Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

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Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by reboundstudent on Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:15 pm

Over the last few years, I have developed a very firm dating philosophy that I will not ask a guy out on a date. I also personally believe that, if a woman is looking for a long-term relationship, it's not a good idea for her to ask the guy out either. (The caveat being I don't judge a woman negatively if she does ask a guy out, it's just not my advice. I also think it's fine for a woman to initiate contact, I just wouldn't do it personally.) You regulars know this.

And yet, it never fails that if I mention it in mixed company (IRL, forums, even places that aren't "dating advice" specific), I have at least a handful of people flip out on me. When I've asked for gender, it's been men 100% of the time. Women will occasionally debate or argue with me, but are largely satisfied with the "I don't agree with it, but if you wanna do it, power to you!" The guys I run into, however, seem to take it super personally that I don't think it's a good idea to ask a guy out. Even if I say that it's fine for other women, but I'll never do it, they get upset.

What's extra odd about getting upset about it is these same guys are usually the ones complaining about "obese" women and how gross/disgusting X, Y and Z women are. So then why are they pissed that I, who they categorize as an X, Y, Z woman, am not approaching men? Wouldn't they be pleased that a woman they don't find attractive isn't bothering them?

I've seen in other discussions that there seems to be a visceral anger about the fact that women don't generally approach men for dating. I get being sad-hell, I get sad about not being approached! But I just don't understand the anger behind it. Or why random anonymous strangers take my own personal decision (which is philosophical anyway since I'm not looking) so personally.

What do you guys think is going on here? What am I missing?
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Prajnaparamita on Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:35 pm

reboundstudent wrote:Over the last few years, I have developed a very firm dating philosophy that I will not ask a guy out on a date.

Hmm, I know this isn't exactly what you're asking (which I get is more about why people react the way they do) but what motivated you to this philosophy? (For instance, I haven't ever asked but that's mostly out of sheer terror, not knowing how, and not really needing to--I still feel like its something I should be able to do, and I'm not ruled by my fears, but I don't exactly want to do things in regards to dating just to prove that I can, but do them because I legitimately want to do them, even if its scary.)

reboundstudent wrote:
I also personally believe that, if a woman is looking for a long-term relationship, it's not a good idea for her to ask the guy out either. (The caveat being I don't judge a woman negatively if she does ask a guy out, it's just not my advice. I also think it's fine for a woman to initiate contact, I just wouldn't do it personally.) You regulars know this.

I wonder if this might be a problem right here, because of the broad generalization that you make it sounds like you're saying that her asking him out will make it so a long-term relationship is impossible. I imagine some people who are in a long term relationship that started with her asking (or imagine they might someday be) might get offended at that, thinking that you're insinuating that because she asked first their relationship is somehow inherently flawed. You say you don't judge, but you also seem to imply that this is no way to get a long-term relationship. There's your personal beliefs, and there's you saying others should follow them, and while the first is for the most part really acceptable and nobody else's damn business people often get resentful at the slightest hint that someone else is trying to foist their personal beliefs off on others and thereby judge them for not acting/thinking in the same way. (Not that its necessary your fault they react that way--speaking as a vegan who gets too many people flipping out at her because she ordered the falafel platter while they got the kebabs.)

I don't know yet what to say about the gender breakdown. I just was wondering if you could clarify why you think this and think it holds as generally applicable advice.

(Also, just to make sure it doesn't come off this way, I have no intension of disputing or arguing with what you believe, you're free to believe whatever you want providing you aren't harming anyone else by it, and you certainly aren't. I just wonder if some context might help me understand why it comes across the way it does.)
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:41 pm

I think there's two different things going on there. How much this analysis relates to people you know is debatable.

1. Women don't approach men in general and guys don't like that tends to come from the "women have it much easier in dating" crowd. These tend to be guys who find approaching very difficult themselves and imagine that they would have a much easier time if women approached them. Some of this no doubt applies to 2 as well.

