Friday, March 20, 2009

Give And Take

The current way of doing things is such that men are doing most of the work to get women. Men are approaching. Men are asking for numbers. Men are asking women out on dates. And men are trying to close the deal. And her job is to say yes or no, at any point.

It is generally assumed that the man's role is to do most of the pursuing. It is said that this is what men must do if they are to have any success in the dating world. And for the most part people have bought into that. And isn't this part of being chivalrous?

The problem is not one of chivalry. The problem is that women have proven they don't need these things to happen in order to be attracted to a guy. It's just one of those things that persists in the culture despite all the evidence to the contrary, kind of like religion. Many just want to believe that this is the way to do things. But in reality, attraction and sexual desire has almost nothing to do with the "activity" known as courtship and dating. It's like taking a woman shopping in hopes that she'll want to have sex with you. She might like shopping but it will not make her want to sleep with you. And dating is not that much different. So you have this unequal playing field where men and women are concerned. And the usual checks and balances used to correct social inequalities are not happening in this case. The reason for this is because it's "politically incorrect" to do so. No one wants to be accused of "hating" or "disrespecting" certain groups of people, and women are among these "sensitive" groups of people.

So here you have most men doing most of the pursuing, with most women on the receiving end. Who wouldn't enjoy free dinners, or nights out on the town? I would. But when you treat people who are otherwise your equal like they are special, the unavoidable end result is that they are put on a pedestal. And it fosters a sense of entitlement.

Now some might say, let's just reverse the trend. Get women to chase after men instead. Now this might work for a short while by helping restore some balance, but it's just using one extreme to try and correct for another. And there will eventually be issues with that too. What if she thinks you're not interested because you didn't return her call the first time? You see where I'm going with this. Double standards are hard to justify no matter how you spin it.

So what's the solution? It's simple: give and take. She shows interest in you and you reciprocate (assuming you're interested too). Or you show interest in her and she reciprocates (assuming she's interested too).

Here's a practical example:

You're at a bar. You approach a woman. You chat and show interest. You then give her your number. By doing this you are giving her the opportunity to prove that she really wants to be with you too. Now some might think, what if she gives you her number instead because she's used to guys calling first. Shouldn't you call her then? In that case no deal. I did my part and now it's her turn. This is not about me playing games or being rigid (unless you think equal reciprocation is playing games). It's simply give and take.

"But what if she's really hot and would never call a guy because guys call her all the time. So you need to step up to the plate!" Then I would say you need her too much, and neediness is your main problem, not who-calls-who.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with telling women who are used to men doing all the pursuing that you expect them to do their part.

Another practical example is if she shows interest first and then you offer to call her. However, she might ask for your number and insist on calling you. In that case fine. I won't try to change her mind, since she's clearly made a choice on what she wants to do. But again, the only rule that makes sense in general is give and take. Asking for someone's number after showing interest first is not as solid a move as giving your contact info. In sales it's a more effective strategy to allow them to contact you, since someone calling you afterwards is a stronger sign of interest than if they had simply returned your call.

"But what if she's too shy too call?" Don't worry about that. See my post Treating Women As Equals. If she can't call she can't do her part and you are wise to move on.

"What if you call and she doesn't call back?" Move on. Why would you call more than once? That makes no sense. Would you call back someone you were interested in? Yes, you would. Again, it comes back to that concept of equal reciprocation.

"What if you make a move (on the get together) and she resists your physical advances. Should you try again after a few minutes?" I personally wouldn't. Experience has taught me that it's a waste of time. If she's interested in me she'll show me. In the world of give and take persistence doesn't apply. Sure, it might make your ego feel good because you overcame the "challenge", but in reality persistence follows the law of diminishing returns. The extra something you do get once in a while is not worth the extra effort.

"What about setting up future get-togethers? Who calls?" The simple answer is, who called last time? That will tell you who calls this time. It's not complicated. And this is not a hard and fast rule either. But just know that if you are always the one calling, initiating, and asking out, there is an imbalance and it cannot survive.

Alternatively, it might feel good to be the one that is always pursued and it might make you feel more powerful. But if you want something with staying power that applies in general, and which follows basic common sense, the law of equal reciprocation applies.

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