The other day Keeley and I were having a conversation about how effective it is when women ask men out on a date. Why do so many men seem to shy away or not return phone calls or texts when women ask them out? When we thought back on our own personal situations and other instances where women were the initiators and it became clear to us that men are just doing the same thing that women do when they get asked out: a lot of people say no or don’t return texts or calls while a few people say yes. It’s not that men can’t handle when a woman asks them out, it’s that, nobody likes hurting another person’s feelings and no matter who you are, not everyone is going to want to go out with you… and that’s OK! At least you now know, and don’t have to spend any more time trying to decode the other person’s signals (or lack of).
Rejection sucks, but it can actually be empowering to be on the other side of dating (i.e. doing the asking). Why? Because there is a higher likelihood of going out with the person you want to be with – not just the ones who asked you, and rejection can make you stronger. Hearing “no” saves you time, teaches you how to ask directly for what you want, become more resilient, faster at moving on, and ultimately, you eliminate distractions and end up putting yourself in a place where you can find your person.
As more of us move into online dating, it’ll be important for the ratio of who’s doing the asking to shift. Right now, aside from poor grammar and lack of content in messages, the number one gripe women have when it comes to online dating is that their inboxes become filled with generic copy and paste messages from men they’re just not that interested in. On the other hand, one of men’s major issues with online dating beyond not getting dates is the number of messages they have to send in order to engage in conversation. It’s a war of attrition. The solution? Make a dating app that lets women choose.
Of course, this app would cater towards heterosexual couples. Yet it would transform the way men and women approach each other. A Nielsen survey from 2014 found that men are twice as likely as women to use social media for dating (13 per cent for men versus 7 per cent for women), yet they are half as likely as women to ask for assistance in creating or reviewing their profile. It’s not a coincidence that women spend more time on their profiles – they are the ones being pursued.
The main reason why young men use apps like Tinder (which uses GPS technology and matches users based on appearance) is because there’s less to lose with regard to time and money spent in order to meet someone, yet the amount of rejection is about the same as other dating sites. But if women had to make the first move, rejection for men would drop to zero, and they’d probably spend more time growing their beards (please don’t) and working on their profiles to make them more representative and interesting. It could be argued that men would then embellish their profiles in different ways to make them more appealing, but the people who are going to misrepresent themselves are going to do it no matter what dating site they’re using. The point of having a new structure like this would be to allow women to have more control over the online dating process and not be so overwhelmed with random and aimless attempts. Plus, it would open up the opportunity for men to focus on stimulating discussion because they know that there is already some level of attraction to build upon.
People are just getting busier, and they have less time and patience to go out of their way to meet someone who may or may not be a good fit. Women especially are looking for middle ground in the dating arena. As attitudes become more positive towards online dating, there will need to be a greater variety of ways that people can meet and connect with each other. If only women were allowed to initiate first contact, it would change the entire dating game. But the big question is, would anyone use an app like that? Are women willing to write the first message, and are men willing to receive it? Perhaps an app like that would be asking too much…
It’s kind of an amusing moment when you realize that men also get shy when they’re put on the spot. Then you realize we’re all just people trying to put ourselves out there and connect the best way we know how. Taking chances, no matter how big or small, takes courage, but it often gets easier with practice. I’ll leave my fellow women with this thought: good things don’t necessarily come to those who wait – good things come to those who want something so badly they can’t wait. To get what you want, you’ve got to go out there and get it! You may get your feelings hurt and hit a few bumps on the road along the way, but you’ll end up with a man who thinks it’s sexy when a woman takes risks, and who doesn’t want that?
Featured image via WeHeartIt