that, possessed of a penis and all. You can speak to the men you’ve experienced, but they don’t represent all 3 billion or so of us.

    Here’s the thing ladies: any examples you cite of why men should do all the asking is little more than a self-serving justification for why you want to maintain the status quo of us doing all the work and assuming all the risk. The fact is 95% of the women most guys ask out will not be interested. Rejection is the norm, not the exception for us too. That’s why we ask so many women out, often at the same time – to overcome the law of averages. That’s the way life works. If men have to accept that fact of life, so can women.

    The thinking that if a man is interested, he’ll always make a move is simply not true. There are many reasons we won’t, mainly: we assume a woman is out of our league; she’s surrounded by 5 of her girlfriends; or we don’t want to be inappropriate, like in professional settings. The only guys who have no hesitation or filter at all in any situation are typically the sociopaths. You know why most guys really like to do the asking? Because then we control our own destiny. We shiver at the thought of our options being limited to only whoever pursues us – who are often far below the best we can do. Women ought to feel the same way. Go and get yours. You keep what you kill. If you want to be our equals in the boardroom – well then be our equals at the pickup bar too. You don’t get to choose where you accept or reject traditional gender roles.

    • Pedro Says:

      Well stated sir, well stated.

    • Raving Lunatic Says:

      Spot on, Craig, Spot. On.

    • chuck d Says:

      Exactly. I was about to post a very similar response. I happen to be very shy around women when it comes to asking them out. I am not shy about most other parts of my life. I LOVE it when a woman makes the first move.

      Also,I detest the “chase” and I am sure I am not the only guy who does.

  8. LostSailor Says:

    You’re not being old-fashioned, Maryann. It’s just the nature of men, women, and romance, and it’s not likely to really change.

    GI_Jane and E-B are right: there are plenty of ways for you to make your interest in a guy known to him by being approachable and/or flirting with him. Even the shiest most retiring man won’t miss the signals if he is actually interested. Maybe go so far as to “suggest” date ideas, but if he doesn’t pick up on it he’s either not interested or so clueless I’d wonder why you were interested in him.

    The downsides to asking a guy out are as Moxie and Sherry mentioned: A lot of guys will say yes even if they aren’t particularly interested because they’re not used to rejecting women and it seems impolite. Others will “ride the wave to see where it goes,” as Sherry said mostly out of the possibility of some easy sex. That’s not to say that it can never work, but the odds are against you.

    As for Craig’s problem with Moxie’s statement that men prefer to do the asking, I’ll speak up for us dudes and agree with Moxie. It’s not about maintaining or righteously overturning the “status quo” of dating, it’s about showing confidence, which is attractive in a man. It’s not only sociopaths that have the nerve to approach women. But if a man is so intimidated by approaching and talking to women, he’s not likely to have a lot of women approaching him, even if time-tested mating rituals of the human race were to be depolarized tomorrow.

  9. Valery North Says:

    “I’ve done it once or twice and it turned out well. But, like you, the majority of the time it didn’t.”

    Yes, but that’s exactly the same experience that men have. Except that men are supposed to just keep trying until it works, whereas the still-prevailing attitude in the OP that “men should make the first move” means that a woman can try it a few times and give up, and still expect to find someone. Because a lot of men also believe that they “should” make the first move, or they know that women won’t.

    For example, female dating coach Hayley Quinn found she wasn’t getting the dates she wanted waiting for guys to approach her, so she started approaching and kept at it until she figured out what worked for her, and that was how she started in her line of work, teaching women as well as men, how to be pro-active in seeking dates.

  10. D. Says:

    Yeah, it’s not so much that men “prefer” to pursue. We’re just used to it. We know it’s expected, and we know the world won’t beat a path to our door if we don’t get up and do some pursuing. I’d say it’s more that men “accept” that they must pursue, either willingly or grudgingly, and it really depends on the man as to which it is.

    I think there’s also this notion that men are simply less picky across the board, and therefore will entertain any woman who makes even a smidgen of effort. That’s not strictly true. Nor is it limited to men. I’d say that, when the opportunity presents itself, both men and women are equally capable of feeling only “meh” about someone who’s expending effort on them, but are comfortable allowing that to continue until they get bored or find a better option (or the other person bails), because…well, why not? Certainly I’d bet most guys have pursued a few women who just didn’t seem all that interested, but still kept going out with them.

