Stop Hanging Out With Women and Start Dating Them

by Brett and Kate McKay on January 16, 2008 · 382 comments

in Dating, Relationships & Family

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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.

{ 378 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jonathan January 16, 2008 at 12:38 pm

I enjoy your articles. You usually get straight to the point. I get the point about this site being a conversation on manliness, however I am usually thrown off by the articles with cursing. Does it make you feel more manly?

2 Matt January 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Jonathan-

“Damn” is a really mild curse I think. It seems like he’s using “just do it, damn it” as the site’s motto. “Just do it, darn it” wouldn’t have quite the same effect.

I know Brett, and you would be hard pressed to find a more clean living, clean talking man.

3 Ryan Healy January 16, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Great post! I can’t tell you how much I hate “hanging out” with a girl I’m actually interested in. There is no way to let her know you’re interested if you’re always in a big group of people.

Dates are definitely a lost art form. The thing that gets me is that girls are actually confused when you do ask them on a date. It’s like, you want to go to dinner? Just with me?

I think the whole college scene these days also has a big influence on the decline of dating. College is all groups, all the time. I actually think it really delays the passage into “adulthood.” I don’t know if its just our generations propensity to be team players or if its a societal shift brought on by an increase in life expectancy rates, but its no excuse for dating to go out of fashion.

Anyway, love the site. Keep it up.

-Ryan

4 Jon January 16, 2008 at 5:22 pm

I like to think I’m pretty uncompetent with the opposite sex, but interestingly enough, I’m in a current relationship.

Its’ not that I’m incompetent with women in general, just when it comes to dating. I have numerous friends who are girls and I like to hang out with them often. The way I worked up until my relationship was that I liked several of my girl ‘friends’ but tried to keep this secret. One of the girl ‘friends’ I have has a best friend who I liked, but rarely got to hang out. After some time, I decided to take initiative and ask her out, but everytime I arranged something with her and other people(to test the ground), she always came up with excuses. I thought she was avoiding me, but then I found out that one of my friends had told her I liked her, and that she liked me in reverse.

Sadly, she took the initiative and sent me a text message stating this. In response, I arranged something the next day. I guess it was kind of reciprocal.

I don’t see our relationship at all attempting to form a family, but maybe that is just because I’m still naive and in high school.

5 Brett McKay January 16, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Ryan-
Those are all excellent points. I noticed the group mentality among college students when I waited tables in a college town. I hardly ever saw couples come into the restaurant. It was usually HUGE parties of men and women.

6 Brett McKay January 16, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Jon-
Even though you you’re only in high school, doesn’t make dating any less important. I’d advise you not to get too serious with anyone while you’re still young, but go on as many dates as you can. And by date I mean, you and girl together alone on a planned event. No groups. It’s just good practice for when you’re older and are ready to get more serious with woman. By dating frequently, you’ll know how to relate to women better and you’ll also have a good idea of what you like and don’t like in a potential mate.

Good luck!

7 Brett McKay January 16, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Jonathan-
A great American religious leader named Heber J. Grant once said, ” ‘Damn’ is not swearing. It is only emphasis.”

I’ll probably use damn and hell throughout my posts. Like Matt said, they’re pretty tame curse words and not vulgar. Men I look up to who exemplify gentlemanly dignity peppered their vocab with an occasional “hell” or “damn”. It made talking with them exciting and yeah, it sounds pretty manly. I’ll promise that the language will never go into unspeakable vulgarities that many men are apt to speak today. To do so would be ungentlemanly.

“Just do it, damn it,” conveys the sense of urgency I hope men feel about changing their lives. Their heads and hearts are hard, so I must speak to them hard.

8 Jonathan January 16, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Brett,
I agree that in modern times those words do not come across as being vulgar like many years ago. I will disagree about them being tame curse words. The spiritual context and origins of the words make them not something to be used lightly. But enough of that rabbit trail…

I do like the writing on here so far though. Now that I’ve started to think about manliness in regards to religion and beliefs, I am curious as to your viewpoint and whether you consider belief in such things as traits of being a man.

9 Paul January 17, 2008 at 12:17 am

Hey Brett,

I love your attitude and your writing skills. I didn’t even notice where you “cursed”, but I’m Scottish, so it’s probably just a part of my everyday dialect :)

You’ve got to love this bit…..

>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.

Keep up the straightforward, punch in the face, style too ;-)

~ Paul

10 Brett McKay January 17, 2008 at 5:35 am

@Jonathan-
I’m glad you brought up spirituality and religion in regards to manliness. I do think think spirituality is an important part of manliness. Great men from the past stressed the importance of having a spiritual life. I have some post ideas peculating in my head at the moment about this topic, so check back soon!

@Paul
I’m glad to have a Scotsman among us. Perhaps you can share the ways of the rough knuckle football hooligan.

The Art of Manliness is all about manning you up. If it takes a punch in the face to get your attention, we’ll do it.

11 The Scam January 17, 2008 at 8:07 am

i think half the reason guys don’t date is because they can “hook up” with girls at parties. i think “hooking up” is about the most disrespectful think a guy can do to a young girl. if everybody hangs out as a group and just makes out whenever and with whomever they want, these kids don’t see any need for dating.

have some respect for yourself and for the person you like and spent some time with them instead of just using their body.

12 Ken January 31, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Hi everyone,

I think that this was largely worthwhile (and very interesting and informative) reading. Although I’m a COMPLETE non-dater (for various scientific reasons beyond the scope of this article that I don’t care to get into great detail about), I do whole-heartedly agree with “Starting a family forces you to man up” (even though I obviously have NO DESIRE to do so, but I COMPLETELY respect anyone/everyone who does). By the way, I’m currently 34 years old. I’ve been told MANY times throughout my life (and I’ve also had this written in my junior and high school yearbooks by some male and female friends) that I’d make a great father and have great kids and be a great husband to a great lady someday. Although it’s obviously meant as a compliment to me, I do kind of take some offense to such remarks. They just automatically ASSUME that I MUST, OF COURSE, have the SAME wants/needs/desires/etc. as THEY (and MOST people) DO that I OBVIOUSLY DON’T. To me, it just seems plain rude to “judge”, let alone, “size up”, ANYONE … PERIOD. I’ve always felt it’s better to not assume anything about anyone in any/all regard(s).

I’ve had MANY people over the years question me on why I’m not married, married with any child(ren), have a steady girlfriend, or even bother to date. Really, I don’t at all mind people asking me such things, as I’m VERY honest and forthright in my remarks/answers/explanations/etc. What I DO NOT appreciate/respect is when people assume that I MUST be gay and/or there’s something “wrong” with me. I’m just a LOT different from MOST other people, that’s all — plain and simple. REGARDLESS of what I say to these people and how civil and polite I am, they end up being HIGHLY irate, hostile and VERY mean-spirited to me. They feel this “need” to “put me down”, embarass me, attract a LOT of negative attention to me (and get others involved in it as well — much like a chain reaction). Although none of that really bothers me at all (depsite me pointing this out), I do think that that is TOTALLY unncessary, as I don’t engage anyone who’s different from me in such ways. To be fair, I’ve had a lot people offer a LOT of positive encouragement/reinforcement in wanting to see me date, marry, raise a family, etc., and I think they have good intentions/reasons towards me in wanting me to do so. However, I’ve also met those who’ve stated that they’re automatically “better” and/or “more important” than me, since they can handle more responsibility than I can. That’s not completely fair, true nor accurate. Yes, perhaps they CAN handle more responsibility than me; perhaps they CAN’T. Perhaps I’d make a great husband and father; perhaps I’d make the worst. It’s really irrelevant either way. To me, the question is just simply whether I’d want to. I don’t see myself as being any more/less of a man/person in any sense. All it comes down to is the fact that those who’ve married, raisied children, etc. are pursuing what THEY want for THEMSELVES; I’m pursuing what I want for MYSELF. Irregardless, I wish EVERYONE well in their decisions. I’ve even been considered “selfish” and “evil”, or even “taking the easy way out” in my chosen solitary existence. (Believe me, being alone has its’ advantages/disadvantages much like dating, marriage, raising a family, etc. has its’ own. It all depends on how an individual weighs out the pros and cons of each for himself/herself, that’s all.) I’m fine with myself the way I am and I function quite well the way I am.

If people don’t realize/appreciate/respect that, then that’s THEIR problem, NOT mine. NO ONE is any better or worse than the next person. Everyone is different and unique in their own special way(s). We all must live our lives according to how WE deem fit and appropriate. NO ONE has the right to force ANYTHING on ANYONE. To me, it seems quite evident that this whole dating thing is so utterly forced down people’s throats, as society’s largely been, is, and will probably ALWAYS be this way. It’s one thing to offer suggestions, advice and the like; it’s another to just simply flat out tell people how they MUST live THEIR lives, OR ELSE. Perhaps us non-daters are just a representation of how much wider and more varied the universe actually is than previously thought.

I apologize in advance for writing so much (and using captial letters in various places — just for added emphasis), but I felt the need to get this out in the open. Perhaps it all just boils down to a little extra “food for thought”. ;-)

All the best,

— Ken

13 Brett January 31, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Brett – You said: “I have some post ideas peculating in my head at the moment about this topic, so check back soon!”

I believe you me percolating as opposed to peculating. Peculating is synonymous to embezzlement; percolating means to show activity with clarity or filtration.

There is nothing more manly than knowing proper grammar and vocabulary.

14 Sarah Chase February 1, 2008 at 9:53 am

Hey Guys!

Please don’t feel violated…I kind of feel as though I’m stepping into a “man’s club”…but, just a few notes:

As a woman involved in a committed relationship which doesn’t have any hint of marriage in the near or distant future:

I feel that hanging out with girls could be just the same as ‘dating’ them…it’s just formatted to fit our times. or, sometimes, hanging out may lead to dating more seriously along the line…(a.k.a. going steady)

I really don’t feel as though non-dating is a sign of non-committment at all…I personally feel as though it’s a lot more realistic for us ‘youngsters’ in this day and age…just take a look at marriage/divorce rates. Also, when looking at birth rates (especially those out of wedlock), it’s obvious (to me, anyway) that ppl. don’t yield the same social constraints to have a traditional family as those living perhaps 50 or so years ago.