2. You have a type of relationship that you want but your absolute hard line is that you will not take the first step in getting it. Now there's a lot more going on than just that surface level but at first blush it comes across like a very arbitrary barrier that you put between yourself and something you want. Kind of like saying you refuse to buy a new computer unless the salesman comes to you. It sounds like something that's only getting in your way without having any positive payoff. I know what your real reasons are but you asked for why you get that response.

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by reboundstudent on Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:56 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:
Hmm, I know this isn't exactly what you're asking (which I get is more about why people react the way they do) but what motivated you to this philosophy? (For instance, I haven't ever asked but that's mostly out of sheer terror, not knowing how, and not really needing to--I still feel like its something I should be able to do, and I'm not ruled by my fears, but I don't exactly want to do things in regards to dating just to prove that I can, but do them because I legitimately want to do them, even if its scary.)

(If you're bored by my personal history, skip this part!) Oh, just years and years of asking men out myself. The rejections actually aren't all that bad. What is bad, and what I experienced far more was the non-rejections rejections or the desperate-yes's. The non-rejection rejections I got a lot more online; I'd send guys messages, we'd go back and forth for weeks, and yet the guys would never take me up on an offer to meet or ask for my number. (A few times I flat out gave it to them and they still wouldn't call.) I had some very weird ones; one guy didn't reply back (which is cool!), but then months later suddenly responded "Huh, guess I never replied. Anyway how was your summer?" Another never responded, but called me 2 months after getting my phone number. A third went out on a date with me, didn't ask for my number or message me, until 3 weeks later, when he suddenly said "Oh hey were we going to do this thing you mentioned?"

Pretty simple answer to the non-rejection rejections were, I was a back-burner. The guys didn't flat out dislike me, but nor were they particularly interested. Which, no judgment on them, but is a lot of wasted time for me. Far better to stop sending out messages and wait for a guy who was actually, ya know, interested enough to put forth any kind of effort.

But the worst were the Desperate-Yes's. These were the bulk of my relationships. I'd pursue, he'd say yes, I'd spend the whole relationship doing the majority of the heavy lifting (date planning, sex initiating, communication initiating, emotional support giving, receiving compliments only when fishing), only to discover (usually when he was dumping me) that he'd never really been into me at all. He usually said yes either out of desperation (he can't get what he actually wants), or I did all the lifting so hey, why not get the sex/ego stroke for a few months until something better comes along?

I am apparently unable to figure out if a guy is interested in me (*cough* cause no guy is *cough*), so Guy Asks Me Out has become my external barometer. If he can at least demonstrate some effort in the beginning (asking me out), at least that suggests that he's not with me only because I offer the free easy ride. I believe very, very firmly in the idea that people who like you, act like it. "Initiating/asking a girl out" is the very first "He acts like he likes you" point I put my hat on.

Prajnaparamita wrote:
I wonder if this might be a problem right here, because of the broad generalization that you make it sounds like you're saying that her asking him out will make it so a long-term relationship is impossible.

Not impossible. Just... exhausting. And unfruitful. I believe the whole "If he isn't pursuing you, he isn't that into you" angle of dating. I think a woman who does the "male gender role" of pursuing/initiating at the beginning can be expected to always have to fulfill that role. And since there is still a cultural taboo against men performing female gender roles, that means the woman is probably going to have to fulfill the female roles as well. Now there are tons of caveats with this for me: maybe the woman has hit on a guy who does perform the traditional-feminine gender role. Awesome!! Best case scenario, ignore my advice. Maybe she's only looking for something short term and doesn't mind a little extra work or isn't expected to do as much of the social/emotional heavy lifting. Again, fantastic. Maybe for a particular woman the reward of selecting her own partner is worth the risk of the Easy Ride Relationship because she's got a fantastic man-picker. When I say "don't ask him out", it's meant as a broad, generalized piece of advice, not an iron-clad rule.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by reboundstudent on Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:58 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:
2. You have a type of relationship that you want but your absolute hard line is that you will not take the first step in getting it. Now there's a lot more going on than just that surface level but at first blush it comes across like a very arbitrary barrier that you put between yourself and something you want. Kind of like saying you refuse to buy a new computer unless the salesman comes to you. It sounds like something that's only getting in your way without having any positive payoff. I know what your real reasons are but you asked for why you get that response.

