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General Dating Questions/Asking a guy out on a date?


QUESTION: Hi Dennis,

When a woman asks a man out on a date, what are some steps that she should follow after she gives him her number and asks for his?

Should she ask him out for coffee, lunch, dinner, or a beer/drinks? You suggest that coffee/lunch is more for business clients, and that a romantic date should be dinner/drinks etc.

What about a movie, concert, comedy club show, etc? Maybe include that with dinner/drinks?

Should a woman suggest anything at all? Or suggest all of these and wait until he picks one of the above? Or just let him suggest the entire date?

What about the venue, should she suggest a coffee shop such as Starbucks, or a restaurant? Or a date at the zoo where you walk around and talk and laugh at animals? Or an outdoor type shopping mall with restaurants where you can walk around and get lunch and look at some stores together?

The reason is that most of the time, even if a woman asks a man out, the man will still pay the entire bill.

As a woman I don't want to come across as too demanding or high maintenance.

So I feel bad asking a man for more than just a Starbucks Coffee because dates can get very expensive sometimes.

The reason is, there were a few times that I asked a man out for lunch/dinner/drinks at a cafe type shop that was both a coffee shop and a restaurant. It was a very nice high quality place with high quality food, dessert, drinks, and an upper class clientele but the budget wasn't more than $5-$20.

I told them feel free to suggest any ideas, we could go anywhere, but here was one place that had a nice menu, nice drinks, nice desserts/cakes, and nice coffees for a reasonable price, and a nice comfy quiet atmosphere so we could talk without screaming.

These men made me feel bad that I picked this place, and they made me feel like I was high maintenance and was demanding too much from them.

They were also professional men (doctors, lawyers, scientists, CEOs, engineers) who could easily afford any average meal so I was a little puzzled at their reactions. It's not like they were broke college students.

That's why I'm afraid to ask a man out for more than a Starbucks coffee now, because all these guys made me feel like CRAP for suggesting a nice cafe for lunch/dinner/drinks.

They looked at me like "seriously? you expect me to take me to some fancy place and have me pay for you?" That kind of look.

Oh yea, another thing when a woman asks a man out on a date, should she kiss him or not? Whenever I kissed a guy at the end of the night, they weren't really into it. So I'm a little hesitant to be too forward. Even with a little peck. They kind of push me away, or they don't resist but they're not into it at all. In the bedroom they're not into it, they go through the motions.

But when a guy asks me out on a date, the opposite happens, at the end of the date if we're in a car and he's dropping me off, he basically shoves his tongue down my throat so I can't breathe and starts putting his hand on my breasts and just goes for it in the car and his other hand goes between my legs...ahhh! Way waaaaay too forward. In bed they're not normal and affectionate during sex, they basically rape and molest me. I always get these two polar opposite reactions. No one is in the middle.

I just can't win.

Or perhaps these guys that I asked out were just not interested in me at all and would have been different with a different type of woman they were more attracted to. Not sure.

Your thoughts?

thanks Dennis!

ANSWER: Hello Ana!

What a truly great question! I'm very glad to see that you're willing to approach guys as well as to be approached.

There are some key reasons why most women won't approach guys they're interested in. One is being afraid of rejection (but then, guys are too). Another is wanting the guy to be bold enough to approach and still another is a misunderstanding of how most men react to being approached. That is; many women believe that men don't like being approached. In fact, that's wrong. Men aren't used to being approached but that doesn't mean they don't appreciate it.

You have quite a few questions here. Let me try to answer as many of them as I can.

First, you should always exchange numbers. Don't take a guy's number and not give him yours or vice-versa. If you meet him later, you're going to need that number in case you're running late or have to change things.

Another important key is to use that number to contact him again later on - at least 24-hours after you get it. This is a mistake many women make. Most will get digits and then send the guy a text an hour after meeting him thinking that they're building connection. They aren't. They are giving him a time to fade and to think that it was only because you just met him and (maybe) were a little tipsy. If you wait, it let's him know you were serious.

If this is a date (which it should be - don't "hang out") then you need to make it one. Don't go have coffee unless you've been dating more than a few times. Coffee and even lunch are for business meetings. Afternoons are fine if you're doing something fun - especially if it leads into dinner or drinks later on, but for first dates I prefer drinks and maybe dinner.