Hanging out is a way to actually get to know the woman/man you’re dating. It gives you an opportunity to determine if you even want to ‘date’ that person or continue a friendship. I think dating viewed in it’s context 50 years ago would leave most women today feeling as though they were being prepped for a nightmarish journey into disillusionment. Explanation: those who ‘dated’, would traditionally wear their beau’s “letter” (sports jackets…jock/cheerleader types or something to that effect), then get engaged (many tittering girlfriends coaching a girl on how to handle her ‘man’, etc), have a wedding/get married (note the conotations of each), have kids, buy a house, continue (possibly unhappily) or divorce.

this synopsis is very tongue in cheek and a broad generaliztion…i don’t mean to infer that everyone follow’s this path, but even as a 30 yr old in the 21st century, i still feel EXTREMELY pressured to settle down and have kids…even though i don’t want to, i sometimes find myself musing about it after some 40 yr old tells me, “oh, your clock will kick in and you’ll want kids…just you wait!”….

AHHHGGGGHHHH!!!!! i really don’t want kids…i love them (if they belong to someone else). i am “finding myself”…but i don’t think that’s a bad thing…(i’m a borderline GenXer/Y).

Ultimately…this little blurb is encouragement to y’all to continue “hanging out” with girls. only date them if both of you really want to. oh, and dating doesn’t need to lead to marriage or otherwise (to any girl who is honest with herself)…

oh, also, if a girl tells you that she doesn’t mind being casual while dating…be cautious…could come back to haunt you….as with all men, women all have different views of relationships…some actually are okay with both of you hanging out with other guys/girls…but many aren’t and would be heartbroken and point to “cheating” if you took her literally… just a tip:)

thanks for your ears! keep hanging out!
-sarah

15 moi February 1, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Hanging out is when guys are too lazy to open doors for you or pay for you. It is the way out of responsibility. That is what society is all about these days “How can a get away with only thinking about myself?!!” I am not saying the “hanging out” is selfish but more just the easy way out and I am ready for some responsibility to start happening and to be treated like a lady not just a friend (sometimes there is a big difference between the two).

16 Brett McKay February 2, 2008 at 10:47 am

@ Ken- wow! I think that’s the longest comment I’ve ever seen. Thanks for taking the time write it. You make good points and I respect your opinion. I know a lot of single people who have devoted themselves to a higher cause than themselves. Single people have a lot to offer society that people married with family can’t offer. They often have more time and more resources to devote to betting their communities. But I think the problem today is that people are staying single just so they can indulge themselves. It’s individualism taken to the extreme.

@ Sarah- Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I don’t have a problem with “hanging out.” I encourage it. The problem, and I think moi, nailed it on the head, is that young people get stuck in hang out mode. They use it as an excuse to not take things to the next level.

@moi- Thanks for your comment. I agree with you 100% :)

17 shoshi February 10, 2008 at 12:44 am

This is the article I’ve been waiting for. I hope that all the men who read this heed these rules (especially the first one, “she wants you to ask”).
It really is that simple. Take initiative, let her know you’re into her, and for god’s sake, stop waiting around for her to make a move! Display your affection: ask her out, hold her hand on a date, kiss her goodnight if the date goes well. And if you don’t do those things, you’re just dull, lackluster, and unromantic. And by the way, you don’t have to love someone to be romantic. A little romance– which only takes a little effort, like giving her a single flower, for example– will only make her feel special (and there could be something in it for you, too).
I guess… just to see some effort on the guy’s part is encouraging.

18 Brett McKay February 10, 2008 at 5:59 am

@shoshi:

Thanks for your comments. It’s always nice to get a woman’s perspective on dating. My wife loves it when I surprise her with flowers. They don’t cost much, but it makes her day.

19 Missy February 11, 2008 at 10:06 pm

I think you hit the nail on the head with the fact that getting married, if you are truly committed to the marriage, does indeed make men/women out of teenagers of any age. I am not going to say that everyone needs to get married (there are other ways to foster maturity), but for some, waiting to marry gives them subconscious permission to act as they please. There is no drive to create stability through financial security, personal development, and an understanding of the opposite sex. Hanging out is fine and fun when young, but it does not require you to intimately (I don’t mean in the sexual sense) understand anyone of the opposite sex. I think real dating allows you to get to know individual members of the opposite sex and find out the differences in the way you think and feel.

Please continue the good writing. I also want to thank most of the comment writers for handling a controversial subject well.

20 Red February 12, 2008 at 9:55 am

Great article. Too many wussies out there just use online dating sites, myspace, and facebook, and think they’re going to find the perfect girl from personal ads. The hottest women out there aren’t even on the internet. They’re usually out doing stuff. So men, it’s time to get out and go to a gym, the mall, parks, art museums. Get the courage to be a man and confront a woman. What do you have to lose? If she says no, just be a gentleman and walk away. Women are attracted to confidence.

21 holly hoffman February 14, 2008 at 7:09 am

As a reinforcement to what’s already been said, just being asked is nice.

I hate trying to pull it out of a guy, trying to make sure I send all of the obvious I’m-interested signals, here’s your big heaping scoop of encouragement balanced with non-desperation – it’s exhausting! If you’re interested, step up and ask. I’ve never heard of a woman (who’s not stuck up) who didn’t thoroughly appreciate being asked, even if she’s not interested. It’s always a compliment, it’s always flattering.

Any worthwhile woman will graciously decline or enthusiastically accept. I’d venture to say I might go on a date with a guy just because he was bold enough to ask.

22 James Cassell February 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm

This is all well and good, however, I disagree with your 4th point under Resurrect Dating:
“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.”

No worse off is a very bad characterization. I have very few female friends. The ones I have, I do not feel I can afford to lose. If I were to ask one out, and were to recieve an affirmative answer, I would be a very happy camper (not sure where that phrase came from.) If, on the other hand, I were to receive a negative answer, I have a feeling that being in that person’s presence in the future would, in and of itself, cause an awkward situation.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, though. I’ve never had the nerve to ask and see what would happen. (Yes, sadly, /never/.)

23 Bob Dole February 19, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Brett you have undoubtedly heard of the DINKS generation. Duel Income No KidS. Do not go around and breed; you are doing the world a dis-service. Get in make money get out. Kids = cannon fodder for wars.

24 Brett McKay February 19, 2008 at 9:04 pm

@Bob Dole:

That’s a pretty cynical and selfish view. Children can bring men some of their greatest joys. It’s how we can make sure a part of use keeps going even after we’re worm food.

25 ari February 20, 2008 at 11:31 am

In response to James, I have found that being turned down by a girl that you are friends with does not have to mean the end of the friendship. It might make things slightly awkward for a period afterwards, but as long as you act cool about it, a real friend will respect you for asking and taking the rejection in stride. Maybe not in every case, but that has been my experience on several occasions (and I have never had a friendship end just because a girl turned me down).

So go ahead and ask — if she turns you down and stops being your friend, chances are that either (a) she isn’t worth being friends with anyway, or (b) you are being a creep about it and are making her feel uncomfortable because she thinks you really want her badly.

Now, if you do go out for a while and then break up, then I think you do have a higher chance of losing the friendship (depending on why you broke up). But I can’t speak from experience there…

26 Bruce February 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm

A refreshing read. I agree on all points. In my early (college) years I didn’t man up enough and always tried to engineer dates. I was prone to making ridiculous romantic gestures and trying to come up with complicated schemes to make an impression. I tried to befriend girls and upgrade them to dates by stealth. None of it worked and I went dateless. When I was in school I thought I needed a car to get a date. When I had a car I thought I needed my own place. When I had my own place I ran clean out of excuses.

Finally I worked out that girls (especially in your early twenties) don’t care about what car you drive, where you live or anything like that. They’re smart enough to know that if you’re educated and hard working, chances are you’ll get all that stuff. What they want is a decisive, confident guy who knows what he wants and isn’t scared of hanging it all out and taking the initiative to ask them out. Once I just started asking girls out they actually started saying yes.

A good friend of mine really showed me the way by example. He would always walk up the best looking girl in the room and start talking to her politely. He never tried any sleazy pick up lines or try and get them drunk or anything. He was the most polite guy I have ever known, always opening doors, offering jackets and all that. To the cynical types snickering into their beers, he was a dweeb and a try hard. He certainly got knock backs and rejections, I personally saw many of them. To the girls though, he was a real man. Most of the time they were flattered and taken aback by his directness. Now he has the hottest girlfriend you ever saw, who is smart, beautiful, charming and totally devoted to him. I think that’s worth a little mockery from your (immature) friends. It’s all about manning up and learning that movie plots only work in movies.

27 Alessandro February 23, 2008 at 6:43 am

I agree with most of what you said in the post.

Perhaps it’s just semantics, but I think what is missing today is the concept of courtship. Dating connotes frivolity, i.e., directionless mingling just for the sake of having a good time. To the contrary, courtship is designed with one goal in mind: to discern whether or not to get married.

Your post alludes to that purpose, but lumps it under the heading “dating.” Since today’s culture doesn’t associate marriage with dating at all anymore, it is perhaps more appropriate to refer to it as courtship.

Charles Kingsley famously said, “Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth.” In the same fashion, it is up to us men to be Real Men and resurrect the art of courtship.

28 Brett February 23, 2008 at 7:50 am

Alessandro-

You make an excellent point. “Dating” doesn’t connote the same things that it once did and has become a umbrella term for everything from frivolous hanging out to serious relationships. Dating should absolutely be as you described it-a chance to see if a person would make a compatible marriage partner or not. I think “courtship” as a term just isn’t as familiar today and thus “Stop Hanging Out and Start Courting” didn’t sound quite right.

29 Aaron Matthew Kaiser February 24, 2008 at 3:57 pm

I utterly and completely agree with you on this 110%.

My problem, however, lies with the women. I have no problem asking women out and my friends are even surprised, shocked and amused with how forward I am at times, but I ask and many have even said that I’ve gone on more dates in the last year than they have. And my attitude has just been to have fun and get to know the person to continue and see if this is something that could work out.

Unfortunately, I seem to run into a lot of women that didn’t grow up in Southern California or something and are confused that I can ask them out on a date after only knowing them a short time (and maybe only meeting them once). I tell them that something about their personality sparked my interest and I’m asking them out to root that out and find out if anything is really there, but they are turned off. More than once, I’ve heard, “How can you even like me already? You barely know me?”

