You know the drill. You’re out with your girls, you spy him from across the bar, he offers to buy you a drink, he gets your number and texts you the next morning for a date, picks you up and pays for dinner and then drops you back off at your house. This is a routine that guys, girls, and society seem to have developed and deemed as the “proper” way to date. But should we be breaking the mold? Should us girls be taking initiative and asking the guys out and making first moves? Her Campus talked with America’s Dating Coach, Patti Feinstein, and many college boys across the country to get to the bottom of these questions.
It’s clear that these gender stereotypes have been around for a while and when asked, 92% of the guys I surveyed stated that they were raised thinking that the guy should be opening doors, calling and paying for the girl. Let’s break down the typical date and see what the guys and Feinstein think about what girls should and should not be doing:
(Guys were asked to rate these moves on a scale of total turn-on, pretty cool, don’t care, kind of pushy, and way too forward if a girl were to do them)
- Offering to buy the drink
This standard move is the beginning to most first dates or hook-ups. However, it is undoubtedly usually the guy who purchases this easy conversation starter and glass of liquid courage.
Majority guy’s rating: 38% said it would be pretty cool for a girl to offer to buy a drink and 30% went as far as to deem this move a total turn-on.
Patti says: Offering to buy a guy a drink is fine, but you are taking away a big part of what is usually the “guy’s job”: the pursuing.
How to do it right: Check out this Glamour video!
- Asking out on a first date
This is the big leap of faith, putting yourself out there and asking for a date. We know this has got to be at least a little nerve-wracking for the boys, so should we be saving them some trouble and taking on this responsibility every now and then?
Majority guy’s rating: 77% said that it would be pretty cool!
Patti says: Is this an ideal situation? Probably not. However, women don’t always send good and clear signals. Men go out on a limb and get rejected all the time, and after enough rejections they just stop trying. This is where women need to be empathetic and stop sending mixed signals, be straightforward and it will benefit all parties involved.
How to do it right: Be confident, but not too aggressive. Ask in a simple and straightforward way, such as “Hey, want to grab lunch after class?” If he says no, then don’t get worked up and just keep the conversation going. Guys are totally turned off by a girl who holds a grudge because they don’t feel the same way.
- Ordering food for your date
It can be really sexy when your guy suggests he order for you when done correctly, proving that he knows you well and knows what you like. Should girls be taking on this risky move?
Majority guy’s rating: 30.8% said this move was kind of pushy and 38.5% said it was way too forward.
Patti says: NO. On any level, the girl ordering for the boy is wrong. Your guy will not appreciate you taking the control of this simple act away from him.
How to do it right: Don’t! One guy even went as far as to say, “If a girl orders for me, it is a definite red flag that she is probably a control freak. Let me eat what I want.”
- Paying for dinner
There is always that awkward moment after dinner, the check is placed on the table and you reach for it knowing/hoping that the guy will beat you to it and insist that he has got it. Should you fork out the bills and treat him to dinner?
Majority guy’s vote: 46.2% of guys agree that this is kind of pushy, but also specified that they were referring to the first date. However, most of them stated they would like the girl to pay every once in a while. Danny Nouri, University of Texas at Austin, stated, “Paying on the first date crosses the line. There are certain things a guy has to do so that he can give off the gentleman’s vibe.”
Patti says: The man should always offer to pay. However, at some point women should also offer and pay because the man appreciates the offer and is looking to see if the woman is giving and if she will take care of him.
How to do it right: Don’t just offer and slowly reach for your purse, your guy will take this as you just trying to be polite. He will be most impressed if you take your wallet out (without him noticing, if possible) and grab the check when it hits the table and insist on paying. Don’t do this every time, but enough to let him know you appreciate him and his dinner dates.
- Texting/Calling the morning after a date or hook-up
We have all stared at our phones the morning after a great date hoping his name is going to pop up. Should we give in and pick up the phone and text him ourselves?
Majority guy’s rating: 38.5% of guys surveyed said they actually didn’t care if the girl shoots them a text the next day and 54% thought that if the date went well, it would be pretty cool.
Patti says: Men generally will follow up if they really are interested. However, get rid of all the mixed signals girls tend to send. If you are genuinely interested, show it!
How to do it right: If you had a great time with this new guy, then don’t wait for him to follow up. Pick up your phone the next morning and send him a short and sweet message, that makes it clear you are interested such as, “Thanks for last night, you’re fun. Let’s do it again sometime.” If he is interested, he will see that this is a clear invitation for a second date.
So what’s the bottom line? While it is important for your guy to have manners, give you attention and treat you well, you should not be sitting back and expecting him to do all the work. Most guys want to charm you, but they do also want to be shown some attention in return. A.J Kirkpatrick, a student at Cal State San Marcos summed up his opinions by saying, “It’s nice for a girl to take initiative once in a while, but don’t push it. Just a little bit here and there is good but any more can seem too forward. Just don’t leave everything to the guy and assume they will make every right move.”
Would you make these moves or do you prefer your guy to be in charge? Post a comment and let us know!
Patti Feinstein, America’s Dating Coach
AJ Kirkpatrick, California State University at San Marcos
Conner Sherline, Southern Methodist University
Cody Wittick, Grossmont College
PJ Fatanat, University of California at Davis
Bradley, University of Arizona
Zack Wolfenzon, Harvard University
Kevin Baradar, University of California at Riverside
Scott Graves, Southern Oregon University
Danny Nouri, University of Texas at Austin
Nick Berdjis, University of California at Davis
Vernon Estes, University of Texas at Austin
Michael Adams, University of Denver
Mike Vulpo, University of Southern California
Other anonymous college guys