Should The Girl Ask The Guy Out?

It’s a question I posed to a mixed group of friends. The women were all united in their belief that it didn’t make sense to do so. Most men (and this is an opinion I share) aren’t used to the concept of someone else taking the romantic initiative. And even if there is the possibility of a relationship, their absolute bewilderment over the way the situation happens could very well ruin it. The male ego just doesn’t permit such a relationship, even if there is interest.

The only trouble is when a woman likes a guy, it’s a real pain in the ass to sit around waiting for him to ask her out. Ask any woman about the frustration of watching a guy eye you all evening, start to walk towards you and then stop and turn back. It’s an ARRRRGGGGGHH situation.

The men on the other hand were largely open to the idea. I was quite surprised to hear the things that some of them said,

“It would be really nice to have the girl take the initiative for a change.”

“Guys like compliments and receiving attention too.”

“I’m hopeless at setting up the whole romantic scenario. It would be so great if she’d take charge of that.”

And finally the clinching deal for their side was a male friend who had just announced that he was getting engaged.

“My fiancé proposed to me.”

Now honestly, I think it’s wise to try something out before passing a judgement on it. So yes, I have asked a guy out as well. Not once, several times. It was an enlightening experience.

For starters, it’s horribly nerve-tangling. The worrying about how to ask, where to go, what to do and what the other person will think of you. I felt a rush of sympathy for all the men who had summoned up the nerve to ever express an interest in me. It does take a lot of courage and planning.

The one thing that surprised me was how the entire effort consumed me. Like I told a friend,

“The thrill of the chase is something I could get used to. The not-knowing, even the slight panic…there’s a heady high attached to it.”

I must also add that being in the driving seat, so to speak, being the one bringing together the whole production somehow automatically switched me into a place of only thinking about the absolutely necessary. A friend of mine was goading me into taking things to a more serious level. I thought about it and I surprised myself by saying,

“When you ask someone for a commitment, you are also saying that you’re ready to commit yourself. I’m not sure yet if that’s the case. I just want to see where this goes for now.”

As I said it, I knew I sounded exactly like a guy. And yet, I wasn’t being commitment-phobic, I wasn’t planning on two-timing and I wasn’t ‘in it for the ride’. I really, honestly didn’t know where things were going and having taken up the responsibility to take it somewhere, I just wanted to take it slowly.

The one thing that stands out is that the person who takes the initiative is definitely setting himself (or herself) up for the possibility of rejection…but even more subtly he or she is saying yes to being in a place of uncertainty for at least some time.

Since I started telling a story, I should tell you the end. The man in question is involved with someone else, a fact that I discovered several weeks later and then too only on pushing him. That can happen. He says he wasn’t sure if it was dates or just friendly meetings. What the truth is, is anyone’s guess. Should one take the risk of being stood up or humiliated? There’s no answer to that, except that guys do it all the time (take the risk I mean, not just what this guy did).

As I see it, being the woman taking charge means one is playing an unusual role and there’s ample scope to be misunderstood. If the guy is a jerk, he could easily use the situation for maximum benefit and get a lot out of the girl without giving her anything back. But then again, falling in love is always a risk, every time, in every single situation. Besides the reverse is probably equally true, especially in today’s day and age. A woman can just as easily free-ride on a guy’s attentions and then walk away without a second thought.

So at the end I’m inclined to say that if you have the nerve for it, don’t let social norms stop you. If you’re a guy who agrees with what my male friends said, try not to be an ass or a jerk about it. In the long run, it’ll encourage more women to take the initiative and things will only get easier and pleasanter for you. If like me, you’re a woman who can’t stand to sit around looking pretty and waiting to be asked out, go right into the chase. Just keep your band-aids and chocolates and close friends about. Just in case.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on December 7, 2009, in Being Woman, Laws of Attraction, Relationships, The Dating Game, Times, they are a-changing, Yahoo! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. May I just say, that it is absolutely eerie the way you put up posts on topics I happen to be thinking about just a while back! 😯

  2. This cartoon http://xkcd.com/642/ seems particularly appropriate for this article.
    .-= Navin Kabra´s last blog ..Why your talks/documents/presentations/blogs must contain concrete examples =-.

  3. to me girl asking out, reflects positively about her and her confidence..

    and its also important for women to understand men feeling/tension/pressure about making-first-move and natural confusion about rejection..which is one of the most important reason guys walk close but yet fell short of asking.
    .-= Yuva´s last blog ..while I was away =-.

