For Women Mostly

A couple of posts back I kvetched about guys who shove the onus of date planning onto the woman. Two gentlemen replied that if a guy plans the date, he will be perceived as “controlling.” Now, I know there’s a lot of narishkeit that they tell us females with regard to dating. But I’ve never come across a genuine piece of narishkeit from the male side until this. At least, I think it is. But before I say anything that I’ll have to eat later, let me ask all the dating women out there:

Have you ever felt like a guy was “controlling” because he planned a date?

Have you ever felt like a guy was “controlling” on a date, and if so, what did he do to deserve the label?

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9 thoughts on “For Women Mostly

  1. It’s not controlling for a guy to plan the date; it’s what’s expected. However, if a guy wishes to include the girl in the planning process, which is totally a fine idea, it’s good to do so BEFORE the date. Like during a phone call. “So, do you have any ideas for what we should do?” And she can either say, “Actually, I really want to…etc.” or “I’m good with whatever you plan.” Something like that. But a guy shouldn’t show up to the date with no plan. The whole idea of taking someone out is that you have somewhere you’re taking the person out to!

  2. I don’t like it when there is no choice. That feels controlling and arbitrary. “We’re going to dinner at this restaurant.” vs. “Would you prefer to have dinner at A or B?” Or similarly for events. Sometimes people just don’t like something. If one person is okay with either Beethoven or Mozart, but their date might hate Mozart, it’s silly for her to have to sit through a Mozart concert when Beethoven had also been on the menu if only she had been given a choice.

  3. I have never felt it was controlling for a guy to plan the date!That is what the guy is supposed to do. However, in theory I could see how the way in which it is said and the tone of voice plays a big role in whether he will be perceived as controlling. Most guys who I have dated have said something like, “So how about we go to Starbucks- is that OK? Or would you prefer something else?” or something like that, in a way that is clear that they have a plan, but open to the fact that maybe,- I don’t know- I’m allergic to coffee or something- that if for some reason it’s not OK there is a back up plan. But it is better to risk seeming controlling than risk seeming irresponsible.

  4. I go with the premise that if I’m not paying, it’s his call. I don’t want to be asked if I would rather go out for coffee or dinner – I’m not out to get a free steak (unless my evening is so painful that he has to suffer).

    As for controlling in general, I think that would be hard to pinpoint on the first date. Unless he says, “Sit here!” “Chew already!” “You should change your major!”

  5. I’ve heard girls accuse guys of being controlling a LOT. (In reality, I’ve found that the girls often are more guilty of this, but guys don’t feel controlled as much so it’s not viewed as badly.)

    I think a comment above shows the difficulty: Some people want a choice, some really want it all planned and no choice, and some are somewhere in between. If a guy has dated girls who want it planned, and then dates a girl like the one above, they’re viewed as controlling when they’re trying to be helpful.

  6. I don’t know if I was one of the guys you were referring to, but I believe you’re mistaken. I don’t think anyone thought that having a plan for a date is controlling, rather, as JZ says, when you say “We’re going to dinner at this restaurant.” That is what some girls are expecting but it seems to me rather controlling. As I pointed out, when I offer a choice of ideas, no girl has given any preference.

  7. As one of those guys who said you can come off as controlling I meant that I come up with ideas, phrase it as “would you like to do A, B or C” and she *doesn’t pick* one of the options. Then as a guy you’re in a situation where you could come off as controlling because she’s not making a choice. I’ve got no problem coming up with ideas and phrasing them as suggestions, but after that the girl should make up her mind.

  8. Here’s an example of controlling – my friend (daughter of a big Rabbi) goes on this blind date, the guy takes them to a non-kosher bar or similar and TELLS her they’re ordering ice cream. He asks what kinds they have and what brands, she asks for vanilla, he DECIDES since the only flavor that is Haagen Dazs they should get rum raisin (without asking, and she hates rum raisin and was fine with Baskin Robbins or whatever the vanilla was). Then the ice cream comes with a cookie in it and he gets all analytical about how to handle the cookie, and poskens they should eat “around the cookie.”

    The issue had nothing to do with him picking the restaurant.

  9. I personally don’t mind options (particularly if I am given the choice ahead of time, so I know how to dress/otherwise prepare appropriately), but I also don’t mind if a guy has a plan in mind and decides what we’re doing ahead of time. I am less comfortable when a guy basically arrives and asks what I’d like to do under the guise of offering me a say when in reality he just hasn’t planned anything (particularly when it’s a first or second date). If you want my input, ask me ahead of time. This is not to say I am opposed to spontaneity; if your plans aren’t set in stone it’s fine, just don’t “wing it” all the time.

    You’d have to do much worse than to make a decision about what to do on a date to be considered controlling in my book. I once dated a guy who I felt was getting somewhat controlling, but that was because he second-guessed my judgment at everything and was trying to make my decisions for me. Now *that* got annoying.

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