    I think what’s more the case is that women are simply not used to being in the role of pursuer, and the rigors it entails (just as men aren’t used to being more passive and pursued, and the problems THAT brings). Thus, women who choose to step into the role find out firsthand the downsides of pursuing: the potential for rejection, the potential for finding someone who’ll string you along and half-ass it, and the fact that just because you’re doing the chasing doesn’t mean you’re any more likely to find what you want. But because being pursued is more familiar to them, they give up and figure “Eh, tried it. It wasn’t for me.”

    I’m also not saying that either party has it easier than the other. That’s all HIGHLY dependent upon the individuals involved. Far from it. I just think that women aren’t used to pursuing, and therefore are less tolerant of the difficulties that come with the role.

    I think it’s likely better advice to suggest that women be sure that they are communicating their interest to men when they’re interested. All that said, if a woman is comfortable with the risks involved, and wants to give it a shot, I will say that some men, at least, will appreciate being pursued if only for the novelty of it. And in the last analysis, if you and the other person hit it off, it really won’t matter who made the first move.

    • Petros Says:

      ”’it’s not so much that men “prefer” to pursue. We’re just used to it. We know it’s expected, and we know the world won’t beat a path to our door if we don’t get up and do some pursuing.”’

      I don’t know what’s “expected”. As for “pursuing”, don’t you mean scary imposition?

  11. mindstar Says:

    Reminds me of that meme “If you like a guy do nothing about it and expect him to magically know to make the first move.”

  12. Steve Says:

    Women are like wolves. They will go after what they want. I know and have known dozens of women who try to find the guy they like and talk to them and get their number, even if they are married. In recent news, this woman on an airplane even went as far as to tweet the airline asking for the guy’s information because they didnt exchange any information when they met on the flight. She went to great lengths to find him.

    I used to think that the guy should go after the girl, and i used to do that a lot, and being rejected many times. Over the years i decided to not even talk to women anymore because i know if they want a guy they will go after them. Women are NOT shy, they just like to seem that way. There is a saying that says “You dont choose a woman, the woman chooses you.” I think this term applies very well here.

  13. John Says:

    I stopped asking women out long time ago for the two following reasons:

    First , the vast majority women are not looking for a date, but rather an ego boost free attention from men. When he asks her out, this means , to her, shes sexy , beautiful, desireable, and she can get better options in the future.

    Second, women have way too options in men. These days, women can go online and get free drinks and dinners at any time any where and nearly any guy. So the rejection rate is extremely high these days.

    In conclusion, the whole concept of asking a girl out has CHANGED. Its no longer an indication of interest in establishing a relationship, but an ego boost free attention. If you actually think about it, attention is the only thing women get from men. Without it, we are worthless.

  14. Kira Says:

    First, to address John’s comment, getting attention from a man isn’t that difficult, even for me (older, with children) – finding a man who is nice and supportive and bright and interested in more than a four-week fling is harder. Maybe I’m not a typical woman, as I am not a fan of flattery for flattery’s sake, but I am dating truly to find a man I want to be with for a long, long time.

    I’m also less passive than I think many women are, and once I’m interested in a guy I’ll make that clear. I have been the one to pursue, though, and that hasn’t worked out for me. Like someone stated earlier, after the initial novelty wore off, I felt the men were just agreeing to see me because I was making the effort and that was easier than starting over with someone new.

    But a good friend of mine did as was mentioned above, as well – she only went out with men SHE asked out. She didn’t want to be with any guy who’d have a problem with a woman making the first move.

  15. Petros Says:

    This phrase “asking out” – doesn’t it just mean unwantedly imposing yourself on someone? Why is it acceptible for a man to do this? I do not understand.

    No woman has ever favorably responded to me.

    I’m 62 and have occasionally – against my own judgement – approached a woman I’ve been interested in to try and start a conversation and been met with utter angry contempt and disdain.

    I feel disgust with myself for imposing myself on someone, and the relentless rejection feels like I am being half-killed.

