Stop Hanging Out With Women and Start Dating Them

by Brett and Kate McKay on January 16, 2008 · 383 comments

in Dating, Relationships & Family


Over the past few years, many social observers have noted that young adults are dating less. Instead, dating is being replaced by “hanging out” with members of the opposite sex. Dating and hanging out are two completely different things.

Hanging out consists of people getting together in groups and doing stuff together. It could be going to a club, a restaurant, or just staying home and playing Wii. The atmosphere is relaxed and relations among opposite sexes never rises above the level of friendship (or friendship with benefits). There is nothing wrong with hanging out, but it is not a replacement for dating.

Dating consists of pairing off with someone in a temporary commitment so you can get to know the person better and perhaps start a long term relationship with them.

Why the decline in dating?

There are probably lots of factors that have contributed to the decline of dating amongst young adults. Here are few possible ones:

1. Young adults don’t like to commit. It seems like people in my generation aren’t big on making commitments to people or to organizations. Generation Y is too busy trying to “find themselves” in order to commit to anybody or anything. Companies have complained about the turn over rate of Generation Y. Companies invest lots of money training new employees only to have them leave after two years so they can find a new job. This reluctance to commit has carried over to the interaction between the sexes. Young adults don’t want to be tied down to someone just in case they get an itch to go on a backpacking trip to Europe.

2. The internet has retarded Generation Y’s social skills. Instead of telling a person directly that they’re interested in them by asking them on a date, Generation Y sends Crush alerts on Facebook. While the internet has made connecting with people easier, it has also made us lazier at establishing meaningful relationships. If you’re over 18 and you’re still using Facebook applications to let someone know you’re interested in them, you need to be punched in the face.

3. Feminism. Before I receive the wrath of all the feminists telling me it’s a typical man thing to blame women for the decline in dating, I ask that you hear me out. I think feminism is great. It’s great that women can choose to have a career, be a stay-at-home mom, or do both.

But it does make things confusing for men. Navigating relations among the sexes is a bit more tricky today. Men have all these questions go through their head: Who asks? If I ask, will she think I’m too forward? Who pays for the date? Do we split the bill? All these uncertainties cause men to avoid dating altogether and opt for hanging out with women instead.

4. Men today are wussies. Men today aren’t very resilient. They don’t know how to handle rejection or failure, so they avoid rejection or failure by not asking women out on dates.

Why date?

A lot of men today don’t seem to believe it, but getting hitched to the right woman is a very desirable thing.

So while there is nothing wrong with hanging out, it’s not a replacement for dating. Dating is the pathway to finding your true love and eventually settling down and getting married. Marriage is a one on one relationship, so you need to start getting to know women on a one on one basis. You might be hanging out with her and your friends right now, but if you don’t take her on date, she’ll forever be just your friend. So, start dating and stop hanging out. It really is not that hard to get a date with a woman. Here are some guidelines to remember as you take hanging out up a level to dating.

Resurrect Dating

So, you’re ready to start dating and stop hanging out. It really is not that hard to get a date with a woman. Here are some guidelines to remember as you take hanging out up a level to dating.

1. She wants you to ask. Despite the rhetoric you hear about the liberated woman, women still appreciate it when a guy asks her out on a date. They like when men take the initiative. I’ve heard lots of successful young professional women lament the fact that men don’t ask them out. They’re beautiful, smart, and charming, but don’t have a man. Be a man and ask these women out.

2. Asking is easy. Asking a woman out on a date isn’t rocket science. When you ask, though, do it in person or over the phone. If you’re poking a woman you’re interested in on Facebook, you lose any credibility as a man.

3. Keep dates simple. Dates don’t have to be huge, expensive affairs. Keep it simple. If you want to keep things informal, ask her out for lunch or coffee. If you want a more romantic date, invite her over to your place and make dinner for her. She’ll be impressed that you know how to cook. The whole point of dating is to get some one on one interaction with a person to find out if she is someone you’d like to start a long term relationship with. Simple and frequent dates will assist you in this.

4. Prepare for rejection. Face it. Not every woman you ask out is going to say yes. Prepare for that. It’s no big deal if she says no. Think about it. You’re no worse off getting rejected than you were before you asked. You didn’t have a date with her before, you don’t have a date with her now. Your situation has not changed.

5. Just do it, damn it. So what are you waiting for? Quit reading this post right now and pick up your cell phone. Call a woman and ask her on a date. Stop hanging out and start dating. Stop being scared of commitment. Commitment is liberating, not confining.

I expect a lot of debate on this post. Please keep the conversation civil. It’s possible to disagree and still be a gentleman or a lady about it.

Image from DeborahK.

{ 379 comments… read them below or add one }

301 RB July 26, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Dating is all very well, but doing it successfully requires a certain degree of maturity, confidence and honesty – if you’re not comfortable in your own skin, then you will always struggle in a relationship.

You should also be able to convey self-respect, but without arrogance. If the girl you’re asking out is worried about turning you down because she thinks you’ll go to pieces, you’re not there yet. If she knows you are strong and independent enough to take rejection with a grim smile and a handshake, you’re much more likely to come across as the kind of man she wants to be with.

302 dave July 27, 2013 at 5:02 am

“Anonymous Lady ” – Do not worry, lots of women LOVE the double standard that you describe. Men have to “win you over”, to “earn it” to fight for it. And what do YOU have to earn? Nothing! But that is OK, you made your point.A man is never the prize!

303 DC July 27, 2013 at 7:33 am

Confidence is the key ingredient, but that can be difficult. Years ago, I had let some obvious physical problems undermine me in this area and I decided to take action by letting rejection work in my favor: I would pick a beautiful woman on the other side of the club, and walk over to her, and ask her to dance. When she turned me down, I’d politely thank her and walk casually back to my seat, wearing a pleasant, untroubled expression. I usually got the dance with the next woman I asked. Confidence, like everything else, requires work.

