Understanding Men: Let a Man Lead to Clear Up Dating Confusion


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understanding men, don't pursue men, don't  ask him out

Dating is like Ballroom Dancing

Here is the #1 thing you can do to better understand men and get them invested in dating you.


Right now I have an awesome single guy as a client. In his early 50’s, Rick has shared with me the ups and downs of his romantic life. He felt ready to date again, but wanted to avoid some of the painful mistakes he has made in past relationships. I have been very excited to guide him on this journey as he is a great catch.

On his very first date after starting with me as his dating coach, he was a bit nervous and as a result, Rick let the woman lead the conversation. She went down the unfortunate road of discussing past relationships and he followed her there. Rick noticed the energy between them diminished immediately following this conversation.

They talked about getting together again and his date said she’d let him know what was good. He told me he left the ball in her court. (I thought, oh no!)

Putting the topic of past relationships aside for another blog post, I want to address this issue of who should lead on the first 4-8 dates. I explained to Rick about my “Ballroom Dancing Theory of Dating” In ballroom dancing, there is only one leader – the man, and one follower – the woman. This works best for the first 4-8 dates, (8 is better) depending on the couple, for so many reasons.

When you let a man lead, you can observe what he will do to win you over without your prompts. This is essential to judge his interest level. Does he take three weeks for a second date and more than a week between calls? Or does he ask you for a second date within three days? Obviously the quicker he gets in touch with you and asks you out, the greater interest he is showing. In this case, texting does NOT count.

But, as the woman, if you can’t take the wait or think it’s unnecessary to let him lead, you might make the mistake of calling and asking when you can see him again. “Are you busy this weekend?” might slip out of your anxious lips. This is a very bad dating strategy.

Now that women and men have achieved greater equality in the work place, women often think its perfectly fine to chase men. They want to be direct and say what is on their minds, ask a guy out, call him if they want to talk. Unfortunately dating has not caught up with work. Dating is still an archaic mating ritual based in biology. And you can’t take the DNA out of dating.

What does that mean about the DNA? See a man has hunter instincts coded into his DNA. The hunter wants to win. He enjoys setting his sights on a woman and then doing what it takes to win her over. He wants dating you to be his idea. Once you are into relationship (after 8 dates approximately) then the chase is  mostly over and the dance balances out. But as the woman, if you don’t wait, you can lose big time.

Men don’t like to be chased or pursued. Instinctively, most men (at least men over 40) know this is their job in dating. So when you step in, it’s often a turn off. There is no resistance. No wondering if you like him or not. No striving to win you over. When you call him or ask him out early on, you take all the guess work and mystery out of the situation and a man loses interest.

What makes a man get more interested in you? When he gets invested in winning you over! so when you make yourself too available by initiating contact or asking him out, you ruin the magic and eliminate the mystery. Instead of appearing independent and confident, usually you end up looking aggressive, needy or desperate!

That’s why my steadfast dating advice is:



I hope light bulbs are going on and you are catching on to why calling a man, asking him out and being direct with him are all bad dating strategies.  To make this even more clear, I want to share Rick’s email with me after I talked about the “Ballroom Dancing Theory of Dating” with him.  I also took the time to explain to Rick that leaving the “ball in her court” was too passive. This might be a way to ward off rejection so he can say it was up to her rather than potentially hearing her say “No” to his next invitation.


“Hi Ronnie,

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Ballroom Dance Analogy and wow, that’s really powerful.

Here was my experience when I took Ballroom Dance lessons: At first, I was really nervous and awkward and didn’t know what to do, but gradually, I became more confident at it and knew what I was doing. As my confidence grew and I had more lessons, my instructor taught me that my job as the man was:

1) To Lead – never, ever let the woman take the lead. Never. Ever. Period. This was drilled into me.

2) Always make the woman feel that she is the center of attention and the most beautiful, graceful being on the planet.

3) Always have a plan on the dance floor and know where you’re going – the woman usually can’t see where we are going because she’s facing backwards. It’s the man’s job to keep a woman out of trouble and on the right path in dancing.

4) Past mistakes are in the past and you can’t do anything about them. If you don’t focus on the here and now and the immediate future, you will make more mistakes.

When I learned and put these concepts into place, my dance card was always full and I never sat down at a dance party. In fact, the Dance Studio I went to stopped charging me for coming to the dances because they wanted me to keep coming.

So now, to compare this with dating, I feel that I am a past dance master just getting back into dancing, but I’m talking about and thinking about all my past dance partners and the fun dances we had, instead of putting these four concepts into place. I’m not leading, I’m not making the woman feel special, I don’t have a well defined plan, and I’m not letting go of my mistakes. If I don’t get this under control, I’ll be sitting down for most of the dances (figuratively speaking) and ruin my dating chances to find a new partner.

I know what to do and how to do it. Time to get off my duff and start leading again!”


You can only imagine how excited I was when I got this email from Rick! He had forgotten what his role in dating and dancing was. He is the leader and if he wants to find the right woman, he better take charge.

When you meet a guy who is too nice, he has forgotten he is the leader. And guess what, you find him unattractive!

So, PLEASE, promise me you will not try to lead. Sit back and follow the man’s lead. If he calls, call him back. If you had fun, tell him! But do not call him, ask when you can see him again, ask if he’s busy this weekend, or ask him out for eight dates (at least six).

This way, you’ll give yourself time to see how much a man is genuinely interested in you and what he will do all on his own to win you over. This is the best way for understanding men. This is how a man will get invested in starting a lasting, loving relationship with you.


2 responses on “Understanding Men: Let a Man Lead to Clear Up Dating Confusion

  1. Guest

    THIS! I love Rick’s note. It is SO true. I’ve been in a relationship for over a year with a man who does not lead. It’s so frustrating and he only adjusts to what I want after I tell him that the relationship feels too casual and that he should keep dating as I want something more serious (cuz he’s not leading!). He refuses, doesn’t not want to break up and says he’ll do whatever. But soon thereafter the lack of leading continues, he sits passively waiting for me to come over, do the cooking, make the decisions. I do think this was his dynamic with his ex-wife. It is just really really resentment inducing and I feel genuinely not that “wanted” because he doesn’t plan, communicate, direct. Anyways, he’s on the brink of losing me due to this as I am now wanting to look for other fish so I can feel love and direction. Strong, independent women really want leaders in their men and it equates to love and feeling wanted for us! Lead, make the plans, always always date your mate forever.

  2. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Guest, It could be that he’s a beta guy and asking or expecting him to change will not work. Maybe he just isn’t a leader. Everything has it’s pluses and minuses. An alpha male might want in on every life and household decision which could also be difficult. Maybe this guy isn’t right for you or he might have qualities that do make him a good catch if you can let go of wanting him to lead. What other qualities does he have going for him? Is he loyal, supportive, smart and positive? Does he get along with your friends and family and do they like him? There are 5 Languages of Love. Figure out what makes you feel loved besides him leading and making plans and see if he does those things. Then you’ll know if you should work around it or walk away.

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