Stop Hanging Out With Women and Start Dating Them

by Brett and Kate McKay on January 16, 2008 · 384 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.

{ 380 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Sum1 February 12, 2009 at 1:58 am

I think that this advice is great. It makes clear sense to me. Now i am going to Man the hell up and go ask out the people i like. Its the lost oppertunities that really annoy me, but im sure there will be many more to come. I am 16 going on 17 soon and all that i can say is that this page specifically has helped ease my mind more then any other information i have heard or seen.

Yes i see exactly what you mean but i have found it hard to learn anything about being normal because my Male adult role model (my dad) has never taught me anything. If you are a father or a significant Male role model out there reading this PLEASE make sure that you take the time to teach the younger generation the bloody useful information like the above written text. I cant imagine how long i would have pussy-footed around for like a retard if i hadnt read this. Perhaps we invented “hanging out” because our own male role models could not “man up” and teach us a thing or two?(just speculation) So anyway thank you very much for taking the time to write some useful advice up on the web.

Its almost shaming that i had to look on the damn internet to see this…

102 Sum1 February 12, 2009 at 2:00 am

theres a tonne of replies so its not likely that many people will see my above statement =P

103 Chris H February 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Hey Sum1, I’m glad this site helps you. I wish I had something like this when I was a teenager. As for your Dad, maybe try talking to him about what you said here (about him not telling teaching you anything). He might have a lot to tell you but might find it hard to connect with you. Heck, and that never gets easier. I’m in my 30s and my father and I still have trouble talking. Kids do not come with instructions and although it may sometimes look like parents don’t care, it may be that they just are unsure as to what to do.

104 Sum1 February 12, 2009 at 8:30 pm

another problem that i have had and would appreciate advise on is that i generally seem to settle for the “less attractive” chick…

I guess i have a few reasons for this and they seem to include…

i find that normal chicks are generally not up themselves, but recently whilst thinking on my reasoning it seemed harsh and i coudnt help but admit queitly to myself that perhaps the real reason is that im just too damn scared to even think about trying to enter a relationship with a really HOT girl or even (i guess) that perhaps i dont DESERVE one.

perhaps this is why i have the tendancy to go for the less hot of two chicks. i know this sounds really mean and to any women reading this passage i am truly sorry if i have caused you any offence for the hot chicks been kinda up themselves comment.

(seen as i am using the name sum1 i feel no shame in sharing my feelings with a wider range of people as im sure that there are many guys out there that have experienced the exact same problems as i have)

How do i combat this and what is the real reason behind my inconvenient habit?

105 Sum1 February 13, 2009 at 11:19 am

honest truth being i havent seen my dad in a year and a bit cause i got kicked out…(long story and theres a lot more to it then you might think) he cant talk to me cause mom forbids him to (i guess he aint very manly). so i cant really try to reconcile with him and seek out his advice on women. I do remember him saying once though when i was about 12 that to get confidence around women he would get drunk and then he could do whatever he wanted.

I dont really want to take this approach.

106 sasser February 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I actually agree with the majority of the post, BUT the thrust of it “not enough dating!” is rather a strawman.

It’s all very well bemoaning the decline in dating, but the the important first step to securing a date is to impress the girl sufficiently for her to consent – and THIS is the area of the problem; after all, if you have a girl draped over you laughing at each and every pathetic joke you tell then its pretty darn easy to say; “Wanna hook up on Tuesday?”.

Unfortunately, impressing women is a rather complex, hit and miss affair if you are not a natural alpha male; hence the predominant sense of frustration and confusion.

See the wealth of “pick-up” material out there for more on how to achieve the not-alpha-but-want-to-score-reliably.

Rebuttals welcome.

107 Chris H February 15, 2009 at 5:08 am

Hey Sasser. I have a rebuttal but I don’t want to read too much into your post and take away a message that you never intended but here it goes.

First I think if your (not you personally, but any guy) goal is get her in bed in as short as a time possible then the battle is already lost. Physical stuff is important (women want a guy to want them too) but if it’s your only goal then unless she’s desperate, drunk, or diseased then you are wasting your time.

So I guess what I’m saying is that you don’t need to be the funniest guy in the room and have a pocketful of pick-up lines. That’s crap. Its works in the movies and it works in the stories told in the locker room but in reality its shallow and most women (especially the ones you really want) see right through it. Just be yourself and instead of thinking of your next come-on line, listen to what she has to say. Sincere guys who listen are hot in girl’s books.

Now about this alpha-male stuff. No one is a born alpha or whatever. To blame your lack of luck with ladies by saying you are not a “natural alpha” while attributing another guy’s success to being one is a cop out. Girls don’t have some sort of radar for the born alpha male. They do though have radar for guys who have traits they want. Confidence, sincerity, intelligence, strength. And any guy can obtain these. Sincerity = be honest (with yourself too), intelligence = read more, strength = exercise more, and confidence = ok, hardest one to grow but working on the others will help here.

Now in conclusion I just want to comment on your closing statements “…impressing women is a rather complex, hit and miss affair if you are not a natural alpha male; hence the predominant sense of frustration and confusion…” and “…wealth of “pick-up” material out there for more on how to achieve the not-alpha-but-want-to-score-reliably.”

I think these two statements say a lot. I believe that the frustration and confusion is from obtaining advice from the “wealth of pick-up material”. Any woman will tell you that 99.9% of “pick-up material” is crap.If you really want to get closer to women then work on yourself. Read the articles on this site relating to virtues and try to incorporate them into your life. Work out. Eat better. Read more. Improve yourself and you won’t feel the need to trick women into “hooking up”, you’ll just attract them. And who knows, maybe by getting in touch with yourself more and not comparing yourself to the so-called alphas bragging about their exploits in the internet (which is mostly fiction), you might find that you want more from a girl than a quick hook-up.

108 Michael February 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm

well said Chris

109 Brendan February 16, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Well I was looking for a boost of confidence on asking a woman I know for coffee and this did it. Looks like I’ve got a coffee date. Thanks Internet!

110 sasser February 18, 2009 at 6:49 am

Hey Chris,

Thanks for your comment. Yes you’re reading into my comment, but I find it interesting so I don’t mind.

“First I think if your (not you personally, but any guy) goal is get her in bed in as short as a time possible then the battle is already lost. …if it’s your only goal then unless she’s desperate, drunk, or diseased then you are wasting your time.”

Well, it’s difficult to agree or disagree strongly with this assertion without making large assumptions on the context of your remark. Suffice to say, sleeping with a girl *should* be your no.1 aim early on because it’ll make your life a hell of a lot easier from then on.

But obviously there are levers you need to pull in order to get through the gate, and there are right and wrong ways to pull them, so-to-speak.

“So I guess what I’m saying is that you don’t need to be the funniest guy in the room and have a pocketful of pick-up lines. That’s crap…”

I disagree with your dismissal of being funny or having good “lines”. Yes it’s superficial, but that’s all you have at the outset when meeting someone.

If I use “technology” (i.e. canned routines/lines and so on) I am still exactly the same guy as I would be if I didn’t use technology. It’s just that technology gets me to where I need to be faster and more reliably. If I need to get from A to B – and I can use a bicycle with a puncture and no brakes, or I could use a Porche – I know which one I’m going to choose.

“It works in the movies…”

In my experience movies are the opposite; guy-gets-girl based on his sincere traits rather than applying any kind of intelligence to the process.

I agree with your point re girls scanning for traits and liking sincerity. But you need to look at the broader picture and say “how can I get an opportunity to demonstrate these traits?”. High value girls have 20 guys approaching them every time they go out. Is the guy who says “Hi, I’m a really sincere guy. What’s your name?” going to be more successful, on average, than the guy who opens with a funny remark and an indirect demonstration of value? These girls simply don’t have time to apply a flawless rational sorting algorithm to every guy that comes their way.

“Girls don’t have some sort of radar for the born alpha male.”

OK, I confess I dont know whether its nurture or nature or both (I suspect both), but there are alpha males. And, yes girls do have a radar for it. But I agree that you can improve your alphaness by self improvement, like you say.

I really like your idealistic viewpoint that if you are a good, well-rounded person then you’ll get the girl. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I don’t buy it. I suppose its because for some reason humans place a huge emphasis on presentation; and that’s what most pick up stuff seems to be about – presenting yourself in the best possible way. I agree that much of the pick up stuff is probably of dubious value, but some of it is based on empirical evidence that it’s difficult to argue with.

111 ashley February 19, 2009 at 12:15 am

i hate to say it, but i do agree with the part of the article that says ‘men are wussies’ (not all men obviously). what i mean by this is, some men are so afraid of rejection that they do the opposite of showing their interest, instead they give off confusing signals that make us women think they are playing games and simply aren’t interested at all. i think men tend to do this on accident, so it’s best to keep this in mind.

i have been in situations where i’ve had to take the initiative, and only then did i learn the guy was interested all along. men tend to do this in the beginning of dating a lot as well to “feel out” the situation, in some cases i think it’s because they are still afraid of rejection on some level, but women feel the same way! just because we are more emotional doesn’t mean we have the guts to approach you or spill our feelings. most women are afraid we’ll scare guys off if we tell them how we truly feel, and some of us tend to hide these things well.

so a word of advice to all men, don’t be afraid to initiate something. we are equally afraid and equally confused. you won’t know until you try and even if you are rejected, it’s not the end of the world.. if anything you will get practice in the meantime and sooner or later it’ll work out.

112 Mike February 21, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I agree that “hanging out” is quickly replacing actual “dating”, but I think both are necessary for a good relationship and for reputation. I prefer to use the word “talking to so-and-so” instead of “hanging out with so-and-so”; it seems that today the Y generation usually will be “talking” to a potential girlfriend or boyfriend for a time and then either proceed to “dating” or just stay friends. I think this is very useful in getting to know a girl before you commit to a relationship with her. You don’t want to go ahead and “date” and girl before you really know her just like you don’t want to buy a car before you learn about it. “Talking” usually consists of anywhere from a couple weeks (way too short in my opinion) to 3 or 4 months, and sometimes even longer. You do go out on dates during those months, but you’re still technically just “talking” because you haven’t learned enough about them to decide if you want to start a relationship. If you didn’t know anything about a potential girlfriend or boyfriend, rushed into a relationship, and then you realize that you should never have dated the person, it can horribly ruin your reputation. Keep in mind that when I say “reputation” I don’t mean dating the extra-fine cheerleader so you can be even more popular; I mean your reputation as to how other people perceive you and see what kind of person you are. If you date girls that are known to sleep around or do other frowned upon activities it will reflect on your personality and people may think you are the same way.