Is there any good way to clarify why I've put up this barrier without pages-long word vomit? A few times I did try tossing out small snippets of my experience, but these usually got shredded and dissected like a Bio 101 frog, which required even further explanation and word vomit.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:16 pm

A pretty simple switch from "I refuse to do the approaching" to "I've tried that before, repeatedly. Didn't go so well" would probably make a big difference.

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by reboundstudent on Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:23 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:A pretty simple switch from "I refuse to do the approaching" to "I've tried that before, repeatedly. Didn't go so well" would probably make a big difference.

Ha, yeah, I tried that in a Reddit thread a few days ago. It was in response to one of those "Women never look desperate when they approach men! All men want to be approached!"

I responded by saying "Speaking as a gal who actually has asked guys out.... yeah, actually, it kind of does. It has for me pretty much every single time." And the flood gates, they did open.

I suppose I should have added the caveat of "sometimes", but seeing this statement that men love to be approached so girls you're just being man-hating hypocritical cowards by refusing to approach just... exhausts me. Extra fun when almost the very next comment is "Well you must be <unattractive quality.>"
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:31 pm

I tried that in a Reddit
Well there's your problem!

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:44 pm

reboundstudent wrote:I've seen in other discussions that there seems to be a visceral anger about the fact that women don't generally approach men for dating. I get being sad-hell, I get sad about not being approached! But I just don't understand the anger behind it. Or why random anonymous strangers take my own personal decision (which is philosophical anyway since I'm not looking) so personally.

My super broad take on it is, in theory, it shouldn't be this way. In a perfect world, anyone could ask anyone out and there wouldn't be requirements for the level of the barrier you're putting up.

Of course, we don't live in a perfect world. But some people have their heads so far up their... clouds... that they can't imagine why not approaching would be a preference.

I mean, being a guy, I can't just go 'I'll wait for the woman to ask me out' and call it a day. Well, I can, but I'll more than likely get zero results from that. So for some guys that's going to set of the 'omg entitled female uhlert! How dare she elect to not be in the pool of women that would ask me out!'

Of course, I don't agree with that sentiment. Your choices are your business.

But out of the anger I have seen surrounding the idea that women don't approach, I do see a lot of men that find it frustrating when women say they won't even try. The exact reason varies (maybe they want it to be 'fair', maybe they think that's entitled behaviour etc.) but it seems to result in anger.

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Caffeinated on Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:55 pm

I think if you want to avoid getting so much pushback on the not approaching, you could basically do this: smile, nod, and agree that you guess it's a little old-fashioned. Giving reasons just provides potential points to argue with, whereas a friendly/neutral agreement is more of a slick conversational surface that arguments slide off of. If they keep pressing, you can do the Captain Awkward thing of being a kind of broken record, "Yep, pretty old-fashioned" "But whyyy" "Just old-fashioned I guess" "But what about..." "Yeah, just old-fashioned sometimes".

I actually agree with your stance, even though I know it's not the cool thing to say. But in my personal experience and observation, it's appeared that there's a real difference between (hetero) relationships where the man approached first versus where the woman did. Maybe it's just the circles I run in or just a long series of coincidences and/or confirmation bias. But I've seen a number of instances where a relationship where the man wasn't interested enough to approach, he never really seemed that invested in the relationship. I couldn't really say why it happens, but I've noticed it as a pattern. Maybe it's a result of social conditioning. Maybe it's a result of some inborn trait. Maybe it's something else.

I do have a speculation about why it seems to happen that way. You've probably seen stuff about the ladder theory and the friendzone and all that. Something that always stood out to me in those was the declaration that women know in the first five seconds if they'll sleep with a man or not. That always rang false to me. But I've only recently put my finger on an important point, which is that the reason the men who say that say it, is that they're the ones who know in the first five seconds if they're into a woman or not. They're just projecting that mindset onto the women they meet. Women, I think, are more likely to change their evaluation of someone's attractiveness than men are. So, if a man isn't immediately attracted to a woman, he's not going to bother approaching her, and he's not going to become more attracted to her over time.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by reboundstudent on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:11 pm