  4. @a traveller: So what you bin thinking abt lately?

    @Navin: 😀

    @Yuva: Yup, absolutely. I got all of that with this experience.

  5. We have long been fighting for women’s rights and equality to men. I think in this situation, women should be empowered to take charge.

  6. For me it’s okay if the girl asks a guy out. It’s not about gender, but about feeling. Sometimes man could be shy too, so secretly he wishes that the woman wants to ask him first. Btw in my experience, it’s easier for woman to ask first, because man rarely refuses the request.

    • @turisuna: That’s valid but it brings us to the next question. How can a woman tell whether the guy is genuinely interested in her or just getting an ego-boost out of the fact that he got asked out? In the case I mentioned, that is exactly what happened and the guy didn’t even bother mentioning that he was already committed (in which case I obviously wouldn’t have asked him out). If he’d been honest upfront, it would have been a lot easier to deal with than it was, two months down the line.

  7. Good line for woman to guy she likes, “I’ll let you ask me out if you like.” Then casually walk away. Let time and curiosity do the rest.

  8. It would be really nice for us shy guys for the girl to ask the guy out. But at the same time I don’t think it would be right. We are the ones with the testosterone, just need the balls to ask her out!!

    • @Tom: That’s one point of view. I don’t really agree and I know a number of people (men and women) who wouldn’t too. I’m currently in a relationship with someone whom I asked out and it hasn’t made any difference to either of us.

  9. Daniel Oleksiuk

    Great post! I’ll add myself to the men who would love to see more of this. In fact, I can’t believe we’re still hung up on this as a society. I generally don’t ask women out unless I’m sure they’re interested, by which point they’re usually really flustered that I haven’t asked them out yet, given that they’ve “given me all the signs.” Signs. Really. I have a piece of advice for women reading this: the clearest sign is to just ask yourself. It takes some courage, and sometimes you have to swallow your pride, but we love it when you do.

    Of course, sometimes I’ve asked women out when I was less sure, and this is a mixed bag, sometimes leading to great reward, other times to rejection for myself, and mutual awkwardness. To avoid those things, and for other reasons, I tend to wait.

    • @Daniel: You make my day with this comment! And about the ‘signs’…I realise now that’s a uniquely women-only language that many men just don’t get. What I thought were really obvious signals to Mr.Everyday went totally over his head. Luckily for us both, I got impatient and just asked him out and kept at it till he finally sat up and realised what I was all about. 🙂

      Welcome to XX Factor, by the way and I really hope I see more of you around here!

  10. I think the need for the transition is what we are dealing with, perhaps. I like to see the social transition. I am an introvert guy, sometimes I feel that I should approach the girl. But I don’t know much about the ‘signs’, makes me get rid of the place with hectic emotion. If the change that we are talking about should be welcomed.

    • @Venkat: It’s encouraging to hear a guy say that, especially after some of the responses this post received (in other places). A number of men still think it’s not a woman’s place to initiate the relationship so I’m very happy to see there are more progressive thinking men like you. On another note, I guess this is your first comment on XX Factor. So welcome in and I hope you’ll comment again!

  11. I would like to appreciate for coming up with this idea (perhaps that y, IdeaSmith). I really appreciate if a girl could come over ask me. I am actually introvert kind of guy. Even though My command center forces me “Go, talk to the girl”, I’ve never done that. @turisuna correctly pointed out that “Its not about gender, its about feeling”. To be true, what @turisuna said is what happened and might happen afterwards. I would take it as a positive transition of approach from girls really.

  12. Thr used 2 b a time, a long time back, whn I saw othr men walk up to the women I wanted to talk to, n they confidently hit it off….

    Thr used 2 b a time, a long time back, whn I used to shyly look the other way whn a lady was givin me all the right signs…

    Thr used 2 b a time, a long time back, whn I used to miss all the opportunities tht lay rite in front of me…

    damn! things still haven’t changed……

    🙂

    • @R-A-J: They have, I think. I’ve asked men out more than once. Last year I met someone who captivated my interest. He was intelligent, warm and friendly but he seemed shy. So I asked him out. And again. A few weeks later we were in a relationship. He’s my wonderful Mr.Everyday and neither of us regrets how we began! 🙂

  1. Pingback: Time Travel « The Idea-smithy

  2. Pingback: The Trouble With A Woman Asking A Man Out Is… | XX Factor

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