113 Chris H February 22, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Mike, as a Gen X myself, I can tell you that dating was pretty much the same. Talk and hang, talk and hang. And it doesn’t work. Not much has changed believe it or not between myself (30-something), yourself, or even the guys a bit older than me. What has changed is that as we get older we learn from our mistakes.

In my opinion, just talking for months is a horrible waste of time. You can talk and find that a girl is compatiable as a friend over 3 months but then find that you two have no chemistry over 3 dates. Dating cuts to the chase. It decides quickly if you and this girl are going to have a relationship or not. It is not the relationship. Also, dating is fun. You’re nervous. A bit excited by the unknown. Why not enjoy that?

I think what the issue may be for you and many others is the blurring of the line between dating and going out/relationship. Meeting a girl and asking her out to a movie is not a relationship. Just be up front. Go slow but don’t pussyfoot around with the “hanging with friends” nonsense. Ask her on a date. If it goes good, ask her on another. If it doesn’t, move on. Just be honest. Whether its date one or date twenty. If you discover she isn’t the one for you. Tell her and move on. She may be a upset. She may even hate for a little while. But if you are honest with her, she’ll get over it. If not then she probably wasn’t mature enough for you anyways. Heck, if she knows why you dumped her it may help her. Either she’ll work on that issue so the next guy won’t dump her or she’ll realize that its a part of who she is and if you didn’t want that then you were the not the guy for her (and she can therefore dump you after the fact).

As for the reputation thing. Be careful with that. A real man doesn’t listen to gossip and that crap. If you are interested in a girl then ask her out on a date. You will find out quick enough if she’s reputable. How would you like it if a rumour was going around about you and it kept girls from dating you so that it wouldn’t ruin their reputation. I know a girl who had the biggest rep as an easy girl in high school and as it turns out she was actually one of the most innocent. Her problem was that she got along with the boys better than the girls (as friends) and the other girls spread rumours about her.

114 Mr. Willson February 26, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Chivalry, Courtship, DATING is dead. Internet, media, society. You name it. The ‘old school’ is pretty much on the outside looking in.

Girls are so wrapped up in BS these days from the lack of MEN, that when they encounter CHIVALRY, their heads explode because they don’t know what to do with it. If the two parties don’t want to sleep with each other immediately, then there is apparently no chance of any real relationship coming from it. Thus elminating the potential for DATING or possible COURTSHIP. WTF?

Of course it doesn’t help when women waste their time with all the LOSERS. So it cuts both ways ladies. :) If you’re interested in a guy. Do him a favor and meet him halfway. Not all of us are capable of reading your signals and getting all the hints. And start dating MEN and not boys! When you complain, or guys if you hear a girl complain, about why they can’t find a good “man”, tell them: “That’s what happens when you date BOYS”.

No way in hell I change ME. I’m in no rush and can handle being single. I’ve done it all, been around the world, had many ladies, so I’m in no hurry. I was taught from the old school by my father (R.I.P) and other MEN in my family (as well as the WOMEN out there) how it’s done. “Hanging out” and “talking” are cop-outs. If you think otherwise, you’re a moron. However, to each his own.

Dating is what it is. It was never meant to be easy. If it was, none of us would ever be single. The “date” is the time you take to get to know a lady. Lunch, Dinner, Coffee, whatever. A “date” is a damn date. It’s just that. “Dating” is the act of actually getting the hell out there and meeting various men or women and going from there. It’s not “Instant Relationship in a Box”.

That’s the problem today. Hanging out in groups in order to find someone? Are you kidding? I don’t need the drama and I’m not looking for “St. Elmo’s Fire”. Give me a break! Guys wanna increase the number of the girls you know? NETWORK! This is done by MEETING and ASKING the girl out.

Just because the girl shoots you down or ‘just wants to be friends’ isn’t completely a bad thing. If she’s a good girl, you can bet she’ll probably hook you up with one of her friends. Or you have a wingman for when you hit the club or bar scene. It opens up so many doors, you can’t even imagine. OR you can line yourself up with another potential ‘friend with benefits’. Will you two hook up, get together, marry? Who knows? However, you won’t know if you spend your time with the SAME DAMN people in a group or investing time and energy in “hanging out”. Besides, if she is a total b*tch to you when you ask her on a date, how do you think she will be in a relationship?

I can “date” and “f**k*” just the same without any commitments or strings. So your “hang out” theories are of no use to me. For that matter, the majority of the time these “groups” are comprised of like 276375636523 guys and 4 girls. (Don’t try it, I’ve seen it. A LOT.)

You all have fun with “pass the friend”. I’ll just be the sapless ‘old school’ loser getting ready for his ‘lunch date’ with a girl I just met not too long ago. Hmmm, imagine that. I want to get to know her and I DIDN’T have to HANG OUT or sit in a GROUP of people for that to happen? *lol* Does that mean we get together? Nope. I don’t even know if I will even want her as a friend, much less a girlfriend. We may end up a couple, we may hook up, we may not. However, that’s why we’re getting together on a informal “DATE”. Heck, she may not find me as interesting as she may think I am. Goes both ways. *lol* As a bonus, she plays college sports and she’s hot. That means she might have hot friends who play sports as well. *lol*

Does the group thing work? Maybe. I’ve been invited by my buddies new girlfriend to lunch and she informed me a bunch of cute girls will be there. I don’t know any of them. That works for me. Bunch of opportunities there. However, I wonder if I have the same spending time with the same tight knit group of people and possibly developing that ‘small town’ mentality. Well, I guess you could be ‘Fez’ to your groups ‘Jackie’. That’s if you like being the second, or THIRD choice. *lol*

How dare I go out, MEET, and be blessed with many female friends (some who have rejected me in the beginning or I have had relations with) who have introduced me to other great women! For that matter, why would I want to spend time learning what kind of girl I want to make my ‘lady’. All the physical relations, the dates, relationships? That’s just dumb!!! I guess I should be miffed that I had the intestinal fortitude to ask her out. NO! I just wanna “hang out” and/or do it in groups no less and sit around and wait for the SAME few girls to like me or become available.

Women, as femisist as they may be, do want/like to be held and treated as such. I’m known to give many of the girlies in my life big bear hugs and lift them up. I’ve had them tell me or I overhear them say to their friends, “it reminds me that I’m a girl” with a smile on their face. Plus, being a man establishes SECURITY and SAFETY with the girl you want to get closer with. You have to make them feel comfortable around you. You CAN do that on a “DATE” with just the two of you. If not, I suggest you get a lawyer. *lol*

However, fellas. It’s this simple: Stop being a b*tch and ask the girl out. You have no one to blame but yourselves.

115 AGirl'sView February 26, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Thanks for an awesome article…You have clearly presented many things that I have been thinking about for a long time. I am a senior in college, and here are a few points from an average girl’s perspective:

- It’s all very well to say girls should do some of the work, ask a guy out, well…that doesn’t work. At least it hasn’t worked for me, and it’s not because I’m timid, or not willing to do it. In my experience (and that of my friends), as soon as a girl acts too interested in a guy (even if she doesn’t go so far as to ask him out), the guy loses any interest he may have had. This has cured me of showing much interest. On the other hand, I have known many women to say, “I wasn’t really interested at first, but he asked me out and he’s awesome and now we’re together!”

- On that note, I want to date a man who can take initiative, not a wuss that’s too timid to ask me out. If a guy likes me enough to want to go on a date with me, he should have the guts to ask me out. I do have the guts to ask him out, but I shouldn’t have to. I want to be swept off my feet, not pushing a non-starter.

- And I’m sorry if that seems to imply a difference between male and female roles in a relationship, but that’s because there IS a difference. Do you want to say, “Yeah, my wife asked me out first…and bought my meals…and proposed…” NO! But women want to say that about their husbands! Even if they’re feminists.

- There’s no reason why you can’t “hang out” AND date. You may date girls in your “group,” you may look outside of the group. I have known good couples to come out of both. But no satisfying relationship happens if you don’t go on a date.

- If you’ve been friends with a girl for three months and don’t know if you’re interested, you’re not. So get out of your box and meet some more women.

Those are my two cents, for what it’s worth; sorry for the length. Keep up the good work!

116 someone March 5, 2009 at 8:47 pm

over past several years ive greatly increased my confidence. But still not close to where i should be. If i know a girl, say from a class, i can make an easy connection and it becomes easy for me to talk/flirt with her.
Now here is the problem: if i see a girl at a coffee shop or some random place, i never have the balls to just talk. im good at STARTING the convo but carrying it on is the hard part.

any tips?

117 Jon March 15, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I’m sorry, but I very much disagree with the whole mindset behind this article. Perhaps your advice can lead towards more lasting relationships, but your whole basis on why this is necessary is fundamentally superficial and outdated.