Caffeinated wrote:
I do have a speculation about why it seems to happen that way. You've probably seen stuff about the ladder theory and the friendzone and all that. Something that always stood out to me in those was the declaration that women know in the first five seconds if they'll sleep with a man or not. That always rang false to me. But I've only recently put my finger on an important point, which is that the reason the men who say that say it, is that they're the ones who know in the first five seconds if they're into a woman or not. They're just projecting that mindset onto the women they meet. Women, I think, are more likely to change their evaluation of someone's attractiveness than men are. So, if a man isn't immediately attracted to a woman, he's not going to bother approaching her, and he's not going to become more attracted to her over time.

(Hopefully not derailing!)

A passage in "It's Not You, It's Him" really struck me when I first read it. The author theorized that men kind of have a "minimum attraction" bar. Like, you must be This Tall to Ride. So if a guy's minimum bar is 6, and you're a 4 (to him), your personality could be fantastic and he's still not going to be attracted to you. However, if you're a 6, your personality might bump you up to a 9 or keep you at a neutral 6. Kind of like... a guy can decide he doesn't want to date you, but if he found you physically attractive, he will probably always find you physically attractive.

Women, on the other hand, fluctuate wildly all over the scale. To generalize with abandon, a man's physical attraction and "personality" attraction seem to be interwoven and depend on each other. A 9 can become a 3 with a bad personality, and the other way around.

If this model is true, then the man approaching the woman kinda makes more sense, because a man has a chance to change his "rating" via personality (something you can't tell just by seeing someone.) A woman, on the other hand, is never going to get over that "bar" if she didn't in the first place. Her personality can raise her "rating" if she's already over the bar, but displaying a great personality isn't going to change the initial physical rating.

Part of this is probably behavior informs norms which informs behavior. I've spent the last several years untangling the fact that um, actually, a great personality actually doesn't always do it for me, and I actually might be kinda shallow. I may actually operate more like a guy. I know fairly early on if I'm physically into a guy. Not if I'll date him, necessarily, but if I'm not physically into him within the first conversation, I'll probably never be, regardless of amazing personality.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by eselle28 on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:19 pm

<mod>Guys, this is edging a bit close to making broad generalizations about men and women, which is something we try to avoid doing here. I'm going to ask that everyone participating in the thread be careful of that, and of the way they discuss the topic generally.</mod>
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Prajnaparamita on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:28 pm

Ooooh, okay, I get it--you've tried it, didn't end well and you would generally not advise others to do it. I get that. I mean, I don't agree with you but I have a similar philosophy of my own: I'm not interested from here on out in ever dating a non-vegan again. Yes, I realize that narrows my dating pool, but my experiences over all is that dating someone who had such a different world view means you just signed up for a whole bunch of otherwise unnecessary fights and tension. I'm sure there are perfectly lovely, respectful non-vegan men out there, its just that if we differ on some pretty key beliefs, he's going to go around unintentionally shitting on my values without even realizing it. People have called me lovely words like "bigoted" for proclaiming this intention on my part, but fuck them. I can choose that I don't want to risk getting romantically attached to someone only to realize that he's going to throw temper tantrums whenever we go out to eat together because I feel uncomfortable with him ordering meat. Sure, maybe there's some that wouldn't, but I'm not interested in going through that drama again just to find out that he likely will.

I guess the only advice I have (besides hell yeah sister you have your comfort limits and nobody else can tell you they're wrong!) is to not assume who's the masculine and feminine ones in a relationship you're not in, or what the two people have decided what they want from it just based on who asked who out. (Just as I will assume that anyone in a vegan/non-vegan relationship doesn't actually simmer with resentment over their partner unless they make it clear to me.) Because a) you're not in that relationship and b) its likely none of your business.

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:29 pm

Caffeinated wrote:So, if a man isn't immediately attracted to a woman, he's not going to bother approaching her, and he's not going to become more attracted to her over time.

