Women who take the initiative in online dating tend to have a higher response rate and connect with more “attractive” men, according to OkCupid, a popular dating website.
It is common in the Western dating culture that men are the ones to make the first move. This traditional courtship convention has stayed the same in online dating as well.
Rebecca Jump, who met her fiancé, Russell Trammell, on a dating app Tinder, said she cannot let go of her opinion that “it is the man’s duty to ask a woman out.”
“If I matched with a guy, I would always wait for them to message me first. I do not really recall me messaging first. I would let the guy take on that role,” Jump said.
The same goes for Trammell, who said he would not know how to react if a girl ever asked him out.
Neither of Jump nor Trammell disagrees with women making the first move, but they prefer the traditional way of dating.
“I do not disagree with girls taking initiative. But I was 100 percent set on waiting for the guy. If I were to do it, then I would feel like the guy would not be trying as hard,” Jump said.
McKenna Garrick has used not only Tinder but also Bumble, a dating app that only allows women to send messages first. Garrick said she prefers men taking the initiative because she wants to make sure they want to meet her.
“Sometimes I will wait to see if the guy sends the message first, because I feel that if he really wants to talk to me and get to know me then he will send me a message,” Garrick said. “If not, then maybe it is just an ego boost for guys to have a lot of matches on their Tinder.”
OkCupid’s study, however, shows that in general “women are 2.5 times more likely to get a response than men if they initiate.” Additionally, they will “be having conversations with more attractive guys.”
OkCupid’s research was based on a random sample of 70,000 users who used the website at least three times each month. The study found that while only 12 percent of the messages men send turn into a conversation, 30 percent of the messages women send turn into a conversation.
Still, women are 3.5 times less likely to take the wheel than men are, the study found.
Whitney Wolf, the founder of Bumble, told The New York Times that asking men out “makes women more confident and empowered, while the men are more flattered and relaxed.”
Ryker Hacking, a BYU mechanical engineering student, believes this be true, as well. “The guys who say ‘yes’ are more likely to be chill and nice,” Hacking said.
In fact, Amelia Flentje, Hacking’s fiancé and a BYU sophomore, was the one to ask him out on their first date.
“People think it is the guy’s duty as a man, and that if a girl asks a guy out, she is taking on a duty that is not meant to be hers,” said Flentje.
When Flentje asked Hacking to homecoming in October 2015, she didn’t expect to plan a wedding seven months later.
“I have asked guys out before and it has not gone anywhere, but imagine if I had never asked Ryker out. We might not be getting married now,” said Flentje. “When you ask guys out, they are generally more relaxed … so in my experience, it is sometimes more fun.”
For Jump, who generally does not ask men out, the experience was not as good. She said it made her feel like a man.
“I can recall one time I asked a guy to go on a hike with me,” Jump said. “The fact that I took on that role made me feel like he acted really shy and awkward.”
Flentje believes a woman’s taking control is not to blame for a bad date. “It does not always go well, but that happens when guys ask girls out, too,” she said. “Girls need to feel like they can take the initiative and not just sit around waiting to be asked on dates.”