First off, you stated that a major problem with today’s generation is that people are too afraid to commit and that generation Y is too busy trying to “find themselves”, as this is a truly bad thing. In the past, more committal generations followed strict social guidelines of “highschool, college, job, marriage” that truly restricted our fundamental freedom as a people. Today’s men aren’t committing as much to high-school sweethearts and the first job they find out of college because they are more concerned with their own lives and happiness rather than what is expected of them. An unfortunate side effect is that today, people are more introspective and, therefore, self-doubting and cautious. You assume this is a bad thing, but I argue that baseless confidence is for the foolish. Often when people are confident today it is because their actions are more determined by societal standards rather than personal choice. Unfortunately, people generally aren’t that smart so it is much easier to be guided by society than to be autonomous. Once we, as a people, can realize our own weaknesses and overcome them not by enforcing strict standards of what it means to be a “man” or a “woman”, but by rational, independent thought unclouded by disillusions of expected behavior.
I found your comically twisted and baseless rhetoric to be most representative of your shallow life-philosophy that promotes a superficial view of success and dismisses free thought; “Starting a family forces you to man up. A family is a responsibility. Responsibility breeds character. Character makes men.” Starting a family forces people to change every aspect of their life to facilitate a healthy and productive relationship with their spouse and to create a nurturing and beneficial environment for their children to grow up in. Starting a family should not be what creates a man, but a man should start a family. Nearly half of all marriages in America end in divorce, meaning that dating and marriage should be more thought-out, more deliberate, and less rushed. The solution to this isn’t more dating and more of a life plan to get married, but a more developed and logical outlook on life. Your argument promotes outdated conservative ideals that can work, with limited success, only in a society based strongly on tradition and complete trust on authority.
Mr. Wilson’s previous argument is a great example of how modern views on dating do actually work. So people, be free, question authority, question societal standards, and look at life logically and rationally, but never forget to find TRUE happiness. Seeking fulfillment in life only by meeting cultural expectations and making money will result in a worthless, meaningless, empty life.

118 Zack March 21, 2009 at 9:12 pm

I disagree with this article 100%. I am a 22 year old in college. I am not responsible enough to start a family, nor do I believe I have done enough with my life to not resent any family I do start. I don’t typically go on dates with girls, I would rather hang out and keep it very casual.

It doesn’t send any mixed signals. I let her know I am interested in her, while not being interested in a serious relationship. It accomplishes all my goals I have for the opposite sex(not including girls I am just friends with.) I get sex. I learn what I would like in a girl I am going to have a relationship with. I have fun.

I see no hurry to rush into serious relationships, and I think that mindset is a major reason the divorce rate is astronomical in this country. How are you supposed to know what you want in a lifelong mate when you don’t even know yourself?

I’ll start looking for something serious when I am about 30, until then I will be perfectly content living my life and having fun with the women I meet.

119 Kyle April 29, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Thanks Brett! Your article helped me out a lot on the whole issue of facebook. There’s this girl I want to ask out but I don’t personally know her, and I was working with the impossible – trying to ask her out without being lame and tacky. After reading your article I figure I’ll just keep it cool and get her cell number and do it in person. Thanks for the (indirect) help! :)

120 Aspen April 29, 2009 at 1:04 pm

In this article and these comments I have been reading a lot about what women want, according to men. It has all been very enlightening to me, a woman, and has brought me to the conclusion that either A) I have been wholly ignorant of what it is I truly wanted for the last ten years, or B) I am not really a woman.

Guess what, all you manly men–not all of us are looking for the things that you think we are looking for. Not all of us are looking for some guy to sweep us off our feet. Not all of us are looking for someone to size us up like a rack of meat over drinks or dinner and to be assessed for fertility, submissive traits, homemaking skills, and marriageability. Not all of us are looking for some guy to impress us with how ballsy he is for wrangling situations into opportunities for him to prove his prowess, take-charge-ness, or to get just the two of you alone together. Not all of us want the pressure and awkwardness of having to navigate two hours of dinner with a near-stranger, trying desperately to think up enough small talk so you won’t hurt his feelings but so you also won’t also start spilling your life story to someone you wouldn’t even let borrow your car. Not all of us like to feel beholden to a guy just because he paid for dinner and a movie. Not all of us want to watch you perform your little routine of tricks you use to impress a woman, or listen to you trot out your list of topics and stories that you use to show how manly you are. Not all of us want you to convince us to fall for you. Not all of us want to follow the married-by-twenty-five-and-two-kids-by-thirty script that supposedly is the true sign of maturity in this culture. Not all of us feel that we have to be curing cancer either in order to justify our choice to not be married or in a constant rotation of intimate relationships.

It might be shocking and hurt your manly sensibilities, but some of us do want to just HANG OUT. Some of us don’t want to have the constant tension of sizing and being sized up as potential sex or life partners. Some of us want to be your friend. Some of us just want to have fun and to find fun people of both genders to have fun with. Some of us want to see you when you are relaxed and yourself. Some of us want to hear your hopes and your dreams and your struggles. Some of us want you to know that it is safe to say all of that and that you will still be a man and that you won’t be rejected for being honest and that we are cheering for you to succeed in life. Some of us want you to care about us too in the same way and know that it is because you care about us as a person and not just as a means to an end. Some of us want you to listen and actually be interested in our lives and well-being. Some of us actually find that kind of friendship very sexy and can actually fall in love with that. Some of us will even tell you so clearly and without playing games. Some of us can handle it when you say that you are not interested and will continue to still be your friend. Some of us can be very touched when you say you have feelings for us, which have bloomed over months and years of you really knowing us. Some of us can let you down gently and not make you feel like a fool for liking us more or differently than we like you. Some of us will feel safe enough with you that we will have sex with you. Some of us will marry you. Some of us will be able to break it off with you and still wish you the best and still be happy to hang out with you. Some of us just want you to stop holding yourself and us up to some ridiculous standard of what is a man and what is a woman. Some of us want you to find yourself and be happy with yourself so we won’t have to endure twenty years of marriage with you trying to force yourself to feel that this is what you really wanted out of life. Some of us just want you to be honest, fair, forthright, responsible, kind–you know, the stuff every human being should do.

I know…it sounds impossible…but it’s not. I am proof that women who are like this and who want these things really do exist. And I *hate* dating.

121 Brian May 1, 2009 at 4:59 pm

@Aspen

From reading your “not all of us” list, it seems like there are a few characteristics that are apparent throughout. From your list, it seems like you’ve had quite a number of experiences dating boys who have over-developed certain aspects of their personality in an attempt to make them appear like men. Two common themes seem to be boys putting on the “macho-man” facade to hide a lack of masculine development. The other is one that revolves around a lack of self-esteem which results in qualifying to the women to make her feel a need to reciprocate an action/favor.

“Macho Man”

For example, “Not all of us are looking for some guy to impress us with how ballsy he is for wrangling situations into opportunities for him to prove his prowess, take-charge-ness, or to get just the two of you alone together.”

“Low Self-Esteem & Qualifying”

For example, “Not all of us like to feel beholden to a guy just because he paid for dinner and a movie.” “Not all of us want to watch you perform your little routine of tricks you use to impress a woman, or listen to you trot out your list of topics and stories that you use to show how manly you are.”

I’m sorry that you’ve had to deal with these types of boys, but I assure you not all of us are like that. I hope that you don’t discard dating because of bad experiences. :)

— Brian

122 Anne May 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm

This article has a few faulty assumptions:

“It’s great that women can choose to have a career, be a stay-at-home mom, or do both.”

Guess what? It isn’t a choice. I had to support a family by myself, as do most women at some point in their lives. I didn’t have the choice of being a stay-at-home mom.

“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.”

What a “date” is has quite gotten lost. Who pays is not a male-female question; it’s a host-guest question. If a man invites a woman out, he pays — because he is the host. If a woman calls and says, “I have two theater tickets for Saturday night — would you be interested in joining me?” then SHE is the host(ess), and pays (i.e., run out after the phone call and buy the tickets). After the show, he might suggest a nightcap — the HE is again the host.

It’s not all that hard.

123 kitten May 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm

So what’s the time frame on a guy calling you back? And why cant a guy be honest and say “Hey, I’m not interested thanks for the BJ!”

Guys, don’t wait 72 hours to call her back, try the next day, you might get another one!

124 Taylor June 13, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Been reading the responses, found a couple that could relate to what I’m dealing with, not totally sure about what to do however. I’ve known this girl for a year and a half now, but we didn’t really start being friends until the beginning of our senior year of highschool. We just graduated. Out of nowhere, and I mean that literally, we were going out to lunch every day during school. Didn’t seem too weird to me, second girl that is a friend, but it felt like a normal friendship. My problem is, or used to be it seems like, that I become really attached to said girls that are friends. I basically took a knife and murdered the first friendship because I couldn’t stand being 100% focused on her. I became very easy to anger, and almost everything set me off. I don’t know why, but it did. Was very depressed for a while, but I started getting over it when another girl suddenly started talking to me out of the blue. I had liked her a while before, but after asking her out and being rejected, we hadn’t talked for a long time. We talked for about 2 weeks while she was on vacation in Hawaii…. Still don’t know why she was talking to me of all people lol. Guessed she might’ve liked me, but I’ve been wrong before. We talked, I flipped sh*t, then we stopped. Became pretty short with everyone, all my friends said I look like I was about ready to kill the next person that looked at me funny. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t care enough to change it.
Sorry, back to this first girl haha. We hang out. A lot. A lot lot. Not in groups, just us. I hold the door open, I pay for dinner, she tries to, but I won’t let her. I don’t feel that she’s using me. We go on bike rides, we go on road trips, we go camping, etc. Is this dating OR WHAT? I was still in my stand-offish mood, and she knew it. She told me a few weeks ago she was this close to breaking the friendship off because she hated being around me when I was angry at the world. I still haven’t figured out if it’s a bad thing or a good thing that I tend to focus 100% on a girl, but it’s had it’s ups and downs. I met this girl’s friend at work, she had a crush on me a few months back, during which I was totally oblivious (because I was focused on my friend). We started talking and out of nowhere we were saying we were going steady. 1 problem, she was pregnant with someone else’s child. Dunno why I didn’t steer clear, the thought of possibly forcing myself to becoming a dad didn’t scare me, which should’ve stopped me dead in my tracks. Well, before we broke up out of nowhere, my friend had noticed that we were getting along much better. I had someone that I felt I was allowed to focus on, and they both loved it in their own ways. I ended up getting with my friend while me and the pregnant one were in a “gray area.” I know it’s cheating, I know me not being in any relationship prior to this is no excuse for my ineptitude, but it didn’t feel bad when I did it. Of course it does now, but we’re not together anymore so I’ve put it behind me. Lo and behold, after we break up, I’m back to being a grouch. I’ve gotten better, but it still comes up every once in a while. Especially when other guys move in on her. I don’t like being jealous or envious of every guy that gets close to her. I hate it. But it’s hard to try and find another girl when every ounce of my attention is given to my friend. I don’t obsess like I used to, but I literally don’t look at other girls. I don’t try not to look at them, they are just unappealing. We’re friends, I’m not trying to push it any further, but I can never tell if we’re friends, friends with benefits, or if it’s going somwhere further. It’s confusing, frustrating, madening, and I’m getting sick of it haha. I love our friendship, but I hate the baggage it seems to bring. Sorry that this is really confusing, my battery is about to die and I’m trying to get it out before I feel it won’t be worth it again haha. Any thoughts would be great. Thanks for taking the time to read

125 Mark July 27, 2009 at 11:47 am

I couldn’t agree more. I would only add that when you request a date, make your intentions known, especially today. If you know the girl at all, because of her dealings with castrated men, she may not know for sure if you see it as a date or you being a buddy. For example, I work at a coffee sho and one of my customers intrigues me and I want to get to know her. I had to shop at her store recently and had a really good chat with her on a couple occasions. I’m going over there today to see if she wants to go for a cup of coffee (not at my shop) because I would like to get to know her. Every woman I know says the lack of communicating intentions is an unnecessary cause of confusion.