304 matty July 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I think that dating is overrated and would much rather be making friends who will support me rather than emotional girlfriends who want to “talk”. Why can’t the opposite genders just hang out with out people getting on their cases.

305 BC July 30, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I really think you’re right. Going steady with a girl is so much better than sleeping around. Nothing can match that sense of security, and fulfillment. More guys just need to man up and ask..

306 ebiz_ boy July 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm

great article and thanks for posting.

i would just like to say to all my brothers out there: guys, “anonymous lady” – post # 294 – is who we’re looking for. she is a keeper. she is a rare bird out there these days, so i know we will have to go through a lot of duds to find her. but she will be worth it.

and for all my sisters out there – please also refer to anonymous lady to learn how to act. yes, its fair to expect us to ask….but A LOT of you need to have more appreciation and humility for the fact that someone is willing to ask you out. rejection is difficult no matter how manned up you are….so do it with some class. “thanks, but no thanks” is all it takes. not maybe, not “i have a boyfriend.” just a simple no thanks, and appreciation that we asked.

and to you Anonymous Lady – thanks for the words. very well said, and gives me some hope that there are indeed some keepers left out there!

307 Liz August 2, 2013 at 7:15 am

I think this article is great. It’s true that most men are afraid of committing and that the internet and other media have made most of us dull and less confident.

I know of a guy who is an ‘escapist’–he pretends to be so pre-occupied with playing video games and watching T.V that he won’t turn to see who is in the room until he is done–but then he remembers to say something at the last minute when time is up and you have to leave.

Plus, I find hanging out to be quite immature- neither genuine nor specific. Instead dating is more mature, more genuine and straight to the point.

Confidence in a man is more attractive and a man’s shyness/ hesitancy can unintentionally portray him as weak and insecure.

I haven’t met many men who have set goals and know what they want to pursue in life–instead I have found lots of men who, even in their 30′s, are still dreamy, not decided on who they want to be and having no definite plans for their life. these are usually selfish and only want to know how everyone else can help them achieve their dreams. I can’t bank on such a man though I would do my best to help him discover himself if we do it together.

Lastly, I don’t mind if a man is still searching for his meaning/ purpose in life. that is okay. However, the path of his self-discovery is more certain and beautiful when we travel it together and learn more about the world and ourselves together.

.I love the article!!!

308 anonymous August 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm

you know, I’ve been conflicted on approaching this girl for about half a year now. I’m normally not a wuss about these things, but she was in a circumstance where I didn’t want to make things awkward. But after reading this article, next time, I see her in november, I’m going to ask her out. Thank You.

309 arb_guy August 6, 2013 at 7:14 am

I still want to see women gaining the courage to ask – and to face rejection themselves. Anonymous Lady writes “I could” – but I want to see you do it. That sounds cowardly to me. Suuuure, you could. mmhmm.

We’re in a different age. I want to see women have the courage to ask – and face potential rejection. And deal with it well. That would attract me.

310 eleanor August 10, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Loved this post. Well done, I commend you! This was brilliant and much needed. Thank you!

311 Nell August 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm

There is something magical about a date as opposed to hanging out. It is like putting a frame around something and calling it art. Just the frame changes the dynamic and makes us pay more attention to how we play, what we choose to do, how we see each other. The simple act of asking and accepting and committing to a time is very courage-building, too. And god knows you need a lot of courage to enjoy a good relationship with someone else – or hell, even to enjoy a really good relationships with yourself.

312 Derrik August 13, 2013 at 12:14 am

More effort on the man’s part, yes, but never be who you aren’t. Be careful when trying to woo a woman young men. In the immortal words of W.C. Fields, “Never impress a woman because then she’ll expect you to keep it up!”

313 Carl Monster August 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Hung out with women.
Never dated.
Ended up marrying one of the women I hung with 17 years ago. Different ways to reach the same goal; different strokes for different folks.

314 ramon August 16, 2013 at 2:48 am

MY BEST rejection story ever: was asking a girl out while I was in college; back-story she was a super-cute cross country skier and I knew her as an acquaintence… I was also brimming with self confindence even though I knew I had at best a 25-30% chance of actually landing the date, I talked to her in a open quiet study area where you can talk, so when I asked her out after 10 minutes of chatting and she turned me down, everyone in the room knew I had just gotten denied, but the guys were just looking at me like a had the biggest brass balls… one dude nodded and gave me a thumbs up, I walked away with my head held high…

315 Mike August 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm

What if you have no money to pay for said date?

316 Natalie August 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm

@Sebastian: Bravo! Thank you for what you’ve said. @Vin, I am a feminine woman and feel like what you’ve written is way off-base…at least for me and the close women friends I have.

When I am with a true gentleman in a social situation–dating or not–is a wonderful experience and makes me want to be even more lady-like. Being in the presence of a true gentleman is a thrill like no other and is so very much appreciated.

317 Laura August 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

If a man does not ask a woman out on a date simply because he is “confused” by feminism, then he probably is not all that interested in dating her to begin with. A man who *really* wants to date a woman will overcome those petty uncertainties and do so. If he is really all that concerned about bill splitting, etc. why does he not talk to the girl about it? Communication is a good thing, and chances are that she may be uncertain about the same things. So instead of not asking her out all together, why not problem solve? Feminism does not serve as a deterrent to dating if you look at it in a way that understands that while maybe the total amount of date invitations received is lower, the quality of the dates she does receive are higher (as the ones she does receive are from men who like her enough to take a risk). Personally as a woman, I’d rather receive a higher quality of date invitations than quantity. A lot of my friends who are women would agree. So no, feminism is not “bad” for dating. I don’t mean to make a huge issue out of your “feminism comment”, but when blaming feminism is done, then a negative attitude towards it is fostered, however unintentionally.

318 Columba Lisa Smith August 31, 2013 at 12:56 am

I never bought into feminism. I think it’s wreaked havoc on the romantic landscape.