It just literally boggles my mind.

Good read, though. Thank you and I will surely be passing this along to a few of those people in my life that need to read this.

30 Max February 26, 2008 at 4:31 am

I think you underestimate the value of groups to help protect women. In this day and age, women often don’t have the bonds of family or neighborhood to keep them safe and secure. Consequently, they only date members of the tribe–people who are friends of friends, and are thus pre-selected. I recall a woman scoffing when a NYC cop asked her out to dinner after they met in an elevator. As she explained, you hook up with people you already know.

People “date” plenty , but it is typically after they have met people in a group environment and have spent some serious time with them. Though random pick-ups do occur often enough! People can tell that they have something in common with one another by their dress, decorum, or even the look in their eyes. Certain neighborhoods even generate their own forms of community.

“Unfortunately, I seem to run into a lot of women that didn’t grow up in Southern California or something and are confused that I can ask them out on a date after only knowing them a short time (and maybe only meeting them once). I tell them that something about their personality sparked my interest and I’m asking them out to root that out and find out if anything is really there, but they are turned off. More than once, I’ve heard, “How can you even like me already? You barely know me?””

To me that seems a very sensible attitude. I think it’s wonderful that young people hang out in groups. There’s not enough community in this country as it is.

As for dating being a prelude to marriage–sure it can be, but would a “real man” let marriage interfere with him “finding himself” or “developing his passion?” I think not. Sad to say, many great achievers have neglected their families, but often that is something that “real men” have often had to do throughout history.

31 Bradford Stewart March 1, 2008 at 9:22 am

You are the best I have read.

32 Brett March 1, 2008 at 2:14 pm

@Bradford Stewart:

Thanks for the kind words. I went and checked out your art. Good stuff!

33 Tammi March 1, 2008 at 2:26 pm

It seems to me that “hangin out” is just a way for a guy to say you are good enough until something else better comes along. The grass is always greener…what is so wrong with dating anyway??? What it is if you are dating than you have to have the breakup conversation…if you are just hanging out, you feel you can just slip into the abyss…lazy, selfish and if you are doing that than you are just the girl to feel good about yourself in the moment…its not about her. Cause as is proven time after time if a guy really wants to be with you and no one else he will. Stop dabbling…don’t hang out unless you truly want to date. It is just confusing for everyone

34 thePiper March 11, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Max has an excellent point- a woman (and a courteous date) must keep her safety in mind; groups and crowds are an effective way to keep oneself safe.

When approaching a woman romantically a thoughtful man will try to view himself from her vantage point. If she barely knows him then he would do well to remember that this woman has every reason to be suspicious or scared of him and and he should not pressure her or take advantage of her politeness.

And on women turning dates down- A ‘no’ answer isn’t a bad thing at all, especially when you consider how bad a unwilling ‘yes’ can be. I’ve had more than one date that I wish had turned me down upfront. In high school, for a school dance my date didn’t want to go with me, accepted my invitation out of politeness, and was sullen and unresponsive the whole evening. If the answer had been ‘no’ at the start then I would have been free to find someone else to go with, and we both could have avoided a singularly unpleasant evening.

35 Willie Hewes March 12, 2008 at 2:15 am

“The atmosphere is relaxed and relations among opposite sexes never rises above the level of friendship.”

I don’t know where you get this idea, but when I was in uni, all we ever did was hang out. Nobody went on dates, the concept was foreign and a bit silly to us, like doffing your hat or something.

All the people in that particular group, bar one, are now in couples with the people they met in college, including me. Of course we are! You really think you can have a close knit group of single people of mixed sex, and not have them hook up? How weird.

It’s really easy to look at ‘hanging out’ from the outside and scoff that ‘these kids have no sense of responsibility’. It’s the easy way out, is it? I think not. You know how hard it is to keep a group of friends together while they hook up, break up, throw fits, get depressed, get better and still try to love each other? It’s hard work sometimes, but it’s worth it, because it gives you a sense of community and a variety of people you can call on or get involved with. And it means that if you break up with that one special person, you don’t end up sitting in a lonely little room somewhere wondering when you’ll next get the courage to ask someone out, or, if you’re a woman, when someone will next bother to ask you out!

It also gives hardened singletons a way to feel included and involved. Not everyone dates. Not everyone is ready, not everyone wants to, not everyone is attractive enough to. What are they supposed to do while all the “good” people are dating? How SELFISH to date, and not spend time with your un-hooked friends!

See how easy it is to pooh-pooh someone else’s ways of doing things? Talk about lazy!

I think dating is rediculous. I’ve never been on a formal date, and I’m sure I’d feel really uncomfortable and forced. What, you’re supposed to spend an evening with someone you barely know while you’re both trying to decide if you want to hook up? No pressure or anything! From what I hear around me, it doesn’t seem to work very well as a mate-finding method anyway. I think I’ll stick to hanging out.

36 He who is Q March 14, 2008 at 12:04 pm

I agree with the part about people being afraid to commit. A good long term relation is awesome and really rewarding. However I don’t believe that starting a family forces you to be a man. I know too many relationships that ended because the guy never grew up at all, so I find that logic flawed. Sadly many of those relationships had children in them, so the kids get to deal with a break up. Bad times.

I find a lot of these articles written from an “alpha” personality point of view. The advice here is great for them, but for others… it’s going to be different. Rejection hits many people differently. “It’s no big deal if she says no” is water off a duck’s back for some but others take it badly and are far less cavalier about it.

That siad, there’s a lot of good information here.

37 LC April 10, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Late getting here, but I’ll still add my thoughts. I know, for a lot of people at the high school level, it’s the fact that said woman will tell other said women, thus leading to knowledge of all potential dates that this man was rejected, and at the high school level (I know nothing matters at this level) said women may reject for the amusement.

38 Wrathbone April 14, 2008 at 12:39 am

Another latecomer, found this after just having some inquisitive thoughts on the current dating scene. I thought this article had a few great points, especially the Facebook comment. So true and yet so painful to face. Not to mention of course sites like Facebook and Myspace have not only distilled the dating scene, but our social interaction as well. As a bizarre experiment, I’m going to cancel my Myspace account, and just see how many people start calling me instead of leaving me comments and messages. A test of true friendship.

I have to disagree with the idea that the purpose of dating is to find a woman to start a family with. I personally have no intentions of doing so. In fact, now that I’m 29, I’ve come to realize that the longer you go without kids, the more you realize how little you need them. Times are different, there’s no need to leave a legacy anymore. Making meaningul contributions to society does not mean functioning as a brood mare for the state. Not to mention the multiple family men who look at me, their spirits broken, and tell me how important it is to NOT get married and have kids. Or at least to wait for as long as possible. Maybe marriage and kids was a great thing decades ago, but I really don’t see it. My parents are still very happy after 20 years, but when I look around the office and talk to these poor guys in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, I count my lucky stars I’m not hitched. Whether broken by an unhappy marriage or worse yet, a financially-crippling divorce, it just seems like getting married is the last thing I would want to do.

Besides, what is marriage but a government contract forcing you, under penalty of having to deal with lawyers, to stay with someone, even if you don’t love them? Personally, I think that’s why there’s such a high number of unhappy marriages. When you have a binding contract to stay with someone, why love them?

What’s wrong with just loving a woman and staying committed to her without marriage? I have an aunt and uncle who have been together since the early 70s and never got married. Of course, they’re a couple of traveling hippies, so maybe bucking the marriage convention of the establisment is just part of their whole philosophy, but still. They’re perfectly happy just being together.

But of course, maybe I’m just talking out of my rear end because I’m single and haven’t dated in a VERY long time. I’m sure if I follow some of the pointers outlined in this article I’ll run into a woman who might turn me around on the whole marriage prospect. My problem is that lately the women I’ve met have run into two extremes:

First are the women who are about as interesting as watching paint dry. I might be too picky, but it takes more than looks to spark my interest. I’m curious about women. I like to ask questions, get to know their ambitions, their interests, what they think about certain issues. Especially their artistic side, like what music and movies they’re into. And I’m usually answered with blank expressions and monosyllabic responses. Trying to initiate an interesting or even time-killing conversation with them is a challenge in of itself, never mind getting to the “asking them out on a date” part. Shoot, that’s become the easy part! And by the way, would it kill them to smile occasionally?

Then on the polar opposite are the “ME! ME! ME!” gals. Usually the one who almost all the guys in the group have “hooked up” with at least once, they never shut up about their most beloved topic: themselves. What they think about so-and-so, who they like, who they don’t like, their issues, their classes, their friends. And gods forbid they get some liquor in them. Normally I don’t mind a woman who’s willing to share her views on any variety of topics, but I’m sorry, I couldn’t care less about who left you a nasty message on your Friendster page, what that b*tch behind you in your Thursday morning class said about you, or who you slept with at the party last Saturday.

Personality is more important to me than anything when it comes to dating, and unfortunately, I’m still looking for the woman who has one.

39 Mr. Anonymous April 16, 2008 at 7:42 pm

“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”.

And since women never have to face rejection b/c they are not expected to initiate with men, they are totally resilient to rejection right? I call bullshit, women need to learn how to deal with rejection for a change. Men have been doing it for decades, don’t suddenly turn it on men that todays man is a wussy. Women have more than their fair share in that department.

“Why date?
The whole point of dating is to find someone you can settle down and start a family with”.

No its not! Maybe for some people. But the point in dating for others is simply to find companionship or to simply date many people. I know of people that are single that like to date more than one person. Don’t compartmentalize the reasons behind dating as a fit for everyone.

“Starting a family forces you to man up. A family is a responsibility. Responsibility breeds character. Character makes men. If you’re 30, single, and still feel like an adolescent, it’s probably because you still are”.

Once again, bullshit! So because I’m 35 and single I haven’t, “manned UP”. C’mon, having a family isn’t for everyone. And simply because someone isn’t a family man or woman doesn’t mean they don’t have their shit together. There are plenty of people nowadays that have chosen to focus on career in the early part of their lives rather than having families and I’ll tell ya — it takes plenty of, “manning up”, to go out and get your own education and career and being successful at the same time.

