Lately, I was out with several friends, having an impromptu guys’ night and enjoying several drinks. We were having a great time sitting at the bar, keeping to ourselves, but after bumping elbows I finished up chatting with the girl seated on the stool to my right. She wasn’t quite my type, but she was engaging, leading things off immediately with a smile and a tale. SINCE I HAVE was with the people rather than really out seeking to meet anyone, I was just speaking with her without the ulterior motives or pretense of interest beyond friendliness. Inevitably the conversation petered out, I turned back again to my buddies, and following a few more minutes we made a decision to jump ship for another bar round the block.
WHEN I pushed back my stool and stood, I felt a hand on my arm. Hang on for a sec if you are leaving,” said the girl close to me, looking me square in the attention once I considered face her. Let’s venture out sometime. MAY I have your number?”
I was astonished. Sure, women have initiated conversations before and made their fascination with me glaringly obvious sometimes (especially after a few drinks), but I had never experienced such a blatant role reversal in the typical social convention of the bar courtship ritual , in which the man takes the lead and asks for the woman’s number.
I was speechless for a full beat before finally sputtering, Oh, um, no thanks, I’m sorry. Hope you have a great night.”
OK, cool, you too,” she said, looking a little embarrassed herself. We had to wallow in the awkwardness while I settled my tab before I could give her a quick parting nod and escape. I wasn’t quite sure what to think – I just felt like I could have handled myself far better if I weren’t so surprised that she had been so direct and actually asked me out.
The Culture Shift
But why was that so surprising? It’s 2016 after all, and while we still have quite a way to go for true gender equality, the tides are shifting in the dating world.
Probably the most obvious ways that women are flipping age-old conventions is with Bumble , the feminist Tinder” dating app that puts the woman in the driver’s seat from the get-go. For the past eight months or so, I’ve been an active Bumble user. I appreciate the agency it gives the woman in the interaction, the decreased pressure on me to aggressively take the lead at all times, and the quality of the women I’ve connected with through the platform. That said, in almost every case (I’ve met thirteen women from Bumble IRL), once the woman has instigated the interaction they have stepped down and made it clear it was up to me to dictate the terms of our getting together.
The Guy’s Take
But everyone has their own unique experience. With that in mind, I asked some individuals because of their perspectives on Bumble and women taking the reins in the dating game
A woman has directly asked me out in true to life once,” says Matt, a pal of mine. I thought I was just having a conversation and she offered lots. I took it, nonetheless it wasn’t worth pursuing.”
Matt also uses Bumble. He’s been on the app for approximately four months and contains met 15 women. By his count, five of these have been the first ever to offer their actual contact number to him without his asking (the next phase” in the dating app world) and several have already been forward enough to really ask him out and drive the interaction to a genuine world date. One girl invited herself over for a cuddle session with my dog at 9 a.m. one morning and was there by 11 – that is the most forward experience,” he says. I’m uncertain if Bumble itself is making ladies in the real world more prone to go on and ask you out, but it’s certainly changing the dating app culture for the reason that direction.”
The Girls’ Take
To dig deeper, I reconnected with both most forward women I’ve linked to on Bumble. Jamie and Amelia both asked me out to meet up them in the initial conversation we’d on the app, ditching every rapport building and digital foreplay that I had grown used to from other girls.
I asked you out was as you didn’t ask me out and we’d already get involved in an extended text exchange that logically (considering we met on a dating app ) would create a date,” says Jamie, immediately displaying the moxie that she showed inside our first interaction, where she asked me to meet for a glass or two later that night (I went). I simply became impatient.”
But it doesn’t mean she’s always turning the tables. I rarely ask guys out,” she says. I definitely expect men to take the initiative. But if they don’t or I feel I need to ‘direct’ or ‘guide’ the person, I will – but it takes some of the seduction out of it. There’s something old-world and sexy about men who pursue women but also have an independent nature. It creates the illusion at least that the woman being pursued is being preferred over others. It’s not as sexy for me to have to clamor for someone’s attention and actively pursue them. I will just lose interest.”
Amelia takes a slightly different tack. I was definitely brought up in a traditional way and when I was less comfortable in my own skin I would tend to lean on that ‘men initiate things’ construct for why I didn’t have dates at times, but now I think it’s bullsht,” she says. The last two significant relationships I’ve been in I initiated completely. It doesn’t matter. It’s more like, ‘You’re hot, I like you, let’s do this.’”
She does bring up an important factor in what might be giving women more confidence to make the first move on dating apps than in real life: the relative anonymity of an online profile. I do think things like Bumble and Tinder have changed the dynamic. It might be because you don’t have to get out of your chair and worry about looking cute in the moment and you can consider your responses. It can help you test the waters of pushing that social convention.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.