Ladies, Itís Okay to Make the First Move
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Dear Christine,

I have had an intense crush on a painfully shy guy for months now. Iím dying to ask him out, but at the same time, Iím afraid heíll turn me down. What if heís not interested? What if I come on too strong and scare him off? On the other hand, if I do nothing, how will I ever get his attention?

What can I do? -- SHEILA Ė BRANTFORD, ON

Dear Sheila,

You couldnít have asked this at a more opportune time, as I recently received a letter from a male reader known as ďBladeĒ.

Blade has some very strong opinions on this topic that may shed some light on the male perspective for you.

ďIf women have interest in a man, why can't they approach him and express it? It is the new millennium, so why aren't attitudes towards mating changing? Are men still expected to pursue the mate of their choice?

ďFrankly I'm tired of expressing interest in women only to be turned down. Why can't the tables turn in my direction? I'm not waiting for a supermodel to ask me out, but I'd like to be with a woman I'm attracted to who wants to get to know me. Do us single men a favour and tell your female readers that weíre waiting for them to ask us out.Ē

Sheila, Iím with Blade on this one. No guts, no glory. Ask him out, and if heís not interested, you can move on without regrets.

Dear Christine,

What are men and women in our late 30s to do in this day and age? How do singles meet each other? I think the bar scene is too young and overdone by all of us, so now what?

Iíve decided to try online dating, even signed up for a couple of paid sites. They havenít worked well, so Iíve stuck with a free one. Guess what? The freebie has the most action!

Hereís the problem: there is no online dating etiquette. I think there should be guidelines to be followed. For example, when Iím contacted, I always take the time to respond, even if itís a ďthanks but no thanksĒ. The other person took the time to say hello; itís only common courteousy to briefly respond. Iíve met a number of men, a lot of whom were very nice. I actually am in contact with a few of them almost daily. Iíve had a few coffees and been stood up once. So here is the next question: why would you stand someone up if youíve spent numerous hours on the computer and the phone with him or her?

At this point, pictures should have been exchanged, and you each know what the other looks like and know quite a bit about each other, unless youíve lied or sent a picture of someone else.

Letís face it -- we are all online to meet someone, and we all know what we what from it, whether it be long term, casual, hetero or homosexual, phone/cyber sex.

Be honest with the person youíre conversing with about your wants and needs and who you really are.

I have a suggestion to you. Letís -- with the help of your readers -- make up an online etiquette list. Iíll start because I have two.

  1. Be respectful and courteous to the others.
  2. If you make a date, follow through with it (or at least contact the person to let them know that youíve changed your mind).
-- SG Ė London

Dear SG,

Iíve been receiving a great deal of letters on the topic of cyber-dating. Letís see what we can do.

You heard the lady; let me know what youíd like to add to our Single in the City netiquette list.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at:

First printed in The London Free Press on January 30, 2003.

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