Join 3,562 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Should I ask guys out on OKCupid?
June 25, 2011 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Should I ask guys out on OKCupid?

I'm an early thirties female in a large US city, corresponding on OKCupid with men in their late twenties and up.

I've read many OKCupid-related MeFi questions and answers and the consensus seems to be that it's best to take the "relationship" offline and meet in person sooner rather than later. I agree with this and would much rather meet a guy after several e-mails have been exchanged than continue e-mailing for weeks. I frequently get into situations where I'm writing back and forth with a guy and it's dragging into 8-10 e-mails and there's no date in sight. Not only does this seem like a waste of time, but these conversations wind up tapering off into nothing. I suspect things could potentially move in a better direction if we met in person.

I'm not shy and have no qualms about suggesting a drink/coffee/whatever, but I'm worried that most men are old-fashioned and/or enjoy doing the "pursuing", and would therefore prefer to make the first move. I don't want to remove the thrill of the chase aspect by coming on too strong.

What's the best move in these situations?

a) ask the guy out
b) continue e-mailing and hope he asks me out
c) something I haven't thought of yet?

Thanks!
posted by whitelily to Human Relations (49 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
a.

I have a realpolitik sort of dating thing. I call it "getting to no". If things are not going to work out, it's better to know sooner than later. If you are not going to go on a date, well...better just kill it and move on. Waiting around for things to happen is pretty boring.
posted by sully75 at 10:55 AM on June 25, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'm not shy and have no qualms about suggesting a drink/coffee/whatever

That's the kind of person you are. Why not be simply true to that, and go ahead and make the first move if that's what you feel like doing? No sense overthinking the potential reactions of potential partners.
posted by jessicapierce at 10:56 AM on June 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


Ask the guy out. No question. Would you really be happy dating a guy who is so insecure about himself that he's not okay with being pursued?
posted by eisenkr at 10:58 AM on June 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have asked guys out on OKC, and no one has ever seemed to have a problem with it. I say a.
posted by queens86 at 10:59 AM on June 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Do you want to go on dates? Then, yes. I asked my husband out after emailing with him for a few days. I think it was something like "I really need to get out of the house tonight. Where do you want to meet? I can be there by 7pm."
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:00 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm worried that most men are old-fashioned and/or enjoy doing the "pursuing", and would therefore prefer to make the first move. I don't want to remove the thrill of the chase aspect by coming on too strong.

Guys who are going to throw you over based on "old-fashioned" dating roles are probably more likely to have "old-fashioned" ideas about male dominance in a relationship. I would submit that you probably don't want to be dating those guys anyway.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:00 AM on June 25, 2011 [22 favorites]


I don't want to remove the thrill of the chase aspect by coming on too strong.

I don't think anyone but the most old-fashioned of men would think it's coming on too strong simply to ask him out.
posted by jessicapierce at 11:00 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember seeing a few threads about this kind of question, and the overwhelming answer has been that if you want to go out with someone ... ask them out. Example. (That thread is about offline dating; but notice the first answer, which got 59 favorites.)

There will always be some voices who say: "No, the woman can't be the one to ask the man out, or else all these, uh, terrible things will happen!" Let's face it, that's a thin veneer for straight-up, traditional sexism. The notion that it's socially unacceptable in the year 2011 for women to ask men out is simply not accurate. I'm sure there are some men for whom it's a turn-off, but I'll bet there are more men who would love it. It's up to you what values to live by, but do you really think the right person for you would object to you actively pursuing your goals? (On preview, eisenkr made the same point.)
posted by John Cohen at 11:01 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


b) continue e-mailing and hope he asks me out

Isn't this what you've already been doing? And it's worked, like, not at all? If you already tried "not asking guys out" and found that isn't working for you, your only other option is to ask guys out yourself.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:02 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just imagine you're messaging yourself. You WANT that other person to stop being shy and ask you for a date, yet you're unwilling to do it yourself. The same is almost certainly true of the people you're talking to.
posted by drethelin at 11:03 AM on June 25, 2011


Forget the "thrill of the chase" or gendered notions of who is "supposed" to do the asking: people (men and women alike) are ultimately on OKCupid, etc., to find people to go out on dates with. If you've had a couple of promising exchanges, suggest coffee or a drink. And if the guy you are emailing somehow finds that offensive, then he's the type of guy you probably wouldn't want to date, anyway.