As to shows - never for first dates! Here's the problem: you need "face-time" with your guy (and he with you). Going to a show, concert, comedy club, etc., let's them disassociate from you. You want to keep that connection going so that they have something to carry away with them afterward.

Here's the reality about first dates: men pay. That's just the way it is. Some guys don't know that but the majority do. It's nice for you to offer something like to get the tip or to buy drinks afterwards, but a smart guy will say, "How about this: you get the next one?" Not only does that keep things in perspective but it sets up the next date (which he should likely pick up as well!)

The reality is that dating and relationships aren't built on a balance sheet. That doesn't mean you shouldn't contribute however and there are many ways to do that. I was on a date once and mentioned that I had to get a new suit for a wedding. My date suggested that she come with me the next day to help find something perfect. It was a great date - and I got the suit. That's an example but there are many other ideas. Just keep your eyes and ears open to possibilities.

If you've been on a date or two with a guy however you need to make sure you return something. I always suggest you invite him over for dinner and maybe a movie or to play a game or do something else fun.

As to suggestion something I think you should do that. It's nice to say, "If you don't have an idea of what to do, I know of a few things going on that would be fun". Then, list something free or low-cost (like a picnic on the beach or in a park) and something mid-range. Don't go for something expensive. If he wants to do that, he'll offer. The other key to this is that you'll know how to dress! I often tell my dates what I'd like to see them wear that'll be appropriate for what we're going to do, but most guys never think of that.

By the way, if your expectation is to return value to the date - not just eat dinner and drink alcohol, then it doesn't seem like you're asking for the sky when you suggest something a little nicer.

They kiss: absolutely, every single time - unless things went really badly. Here's why I say this:

First, it's just a kiss for pete's sake! It's not some violent crime and it's not really a big deal. It's time for people to get more sophisticated about dating and to stop treating everything like some big, life-changing event. Adults kiss because it's pleasurable and nice and says that you're closer to the person than some business associate.

Second, it sets the tone to make this a "date" - not just a couple of buddies going out to watch the game or something.

Further, you need to kiss your date FIRST - early on. Don't wait until the end of the date! It's just way too much pressure and gets awkward. If you start your date with a kiss (and it doesn't have to be some in-the-waves-on-the-beach-in-the-moonlight-epic event!) then kissing later on or even throughout the date becomes easy. It may even turn into a make-out session. Nothing wrong with that if you like the guy, right?

Here's another key: learn to kiss well damnit!! I can't tell you how few women (and even fewer men, I'm sure) know how to kiss! Every one of you girls think you're "experts" and in fact, very, very few of you are. That goes for every aspect of dating. I know women that don't even know how to hug, let alone kiss. Do you think these girls have any skills in bed? I sincerely doubt it! This, despite claiming up and down how "great" they are!

I hear you about men's skills here too. It's unfortunate but many men are getting their education from porn. You need to know how to put on the brakes tactfully and without putting out the fire. Obviously different situations call for different responses, but there's nothing wrong with saying, "Let's slow down a bit here, ok, hot stuff? I like you but let's not force things."

I hope that helps!

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks a ton.

Seems like in the old days, men and women clearly knew what they were doing. Or at least the men did, almost all men knew how to move things forward. Women could count on men to know what they were doing. Men knew how to get phone numbers, call women, ask them out on dates, plan dates, plan upcoming dates, plan proposing marriage, plan shopping for wedding/engagement rings, buying houses, buying cars, moving in together, plan for future savings from their jobs, and planning for future children and grandchildren and retirement. Guys were also well taught how to fix and repair house issues like leaky faucets and roofs and car repair all on their own. Most men also knew how to cook and clean enough to get by. They paid all their bills, didn't cheat on their taxes, and were responsible. It was all systematic.

Women also knew the appropriate things to say or do during dating and marriage, and how to take care of house, children, car, job properly etc. and not just cooking and cleaning, they knew how to run a household. Everyone's gone downhill.

Also, people were careful before marriage, they thought carefully before getting married to someone. They were also more willing to fix broken marriages and didn't just divorce at the drop of a hat, they thought ways to fix the problem first.

