Man thinks women should share the burden of asking others out for dates


April 18, 1993|By SUSAN DEITZ | SUSAN DEITZ,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q. This isn't a question, but it is directed at the ladies. Pleas ask us guys out! I hope you realize how much it takes to ask a girl out. Ask us, only don't get pushy. You'll make our lives a whole lot easier!

A. From all I know about the battle of the singles, you are speaking for the vast majority of men. Women see the male advantage in being the one to ask for a date, but most men regard it as a burden.

Many tell me that romance is not dead, it's simply stressed out from being so one-sided. So Single File carries the banner high for making every day a Sadie Hawkins Day, every encounter between the sexes another chance for women to right this wrong. We're making headway, but ever so slowly.

So go ahead, women, take the plunge!

Q. I must take exception to your statement that compared to women, men are "a tad slower to mature emotionally," the same way that women should not accept the myth that men are more advanced intellectually. The truth is that we develop in different directions, according to society's dictates and the demands of the opposite sex.

We value men for their positions and achievements. Thus, boys develop through competition such as sports, which drives the aggressive strength in men that women seek.

We value women for their nurturing abilities. Little girls play house and play "dress up."

We should not think a man less mature because he continues to play or follow sports any more than women who draw their value from others' impressions or who watch soap operas and read romance novels.

In addition, a man who redirects his competitive nature toward business is not necessarily more mature, nor is the woman who succeeds in landing a man.

Maturity is not reaching the aim you took as a child, but seeing beyond that. A man does not mature until he is willing to put himself on the line by competing fairly, not by stacking the arms and rules in his favor. A woman does not mature until she is true to herself -- to the actualization of love, not the romanticization of it.

And neither men nor women mature in their relations to the

opposite sex until they no longer think themselves ahead of the other and when they can empathize with the feelings and situation of the other.

A. And no one matures in a relationship until he or she can see the other as a friend, partner, helpmate and fellow traveler on the journey through life -- not as the "opposite" sex. Your use of that word is the only jarring note in your letter and the sole exception I take to your articulate and reasoned letter.

Still, consider the point that males do tend to mature -- emotionally and physically -- slightly behind women. That's neither myth nor fiction, simply fact. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Q. Your recent column saying that married couples are insecure around singles is way off-base. Over the years, my wife (age 54) and I (60) have had several single (divorced) women friends over to our house for parties, swimming, etc., and also gone out to dinner with them. And, never once have they offered to share the bill.

Because I am the only man in the group, I am expected to pay. We have a married friend who seldom goes out with her husband but calls us to come over to our house or to go out. And again I am expected to pay the bill; I have even asked her to pay her share, to which she replies, "I never pay in the presence of a man."

As a result, we never invite her anymore, and always have an excuse when she calls. Susan, we're not insecure, but many -- not all -- single women expect to be treated as if they are married. I do not feel obligated to support them.

A. Good point. Single women should be aware of their responsibility to pay their share when with friends -- or at least make the offer and be prepared to follow through. Leaning on others makes you a drag to be with, rather than an interesting person who carries her own weight. Arrange for your own transportation, take plenty of money to cover your share (plus extra for emergencies), and you'll see that the invitations will come.

Not paying your own share when a man is on the scene is an outdated, fuddy-duddy concept that went out with overspending and wastefulness. This is a pay-as-you-go life, partnered or not. Insecurity may account for some married people excluding their single friends -- there's not much you can do about that. But there is no reason that single people should not expect to pay their own way.

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