I met mr. scody online six years ago -- I emailed him first but don't remember which one of us officially suggested meeting for drinks, though I am 100% positive it wouldn't have mattered to him if it was me rather than him.
posted by scody at 11:03 AM on June 25, 2011


I agree with everyone else. Additional thoughts:

- Do you live in a city like, I don't know, Charlotte? Unless it's particularly conservative, assuming that most men there are old fashioned might be a stretch.

- If you're emailing someone 8-10 times and he hasn't asked you out, he's probably not someone who's that into being the pursuer. Otherwise, wouldn't he be asking you out?

- You can ask the guy out for coffee and still let him take over pursuing you after that in the early stages.
posted by J. Wilson at 11:04 AM on June 25, 2011


I am a guy. I'm on okcupid. I can say, without hesitation, if you want to ask him out, do so! A guy who finds that off-putting is, at least in my opinion, an idiot.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:04 AM on June 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


Are these guys typically contacting you first? If so, it's very weird to me that they have enough initiative to do that but not ask for a date. Is there some other complicating factor here? Could you be saying something that makes them think you're a bad match? Maybe they just want to flirt online for the ego boost?

You can, of course, ask them out if you want to. I would try hinting or floating the suggestion and seeing if they pick it up from there. Odd that they just keep messaging you though.
posted by Nixy at 11:04 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I'm worried that most men are old-fashioned and/or enjoy doing the "pursuing", and would therefore prefer to make the first move. I don't want to remove the thrill of the chase aspect by coming on too strong."

If they're that into game-playing before a relationship even starts, I predict you will be exhausted by the game-playing two months in.

Just ask.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:05 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not shy and have no qualms about suggesting a drink/coffee/whatever, but I'm worried that most men are old-fashioned and/or enjoy doing the "pursuing", and would therefore prefer to make the first move. I don't want to remove the thrill of the chase aspect by coming on too strong.

Fucking hell. As a guy who has given up on OKCupid precisely because I hate the whole "pursuing thing" (a.k.a. constant rejection) your question shows one part of what is completely wrong with online dating.

I would have loved to have been asked out. Do it and make some guy's day. Any guy who can't handle it is a weirdo who you don't want to date anyways.

Of course you could then face rejection, but that's really the only downside that I can see for you, and that is what guys are dealing with all the time anyways.
posted by innocuous_sockpuppet at 11:05 AM on June 25, 2011


Yes! Ideally, someone should propose an in-person meetup by the third email exchange, doesn't matter who. Otherwise, you risk losing momentum, or getting too invested only to realize you don't actually like him in person, or chasing someone who just likes flirting online and has no intention of meeting you, etc.

Probably, if a guy's on OKCupid, he's not going to be particularly old-fashioned to begin with. And if someone's put off by your asking him out, you're just weeding him out early. Dating requires a lot less strategy than it seems; generally, if you're nice and honest and interested and keep everything in perspective, that's really all you need and the rest is just finding the right match.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:06 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not shy and have no qualms about suggesting a drink/coffee/whatever, but I'm worried that most men are old-fashioned and/or enjoy doing the "pursuing", and would therefore prefer to make the first move. I don't want to remove the thrill of the chase aspect by coming on too strong.

you're way overthinking it, just ask him out.
If there's a negative response from the guy, then you don't want to be going out with him anyway.
posted by Bwithh at 11:10 AM on June 25, 2011


I'm flattered as fuck when a girl asks me out. And I consider myself very normal in that regard.

Unless you really have a thing for guys who are wedded to dating stereotypes that've been outdated since before they were born, ask them out.
posted by matlock expressway at 11:18 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love being asked out. The worst thing that can happen is he says no.
posted by MillMan at 11:21 AM on June 25, 2011


Sure, ask him out. You can always split the difference though: offer your phone number and ask him to call you.
posted by valkyryn at 11:22 AM on June 25, 2011


I've asked out plenty of guys on OkC. None has ever balked at the idea, and most have expressed enthusiastic appreciation. Gender roles suck. Men get cheated out of feeling attractive and wanted. Women get cheated out of taking charge of their dating options. And shy guys get nowhere. Bleh. If you want to get a cuppa with a guy, heck yeah ask him out.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:22 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've asked out guys on OKC and nothing bad has happened. Ask him out!
posted by biochemist at 11:24 AM on June 25, 2011