126 Jamison July 29, 2009 at 3:30 pm

All the responses here have my head spinning with disbelief. In a sense, what a confused ‘dating’ vis-a-vis ‘hanging out’ scene has done is created a lot of false fantasies about what a relationship really is. In reality, for the typical American unit, it’s banal and gets trite within a few short mos or years. There’s no magic here, more than half the couples out there are divorced. It won’t magically get better with time. So the truth is that one simply needs to be upfront and deal with failure and such.

All and all, here’s where the successful American men end up… seeing high class escorts (in legal Canadian cities) for pleasure, flirting with local girls for fun (& passing some time, when not playing b-ball with guy friends), and settling down with a woman from Latin America or Asia-Pacific for companionship and starting a family. Yes, this hypothetical example is the last of the successful men in this country; the others are living lives of quiet desperation in hope that ‘one’s soulmate’ is around the corner at some book reading or rock climbing event.

127 shane August 21, 2009 at 11:59 pm

think of it this way… either feel just a minute of awkwardness or have the thought of what if.. on the back of your mind.. a good idea is just to get yourself pumped up by like doing a manly growl or scream you know when you work out. then get your adrenaline pumping and just do it. and say to yourself just do it quit being a pu**y and be a man. by having yourself pumped up with adrenaline you lose 1/2 of your fear and having the thought of trying you will have no fear. just a bit nervous. but when you talk to her take a deep breath smile and dont say anything until she says yes or what or something. then while smiling say something funny and smooth… funny wins her attention and smooth wins her heart?… or if you know how the girl is try this… during one of her classes just enter most likely everyone will look at you.. if you are in high school.. if in college i dont know… but anyway dont say anything just walk in and if the teacher says yes? put your index finger in the air saying like 1 sec walk over to her seat whisper or say softly close your eyes for a sec. plant one on her…*kiss her* then walk out.. the worst think that can happen is she rejects your kiss and you can say something funny like “well that didnt work” or “there goes my plan”. leave with style dont be a loser and just leave if she rejects you.
or another way is.. if your like presenting for some girl you likes class or your in the same class as her and your presenting…. after your done say oh yeah 1 more thing then walk to her desk and say close your eyes for a sec and kiss her… i dont really know you have to be original and make your own stuff up taking my idea is good but you gotta learn to make your own ideas. just branch off of mine. although you will need a huge pair of balls to do this.

128 DAN August 23, 2009 at 12:17 am

For me what this comes down to is what Men really want from women is intimacy.
Intimacy as a best Friend this is the start. And a woman saying you’re friends isn’t enough. I imagine friends will not even be brought up; it will be a given. I hope. I never have experienced the progression to the intimacy and the romance but it seems logical. Of course your friends, but more and more friends further and further away from everyone else, secret intimate friends.
Damn, Thats what I want. I never can pull it off; once they see you as a friend your stuck in the woman’s limited idea of what that means.

Friendship is in reality a love, and even as great a love as Eros(romantic love)
CS Lewis.

Also see The Four Loves the top of page 73 pretty much sums up my recent experience. Damn.

129 Mike September 24, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Thanks man, tomorrow im going to ask this girl out that i like but have been too shy to ask, time to man up and just ask her, great advice and hoping for the best

130 Fred2 September 26, 2009 at 9:41 am

Marriage:
Have you seen the legal and social climate for marriage? Seriously?

Dating:
There are two sides to dating. Guys may have to “man up” but women have their path to tread too.

And having started to date again, all I can say is that it’s not just the guys that are the issue. How about some general manners like “thanks for the nice dinner and X” and perhaps a kiss on the cheek. Hey, perhaps even a second date to see if perhaps candidate No. 1 was a little nervous/stiff/out of sorts/ on Date 1?

131 Keith September 29, 2009 at 12:33 am

Aspen I understand where you are coming from. I was in love with a girl just like you. Shared the same views, hated dating etc. But none of that is a reason to stop dating. It can be a good experience if you just take some time to get to know the person not crush on them or anything. Like learn some valuable things about the person their dreams, goals, and such. With dating you have to weed out your potential boyfriends. You can’t just date any average joe. They have to be special. That’s what makes dating such a unique, and fun experience.

I wish you luck on your future relationships.

132 Philippine girls October 1, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Most girls, especially Asian girls are waiting for men to ask them out first. So men should do the first move to resurrect the exciting dating experience. By doing so, you can level up your relationship stage from being friends to a romantic lovers.

133 RANdomIZED October 8, 2009 at 4:03 am

alright so there is this chick in my school that i like and about a week ago i gathered enough ballz to talk to her when i seen her in the halls and now i talk to her once in a while in one of my classes… ok so now shes doing that “hard to get” crap which i can easily pick up on but i still catch her eye a couple times aday so i know shes interested, so today i decided to not pay any attention to her to see how she would react and she was doing a bunch of shit to get my attention like laughing louder then normal and doing that classic school girl whisper thing with her friend trying to get my attention… so im just wondering… wtf do i do now? im not just trying to get in her pants but i actualy want to start a relationship. it hasn’t gone to the point where we talk like friends would so i know theres a sh!tlod of work left to be done before i can even start hanging out with her… and then ask her out

134 b October 17, 2009 at 2:51 am

@RANdomIZED

I don’t understand the whole “hard to get” thing. Either you like someone or you don’t, there’s no “game” about it. I don’t know what grade you’re in, so I can’t tell you exactly how it usually works in your grade. When you’re out of school, you date people to get to know them. You aren’t in a relationship yet, but if things go right eventually you move into one. In that case, you don’t have to hang out with her before you ask her, because the whole process of dating would involve getting-to-know-her-better.

Whatever way, the next thing you should do is tell her that you like her. Wait until you’re alone with her or set it up somehow. Otherwise, it’ll either take a long time or it will never happen.

135 Darcie November 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Thank you! Beautifully and simply put. If you haven’t already, would you write something for the ladies on how to say no without further contributing to mens’ aversions to asking us out?

136 Barb7983 November 8, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Right on!
My son is 13, okay a little young to start “dating,” but I hope he catches on…I have been telling him (AND SHOWING HIM) how nice it is to hold doors open for people (especially women and senior citizens), saying, “please” and “thank you” and addressing adults as “sir” for men and “miss” or “ma’am” for women. Just little things like this will get “Gen Y” started in the right direction. I am not sure which “generation” I’m in…I was born in 1962 and the Boomer Generation goes until 1964, I think, but I don’t feel like a Boomer. I like the articles on AoM — very thought provoking and things for me to keep in mind while raising a son who will, I hope, find and date someone special within the next few years!

137 JS November 9, 2009 at 10:34 am

I find it interesting that AoM can lament how the internet is retarding the social skills of “Gen Y”, and yet right next to that statement is an ad for “Model Quality Introductions, Helping Affluent Men Pursue The Type of Women They Deserve – Click Here!!”.

138 Vaughn T Johnson November 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I’ve been an AoM reader for about three months now so this post was before my time so I just found it, but my god, sometimes you hit the nail right on the fricken head. I am 22 years old and at a point in my life were yes, I am still really just looking for a good time with a nice girl but am in no way closed off the idea of it developing into something more. With that said, I feel I have no fear of commitment.

I was recently faced with the decision to either “hang out” or “date” a girl and I, as part of my eternal quest to become a true man, elected for the date. Now I did the asking over the phone and I was very confident about it, but the interim conversations about where exactly she wanted to go (it was her Birthday so I let her choose) and the the subsequent request for her address happened via text message, and while it was all happening it did not occur to me that this might not be the most manly way to go about this but it was just so damn functional that I did it anyway. In the end the date went off without a hitch and all was well but I still question my use of text messaging.

One last comment, the line about a guy over the age 18 still telling a girl he likes her over Facebook needing to be punched in the face was perhaps the most elegantly written phrase I have read on this blog to date. Good work and great stuff!

139 Billy November 14, 2009 at 2:28 am

Too many comments to read. My 2 cents worth.

My first date was ice skating. Heaps of fun. Second date was movies. Somewhere in between those 2 dates I demonstrated that I wasn’t the right guy (don’t ask me how, I don’t know how). So the dates are important but its not just the dates.

Oh and don’t put your arm around your date in the movies. lol. My friend actually flinched away from me when I tried this.

140 Tyler November 28, 2009 at 10:33 pm

I especially like #4. Rejection. Nobody likes it. However, I’m old fashioned, and I believe wholeheartedly that there is someone for everybody. As such, the whole dating scene is the process of finding that one. If a woman declines to go on a date with a man, it is simply one less woman that a man has to “sort through” on his quest to find the love of his life. Some may see this as over simplifying things, but I really don’t see it as such. Just imagine the joy when you find your soul mate!