319 Pier September 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Well, my problem i don’t even hang out. I know nobody to ask for a date.Otherwise i would.

320 Rolf September 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm

“Commitment is liberating,” “Arbeit macht frei”

321 Jamie September 4, 2013 at 12:35 am

@Kevin – well said mate, well said. The problem is that the word ‘feminism’ means all sorts of things to different people. Some think of the total androgenous fembot type, others of the equal pay for equal work, others think of women having freedom to not be stuck in an abusive relationship out of economic necessity (part of why spousal abuse is so high and yet divorce so low in underdeveloped/anti-women’s education countries).

Equality does not mean sameness. Any woman who doesn’t want me to treat her as truly special, to cherish, adore, and protect her isn’t being true to how she was created. Likewise, if I expect her to protect and affirm me in my self-worth, I’m not being true to how I’m wired to be. Feminism per se isn’t the issue, but the confusion over gender roles that has evolved out of some of it certainly is a huge factor in the abysmal number of failed marriages (or the refusal to commit for life) in Western society.

And this is me speaking as a “nice”, sensitive guy who finds it very easy to emasculate himself to please a woman – learning now more of what being a man should be. Not chauvinism, but chivalry in the true sense of being strong in your own self-concept and purpose, strong enough to give the kind of love a woman really wants and needs deep down.

322 moonlantern September 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm

The most important thing is to treat women as individuals with their own personal wants and needs and not just as a personification of your perception of “womankind”.

323 Matthew Spencer-Kociol September 16, 2013 at 2:05 am

I think it’s a bit of a red herring to blame “Feminism” for men not asking women out on dates: The sexual revolution was more of a two way street in that made it easier for both men and women to have casual sex minus the convoluted process of dating. For example, one current problem is that on college campuses, women outnumber men. This doesn’t make dating easier for men, rather it makes dating harder for women since to be “Competitive” these women have to be OK with casual sex. consequently this has a sea change effect of lowering EVERYBODY’S expections.

But anyway, I’d say the biggest problems are that guys don’t know when women are interested or not and we often don’t know how to ask women out on dates. I’m married now so the whole concept of asking out is lost to me, though I certainly do know how to have fun on a date with the wife!

324 Dino Silone September 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

I’m a 60 year old man, and when I read stuff like this, I can’t help but wonder where my entire generation went wrong. Apparently, we did such a terrible job raising our kids that they need to be given detailed instructions about the most obvious things – like flossing their teeth, or asking girls out on dates.

The one thing I take objection to in this article is the notion that dating is necessarily a part of the interview process for a life mate. That’s approaching the whole thing with an agenda – one that would, IMHO, make it almost impossible to develop real trust and intimacy, not to mention take most of the fun out of the whole thing.

I never asked a strange woman out simply because she was physically attractive, or because I thought her resume made her uniquely qualified for the position of wife/mother. I asked a woman out because, usually in the course of pursuing some other kind of activity that we were both involved with, (e.g., a class, a job, a project, or … just hanging out), I decided that she was someone I’d like to get to know better and spend some quality one-on-one time with.

The husband/wife thing did come along when it was time – with a woman who was, like the song says, “my lover and my best friend”. That was over 30 years and 2 sons ago. Come to think of it, I don’t remember having to tell my boys that it was a good idea to ask girls out on dates. ;)

Somehow the approach advocated in the article seems just a little too … premeditated, too self-reflective. Maybe that’s the way it works nowadays. Thank goodness I came up in a simpler time, when people dated because it was fun.

325 Naomi September 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

I wish I grew up in your time, or was as lucky as you.

326 Naomi September 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

@Just a Guy.
I really appreciate your maturity. Makes me believe you guys worth having as partners in life are still out there!

327 Naomi September 18, 2013 at 11:28 am

@ Jamie, and anybody else, I recently came across this fantastic description of chivalry, and of how to be ladies, on a website called rebellesociety. The article is called ”I am in love with the chivalrous gentleman” with a link ”remember how to be ladies”. I am so glad I now came across The Art of Manliness.

328 mykosbor September 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

wish it was really that easy to ask a girl out

329 angpuppy September 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm

You seriously need to pick up the book “Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar.” Its a reader containing a history’s worth of writings surrounding topics of dating, courtship and marriage.

When I was a teen in the 90′s, one big Christian book was “I kissed Dating Goodbye” and it spawned on this “courtship” movement. There was later another Christian book published called “I gave dating a chance.” Those of us who were trying to follow this movement ended up really confused.

I then got ahold of that “Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar” reader. So here’s the history. Apparently, before dating became “the thing”, women would meet men at dances or the like and invite men to call on her. Ultimately this meant that she would have many suitors at once who would come to her parents’ home and “call on her.” She’d be informed who was at the door and decline or accept a suitor’s company. They’d then sit in the parlor and socialize or some other room or porch at the house and seriously just hang out (though chaperoned). Typically courtships lasted about 3 to 6 months with the hopes that one of the men (or more than one) would ask for her hand in marriage. The idea was that the relationship became exclusive at the proposal, though there were some pre-marital pregnancies.

The custom of dating originated among the poor who tended to live in urban areas and who didn’t have the space to hang out in their homes. So they went out. Interesting enough, the term was also used in regards to hiring a prostitute. It was a frowned upon behavior as it tended to involve people getting away from chaperoned environments and doing a whole bunch of taboo behaviors.

But eventually the upper and middle classes found the idea of dates exciting. There was also an attempt to civilize, but the entire reason men were now in the role of asking women out because they (rather than the women) were the host. Also the upper and middle classes, to “civilize” dating turned it into something that involved spending a lot of money. And with that switch, men began complaining how costly it was to take women out on dates. And even with that, the idea remained that men and women would date losts of people till they sort of fell into going steady. That’s about where things were in the 1950′s

But then the sexual revolution happened and rules were more of thrown out the window. People clung to dating customs. To be honest, I’m not sure what the expectation was at that point. Some people began criticizing that people were taking dating too seriously because a date equated with entering a sexual relationship. Others complained that a hook up culture was developing. College campuses were becoming increasingly promiscious.

