Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

The Chase

So here I am, genuinely confused.  Well, not exactly confused.  But of two minds.

As some of you might know from an earlier post, I’m a fan of VSB (anyone who takes offense at their humor should send complaints to them, not me).  Earlier this week they did a post on why women shouldn’t approach men. And quite frankly, I found myself nodding as I read (and laughed – those guys are funny).

But I also believe, strongly (and yeah, I’ve written about it) that women in shouldn’t sit around waiting for men to approach them.  That it’s a surefire way to spend every night sitting alone.

So which is it?

Seriously, which is it?

Is the “women shouldn’t approach men” rule true EXCEPT for in NYC (as I’ve heard some people say).  Or is there really no rule and it’s completely situational.

Help me out here.

Should women approach men?

  • No (11 votes)
  • Yes (65 votes)
  • Yes, sometimes (Only in NYC and other places where it’s necessary) (15 votes)
  • Other. Please explain in the comments. (8 votes)

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25 to “The Chase”


  1. Veka says:

    Yes, period. No exceptions. Maybe not every time, but yes women should approach men too. Because, quite honestly, sometimes men are just oblivious and sometimes you have to be the one to get the ball rolling. Playing hard to get is so played out.

  2. Quirkyeconomist says:

    I think that you and the VSB post are talking about two different definitions of ‘approach’. I think that to a lot of women, we think ‘making the first move’ includes striking up a conversation but to a lot of men, it means doing something that asserts control over the potential relationship (i.e., asking someone out, buying someone a drink, etc.). There’s a difference (at least to most men I know) between a women making it clear she’s available and her *pursuing* him. I can’t remember where I read it but remember reading about a couple where the woman said she initiated because she sat down next to the guy at a bar and said hi; the guy remembers it as he initiated because he asked for her number before they left and he called to set up the date. If he hadn’t called and SHE had called HIM, I think that’s what VSB meant about not approaching.

  3. Sarkie says:

    Speaking from a British perspective, not sure about “yes in NYC option”. I think as with most major cities, there are so many people its makes it hard. A friend of mine is living in London and he has never met anyone out on a night out and he is very big extrovert, he says its probably to do with everyone is always too busy.

    I think it should be a two way thing, I have always tried to approach women I like, spark up a conversation try and make a joke. Never try a chat up line, unless you want to be ignored from there on out.

    But most of the times, women are out with loads of other women, so going up to them can be a daunting task, and if they are with men, women you might as well be married, because no guy will come up to you.

    So if you see a guy looking over more than once, and you think they are nice too, then try and look at them and walk somewhere on your own, then they still have to come over “when the coast is clear”

  4. Jade Blue says:

    Although most women wouldn’t dare approach a man, I truly feel like it depends on both the people involved and the situation. Some men consider it a turnoff for women to take the lead. But if you are a woman who likes to take initiative, would it be inauthentic to play coy? I say different strokes for different folks! ;-)

  5. hholcomb says:

    I ALWAYS approach a guy if I’m interested. Either by striking up a conversation or asking them out. Why not? I know what I want and I don’t play silly, little girl games. The worst thing that can happen is that they brush me off, but I don’t find that happening very often.

    I also think sometimes guys are relieved to have some of the pressure lifted.

  6. Shannia says:

    Absolutely, why should we have to wait around for men?

  7. URwingman says:

    I am a true believer in women approaching men. But just like an dating dynamic, the element of push and pull applies to women as well. I was just talking about this with a few older women (40-50) about the topic and I said that if you are strong, independent and very secure in your sexuality, it can be intimidating if you are the aggressor THROUGHOUT the interaction. But just because you approach a man doesn’t make you the aggressor. You just happened to break the ice. Then you can lean back and have him take initiative and the lead.

    I find that women who approach me are generally sexy because it conveys confidence and security, qualities that I look for.

    Just like the title of this post, it’s all about the chase. Doesn’t REALLY matter who starts the chase, just as long as it starts.