141 Jesse December 12, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I am torn 50/50 here. I do agree men are wussified. I would almost say it is because many more are being raised by single mother’s and we are raised to be wusses instead of the men who they were attracted to and had children with. I also completely agree that a Family makes you “man up.” I am a twin. I was in the Navy, got Married, had 2 children. I am now Divorced, which is neither here nor there. I have a reason to not be in a club until 2am. I have a reason to go shopping, do laundry, clean house, etc. I have gained 10 times more credit by “manning up.” Guess who got more dates in High School? My Brother. He was a talker. That’s all you needed in High School. Guess who has more women calling now? You guessed it. The MAN. Guess who has a more succesful career? The MAN. I can not remember the Author but someone was quoted as saying, “if you are over the age of 30, and still riding a bus, you are a failure in life.” Granted I wouldn’t have much confidence in the woman who accepts a man riding the bus on just his promise at that point either haha. Not sure what my point is. Just wanted to put some info in too.

142 Scott December 14, 2009 at 3:26 am

Another great article Brett!
On the subject of dating and feminism – There can be plenty of confusion when it comes to dating these days. A few years ago I went out on a first date with a pretty woman that had the “career girl” attitude. Before the night was over, I was left feeling confused. When we arrived at the restaurant, she chastised me for opening the door for her and told me never to did that again. When we sat down, I almost excused myself to restroom and ditched her. However, I am too much of a gentleman for that! All during the dinner she talked about herself and her work. She even made a few statements that she did not need a man in her life and was perfectly capable of taking care of herself. I thought I would test things and see if she was willing to go “dutch” when the bill arrived even though I had every intention of picking up the tab. She broke into this long sob story about how she is a single mom and struggling and her ex only pays $500.00 a month in child support. I kept thinking about her comments about not needing men. Needless to say, I deleted here number off my mobile that night and never saw her again.

143 Steven December 14, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I think the biggest problem of Gen X-Y not told in the article is shown in the comments. They’re not dating because they have no intention of long-term relationships anyway. They’re just trying to “score,” or as sasser said, “sleeping with a girl *should* be your no.1 aim early on.”

Dating isn’t about getting laid. It’s about finding someone to stick with you through the long term.

These young guys are just looking to have a good time. They’re shallow, and so they stick with shallow relationships.

The biggest problem is they’re not buying in to long-term relationships, and they don’t buy in to marriage. When the majority of young people today are from broken homes or single-parent families it’s not to difficult to find why they’re jaded on the notion of life-long commitment.

It’s not about “roles” and “conservative values” it’s about commitment. But I guess to some of them “commitment” is a conservative value. So they live their shallow lives trying to score.

144 Jacob December 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Great article. I can personally testify to the benefits of dating. During my second year of college, and before I was married, I decided that I was ready for a serious relationship, and that I was tired of ‘hanging out.’ So I manned up. I decided that I wanted to go on one date a week. As things turned out, I went on about three dates a month (on average) for about a year and a half. It was hard. Some were awkward, a few were flops, most were fun, and a few were amazing. I learned a lot about myself, a lot about women, a lot about how to meet new people, and a lot about how to have a relationship with someone. Towards the end of that period I met the woman of my dreams. I knew that she was the girl that I wanted, and I was ready to commit myself to her because I had dated so much. I knew what I wanted, and I knew that I had ‘done my homework’ so to speak. After dating here for a while and giving it some serious thought and reflection, I took the plunge, and asked her to marry me. We got married about six months ago, and I have never been happier in my life. Dating helped me grow, made me a more confident man, and helped me figure out what I wanted in a woman.

145 John December 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm

How do you know when to ask a girl out? If you don’t know them that well, they seem to get freaked out if you ask them on a date. It seems like you need a certain amount of hang-out time, before you ask them out. Thoughts?

146 Ryan December 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I kind of agree with John above. I mean, don’t you have to at least somewhat know the girl before you ask her out? For example, there’s this one girl that I’ve liked for a long time and I can’t work up the courage to ask her out. This article is right. It is the fear of rejection that’s keeping me from doing it. But the article is wrong when it says “nothing has changed. You were dateless before and you’re dateless now.” That’s true, but no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise, the reason she turned you down most probably has something to do with you. And it’s so incredibly depressing wondering what the hell is wrong with you. I’m 17 years old and never had a girlfriend. I am really pissed off. I can’t just ask this girl out. I need to at least know her a little and the best way to do that is to try to hang out with her friends. If you don’t have some kind of friendship with her, she’ll turn you down guaranteed. So, I agree with John above. How do you know when to do it?

147 Hiker312 December 17, 2009 at 3:06 am

I like the phrase “Carpe diem” or “seize the day”. If you really like the girl, and you’ve at least struck up a descent-sized conversation with her. Then just go for it, because you may never get the opportunity, ever again. And honestly whats the worst that could happen? At the very least if your date crashes and burns, you will then know how not to hold a date. Whats the point of life if you don’t take the risks?

148 Timbo December 18, 2009 at 7:18 pm

I don’t know if it’s too late to save RANdomIZED, but…

“b” said: “Whatever way, the next thing you should do is tell her that you like her.”

NOOOOOO!!!! DO! NOT! DO! THIS! Saying this does nothing to build her attraction for you, rather it would most likely hurt you. As it appears as though she’s been flirting with you, you want to flirt back and continue to build up tension and suspense, both critical elements of attraction. Saying you like her destroys the mystery and you lose power. In doing this, she has won you over and you’re in her pocket. Thus ends the excitement of the prior tension and her increasing interest level, which is building because she doesn’t know how you feel and is becoming more curious about (attracted to) you.

What’s going on should be mutually understood but never outright acknowledged: you’re “into” her and she’s “into” you. So if I were you, I’d dial up the attraction more and, WITHOUT saying upfront that you like her, ask her out on a date. Let her prove herself to you on a date that you should “like” her, rather than her already having your solid admiration.

This is all advice coming more than two months after these posts, so the situation is probably different now. Anyways, RANdomIZED, I hope that however you handled the situation it worked out for the best.

149 TJMcday09 December 20, 2009 at 2:39 am

One of the problems I have is simply asking. This girl already likes me, and she knows i like her, but every time im near her i almost melt, i begin to feel lightheaded and dizzy. I have these questions like were would i take her and what would we do there? And what if she’s too shy to go? And my biggest problem, asking her while she’s in front of her freinds. Im not afraid of rejection, Im just afraid im not gonna be as good of a choice as she thought i was. Shes seemed a little pissed lately so i need advice soon.

150 Sharna December 22, 2009 at 12:20 am

TJMcday09-

I am only 17 and it has occured to me that there are less people wanting to date and more just hanging, the consept of open relationships disgusts me, i have a whole life to live and it would be nice to share this small time with an actuall boyfriend. My boyfriend and i have been dating all this year and I would never want him to change. He is a propper gentleman, not like the rest of the twits of my day. And it had all started from a propper date and not just a hang out. He asked me by a simple question- Do you want to go out on a date? And it was easy as that, he was petrified and i was nervous but we gave it ago. So just pucker up some confidence and go for it!

151 Shaun December 22, 2009 at 8:38 pm

I disagree with you guys bashing hanging out, texting, and facebook.

I’m a 25 year old guy and I’ll tell you the reason why hanging out is replacing dating. It’s because it’s a lot less pressure and more fun to get to know people in a relaxed atmosphere in which everybody’s with there friends. It’s way too awkward way too soon to ask a random girl out after meeting her at some activity you’re doing with your friends. If you meet a girl at a bar and ask her out you’ll have 500 times more luck if you just ask her if she wants to meet you out at a bar with her friends again next week than if you ask her on a one on one date. Why is this? Because it’s much lighter, it gives you the one on one time if things go well and if not you still have your friends and a host of others to hang out with.

In my opinion one on one dates are only good after you’ve either hooked up with someone and want to get more serious or it’s clear that you both want to hook up with each other but haven’t done it yet. Other than that why would you date someone? It’s more work than fun with someone you don’t know and even if things go well with someone you don’t know you still aren’t going to get laid until you go out drinking with your friends. I think you guys have it backwards, the goal shouldn’t be to ask a girl out on a date it should be to get her and her friends to accompany you and your bros to a night on the town. You will get 100x more girls way quicker easier and have a lot more fun doing it.

152 angela December 23, 2009 at 4:52 am

24 year old woman here. Totally agree with John. Hanging out is more relaxed, so people can be genuine and confident. A socially-savvy mutual friend help can bring out real conversation, whereas it’s almost obligatory with a girl/guy you just met to do the awkward intro-tango: “So.. Bob… what do you do…?” …. “What’s your major?” … “What year are you…?” Dates feel like job interviews, with a lot of dreary small talk and sizing the other person up. That’s not enjoyable, that’s stressful. Dates are a good way to spend time with someone you’re already serious about, but it’s *not* a good way to warm up to a female acquaintance. Also, there’s flexibility with groups: if you find that you get along with a girl particularly well, you can always leave and go somewhere with her or get contact info, whereas you can’t ditch your date to hang out with friends. Hanging out is about being comfortable and genuine and real such that you can better know the other person (and hopefully commit… hanging out is a foundation for commitment, not a substitute) whereas dating is often about doing what social convention dictates just because you “should.”

153 Mitchell December 23, 2009 at 8:32 am

While I agree that “hanging out” is much more relaxed and puts a lot less pressure on the parties involved, I feel that’s one of it’s one of its negative qualities instead of a positive one. Men (and women) today are a bunch of tiny little eggshelled sissies when it comes to anything that might damage their fragile little self-esteem. Boys and girls “hang out” so they don’t feel rejected.

One of the things my generation needs to realize is that you can make no progress worth having without taking an equal risk. If you’re too afraid to be hurt by the pressure of dating, then you aren’t cut out to be a permanent fixture in anyone else’s life, since you surely aren’t happy with your status in your own.

It’s called SELF-esteem for a reason. As Katt Williams has said, “It’s esteem of your self.” If you’re scared to date because you can’t handle the pressure, that tells me that you don’t like you. And if you don’t like you, how on earth can you expect ME to like you?

154 Jon December 23, 2009 at 12:51 pm

To Shaun… You’ve clearly missed the point of this website in your posting already. The point is not to get 100x more girls as you so eloquently put it. If you do, I’m sure you’ll find your self esteem is still fairly low as you’ve just succeeded in having 100 meaningless relationships… The point is not to “hook up” but to find someone you can “hook on” to. Being manly is not about sleeping with as many women as you can. It’s about being a man who respects himself and others and finds that woman that he respects as well. Hanging out is great for meeting people initially, but the whole point is that you date someone to find out if the two of you are really compatible, not just to see if you can get into each others pants.

