Are you afraid that you might be too forward with a man?
Let’s look at the big picture for a second.
As women, we’ve been at a disadvantage. Most of us were raised to put our needs second and prioritize others and how they feel. Men were generally raised to be assertive while we were brought up to be “good girls.”
When you think about these differences in how we’ve learned how to behave and socialize, determining if you are too forward and how it can affect the dating process can be rather hard.
How much of our reluctance is wondering if it’s OK to ask for what we want? Part of the question addresses permission to be assertive. The other part is what works for you when dating.
Dating as a Modern Woman
A lot has changed in the last decades and women broke through countless barriers in terms of whether it’s socially acceptable to be assertive with men when dating. Now it’s not unusual for women to ask men out on dates, suggest casual sex, get engaged, married, and have children. It seems no subject is off-limits any longer.
If you have family or friends telling you it’s not OK to be this assertive, you may struggle with giving yourself permission, but in general, the taboos are lifted.
Here’s the thing, though: being this forward with a man doesn’t always work.
Let me explain.
Many women today feel pressured to be forward with men even when they are not comfortable with the idea. He hasn’t called? Your friends might tell you that you’re silly to wait for him to call since you’re a modern woman. You think he’s cute? Why aren’t you asking him out? The implication today is that if you’re a modern woman you don’t have to wait for a man to move your relationship along. You are in charge and if something doesn’t go as expected, then you should take action to correct your situation. If you don’t, then it’s your fault.
The problem is, that doesn’t always work.
Why Being Assertive Doesn’t Always Work
Ask yourself this:
Have you ever considered that the man might prefer whether you have a date or a relationship or sex to be his idea? Of course, he can say “yes” or “no,” but he still might not see it as his idea. He might need some time to think it over. He might be dating someone else and want to see where that is going first. He might not be interested but goes along because he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. Maybe he’s not interested in anything more than a casual relationship.
The problem with being too forward is that it doesn’t give you a chance to see where you stand. That might be OK for you if you need to practice assertiveness and are willing to take a chance that you can get hurt by not protecting your heart. But if you don’t want to get hurt, you must consider what you can do to protect yourself. A man who’s willing to pursue you consistently without asking for much more than your company in return is more likely to be interested in you.
It’s All About What You Want
Whether you want to protect your heart is one factor to consider. The other is what’s important to you in your relationship. Some women don’t care so much about romance and pursuit by a man, but others do.
If you ever saw Sex and the City, you probably remember Charlotte’s horror when she suggested to her boyfriend Trey that they marry and he said, “Okey-dokey.” She wanted so much to marry him that she forgot that she really wanted him to propose to her. She used one of his mother’s techniques to ask him, so she wasn’t sure if he really wanted to marry her or was just agreeing with her as he did with his mother.
Of course, in this article, being forward refers to pursuing or chasing a man. It’s a very different approach to let the man pursue you and show that you’re interested by being a good date and appreciating the nice things he does for you. Being a good date and appreciating nice men are critical skills for dating. That’s where the man is going to get interested in you or not.
Do you enjoy each other’s company? Do you have similar values and goals? Does he miss you after your dates?
Being more forward isn’t very likely to change whether he’s attracted to you or thinks you’re a match or not. Sometimes, when a man is very interested, your hesitation might make him worry about losing you. In other words, being less forward could give you an advantage. But ultimately, all you can do is to be the best version of yourself, no matter what others’ opinions are. Everyone is going to have an opinion about your love life, but you’re the one in the driver’s seat.
Am I Being Passive to Let a Man Lead?
Some may argue that you are passive if you let the men pursue you, but this approach gives you plenty of opportunities to be assertive in the dating process. When you say “yes” or “no” to his suggestions, you are setting boundaries for your relationship. True passivity is letting him make all the decisions and just going along with him, whether you like it or not.
Being Your Own Brand of Sexy is figuring out what you want, what works for you as an individual, and what strategies will help you to achieve your relationship goals, no matter what others’ opinions are about your love life.
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Over to You
Are you being too forward or too passive or are you somewhere in between?
Leave us a comment below.