  8. AoC Johnny says:

    High Value people will go after what they want. That is a turn on for me. Though a lot of men will not know how to handle it and can feel emasculated. So be careful.

    Also a lot of men suffer from approach anxiety and fear rejection. Approaching a women they never met can send the most confident man to his knees. I see it everyday as a dating coach

    Johnny

  9. drumdance says:

    Interesting what Sarkie’s friend says about London. Just yesterday a friend of mine who’s widely travelled told me London is the best place in the world for meeting women on a night out, with NY a close second.

  10. pansophy says:

    If one reads the VSB post closely enough one quickly sees that much of it is really just explaining how a women bags a man but makes the man think he bagged her. *YAWN*

    I’ve had enough of my female friends tell me that men don’t like smart, strong, beautiful women that I have accepted this as generally true. Personally I can’t understand that level of insecurity but apparently that is how it is for most.

    So my take is that if a woman can deal with a man who is threatened by her approaching him then your best bet is to just make it really easy for him to approach you and play the game. If you can’t be bothered by such men then take the lead and if they are put off then consider it a great filter.

  11. alwayslookaround says:

    I think it’s a bit silly that this question is still even being asked. Why would/should women NOT approach men? Remember that thing called equality? Guess what, it applies to dating as well. No really, it does. Or at least should. Same as it should apply to the career world, and politics, and finance, and household responsibilities, and sex, and everything else. If you try to tell me there are some things that women shouldn’t do (i.e. approach men), I’ll tell you that’s a very slippery and dangerous slope to be playing on. Even a small, blurry, “acceptable” divide is still a divide. Be careful of the perception you accept/promote – like they say, perception is reality.

    I’ll note that I’m a guy. One who hates the double standard of “women should be able to do everything that men can do…..except…..well…..you know…..dating and sex and stuff”. That’s total bullshit. Get over it.

  12. Sarkie says:

    Well drumdance, that’s what he said. Maybe he’s going to the wrong places!

  13. MKL says:

    I think everybody should approach whomever they find interesting, attractive or likable.

    Man a woman, man a man, woman a man and woman a woman.

    We’re in 2009, people! If you approach someone nicely, start up a conversation, what’s wrong with that? Why should there be any unwritten rules? If you have the selfconfidence, do it :)

  14. svo says:

    I’m gonna copy and paste what I just wrote in my blog about this:

    Girls shouldn’t approach guys.

    Now let me first say it has nothing to do with feminism or gender equality. I have nothing against girls doing so nor do I think it’s wrong. If a girl wants to ask a guy out, she should have all the freedom to do so. I just don’t think it’s ever a good idea with regards to having a relationship.

    From a guys’ perspective, a girl asking a guy out implies interest. A lot of it. Most guys will interpret that interest to mean that she is sexually available and open to them. Unless he finds the girl to be highly unattractive, he’ll accept the date but with the sole intention of having sex with her and nothing else. If she doesn’t have sex with him on the first date (which is her choice and again, there’s nothing wrong with this), then the guy is going to interpret her as sending ‘mixed signals’ and write her off as a flake.

    Girls and women also lose that mystique and challenge if they’re the ones asking guys out. Guys should be the one chasing, not the other way around. Guys will appreciate a girl less if there’s no challenge and hardly anything serious will arise. After all, which would you appreciate more: a Ford Fiesta or an Aston Martin? The value of anything to any one person is pretty equal to the amount of work, effort and time taken to acqure that ‘thing’.

    It also messes up the power balance. (This is me being a little chauvinistic perhaps.) You gotta know your Marx — guys in relationships should be the aggressors. Having it the other way around screws up the relationship roles. Should the girl now pay since she’s being the aggressor?

  15. Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles says:

    SVO: I’m not saying guys DON’T assume this–I’m not a guy, so I wouldn’t know–but why would they assume that just because a girl is really interested, she wants to have sex immediately? Lots of women are immediately interested in a guy, but their thoughts are headed toward relationship territory, not a quick lay. Just trying to understand why a guy would make that leap from “she sees something she really likes in me” to “she must be ‘easy.’”

