THE BLOG

Why a Woman Should Never Ask Out a Man

22/04/2014 12:03 BST | Updated 21/06/2014 10:59 BST

In this day and age, to suggest something is an exclusively male role is controversial.

We've all grown up as equals. In the eyes of the law, in the workplace, and in society. And as a woman, if anyone treats me as anything but an equal in those spheres, I will speak up and complain.

Yet when it comes to love and romance, traditional fairy tales still underpin daily life. The stereotype of the handsome prince winning the hand of the fair maiden. He pursues her. He courts her. He asks her to marry him.

Yes, in those situations the woman is still empowered to some degree. But her power comes in the choice, not in the active pursuit.

I've never been particularly good at making choices. And yet, give me a challenge, and I'm in my element.

Last summer, in an attempt to go on 30 Blind Dates before I turned 30, I dated in a manner I can only describe as 'aggressive'. With just three months to complete the challenge, I actively pursued dates. I even went so far as to advertise for them on Facebook!

It had all become a bit of a joke. As a result, I didn't struggle to find men to date. I averaged three dates a week, and even completed three separate dates in one day.

And that was fine because I didn't care who I dated. They were blind dates, selected by friends. I was never looking to find a boyfriend, and the men never saw me as a genuine option. It was all just a bit of fun.

But in the 'real world' the same approach would never work. In the initial stages of a relationship, if I'm to appeal to the kind of man I find attractive, then I need to act like the challenge, not the challenger.

It's something I think women with A-type personalities particularly struggle with. We've grown up not simply as equal to men, but as competitors. We've held our own for so long - at school, in the workplace and in society - that it's hard to switch off.

The most successful women I know are proactive in all aspects of their lives. As a result, they are also the busiest and the most organized women I know. They have the finances to do whatever they please, and so they pack their diaries full of adventures and entertainment. They tackle life head on - setting themselves goals, and achieving them. Whether it's securing a job, running a marathon, or climbing a mountain.

But often the toughest goal for these women is the one, which they can't solely rely on themselves to achieve. A relationship. A partnership. A family.

And in order to achieve that goal, an A-type woman must switch off the proactive side of her personality. The side which ironically, has enabled her to achieve everything else in her life. Because often the men, who A-type women are most attracted to, have A-type personalities as well. And for those men, the chase is a vital part of the relationship.

Much as I despise applying fixed rules, or games, to relationships, there is one part of the infamous Rules, which I know from experience to be valid, even to dating in 2014.

A woman should never actively pursue a man. If he likes her enough, he will engage in the pursuit.

So how does that work in the world of online dating, where every user can peruse profiles, send messages or 'swipe right'?

It means as a woman, you should celebrate your choices.

Swipe right as liberally as you like. Check out the options on offer. But do so passively. By all means, indicate your interest by viewing a man's profile, casually starting conversation or flagging him as a favourite ... But then leave the rest to him.

If you don't, and instead impatiently pursue him, you might get a date or two out of it, but it's unlikely to go any further.

So yes, it's controversial. And yes, it might seem to contradict everything women have spent years campaigning for. But if you're a single woman, with a tendency to organize every aspect of your life, deep down, you'll know this is the one part of your life where proactivity never really seems to work.

Why not give it a try?

Taking a step back, and letting someone else engage in the pursuit for a change, makes you the prize. And everyone wants to feel like the ultimate prize every now and again.