It was a little "too" systematic back in the day and too conformist... but at least you knew what you were getting into. People didn't waste time on relationships, there was always an end goal. But now everything is haphazard.

People are randomly meeting drunkenly at bars and moving in together, having kids, and getting married but without much thought process as to whether this person is a suitable life partner or not. Then a year later they're divorced... and they still don't learn from the divorce. They meet someone else, pop out some more kids, and find themselves divorced for the 9th time.

Another thing - and you know this -

I'm 30. I notice men in your age range, meaning 40s, 50s, know exactly what they are doing with women. Guys in their 20s are a disaster. Again, going back to the good ol' days.

Honestly Dennis - it's not even that far back

I remember in 2006 dating roles were clearly defined. Guys always properly asked me out on dates. But now in 2013 that almost never happens.

Online dating took things to a whole new level of course too. Now dating partners are "disposable" you can go on a date 30 days a month if you really wanted to (assuming you asked out everyone online in sight) whereas in the past you wouldn't be able to access odds like that.

You may have an amazing date that could have led to marriage, babies, white picket fence... and then the next night the other person goes on 4 more dates that are better than you and they never call you again.

The change suddenly happened over the last 5 years or so...


Hello again Ana!

I'm not sure I agree that men and women really knew exactly what to do in the "old days", but they had better role models, better defined gender roles and some help from friends and family. Today, it's a free-for-all! People don't focus on becoming the best partner for someone they only focus on finding someone else how already is. If everyone is playing and nobody is practicing, what sort of game do you have?

Unfortunately, being male today is given nothing but negative connotations. In general, everything men do is considered "bad" - unless a woman does it. Then, she's somehow "progressive" and frankly, watching women try to compete with men to be men just turns me off. When a woman can compete with herself to become a better WOMAN; THEN we have something to talk about! Thanks feminism!

Yes, guys younger than 40 (and frankly, many that are 40 and older) are an absolute disaster. The guys don't see it because they don't have any examples to draw from. They see Chris beating up Rhianna. They see Justin Bieber. They see Charlie Sheen. The list goes on and on. Even worse, women get a free pass when they misbehave. Think about Schwarzenegger as an example. He slept with his maid, had a child and got skewered for it. The maid however became a "victim". That woman knew the family well - she lived with them for years and had just as much investment - with everything to gain - yet nobody calls her the home-wrecking whore that she is!

I've talked a lot about online dating. People do and say things with people they meet online that they'd never do or say to someone they meet in real life. It's clear that our brains process these relationships as artificial. They FEEL real, but don't come off that way to our subconscious minds. The outcomes prove that.

Another movement that has been extremely harmful (and is getting worse) is the anti-bullying movement. We're now starting to see organizations and businesses spring up to take advantage of the movement. Of course, I don't like seeing people get bullied, but the answer IS NOT to turn to the government, school, police or whatever and try to regulate it. It won't work because it never has worked - ever! We see kids being expelled for playing with food, pretending it's a gun. We see kids expelled for wearing the wrong t-shirt, etc. All of this is an offshoot as well. What needs to happen is to teach people to be strong in and of themselves to deal with these things - not to be weaker and look around for someone else to save them.

I believe that we can get back to something more healthy and real for everyone and I'm doing what I can to make that happen, but I'm only one guy. Everyone needs to get on-board and stop letting the media control and direct every waking thought.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

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Dr. Dennis W. Neder


I'm able to answer any sort of question related to the approach, meeting people, dating, sex, relationships, break-ups, non-legal marriage and divorce questions, and anything in between. I've helped over 30,000 people with their individual issues. IMPORTANT: Please, PLEASE don't ask me, "what was he thinking..." or "why did he say..." types of questions! I DO NOT READ MINDS! There are 1,001 reasons why someone does what they do, says what they say or thinks what they think. If you *REALLY* want to know what they were thinking, saying or why they were acting that way - go ask them! Be sure to check out my FAQ's on my website at: You can email me directly at:


I am the author of the books "Being a Man in a Woman`s World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women" and 11 others. I`ve spent the last 20 years studying the art and science of every aspect of relationships, and have answered over 30,000 letters from readers all over the world. My main focus is men`s relationships with women, but I also have many female readers and answer questions for them regularly as well.

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