There's literally no reason NOT TO ask them out. If it weirds him out, then you have successfully eliminated a dud from the potential pool (guys who are weirded out by women taking initiative or being strong can go fuck themselves, and you completely inarguably don't need to date them). If he is into it, you get to move forward with the meeting part sooner and get to know each other rather than mess around with sort of surfacey emails. Dating isn't about making yourself the right person for someone else; it's about finding the right person for you.
posted by so_gracefully at 11:32 AM on June 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Because it is absurdly easy to simply not respond to messages on online dating sites, the fact that he's responding to you shows at least some level of interest.

Guys tend to have very strong aversions to looking creepy or moving too fast. I know I have hesitated an email or two in the past to avoid looking like an axe-murderer who just wants to meet like omg right now.

Nothing of value is lost by the lady asking the guy.
posted by toomuchpete at 11:34 AM on June 25, 2011


Men in their late twenties will not be old fashioned. This isn't the 1940's. Go for it and ask them out. If any guy is offended by it, well, that's on him. Sometimes, you dodge a bullet without even realising it.
posted by Solomon at 11:36 AM on June 25, 2011


YES PLEASE
posted by rhizome at 11:46 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


yes!
I am a woman, I use OKC, and just had a really fun date last night -- that I proposed. guys like it, honest, I swear, for all the same reasons that girls like to be asked out. plus, with our messed up gender roles, nakedcodemonkey is right: with the expectation that men pursue, they don't get the chance to feel desired/pursued/wanted in that way. you could think of you asking men on dates on OKC as a little step to improving society, if it helps.

Bonuses of asking guys out on dates!
--you can pick your activity/poison
--you can pick somewhere you're comfortable at, which can be nice if you feel anxious about first dates/"interviews". or in my case yesterday, I picked an exhibit I didn't know anything about and wanted to see.

Agreeing with everyone: the kind of guy who is weirded out by a woman asking him out is not the kind of guy you probably want to be going on dates with.

I think I understand where you're coming from, though -- I just moved to a new social situation in a far more conservative part of the country, and am frankly confused as all get out about what I see around me that is apparently "normal" dating. weird games, manipulation, etc, "coming on too strong" to a guy that I like, is it true you have to wait until the 3rd date to have sex, what the heck is going on, does he like me, do I wait for him to call me? do i wait for him to ask me ...?
I've felt anxious about it on and off for a while, but I'm getting past it by realizing that being myself, being nice to people, being up front about what I want or how I feel .. actually works okay no matter where you are.
posted by circle_b at 11:49 AM on June 25, 2011


I honestly wouldn't really even consider suggesting meeting for a drink or coffee asking someone out if you've been messaging on OkCupid or at least not as serious as say asking out someone you know in real life.

It seems to me that the whole point of messaging someone on a dating site is to erase the question of whether or not you're looking for a date.

Silly gender roles put aside it just isn't as a big a deal and its not worth wasting your time on guys who just want to email flirt or are to busy to actually meet you.

Plus you shouldn't get to invested before you meet someone in person so you should have very little to loose.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 12:01 PM on June 25, 2011


Yes! Pleaaaaaaase ask the guy out if you're interested.

Do you want to be dating guys with 50's sensibilities anyway? Think of it as an easy weed-out.
posted by cmoj at 12:03 PM on June 25, 2011


Look at it this way: he wouldn't have spent all that time filling out the profile if he didn't want anyone to hit him up.
posted by TangoCharlie at 12:06 PM on June 25, 2011


Thanks, everyone! I wasn't worried about guys overtly objecting to women doing the asking; I was more concerned that a woman who makes things too easy for a guy would lose appeal (I do think there's something to the "playing hard to get" concept because men seem to like a challenge). But you're right that this probably isn't a big deal and I could always let him do more of the asking once we've met the first time.