I'm immediately attracted to women all the time! Of course I never approach for reasons I've stated previously, does this make me an exception or what? Razz

(i'm joking of course)

As for the topic at hand, well... seeing as how me, Mikey, me can't approach girls good (hoohoohah -sniffsniff-), I find it hypocritical for those men [who have the same problem as I] to get angry at the revelation of women not wanting to approach, or those women not wanting to do so at all. It's obviously fine that women don't like it and don't/won't wanna do it. But it bears repeating, it's rather hypocritical in my opinion, for a dude to be angry about a woman not approaching dudes when he can't/won't do it himself with ladies.

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by PintsizeBro on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:36 pm

I don't want to speak for other guys, but while it's true that my physical attraction to a woman isn't inherently linked to how much I like her personality, there is a degree of connection. An amazing personality might not bump a 3 up to a 9 for me, but it'll totally bump a 5 up to a 6.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that my minimum is a 6. I'm not going to approach a woman I consider a 5, but if that 5 approaches me and proceeds to be totally awesome at me, I'll find myself attracted to her. The trouble for you is, if I don't approach you, you don't know where you fit on my scale. You don't know if you're a 5 (where personality can make up the difference) or a 3 (where it really can't, sorry). Given that, I can understand why you'd want to just not approach and wait for a guy who you know considers you at least a 6.

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Caffeinated on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:46 pm

Of course, the guys arguing about how wrong it is for women to not approach could just be doing a really normal thing. They're picturing themselves being approached by women they're interested in and attracted to, and not picturing an approach by a woman who just isn't their type or doesn't do it for them. So they're incredulous that any guy wouldn't want to be approached, or that a woman wouldn't have success approaching, because their imagination is just failing to put together a scenario where it doesn't work.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:51 pm

The Mikey wrote:As for the topic at hand, well... seeing as how me, Mikey, me can't approach girls good (hoohoohah -sniffsniff-), I find it hypocritical for those men [who have the same problem as I] to get angry at the revelation of women not wanting to approach, or those women not wanting to do so at all. It's obviously fine that women don't like it and don't/won't wanna do it. But it bears repeating, it's rather hypocritical in my opinion, for a dude to be angry about a woman not approaching dudes when he can't/won't do it himself with ladies.

I always found it hilariously hypocritical as well. If I'm not willing to make that approach I can hardly expect women to approach me.

But it's often easier to hope that whoever you like will do all the work instead. For the hypocritical guys in particular, this seems to be the case.

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by The Wisp on Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:01 pm

The Mikey wrote:
As for the topic at hand, well... seeing as how me, Mikey, me can't approach girls good (hoohoohah -sniffsniff-), I find it hypocritical for those men [who have the same problem as I] to get angry at the revelation of women not wanting to approach, or those women not wanting to do so at all. It's obviously fine that women don't like it and don't/won't wanna do it. But it bears repeating, it's rather hypocritical in my opinion, for a dude to be angry about a woman not approaching dudes when he can't/won't do it himself with ladies.

I think the anger stems from feeling like they don't have a choice. Women can choose to be pursuers or the pursued, but for many guys they don't get that choice even if they have good reasons to not approach (like shyness or timidness or bad experiences or natural passiveness or whatever). I think that's where the bitterness comes from, especially if Marty or whomever frames it as "women shouldn't approach" rather than "I personally don't want to approach for reasons x, y, z".

Also, I think you can have situations where each individual action is valid and should be supported, but they happen to create as a whole an unfair situation. So it's totally valid if an individual woman wants to not approach and she should be supported, but we live in a culture where the vast majority of women never approach or rarely approach, which means individual men basically have their choice of being the pursuer or the pursued made for them. They still shouldn't take out their frustration on individual women who choose to not approach, though (but I do think they're justified in challenging women who say women should never approach). ETA2: Just to be clear, it is shitty to question or attack individual women for their individual preferences if they state them as such.

Speaking personally, I find women who are assertive and independent attractive, and being the one who approaches is one big way of signaling being assertive, though it is not necessary, of course. I don't have real experiences to confirm this, but I will tell you that I'm never the approacher in my sex and relationship fantasies.

