30 Days to a Better Man Day 9: Take a Woman on a Date

by Brett & Kate McKay on June 8, 2009 · 25 comments

in 30 Days to a Better Man

A man has many roles in his life-leader, father, brother, friend, and so on. Yet there’s one name that fewer and fewer men may be called by: lover. Manliness is often ranked by how many random women a dude can bed. But one of the things that separates man from the beasts is the ability and desire to focus his romantic energies on one woman at a time. Being a lover and romancer is something that makes us hu-man, not just another mammal on the Discovery Channel.

There is no better tool in the romantic man’s arsenal than the date. The date’s structure allows a man to show off his ability to woo a lady. Unfortunately, few men have been taking on the challenge of being lovers these days as our dating abilities have become infected with the plague of hanging out.

Dating and the Single Man

We’ve previously discussed the way in which “hanging out” has largely supplanted dating these days. Young people hang out in groups of friends and “friends with benefits” and rarely pair off for an official date. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out, but it’s not a substitute for dating. Dating is the way you find a woman you’d like to have an exclusive relationship with. Exclusive relationships are one on one affairs, so there has to come a point where you leave the comfort of the group and start getting to know women on a one-on-one basis.

Dating and the Committed Man

Hanging out isn’t just a romance killer for the single set, it also has a nasty habit of snuffing out the sparks of long-term relationships as well. Too many men think that the courting phase of a relationship ends at the altar or once they’ve landed a lady.  But this is patently incorrect, at least if you want to have a happy, fun, and intimate relationship.

Think about it: If you want to feel the same way about your wife that you did when you were dating, then you have to do some of the stuff you did when you were dating. The most obvious of which is, of course, actually going on dates. Every couple should make a weekly date night a non-negotiable in their life. And not just the same dinner and a movie dates either. It turns out that if you want to get back the butterflies you used to feel for your lady, you need to make the effort to keep your dates fresh and interesting. By injecting some novelty into your relationship, your brain gets flooded with dopamine and norepinephrine, the chemicals that used to make you think about your love obsessively and feel down right giddy about her. ((http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/12/health/12well.html)) So ditch the whole pizza and Netflix routine and really get out and do something new and different.

Today’s Task: Take a Woman a Date

Dating has fallen into such disfavor that we should perhaps give a primer on what a date is. At it’s most basic, a date must include the “3 P’s” to be official:

1) Paired off

2) Planned ahead

3) Paid for

The “paid for” and “paired off” business isn’t as important for the fellows already in a long-term relationship as it is for the single gents, but for both groups of men, the planning ahead part is crucial. You need to try to cook up something cool for your date.

But keep in mind that a date doesn’t have to be expensive or formal. With a little creativity you can come up with an inexpensive, yet creative date that will really impress your lady. Check out this post for some great ideas.

A woman needs to plan ahead too. So you are hereby charged with asking a woman out in the next 24 hours. You then have the rest of the week to plan a killer date.

Let us know what kind of date you’ve got brewing in the Community page.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ammon June 8, 2009 at 9:44 pm

A weekly date night is one of the best investments you can make in marriage. It shows your wife that she is a priority and that you value spending time with her, one on one. No work, no TV/Internet/Videogames, and no kids. Just the two of you.

I cannot recommend this highly enough.

2 oracle989 June 8, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Tough one for a DO IT TODAY type of deal for us single guys.

3 Dan June 9, 2009 at 3:36 am

Right on with this post. This is a necessary skill to becoming a better man. I already planned two dates with my girlfriend for this week.

But I will agree with oracle898, that if you are single and without an interesting prospect, this is almost impossible to do in a day.

4 Dave June 9, 2009 at 5:38 am

“But I will agree with oracle898, that if you are single and without an interesting prospect, this is almost impossible to do in a day.”

I think Mystery would definitely disagree with this. A guy who is a pick-up artist can get a date in just 20 minutes if he wants to.

5 Luke June 9, 2009 at 5:48 am

“I think Mystery would definitely disagree with this. A guy who is a pick-up artist can get a date in just 20 minutes if he wants to.”

those are not the kind of girls I want to date

6 Anas June 9, 2009 at 5:59 am

Great post.
Though I must say that the 3P’s are rubbish! Of course the first one is required, but a date does not have to be planned nor paid for to be succesful. The most important thing is that you have fun and enjoy yourself, and this might as well be done on a spontaneous date in the park as in a fancy restaurant.

7 M June 9, 2009 at 7:03 am

I think the encouragement behind this article is not about being a pick-up artist, but it also does not mean waiting around for the perfect situation to present itself without any effort. Part of being a man (at least with women who have the expectations that accompany traditional gender roles) is taking a chance and not being afraid of rejection. To those that say this is a tough ‘do it today’ thing for the single guy, I would disagree because you will most likely see at least one woman that you MIGHT be interested in today. If you do, this is about encouraging you to do something about it. Single guys are single because they either choose to be or they are afraid to take a chance on someone they don’t know. There are a lot of good single women out there who want to be asked out if you will just talk to them. Try being confident, a little funny, and emotionally stable when you meet them and you might have a chance in finding a girl you actually like.

8 E June 9, 2009 at 8:14 am

I’m queer, but I’ll happily take another gentlemen out to dinner and call this challenge complete.

It seems ridiculous that I have to bring this up… in 2009, are we really still stuck at a point where men have to date women to be men?

9 Cutter June 9, 2009 at 9:17 am

We almost never go out for dinner anymore. Far too often, we’re disappointed with the quality of the food, feel guilty about spending a fortune, or have the experience ruined by loud families at the next table who don’t know how to behave in public.

