Will You Go Out With Me? Check Yes or No. (Date 27 of 35)

7 Oct

“Psst, Rita!” my friend Karin said as she tugged on my sleeve.  I looked and saw that, in her hand, she held a folded up piece of paper.  I looked her in the eyes, scared to reach out and take it.  “Read it already Rita!!!” she urged, thrusting the paper into my hand.  Our sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Christian, looked up from her desk and I hid the note under my Trapper Keeper.  When she looked away, I quickly unfolded and unfolded and unfolded the little triangle note.  I scanned and saw an “X”…and my heart stopped.  It was next to “Yes!”  The question I had asked Danny was “Will you go to the movies with me on Saturday?” 

I don’t remember what movie we saw or what we talked about.  I do remember that I asked if he wanted to do it again, and he said “Nah, not really.”  I was crushed.   My mom picked me up and, on the way home, she told me that girls shouldn’t ask out boys.  That girls should wait for boys to ask them out.   That boys didn’t like girls who were so forward.  I assumed she was right since Danny declined a second date.  From then on, I always waited for a guy to ask me out.

Since starting this 35/35 Project, I’ve been presented with information from all types of sources!  Girls, guys, dating coaches, matchmakers, friends, family.  When I asked readers to submit questions for the Question/Answer Session with the Experts (answers to be posted soon – we received so many questions, the experts are still answering), one of the TOP questions submitted was “Is it okay for a girl to ask a guy out?

So, I decided to ask you, my readers!  Here is what you said (click on VIEW RESULTS in the poll below):


The majority of you believe it should be “equal opportunity” when it comes to doing the asking out.  The new, confident, Rita happened to agree.  So, as many of you read, I decided to ask Jim out on a date.  And he said yes!  This past Wednesday night, I found myself at Kalypso’s Sports Tavern in Reston, dining under the stars with Jim, for date #27.  It was great conversation!  We talked about religion, our families, hobbies and passions.  The date seemed to go by entirely too quickly!  Except, was this a date?

The check came and he hesitated long enough that it was noticeable, so I offered to split it down the middle – which he accepted.  Completely fine.  (Other questions submitted were “who should pay for the first date” and “Rita, did you expect 35 people to pay your way?”  Both of which will be answered when the Q&A results are posted.)  Not offering to pay the tab, to me, wasn’t necessarily a sign that we weren’t on a “date”.  Then as we parted ways to walk to our car, he gave me a, very brief, hug and mentioned that he’d try to make it out to a Singles in the Suburbs event at some point.  I thought back to when we first met.  I flirted with him, obviously, and gave him my card so he could contact me.  He didn’t.  He left that day saying that “he’d try to make it to a Singles in the Suburbs event.”  Only, he didn’t do that either.   “You can’t get what you don’t ask for” was advice I had received numerous times when I questioned people about girls asking guys out.   So I did.  But I was actually surprised, based on his actions from when we met, that he said yes. 

But now, as I was driving home, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that Jim may not have been looking at this as a date but perhaps just a friendly outing?  So I followed up with an email that said that I too had a great time and that I hoped to see him again.  To which he responded “I’ll try to make an event soon.”  But I’ve heard that from him before.  And I’m doubting now if he will.  Or if we’ll have a second date.  Or if this was even a date at all?

So I turned to the “he said” portion of my “panel of experts”, Dave Elliott.  As a male, I felt he would know best if guys like girls asking them out.  He whole heartedly believes that girls should not ask out men.  He explained that the masculine part of being a male, includes pursuing – and asking a woman out on dates is part of the pursuit.  Women should encourage men to ask them out but, by asking men out directly, they take away that pursuit.  And then, you’ll get 1 of 2 results.  The man will say no, because his masculinity is being challenged.  Or, you’ll end up getting a man who lacks confidence to ask a woman out on his own.  Which tends to be the opposite type of man women are looking for. 

Even Blues Dancing Leon,  in response to a question I asked him, said that it’s unattractive when women ask men out.  “We are men and we need to feel as if we worked for the date, and earned it” he said.  Another relationship/dating coach, Evan Katz, in his blog post titled “Should Women Ask Men Out?“, agreed and said that asking a man out makes a woman look aggressive, desperate and masculine which tends to be in direct opposition to what men are looking for from a woman in a relationship context. 

It seems that all of the experts, and many of the men I spoke with, agree.  Women should take action and have control – not by asking the man out but, rather, by getting the man to ask them out.  Putting themselves in a position to be seen (eye contact) and giving a guy the “green light.”

Jim and I had a GREAT time!  He is adorable, sweet and so interesting.  I would absolutely hang out with him again.  But still, I have to take note that it does not appear Jim viewed time with me as a “date.”  Either because he didn’t like that I did the asking, or because he is very shy and needs a more alpha woman to make the outing a “date.”  The scenario is irrelevant.  What matters it that, both results weren’t what I was hoping for.  I wanted a date and I wanted a date with a confident, assertive, male who would make it clear that it was a date and that he wanted to see me for a second date.

So, maybe my Mama was right (boy, she’ll love that).  Maybe guys don’t like girls who do the asking and girls should wait for the guys to ask them – whether it’s a first, second or fourteenth date?

What are your thoughts on this.  Especially in light of the upcoming Q&A post, I’d love to know what you think!


