One From The Dating Files: Why Women Must Not Be The Aggressor

Back in the olden days of my 20’s I once looked askance at the book The Rules because I thought it contained a lot of archaic, anti-woman rhetoric that went against current norms. We were women, we were empowered and we could do whatever we wanted. We roared. We didn’t have to wait for anything. Since we could earn a living like a man (minus the pay equity) why couldn’t we go after what we wanted in the dating realm, too?

Then when Sex and the City hit the airwaves it was if a bomb had dropped. Samantha Jones both thrilled and repulsed me. Actually all of the characters did on some level and not just because I noticed they could get away with many things as white women of a certain class tier that many of us could not. They also had plenty of foibles. I’ve covered why I also think there’s a reinforcement of some indoctrination, particularly with Miranda and her marriage to a lesser-than “good” guy.

Ultimately, as time has passed I’ve had the opportunity to revisit the book and as such I’ve undergone a shift in perspective about many things, I now realize how useful a lot of the advice is. Of course I take everything with a grain of salt. We must always have our own personal safety net and be ready to walk away from any relationship that becomes unfulfilling or abusive. We’re not Cinderella and won’t get to ride off with a Prince. Actually, I’ll amend that. Read my post on Cinderella as Guerilla Training Manual For Empowered Women. Yes, we can if go looking for a prince of our own, we just don’t need to play the damsel in distress role to succeed at life and with men. There’s a difference between being supported and constantly needing to be rescued. We are or will (hopefully) become savvy enough to know the difference and be prepared accordingly.

Since a reader commented that they liked that I’d shared some personal information I will talk about something else I’ve learned when it comes to dating. This was a critical mistake on my part, too and only reaffirms that women must behave like ladies if they want to be treated as one!

Lesson #1: DO NOT ASK A GUY OUT!!!!  While someone will offer their exception story to the contrary we are talking about the standard operating procedures for women in a patriarchal society. Do not be the “man”. Patty Stanger often refers to women who display “masculine” energy often turn-off men. At least the non-thugs, non-bad boys, non-issue-plagued ones. Weed out all the little boys, those confused about their roles, the over-pompous jerks, closet deviants, the ones in relationships or worse with multiple women on the side and the guppies. Just throw them back!

True story:  I was at a hardware store with a friend a few years ago when the clerk who rang her order was clearly checking me out and he was cute! He was a Keanu Reeves doppelganger (but not HAPA) and I thought better looking. My friend said something to me about how it was obvious he was interested and maybe he couldn’t say anything because we were customers but I dismissed it. I thought if he didn’t say anything there was a reason why. So a week later we’re back (I made her go) and I swear I walked in and out twice to buy gum, a newspaper, whatever. I went back because I second-guessed my instincts and thought I was blowing a chance a true love. Or perhaps I was hormonal and needed to mate. But the guy did not ask me out. Finally I went back in and said something about how I thought he was cute…and it was awkward and painful. He told me he had a girlfriend, I apologized and do you know how stupid I felt? VERY!!! I wish I could say I was 16 and didn’t know any better.

See, if the guy was actually available he may have asked me out – at least he wasn’t a creep or a cheater but I put myself in a precarious situation by stepping outside the NORM for what feminine, “catch me if you can” women do.

I’ve had enough guys ask me out just for breathing in their general vicinity that I was not even remotely interested in to know IF THEY ARE INTERESTED and KNOW YOU ARE RECEPTIVE they will TAKE THE LEAD. Do not listen to anyone else who tells you otherwise, but for AA black women you must know that your demeanor is friendly enough and inviting where a non-BM will find it easy to approach you.  Until we replace the bad publicity from the DBRs and their indoctrinated enablers that’s what we’re working with. Accept it and address it.

For everyone else, it’s all about persistence, timing and preparation. Present your best self and your counterpart will be revealed. In the meantime, it’s December. We’ve got mistletoe, holiday parties and New Year’s Eve which should generate a lot of (potential) activity. Carpe Diem!

If you’re so inclined drop a few thoughts about your dating “rules” that have been time-tested and successful, not theories – in the comment section.


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17 Replies to “One From The Dating Files: Why Women Must Not Be The Aggressor”

  1. When I was a teenager, I asked a guy out once. He turned me down. I vowed to never do that again and I’ve kept my word.

    I slacked off again in the appearance dept. since my move; moving & adjusting is so time-consuming & energy-draining 😐 I’m already in the process of revamping myself though. 🙂

    Good post.

    1. fDating advice is hit or miss at times. We also have to keep attending to our appearance. It's very easy to slack off, but it's fun getting back in gear.

  2. Although late to the discussion, here are some of my tips:

    Perfume -- cosign. It should be light and not overpowering
    Attire -- dress like a lady whether casual, formal or in the business arena. In a sea of "pants", there are skirts/dresses for every occasion to set you apart from the rest. Pay attention to the details
    Jewelry -- keep it tasteful. It should accentuate but not overpower
    Makeup -- should enhance your features -- it should not scream " I am wearing makeup". Lipstick and blush more natural during the day and a bit stronger color for the evening but one that enhances your skin tone

    Be pleasant, a gentle smile and voice (if this is an issue, try to work to develop a voice that is a bit lighter). Voices that sound harsh or where there is a habit of using quite a bit of vulgarity in normal speech should be eliminated, it is not attractive.