40 Nathan April 18, 2008 at 1:27 am

Great article. I have one thing to note about your stylistics.

“You haven’t taken the next step into adulthood- family.”

Your use of a dash to offset family from the rest of the sentence confuses the meaning of the sentence. It blends the words “adulthood” and “family” into a bizarre compound word. A better punctuation mark to use would have been a colon.

“You haven’t taken the next step into adulthood: family.”

It would have also been acceptable to capitalize ‘family’ to emphasize its importance in the sentence.

“You haven’t taken the next step into adulthood: Family.”

I believe that part of being a Man is being able to communicate effectively and clearly in any format, be it voice mail, email or text message. I don’t mean that you should be able to write like a prize-winning novelist, just that people can easily figure out what you are saying. “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White and the “The Art of Readable Writing/Plain Talk” series by Rudolf Flesch are both excellent resources to learn about effective communication.

Perhaps you should do an article on the subject.

41 Anton April 18, 2008 at 5:33 am

Im 20 now and so far i had only one serious relationship. Which was a disaster pretty much. I prefer hangin out. No commitment= no problems.

Must have something to do with new generation, heh.

42 Nellie May 2, 2008 at 5:50 pm

I think your blog brings up valid points. However, I believe in order to be with someone you need to be certain of your self. It’s not about whether you’re committed or not, it’s about “knowing who you are” and being able to love someone as much as you love yourself. If one can do that–then being committed is no longer a question. Dating one-on-one definitely allows people to really get to know each other. Going on group dates can actually hinder a relationship if that is the only social activities you do together. You’ll really never know how you interact as a couple. So… yes boys! Man-up and put your foot in the door of the dating world!

43 Lupin13 May 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

As a Man With Many Female Friends and a 32 year old Returning College Student, I am living many sides of this issue.
I’m not married, never have been. I do want to get married (once) and have kids. I’m fine with commitment, even with a 3 years of law school staring me in the face. However, I’ve reached a few breaking points:
I love my female friends. I’ve known some of them for over a decade. They were the first to return to me after the Problems Of My 20s finally stopped.
Overall, they’re great. There’s never been any love interest between myself and these ladies, although there is one great exception (tip: never date or fall for a modern dancer-choreographer), and I’m happy when they find great guys. However, the bar for women to become my friends is now extremely high. Most applications are rejected.
I don’t hate women, having close to a dozen close to somewhat-close female friends kinda proves that. What I need, and what I’m happily finding, is male friends (lost pretty much all the old ones during my 20s problems). I recently realized that I am happier and have more success with women when I have more male friends, even gay ones. I don’t know or care about why this is, it just is.
So now, if I’m not interested in a woman romantically or sexually or the connection isn’t beneficial in another way (financially, academically, etc.) then odds are I’m moving on. I’m more likely to make new female friends if they’re already married or in a relationship but no new single women.
Being 32 and in college with no career yet makes me somewhat undesirable for women my age. I understand and accept this, for the most part. So I’ve allowed myself to date younger women. I’m surrounded by them every day and we’re in a similar place in life. I won’t even think marriage until my career starts and that won’t be for 3 years at least and they’re in the same boat. We share the experience of being poor students, with the demands and stresses of college and part-time jobs, not careers, families and mortgages.
Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities stop. I have no problem asking a woman out for coffee but for some of them it’s like getting into the mafia: If you’re not already in their group, forget it. Many of them, but not all, seem to prefer the incestuous merry-go-round of the eight guys in their group, most of whom they’ve known since middle school or guys who their friends bring into the group.
That’s fine for adolescents but this is adulthood. I thought a hallmark of emerging maturity is realizing that dating outside of your circle of friends causes less stupid drama and helps preserve friendships. Maybe it’s just me but my friendships with my girls have been much easier and deeper because we’ve never shared DNA. Bonus: I get to have actual no-strings sexual flings with other women without worrying about losing a great friend.
A final word to young guys who might prefer the “group thing” over dating: Keeping your romantic and sexual life separate from your friends gives you much more privacy and control over it. Nothing, I mean NOTHING is more annoying than when your female friends are all up in your romantic or sexual business.

44 Mixael May 15, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Dating is dying because it is an archaic social institution based on the objectification of both men and women in the interest of fulfilling genetic priorities. Back when the physical relationship was more important than the mental/emotional one, it made sense to spend time and effort pursuing romantic interests based on blind attraction and initial impressions.

If anything, generation Y is responding to our increased emphasis on the social part of a relationship coupled with the accelerating overpopulation of the planet. People don’t need to get hitched at age sixteen so they can pump out children, anymore, and most of us are looking for partners. It only makes good sense for a teen to pursue someone he/she is already friends with, so “hanging out” is a better path to finding love. It reflects the times.

If you really think that we should be clinging to old systems and that change is negative, we can always go back to arranged marriage.

45 Andrew May 17, 2008 at 5:45 am

Mixael is right on. Modern relationships don’t require us to be fake and sexist. “Hanging out” is a much better representation of what life would be like together anyway. And yes you can have one on one dinners and romantic moments while keeping it casual. Of course, unless you can’t think for yourself and believe an expensive restaurant and diamonds are the only ways to a woman’s heart.

And no, we don’t spend time together to see if we’d make good lifelong partners. We spend time together as friends because we enjoy each other’s company and it’s what we want for today. We don’t live in a society where men are the breadwinners and select brides like property. Women are perfectly able to take care of themselves and just have fun unlike previous generations.

I’m sorry but you are romanticizing a past that wasn’t nearly as good as the present. Watch a lot of movies do you?

This article might have benefited an uncommiting wuss of a man in the 1940′s.

46 Wrathbone May 18, 2008 at 8:05 pm

@Andrew

Gotta disagree with you on a couple of points. No, the past is 10X better than the present because of the simplicity of how the dating scene used to be: Man meets woman. Attraction ensues. They exchange phone numbers. They arrange a date. They date, fall in love, get married, have kids.

Now it’s something like this: Man meets woman. He’s likes her, she doesn’t like anyone but herself. She says “Let’s just be friends” because she watches way too much Sex and the City and The Hills, and thinks dating is “like sooo old-school.” He’s a Gen-Y douche who’s self-esteem has been crippled by a lack of manliness brought on by an overabundance of PC-garbage and emo so he simply agrees to just “hang out” with her. She screws any guy who gets her drunk enough, he spanks it to Jessica Alba every night, using his own tears as lubricant.

Last time a girl tried to do the “I just wanna be friends” thing with me, I took my Dad’s advice and told her point blank, “If I wanted a friend, I’d go to a bar and sit next to a drunk.” Her jaw dropped to the floor, I walked away with the biggest shit-eating grin ever. I wound up in a great relationship with a much hotter friend of hers for 2 years while she’s still trolling the bars, not quite sure on who’s bed she’ll wake up. But whoever it is, it’s not gonna be one of her “friends” that she’s just “hanging out with.”

47 Guy May 22, 2008 at 11:21 am

“Marriage doesn’t mean an end to your personal progression. It just means you get to take on life with a best friend and lover by your side. Which makes the journey much more fun.”

As someone in a serious relationship, I find that the hassle of including her on my journey an impediment to much that I would like to do (backpack through *). Someone to take on your journey may seem appealing to some, but part of a good journey is the wide ranging variety of people you meet, in situations that may not be appealing to the more delicate sensibilities of the fairer sex. (Sounds chauvinistic, but I’ve had many a night ruined because my GF is not able or willing to participate/journey/whatever)

@Wrathbone:

Just because you watched a girl that you hard a hard on for sleep around with tons of women does not make every woman that way. I’ve been in numerous relationships that started by hanging out, and moved into stable monogamous relationships.

I don’t see how the contrived ritual of traditional dating is in any way more superior than the lawless dating world we live in today. We now have more room for innovation, and women were sleeping around in bars well before the decline of traditional dating.

48 Guy May 22, 2008 at 11:21 am

“Marriage doesn’t mean an end to your personal progression. It just means you get to take on life with a best friend and lover by your side. Which makes the journey much more fun.”

As someone in a serious relationship, I find that the hassle of including her on my journey an impediment to much that I would like to do (backpack through *). Someone to take on your journey may seem appealing to some, but part of a good journey is the wide ranging variety of people you meet, in situations that may not be appealing to the more delicate sensibilities of the fairer sex. (Sounds chauvinistic, but I’ve had many a night ruined because my GF is not able or willing to participate/journey/whatever)

@Wrathbone:

Just because you watched a girl that you hard a hard on for sleep around with tons of men does not make every woman that way. I’ve been in numerous relationships that started by hanging out, and moved into stable monogamous relationships.

I don’t see how the contrived ritual of traditional dating is in any way more superior than the lawless dating world we live in today. We now have more room for innovation, and women were sleeping around in bars well before the decline of traditional dating.

49 Kate McKay May 22, 2008 at 11:33 am

@Guy-If you find that you girlfriend is ruining your journeys, it probably means that you have the wrong girlfriend. A couple’s ability to travel together well is a definite litmus test of a relationship. A companion should make every activity more fun. Of course if you mean that she ruined your night because you wanted to go to a strip club, and she didn’t, then that is a totally bogus complaint.

50 Achilles May 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

“Here’s the deal. Starting a family forces you to man up. A family is a responsibility. Responsibility breeds character. Character makes men.”

I agree with this, but I does raise an issue. Don’t you think that a Man who is not ready for marriage or for having a family can cause a lot of people a lot of trouble by getting involved too early? I am talking about divorce, bad marriages, etc. These are often the result of people who didn’t know what they were getting into.

51 Brett McKay May 23, 2008 at 12:12 pm

@Achilles-If you read through some of the previous comments Cameron makes it clear that he doesn’t think guys should get married if they’re not ready. They just shouldn’t put it off for dumb reasons.

52 Sofi May 29, 2008 at 4:39 pm

It’s really frustrating when a guy stares at you every chance he gets then looks away really fast. Then walks past you about a billion times. You send signals, smile….blah blah blah…Nothing ever happens. Your friends all see it so it’s not your imagination. It’s not that he “isn’t that into you.” What’s even more frustrating is when you are dealing with people in their mid 20′s and 30′s doing this. C’mon guys! Man up. high school ended a while ago. Just because I want equal pay for equal work and the opportunity to do a job I am capable of doing that was traditionally a mans job does not mean I want to actually be a man. I love men and I like being a woman and I want to feel like a woman. And there is nothing more flattering than a man asking me out. There’s nothing that earns respect and admiration more than opening a door or car door for a lady…and OMG paying for dinner!!