7 Responses to “Will You Go Out With Me? Check Yes or No. (Date 27 of 35)”

  1. T October 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    I disagree with your conclusion, Rita. There are so many more things that could be going on here — there are not only two choices (that he got turned off by you asking him out, or didn’t view it as a date). It might have been that he saw it as a chance to get to know each other, and had decided by the end of the evening that he didn’t see romantic potential there after all. And, given that you had asked him out, didn’t feel it was necessary (or appropriate) for him to pick up the entire tab.

    IMO, a man whose masculinity is challenged by having a woman ask him out doesn’t have his masculinity on a very firm foundation. Masculinity should be based on much more than social conventions and implied power plays (or ploys). I’m always flattered if a woman asks me out. If I’m not interested in her as a romantic partner, or am unsure, then I talk with the woman about what the expectations are (in a way that doesn’t kill the subtle sense of mystery that can make dating so much fun). For me, masculinity involves having the courage to be up-front and honest (and, of course, kind) — what better way to show respect to the person who’s paid you the compliment of asking you out?

    • Rita October 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

      I’m not sure I even had a conclusion really. I was just thinking back to the first time I met him and how I had “implied” that I would like a date…but then it didn’t happen until I asked directly. And then, at the end of this date, it was the same way…not clear cut. So I wonder if I were to ask him out again, if he’d say yes, given that his actions at the end of this date are the same as the first meeting. I find it fascinating that this topic is still one of huge debate, after all of this time. And find the nuiances of the different ways of seeing/thinking about it very interesting.

      • T October 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

        I think you actually got your answer — “So I followed up with an email that said that I too had a great time and that I hoped to see him again. To which he responded ‘I’ll try to make an event soon.'” A big part of asking people out on dates involves getting turned down, in either an obvious or a not-so-obvious way. I wish a lot more people would just be honest in their answers (“I don’t think so, and here’s why”) instead of trying to spare the feelings of the asker-outer and creating ambiguity that doesn’t help anyone in the long run, but unfortunately too many people — including Jim, it seems — fall into the second camp, which is a shame.

        I also find the debate fascinating, and appreciate you furthering the discussion! I should add that I’m a big fan of the blog, and especially the 35-in-35 series — great stuff here, Rita!

    • C October 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      I completely disagree with the experts here that women should not ask a guy out. I appreciate the courage and confidence it takes for a woman to ask a guy out in the same way a woman does for a guy who asks her out. Like T says, any guy who feels his masculinity is threatened by a girl asking him out, has some deeper issues going on. To me, a girl who doesn’t ask a guy out who she’s interested in, only because of some imagined social convention, is into playing games and is unnecessarily depriving herself of meeting a potentially good match.

      • Rita October 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

        Ok. You guys are starting to make me feel like I shouldn’t turn away from asking guys out….turning the corner. 😉

  2. Dave Elliott October 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Rita, allow me to clarify a couple of points that you attributed to me. While you got the basic spirit of what I intended, I think there was added emphasis in areas where none at all was intended. First of all, I don’t “whole heartedly believe that girls should not ask out men.” That is an overstatement and rather than making blanket statements and speaking in absolutes, I personally prefer to “chunk up” and explain “here’s what works best.” After all, why wouldn’t you focus on what works best in a dating situation?

    In regard to women asking out men, I don’t recommend it because it’s simply not as effective or elegant. That’s a far cry from a whole-hearted belief. At the risk of giving away my response before you publish it later, here’s why I say that specifically:

    “A huge part of what I teach is understanding how polarity really works. I compare it to another natural law called gravity that’s always in effect and never stops working whether you understand it or not. In order to have attraction, you need to have one partner in masculine and one in feminine. Of course there are exceptions to the rule but most of the time, relationships work best when the man is in his masculine and he does the pursuing…that’s what hunters do. That being said, the one thing that attracts the masculine most is a woman who is appreciative and open to receiving his gifts. So instead of asking guys out, I would definitely encourage women to let men know when they appreciate him and specifically notice when he does something well and praise that. Most men would tell you there’s nothing more attractive than a women who knows how to be open and vulnerable…yet at the same time understands that the pursuit is part of the process.”

    The other part I want to clarify is your line, “The man will say no, because his masculinity is being challenged.” There’s a lot of nuance here and I wouldn’t look at it that way at all. There could be a number of reasons why a man might decline and the most common one would be there is simply no attraction – but that is far from saying “his masculinity is challenged.” That’s implying a cause and effect that just isn’t accurate. It’s important to understand, when you talk about challenging a man’s masculinity…those can literally be “fighting words.”

    I hope this clears up any confusion – and I am still incredibly impressed by your phenomenal growth in the last 27 dates!

  3. Rob Prince October 9, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I agree with T. I also say that the main reason men don’t get all the signals that women send is a very simple one: fear of rejection. Deep down, most of us are scared little boys. 🙂 And that fear even goes so far that we are afraid when the woman is up front and asks us out! Silly, I know, but it’s been true for me in the past, as well as in my observations of other men…

    It’s all about the ego. Men who are insecure (90% of us? I’m guessing) are going to be scared to be honest with the woman, whether that means asking her out, or refusing her advance. By being honest, they will be vulnerable, and that is a weakness, dammit! 🙂 And the male ego is all about the denial of vulnerability or weakness…

    So the flipside is that honesty kills the mystery. Or at least it has been like that for me recently. Learning to balance honesty while maintaining the mystery is what I am trying to learn now… So I see what Dave is saying as well. But, overall, I believe that a woman can ask out a secure, confident man, and romance can happen from there.

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