Ask Wendy

Is it Up to the Guy to Plan Dates?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Hey Wendy,

Is it up to the guy to plan each date?

Ingrid T. — Santa Rosa, CA

Hey Ingrid,

It’s up to the guy to plan each date — if you want him to.

The beginning of my 121 first-date dating adventure started after the end of a long-term marriage. At 35, one thing I knew for sure was I was looking for an alpha male. I’m an extremely self-reliant and opinionated person, so I was truly looking for partnership, but the flavor of guy I hoped to find was a type A, decisive, masculine man who was happy to take charge. This is by no stretch of the imagination every woman’s cup of bossy-pants tea.

What’s your flavor of partner? Do you want to run the show, trade off, or have someone take charge? If you want an alpha too, I recommend you let him lead.

If you’re letting him lead, be a helpful planner. Don’t sit back and make him do all the work all the time. Let him know what you like, what places would make you happy, and offer up fun ideas and things to do from time to time.

When Dave told me, “Weekends and Wednesdays are for Wendy,” that gave me the green light to jump in and plan parts of our time too as we were shifting from dating into a partnership.

So did I say if you want an alpha you should never plan a date? Nope. You want something specific? Plan it. You want to treat him to a surprise, go for it. Just don’t run the show all the time.

If you’re calling, texting and planning dates, your date will follow your cue. In other words, if you’re driving, he’s not going to thumb-wrestle you for the driver’s seat; he’ll walk around to the passenger side and slide on in.

If you enjoy the role of alpha, then ask your date out, make smooth moves, text, coordinate, pick a favorite hot spot and be there five minutes early. Follow up, plan new dates and make it happen for the two of you.

I’m not a fan of one-size-fits-all rules. I’d much rather see you come up with your own best practices based on what feels right for you. Start dating the way you’d like your relationship to continue. If you’re doing all the work up front but hoping he’ll change places with you later on, your chances of that happening are slim, and you have no evidence that he’s even capable.

When you let a guy plan the date, and he’s leading, he’ll show you where he’s leading you to. Is he heading in the direction you want to go, or is he leading you right into the ditch? Is he leading you straight to the nearest bedroom with no other stops along the way? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that if that’s what you want too – no judgment over here.)

When he leads you can see his level of interest. Will he give you enough of what you need in terms of time and attention? How’s his follow-through? Is he inspired to act and does so consistently or is he hit or miss? Letting him lead gives you access to this information quickly, and things become real clear real fast.


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