Monday, April 22, 2013

Who should ask who?

OK, so I normally don't tackle age-old questions when it comes to dating. I think we can all agree that, for the most part, concepts like don't kiss on the first date and the guy always pays are out-dated and not in line with "modern" dating issues. These questions don't come up for me too often, and I suspect the same is true for a lot of singles, so I just don't go there.

So, you can probably imagine my surprise when a friend (male) suggested it was better for me to wait for a guy I like to ask me out, rather than taking the initiative and asking him myself.

I checked, and it was still 2013 when we were having this conversation - which was taking place via email - so the rules of engagement circa 1956 didn't apply.

But does that matter? Are there some dating rules that stand the test of time, no matter how old they (or we) get?

It is true that the idea a guy should always pay comes from a time when it made sense - because women didn't have their own money. Now we do - and sometimes, we even out-earn our dates. The idea that a guy should always
Found it here
shoulder that responsibility doesn't make as much sense as it once did.

Of course, to go along with the idea that a guy should always pay was the idea that a woman "owed him something" in return. Women who gave it up early on were sluts - but they got the expensive dates. If a woman wanted to be "wife material" she had to wave off those advances. Something about a cow and buying milk.

But that was also when becoming a wife was always the goal of dating. That's not necessarily always true these days. Not too long ago, a friend was invited on what would be a very expensive dinner date. Her mom said to her, "He'll want something, you know." My friend's response was, "Did it ever occur to you I might want something too?" (Side note: That was not the answer her mom was hoping for. I doubt she'll ask too many more dating questions.)

It's true, though - the older you get, the more in charge you feel about your own sexuality and relationships. It isn't something you're "giving away" - you're participating! That being the case, why does it matter who pays for what, so long as everyone is happy?

While there has been a shift in the culture, the purpose of dating is largely still the same: To meet someone, and find a relationship (though the details and terms of the desired relationship might be different for each date).

Since you have to find someone who likes you in order for them to stick around long enough to form that relationship (whatever it may be), most of us put our dating energy towards making a good impression - particularly when things are just starting out.

So, back to my friend's comment: Will I make a bad impression if I ask a guy out? I may think that it shouldn't matter - and I may have even gone on countless dates with guys who agree. But if it matters to this guy, and I'm trying to make a good impression - then I guess it is important.

Honestly, the guy in question is a little older, and very, very chivalrous, to the point of being traditional. On our first date, he opened doors - car and building - every single time one needed opening. He offered to pay for everything. He helped me with my coat, and he even insisted on walking on the curb-side of the sidewalk (a chivalrous behavior most men don't even know, much less do).

To someone like that...who asks who might matter more than it would to others. So in this case, my friend may have been on to something. Maybe I do need to let this guy do the asking - but not because I'm a woman.

Because the guy is a gentleman.


  1. OOOOOH a Gentleman?! Awesome. Those are pretty rare finds!

    Klay has his moments of chivalry...
    But, overall, he's just a big mush...