    Five, ten or fifteen years later I wauld try to appreach another woman, again with the same reaction. I’ve never even gotten into a conversation longer than twenty seconds with a woman I’ve been attracted to but have not yet spoken to.

    I now suspect that I wait far too long before acting and that perhaps women do want men to approach them promptly. Against my own principles – expecting nothing but rejection – I have finally approached too late and freaked the wonan out.

    • Krissie Cox Says:

      If a man is interested in a woman, he should ask her out soon, not months later. An attractive guy has a big crush on me to the point of somewhat stalking me hesitated in asking me out for a long time. By the time he asked me out for a date, I had lost interest. Maybe I intimidated him a bit and he thought I was out of his league. He is still crushing on me even today, more than a year later. He gives me a lover’s look at times when we are at gatherings which makes me blush.

  16. Lizzie Says:

    First of all, yes, women want attention. Secondly, no, women don’t want to feel cheap. But surely, do we – women – want a guy to approach us solely because of our looks? If you are a confident woman approaching a guy simply because you are feeling sexy it’s also a display of character. If a guy approaches me I, of course, feel flattered, and I’ll let him know that even though it might be that I won’t consider us compatible. We, women, shouldn’t take our frustrations or insecurities out on guys and reject them just to make ourselves feel good. And guys, please don’t feel offended by these types of women. On the other hand, I also feel as if a guy approaches me simply because he finds me physically attractive and apparently he doesn’t think I’ll reject him or he doesn’t care if I do, both of these options do make me feel pretty enough but also sort of cheap. There’s so much more to me than my looks, and my looks are absolutely interchangeable for any other pretty thing. Ergo, women who are waiting for a guy to approach them are either insecure about their looks or about their personalities. Before I read this page I would have never even considered that a guy wouldn’t like me because I had made the first move or because he did, if it fades, it’s just because we’re no match, it has absolutely nothing to do with who approaches whom.
    And Petros, I’m sorry that women made you feel this way. Keep it up, though, there are still nice, genuine women out there.
    Women; be nice to guys, they are all awesome in their own ways
    Men; be nice to women, they are all equally awesome in their own ways.

  17. Meef Says:

    I’ve given my number out to a few guys, and every time I did it was an epic fail. It’s something I will never do again, no matter how interested he seems.

    My experiences show that if they don’t ask you out/ask for your number, then they have a wife or girlfriend and were just toying with the idea of having you – stroking their egos, basically.

    I’ve been the pursuer many times, and it’s gotten me nowhere. All my past relationships started with the man making the first move, so I’m going back to that method. Sure, for some people, the woman making the first move (which I define as offering the phone number/asking a man out) may have worked, but for me it doesn’t, and I have to go with what works for me. I’m not persisting with what doesn’t.

    It’s hard when you’ve been single for years: You want to grab the reins; you start thinking the other gender is completely incompetent; you become willing to force the issue because you feel that sitting back and letting life “happen” to you is too passive – i.e. you don’t have any faith in your own future; you’re afraid nothing will happen unless you work for it. But acquiring a relationship is not something anyone can “work for.” It happens when it happens. I’m reteaching myself to be passive – not self-contained and disinterested, but definitely not making the first move or being too aggressive. It’s hard but it must be done.

    • asker Says:

      It’s the same for me, especially when you are used to get what you want because you work for it, and because the ones who take the initiative are not interesting at all, and the ones you like seem to be interested in someone else (George Costanza drama).

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **You want to grab the reins; you start thinking the other gender is completely incompetent; you become willing to force the issue because you feel that sitting back and letting life “happen” to you is too passive – i.e. you don’t have any faith in your own future; you’re afraid nothing will happen unless you work for it.**

      Yeah, I hear ya. In general it’s better to be proactive, not passive, but in relationships, that often means doing all the work (setting up dates, initiating sex, doing the emotional work, etc.) with someone who’s just along for the ride and happy to soak up all your “work” until you ask them to reciprocate and have your back.

      The solution isn’t to be passive, but maybe tweak the definition of proactive w/r/t endeavors involving other people (like, judging someone on their behavior and not your pantsfeels is being proactive, dumping someone wrong for you is being proactive, etc.).

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