An overwhelming majority of men are open to being approached for dates, but almost a third of women take a more traditional view, new research has found.
Seventy-seven per cent of single men were happy for a woman to initiate a date, but only 66 per cent of women agreed, a study conducted by dating website RSVP found.
“Overwhelmingly for the majority there’s a shift there in the right direction, but you could take it that still 33 per cent of women think men should initiate,” psychologist John Aiken, a paid consultant to RSVP, told The New Daily.
Mr Aiken saw the trend away from traditional gender roles as positive.
“People are now becoming much more open to the idea that if you like someone, you like their profile, you push forward with it, you make contact, whether you are a man or a woman,” he said.
But some of the female dating experts contacted by The New Daily disagreed, siding strongly with the 33 per cent.
Men are scared and scarred
Relationship and dating expert Nikki Goldstein explained the supposed openness of single men as apprehension – of being “unsure” if they should ask women on dates.
“A lot of guys have been rejected and rejected quite harshly,” Ms Goldstein said.
“That fear of rejection has sent men either running in the other direction or giving subtle hints rather than direct hints.”
Ms Goldstein believed men were also unsure of how to deal with the rise of the ‘alpha female’ who values her independence, saying they are “a little intimidated”.
Despite this, she thought women still crave conservative gender norms.
“What women really want is a guy to have those old-fashioned values and to come up to them and to do it in what I’d like to call ‘the right way’. Not in a sleazy way, but getting to know them by taking them out on a date.”
Women have accepted the inevitable
Relationship and dating expert Samantha Jayne, founder of matchmaking agency Blue Label Life, agreed women still expect men to ask them out, but have slowly accepted they must take charge.
“From a subconscious level, women want men to be the leader [and] to take charge, however women are fast realising that to achieve the same success in love as they have in their careers that they need to take action.”
Ms Jayne has witnessed this “massive shift” over the past decade.
“Since opening up the doors of my agency 10 years ago, times have changed and women are the ones being more proactive.”
Societal expectations are confusing
Relationship expert Tiffany Mason agreed there was a mismatch in the dating game, resulting from confused expectations.
“We live in a society where we are given so many different messages when it comes to relationships,” she said.
“Modern women today expect that it should be a man’s job to ask them out. Meanwhile, the men complain that women today are expecting way too much in a relationship.”
Ms Mason thought there was no right or wrong answer when it came to who should ask out whom.
“People should follow their gut feeling,” she said.
“If it feels right, you should be the one to ask the other person out, no matter if you’re the man or woman. Do what feels right for you.”