    Don't be instantly available as referenced by Zabeth. If you do not value yourself and your time, no on else will.

    I 1000% co-sign --> NEVER ASK HIM OUT ON A DATE.

    One last point, these habits should not stop once you have a partner or spouse, they should be part of your repertoire for being a lady.

    1. Thanks Karen. Dresses. It gets a little more difficult to don in the winter if you're on the East Coast but women who do definitely stand out in our jeans-laden culture.

      1. Having lived in areas with lots of snow/cold weather. My trick was longer skirts, wearing additional knee-high wool or wool-blend socks over my thicker stockings for the winter and heavy tall boots (just below the knee), then switching to flats or low-heeled shoes in the office.

        1. I know..after living in warmer climates for any number of years it's very easy to get acclimated to it and people are being really stingy with the heat these days!

  3. Zabeth, I am with you on that one. I absolutely hate last minute anything. It is a rare time when it is truly last minute, especially if the person has known you and they have known about an event ahead of time.

    Karen, I agree about wearing a dress/skirt. When I was really large I did not purchase a new wardrobe because I vowed that I would not stay that size. When I start losing the weight I started wearing dresses again. I had lost about 1/2 the weight when I started dating my husband. The first time he saw me in a dress his look changed. I had also quit wearing a lot of makeup because most of it I tried either broke me out or make me shine really bad. When we decided to get married I knew I needed to do something about the makeup for wedding pictures. A friend of mine suggested a brand for me. One month before we married I got a makeover with that brand. The look I got when he saw me in full makeup for the first time was truly telling. I was really glad to find one that lasted all day and did not break me out. I knew that my days of wearing little makeup were ending:) There is truly something to looking distinctively different then men, especially in the dating scene.

    It is a rare fellow that is truly shy. They are out there but more than likely the reason is that they are not available or are not interested. That is not necessarily a slight on you. You will not attract every man that you find attractive. All you need is one to have joy for a lifetime.

  4. This post is right on so many levels. I have been married for 18 years and am a certified Rules dating coach having completed my training with the authors of The Rules earlier this year.

    The Rule that women should never ask a man out is time-tested and true. Men like to initiate. A "shy" man is one who just may not be interested. That's ok!! Keep it moving!

    The best rule of thumb is that we should be hard to get and easy to be with. Be "soft" in that your countenance says that you are approachable (this assumes you are in a safe area where it is ok to be approachable).
    Lastly, when you do go on a date with that great guy, I think it is best to wear a skirted outfit whether your style is preppy, bohemian, modern classic, etc.. This says to your date that you are a lady and expect to be treated as such.

    1. Some type of dress or skirt style does add that flair of femininity that we need to differentiate ourselves, because hetero men don't wear them typically, lol and it does serve to reinforce that we are WOMEN and the "easy to be with" behavior is how we are distinguished as ladies. I think it brings out the "nobility" of a man to step into that role -- if he understands that's what he's to do.

  5. I don't have any rules that you couldn't read in most dating books. However, I do have some get-a-date tips. I get asked out (A LOT!) and while I turn down most offers, every now and then a decent one will pop up 🙂 Just probability working in my favor, I suppose.

    -Always smell great. Not just nice, but smell AWESOME. I've gotten asked out on virtue of my perfume alone.
    -Wear something interesting. If a man is truly shy, he can still strike up a conversation with you based on what you have on, without feeling like he's being too forward. For me, it's always been my fro-whether it's big and curly or kinkier and more compact, it always gets a fair amount of attention and compliments.
    -Blush (think soft, pretty, and slightly noticeable.) It makes your face look warm and inviting without making you look too made-up (if you choose a good color.)

  6. I bought the book All The Rules like six or so months ago, in the UK it's called The Complete Book Of Rules, and I love it. It's the only relationship/dating advice book I think I'll ever want. I find a lot of truth in it.

    I'll be honest I have been a damsel in distress in the past which is what I'm trying to get away from and I'm not the most resourceful person in the world. But once I become an accountant, I still don't want to become a mule either not then or now. But I have no problem not approaching the men first, and all the rest of it because I think the Rules book does tell the truth.

    It's me ak , by the way but this websites telling me that my on screen name is too short! LOL

    1. I noticed the name change. The new system is supposed to accept all previous posters w/o requiring a new sign-in, but I had a feeling that wouldn't work. It's why I didn't want to reformat my comments. This will be the last modification.

  7. One of my biggest "rules" is not accepting last minute dates. You need to make plans a few days in advance if you wan to see me 🙂 Don't be the girl that he can get to easily.

      1. He can still call one or two days in advance- especially during this busy time of year. To me that's all the more reason to make plans in advance. You've got parties to go to and people to see just like he does. Don't drop everything for one person.

        It's a matter of respecting your time. If he can get to you in 15 minutes or 2 hours he'll come to expect that.

  8. 'Patriarchal' is how we are 'put together' Adam was first, then Eve--youre right!! NEVER ASK A GUY OUT! some girls would say a guy is 'shy' but its just an excuse, cause hes waiting for YOU to ask HIM out….matriarchal societies are ok in the short term, but not the 'long run'

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