Chapter 2.4 was largely from the man’s perspective since he is the one responsible for initiating the relationship. His primary responsibility is to make his intentions clear while communicating his feelings in a respectful and encouraging way. By knocking on the front door, the man is communicating to the woman, “you are worth it!”

As important as it is to a woman for a man to get the ask right, it is equally important for the woman to get the response right – even if she isn’t interested in dating the man. Regardless of whether or not she is interested, the method of the woman must communicate to the man: “I’m flattered and appreciate you asking.” As much as women like and appreciate a front-door approach from men (even from men they are not interested in) they should make sure that their response encourages them to try the same method again with the next woman they ask on a date. So, what should this look like?

How and why to say yes:

There are two types of scenarios when a woman would choose to say yes. The first scenario is when she knows she is already attracted to him and is definitely interested in going on a date with the man. In this case, both the how and the why are simple and fairly obvious. Assuming the man has approached the woman as he did in chapter 2.4, here is how Sue ought to respond to Bob’s request:

Sue smiles and her eyes gleam as she realizes what Bob is doing. She returns his eye-contact and enjoys the excitement of feeling the butterflies in her stomach (why would you squelch this feeling anyway?). With calm excitement in her voice she replies to Bob, “I would enjoy that! And thank you so much for asking me the way you did. I’m flattered!”

Sue is careful not to communicate that it will require absolutely no hard work to win over her heart – even though she is wildly excited about the opportunity to go on a date with Bob. Rather than displaying all of her excitement at once on the first date, she reveals her excitement a little bit at a time on each date.

In many cases, though, the woman is caught completely off-guard by the ask. She’s not repulsed by the man, but isn’t sure if she’s really all that attracted to him either. But there he is standing in front of her waiting for an answer and she doesn’t know what to say. She has been caught completely off-guard. What to do?

Unless she has a strong feeling against going on a date with the man, the woman should say, “yes.”

Why wouldn’t she? Why wouldn’t the woman be tremendously flattered by the fact that a man has just handed her his heart with a smile and said, “Here, you can squash it if you want to . . . or we can go to dinner.” Why wouldn’t a woman want to have at least one dinner with that kind of man? What does she have to lose? It’s just a meal. If the woman is open even to the slightest possibility of going on a date with the man, she would be wise to go out with him. The time between the ask and the end of the first date will give the woman ample time to make a decision as to whether or not she will go on date number two.

Women, consider the possibilities if most women would say yes on the first ask. First, it will encourage men to ask more often (that fact alone increases your odds of one of them eventually being super-attractive). Second, men will begin to realize that getting the first date won’t necessarily guarantee a second . . . or third . . . or fourth. He will have to continue to work hard to pursue the woman throughout the dating relationship and into marriage. Third, we would see less and less men feeling like they need to sneak around to the back door because the front-door has become far less intimidating and much more successful than sneaking in the back.

C’mon, women, let’s start a revolution!

How and why to say no:

It is important for women to realize that they are not obligated to say yes to a man who asks them for a date. Men know that they are not entitled to a date with the woman (back-door-boys don’t know this, though, so watch out) and are just thrilled with the opportunity to talk with her. There will certainly be times when a man asks a woman out the right way and she knows that there is no possibility a relationship could ever happen from her point of view. It is important that the woman respond with just as much grace and respect as she would if she were to say yes.

So, taking the same scenario from chapter 2.4, let’s say Sue isn’t interested in even going to dinner with Bob. Perhaps Bob doesn’t have the character or moral reputation she is comfortable around and she doesn’t find him attractive either. Before saying, “Ewww, gross!” to his face, Sue should remember this: she is not the last woman he will ask on a date. How can you encourage him to keep asking well until he finds someone who is interested in him? It might look something like this:

Sue smiles and her eyes gleam as she realizes what Bob is doing. She returns his eye-contact and allows herself to be genuinely flattered by this man’s proposal. Once it is her chance to respond she says, “Bob, I am so flattered by your request! Thank you.  Unfortunately, I cannot reciprocate the feelings you have for me and I’m going to have to say no.”

“Really? Okay. Well, thanks anyway.”

“I’m sorry, Bob.  But know this, you asked in just the right way. Make sure you ask that way again with whomever you ask next. Really.”

Men both appreciate and need a clear “no” from the woman they are interested in. While I was in college, I was turned down in a much similar way to this one and not only was I not offended by her response, I was honored. Rejection suddenly wasn’t so bad. Instead of hearing the message, “Eww, get away from me you creep” I heard, “I’m flattered and I appreciate you asking.” That gave me courage to later ask out a different woman who eventually became my wife.

When a man tells a woman she is worth it by knocking on the front door and the woman respects the man by telling him she is flattered (genuinely), the result is an exchange that is far less awkward for both parties and can actually perpetuate future healthy relationships.

With the details of asking and responding behind us, we can now discuss what the first date should look like in chapter 2.6.

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Guys, do you agree with me on how we should be told no? Here’s your chance to let the women in on how to tell us no. How has it been done well for you in the past?

Ladies, what do you think about saying yes even when you aren’t sure you’re attracted to the guy?