155 Alex January 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Brett,

The thing about dating is that it does not necessarily leads to what you aim at. Dating might lead to sex, thus ending chastity. Dating does not necessarily lead to marriage.
After all, you should ask yourself: what was before dating? what is the history of dating? didn’t dating lead to the hookup culture after all? isn’t dating an unofficial version of marriage that can be dissolved at any time?

Only a consciousness of been an adult man, a will to take the responsibilities of marriage and faith in making things possible lead to marriage.

Maybe the age of adulthood should be lowered to 16 and kids should be taught to act as men and exposed to the realities of life. After all, a person usually takes the role that is imposed on him by his surrounding.

156 Jay January 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm

A lot of you make it sound so easy to get a date by just asking. Easier said than done I must say. I’ve said hi to many girls that are just so stuck-up or into themselves that they don’t even acknowledge you when you say hi and smile. Maybe if they weren’t so scared of talking or at showing some interest to men, they would be asked out. And the ones that are friendly that I’ve asked out are already in a relationship. Maybe it’s just a Southern California thing.

157 Erik January 12, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I head up a group dedcated to helping a specific demographic–the LDS youth. I don’t want to turn this into a religious debate, but one of the members of our group created an animated clip about dating for LDS kids. If you’re at all interested check out the link: http://www.risinggeneration.org/node/6

Great post! I look forward to coming back to this site.

158 Male January 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I think feminism is a prehistoric concept, significant of a loss of civilization, not improvement. I think we evolved into patriarchy starting from a situation of sexual parity, and we were able to prosper thanks to it.

Having said that, I think women should still be able to pursue a career if they want, but should be encouraged to stay at home. Also bullshit like affirmative action (quotas and so on) needs to go. Also reminding males that they are more productive and intelligent could do wonders for civilization. Science and historical evidence all point to the superiority of the male brain (that doesn’t mean women should be deprived of their chance at trying of course, and also like in everything there are exceptions), a thing that many discouraged (thanks to feminist ideology and indoctrination rampant in this day and age) males may have forgotten.

159 Natalie February 4, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Hello…
my #1 hint for guys- never tell a girl you dont care.
the other day the guy i liked told me he didnt care how i was feeling and i got so upset i freaked out on him. never ever do that.

my #2 hint for guys- never tell a girl about a diff. girl you like.
this wouldnt be good either…guys shouldnt ever say that because as a girl i just got mad and i said whatever and lied and said i had to go since i didnt want to talk to im after that..

WHEN YOUR KISSING..DONT SPIT!!

160 Student of Dave February 16, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I think this article has some very good points. I like what Brett and Kate say about how asking a girl out is easy (because it is if you know how), that dates should be simple, and that one of the biggest problems that guys have these days are that most of them are wussies. I also love the slogan “just do it dammit!” One learns most from actually doing things than anything else,
However, I do not believe hanging out is replacing dating. Hanging out is rather just an alternative to dating. Besides, hanging out with a group of guys and girls can really be a lot of fun, more fun than sitting across from a girl you just met wondering what to say, which is what most people end up doing on dates. If you are thinking of asking a girl out on a date, I personally would advise one important thing:
Think of something fun and exciting that has built in conversation. The traditional dinner and movie does not quite fit this description.
Also, I highly recommend you all check out a man by the name of David Deangelo. He has a book and many DVDs devoted to approaching women, dating them, and much more. He has helped me in my relationships with women tremendously. You can visit his website at doubleyourdating.com Even if you are not ready to buy his eBook or DVDs just yet ( which I HIGHLY recommend) at least subscribe to his free e-mail newsletters. The newsletters themselves are extremely useful!
Anyway, I’ll stop sounding like I’m some sort of promotional advertiser, after all, why advertise when your not getting paid for it?
Though I do not see hanging out as something that is replacing dating, I do thank both Brett and Kate for their article, it was a nice read.

161 Denise March 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I found this site a couple of months ago. An article about resilience came up on a Google search.

You give me hope. The fact that you exist means there are others like you out there and the fact the site and book exist must mean there are men out there wanting to learn what you have to teach.

I’m a 39 yr. old divorced woman with no kids. A lot of your essays are smart advice for a man OR a woman.

162 Errant Frost March 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I’m a little disappointed that your articles have declined to this. Are we talking about men or boys? Don’t give a boy a hard time for being a boy and Men don’t date because this isn’t 1958. Men either have female friends with which they “hangout” or they have partners with which they have sex. We are adults not boys. Are you lacking men on staff at “The Art of Manliness”? If so, drop me a line, I see if I can tap out a few good “lists” for you.
I don’t mean to be too harsh, but I take the ART part of being a man very seriously.

163 Mejk March 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I think a huge reason for the decline in dating is not just “hanging out” but “hooking up”. Why should a guy pay for a meal if he knows he can get the girl to sleep with him straight away?

164 Melissa M. March 9, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Thank you for this! It’s SO RARE that I ever get officially asked out on a date. I don’t want to take the initiative because that makes me think that I”m going to have to take the initiative with everything. Also makes me question if he’s all that interested to begin with if he can’t even bother to ask for a date despite the “hinting” and flirting. I love being an independent woman but for heavens sake don’t make me be the man and the woman when it comes to dating. :)

165 Danee March 21, 2010 at 12:32 am

First of all, let me state that I’m a young lady that has never been taken on a real date by a man.

I asked a “guy” out on a date. he lived a few hours away, so he would be spending the night at my place, but it was already determined that nothing sexual would happen before hand. The week leading up to the date i arranged for us to meet at my place, then head to my local amusement park for the afternoon, dinner, and then movies, go to breakfast in the morning, and if it wasn’t too late we would go to a movie before he left. Because i had done the inviting and he was traveling, we agreed that we would pay our own way. the date went well, and when he left, we both felt sparks.

the next weekend i was to stay with him. I got there, he had nothing planned. i felt so lost and out of place, as i was in a strange town and knew of nothing to do, so needless to say, things fizzled between us. He was not a gentleman, so he pushed the blame off on me, saying he didn’t know what happened between us, but things had changed.

A planned date changes everything. even an unattractive man can get a date from me if he actually plans something. it shows respect and that i am valuable to him. Just going out and winging is often forgotten, while someone planning something sticks out in memory.

166 coldcuts April 16, 2010 at 7:35 pm

This is nice and all but how do I get her phone number?

167 Jacria April 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Why does it take 9 minutes to tie a tie?

168 Rich Brown April 24, 2010 at 12:04 am

Maybe I am wussified,but if you are a person who never really had girls/women in your life other than those who you knew as your friends girlfriends,or your mother,or that sort of thing,then where do you go from there?I am almost twenty years old and the last time I had a girl as a friend that I knew on my own was when I was twelve years old.Is there anyone on here that had to deal with an anxiety disorder?

169 Rich Brown April 24, 2010 at 12:23 am

Steven,I am not looking to “score” with a girl.Do not get me wrong,there are some times when I see someone attractive and think about it,but I can see a girl/woman as more than someone to sleep with.I would love to meet someone with a strong personality who tells everything as it is seen through their very own eyes that challenges me intellectually.Someone that has loyalty and is true with their words.If this person is good-looking,I guess that it is a bonus.I have seen “hot” people who are so full of themselves that the only thing they have is their appearance.They are popular with the opposite sex because they have their looks.They have no integrity whatsoever as “friends”.You hear them bark orders at you like ten-year old boys,only to find out why you have contempt for them.They know you when you are high and prosperous,then leave you when the good times have been sucked dry.I laugh and shake my head when I see pictures of them on Facebook making stupid expressions and then holding a digital camera to their parent’s bathroom mirror.

170 Fred Green April 26, 2010 at 1:17 am

I liked what you said. It actually made me feel good to see someone say that dating needed to come back. These days you have to fight through about 5 to 6 girls so you can just get to talk to the one that caught your eye. They do also like to be asked by the guy and we need to realize that and use it to our advantage. By the way, great line on the facebook thing it was priceless

171 Jimmy May 4, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I’ll be totally honest with you, I love the logic of the idea of dating, but my personal experience has shown me to stay away from it as much as possible. You’d like to believe that a girl is interested and appreciative of a good date, but they aren’t. I have watched before my eyes as good friendships and other working relationships I’ve had with girls have deteriorated after just one formal date. Literally, it has never enhanced one single relationship I’ve had as much as I would love to be able to say it has.

Why is this? I feel that most girls, or at least younger ones (I’m in my early 20′s), find a date to be either desperate or clingy, if not presumptive. Case in point: My freshman year of college, I met a girl that lived a floor above me in our dorm. She was perpetually single and had a host of guys that would take her out many nights and sometimes buy her gifts. I never brought her out at all; at the time, this was not a conscious effort. I was just a little less versed in things back then. Regardless, she would always end up in my bed after these dates. When I asked her why this was the case, she always described the dates in very negative terms despite that they sounded factually very ideal.

I recently broke up with my girlfriend, and decided to give dating another shot, since I am not a senior in college. I figured that my persepective and that of the girls I might take out might have changed. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Now I am on the other end, the short end of this stick. Althought chivarly might not be dead, perhaps it has been diminished in someway. Dating seems to be a fool’s errand.

172 Jordan May 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I just graduated from college a few days ago. Since then, having no student loans and plenty of free time, I have asked a half dozen girls out. Dating in college is terrible. Don’t know why anyone does it. College=sex,drugs,alcohol. By the end of it, you are either very mature about those things or pathetically addicted.

It isn’t at all difficult to get a girl’s phone number, but its always best to have a reason to talk to a girl (other than you can see her boobs from the other side of the bar or she has a pretty face). If you want to talk to a randochick, ask if she wants to play pool or darts. I have also given girls my number — horrible idea. Don’t give girls your number. Also, call girls the day after. Otherwise, your attractiveness will fade. If a girl doesn’t answer, leave a voicemail. If she doesn’t respond, she is not interested. This is absolutely the most common form of rejection I have faced. And it sucks because it is indirect.