Thanks for this site. It’s much needed!

53 Tangle Toed June 1, 2008 at 5:30 am

May I first say. Mate. This site is just…. bloody brilliant.

I recently came out of a 4 year relationship with a guy who is “finding himself” (aka needs-a-punch-in-the-face ) at the tender age of 28. I’m slowly crawling out from under my monogamy rock, I’m bewildered to find that boys just don’t ask girls out anymore and I just have no clue about all this dating business r there lack of.

Then again.. I was sitting in a cafe the other day having breakfest with a mate and discussing how hopeless I am, or we all seem to be at this dating business. I happen to look up and catch the eye of this rather rakish looking fella. He holds my gaze for awhile, breaks out in a grin and waves while walking past. I beam, chuckle, and straight away think to myself. “Huh. Aussie boys don’t wave!”. I finish brekkie, stroll outside. Lo and behold, the waving stranger is standing outside the cafe waiting to say “Hello…”

Anyway. Guys. Mates. Boys. Blokes. Men. Fella’s. Take a leaf from this European Lad who’s thought process went as follows: Oh. Girl. Eye Contact. Wave. Smile. Must. Meet. Go. As opposed to the Aussie dude process: Oh. Girl. Look. No, look away before she sees. Would my mates think she’s cute? Nah she’s to hot for me. Man I’ll look like a dick. What if she doesn’t dig me? Fuck. Where are me mates?

Moment OVER rover.

The moral of this story simply is this… Us ladies LOVE to be asked out. Call me old fashioned gen-XY-er or watever but hell. We like a smile, a wave, a grin. In the day. Broad daylight. Before lunch. In the afternoon sun. Thats right. Sober. Drug-free. Herd-free.

Give it a whirl.
Looking forward to it.

54 Joe June 6, 2008 at 1:42 pm

thanks for helping me summon the courage to do this. i feel as if i’m old fashioned and would much rather date than just hook up. I’ve had a few one night stands but I never really got anything out of it. I guess I wad really looking for a connection, something lasting.

One night stands are just as cheap as rand.

And yeah, I used to think that I had to do something extraordinary to get a date too, but now I just realize that I’ve got it all- I might be 19 and in college, but I know where I’m going with my life, what my ambitions are…and yeah I think I’ve found myself before I hit the dreaded 20.

55 Arsen June 8, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Brett,
Wow! Thank you for this amazing, incredible website!

My two cents:
People who think that “hanging out” is fine, that “courtship” , acting like a “man” or a “woman” is corny, they will (unfortunately) end up a lonely bunch of eighty-year-olds, for whom nobody cares. If you live only for yourself, you will end only with yourself — no loving spouse, no kids, nobody to take care of you when you need love and care the most.

Nobody said dating (courting) is easy — it is not. It is work to find someone, and it is work to stay with that someone, it is work all around. So, let us be frank — if you prefer to “hang out” , you do so because you are lazy, you do not want to put forth an effort to get the real thing, and you prefer to merely hook up when you feel horny. Hey, it is your choice, and it is a free country!

I lived through college always being stressed, feeling that I missed some rule or trick about how to deal with women — and I did. It is so simple! Just ask and be a man! If she is not interested — then move on to next girl! Now I have to unlearn all that crap I tried doing in college. It is so frustrating now to look back at all this time I tried playing the “hang out” game, wasting my time and energy.

Great post!

56 Alan .S June 11, 2008 at 10:34 am

I have to say, I really enjoyed reading this article. I am currently 12 years old, and in year 7.i Have fallen in love with a year 9. There is a visible age gap, however me and her are good friends, But i do want to take that friendship further. But i am a coward when it comes to this, proboably i’ve been single most my life.
I just do NOT want to lose her as a friend, if she says no. We say stuff like “I love you” But thats only as a joke. She does to all her good friends. I really want to ask her out, though. Its eating away at me, Because i really dont know what to do. Take the risk, Or not?
I cannot mak my mind up. All i know is that i truly love her, and id rather keep her as a friend rather than lose her over one question.
Thank you for reading this, and i hope that someone here will be able to help me.

57 Anti-Feminista June 11, 2008 at 11:18 am

I have my admiration for people/guys that choose solitude. Doesn’t make them less of a man – no, the feministas and in general the media has already turned the MAN into a wuss. Ever noticed commercials or TV shows movies and such always portray the MAN as incompentent? Watch Everybody Loves Raymond – the wife constantly berates the man and he always apologizes and she’s always right. How many commercials have you seen where the woman beats the man in a race/fight/competition…etc.?

Why is it a man’s job to ask the lady out?!??! Feministas have you all going about equality…well, it’s beyond that now, you’re more than equal you took over so do your “EQUAL” share and ask dudes out, provide for the family and let the man stay home with the kids, serve the military and be freely drafted at 18, lose your house after a divorce to your husband…

58 Brett McKay June 11, 2008 at 11:39 am

@Alan-

I know you might feel like you have strong feelings for your lady friend, but I would recommend you not start dating at such a young age. As you read in this post, dating is really about looking for a potential marriage partner. At 12 years old, you really shouldn’t be thinking about getting hitched yet. Now is the time to enjoy being a kid and being friends with girls. Guy/girl friendships are really fulfilling. Going out might ruin that friendship. So save the dating business until high school and, ideally, college.

59 JJ June 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm

I dare say I might have snagged a guy who actually knows what he’s doing. First we had a casual lunch (granted, I suggested it) but then I think he took that and ran with it. He called me over the weekend and asked me if I wanted to go out with him and his friends, then he asked me out for coffee, then he asked me out to the movies. But he’s the only one to have ever asked me out. I really wish more guys would take the initiative. From our perspective, guys don’t like forward girls who ask them out, but then they claim to not have a clue about girls but the second we show any interest in them, they lose interest. That’s why we get so confused when guys ask us out. I’m still a little skeptical as to whether this guy is actually asking me out or just thinks of me as a friend. He’s never tried to make a move, but we haven’t known each other for very long. He’s paid for everything as well except for today and that was because I insisted on paying. I mean if he’s going to buy me coffee and lunch, then I can at least buy him lunch once, eh? Also another female perspective- we like when guys pay the first few times, but we start to feel guilty if they ALWAYS pay. Least I do, I don’t want a guy to think I’m using him, especially when its quite the opposite, lol So that’s one girls prerogative.

60 Gary F. July 3, 2008 at 9:53 am

Willie Hewes up there hit it right on the head. It’s ignorant to look at a big group of 20 somethings and assume none of them are hooking up with each other. I’m 26 and since the end of HS it’s all been the same; you have your crews of friends and these crews of friends all hookup within their own crew. No one actually goes out on “dates”. It’s 2008, not 1958. Dates are just a waste of time. Hanging out anyways, be it two people, three, or 15, is just the same without all the formality. Most people would prefer to be sexually compatible with someone before they decide to commit. All committed relationships I know of and have been in myself started out as fuck buddies / friends with benefits / an open relationship first.

61 Gary F. July 3, 2008 at 10:07 am

“Starting a family forces you to man up.”

lol

Starting a family is an end of your life as a man, not the other way around. Kids are the end of fun and independence. I’m not against marriage but having kids is just a waste of time and resources.

62 Rhoda July 6, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Amen!

63 Matt July 7, 2008 at 6:02 am

Though I do agree with you on some of your points on how us youths aren’t socially apt as we should be, I don’t 100% agree with you concept of hanging-out, or simply you don’t see the whole picture.
Yes hanging-out is with a group, but thats not the only activity that you call hanging-out.
Before I started dating the girl I am now, we were “hanging-out” but it wasn’t the same hanging-out with groups. We refered to it as “hanging-out” but it was just us…one on one interaction to get to know the other person better. I think my generation is over using the term, but I think we like to consider a Date formal and hanging-out less formal. Agree with me or not, thats my experience.

64 Becky July 22, 2008 at 10:41 am

Why does it have to be a choice between hanging out and dating? I always thought of hanging out as part of the process: You meet lots of people and become friends. You hang out with your friends in groups and get to know them. After getting to know a person as a friend you start going on dates which can then lead to marriage.

I think getting to know someone as a friend first is important. In friendship there’s not the pressure to impress that there is in a one-on-one relationship which can skew the way people portray themselves (knowingly or unknowingly) and make it difficult to really get to know someone.

65 Joey July 23, 2008 at 2:52 pm

I have to agree, friendship is the death knell of romance. Let me qualify this! More specifically, it is when friendship comes first that romance is precluded. I trust the paradigm of the “just friends” is alive and well in today’s culture, i.e., that inescapable “hell” (sorry Jonathan, I’m just a modern, secular fool who acknowledges, but cares little for, the mores of ancient cults/religions) where the person you are interested in finds you interesting enough to entertain a platonic relationship, but rejects all romantic/sexual notions because of lack of attraction or frequently, an over-estimated valuation of the platonic aspects of the relationship. “I don’t want to ruin our friendship,” is the usual tagline. “Hanging out” does cater to this situation, and is the main reason I would also advocate dating over hanging out. I know a lot of guys live in fear of rejection, mostly because in their minds they have estimated that they really should have a shot with the woman in question. Call it narcissism if you will, but I think that most of the time, people are careful estimators of who they are compatible with, or at least attracted to. A rejection would seem to prove that our skills in estimation are wrong, that we have the wrong view not only of those we think we are on par with but of ourselves, and that such rejection requires us to face the need to devalue ourselves. Clearly, this isn’t the case, for there are many reasons one is rejected, only a minority of which are directly connected to our social value and attractiveness. But, nevertheless, most young people today proceed cautiously, tenaciously clinging to whatever gains may be made in relating to one who is the object of desire. So, proceeding thus, a person may speak safely, not intimating that they are attracted to the other person, always listening intently, paying prodigious attention, but never professing any feelings, or proffering a romantic pursuit. That leaves the other person with this image of the perfect friend, someone whom they can count on for friendship. And the longer that goes on, the more concrete that cast becomes. It is true, don’t “hang out”. Balls to the walls ask her out, while she is still able to conjure you in a sexual light, and not a teddy bear.

