This is a response to Lance’s post, which can be found here. When I was single, I mainly did the online dating thing. For me, that meant that “making the first move” generally did not consist of asking the guy out. I’d usually send an e-mail (I think winks are for wimps and non-subscribers) and see if he e-mailed me back. Then I’d use what Lance calls “girly telepathy” to get the guy to ask me out. I met my boyfriend on myspace, and it’s pretty representative of what I’m talking about.
In his “who I’d like to meet” section he said something along the lines of interesting, intelligent, creative people. When I found his profile in a burst of procrastinating something-or-other, I sent him a one-line e-mail saying, “Have you found them yet? The interesting, intelligent, creative ones?” He e-mailed me back, and after we’d exchanged about 3 e-mails, he tried to add me as a friend but couldn’t because he didn’t know my last name. He e-mailed me to ask, and I said, “I’m sorry, I only accept friend requests from people I’ve met in person.” He said, “How’s beer on Friday?” That was our first date, and we were exclusive within the week (as in, had the exclusive convo and everything).
Now, I don’t know what I would have done if he hadn’t done that–he moved a week or so later for a 3-month internship, so probably I never would have met him. As it was we were long distance the first three months we dated basically off the strength of a first impression, which was definitely a new experience for both of us. But I am here to tell you that I was very strategic throughout the entire interaction prior to meeting in order to guarantee the outcome that I wanted. Everything, from the one-line initial e-mail to turning down his friend request, was done with a purpose.
As far as the actual topic, have I ever asked the guy out first? Sure. Would I ever do it again? If I was single, sure. And in a relationship, as Lance rightly points out, “Women initiate sex all the time. Girlfriends ask their boyfriends to go to dinner. Women ask men to dance.” Increasingly, once you get past the “courtship/impress each other” phase, the building of attraction becomes mutual. Otherwise, you’d both be bored to tears. However, I think that what EMK might be dancing around is the fact that, according to most standard etiquette guides, whoever asks for the date should be the person to pay. At that point you do have a circumstance that is likely to begin the emasculation process for a lot of guys.
So I’m going to agree with Lance…ask away. Realize, however, that in that situation you should at least offer to pay. If he refuses to let you, then you know his manhood is somehow at stake and let him do it. Also, once you’ve asked him out, then he should be in charge of escalating the interaction to the next level. If he doesn’t do that, then he’s just not that into you. That’s another reason that perhaps EMK said that ladies should send signals and wait–if you don’t demand some initiative out of the guy, then it’s really easy to assume that he really likes you, when really he’s just along for the ride. Don’t worry about that! If he really likes you, he’ll make sure you know.