Thanks again!
posted by whitelily at 12:43 PM on June 25, 2011


A lot of guys on OKCupid seem to be worried about appearing to come on too creepy by suggesting an in person meetup too early, so that may be why you find they take a long time to get to that point.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:49 PM on June 25, 2011


Only jerkoff loser guys have a problem with girls being bold enough to make the first move. Most of us dig the hell out of it. (oh, and also: the whole "playing hard to get" thing is not as fun and intriguing as perhaps it has been advertised)

Go for it!
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:23 PM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I asked my current bf out on okcupid, and even asked him out for our second date too. We've been together 4 years, and he even followed me to a new city for my PhD, so I don't think it kills long term potential. Talking about it later, he told me that he thought it was really sexy that I pursued him in the beginning.
posted by amileighs at 1:49 PM on June 25, 2011


Too easy? I'm not sure it's healthy to translate "hard to get" into "hard to meet" once you just-add-internet. Also, I'd try to pay less attention to dating "concepts." And yes, messaging him first still leaves room for you to go on a date without having sex.
posted by rhizome at 1:49 PM on June 25, 2011


Yes, ask.

Do a daytime/lunch thing instead of an evening thing to avoid "wanna come back to my place?" at the end.
posted by dickasso at 1:53 PM on June 25, 2011


also: the whole "playing hard to get" thing is not as fun and intriguing as perhaps it has been advertised

Seconding this.

Maybe some guys, somewhere, are really into the thrill of the chase, but I prefer to be with someone who actually wants to be with me - and most guys I know are the same way.

Yeah, be interesting and have things going on in your life, and don't hook up on the first date if you don't want to, but playing the hard to get game just for the hell of it can certainly turn a guy off.
posted by J. Wilson at 2:03 PM on June 25, 2011


I was more concerned that a woman who makes things too easy for a guy would lose appeal

Flipside: A woman who doesn't seem to be particularly interested in spending time with me loses appeal.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:05 PM on June 25, 2011


also: the whole "playing hard to get" thing is not as fun and intriguing as perhaps it has been advertised

Flipside: A woman who doesn't seem to be particularly interested in spending time with me loses appeal.


This. If someone doesn't seem to want to spend time with me, I'm not going to be The Dude That Doesn't Take The Hint.

And if it becomes clear someone's playing 'hard to get', I'm honestly just not going to bother messaging them again. I don't have time for people who play games because they think it'll make them more attractive to me.

If you want to go out for coffee, ask someone out for coffee.
posted by Jairus at 2:20 PM on June 25, 2011


I always wait for guys to contact me, and if they haven't asked me out within 4 to 6 messages, I stop responding. I go on dating sites to date, not to waffle. If they do ask me out within 4 to 6 messages, I always say yes, unless I see a reason not to (e.g. he says, or is, anything creepy or offputting).

YMMV of course. If you ask them, you'll probably get more dates.
posted by tel3path at 6:33 PM on June 25, 2011


Ask the guy out. If I could type that million times I would.

You know why - because that's who you are. Be who you are. You'll attract guys who like *you*.
posted by mleigh at 11:11 PM on June 25, 2011


I'm a guy on OkCupid. I love being asked out.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:11 PM on June 25, 2011


a. But don't beat me up if I don't respond; that means "no, sorry".
posted by LordSludge at 11:20 PM on June 25, 2011


Yes, definitely ask them out. I asked out the guy who became my boyfriend and I'm very happy I did.
posted by pie ninja at 5:13 AM on June 26, 2011


Anything I add will be redundant. I agree with most of the above. However:

(I do think there's something to the "playing hard to get" concept because men seem to like a challenge)

Yeah. That reads as 'playing games' and I'd walk away from that.
posted by CarlRossi at 8:19 AM on June 26, 2011


Just wanted to drop a note: I saw a guy I liked on OKCupid and asked him out for a drink in the 2nd message I sent him. We just got married in March. Good luck! :)
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:07 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you are the type of person who wants to date a guy who doesn't mind being asked out by a woman then you should definitely be asking them out.
posted by dgeiser13 at 7:41 PM on June 26, 2011


I don't even thinking moving from OkCupid messaging to meeting up in person counts as 'asking out'. Because the first meeting isn't really a date, it's more of a pre-date. And we haven't even gotten around to building a fully developed set of confused and contradictory socially gendered expectations about pre-dating, so don't worry about it!
posted by Salamandrous at 11:07 AM on June 27, 2011


« Older I've seen several solid orange...   |  How can I affordably and safel... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.