Magazines: A woman is “desperate” when she asks out a man? What year are we in?

In the January 2010 issue of Redbook, a reader writes in to the “Your Love Life” section, explaining that she hasn’t dated much since her divorce a year ago. There’s a guy she’s interested in asking out and wants to know if she should initiate a date.

The “experts” tell her: “Don’t do it. There’s a whiff of desperation, the least sexy odor in all of dating, that inevitably comes with the lady issuing the invitation.”


Are these experts in Redbook serious? Did our fore-sisters really fight for equality (and are we still fighting) only to be told to wait around by the phone or e-mail in order to know if we’re going out on a date Friday night?

Obviously men and woman think differently, interpret actions differently, and analyze differently. But when it comes to asking someone out on a date, man or woman, we’re all taking a risk, increasing our vulnerability and maybe risking our short-term self esteem.

So what?

If there’s an amazing job you’re dying to land, you don’t wait around and hope they’ll call you and make you an offer. You aggressively throw your hat into the ring and you make sure they notice you.

If there’s a house for sale and you know it’s your dream home, you don’t hide in a closet, hoping no one makes an offer so yours will be accepted. You work day and night to make that dream a reality. There’s nothing “desperate” in pursuing either of these things you really want.

Why are relationships any different?

I’ll tell you what’s “the least sexy odor in all of dating”: regret. And this regressive advice.


6 thoughts on “Magazines: A woman is “desperate” when she asks out a man? What year are we in?

  1. John Henry Malik says:

    It is pleasing to see that you naturally and automatically believe that maintaining control of you own life is axiomatic. It is sad and disheartening to see people who have to learn to do so.

  2. Gretchen says:

    I love your analogies – it’s amazing how we’ve been taught (at least those of my generation) to toss all the practical, smart approaches out the window when it comes to something personal – especially ironic since that’s where we create our long term happiness.

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