  16. bbbex says:

    I hate approaching men. For some reason, I am good at picking gays guys, guys who are attached, or guys who are married and not wearing their ring like they should be.

  17. You Make My Date says:

    I did a similar poll on this at my blog recently about whether I should try to contact a guy I’d met through a mutual friend. To my surprise, 50% voted no (that I should wait for him to contact) while the other 50% voted that I find and stalk…sorry, I mean contact…him on facebook.

    Seriously, wth! I thought in this day and age, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a guy or a girl – if you like the person and you think they’re interested in you, give it a shot!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Women should not approach. If a women is interested she can do her little things for him to approach. Women forget that men probably won’t approach you while you are with a group of friends. i think this is where women come on strong approaching men because they think if no-one is approaching they must approach. Backoff! let men come to you! If you approach first you become the aggressor and in return the one maintaining the relationship! almost like your expected to.
    If you do approach, don’t act like your that interested in him. After all, he may say one word and you realize your not interested.

  19. Tales From A Bar Stool says:

    Women can absolutely approach men. Where is it in the rule book that it says we can’t? It works both ways. I’ve known men who like women to be the aggressors. We take the pressure off of them. Men are also losing their balls and their game. Becoming way too metro.

  20. Simone Grant says:

    Thanks everyone for chiming in. First, a few welcomes to the new voices here on the blog (not that I don’t love everyone equally): Jade Blue, AoC Johnny, alwayslookaround and You Make My Date.

    Now, alwayslookaround, as you are new here you are perhaps not aware of my “no being mean” policy. Or perhaps you are not aware that your comment comes off as a bit nasty. I’m not sure who you’re telling to “get over it” as I’m the one who wrote the article encouraging women to approach men? As an open-minded person I was willing to rethink my own judgments on the issue when I read something that went against my position (the VSB post). That’s what open-minded, intelligent grown-ups do. They think about what others say and are willing to contemplate their positions.

    -QuirkyEconomist
    You bring up such an interesting idea, that me and the VSB guys might not be contradicting each other at all, but rather than men and women might have very different concepts of what it means to “approach”. I’d buy that.

    For EVERYONE who mentioned that men are frequently relieved to have women approach, I completely agree.

    And, as my regular readers will know, I frequently approach men. It’s something I’ve always been comfortable doing (heck, I once asked out my own doctor). But then, I’m kinda an outlier.

  21. alwayslookaround says:

    yikes! sorry. my post wasn’t meant to be mean. and it wasn’t directed at you, as i saw you agree that women SHOULD approach men. re-reading it today, i can see how my comments came across other than how i intended them to. it’s just frustrating to hear/see this topic still debated. i put it in the same category as “do you think smoking is bad for your health”. both topics might have been legitimate questions a half century ago, but we’ve all learned a lot since then. or at least some of us have. :-)

  22. Simone Grant says:

    -alwayslookaround
    No worries. I know how hard it can be to assess how your words will sound to others (I’ve frequently been told my words sounded sharper than I meant them). I don’t really see the debate of this topic frustrating, just as long as it’s a healthy debate where people are actually listening to one another. I’m only annoyed when people stop listening.

  23. The Bare Essentials Today says:

    Absolutely they should approach a man! It works both ways! Besides how are you supposed to meet anyone if you just sit around waiting for them to come to you?

  24. cupofcha says:

    Desperation is what is most feared, I think. Perhaps covering it with a cool layer of casual friendliness and genuine interest will do the trick for anyone trying to break the ice.

    I’m curious about what males and females define approaching as.

  25. Simone Grant says:

    -cupofcha
    Well, based on the comments there are a lot of different ways to define “approach”. But I’ve been walking up to men and saying hello for years and I don’t think I’ve ever come off as desperate.