The eternal question

Should a woman ask a man out?

Megan from Sacramento offers an update:

I stopped by a café yesterday on my way home.  Sitting outside was a guy I’ve seen at Pub Quiz a number of times.  Dave told me that Petra saw that guy’s profile on some dating site.  He’s an English professor* and around our age.  So I walked over to his table and introduced myself; we chatted about Pub Quiz for a while…

The chatting went well and he has bluer eyes than I expected.  He asked a couple times if I would be at Pub Quiz this weekend. (No, I’ll be at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and are you sure you don’t want to hang out for dinner one night?)  But he didn’t ask for my number or anything.  I see him around town a fair amount.  I’m sure I’ll see him again.  Should I be even more forward than walking up to his table and introducing myself?  Or with that kind of opening, should I expect that he would ask me out if he were single and interested?

Her readers, some of whom are our readers, run through the usual litany of arguments in the comments.

What is the downside from asking him out?  A rejection is soon forgotten.  Nor would I fear that Megan marries him, yet sadly ends up with a non-aggressive wimp who is one day unable to use a shot gun to protect his family from rampaging terrorists.

No, the risk is that, dating profile and all, his relationship status is ambiguous.  He wants Megan to ask him out, but he would feel guilty doing the asking himself.  In that case Megan could ask if and only if she is able to walk away from such situations quickly and decisively.

An alternative scenario is that Megan is being queued behind another woman.  This guy will promote her in the queue, but only if she shows real interest.  Otherwise the mere act of his asking her out would disrupt his emotional equilibrium vis-a-vis the other woman (women?) in the queue and demote them, in his eyes, prematurely.

In general I believe (unlike my wife) that women should be willing to ask men out.  However flawed the strategy may be, it only has to pay off once to be worth it.  But I am suspicious of English professors when the relationship between processes and outcomes is so fragile.

Would any of you like to ponder the difference between a Dutch and an English auction, and how it applies to dating strategy?


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