Even the most empowered woman needs to know when to take a step back.
I'm all for gender equality and partnership in marriage. My husband and I have that, yet we're also deliciously different. Those male/female differences are the reasons why, in the early stages of dating, it pays huge dividends to let a guy take the lead.
Long ago, I thought that gender differences didn't matter in relationships. Every time I took the lead — making the first moves, asking guys out — I wound up disappointed and heartbroken. That was until I radically altered my personal approach to dating.
These are three things I learned from my own relationship, and the reasons men need to take the lead (and women need to let them).
1. Women would much rather be courted.
Old-fashioned, maybe, but the concept is timeless. There's something magical about this scenario: Grown-up guy meets quality girl he's really into; he pursues and works to win her love and respect. Why? Because he has to. She doesn't just fall into his arms, or his bed. She expects a whole lot more. And he's up for the challenge.
A mature guy who knows how to date like a CEO is goal-oriented. He knows he's going to have to prove himself, and that becomes his goal. He pursues, and later ups the ante to exclusivity, engagement, and marriage. She feels cherished and returns his devotion. That's courtship! It's a formula that has worked for thousands of years, and it starts with one crucial thing: the guy makes the first moves.
2. Women love a man with confidence.
When he takes the lead, she sees him as a confident guy, and therefore someone she can count on and respect. When a woman either fails to develop respect for her man or loses it, the relationship is pretty much over. He earns her respect when he steps up and confidently takes the lead.
3. It builds emotional muscle for the long-run.
This is important for the work he will have to do later. "Honey, we need to talk," isn't solely a woman's responsibility. He has to be able to tackle the important topics that are crucial to a happy marriage: money, children, in-laws, career, and intimacy, to name a few.
It starts early in dating: He calls, he asks for real dates, and he initiates those "you and me" talks to take the relationship to the next level. She feels like she has a partner in the growth of their relationship for the future, and that makes her feel safe enough to go forward.
A good guy relishes the role of leadership in dating. It's natural for him, and there's nothing better for a woman than the feeling of being courted. So let him do it! You'll love dating, and you'll love the relationship you get.