My own opinion is that it doesn’t matter if we go on dates or hang out. What matters to me is that we uphold the institution of marriage and stop moving into a culture that uses marriage as sort of a knighting of a relationship.

I mean, I’ve known my husband for six years now. We’ve been married for a bit over three. Our courtship or dating relationship was a friendship where we went from friends to interested friends to friends seriously interested in possibly marrying each other. And the sad thing is that when people talk about serious relationships, all they mean is exclusive, possibly living together and an imitation of marriage except minus the actual marriage.

330 Paul September 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Well I’m only 15 but when I do ask for a DAT to a movie or anything she still rejects me today I found a girl I really like I don’t want to screw it up what should I do

331 Chris September 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I’ve only just read the article, and find it inspiring. I do have a question though, as I’m seeking some guidance. I realize this is probably not the best place to share this, but it’s better than nothing.
My question is awkward. I consider myself to be a fairly confident guy. Well-liked and respected by my colleagues, etc. Nevertheless, the woman I most recently wanted to ask out had suffered quite a heavy break-up (I was not aware of the severity, and how jaded she was at the time). I put asking her on a date on the back burner for the time being, and instead just got to know her, which I thought was a genius idea at the time. Now, she seems comfortable enough to get back out there, and I’m worried of potentially destroying the friendship that’s evolved between us.

332 Kirk September 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm

It’s unmanly to have to get half drunk before asking (live my friends had to). Be a real man and ask her sober!

333 Rejection hurts. Deeply. October 1, 2013 at 7:45 am

My problem is that I take rejection very personal. A “no” to someone else sounds like “NO!” to me. Then I start mulling over and over about why she said no. Was it my physique or lack thereof ? Was it my height, does she like taller guys ? Was it the initial date ? 10 minutes after receiving the “NO!” I’m facing 40 questions in my head. And the worst part is I’ll never get a clear cut answer to any of them.

334 PJ October 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

@ Paul

*Well I’m only 15 but when I do ask for a DAT to a movie or anything she still rejects me today I found a girl I really like I don’t want to screw it up what should I do*

You gotta understand that failure is likely. Odds are that you’re going to have to lose a lot of times before you win.

But you can’t win the game unless you play.

335 Sarah October 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I think what I respected most about my husband’s pursuit of me was how he made his intentions know early on. But then again, I gave him the green light pretty early too. I told him that I wasn’t interested in just being friends. I had had enough of guys just “hanging out” with me and taking advantage of my time and heart. I told him that if he wasn’t in it to date me, not to bother. He then told me that he was interested in me beyond friendship and wanted me to be his girlfriend. We had had a few good conversations in our initial meetings, but he was clear, even in his body language and attention, that he was around for more than just a Wii buddy. And I SO appreciated that. He was willing to risk his pride to pursue me. I was so honored and flattered, it colored everything else he did for me from that point on. And he was completely worth it to me to make MY feelings clear to him too. Both men and women need to take the risk and date. Appropriate boundaries while dating, but still, take the risk and be intentional.

336 "Marie" October 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm


In reference to the post by “Anonymous Lady” on July 4 (#294), please know there are many other women, myself included, who would echo her sentiments. Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

337 Sebastian October 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

I really can relate to what you are saying about the generation Y in terms of communicating. I am myself a member of this generation (unfortunately). It is really depressing when I see people in my age sitting together and not even talking to each other because everybody is too busy staring at his smartphone and wasting his time with stupid videos.

And of course this has an affect on their dating life. How should they ask a girl out in the right way when they aren’t even able to communicate with their friends on a normal level? So to all people of my generation out there: Stop texting and start talking! This will increase your social and communication skills and therefore your ability to talk with girls.

338 Austin Wisdom October 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Nicely written, I think passivity among men has grown rampant. I’m currently a college student and I see plenty of cases of blatant male passivity in the forms of not telling a woman how they really feel, playing with them for physical gain or just plain being a jerk.

I do have a slightly different perspective on hanging out versus dating. I think that hanging out with women in group settings (with your bros there too because hanging with just women can be weird and emasculating) is important because it allows you to build healthy friendships with women and get to know who they truly are. When you go on a date with someone there’s a conscious or subconscious effort to be “at the top of your game” which can be good, always be the best that you can, but it’s too easy on dates to see just one side of a woman and for her to just see one side of you. When you spend time hanging out in various group settings you see their true character and who they are below the surface on their good days and their worst of days. However, once you wish to court a woman, don’t delay on telling her how you feel because if you allow romantic feelings to grow but try to remain just friends it can cause a lot of problems. It’s a delicate balance to maintain a healthy friendship and not overstep any emotional or physical boundaries of your friendship.

Now realize that we are all imperfect as humans and don’t be a self-righteous jerk and turn down every woman when you see something imperfect but I do believe that friendship first is crucial and doesn’t automatically equal the dreaded “friendzone” (which usually comes from male passivity in the form of unwillingness to tell a girl how you really feel and/or to move on).

I advocate courtship, it may sound old fashioned but it demonstrates a more intentional and thought out plan to pursue a woman. Dating can sometimes be too ambiguous and provides too much wiggle room for a man to drop the woman (I’m not saying you can’t change your mind but when you’ve been friends you have a better idea of their character so there won’t be as many “deal-breaking” discoveries).

From my brief experiences of dating and being “in love”, I’ve learned how important it is to protect the heart of woman you’re interested in (as well as your own) from unnecessary emotional pain. No relationship will be perfect but if you have a strong foundation as friends chances are you’ll know more about her character and won’t commit to a relationship with her unless you feel the relationship can actually grow healthily and therefore won’t lead a woman on.