Now, the feminism excuse, I agree is invalid. It’s not feminism’s fault that dating has declined. In fact, I think it could be a boon if followed correctly. That means that as part of being an independent, equal member of society, a woman should bear equal responsibility in the asking out department. Men should not have to shoulder all the responsibility in the dating arena. Some men are introverted and do not venture out and divide and conquer in “manly” fashion. Some men that outwardly seem aloof and disinterested are actually deep thinkers and are quite refined and receptive to the advances of others. The man-as-chaser/woman-as-chased system is obsolete and needs supplanting. I think a lot of women would be happier if they went for those they are attracted to. If we truly want our society to catch up to our technology, we must act in ways that match our modern philosophy of equality. A strange thing to say on a site dedicated to the distinguishing of “manliness” as against other virtues, but I would posit the corollary that “manliness” is just a 19th century way of saying “humanness.”

Go for the things you want.

66 John Henning July 29, 2008 at 7:56 am

Willie Hewes understands how it works today. This is an obvious generational divide. No one in today’s “Generation Yâ€? (80s/90s babies) go on formal dates. You save that for when you’re actually in a committed relationship (dating). Everything up until commitment is just hanging out. You go from there. There is no more of this “let’s go to dinner than wonder if this is the right # date to sleep with each otherâ€? bullshit. Everyone just chills with the person they’re interested in (with other friends sometimes). What happens, happens. Now that I think about it none of my boys go on what you would consider former dates with any chicks unless they’re already dating them (in a committed relationship). No one calls going out for drinks with a chick you barely know or are just getting to know a “dateâ€?. It’s just hanging out or chilling.

67 Chuck Weber August 8, 2008 at 5:17 am

There is nothing new under the sun. Group activities vs 1-on-1 is not really much different now than it has been for many generations. The fear of rejection has always been there. Dominant women or pushover women, uncertainties about committments, “falling in love” vs. unselfish love, manliness vs. arrogance–people have been struggling with these issues for a long time.

I appreciate the article, and I would offer one additional concern that has been alluded to in a few of the posts–the issue of sex. In many circles, a date implies having sex. This is unfortunate, as it often clouds the real “relating” that could/should be occurring. The group setting is protection for women (and for some men, too) who don’t want a relationship based on sex. It is pure nonsense that you need to see how someone works out in bed in order to assess possibilities for long-term relationship. The strength of a relationship is in selfless love (forgiveness, patience, kindness, etc.); sex is the most self-centered activity of a relationship.

Just a personal note: I am 55, married for 24 yrs, have 6 kids, the oldest of whom alerted me to this article. The first time I had sex with my wife was on our wedding night. Over the years, we have had many disagreements, and had to work through many issues. Raising kids is not easy. Doing it right consumes enormous amounts of time, money and energy. Both marriage and family require sacrifice. But they also bring great joy and reward. I would not trade places with any of you single folks or DINKS.

I pity those poor souls who are only living life for themselves. Their relationships are shallow: men using women as toys, women using men–well, forget it, this article is about men. Yes you get what you want, you can go and do mostly as you please. But you will never know the joy and satisfaction I have of building up others in an intimate family relationship, being a part of something much larger than myself, where the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts. Oh, and you are also going to depend on my kids to pay for your retirement and Medicare, you leech. You better hope that I do a good job in raising them.

68 Amelie August 12, 2008 at 6:15 am

The one mentioning facebook is SO true. My guy friends keep writing on my facebook wall and leaving me little comments- and I swear, if I get another crush alert I will go postal. If only I could muster the courage to send this to any of my male friends. But I agree with this article 100%.

69 Carla August 12, 2008 at 5:48 pm

OH
MY
GOD

you are awesome. simply put. AND I hope people get offended when I refer to the amount of DICKS commenting on this page.

you spelled out exactly how I have been feeling ina far more eloquent way than I ever could. Thank you for writing this. I will be posting it on my journal.

you’re awesome.

and did I mention.. you’re awesome?

70 sashia August 13, 2008 at 12:20 pm

i completely agree with this post. i hate that every boy i’m attracted to is always waiting on me to make the first move! just because i’m ‘intimidating’ or attractive, they go completely yellow and wuss out. men, follow this post’s advice. women want you to make the first move, or at least women like me do.

71 Darryl August 13, 2008 at 5:42 pm

@Ken

Kudos to you because I’ve gone through a similar experience as yourself.

People; just because your single or choose not to date doesn’t mean that you have a problem or that your homosexual. So don’t judge people because they haven’t dated in awhile/ or at all (I’m only 30 and can count the number of ‘dates’ on one hand and still have fingers left)

While I’m extremely shy, I still jump at the chance at ‘hanging out’ with women, (I may get lucky or they may hook me up with someone. And it also gives me a chance to see what women want in a man.)

Using Facebook to ask someone on a date, I dunno there could be a lot of reasons for doing it. (I’m not defending the practice mind you I’m just playing Devil’s Advocate) maybe the person is extremely shy and afraid of rejection? who knows? I myself would probably frown upon the practice.

Whatever happened to pen and paper and asking someone that way? I know it’s old fashioned considering technology these days, But I’m sure someone finds it chivalrous (and maybe save you from looking like an ass if you try to ask face to face and nothing comes out of your mouth!)

72 conner August 26, 2008 at 8:59 pm

i agreed with brett on almost everything on this topic. im a freshman in hs and i think a good percentage of guys my age dont see girls as ppl to have a relationship with and only as playthings to hook up with and as a result girls think that to meet guys they to be more willing to hook up. im not saying this guys are bad ppl but someone needs to teach them to respect girls and the social standards of my generation arent doing that. srry about the bad grammar and run on sentences but im using a psp

73 Dominique September 9, 2008 at 9:53 am

What a great post – thank you for telling men to grow up & be men! I have a small caveat, though I agree with the rest of what you said. Please don’t ask us over for dinner on the first few dates. It’s nice that you can cook. It’s far outweighed by the uncomfortableness of being at your house or apartment. Maybe it’s because I date in NYC & have to be wary, but I am absolutely not going anywhere near your house until I’ve seen you in public a few times. The risk is just not worth it.

@ all the people who think hanging out & fucking until you figure out whom you want to date is fine – maybe if you’re a guy. I’m Gen Y & every single one of my girl friends, without exception, gets completely messed up when she starts sleeping with a guy before there’s any kind of commitment, however little. I agree that sexual compatibility is extremely important. But girls, we can hold out for a bit & make sure the guy is worth our time.

74 Anonymous September 19, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Also, with a lot of women and girls drooling over attractive, successful men and boys they see in the media these days, it’s even getting tougher for the average man or boy to ask them out because they’re always thinking that these women and girls would rather go out with these handsome men-talk about being superficial.

In addition to that, the issue of women being raped, harassed, and/or killed makes it harder to date. Everytime a man initiates everything with a woman, from the first approach to the first date, he is always being slapped with a rape, murder, or sexual harassment lawsuit and ending up in prison. So, guys, if you are in the presence of a woman or girl you like, wait for her to make the first move. If you think about approaching the woman or girl you see and initiating everything, please have one or more females you know and trust very well around so that way you don’t get into trouble. Don’t do it alone or with one or more other guys around. No matter what, they will always get scared, run away, dial the police, turn you down and/or say no, especially if they are much smaller and/or slimmer than you are.

75 Andrew duitsman September 30, 2008 at 10:03 am

Im recently having a hard time to ask a girl out. i’m a junior and shes a freshman but i find it hard because like she says that she is afraid of relationships and when i try to suppress these fears i find it more hard to ask her things and i ask her to hang out and she has communication problems like distance she is like 16 miles away and gas prices are pretty bad now what should i do someone plz i really like this girl and “just do it damn it” isn’t going to help. i need any advice my friends have no clue

76 Barry October 3, 2008 at 8:01 am

I wholeheartedly agree with your blog entry above. I was that 30 year old adolescent you described and now that I have finally manned up with a wife and two kids, I can clearly see that I would have been much better off if I had manned up much earlier in life. There’s nothing out there to wait for and the pickings just keep getting slimmer with each passing year. Marriage and fatherhood has not been a cake walk and has been harder and more challenging that I ever imagined, but it still beats the endless, pointless searching of singlehood.

I don’t know what happened to the institution of dating, but it sure did die out. Part of the problem might be that it seems almost universal that any couple that has been going out longer than 2 dates is involved in an exclusive sexual long-term relationship. It’s like people go from meeting to shacking up with nothing in between any more. Maybe if we’d talk together a little before sleeping together we could figure out if we are compatible without it being a 6-12 month process each time.

77 jOnathan October 8, 2008 at 2:16 pm

so I took the first step and introduced myself to this very stunning lady I see everyday on the train. we had conversation just once, and that’s when i had the courage to approach her and ask for her name but she always say hi when she sees me at the train station. I believe she’s not married coz i don’t see any wedding ring but I want to know if she has a child and/or a boyfriend. how do I get to such personal information without being too forward when asking. i really like this girl but i cant seem to level up myself.

78 Chris October 9, 2008 at 10:50 am

Lessons from a man who spent too much time being friends with girls and not enough dating.

Having girls that are friends is fine. Actually, since women seem to know more about things we guys are useless on such as clothes and style it is not a bad idea to have a few to bounce ideas off. But, do not and I repeat, do not spend all your leasure time with female friends.

You are a guy. And trust me, if you ever want to be more than “friends” with a girl, spend your non-dating time with guys.

Reason 1. Girls want guy friends for selfish reasons (whether they admit it to themselves or not). We are great at making them feel special and unlike their female friends, we don’t judge them. The icing on the cake is that they can get all this from us and don’t have give anything in return (and you can take that any way you want). By the way, this holds true for you homosexual guys too.

Reason 2. You can have all the guy buddies you want and unless they have issues you are unaware of, they will not be a major problem when you want to date someone. With female friends, you have to worry about balancing time with them (because they will be jealous) and with the new dating girl (who will be jealous of the female friends). EIther way you will be stuck. Ignore the new girl enough and she’ll dump you, or ignore the female friends enough and they’ll turn on you.

