Ask a Man out on a Date
The Dating Stereotype — How to Attract and Get a Date
There is a stereotype about how dating works. It goes sorta like this.
Let’s say you’re a heterosexual woman who wants to find romance with a heterosexual man.
(Note: For the purposes of this article, we are going to stick with the hetero norms because that’s where the author (me) has experience.)
According to every existing trope in Western culture, the way dating works goes sorta like this — the woman gets dressed up to the nines. She goes to a venue where she can be admired for her incredible beauty.
Meanwhile, the men also go to said venue. They show off. They tell jokes or display muscles or flaunt wealth to catch the attention of the women.
The women look over the men showing off for them. They smile and bat their eyes at the ones they like. The men wait for these signals from a woman they find attractive. Then the men go up and start to chat up said woman until they get a number or a date.
I’ve Experienced This Stereotype
I was only 12 when I first saw this in action.
I was in India. Dressed in a pretty blue and white checked dress, I had a matching ribbon in my hair. We’d gone to the beach. At one point, I was waiting near an exercise area while my father took my brother to get a cone.
While I waited, I noticed several youths exercising. The youngest were about my age, the oldest were probably in their late teens. They saw me and all of a sudden, they were really pumping the iron. Whereas before it had been all business, now they were emphasizing their moves and glancing back at me.
I caught one’s eye and he smiled at me and pumped harder. My gaze shifted, and the next one pushed in front of the first one, and winked at me.
Fortunately at that point my father came up and we took off.
This was the first time but it was not the last I saw this stereotype in action.
When I was in the 10th grade, a boy sang to me in homeroom. He made eye contact with me the whole time and bravely made it through three verses of some sappy song before the bell rang. I was so impressed that the next day I went over and sat down next to him. I figured a guy willing to put himself out there like was worth getting to know.
Unfortunately, his courage disappeared when faced with the idea of actually having a conversation with me. He blushed and stammered and later his friends gave me the evil eye. Apparently I was to blame for embarrassing him when all I had wanted was to get to know him as a human being.
The Fly in the Ointment
This is the problem with the dating paradigm.
It’s not based on actually getting to know someone as a person. It’s based on perceptions, impressions, illusions.
I remember at one job, I knew a guy with an unhappy marriage. He was always working late, even when he didn’t have anything to do. He’d talk to co-workers, play solitaire on his computer. If he wife called, he’d make up an excuse for why he needed to stay at the office.
He had a beautiful wife. He didn’t want to go home to her.
I asked him once why he fell in love with her. He said he saw her at a county fair in Missouri. She was in some contest, maybe Miss Pumpkin or something silly like that. She didn’t win but she caught his eye.
He said, “She just looked so wholesome and pretty, like the kind of girl I’d want to marry.”
That was it. He knew what he wanted, and then he found someone who must fit those characteristics because she looked like she must.
It’s the same thing no matter where you go, whether it’s picking up guys at the beach or at a coffee shop or a frat party. The guy has a vision in his head of what he wants and he translates it into how the woman must look. Women do the same thing, in a different way.
Get to Know the Man Behind the Mask
How do you get beyond the illusion and get to know the real person?
One of the best ways to do it is to turn the stereotype on its head.
To me, this is the best reason to ask a man out. Because — he will not expect it. All of a sudden, in one move, you disarm him. You throw him off his game. And, because you do that, you have a chance to see the real person. The person you actually want to get to know. Because that is the person you’ll be with, once the mask comes off.
If I’ve done it, so can You
The first time I asked a man out was in college. I didn’t need to, but I wanted to. I’d been thinking about feminism and the role of men and women, and I decided I wanted to assert myself.
I asked out the cutest guy I knew. I was nervous as heck. My palms were sweaty when I called him on the phone. He turned me down. Turned out he had a girlfriend.
I decided to try again a few weeks later, with another man. I got turned down a second time. But the third time was a charm. We went on a few very nice dates, and then we both moved on.
I didn’t ask guys out again for a while.
Asking Men to Dance
I was in Austin, Texas for business. On Friday night, I decided to check out 6th Street. I’d heard it was a happening place.
I was dressed in business atire — a slim skirt and pumps. As I walked down the street, I ran into a girl in a leopard print leotard. She was, frankly, hot. She was also really nice.
We got to talking, and the next thing I knew, I was being invited to a club with her. I mentioned that I was still underage. She said it wasn’t a problem, she knew the bouncer.
Sure enough, they let me in. We stood there, against a wall, while the music played. We were complying with the stereotype. It was our job to look pretty enough so some guy would ask us to dance.
Then along came a song I loved. I really wanted to dance. I asked my new friend if she’d be up for dancing with me. She looked at me like I had rocks in my head.
Back in New York City, I’d often danced with girls. When I was on cross country team, I remember one night when it was just a huge pulsing group of us, ten women strong, dancing at one girl’s sweet sixteen party.
Apparently the rules were different in Texas.
So I finally said to myself, screw that, and went up to a guy and asked him to dance. He looked startled but he said yes.
We had a great time. He tried to make conversation a few times, but I really wasn’t looking for anything except a dance partner.
After, he thanked me and walked away. A few songs later, I again asked a guy to dance. This time he made a comment that got my attention. We ended up really bonding over a few more dances. I regretted having to tell him I was only in town for the week.