Many disastrous relationships and breakups could’ve been avoided if the individuals would have wisely evaluated who they’re interested in before starting a dating relationship or courtship.

Even now I’m holding off on courting because after college I don’t know where my career will take me, my plan is to travel the world and I don’t think it’s fair to start dating a girl now and ask her to change her entire future for my current dreams. That’s why I’m waiting until I have a firmer grasp on where my future is going so I can see who will be there with me.

Anyway, sorry for the long response, I’ve learned a lot about dating over the last few years. I hope this helps.

339 Michael October 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Im 15 young i know, but this situation that you talked about is really true. This girl i see is amazing in my eyes i really like her and i always think i can ask her out on the phone or in person but i just stop myself. But we barely see each other i always make every second count when we do but she just is so busy i feel that sometimes she is bullshitting with me to be honest i think she finds it hard to simply ask her parents if she can see me the next time i might see her is on my birthday and that is at the end of next month hers is tomorrow but i think that she finds her mum awkward and thinks i would be put off when i truly would not care i just at least wish she could make more time Im confused on what to do :/

340 Christian Hypolite November 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Thanks for this…i am a Christian so some of the stuff like: meeting indoors and friends with benefits and etc…i may be against it but i show did enjoy reading it…thanks again

341 Jamie November 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm

HI. Thanks for the call to arms for men to get up and call us. Hooray! I’ve only had 5 dates in as many years because men don’t ask. Yes, I’m attractive (some guys say “gorgeous”), but I’m over 35, so I’m of a generation that will not ask a guy out. Just not wired that way. I have LOTS of guy friends – I love guys. What I need to do is date… so guys, listen to the words of wisdom herein and PICK UP THE PHONE :)

342 Gerry November 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Sad but true, the modern-advances in communication (such as smartphones, wireless-internet, etc…) Have reduced DATING down to a “Oh, if you don’t like me, it’s okay–I got lots of others who want me” way of thinking. Basically, the day-and-age we are dealing with now is affected with technology–and lack of social-skills!

343 Dude November 12, 2013 at 8:58 am

To the person who said:
“I think that dating is overrated and would much rather be making friends who will support me rather than emotional girlfriends who want to “talk”. ”

The only way you can make that comment is if you’ve never been in a real relationship. Get in a good one and that lady will be a support for you like nobody else.

344 Trevor November 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Great article Brett! :)

I’m glad I found your site it’s full of my favorite topics. I can’t agree more with this article and it’s sad because guys today don’t get anywhere with women because they won’t risk the rejection.

345 LH December 2, 2013 at 8:35 am

There’s a little thing now called ” the friend zone” This is harder to do when most chicks just want to be friends. I still give it a go anyhow!

346 vimax December 6, 2013 at 12:27 am

I can’t agree more with this article and it’s sad because guys today don’t get anywhere with women because they won’t risk the rejection.

347 hklp December 13, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Perhaps generation Y is becoming more or less the generation of automatic assumptions. Everyone believes they have the others’ personality figured out before getting to know them. These days, GenY’ers don’t date because of this “personality effect” and also the “this guy’s a creep” thing. Yes, ask a girl out in person if you’re a part of GenY and half the time the girl is going to automatically assume you’re a creep or just trying to immediately sleep with her. Why does this thought get into the minds of women? Texting. How much easier is it to text someone with explicit commentary, send nudes, or otherwise propose something sexual? I feel like people today are being desensitized. It’s considered rude to just openly ask someone for sex unless you’re dating right? Not anymore. Since everyone can hide behind a screen, they have an extreme amount of confidence in their demands/questions as well as the recipient having more confidence in their response ability. Because of this, women are desensitized to dates because: 1 – we “hang out” more as the article suggests and 2 – people are becoming used to stressful conversations through text. If women (especially attractive) have men coming on to them all day through text, how do they feel when a guy actually has the confidence to go ask her in person? It feels like an almost instant rejection because they are constantly bombarded with flirty and suggestive things all day.
THAT…is one of the main reasons why GenY doesn’t “date” anymore. I belong to GenY (unfortunately) and I’ve seen in my recent years in my 20′s that even many of the women haven’t matured beyond high school status. Even up into their upper 20′s, women (and men alike!) seem to mature slower than that of previous generations. If we can’t get past this low maturity level and over reliance on indirect communication along with desensitization to how we are supposed to act as spelled out by our evolutionary mechanisms, we won’t ever get to a point where we are “dating” anymore. This, I also feel, is the reason that there are many more cheaters these days as well. Just reapply all those principles to cheating and you see the connection.

348 Lee December 17, 2013 at 5:14 am

It’s fascinating! the way the whole dating world. I think that the choice for a woman to date or hang out with a guy is actually closely related with age. It’s really common for the ladies to hang out with so called ‘bad boys’ between 18 to 21, and to move onto actually dating genuine, confident, ambitious men when they are over 25 in my experience.

349 billy December 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Jamie – I’m of your generation, too. But using that as an excuse for not asking out a guy that you are interested in is exactly why you’ve only had 5 dates in 5 years. You’re getting just what you deserve. You’re a perfect example that you reap what you sow.

350 Christi December 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm

When a man has to “earn you”, “win you over”…what the woman has to do is be worth winning. It takes a lot of work and effort. In totally 50s fashion (because I lack the internal thesaurus to phrase this otherwise), you have to be a total prize worth earning. If a woman does nothing, she’s not keeping up her end of this type of sale.

351 Christi December 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm

@Dino Silone

Well said <3

352 Vedran December 23, 2013 at 6:18 am

@Dino Silone

Words to live by, sir. Thank you!

353 Manny Thompson December 24, 2013 at 1:33 am

I love this site and reading the comments are interesting too.I’m 31 now and have been reading articles here for 3 years and it has totally changed and matured me.

354 Daniel December 30, 2013 at 4:01 am

Wise words.