ETA: Just to add, I think there are many reasons why men might prefer to the approached, or prefer it some of the time at least, that don't amount to laziness/entitlement/thinking only attractive women will approach/women would have it easier approaching than them. A lot of men do want to approached for those reasons, but not all.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Raindancing on Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:49 pm

Marty, have you tried framing it as "I don't think conventionally unattractive women should approach"? I'm just wondering what the reaction to that would be (given that similar guys frequently ignore the fact that women they are not personally attracted to still exist and count as women).

Personally I stopped approaching at age 20, when a guy I had initiated conversation and dancing with (I might have also initiated kissing, I honestly don't remember) flipped over a table when he found out I wasn't going home with him. There are many good reasons not to approach.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Jayce on Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:21 pm

Here's the thing, people want things to be easier for them. We all do, and taking risks while simultaneously stills screw up a lot even after taking those risks, is well, hard. You'd think that if you'd take a risk and step out of your comfort zone you'll be automatically rewarded right? But that is not how it works. These men complain about not being approached cause to them its easier to be approached (not insinuating its easier to be approached, cause you know, all the reasons we've all discussed before: being invisible, not having the social skills to be the approached person etc...), since they don't have to take the risk of putting themselves out there.

I don't think women not approaching is controversial,after all most women don't approach, and its just that you're on a sub-reddit, which is a specific community which is likely to contain overlapping mindsets.

As for the minimum attraction bar theory, I can't speak for other men, but for me its real. I'm not attracted to someone just because of their appearance, I'm not attracted to someone just because of their personality. Humans aren't just personalities, humans aren't just bodies either. I'm attracted to a human being who has a combination of several skills that I like about them. Attractiveness to me, is interwoven, I don't just separate something like liking her breasts, from the words she's speaking. They are proportional to each other. If she's acting like a complete jackass, then I would not fantasize about her breasts, because I don't want to spend time around a jackass, no matter how hot they are. Conversely I'm not going to be attracted to someone who doesn't have things I like about their appearance, it doesn't matter if they have a personality made of gold. I think everybody, not just men, have a minimum bar (that's what we call standards). The generalisation of liking appearances is shallow, and liking personality makes you a morally upright human being is so silly. Liking people just for their personalities, appearance, or similar interests (i.e manic pixie, dreamy geek girl), are all just as superficial as each other, because we are neglecting the other things that this human being has about them and we are only seeing the surface, the very definition of superficial.

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Caffeinated on Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:43 pm

I've been thinking more about the topic and have a couple thoughts.

First, that the conversation about not approaching could be turned into an approach (at least in person). Here's how it would go. You say you don't approach men. Guy in group reacts with surprise and wants to know why not. (Friendly surprise is good here, friendly teasing is also good, angry/hostile is bad. Do not approach or flirt with a man who is angry/hostile.) After an exchange or two back and forth (with him remaining friendly and non-hostile), you smile and make strong eye contact with him and say "Why, would you like it if I approached you?" (Note: it's important that he's clear that it is specifically you and him in this scenario, not some other imaginary woman.) If he gives a positive kind of response, you move in a little closer and continue, "Would you like it if I started showing an interest in you? Started moving closer, running my hand along your arm or my fingers through your hair?" (While saying this, you're doing the things you're narrating. Go on with the strong flirtatious eye contact and get very close.) "Are you saying that if I approached you, you'd be jumping for joy that the girl you were thinking of approaching is approaching you first?" By this point it should be very clear whether he's into it/into you or not. If at any point up to now, he gives a not into it signal, you back off, laugh it off, and say "See? Good thing I don't approach guys." But if he is into it, you say "Maybe I'll have to make an exception in this case. How about it?"

Next thought, is that one of the risks of a woman approaching a man is that he may be likely to get the impression that you're interested in something casual/a one night stand with him. If you are up for that, then no problem. But if you're not at all interested in casual or one night things, you could end up in the unpleasant situation of him thinking you're offering something you're not, and getting upset and saying you led him on. (Or, god forbid, taking your approach as consent to whatever he wants to do, and then attacking you.)

