I'm all for gender equality and partnership in marriage. My husband and I have that, yet we are 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, as a budding therapist counseling singles, I thought that gender differences didn't matter in dating relationships. I didn't coach singles to understand or honor those differences, nor did I understand or honor them in my own dating life. Every time I took the lead — making the first moves, asking guys out — I wound up disappointed and heartbroken. My clients got the same results, until I radically altered my personal approach to dating, and then the way I coached my clients. Keep reading to see the 3 things I learned from my own relationship and the reasons I think men need to take the lead, and women need to let them, in the crucial early stages of dating.
1. Relationships Turn Out Better This Way
Why? Because women love to be courted. Old fashioned, maybe, but the concept is timeless. There's something magical about this scenario: Grown-up guy meets quality girl he is 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 is a formula that has worked for thousands of years, and it starts with one crucial thing: the guy makes the first moves!
2. The #1 Thing Women Look For In Men Is Confidence
When he takes the lead, she sees him as a confident guy, and therefore someone she can count on and respect. As a relationship coach, I've found that 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. Taking The Lead Builds Emotional Muscle
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 when he takes the lead. 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.
Taking the lead doesn't mean taking control of her life or calling all the shots. That's a sign of an insecure guy she will lose respect for later. Taking the lead means he sets his sights on her, and he's willing to do what it takes to win her love.
A guy who wants to win big and marry up doesn't text for "hang out, booty call" dates, nor does he sit back and wait for her to make the moves. When he meets the right woman, he gladly steps up, takes the lead, and offers real love. 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 delicious feeling of being courted. So let him do it! You'll love dating, and you'll love the relationship you get.
About the author: Nina Atwood, M.Ed., LPC, is a nationally known psychotherapist, author of five self-help books, and frequent expert media guest. Read Nina's transformational books; for women: Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid, and for men: Date Like a CEO: Leadership in Life and Love for Men. To successfully date online, get Nina's $0.99 cent eBook Internet Dating for the Savvy Single. Get Nina's free eBook as well as loads of free advice and Love Strategies at www.singlescoach.com.
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