355 J. Mc. January 4, 2014 at 2:28 pm

As a 28 year old male, I would like to chime in briefly about this. First, I wasn’t aware that dating was going out of style. I know what my problems are when it comes to dating: severe anxiety, dim view of my own skills, being a larger man by nature, and a distinct lack of social skills due to my upbringing to name a few. I am working feverishly, and to the best of my ability, to overcome these obstacles…but I know where my greatest weakness truly lies:


It seems like a cycle difficult to break: lacking confidence causes one to take less risk and, due to thought patterns, leads to perceived failure when taking risk which undermines confidence further. Without confidence, approaching women to ask for that first date is virtually impossible…and, as many comments above me have clearly stated, women want a confident man.

I also overthink things, but that’s a whole different issue.

I would put out a call to those who read this: don’t give up. Even if it takes years to get anywhere in your dating life (or anything, for that matter,) the opportunity to seize dreams exist as long as you draw breath. I know I won’t.

356 jonas January 7, 2014 at 1:42 am

I am trying to take out this girl I met, she is playing hard.. she keep telling that ok next time then I got busy I can’t make it…. can I still pursue her or call it good? Please advise me…

357 Another Anonymous Lady January 11, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Gentleman, I couldn’t agree more with ‘Anonymous Lady’ at post #294. She really has it right, including the part when a lady declines to accept a date. It does not mean she does not appreciate the gesture, nor necessarily dislike the gentleman.

I stumbled upon this website when a link elsewhere took me to the fantastic book list as recommended reading for men. This lady suggests it’s simply an excellent book list. Since that first link, I’ve been enjoying several articles on this refreshingly interesting site.

358 Another Anonymous Lady January 12, 2014 at 1:30 am

@J. Mc.- You mentioned your social anxiety stems, in part, from not having social graces. I would honestly recommend picking up a book on etiquette. The same advice goes for the ladies.

A couple of other observations. Individuals who are seeking a mate should know themselves first. This will help them determine what is important in someone they might contemplate ‘taking the plunge’ with. This encompasses how you like to spend your spare time, what ideas you have for a family, including dual income household vs. stay at home parent vs. some sort of hybrid.

Another observation: In days long gone, it was easier to meet people, in some respects. In my parents generation, there were dance halls in almost every city and they were cheap. When places of worship were a more central part of a community, there were more youth groups for the teens and even singles events for adults.
I’m not sure how to get around these social changes, but, perhaps taking a swing or salsa dance class or any other adult education instruction where you might be able to meet new people, is an idea.

As for dates for those without a steady, good-paying job… or even those who have one. Why not take advantage of sightseeing in your city or one which can be reached easily/cheaply? In some areas, there are free concerts through the summer months- many encourage a picnic meal on the grounds. Perfect! Cheap, means for easy conversation, and people watching if the convo lapses.

The whole ‘dinner and a movie’ thing seems a bit of a challenge in some ways. As for the movie, one is to be silent the whole time, so that defeats the purpose of getting to know one another. Dinner, unless in a more casual setting, can create additional stress. As for cooking for a lady, that’s a lovely idea, but perhaps, best to wait until you have been dating a while. There is a serious trust factor, for a woman going to a man’s home. A fear of being attacked/pressured into something… and/or a fear of an undeclared quid pro quo.

Which brings about the last points. Trust and honesty. While declaring your undying love before even spending much time with a person is unwise… and likely based on perceptions, rather than confirmed by reality… the bottom line is if you are seeking a mate for life, with whom you may also wish to start a family, the honesty/trust factor will have to start whilst you are dating…and even from the beginning. A gentleman, nor a lady, should lead anyone on when there isn’t a legitimate interest. Nor, if things aren’t turning out well, is hiding the fact beneficial for either party.

359 Christina January 15, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Great article. Yeah, things have definitely changed. But not all is lost. I dated in the 70s and 80s. I had to marry a man older than I (20 years) because men my age were either hippies or jerks. Really. Now I date men much younger than I and I think they are naive. They do not want to commit and that actually works for me. They are so daft that they say stupid things like younger woman are not really good for them…..bc they are demanding. Good on you younger women, You are the prize and men need to step up their game. Unfortunately, women now are very independent and can dismiss a lame man…..until that biological clock kicks in. Then we are in trouble.
Men, be as strong as you can and go after what you want and think you deserve. Do it with intention and commitment. You might be surprised at how awesome the bond can be. Don’t live your life through someone else or have your parents dictate your destiny. Be bold; be strong. You will get the prize.

360 Tara January 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

As a girl, I also encourage men to hang out in places women hang out. Our generation isn’t dating because we don’t participate in activities where it’s easy to meet members of the opposite sex.

So you go to work, the gym and bars? Why are you surprised at not meeting anyone?

Volunteer with kids. Girls love kids. And guys that love kids. Play in a co-ed sports league. Join a small group at a church. Attend various city-wide events and concerts. Girls do other stuff besides shopping and eating fro-yo.

Girls aren’t just going to appear out of thin air for you to meet. Online dating can be great- or *not* so great. You have to be social if you want to meet people.

361 Jon January 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for all the helpful articles, I am using some of the main points for a young men’s teen group at our Church to help them understand what it means to be a MAN!

362 Jasbir January 25, 2014 at 11:45 am

Courtship is better than “dating”

Please don’t believe in the secular lies that you have to “date” and be intimate with him in order to keep him interested. Once you let him “touch the goods” you’ve already lost him. It’s only when you keep insisting that it will never happen until marriage, will you find a real man who may have the potential of becoming a great husband.

Be proud of being chaste, and withstand the name calling such as being a “prude” because you don’t engage in sexual behaviour. A good teenage boy will respect you for it, and this is the kind of boy who has the potential to become a real man one day. Only a real man can truly control himself and respect the wishes of a woman. At least you’ll know that he actually likes YOU as a person and not as an object.