And I agree, feminism is to blame for a huge amount of the dating confusion. I used to try to treat women according to my feminist values, but as it turns out 99% of women want men to make all the initial moves and express their desire to change the status of relationships and 95% of them won’t.

173 alicia May 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm

This is so true. I’m tired of just hanging out. I want to go on dates and get to know different people. My problem is that for some reson people my age think that if i ask you to go on a date or, “go out with me”, than im asking them to be my boyfreind. This is not true I just want one date, I don’t want to go steady. I think this generation has lost the defonition of dating. Also im sick of asking. When is a guy going to ask me? Guys always say girls are just as capable to ask on a date, and yes this is true, but guys if you want to wear the pants in the relationship then be the man from the beginning!

174 someone May 23, 2010 at 2:21 am

I’m totally inspired by your post and tempted to do just as you say and pick up a phone and ask a girl out but I think my chances might be increased if I don’t call at 2:30 in the morning so I shall wait for the morrow.

175 hank June 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Nice post man. Honestly just shaking off your fear and just going for it is the best way with women. The minute of stopped being shy and going after what I wanted my dating increased dramatically. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2559037/how_to_get_a_girlfriend_how_to_get.html?cat=41

176 Ted June 6, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Great information I wish I had access to as a younger man. Being a good man is a good thing, but “nice guys” truly do finish last. Women want a MAN not a “nice guy.”

177 Maggie June 8, 2010 at 11:44 pm

As a lady, I just have to say that Bruce (waaay up there at the beginning of the comments) had it EXACTLY right.

In short, if you’re interested in dating a girl, let her know. If it’s already gotten to the “friend” point before you realize that you’re interested in her, go for it anyway. Be thoughtful. Women like to be impressed by a gentleman.

I’ve definitely dated guys who were just hang-out friends, and it tends to not work out very well. My current boyfriend (of four years) let me know from day one that he was interested in dating me and asked for my number. I was always impressed by that.

I’ve also done some of the asking-out. So I think it can go both ways. But in this day and age there is nothing sexier than a guy who is confident (but not slimey and over confident!) enough to risk rejection. And true confidence accepts rejection gracefully.

To the guys who are fed up with the floozies of the world and just want to find a nice girl, they are out there! Sounds like you’re frequenting bars and parties to find women! Try daylight, a bookstore, and ask someone to coffee who is browsing through books that you like. Just a tip :) Good luck!

178 boomer babe June 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Y’know, people need to learn to date today and, yes, the guy is supposed to ask the girl out if he wants to go out. Many women seem to think just because they have a good salary, they can be like men; well, there not. It is the seed that fertilized the egg. The egg makes an entrance and many sperm go to it, but she chooses one. Also, i’m seeing too many modern teenage girls asking guys out (thinking he’s shy) but in reality, if the guy wanted to go with her, he would get the courage to ask her out. And provide the transportation, even though shes a mechanic LOL …What i’m seeing today, is too many teenagers with HPV and other venerial diseases. Too many people are having sex with too many people, thats how syphilis started years ago

179 boomer babe June 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Ted, at (june 6 2010) women want nice guys. they just want guys that aren’t PASSIVE or passive-aggressive. It’s sad how we women thought a paycheck equaled everything that we didn’t like guys that weren’t masculine,except the macho pigs. Most women don’t want macho pigs but guys that acted manly (i know you know what that means)

180 Nathan W June 17, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Why buy the cow when the milk is free? Why date when you can hook up? If women had more sexual restraint then you would see a rise in dating. If women would go dutch on dates then you would see a rise in dating. Why should I pay the bill when women work today??? These traditions were in place when women didn’t work outside the home so of course the man paid.

181 Alan June 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I’m a teenager here. I’m just wondering what is the original intention of dating?

With my cynical view, media portrayal, and current trends of this century with dating is just to score sex, strict commitment, or just shouting abuse each other, I’m just put off from dating. :(

182 Jeff June 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Mixiael,
That canard about overpopulation needs to be done away with. The fertility rate in every major western country is below replacement rates, with the sole exception of the United States and that only because of immigration from heavily Catholic countries like Mexico. For example, each Women in Spain has something like 1.2 children, which is 40 percent below that required to maintain population levels. This trend is even true in China, which will likely grow old before it grows wealthy. Not to mention Japan, Russia, and the former Soviet Block. The world is not over populated, whatever that means, nor is it likely to be any time soon. Indeed, the only place where birth rates are high are in the same areas that death rates are high, viz. Subsaharan Africa and Middle East.

183 Johnny R. June 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Hmmm, I don’t know. Sometimes, I think Independent women don’t like the idea of dating — and a man paying for the meals and such — so they prefer hanging out. It’s a way of getting to know someone sans the pressure. I recall one woman I dated a couple times and it didn’t get too far, although we had a blast together. But after I took the “let’s just hang out as friends” approach she was much more interested in getting together and she ended up jumping my bones one night. So, maybe she just wanted sex from me but I have a hard time believing that. I just think she is a very independent woman who doesn’t like to let a man be in control. She wanted to be in control, and the let’s hang out approach worked for us for awhile before it got complicated. But, had I not tried to be her friend I would have never had the pleasure of getting to know her as well as I do.

184 Jonny June 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm

@Johnny I think you hit the nail on the head, that smacks of manipulation. I find it mind-boggling that women think this actually keeps a man around: she says, “But I thought guys want sex!” well, you’re right! we do… when we can’t have it! She’s just doing the female equivalent of the guy who saws his balls off and offers them to her on a silver platter. It’s saying, “I don’t think I measure-up, so I’m going to play all my cards now.” Certainly not wife material if you were wondering.

@Jeff Couldn’t agree with you more. For one thing, abortion clinics make a killing off of people. The idea of overpopulation in developed countries is a propagandist facade for a major cash cow. It’s total B.S., the demographic statistics make that crystal clear. Possibly even B.S. in developing countries, probably another facade for racial discrimination.

@Brett

1. Young adults don’t like to commit.
I praise this. Commitment is a word often used to conceal unhealthy parasitic bondage. Whether it is an employer who leeches the best from a young employee’s best years or a woman with a shopping-list of expectations of him. The more non-committal a man, the longer he stays free of hooks and traps. From people who wish to ride his coat tails and benefit from the best of his energy.

3. Feminism
You are right, but I think in the wrong way. Who pays for a meal is petty and irrelevant. The real motivation behind feminism is personal freedom. However, it far-too-often assumes that that necessarily means doing exactly what the men do. Why would I date someone who acts and behaves like a man? I may as well switch teams. For that reason, Jessica Alba’s character in “Dark Angel” permanently sealed my disgust. Jessica Biel has the opposite effect on me.

4. Men today are Wussies
The more important question is: why do men buckle in the face of adversity? Men need to learn resilience from pursuit of their vocations and passions, certainly not from asking other women out. The heart of this issue has nothing to do with women what-so-ever and it pains me when males think it does. Apropos, I think it is important to leave dating rejection out of it entirely rather than risk conflating the issue.


Some wisdom I abide by, non-gender-specific, and I welcome positive criticism:

1. Casual dating without the goal of marriage in-mind is an aimless waste of energy
2. The dependence on erotic or romantic desires makes one no different from a crack-head
3. Dating someone unattractive is the opposite side of the same coin
4. Setting false precedents for a relationship conflicts with one’s own growth
5. Having noble character with a heart of gold is not idealistic, its necessary
6. Settling for poor character not only extols wickedness, it welcomes it.
7. Morality, conduct, and character are all independent of any religion
8. Bitterness, self-defeat, duplicity, selfishness, fear, lying, cheating, and conniving poison the self as much as the victim.
9. According to Schrodinger’s cat, a watched pot really doesn’t boil, sometimes hesitates
10. A list of desirable characteristics in a mate is for you to know and not to advertise
11. Humans are clueless and unaware beyond all imagination
12. Communication is the antidote (see #11)
13. It is tempting, easy, and incorrect to identify by failure or success, flaw or refinement.

185 Robert July 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm

What do you think about asking a woman out again after being rejected initially, where is the line between persistance and being a pest?

186 Sam July 2, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Date, yes, by all means, but just remember to KEEP YOUR PANTS ON. Nothing is more confusing than bringing sex into an early relationship. That’s my best advice for anyone on the scene. Protect your health and integrity, save sex til you’re married.

187 Alyssa July 2, 2010 at 11:49 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with every point you make here. In the past years, I’ve had to firmly tell a few boys that the internet isn’t an acceptable tool to ask a girl out with! A woman should be made to feel like someone worthy of spending time with. Asking a girl in person or on the phone says that way more effectively than a Facebook message.

That said, my fiance didn’t ask me on our first date–I technically made the first official call in order to plan the date, but previously, at our first meeting, we’d agreed that we wanted to spend more time together. Either way, it was a decision made in person. Grow balls, men! :)

188 PrincessPerky July 10, 2010 at 8:53 am

Dating is about making sure ONE person has as good a time as possible.

Most of the time, when I go out, my attention is distracted by the crowd I take with me.

Dates remove that distraction, if you are planning on marriage, you need to know how well you interact without other folk around.

A date is a one night commitment, hanging out often has no restrictions, come and go as you please, text on your phone all night, or flit from partner to partner, whatever floats your boat.

Though having said all that, one date, or even 20 doesn’t mean marriage is required. It is fun to be the center of a fellows attention and to make him the center in return, enjoy it till you meet the one you cannot live without.

-btw I am a happily married mother (that crowd I take with me would be my kids)

189 Kivitasku July 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

Female interloper here, just to mention that there’s a lot to say for hanging out vs. dates.

1) Hanging out, you get to be yourself instead of trying to project some hopefully desirable persona.
2) Hanging out, you don’t ever get the feeling you’re being assessed.
3) Hanging out, you get to play or lounge or go on spontaneous swimming excursions or whatever you like without being tied to the tedious formality of date routine.

