In the fan favorite series, Friends, Joey has a catch-phrase: “How you doin’?”
I mean, look at that smirk. Who wouldn’t want to smack that right off his face?
Don’t worry, I kid. Joey was one of my favorites because he was just so gullible and kind of on the less smart side. Plus, the way he cared about his friends was very sweet. But let’s avert our gazes for a minute.
As Joey so kindly demonstrates, men are more often illustrated as the gender that asks out their “love interest(s)”. Phrases such as “hit on” or “chick” portray women as the ones who are more on the background waiting for her interest to act first.
According to Psychology Today, there is a wide gender gap when it comes to the ways people ask their interests out on a date. Dr. Michael Mills writes that there are two methods of asking out someone: A) Directly; or B) Indirectly. Directly asking someone out would be asking something along the lines of, “Let’s go on a date tonight.” And indirectly would be, according to Dr. Mills, giving someone hints of your interest so that the person you are interested in can do the talking.
Oh, boy. Or: Oh, girl.
The Psychology Today–as written entirely by Dr. Mills upon his research on the subject–article continues to analyze the direct and indirect approaches of asking someone out. Dr. Mills states that the indirect approach is less viable to rejection (obviously, as popular culture has shown us) than the direct approach. He mentions a study conducted by Andrew P. Clark that shows how giving hints “generally makes someone of the opposite sex more attractive. However, these behaviors were rated to be most effective when they are performed by women, rather than by men.”
Instead of focusing on what numbers can explain, I’d rather want to spend my time binging on Netflix because… Gilmore Girls is my one true show at the moment.
There are a few numbers Dr. Mills throws out at you if you want to read the rest of the article. I just skimmed through the rest. By the point where he pulls out the “histogram” that show the percentage of men and women asking the opposite sex out (yeah, wordy, amirite?) I was like, peace out. Although the article was written in a very trustworthy manner, I thought the research could’ve been more wholesome and include other gender identities as well. Also, accuracy shouldn’t translate into how I should act and how other people should act.
You have to know, one of my life mottos is: I must not conform. My older sisters know this too well. I whipped the phrase out to them one day, and it has stuck with me since. So I must say this: Instead of focusing on what numbers can explain, I’d rather want to spend my time binging on Netflix because…Gilmore Girls is my one true show at the moment. Along with several others, such as…FRIENDS!
Turns out, the topic really latched onto me. I needed to conduct research for myself. So this is what I did:
I landed on Buzzfeed, my everyday tool for period cures and liberalist (mostly feminist) advocacy. Hi, Buzzfeed. Firstly, thanks for helping me catch up with my own generation. #blessed (#sorrynotsorry)… And thank you Google, for being my everyday lead into procrastination.
Seriously, they have videos that answer every single one of my questions. There were two particular videos that interested me. Both videos interviewed Buzzfeed employees on the question: Can A Woman Ask a Guy Out? According to Women, answers vary per person. According to Men, answers also vary per person. Main takeaway?
I hear you, though. Why should I even listen to Buzzfeed? Firstly, Buzzfeed does such a good job with their multimedia production. They just lure me without even trying. Secondly, real life people answering the question of “can a woman ask a guy out?” humanized the topic even more. As the quote below shows, the videos reaffirmed how nothing is 100% certain because answers will vary.
Girls playing more aggressive roles in society can only help us. If you’re freakin’ dating this guy – or gal – then be like, I just want to spend time with you. What’s wrong with that?
My message is this: it’s okay to base your decisions on statistics and numbers and opinions, but never assume that they are 100% certain for all types of people. You should do whatever you want because you want to do it, not because “studies show” a certain trait. You are you for a reason. As Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and other existentialists would say, we would need to act first. Stop trying to rationalize everything because thoughts only become inhibitors of our actions. But make sure you are – first and foremost – comfortable with doing whatever you’re doing. Nothing is as certain to yourself as what your heart/gut-feeling tells you to do.
Have I asked out a guy out? Lol, no. Not yet. But I will when I find the right person. So far in college, I’ve had my fair share of regrets of not talking to guys who are *purty* cute. The phrase, “Would you like to go for a cup of coffee?” is still foreign to me. I never really liked that phrase. I think the whole coffee breath got me thinking: I’d rather not. But how about a movie marathon? I swear, I get really good at snuggling like a quokka.
Ladies, I say that we should never question ourselves, and just ask.
*Shoutout to my sister who may or may not be reading this (she subscribed via email!). As your littler sister, I kind of feel awkward sharing this piece because I know you’re going to read it one way or another. Hopefully, this is a good one 🙂 ~*
**A/N: I wish this post included more pieces on how the LGBTQ community answers this question. But as a straight female, I didn’t want to speak for others, especially when I didn’t have a first-hand experience/much research done. I’d love to have a discussion about this, but I’m not an expert, and I don’t want to do the community a disservice by acting like I know something.**