What Ask Him

Not too many years ago, a woman who asked a man out on a date was described with such unflattering terms as "easy" or "pushy." Common wisdom held that a woman was supposed to bat her pretty little eyes and wait for the man to approach her. To our credit as a culture, this "common wisdom" has been relegated to the stature of past folly. Smart women don't wait for anyone nowadays, in their romantic lives or their professional lives. When we see something we want, we are fully capable of—and allowed to—go after it. This includes asking a man out.

Even so, you want to do it with finesse. After all, there's a slight chance that he might still be a bit uncomfortable with the idea of a woman initiating the date (although all my surveys show men are delighted when a woman shows interest in them). Usually, if you want to ask a man out but are unsure of whether taking the initiative will make him uncomfortable, you can handle it in two or three steps:

1. Let him know, through verbal and/or nonverbal cues, that you are interested in him. We've already discussed some general principles of this step earlier in this chapter. Here are a few additional suggestions for a woman approaching a man. First, don't forget to smile at him. Smiling at a man goes a long way toward letting him know you think he is a winner. Second, if it's appropriate, ask him for his opinion about something you know he knows about. Most men love to be asked for their thoughts on a subject. Finally, "anchof' the conversation by touching him in some nonsexual way periodically during your interchange; most men like and really respond to this.

2. Let him know you would like to go to a certain event, restaurant, or whatever he suggests. This step is really quite simple, and leads right into Step 3 (if Step 3 is needed). If you're discussing movies, for example, and you discover there is one you would both like to see, take the subtle approach and say something like, "Oh, I'd love to. see that," and wait for him to ask you.

3. If he doesn't respond to Steps 1 and 2, you can just come right out and ask him. If you feel particularly confident, or if he doesn't respond immediately (and isn't throwing out cues that he really isn't interested), come right out and say, "I think we'd both enjoy (seeing that movie/trying that restaurant). Do you want to go?"

By allowing the actual "asking out" to arise naturally within the course of the conversation, you are using a safety-net tactic, which men have been using for centuries. It's important to remember that your self-worth isn't tied to the man's response. If you can remember that, you will be infinitely more attractive to him, and he will feel much less burdened with the responsibility for your well-being. Your seductiveness quotient will soar.

If you find, after asking him out, that a man is completely threatened or put off by your invitation, you need to remind yourself that he has probably been trained all his life to react that way, and may need more time to grow accustomed to being around an assertive woman. At that point, you need to ask yourself, honestly, if the man has enough good traits to justify your continued efforts, or if he will ultimately prove to be a source of frustration and pain. You aren't going to "fix" him. You must decide if he is worth the effort.

For HIS Eyes Only

Men, you need to kjeep in mind that when a woman asks you out; she is asking you to share a given experience with her, not to partake of the deepest levels of intimacy with her. An invitation to dinner, or a movie, or a concert is not; in and of itself, an invitation to her bed or to the altar.

For HIS Eyes Only

Men, you need to kjeep in mind that when a woman asks you out; she is asking you to share a given experience with her, not to partake of the deepest levels of intimacy with her. An invitation to dinner, or a movie, or a concert is not; in and of itself, an invitation to her bed or to the altar.

That might sound pretty cold-hearted, but you need to think, first and foremost, of your own emotional wellbeing. If you allow your own peace of mind to be diminished, your seductiveness and allure for others will be diminished, as well.

If the man simply declines, don't waste your time beating yourself up about it. Perhaps he really is committed to another activity at that time. And if he's just not interested, be glad you were able to find out early on, rather than investing a lot of time and emotional energy into someone who wasn't a good match for you.

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