Denise Li, Love, Opinions, Relationships

The Last Unspoken Rule of Dating – Denise Li

For heaven's sake, it's just a date. Not a lifetime commitment!

For heaven’s sake, it’s just a date. Not a lifetime commitment!

Having had conversations with numerous female friends about dating recently, the one common thread seems to be that they are all against asking a guy out first. This, while bemoaning the fact that they “never seem to get dates”.

Reasons for not doing so include not wanting to seem desperate, and not wanting to “show their cards first”. Pardon me while I roll my eyes, cos last I checked, we’re living in the 21st century. My friends are all highly capable and intelligent women who have no problems asserting themselves at work, and yet they seem completely unable to apply that same take-charge attitude towards life.

Honestly, there is no shame for a woman to ask a guy they find attractive out on a date, and here’s why.

1. It IS an act of empowerment

You are taking charge of your own destiny instead of sitting around waiting for things to happen. If that’s not an act of empowerment, I don’t know what is.

2. Dating need not be so complicated

Dating is not a zero-sum game, and it’s only as complicated as you allow it to be. You aren’t “losing face” when you ask a guy out; you are making life simple for yourself.

3. You are still the same beautiful you even if you get rejected

Even if the guy says “no”, so what? At least you tried, and at least now you know the feeling is not mutual. While rejection stings, your self-worth should not be based on it. You are no less a person the person you were before you asked him out.

Oh, and ask yourself this: If a guy judges you for making the first move, are you sure this a guy worth dating in the first place?

I don’t believe it when Phil Collins said You Can’t Hurry Love. Yes, you can, and I believe that if you are attracted to someone, you should act on it as soon as possible. Because you can “cut your losses” if the feeling isn’t mutual and move on more quickly.

Anyway, the girls at Material World had quite a lively discussion about this over beers the other day. Here are their thoughts … and it might surprise you which one among us wouldn’t ask a guy out!

Vanessa: “I’m often surprised when women tell me they would never ask a guy out, especially since we’re living in modern, forward-thinking Singapore. They seem to think that asking a guy out reeks of desperation, or makes one appear “too available”. Personally, I find that silly. It’s hard to find people that you can genuinely click with, so if you chance upon someone that you enjoy being with, wouldn’t you find opportunities to spend more time with that person?

Of course, the feeling you get when asking out a platonic pal versus someone you may be romantically attracted to, is very different. If I’m somewhat interested in the guy, I’ll hem and haw for much longer before inviting him out … but I’ll still follow through in the end.

Some people seem to think that the guy should always make the first move. If that’s the case, some women could end up waiting around for a long, long time! I prefer to get to know the guy better as soon as possible, because who knows? He may not be as great as I thought he was, and I can quickly move on instead of pining away endlessly for a guy who may not be deserving of my affections.

And if he is as great as you thought he was, AND he likes you back? Well, then, congratulations! Asking him out paid off, didn’t it?”

Deborah: “When it comes to my heart, I tend to be more defensive than usual. I admit: I am extremely terrified of rejection and would therefore never be the first to ask a guy out on a date. I would rather be lonely than have a guy boast to his friends that I’ve got the hots for him.”

Lili: “Hypothetically, I would ask the guy out I’m interested in to go out on a date – after I am more or less certain the feeling is mutual, that is! Through conversations with guy friends, I’ve learned that guys need that push before they act on their feelings. Personally, if I have asked a guy out on a date, I must have already ‘invested’ quite a bit of emotions into it, and I wouldn’t want to risk getting hurt if I wasn’t at least 50% sure the feeling is mutual.”

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys boxing, running and the occasional yoga session. She’s asked guys out on dates numerous times. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.
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One thought on “The Last Unspoken Rule of Dating – Denise Li

  1. its the 21 century i believe that anything is possible asking a guy out first also shows your confidence and that you can reach out for what you want…confidence is seductive

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