So, for nearly a year, my wife and I have enjoyed a very nice Friday night dinner at home. I enjoy cooking immensely – especially French, Italian, and Mediterranean – and I spend a little time throughout the week planning the meal and gathering the best ingredients. My wife, who admits to being a lousy cook, really enjoys researching and sourcing the perfect wine for the meal. Then on Friday evening, we hang out in the kitchen, enjoying conversation, pre-dinner cocktails, and jazz or classical music, while I prepare dinner.

We have a wonderful evening together, have long conversations, and best of all, we don’t have anyone rudely talking on a cell phone next to us or letting their poorly-behaved kids have the run of the place. If the meal is especially good, I record the recipe & wine in a cooking journal I keep. My wife often works 14 hour days and this is a great way to shake off the week’s stress.

We don’t miss restaurants at all.

10 Mark June 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

I’m not exactly taking this 30 day challenge, myself, but I’m still following along every day to check out the suggestions. Today’s is most definitely a good suggestion, however as the folks above have mentioned – trying to force this to happen TODAY can be a little hasty.

I just met a gal, and things are moving along well (and more importantly, at a natural pace), but a jump to asking her out is still slightly premature.

I know your intentions with this blog series are all the best, though, and I think it’s pretty cool to have such an endeavor going for a month :)

11 Nick June 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Like E, I am not of the heterosexual persuasion. I am already planning something for my guy’s birthday tomorrow. We have shared a committed monogamous relationship for nearly 9 years now, and I confess that I could do more to spark some romance with my partner.

12 Tom from Vancouver, BC June 9, 2009 at 3:35 pm

E- I think you know what the author meant. In fact, I find you ridiculous for even posting your comment. The idea of the article was not about men dating women to be manly, it was about going out on a date with someone and committing time to that one person instead of just hanging around a large group of friends and having “f**k buddies.” Act like a man and don’t get so offended over such trivial things!

13 Daniel June 9, 2009 at 7:56 pm

I think this is a great idea, except for one detail- I don’t date. I do have female friends, and don’t have issues with those who do date, I just have decided not to. So good luck to you guys with your dates, and if any of you live near San Antonio I have suggestions…

14 Julian June 21, 2009 at 9:24 am

Good post but I find it lacking…Ideas or inspiration for the killer date is most welcomed!

15 Brett June 21, 2009 at 9:49 am


Check out the link up in the sentence that says, “Check out this post for some great ideas.” It links to a post with 13 great date ideas.

16 Lady Brain June 26, 2009 at 9:27 am

This is the best advice ever!! A date night in marriage is a saving grace, and treating a woman in a focused meaningful way will always be rewarded emotionally, and often physically. Whether it’s a first date or a 100th. Check out the female perspective on this and other topics–(if you dare!) at http://askladybrain.com

17 Joe Proctor October 10, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Married for almost 10 years. I’ve always valued the importance of alone time for the couple. I think far too many marriages fail when the kids become the focus. The core relationship that started the family matters most.

Never been able to have a weekly date night, but I make sure to spend time with her as much as possible.

Tomorrow’s task (which will be day 9 for me) – Kings Island’s Halloween Haunt plus Fright Feast minus the kids.

18 will October 17, 2009 at 11:03 am

It’s easy to ask someone out on a date if you know them somewhat,a colleague,another lady from your club,the challenge is asking complete stangers out like the lady who catches your eye at the supermarket.Any tips?

19 Kyle May 27, 2010 at 11:50 pm

RE: Tom from Vancouver’s comments on E’s comment.

Tom, you don’t get to decide if being offended over the assumption that
“every guy reading this is straight”
is being “offended over such trivial things!” as you put it.

Unless YOU are gay yourself, your opinion on being excluded as a gay man DOESNT CARRY ANY WEIGHT.

As members of a majority, we don’t get to tell our minority friends when they get to be offended.

It’s real easy to suggest people “lighten up” when we’re not part of the group that is being marginalized or offended.
It’s also called being a bully.

YOU need to man up and learn your place.

20 Spysheriff August 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm

“So you are hereby charged with asking a woman out in the next 24 hours.”

I’ve never done that before in my 21 years… I don’t even know how to start!

21 Erika January 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Not sure how many women commenters you get on this site, but THANK YOU for stressing the importance of dating. I have tried to teach my boyfriend how important it is to me that he plan things for us every once in a while. Dates don’t have to be elaborate or expensive – just put some thought into it and make the effort! And please make plans at least 3 or 4 days in advance :) I promise your efforts will be rewarded.

22 Caleb June 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Am I allowed to skip this one? I mean, I’m 15, I have no car, no money, and It’s the middle of summer so I have nothing to do but sit in my house. Also I don’t have any female neighbors under the age of 65 within a 3 hour walk. I think this is a great idea, and I definitely will take a woman on a date as soon as I come across the means/find a person who I would want to date, but for now, I think I’m going to have to pass.

23 Victor September 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Yeah, you and me are in the same boat Caleb. I’m gonna have to put this one on hold for a while.

24 brandi February 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

As someone interested in being asked out by “manlies”, can I pipe in here? Big fan of the site. If you are single all you have to do it meet someone nice, maybe available and ask. Worst case s/he says no and you ask somebody else. Best case, s/he says sure. So get out where there are people, strike up a conversation and ask someone out.

If you are 15, maybe wait 2-3 years. But don’t put it off too long. Learning to extend invitations never hurt anyone. :)

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