363 Phred January 25, 2014 at 10:31 pm

“If you’re over 18 and you’re still using Facebook applications to let someone know you’re interested in them, you need to be punched in the face”.

Have truer words ever been written?

364 el quinn January 28, 2014 at 9:31 am

Don’t know if it’s been mooted, but the callow male youth in the black and white photo is a split ringer for the young Eddie Cochran, (Rock n Roll singer, who died prematureky in 1960…)

365 james wong February 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

I’ve found that if you as a man are clueless to asking women out (scared,
intimidated, get mixed signals), it helps
to do sports or other adventure activities.
these activities makes you confident
and fearless. Asking women out
will work like a charm.

366 Nicholas F February 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I am so mad at one of my friends. He’s just over 40, single, great guy, great personality. Some of us guys went on a trip together for a week and he bumped into this girl there who ended up being totally in to him. They spent lots of time together, but for the life of me he has made no effort to move things forward with her, even though she is totally in to him and is just waiting to have him make a move. They spent tons of time together on the trip, it’s obvious to everyone they are very compatible, but he just can’t man up enough to make a definitive move, either to move forward or cut things off.
I’m so angry. If I were him, at any age, but especially at 40+, I would be all over this, but he keeps humming and hawing. I have no idea what to do with this guy. Seriously, how do you knock some sense into him?!
To get a compatible, good natured and good looking young lady who’s totally interested in you and not do anything about it, not even examine the possibilities to see where things could lead, I just don’t get it! :(

367 Christy February 4, 2014 at 11:49 am

This is just awesome. THANK YOU.

368 Ramos February 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

(a) stop shamelessly promoting your own blog.
(b) this is not a religious site so p*ss off.
The whole affraid-of-commitment is an almost neccesary choice for those of us in fast moving businesses. The biggest failure of all is after all a married man with no job to help his wife pay the bills, espcially with kids in the picture.
You have to either find that right woman in pretty much the same or a very similar business, so you can (together) move around the globe when work or work ops(for selfemployed people) requires it.
Most women one meets today on the dating scene puts an equality sign between “marriage and kids” and “buying a house and not moving location for 25-50 yrs”. Which is totally unrealistic in this fast moving world. At least for those of us who didn’t choose a life in farming or some other self-driven, independent, local and primary workform.

Bit simplistic article but the main points are good.

369 Jasbir Singh February 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm


Sorry you think so poorly of me. I am only doing my best to contribute ideas that may help others on this board. Yes, I am a practicing Catholic, and very glad to be permitted to have a voice in this mostly tolerant and free USA/Canada. I think the public square should be open to anyone, religious or not. The non-religious person does not have any special entitlements over a person who subscribes to any religion. I’m very glad the American coins have written on them – “In God we trust”.
Ramos makes some good points that today’s society has many challenges which puts constraints on married and family life. I agree with him that the “system” is a problem. The biggest burden that people have can be financially related, heavy debt, no job, etc. Despite all of these kinds of challenges though, and just trying to make ends meet, it is still possible to get married and have children in a state of poverty. If I’m not mistaken, statistics have shown that married people fair better together financially in the long run, better than single people do. Having a partner to love and to lean on also makes a lot of sense.

370 Amelia February 21, 2014 at 11:53 pm

I’m a part of generation Y(18 y.o. almost 19). Maybe it’s just me but i’m not ready to date nor do I like feeling the pressure to date. I don’t even have my academic life or confidence together. As a girl, I have asked a guy out(in 12th grade) and got subtly rejected(basically avoiding me & the topic). Once the guy who rejected me (he was my friend who i became very fond of) we planned to hang out and I usually pay for myself, but we went mini golfing and he payed for my half and his and I was so confused. Anyways since college began I’ve been asked out once by a really nice guy, but I’m not interested in dating because I’m in my own little world most of the time– school work, job, relaxation to play piano or browse youtube, more homework, sleep, eat, homework, talk to friends sometimes, sleep. (oh stalk celebrities lol jk maybe not jk!)

371 don't want to give my name February 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm

I as a woman would have mixed issues with this. Part of me would love to find that man to marry, But than another part of me is content in my life. However I also am not one to go out and meet people either and that I know is where my problem is. I have another issue is I have a High libido, so when I need to I just go to the websites I know to get what I need. The problem I’m finding in finding a decent man or one that can keep up is most the men I meet are superficial and judgmental so the fear of getting hurt keeps me from putting myself really out there .

372 Jasbir February 26, 2014 at 8:29 pm

This short video is a MUST watch for everyone on this board. It’s by the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. The video is called, “The Economics of Sex”. I think everyone will benefit from this at the link below:

373 Erika March 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm

We need more men who understand what being “gentlemanly” means. It’s so attractive and it need not be associated with condescension towards women as some mythological “weaker sex”. In a day when so many reduce their behavior to the thuggish immature antics which make women feel threatened rather than appreciated, I applaud the efforts of this blog and I’m relieved to see so many conscientious and intelligent responses to the controversial word “feminism.” There are feminists out there doing very positive (and very non-radical!) work, trying to create sex-positive conversation and so on, who get the most incredibly violent and hateful responses for doing what seems to me to be very benign and beneficial work. So THANK YOU. And thank you to the men that see manhood as being a gentleman who is also able to be a protector and a figure who instills confidence in those around him; NOT the menial, shallow hyper-masculinization that focuses on violence and the suffocation of one’s own humanity in order to “be a man.”

374 Angus March 12, 2014 at 8:00 am

As one of the wussie-men mentioned above I really do have to agree with the majority of this article. Facebook and the internet make it a lot easier to write-off interpersonal relationships and half-ass communication. I am 20 and haven’t actually asked a girl out properly, much to my shame.
It’s worth noting that most of this article is common sense about interacting with people. Having a bit of confidence, knowing what you want to do, taking initiative and not pinning all your hopes and self-worth on a single person’s response are all pretty basic requirements for leading a life free of crippling emotional issues. That said, even though it is common sense it’s also good to just have a straight forward reminder of how simple it really is to just talk to people.

