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Unsolicited Advice: Women, Be Pursued Not The Pursuer

I came across a social media post yesterday in which a young woman asked, “You have a crush on someone who you feel is way out of your league. You see and interact with this person every day. What do you do? Nothing or ask the person out?”

The responses were mixed, practically 50/50.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to answer her question on Twitter. I knew my response would only draw the ire of the HERSTORY set, and those broads are nearly as frightening as the Beyhive. But I do think it was a good question that deserves a response.

My answer depends on who is doing the pining in this conundrum. If it’s a man, my answer is most assuredly, yes. Ask that girl who’s out of your league out. If she says no, shrug it off politely and walk away. However, what many men don’t know is that hot women who are single are often left waiting for a man to be bold enough to ask her out. Those guys you think are “in her league” are often too full of themselves to risk rejection or lower themselves to actually pursue a woman.

My husband often tells our son not to ignore the pretty girl sitting in the corner or at the bar, seemingly unattended by a male. She’s probably alone because every other guy assumes she must have someone with her or is too stuck up to accept an invitation from just any old guy. My husband has a very cute story (that he, unsurprisingly, brings up often) about the time he danced at a club with a young Heidi Klum.

Have you ever wondered how that dopey looking guy ended up married to a hot chick? He asked her out.

If this question pertains to a woman, I must say no. Do not ask that out-of-your-league guy out. If you think he’s out of your league, there’s something in your mind telling you that he’s not the one for you.

But Kira, what if he is the one for me and he’s just too shy or just isn’t sure if I’d feel the same? What if he’s just too scared to ask me out right now? If I make a move first, I might help put him at ease.

Ladies, if you have to ask him out, he’s not the one. Despite what the Tik Tok therapists want you to believe, men and women are fundamentally different, and thus see the same situations differently. They read different vibes. They see different signs.

It may seem very empowering to be the one pursuing the male’s attention, but that is not how the male ego interprets a woman’s advances. Generally speaking (and I know I’m generalizing), a woman asking out a man sets a tone you will not want to have to roll back later in the relationship.

I once heard a male friend say of a woman who asked him out, “I really liked that she had the confidence to ask me out. It showed me she’s in control, that she knows her own mind and she’s not afraid to go after the things she wants. That’s hot.”

They didn’t last long. The thing is, women don’t want to have to make all the decisions. We don’t want to have to “take charge” or explain our minds to men all the time. We desire to be desired. So, while this woman certainly made an impression on my friend, ultimately she ended up bitter and he ended up confused. She seemed like such a take-charge woman.

He imagined their whole relationship would be like that, but eventually she became resentful that he didn’t ever seem to step up as aggressively as she needed him to. And he never seemed to want to be the one to take things further or move to the next level. I could have told her that’s because, from the start, she signaled to him that he wouldn’t need to be doing that. She set the vibe, and it turned the male instinct to pursue into laziness.

My friend wasn’t a terrible guy. He was just a guy. And guys will often do as much as women let them get away with. They don’t need us to be scolding them. Men take their behavioral clues from women. It isn’t even verbal. It’s visceral. We send a million little signals every day without knowing it.

It happens from the first words we speak, how we look at a man, how we smile or don’t smile. There are so many little things that we think don’t matter, but that actually matter the most. When you expect that a man is obligated to ask you out, you are sending a subtle signal that you are worth being pursued, that you have something that requires some effort. This spikes that biological impulse in a male to provide and to prove his worth by providing.

You may very well be worth pursuing, but asking the man out first will set those signals on their head. Your entire relationship could be defined by that moment when you subtly signaled that not much effort needs to be put into earning your affection.

I know it’s not what you mean to convey, but men don’t take signals from what we say. They take them from what we do, because we all know that those can often be very different things. There’s a whole Christmas song about it, in fact.

To go back to the original question — no. Don’t ask that guy out. If you work with him every day and see each other every day, then he’s surely noticed you. If he hasn’t asked you out, he’s not ready or not interested. A man does not need a “nudge” to like you.

His ego will internalize those nudges as forwardness and he’ll either use you as the “forward” woman he imagines you to be and then bail, or he simply won’t be excited about it at all. Again, I’m not suggesting that you are going to tackle him and demand a date.  These are all subtle and subconscious perceptions, but they are very real, and time has told the tale over and over and over again.

An office crush can be maddening, but it can also be fun. Enjoy your crush, enjoy your time together. Be open to what may come, but let him make the first move.  If he likes you but can’t make a first move, then you don’t want that guy anyway. Years into a relationship, that small flaw will become a giant hurdle when you want nothing more than a partner who can lead a household and be the man you need him to be.

Romance is a careful dance, and it requires two people who at least understand that one partner must lead — and when he does, he gives his partner confidence to move in beautiful and mesmerizing ways.