When Should a Woman Step Up to Plan a Date?

Let the Man Lead

Hey Ronnie,

As far as how long to let the men lead goes….I’ve been doing that with several men lately, but I’ve had a couple guys actually get snippy with me and say things like ” I thought you weren’t interested” even though I’ve Indicated that I’ve had a great time with them, I’ve been available for 2nd and 3rd dates, etc.

When do we step up without seeming like we are taking control? With some of these guys I’ve had the sense that they are used to having the women do all the planning, dating work, etc.

Thank You!
Holly in Ohio


Dear Holly,

I’m not sure why these men are snippy. Perhaps that’s the important  information you’ve gathered about them while letting them lead:

  • They might not be leaders
  • They might be very insecure
  • They might be emotionally immature
  • They might not know how dating works today

Maybe, learning that these men are snippy can help you decide if you want to continue dating them. After all – why should they get snippy when they can call you? If you say yes to their requests for dates, isn’t your interest rather obvious?

On the other hand, if you don’t mind dating men who expect the women to do all the planning that is your choice. But as a dating coach, I highly recommend letting the men do the work just for that initial phase of dating – the first 4-6 dates. That’s how you can collect data about how interested they are in you. How often they’ll call or want to see you. What they do to try to please you and win you over etc.

As the relationship builds, of course you’ll do more planning. Most women are the social directors. But, if you do that from the start, when will the men step up and contribute their energy to win you over? They won’t have to and you’ll miss a crucial part of the courtship process.

Holly, if you have thanked these men for dates, complimented them on their choice of dating activity or restaurant, told them you had a nice time, smiled or kissed them and they don’t get it,  uhh, then I don’t know what is wrong with them.

But  something is.

So, let’s say you are dating a man you really like, and he calls you and sees you consistently. Then after the 4th or 5th date, you can suggest something or ask to get together. Just keep your initiation on a 3:1 ratio. Let the men do more so you can be sure they are interested in you and not just being curious, polite or thinking they’re going to get lucky since you are pursuing them.

That’s the beauty of the Ball Room Dancing Theory of Dating. If you let the man lead, you’ll quickly know how things are going. And you’ll never have to wonder if he likes you or not. See, if he stands there, waiting for you to make the first move, now you know what the relationship will look like. He’ll be expecting and requiring you to be in charge.

I hope that helps!

Ronnie Ann Ryan – The Dating Coach

Photo Credit: Vlad B

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony, MSN.com, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

4 thoughts on “When Should a Woman Step Up to Plan a Date?”

  1. Men don’t ever plan dates anymore. They expect the woman to do everything. In all my years of dating, meeting a man that actually plans a date is extremely rare. They’re lazy and want to be chased. It’s pathetic. I’d rather be alone.

    No matter where you meet them, (online, bars, museums, amusement parks), it’s all the same. They’ll say “hey you wanna go out” and I’ll say sure. And they’ll say “ok. What do you want to do?” Always. All the time. I give up. If they asked me out, shouldn’t they plan something? Jeez. It’s so annoying.

    • Hi Janice,
      I have a suggestion. The next time a man asks what do you want to do, why not give him some options but don’t take on the planning. For instance, you could say you like (I’m just making these up for you of course) Greek food, bowling, and listening to live music. Then don’t say anything more. If he wants to take you out, now he’ll have to do something about it.

      Is it possible that you step in and take over because of this question? Some men are lazy but some men might want to please you and do something you enjoy. Refrain from jumping in. After you tell a man a few things you enjoy, if he says, pick a restaurant and let me know” you can say, “I’d be thrilled if you set up the date. A man with a plan is very impressive.” Give it a shot! I know many women this has worked for as they turned the tables and let men know in this round about way what it will take to date them.

      This is all about relying on your feminine charm. Plenty of guys want to take the lead, but are used to aggressive women taking over. (I’m not saying you’re an aggressive woman, just explaining one possibility that I have witnessed frequently.) Leave an empty space and if the man is serious about getting to know you, he knows the ball is in his court and it’s up to him to take charge.

  2. I’m glad I got to know this, because guys have been snippy to me too for not taking the lead. But I still wonder, for how long does the 1:3-rule last in a long-term realtionship. For ever?

    • Loretta – good question! I would say you follow the ratio until you are in a relationship. You are in the first phase of relationship if you know you have a weekend date without discussing it. Then things can start to balance out. The next step is exclusivity – although sometimes that happens at the same time. Depends on the relationship.

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