Reason 3. Please don’t ever be friends with a girl you like. Although friends can become lovers it never happens if you like them first, they want to be friends,and you do so hoping it will become something else.

Reason 4. Sometimes a girl does like you (parts anyways. your humour, your sensitivity, something but not anything that leads directly to the bedroom). Like guys, some girls are players. They want mr. bad for friday night but then want mr. good to cry to on saturday morning. You don’t have to be mr. bad but please don’t be mr. good. Look, if you got to sit through that Sex and the City movie for a bit of affection then she can kiss you for a bit of attention. This isn’t sexist. I’m not saying she has to perform sex for your time but that doesn’t mean she should be able to use you either. And if you are a Mr. Good, you my friend are being used.

So to all you lads, young and old, dump the female buddies. Call the fellas for a guys night out. And if a girl catches your eye, ask her out on a real date. None of this, going to a movie with the “gang”. That ain’t a date. Don’t ask her friends if she likes you. Go up and as yourself. Be a man. Girls, all girls, like that. And if you are a young lad who gets passed over for being “too nice” don’t be sad. Just remember that she’ll get her’s when she hit’s 30-odd, the bio-clock is ticking, and all the nice guys are gone.

So get off the computer and date.

79 Chris October 9, 2008 at 10:58 am

@jOnathan

Jon just ask her if she’s seeing anyone. She’s not wearing a ring so you would be forgiven if you are wrong. Who knows, maybe there is someone, but being reminded that no one knows it because he won’t get off his butt to propose to her might make her think that you’d be a better catch.

Also, on the flip-side. If she’s not interested, you’ll give her a way out (“oh i have a bf”) without having to hurt your feelings or your self-esteem.

80 Brett October 9, 2008 at 7:58 pm

@Chris – Great advice.

81 Stephanie October 15, 2008 at 7:19 am

Hi. Thanks to you – and your wife – for this site.

This clarifies, as a start, what has happened to our society. I know I strongly dislike hearing a guy say “hang out”. Although I do a lot of that in a singles group at my church and like that very much. For what it is now.

When the line between “hanging out” ALONE and dating start to blur in society, that’s when I stop and scratch my head. I was beginning to wonder if there was something I wasn’t understanding. I need a man who knows what he wants and will go after it. After it to show respect, interest, goodness, etc.

From my perspective, and some other women I know, hanging out is very confusing. This is “hanging out” and it only being the one guy and the one girl. I crave definition – not control.

I’m going to be looking to this site for definition. My dad is a good example of manlihood and has opened my eyes to some things. But of course, he never had to deal with the “hanging out”, texting, emailing, computer-dating generation.

Thanks for the “purity” of the articles I have read. I trust we were made by God and he certainly set things up for good. The giver of good not the restricter of fun.

I’m ready for that good.

82 Jon October 15, 2008 at 7:21 am

Reasons to “hang out” instead of asking her on a date:

- you’re not sure if you like her enough to take her out, but are still somewhat interested
- hanging out with a group of friends is more natural
- she gets to see you in a more comfortable atmosphere, with friends
- she gets to see your friends, who presumably are cool, and that works in your favor

But by all means, if you like her enough and want to take her out, then do it.

Could not disagree more with asking her over to your place and cooking dinner for her on the first date. I cannot imagine a creepier thing. Put it this way – if you can find a girl who is willing agree ahead of time to come to your place for a first date, there’s no need to impress her by cooking her dinner.

Keep it simple for the first date. Drinks after work and that’s it. Dinner is usually too much, and can actually be a turn off (“oh, I’ve got this guy already, he wants to buy me dinner and he doesn’t even know me”). That’s another reason why “hanging out” can work. Keep her guessing. (“Weird, he seems like he likes me, but he hasn’t asked me out – he just wants to hang out in a group.”).

Finally, if it’s what you’re after, probably a better chance that she (and everyone) will get drunker when hanging out in a group.

83 William October 26, 2008 at 8:13 am

Alright, I just need some advice here. For some background, here it is…
I have dated before, unlike most youth my age (17), I date for personality, and not shallow reasons. I just bailed 2 months ago on a relationship due to distance and other factors. This is irrelevant.

There’s a girl I have been close to for about 4 or 5 years now. She’s dated other people, I’ve dated other people, and now I’m comfortable with the idea of dating her. She just got out of a relationship with a total jerk, and due to the specifics of that relationship, she is over him.

I’m simply wondering…Would it jeopardize our friendship to take the steps to dating? When is it late enough after her previous relationship to jump back into another one?

Side note: I’m taking her to a game today, I don’t know if you’d call it a “date”, but yeah.

84 M.C. October 29, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Originally Posted By WilliamAlright, I just need some advice here. For some background, here it is…
I have dated before, unlike most youth my age (17), I date for personality, and not shallow reasons. I just bailed 2 months ago on a relationship due to distance and other factors. This is irrelevant.

There’s a girl I have been close to for about 4 or 5 years now. She’s dated other people, I’ve dated other people, and now I’m comfortable with the idea of dating her. She just got out of a relationship with a total jerk, and due to the specifics of that relationship, she is over him.

I’m simply wondering…Would it jeopardize our friendship to take the steps to dating? When is it late enough after her previous relationship to jump back into another one?

Side note: I’m taking her to a game today, I don’t know if you’d call it a “date”, but yeah.

Is that game a date? Well…

A woman friend of 1.5 yrs once invited me over to her parents place for dinner, even got herself all decked out with make-up, nice clothes, and super styled hair.

And she just wants to be friends.

85 Ben October 30, 2008 at 6:13 pm

I think a lot of folks on here have proven that society no longer has a concept of what love is: commitment. Focus guys: if your single because you have other commitments, then you simply love that more than a relationship with a person; if your single because you don’t like the idea of raising a family or being with one person for the rest of your life, then you’re immature. It’s not that hard. Love is work, and if you don’t have the balls to work with someone for the rest of your life, that’s your loss. Some singles know, expect, and accept that, most don’t and complain about how their so empty and lonely. And a bite of info: the opposite of love is pride. What is blocking you from loving someone enough to spend the rest of your life with them?

86 Juliana November 12, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Just a tiny comment in response to “feminism” making dating confusing for men.
Trust me, it makes it confusing for women, too:

“Will he be insulted in I offer to split the bill, insulted if I don’t?”
“I want to kiss him, will he think I’m too forward if I make the move?”

and the very worst:

“I want to sleep with him, I know that already. He’ll try for it tonight. Will he never call me again if I do it? We both want to sleep with each other…should I say no anyway?”

87 Chris November 15, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Notice it’s only guys in these comments who say dating is dead, while all of the women say they (and all the girls they know) would love to be asked out.

88 JD November 23, 2008 at 7:54 pm

@Chris
I was going to say the same thing.

I agree whole-heartedly with this article. I’m a third-year college student (studying music education) who was left early in November (she finally got sick of me being poor and wanting to be a teacher). We had been together for almost 4 years, so it’s been tough. I’ve been hanging out with a girl, and mutual friends, for about a week now and really want to take her on a date. My intention is to get to know her better, not start “going steady”. I mean, I just had my heart ripped out. I don’t need to take a chance on hurting this girl just because I’m lonely.

Anyway, thanks for the straightforward advice. My roommate and I have been taking to heart the things said here as we both try to be Godly men. And any response to this would be greatly appreciated.

89 Tenzing November 26, 2008 at 9:27 am

Thanks for the great post. And I love your site too.

90 Heeeelp December 3, 2008 at 4:23 pm

I have a problem:

I can only flirt with ugly chicks.

I don’t even mean too. I’m naturally “flirtatious” (in a retarded sort of way) but the only time I can act naturally around a girl is if I have absolutely no interest in them whatsoever.

Girls intimidate me.

I don’t really think of ugly girls as girls, (sorry ugly chicks, ) so I can talk to them.

WTF should I do?

91 Chris H December 4, 2008 at 2:03 pm

@Heeeelp
Heeeelp. Sounds like you suffer from one of men’s worst enemies, low self-asteem. You probably think that you are not a worthy catch so why would you think a hot girl would want you. Either that or you are afraid of rejection .

I’ll offer my suggestions for the first probable problem first.

I know people will tell you to buck up or get out there or man up or grow a pair or some other unhelpful comment but the first thing you need to do is figure out why you don’t think a “hot girl” would like you. Start by looking in the mirror and asking yourself, “if I was a girl, would I want this guy” and if the answer is “no” then reflect on why you think that.

Do you think you look too nerdy? Weak? Or do you think there is something about your personality like maybe you like sci-fi and you think the girls will dislike that? And sorry, by the way, if my examples are way off base, I am not labelling you. I don’t even know you. These are just random examples.

Next, if you think its your look or some other superficial characteristic then you got it easy. These are easy to improve (if you really want to). You wanna look more “manly”?Work out. Doesn’t have to be anything nuts. Start with a daily routine of pushups and situps and go from there. You want look more manly and less nerdy/geeky/whatever? Take an interest in your look. Don’t know where to begin? Ask a girl or gay friend for advice but don’t let them take over. This is YOUR look. Be happy with it. And speaking of girls and gays, despite what our modern North American society has taught us, it is NOT feminine to care about how you look (now obsessing about it, and being truely vain is). There is a reason why some girls complain that all the good MEN are either married or gay. I think ZZ Top were on to something when they sang, “Every girl goes crazy for a sharp dressed man”. Oh and a final note on clothes. You don’t need expensive clothes to look good. Just learn how tell if a piece of clothes fits you correctly and go from there. Cheap, well-fitted clothes beat expensive, ill-fitted every time.

Now if your problem has to do with something deeper than looks you are gonna have to work harder. Maybe see a counsellor or at least find a good friend who will let you bounch your thoughts off them without judging you or trying to help fix you. Then really think about the thing you dislike about the guy in the mirror. Is that thing a part of who you are? Do you want to change it? If not, then why are you ashamed of it?

Now for the second possible problem, FEAR.
Ever been bit by a bee. I was when I was about 3 years old. I remember the pain being bigger than anything. So much so that as an adult I’d rather let you punch me in the gut than be bitten by a bee. Why? Logic tells me that a big punch gotta be worse than the bee’s little sting. But in my mind, I’ve taken a punch as an adult. It hurt. But my toddler memory of that bee sting hurt more. So now, if you make a fist to hit me I will take it and hit you back. A bee comes in the room and I run for the hills.