One thing I noticed though — in the moments right after I asked him to dance with me, his guard had dropped. I saw a vulnerability and an openness that was attractive to me. I realized that there was a person there that, if I had been a local, I would have liked to spend more time with.
How to Ask Men out on Dates
The best way to ask men out is to not ask out strangers.
I realize that sounds a bit strange. After all, men will sometimes ask a pretty girl on the street for her number, or chat up a total stranger in a bookstore. In fact, there are tons of books and courses and so on out there for men helping them develop the confidence and the “game” to pick up pretty strangers.
But the point of this, from what I’ve gathered, is to get the men a bed partner.
If you’re a woman and that’s what you want — an attractive one night stand — then go for it.
Of course, in order to have your sexual needs met, you don’t need to stand on street corners. You can use Tinder. That’s not the focus of this article.
This article is about asking out men you see in your day to day life with the goal of a forming a relationship.
So, how do you go about it?
First establish a connection.
Let’s say that you’re in a coffee shop and you see a guy reading a book that you like. You can take your coffee over to his table and start a conversation about the book. If he seems interested, you can ask if it’s alright to sit at his table. If he says no, give him his space. But chances are, he’ll say yes.
Have a conversation. Do you like him as a person?
To figure this out, really pay attention to him. Don’t fantasize about him. Don’t visualize him naked or wonder what your children might look like. Actually pay attention to him. Listen to what he says.
Draw him out by asking him open-ended questions. Let him talk.
After 10–15 minutes, if, and only if, you feel a real connection, ask him out on a date. Keep it simple. Say something like, “I really enjoy talking to you. Would you like to get together again for coffee next Tuesday?”
If he agrees, make sure that you treat him on the date. The rule is that the person asking on a date pays. So make sure you ask him to something you can afford! Coffee or a drink works great for this reason. So does a walk in the park or an ice cream cone.
Where to Find Men
This is pretty simple. You can find men at work, but you have to be careful asking them out — if you have a relationship and break up, you’ll have to see the guy at the office. If you have sex, chances are everyone else will know about it. Plus, some workplaces have rules against dating co-workers.
You can find men at Meet-ups. This is a great way to meet men, because you have something in common.
Other great places include your church (or temple, or mosque, or gathering), a neighborhood coffee shop or bookstore, the dog park (if you have a dog), a museum, a lecture, at volunteer events and at the gym. Adult education classes, such as a photography class, are also a great place to meet people.
In all of these cases, make sure you are actually interested in the activity. It should not simply be a means to meet men. Instead, the activity should be the primary goal, and meeting men merely the secondary consequence.
The Men you Don’t Ask Out
There are certain types that you should not ask out. These are the so-called “alpha” men.
If you ask these guys out, even if they say “yes”, they will hold your assertiveness against you.
Alpha men need to be in charge. They want to be dominant. They would prefer to chase a woman, and they want someone who is more submissive.
And that’s fine if that is the type of man you want. But if that’s who you want — you’re going to have to stick to the stereotypes and not ask him out, unless all you’re looking for is a one-night stand or a short term fling.
If you want a long-term relationship with an alpha male, you need to let him ask you out.
Why Alpha Men Are Less Attractive to Me
The reason described above is why these so-called alpha men are less attractive to me. Because while these men are definitely geared for success, they are not geared for vulnerability, and you can’t be truly emotionally intimate with someone who refuses to be vulnerable.
What I want in a relationship is someone I can be intimate with. Not just sexually, but on all levels — emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. I want someone who I can share an equal partnership with, without any masks.
Think of Putin as someone who fits the alpha male stereotype. Do you think he’d ever spontaneously answer a question, even with a lover?
But you may want the stereotypical relationship in which the man is dominant while you are more submissive. I’m not talking about role-playing in bed, I’m talking about in your day to day life. If this is your desire, that’s OK. Just realize what it entails.
You’ll have to follow the rules. You may always wear the illusion. He may never take off his mask, even after you’ve been married for 15 years. If he does, or if the mask slips, you may find that he’s really a jerk. Or abusive. Or that he has no depth beyond work. He won’t want to talk about the relationship, and if the kids need to talk about their emotions — well, that’s why you’re there.
The Joys of Dating Men who Don’t Need to be the Alpha
A man who is less hung up on male/female stereotypes is more likely to be there for you emotionally.
Remember that just because a man does not fit the “alpha” stereotype does not mean he’s weak. In fact, often he will be emotionally stronger. It takes a lot more strength to be able to be genuinely vulnerable.
It also doesn’t mean he’s not successful; however, he won’t feel as strong a need to fit society’s idea of success.
The man who is comfortable with himself and doesn’t feel he has to stick to society’s pre-programmed stereotype of masculinity will also be the guy who doesn’t force you to fit into some pretty mold.
For many of us, this is the type of man we want; however, he was still raised in this society and he knows what the stereotypes are.
When it comes to dating, even the most enlightened man will reflexively reach for his mask. That’s why asking him out works. He’ll be so startled that the mask will crack and give you a glimpse of his true self. Then you can figure out if what you see matches up to what you want.
If he does — then maybe he’s your someone special.
If it doesn’t — don’t judge. He’s perfect for someone else. Meanwhile, you’ve pushed your boundaries and stepped outside your comfort zone. Plus you’ve gained a greater understanding and sympathy towards men, since you’ve stepped into their shoes in the dating paradigm.
So, go ahead. Be bold. Turn the stereotypes on their head. Ask the guy out. Take the chance and see what happens.
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