Last week, when I was teaching on Dare to Date again, this question was written down for me. And as I look at the question now, the answer seems so simple. Yet when it’s asked, there’s always a background to it. There’s always someone asking the question thinking: ‘really? Can I really do that?’ Or thinking of the time it backfired to do such a thing. Or thinking about friends really condemning them for asking a guy out. Or thinking of guy friends telling them: ‘It’s such a turn off when women ask you out on a date’.
So there’s a question behind the question. What happens if I do? And the unpopular answer to that question is: you might get rejected. But then again, isn’t that what dating is all about? To reject and be rejected? Or, on a more positive note, to find and to be found? You need to do a lot of rejecting to find someone you really like usually. You need to do a lot of shopping before you find your perfect summer dress, or your wished for cool sports watch. You need to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your… oh no. Wait. There’s no such thing as the One.
The more interesting question behind this question though, to me, is: what else can a girl do but bluntly asking a guy out? Sure, you can always ask a guy out. Nothing wrong with that. But there is the chance of rejection and, if you are too forward in your approach, the chance of him feeling annoyed about your taking over initiative. His problem, you say? True, but you suffer the consequences.
So what else can you do? A lot of Christian women seem to forget the power of flirting. The power of the right smile, the right friendly question or gesture at the right time. They seem to forget there are lots of other ways to connect than just asking someone out. And they underuse that power to connect that most of them have. That’s a shame! It is always a good thing to discover your inner flirt. Not to make every man mad with wanting to be with you, but just to use selectively towards guys you might fancy. For a guy, a girl smiling at him makes a huge difference in comparison to a woman frowning critically at him. Hey, that makes a difference for everyone now that I think of it.
So start with using your smile much more often when it comes to guys you like. And if you connect to him that way, lower the bar for him to ask you out by asking questions about who he is and what his view on things is. Just connect, and allow him to connect to you. Too often I hear guys complain that women are not open on a first encounter. ‘She was asking me loads of questions but I couldn’t get a question worked in there myself. If felt like I was at a job interview of some sorts!’ To allow someone else to connect to us is for some of us more scary than to reach out and to connect to the other person.
So be open, be yourself and allow them to connect with you is next. Finally, it helps to let go of your need of control. Too often women tell me: ‘I just wanted to know where I stand with him’, and they wanted to know that within 24 hours of meeting him apparently. Now it’s a good thing to know where you stand with someone if you have been dating, let’s say, for three to six months. Then you should know whether you are the only one and where things might be headed, although that’s no time to expect a marriage proposal yet. But a direction, a point at the horizon where you both could be headed or try to be headed is a good place to start. On the other hand, wanting to control the interaction right from the start can only lead to smothering whatever potential the relationship had.
So smile, connect and let go of the perfect timing you have in your head for him to ask you out, and see what happens! Asking him out is something you can always do. Allowing him to ask you out might be more fun for both of you, plus, it gives you the benefit of knowing what he wants!
Aukelien Van Abbema is a singles and couples counsellor, public speaker, and successful author, including the title Dare to Date.
Helping people with Christian dating, relationships, singleness in church, dating in church, loneliness, connectedness, christian connection, healthy relationships.