In other words, hanging out is a LOT more conducive to actually getting to know someone dating is, and I for one like to get to know a person before I contemplate entering into a “relationship” with them. It’s not like you can’t still flirt or end up finding a partner in a “hanging out” scenario. It just takes out the pressure and the awkward silences.

Not that there’s not something in dating, too. Asking someone for a date makes your position clear, so no more second-guessing or mind-reading is necessary, and it’s one social convention through which two people can get some private time away from a crowd of friends.

Sam, if she says no and you keep asking, or demanding a reason why, you’re being a pest. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. If someone has given you an answer, it’s disrespectful to assume they didn’t really mean it just because you WISH they didn’t. And it’s pretty uncomfortable to be asked a “why?” question when you may have to reply with either a lie or an evasion, or reveal something highly personal, or say something particularly unflattering to the questioner. Best to just take her word for it.

Think of it this way – if you’ve asked her out, she knows you’re into her, and so if she changes her mind later, she won’t be afraid to let you know. Don’t wait around for it, though. You’ve asked and got your answer, so now you can move on.

190 Kivitasku July 13, 2010 at 9:45 am

Woops, obviously meant ROBERT, not Sam. My bad!

191 Adrian Emmanuel July 14, 2010 at 2:08 am

Oh man, this article is awesome.

I guess maybe it’s because I’m not in one of those tight-knit friend clusters that I keep reading about, and I really don’t deal with flings, ‘fuck buddies’, etc., cuz I’m definitely feelin the vibe of this piece.

As a whole, hanging out is great. I do it all the time. I do not, however, expect any sort of involvement romantically or sexually with these people. All the commenters who say that the group of friends is awesome cuz there ain’t no rules, no restrictions, no tying-down, are absolutely right. Which is why it’s lame. From what I’m reading from the lady-posters, they agree with Brett. The posters who disagree are usually dudes.

Uh-oh. Seems like we have an issue.

Bros, listen to the women!
They’re the experts on what they want.
If they think that being a man, asking a woman on a date, getting it done yourself is good, then WHY ARE WE ARGUING THE POINT?!

I’m 19, I’m in university. It does not reflect life outside/past uni. The main difference: a long-term relationship is NOT the goal. Everyone at school has things to do, like, you know, school. Then there’s jobs, to pay for school. Then there’s the other stuff you do to fluff your resume, or because you actually are interested. Then there’s gettin absolutely smashed. AFTER THAT, comes a steady girl, maybe.

Personally, the most daunting task for a bro when it comes to getting TO the woman, before rejection, is the gaggle. At a bar, party, etc., a woman is always surrounded by back-up, whether it be her friends (hot or otherwise), or some other random dude who’s decided that she’s his prey (you can tell whether she’s a lass or a lunch in someone’s eyes). Getting around her friends, who play cock-block no matter what, is nigh on impossible. This is why people stay within the friend circle, cuz the barrier is gone.

There’s the thought that dating is ALL about setting up marriage, which it isn’t. What’s wrong with getting to know someone through some 1-on-1 time together? Also, people, even the more ‘progressive’ of folks, think that dating is just dinner and movie, or dressing up for a fancy evening, or something that fulfills some sort of stereotype.

Lemme put this out there, I’m FREAKIN BROKE. Even dinner and a movie usually turns out to be outta my spending range. And since I’m only just recently turned legal drinking age, a fancy evening is just not the same without a good bottle of wine.

A date can be absolutely anything, including what would be reserved for ‘hanging out’.
For example, my friends, window-shopping. It may seem like a lame thing to do with a ladyfriend, but it’s a lot more fun than you imagine. I’m definitely not financially stable, so no dumb, expensive gifts, but I mean like, hit some clothing shops, try on some stuff, see what you each like. Maybe check out the latest gadgets and doo-dads (wow I sound like an old man).

I define a man’s date as such: an activity involving a man and his accompanying partner (no restrictions there) that allows the two participants to enjoy each other’s company, and delve deeper into each other’s personality.

THIS IS HANGING OUT WITH ONLY ONE OTHER PERSON.
The ‘hanging out’ vs ‘dating’ thing is a fail argument. The only difference between the two is basically who you’re with. Generation Y (or Z or whatever bloody grouping I’m in) has an issue with semantics as well as commitment.

The other parts of the article are much more meaningful. The issue of commitment is huge, given the obvious divorce problem. I also see abortion as an issue which arises out of the issue of commitment. (That argument can be had with me via email, if you so desire).

The internet causes us to be total n00bs when it comes to women. However, for the record, internet failure is not the problem, it’s a symptom of the easiness of people to hold ideals. Like, some women honestly believe that life is like the chick flicks they watch. Or dudes think that chicks are all either hoes or fat. People think that communication in real life is as easy and safe as communication on the web, and treat internet communication as something other than virtual.

Wow, that was a hefty piece of rantage.

192 Adrian Emmanuel July 14, 2010 at 2:20 am

BTW
This will set up a night at home nicely:
http://www.pop.is/t98p
Follow instructions, three tabs are all you need.

Stay thirsty, my friends.

193 stephen July 14, 2010 at 9:31 am

I recently met somebody in my dentist it was not my normal dentist but someone who was covering she seemed quite friendly to me and I was getting a good vibe off her when I was leaving she gave me her first name not rather than saying dr. whatever and I wondered whether I should have asked her out, in the end I didn’t as I did not know if it would have been appropriate, its not the first time I’ve been in a situation like that so how do you ask a women out who you don’t know and who you have just met randomly, not in a bar or club I kind of regret not asking the lady out but I do think if I had asked her it could have potentially made for an incredibly awkward situation does anyone have any thoughts on this ?

194 Pennycake July 16, 2010 at 1:38 am

That reminds me of this:

“What’s the difference between dating and courtship?

The concept of dating is about as old as the automobile. Nowadays we are so used to it that we might not be able to imagine any other approach to relationships. But back before the car, the reason why a man would invest time with a woman was to see if she was a potential marriage partner. The reason he expressed romantic interest was to woo her toward that lifelong commitment…”
http://www.chastity.com/chastity-qa/dating/finding-love/whats-difference-between-dat

Awesome site! =D

-a member of the fairer sex

195 John July 19, 2010 at 7:35 am

@ Gary (comment #61 above) – you clearly don’t get what this website is all about. “Fun and indepenence” are not the defining characteristics of a man, but rather of an irresponsible adolescent.

196 Darc July 19, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Hello,

I just read this article, very true and informative, thank you =)
Unfortunately I fall in the category of those men who are just scared, I blame it on the rejections i had in the past, but really Its because I rather remain in the illusion that the particular lady might actually like me rather in facing the risk of reality, even though it is correct that my situation would not have changed in the superficial level, internally I would feel crushed when I put myself in a vulnerable situation after emotionally investing in one individual.

Thank you!

197 Travis Lawmaster July 19, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I appreciated your observations about the effect of social media on people’s in-person relational skills. That seems like a huge thing for our world to think about, and I agree with you that Gen Y is faced with relatively more handicaps to taking the risk of rejection than previous generations due to the internet. (At the same time, there may be some marked advantages to social media, too, in helping two people initiate, form, solidify, nurture, and maintain a relationship than ever before.)

However, I am not sure I am willing to either discredit the value of “hanging out”, whether it be in a group situation or in purely friend mode with the opposite sex, and to prolong that stage for a long, long time. I also don’t think non-reflective pursuit of romance through “dating”, as our culture has construed it, is the way to the Holy Grail.

I actually think that you can learn more about who a person is, with their quirks, strengths, and weaknesses, in the low-pressure environment of friendship, or even in group situations. Dating/romance puts the pressure on for people to put their best foot forward. A good, solid foundation of honest evaluation of the other in the context of friendship is an irreplaceable ground for a highly successful romantic relationship.

So guys, don’t be so quick to give up that “hanging out” and friendship mode. If you are smart, you’ll prolong it as long as you can, and keep a discerning eye open as you evaluate a potential person of interest – how is she around her friends? around her family? how is she in ordinary, daily life – any idiosyncrecies you notice in that context that rub you the wrong way?

How you see her THERE – in ordinary life – as you hang out with her, is a much better indication of what you would get from her in a long-term relationship like marriage than how she performs on a date with a strong romantic air.

198 Catherine July 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Hey, men. Just a quick note from a woman’s perspective:

If I don’t already know you very well, please don’t invite me over to your home on a date as suggested above. It puts me in a very awkward position in which I’m concerned about my safety. While I may be happy to meet you for a drink or a meal in a public place, I’m not about to visit the home of a man I do not know. In fact, I’d prefer to meet you in public places for dates for a while, so I have my own car. Women who are smart and assertive are very careful about being stuck in homes or cars with men they don’t know well. We’re also concerned about unknown men bringing us drinks. Please either order them at our table, so they come directly from the waiter, or bring me to the bar with you when you buy my drink, so I can receive my drink directly from the bartender.

I’m sure all of you men out there are wonderful and would be quick to defend a woman’s honor and never hurt her, but please do realize that women have to watch out for their safety with men they don’t already know well. It only takes one weirdo to hurt us physically. This also makes dating friends of friends/family very desirable, as these men are basically pre-vetted. Does that make sense? Thanks, and thank you all for being strong men. That is very attractive, indeed. Please don’t be offended by these comments, and please plan on teaching these simple self-defense strategies to your daughters.

199 Cecilia Black July 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I really enjoyed this article and and completely agree that men should ask women on more dates. I think those that want to defend hanging out so much misunderstood the article because it doesn’t say to stop hanging out. It just says to date more which is something I think relationships will really benefit from. I always wish men would ask me out more and it is so annoying when men try to make advances on me in a hang out setting. I feel like they are trying to own me without my consent. If they simply asked for my full attention over a date instead of trying to steal me away during a social setting, then their prospects for having a relationship with me would be a lot better. There is something really special about a man asking for your commitment for an evening and even if I wasn’t interested in the man at first I am usually impressed by his courage and manliness and will give him a chance.

200 Johann July 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

I Loved the article. Definately sound advice for the man who is ready to settle down.
Personally, I am a young man; and am in no particular hurry to get married, as I rather enjoy My freedom. However, when the time comes this article shall be remembered.

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