Maybe you were rejected once and it hurt a lot. Or maybe you were afraid of being rejected so much that you ran for the hills the moment a hot girl (who could potentially reject you) entered the room. Like my bee, your brain has told you to run everytime the hot girl comes near and has rewarded you by telling you that your action (running away) prevented the horrible feeling of rejection.

This is what to do. Go to a place where there are hot women. Then go up and talk to one. You may studder, you may sweat, but don’t run. And even if she does reject you. Ask yourself, did that hurt? Now I should add, when you do this, follow this advice too. First, if you got buddies who will tease you for being shot down, leave them at home. Losers. They are jealous that you got more balls than them and that makes them feel inferior to you. Since they can’t get the courage to ask out the girls themselves, their way to decrease your superiority to them is to tease you and bring you down to their inferior level. Also, if the girl makes a big deal about it. Basically instead of being flattered (she can shoot you down and be nice), she says something to embarrass or insult you then thank her. Trust me, your eyes may have told you she was hot but thankfully her big mouth showed you that she is in fact the ugliest chick in the room.

So heeeelp, good luck. And I’ll make a deal with you. You ask out a few hot girls without running and I’ll let a bee sting me. We got a deal?

92 JulioAlejandro December 18, 2008 at 2:13 am

A gentleman is someone who is self aware, socially aware, cultural, musical, artistic, knowledgeable, smart, honest, educated, well mannered, confident, polite, someone aware of when violence is needed, logical and most of all respectful and respected.

We are not taught to think that way anymore. We have bred a world wide culture which thrives on procrastinating, materialism and selfishness. We care more about ourselves than others yet, the person we fear the most is ourselves. We fear our own daemons and our own truths which lead to the lies and fronts we surround ourselves with. Making us incapable of acting logically.

This translates into our sex/dating lives.
Fearful of taking risks, paranoid of what may happen, insecure about ourselves and confused on what action to take.

93 Anja Flower December 23, 2008 at 8:24 pm

I’m a modern, somewhat butch, outgoing, bisexual feminist woman – a deathrocker (enthusiast for goth-punk music), underground comics artist and a participant in queer culture, geek culture and subculture in general. So I’m more or less the opposite of a shrinking violet.

Having said that, guys, take the initiative! That’s not to say that women shouldn’t as well – but true feminism being about equality, it’s not chauvinist to step up to the plate at all. In fact, it’s attractive, even if you consider yourself a gentle, quiet, or femme man. It shows courage, and says that you’re interested enough to be willing to risk rejection from someone you admire.
I know what it’s like to have low self-esteem – trust me, I do. But stepping up to the plate is not about bravado, seduction, or being the perfect person. It’s not even about manliness, really – it’s just about showing you’re sincere, showing you care, and having the courage to actively pursue what you want.

On the swearing thing, frankly, all cuss words are for emphasis. Then again, I don’t really care about swearing, and I swear like a sailor myself. I guess that makes me unwomanly…?

94 chik December 30, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Facebook, feminism, xbox… it’s all true. You totally nailed it. Love this article. Love this site. While some of the stuff (ex. shaving tips) is clearly just for guys, there are plenty of goodies (ex. virtue of silence) for anyone in need of guidance on making the leap into adulthood. You’ve certainly inspired this woman to “man up” more in the coming year. Bravo.

95 Darren Meyer January 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

For what it’s worth, I’ve steadfastly avoided reading the well-over-100 comments on this post until after I’ve had my say. If I repeat someone else as a result, my apologies.

I agree with all of your general points, and most of your specific points. I do, however, think you missed an important reason why men are reluctant to ask women out.

You say that if you are rejected, nothing has changed: you didn’t have a date before, and you don’t have one now. Unfortunately, it’s slightly more complex than that, because not all women will behave like ladies when rejecting a suitor. A lady would politely decline the date – no reason is necessary, but she would at least be discreet.

Unfortunately, too many women make a humiliating show of rejecting a suitor in whom she has no interest. This raises the stake for the gentleman intent on asking any woman out. Additionally, many men and women alike have some difficulty continuing an acquaintance or friendship after a more intimate relationship (e.g. a date) has been proposed; this further raises the stake for the earnest gentleman.

However, I do agree wholeheartedly with you end advice about the possibility of rejection: be a man, not a child, and ask the woman out. If the gentleman discovers the woman is not a lady by dint of her behaving a fool when rejecting him, then he has gained valuable knowledge. Additionally, should post-rejection awkwardness ensue, the same courage that allowed the gentleman to request the date should allow him to set the example for the lady who has declined him. In my experience, a gentleman who makes an effort to move past any awkwardness will very quickly have his effort rewarded in the form of continued — and perhaps closer — friendship.

Regards,
Darren Meyer

96 Jen January 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Hey, forgive the intrusion. If it helps, despite being a girl I do lots of ‘manly’ things; bit of Ju-Jutsu, bit of swordplay, lots of swearing and rugby watching etc. so I won’t femme up the place too much. (But have you considered more floral decoration on the site?)

I really liked this article, and I wasn’t offended by the feminism remark – and I’m proud to say I am a feminist. It was an interesting point, I think that a misunderstanding of feminism by men and women who are just plain mean have made heterosexual interactions a bit trickier.

To be honest, I think young men and women should work on getting comfortable with dating again. If you like someone, do something about it. It’s usually fun, and the biggest risk is a broken heart which contrary to popular belief, isn’t the worst thing in the world- I mean, hyperinflation and malaria have to be worse!

97 Dale January 14, 2009 at 11:16 am

It’s really unwise to think entering a relationship is just going to make you more mature… instead of you “finding yourself” first. This is a disastrous scenario in long term relationships.

One reason divorce is so prevalent is precisely because people don’t “find themselves” first and think a relationship is going to magically fix everything. Well for one thing… if you don’t know yourself then how are you going to know what type of person that you should be with??? And who wants to commit themselves to anyone when they are immature? A breeding ground for codependency this is.

Grow up before you decide to get hitched and you’ll be much better off. If you are immature don’t expect a woman to fix it unless you want to tie yourself to a psychotic control freak… I should know because it almost happened to me but then I realized that I needed to GROW UP AND –THEN– FIND A REAL WOMAN NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES. So whenever I find a woman worth being with then I’ll go for the relationship but I am not going to start fretting just because I hit 30 like it is some magic cut off in age where you have to have a relationship or else.

Don’t settle for less… true love is worth the wait.

98 Chris H January 15, 2009 at 11:06 am

True words Dale. Wish I never had to learn them the hard way but I agree with you 100%. I let my own life go to nothing once for what I believed was the benefit for another. I took the “love thy neighbour” line by heart. Only after getting away from that life did I learn a lesson from someone who taught me that the mistake I made was not loving my neighbour (or partner in this case) but was not following the whole saying. That being “love thy neighbour as you love thy self”. You cannot love others until you love yourself and like you said, you can’t know others until you know yourself. If you don’t know what you have to share or what you want then how can you know who is the woman for you?

99 DK January 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I really like this post. I’m part of a big group of college friends right now. I plan to ask out (in person only) one of the girls I know only from a few meetings at parties and her Facebook profile. We’ll see how it goes this Friday.

But this post is a suggestion for any guy who is in a ‘group’ but actually wants to gain some confidence to ask a girl out, and get out of the ‘wuss’ zone and be a man. The answer: couples dancing. Yep, the kind that you can only do in couples, whether it be Ballroom or Swing or Contra or whatever.

My reasoning (based on experience):
First, girls love dancing. REALLY love dancing. And despite what guys think, most girls don’t know how couples dance (but romanticize it anyway). However, a guy or girl can learn the basics (say for something repetitive but fun like Contra dancing) in a few minutes of practice. So if you know a bunch of girls as hang-out friends, go to a beginner’s couples dance with them. They’ll love you for the opportunity, and I recommend you sneak in a private extra lesson ahead of time so you can seem like the big man who gets all the moves down before they do.

So how does this get you from being a ‘wuss’ friend to a real man who girls want to date? Simple. Couples dancing puts you in charge, with (for once) the women hanging on your every command. But despite all the responsibility being with you (like when asking a girl out), the chance of rejection is almost nil. The girls are all eager to get on the floor with ANYONE (even each other), so the chance of any woman saying no to you is minimal unless she is physically tired or footsore (be prepared for this). However, by simply asking them, you are automatically a non-wuss in their eyes.

You also may find that a girl will look at you much more warmly after you have spun her round the floor once or twice. That’s right – the two of you made close physical contact and exerted yourselves, but it was perfectly acceptable conduct, and you’re still just friends!

I hope that all readers of this post who cannot find the confidence to JUST ASK HER OUT try couples dancing. You’ll find that the process builds your confidence immensely. I suppose that someone will point out that I am recommending an old-fashioned confidence-builder to solve a ‘modern’ problem of men not having the confidence or desire to ask women out. My answer is this – men have always had the problem of ‘asking a woman to dance’ (watch any historic movie). The difference today is that most women don’t have any idea how to dance but still love the idea. So as a guy with basic dance skills, you have all the advantages, so use them!

100 elle.s.d. January 22, 2009 at 9:09 pm

i don’t think this article was meant to set social pretenses for anyone – the man (brett, i do believe) who wrote it seems like he was perpetuating an idea that has worked for him and, obviously, many others (as – would the institution of marriage ever have been if humans could not willingly choose to be monogamous creatures happily, legally, and spiritually?).

i’m seventeen years old and still in high school. i have dated a lot in my past (i began dating at a very young age – too young in my opinion now, but everything is clearer in retrospect of course), and have no underlying urge to “play the field” anymore. i’m six months into the best and strongest relationship i have personally ever seen (besides perhaps a childhood friend’s parents, but that is beside the point). i feel lonely without my partner. if i awake in my own bed without him next to me, i feel as if i’m not starting the day out quite right. we are both strong and independent people on our own, but our paths merged – i think that this feeling is the reason that marriage was originally instituted. going to the grocery store, doing laundry, manually washing dishes – it’s all made more pleasurable by his mere presence.

i don’t really know my point, and i’m sorry that i expounded so much.

great article!

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