I’m glad I read this article, I’ll probably use it again next time a lady takes my fancy so I don’t blow the entire situation out of proportion. I’m sure there are plenty of other over-thinkers out there with the same issue.

375 Terry March 16, 2014 at 5:36 am

I’m a female and I stamp my seal of approval on this article! :) As usual, Art of Manliness has THE BEST articles regarding male-female social interaction. The 4 factors identified are RIGHT ON THE MONEY.

I, for one, feel no attraction for wussy men who can’t even come up to a woman, start a basic conversation, express interest in her by flirting in a polite manner, ask for her number and then call to ask her out. I have no desire to wear the pants, be the pursuer, pay for the guy (the word for guys who want that is “gigolo”), pick him up and deposit him back at his front door, or any of that idiotic role reversal that we have today.

Male-female interactions just do NOT work unless the woman allows the guy to be in his masculine energy (he takes the lead) and she is in her feminine energy (she also takes the lead, but in a different way). Some women today think that allowing the guy to take the lead means that they give up their power to the guy; that is completely wrong – in fact, she GAINS power by being in her feminine energy and letting the guy take the lead in his masculine role. Part of the power she gains is romantic power – being able to experience romantic emotions, which are impossible to feel with a wussy guy.

Unfortunately, due to all of the unfortunate, misguided, and downright idiotic changes in our society, especially in the last decade, where certain segments of our society have chosen to work concertedly to destroy the concept of appropriate gender role models, we find ourselves in the mess that we are in. There appears to be mass confusion as to how a woman and a man should behave toward each other. This concept of “confusion” is often pushed by guys who are not confused in the least, but pretend to be because it provides an escape route for them from what has traditionally been expected of them in terms of their conduct.

Gender role models are important – and women still prefer GENTLEMANLINESS; it is welcome, important, and appreciated. REAL MEN will always have the advantage over wusses and over the ones who pretend to be “liberated wusses” in order to take advantage of women sexually (they get laid because the woman supposedly has no sexual morals due to herself being “liberated”) and financially (the women pay on dates for the benefit of the guy getting laid) — hmmm, there is something seriously WRONG with that picture!

So I say: hip hip, hooray to the traditional males who behave in a manly, chivalrous and gentlemanly manner.

376 Liz March 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm

I agree with this article in general. I think it shows that you’re genuine and really interested if you end up asking someone out the old fashioned way. It usually also gives the idea that you’re looking for some kind or “real” relationship with the person.
On another note, I’m the kind of girl that prefers to ask the guy out (thought I should represent) – but agree that if a guy is interested in a girl he should be straightforward about it.
I know a lot of people in my college who are stuck at the hanging out and hooking up point at college. Although I doubt they can change or want to change any time soon (no judgements), I wonder if they’re quite as happy as those who have found someone special and are dating.

377 ER March 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I would like to add a tidbit to this article in the defense of ‘hanging out’ with someone. There may not always be an attraction within a group of people yet they still enjoy each others company.

Who says that every relationship is necessary to be ‘dating’. We should look at friends and friendly relationships without seeing the sex of individuals. Yes, men typically have male friends they ‘hang out with’, but why can’t they have female friends without the pressure of being in a ‘relationship’?

Those are my two cents..

378 AJ April 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Very nice article, quite motivating actually..
And the comments are awesome

379 zirconelle April 16, 2014 at 9:53 pm

On July 24 poster Kevin (Comment 300) wrote:

“We can support equal rights and still resent the damage that modern feminism has done to society in turning women into men and men into little girls. It denies any difference between the genders, not comprehending that things can be different and still equal in value.

Men and women have a symbiotic relationship, this is part of our evolution, the total is greater than the sum of our parts. Feminism weakens and devalues the family, which is the strength of our whole society.”

I respectfully disagree with this view. “separate but equal” doesn’t work very well in real life. That’s why segregated education in America was ended. It was painfully obvious that separating groups did not ensure equality. One group always got less.

This symbiotic relationship he writes was always an ideal. Living up to it was a different matter. The idea was that a man earned a wage, paid the bills and made all the important decisions, while women cooked, cleaned, washed and looked after the children. In real life, it didn’t always work that way. People don’t always act the way we expect them to.

Society became very good at making sure women did their bit. Women who entered professions like teaching and nursing had to remain unmarried. If they married their place was “in the home”. By keeping women away from the job market, society ensured their economic dependence. Women were kept ignorant of contraceptives, ensuring they had no control over when they had children or how many. If a woman got pregnant out of wedlock, she was shunned and shamed. Ensuring “the familiy” was safe from loose morals.

But while women were being kept under control, no one thought to ensure that men did their bit. What punishments was there for the man who didn’t provide for his family? For the man who was promiscuous, and left a trail of illegitimate children behind? I don’t know about America, but in my culture, there were no penalties. Being a man gave him the right to do whatever he liked.

I’m a regular visitor on this site, so I know what others will say. I know they will reason that in traditional society, a man who didn’t live up to his obligations faced the same kind of censure as a woman who didn’t live up to hers. I respectfully submit that the penalties for men were never as high. In fact, in some societies, some kinds of behaviour which didn’t fit this dichotomy were celebrated. Certainly in my culture, men who had had many sexual partners were respected for it, not shunned. A woman, on the other hand….

Feminism is not an attempt to ruin families or ruin men. It was and has always been about ensuring that women have control over their lives, the kind of control that comes from being able to make your own decisions, make your own money, and have a say in how your country is run. That’s what it’s about.

If a man believes he can’t date me because feminism exists that is his business. But I don’t believe I should give up the gains of feminism – the right to vote, to earn money, to inherit property, to own property, drive, travel and enter contracts on my own etc. – so he feels better.

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