Who is responsible for the success of a date?
- He is.
- You are.
- You’re both equally responsible.
Got your answer?
It probably seems pretty obvious to you.
But for me all three of those options hold a little truth. No matter which answer you picked, you hit on something important for relationships.
And at the end of this article, I’ll tell you the secret that makes a REALLY great date.
Option #1. HE is responsible for the date.
If a man asks you out on a date, then clearly he’s responsible for the outcome.
He’s the one who asked to see you. He’s the one who decided what you’d be doing and where you’d be doing it.
If it’s a flop, then it’s clearly his fault. He didn’t put enough effort into it.
Any guy who thinks that showing up is good enough—he doesn’t have to hold up his end of the conversation, or put on a clean shirt, or pretend to be interested—needs to wake up. Women don’t want boys. They’re looking for real men who don’t need hand-holding.
A masculine man will take the lead. He’ll take responsibility for your experience on the date. Even if he decides he’s not interested romantically, he’ll do his best to make it a positive experience for you.
Option #2. YOU are responsible for the date.
There’s a problem with putting the responsibility for a date in his hands….
If his hands aren’t capable, you’ve got to sit back and watch the train wreck unfold.
You’re stuck with it.
Maybe you think you have to be passive in order to seem feminine. You want to give him the chance to lead and feel like a man. But what do you do if he’s not leading you in a direction you want to go? Do you risk appearing unfeminine if you take charge?
Many women don’t want to hand over responsibility for a date. They know they can make the date work, even if he can’t.
So they put in the emotional labor to bring up the energy level, draw him out of his shell, break those awkward silences, and get the party started.
Once he’s comfortable and laughing, he might get the confidence to take back the lead.
But if he doesn’t…
If the date is not going to go anywhere and both of you know it…
There’s still something satisfying about having done the work. No matter what happens, you made your best effort. You showed up and gave it your all.
You didn’t rely on him to make the experience positive for you. You made the experience as positive as possible for yourself.
That’s an empowering feeling.
Option #3. You’re BOTH responsible.
This is the egalitarian answer.
In a relationship, two people are responsible. Therefore, on a date, two people are responsible.
You both have to do your part. If you can’t work together to make the date a pleasant experience, then how can you expect to work together in a relationship?
But “equal responsibility” doesn’t mean the same to everyone.
Some men believe they’ve done their part by inviting you on the date and paying the bill. They pursued you. They showed they would be a good breadwinner. Now it’s up to you to do your part.
In their mind, they’re thinking: “I did something for you. Now what are you going to do for me?”
That doesn’t bode well for a potential relationship.
You don’t want to be with a man who keeps track of who contributed what, expecting an equal balance at the end of the date.
You want a partner who is emotionally generous. Who sees each interaction as an opportunity to contribute what he can. Who’s not investing in you with the expectation of a payoff.
So setting a target of 50:50 responsibility may not work. Hitting that target means that someone’s got to keep track of each person’s contributions.
Ultimately, dates work best when BOTH people take 100% responsibility for the outcome.
You don’t assume it’s his job to make the date good for you. He doesn’t assume it’s your job to prop up the conversation.
A man who doesn’t expect you to make him relaxed and comfortable—but is delighted when you do—is a man who will own his part in a relationship.
He won’t make you responsible for his feelings. But he’ll appreciate it when you make him feel good.
Similarly, don’t expect him to deliver a perfect date all on his own. But if he’s hitting all the right notes, let him know.
That combination of effort plus appreciation may not be enough to guarantee a second date, but at the very least you’ll part ways smiling.