Women asking men out? Can we do that? It can be quite the controversial subject. I do have one friend who says he does not like being asked out, but when pressed, will say, “well, if it’s someone I like, that’s okay.”
Then there’s this phrase that I swear by: “It’s Just a Date.” Or, I think that’s how it should be. How can you get to know someone if you have to be practically engaged before you can go on one? But as a few friends from other cultures have told me (I live in the U.S.), in some places it can be more complicated. I’ve had friends from other countries tell me that where they’re from, if you go on a date, you are practically engaged.
But for today, I have two pieces of evidence to support both that it’s okay for women to ask men out, and that “It’s only a date!” is a philosophy that can work, at least here. I wouldn’t counsel anyone to pretend that their culture’s expectations don’t exist! Anyway, the first is from a married friend/practicing therapist/teacher of the Utah State Extension Class “How Not to Fall in Love With a Jerk or Jerkette” class Darren Johansen. (Also check out the book by Dr. VanEpp here.) He said that in the dozens of classes he’s taught, he always asks the guys if any of them minds getting asked out, and not once has any of them ever said he’d rather not. So.
My other humble offering? A year ago, through Matt Campbell I was introduced to Facebooker James Kiing’s great idea: “September is Take a Man Out On a Date Month.”
While it’s a bit of a mouthful, I, along with some friends, tried this last year. It was so much fun that we’ve done it two more times since, and are planning another one for the end of the month. And you know what? While some of us have been turned down, (the most common reason being that the guy already has a girlfriend), and while asking someone even for a lighthearted evening with friends can still be nerve-wracking, the feedback from all involved has only been positive. Okay, so it’s been hard to do, but the dates have been really fun. And more than worth it.
Our dates were simple, the good part was each other’s company. We didn’t quite make September, so we started in October.
October: We picked out pumpkins at a pumpkin patch, carved them at a friend’s house, and played games.
Group Date 2: We made crepes at our house (I have two roommates), talked, and played games.
Group Date 3: We went miniature golfing, then got food afterwards.
The ups and downs:
Some of us were turned down, but we rebounded and asked someone else.
There was a risk that we might ask out a guy who doesn’t want to be asked out by a woman, but as far as we could tell, that didn’t happen.
I suppose we were lucky that we all asked guys who genuinely seemed to have a good time.
We got to know our dates, and everyone else out on the date, better than we would have otherwise. It wasn’t necessarily a group of people who would have ended up being thrown together under different circumstances, and that made it fun.
*All of the women agreed that we have a new-found appreciation for men and what they go through and have been going through, having been in this position for so many years (we’re all in our 30’s and 40’s.)
We got some dating experience, and we didn’t have to sit around waiting for it.
We had fun.
We made new friends, or strengthened existing friendships.