So an answer to why don't you want to approach can be that you're not interested in going home with someone that night, and you don't want to give a guy the wrong impression.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by The Wisp on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:07 pm

Caffeinated wrote:
Next thought, is that one of the risks of a woman approaching a man is that he may be likely to get the impression that you're interested in something casual/a one night stand with him. If you are up for that, then no problem. But if you're not at all interested in casual or one night things, you could end up in the unpleasant situation of him thinking you're offering something you're not, and getting upset and saying you led him on. (Or, god forbid, taking your approach as consent to whatever he wants to do, and then attacking you.)

Maybe for cold approaches, but I think Marty was also talking about warm approaches (i.e. approaching people you already know at least somewhat).
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by azazel on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:56 pm

The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
Next thought, is that one of the risks of a woman approaching a man is that he may be likely to get the impression that you're interested in something casual/a one night stand with him. If you are up for that, then no problem. But if you're not at all interested in casual or one night things, you could end up in the unpleasant situation of him thinking you're offering something you're not, and getting upset and saying you led him on. (Or, god forbid, taking your approach as consent to whatever he wants to do, and then attacking you.)

Maybe for cold approaches, but I think Marty was also talking about warm approaches (i.e. approaching people you already know at least somewhat).

You'd be surprised how expectations override communication even in warm approaches. Had a friend who approached someone at dancing she talked to a few times before, and he said he was only looking for something casual. She agreed that that was also what she was hoping for, they hooked up, but later the guy says he reconsidered and would be up for a relationship. She tells him that she was sorry but she wasn't looking for that, and suddenly his feelings are hurt because Women Are Supposed To Want Relationships Even If They Say They Don't (And went on spreading the word on what a slut she was).

It's an interesting subversion of the mechanic Caffeinated mentioned, but the mechanism of people deluding themselves into thinking that someone wants a certain thing while they haven't mentioned wanting that thing is very much in place, even in warm approach situations.

Luckily I also have some examples where women approaching men went well (but obviously I can't give ratios, because I'm not told all bad and good experiences).

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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by Caffeinated on Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:01 pm

The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
Next thought, is that one of the risks of a woman approaching a man is that he may be likely to get the impression that you're interested in something casual/a one night stand with him. If you are up for that, then no problem. But if you're not at all interested in casual or one night things, you could end up in the unpleasant situation of him thinking you're offering something you're not, and getting upset and saying you led him on. (Or, god forbid, taking your approach as consent to whatever he wants to do, and then attacking you.)

Maybe for cold approaches, but I think Marty was also talking about warm approaches (i.e. approaching people you already know at least somewhat).

I think even then a guy could get the wrong impression, of her being all in rather than interested in going on a first date to see how things progress. Or if it's a friend, to think that it was a confession of a big longstanding crush and get scared off. Not that every guy would get the wrong impression, of course. But I do think that if it happens to be a guy who has a mindset that dating is about convincing a woman to be into him, then he could easily think that things are further along than they realistically are.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

Post by reboundstudent on Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:19 pm

The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
Next thought, is that one of the risks of a woman approaching a man is that he may be likely to get the impression that you're interested in something casual/a one night stand with him. If you are up for that, then no problem. But if you're not at all interested in casual or one night things, you could end up in the unpleasant situation of him thinking you're offering something you're not, and getting upset and saying you led him on. (Or, god forbid, taking your approach as consent to whatever he wants to do, and then attacking you.)

Maybe for cold approaches, but I think Marty was also talking about warm approaches (i.e. approaching people you already know at least somewhat).

Actually, I have a similar problem with warm approaches. If I approach a guy, I apparently have to be super upfront about my desire for a relationship, or else, even if we're already acquainted (and sometimes even when we're friends!), he seems to assume it's just for sex/a FWB situation.

And that leads to problems of its own; my friends have speculated that part of my problem is that I'm too "upfront" about my desires, so I come off as too inflexible or aggressive. Heck, I once got lectured because I'd made out with a guy, but refused to sleep with him, telling him straight out I saved sex for relationships; I was told (by several men) that I had "led the guy on" and come off like I was manipulating him (trading sex for dating.) See, because I had done the pursuit and made the moves. It's just a whole big kettle of confusing and frustrating fish that never seems freaking worth it.
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Re: Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

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