I already know I'm about to step onto some toes with what I'm about to say, but feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section because I'd honestly like to hear your thoughts. Ready?
Why is it that when gender roles are discussed in relationships, a lot of us are quick to say that those thoughts and principles are antiquated and even unnecessary? Oh, but when the topic of a woman proposing to a man or even asking a man out on a date, suddenly those same women are saying things along the lines of "No ma'am. That's what a man is supposed to do"?
If you're looking for my personal take on things, I'll just say that I'm more of a traditionalist than not and leave it at that. And while I'd personally prefer to be proposed to (in part, because I want to be sure a man is marrying me because he's ready to, not because he doesn't want to hurt my feelings if I were to ask him), I'm not the one who gasps in disgust or even confusion whenever a woman asks a man out. I don't think it's needy. I don't think it's desperate. I actually think it takes a confident and self-aware woman to do it because whenever we ask anyone to do anything, there's a chance that we'll hear "no".
What I will also say is that I do know some women who want to take the initiative to ask a man on a date and then want him to do all of the work after he says "yes". Should he be a gentleman? Of course. But should he suddenly act like he's the one who asked in the first place? Personally, I don't think so. Personally, I feel that when a woman asks a man on a date, there are certain things that are OK for the guy to expect…should he accept.
You to Plan the DateGiphy
I remember once talking to someone who was on the fence about asking a guy out. After she finally got the nerve to do it, although the guy initially said "yes", he ended up taking a pass. Why? Because after she asked him, she expected him to figure out what they should do. Yeah…that's not how it works. I mean, how would you feel if a guy asked you out and then called you to see what you had in mind and when? It doesn't seem like he's super invested, does it? Asking a guy out doesn't only consist of him agreeing to spend time with you; it's also about figuring out what the two of you should do together—and when.
I asked a few of my male friends what their idea of a great date would be. Some of them, I had to sit on the phone with dead air because they said that they're so used to planning dates that they never really gave their own dream date much thought. But once they got over the initial shock of my question, some said going to a sporting event, others said they'd want to do something outdoorsy that had a bit of an adrenaline rush to it and others said a live music event or binge-watching some of their favorite movies would be fun.
So yeah, that brings up one more point about planning dates. Although a lot of us like to be surprised, again, most men are thrown off-guard just by you making the initial request. That's why asking them what they enjoy doing doesn't come off as "lazy". If anything, it translates as being extremely thoughtful.
You to Pay for the Date
I would think that it's a given that if you ask a man out, you should be the one who pays, even if he offers to. For any of you who don't agree, please post in the comments section why because I don't get the logic behind expecting someone to finance what you planned for them in the first place. But hey, you don't have to take my word for it. An interview that actress Lauren London did several years back featured her take on who should pay for dates. After explaining her ideal date, her response was perfect (to me)—"Who pays on the first date? It depends on who asks. If a woman asks a man on a date, then she should be willing and prepared to pay…When you invite someone to your house for dinner, you don't expect them to bring the groceries." Amen? Amen.
For There to Be No “Uncomfortable Surprises”
Maybe it's just me, but I don't know a ton of guys that are big on surprises, in general. Unless it's from someone who knows them really well (enough to know what they like and don't know) or who's been with them for a while, being caught off-guard typically isn't their idea of a good time. That being said, asking a guy on a date and then "surprising him" by turning it into an impromptu double date with a couple of your friends, bringing some of your family along or taking him to one of your events like a wedding or work-related function without his knowledge really isn't the smartest idea in the world.
8 times out of 10, it translates into being a super pushy move or worse, a manipulative one. Even if he's a nice guy and sees the date through, I wouldn't be shocked in the least if your first date ends up being your last one as well.
For There to Be No Pressure Following the Date
So, you ask the guy you're interested in out, he says "yes" and the date is amazin'. There's chemistry and a connection. You both enjoy similar things and he even mentions going out again with, this time, it being on his dime. Good for you, girl! Wanna know how to totally mess all-a-dat up? Constant texts and phone calls. Not letting him bring up follow-up plans in his own way and time. Becoming passive aggressive when after—wow, a whole—week, he hasn't put anything on the books.
No matter how wonderful a date is, I have learned from personal experience that men can lose interest real quick once stress, anxiety or pressure comes into play. The same kind of confidence that you had to ask a guy out in the first place? Keep that same energy once the date is over. If he's into you, he'll make it known. LeToya Luckett's husband, Tommicus Walker, made that fact crystal clear in a recent interview on our site.
To Not Make Him the Bad Guy if Things Don’t Work Out
One reason why I think it's a good idea for us to ask a guy out every once in a while is so it will (hopefully) give us a new respect and insight into what they go through when they find the courage to, not only ask us out, but to deal with how the date goes should we accept. And here's the thing—just like you should not be considered low-key evil if you go on a date and the connection is simply not there or you're just not interested in going out again, neither is the man that you ask on a date.
Sometimes we think that if someone isn't interested in us that something is wrong with us when really, they simply aren't our person. In this instance, that doesn't make a man a bad guy. Maybe he's meant to be a friend. Maybe he was just a tool to give you the boldness to try something new. But please hear me when I say that until—or unless—you are able to ask a man out and know you can handle however it plays out, for the sake of all parties involved…wait. Either the opportunity will present itself at a better time or, if he's interested in you, maybe, just maybe, he'll beat you to the punch.
And then worrying about asking him out will cease to be an issue.
Featured image by Getty Images