Who Has It Harder in Dating: Guys or Girls? 4 Arguments and Remedies

dating matches


I was talking to a few of my friends on the way to Japan from Beijing (had some down time en route…like a lot) about whether dating is harder for guys or girls.


Who gets the short stick in this game of sparks we call dating?

4 Reasons it is Harder for Guys and what Girls Should do to Help:

  1. Guys have to make the first move and put themselves out there emotionally without any agreement of reciprocity.
    • So girls, make yourself a little more available if you’re intersted.
  2. Guys have to pay for dates. While girls get free dinner, guys get to use a few hours of their pay to fund it. I’ve calculated my total dating expenses once…and never have again.
    • So girls, express gratitude.
  3. Guys have to plan dates that are fun, but not too fun so that they fall in love with the date and not them.
    • So girls, if there is something you’d really like to do, throw out a few suggestions in the planning or pre-planning phase.
  4. Guys have to follow up and guess if the girl likes him with being confident, but not too pushy. Tough balance.
    • So girls, send a post date text and tell them that you’d love to see them again.


4 Reasons it is Harder for Girls and what Guys Should do to Help:

  1. Girls have to wait for a guy to ask them out (granted, they CAN do the right things to get asked out…but no one seems to take that advice.)
    • So guys, stop being obtuse. Take the plunge if you think you’re getting the signs.
  2. Girls have to suffer through dates they don’t want to be on. Can you imagine spending your time with someone who is painfully dull? (granted, some people call that alone time…)
    • So guys, have questions that will help you get to know them and stop talking about yourself. Read how to Win Friends and Influence People more and your last year’s birthday comments less.
  3. Girls have to have a date paid for by a guy they will never want to see again.
    • So guys, don’t take first dates to elaborate and expensive activities. It is awkward.
  4. Girls have to reject guys.
    • So guys, don’t take it personally. Know that it is okay when you are rejected. It doesn’t mean that you are terrible, but that it just isn’t going to work out. Be cool about it and maybe her mind will eventually change…but don’t count on it.


So in the end, I don’t really think it matters who it is harder for. (Why yes, that is a dangling preposition, thanks for noticing)


Each gender plays their own role in creating this very difficult thing we call dating. What that means is that we should all seek to be a little kinder and a touchmore understanding. We’re all in this dating boat together, so date selflessly.


Ask yourself if what you are doing is making dating harder for the other person and let’s stop worrying so much about ourselves. It is good to practice this selfless thing now anyway, for I have, on really good authority mind you, that this perspective of charity will make for a great marriage (Gordon B Hinckley, “The Women in Our Lives,” Oct General Conference 2004).


7 thoughts on “Who Has It Harder in Dating: Guys or Girls? 4 Arguments and Remedies

  1. I like what you have to say, but I’d add a couple points:

    1. Women in the US, on average, are paid $0.77 compared to every $1.00 a man makes. Maybe I’m biased, but having worked with several guys who slacked off in the office and in general dress and attitude were much less professional than me, but were still promoted over me…you guys can afford to pay for the dates.

    2. Guys, just because you don’t like a girl romantically doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve to be treated nicely. This happened in my ward on Sunday…we had a “linger longer” after church, and it included a game where all the guys put their ties into a bucket and each girl picked a tie, and the guy would go sit and have lunch with the girl who picked his tie. A couple guys in my ward were being really obvious about the fact that they had zero desire to pair off with the girl who picked their tie; one guy jokingly remarked that he’d rather just lose that tie than admit it was his. Don’t be this jerk. The other girls in your ward are watching you and making a mental note of how you treat women in general. If you’re asking girls out and getting rejected, take a look at how you treat the women around you that you’re not interested in.

    3. If you ask a girl on a date, HAVE A PLAN! I don’t care if the plan is to go for a walk; just have a plan. There is nothing more annoying than being asked out, picked up, and then expected to come up with the evening’s activity at the last minute. Don’t be that guy who picks the girl up and is like “Soooo what do you want to do?”! And please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t expect me to be jazzed about going mini-golfing at 27 years old.

    1. 1. The figure of 0.77 to every 1.00 a man makes doesn’t fit very well into the dating world. Sadly it’s a true figure, but for your argument you neglect the fact that this is more a career field figure. Most guys I know aren’t in a career, and I’m 30 years old. Fortunately, hard work has prevailed for me, but most of my peers struggle between jobless and minimum wage praying for at $10/hr wage. That’s not much considering living wage for a single person in Clark Country (Washington) is $10.72/hr. When you get into these low figures, men and women make pretty close to the same. I’m pretty sure it’s still less, sadly, but the point is to have a little gratitude, especially when those $10/hrers are taking you out. A good date costs them even more.

      2. Absolutely. You are right. What’s a crazy thing though is that how do these guys get girlfriends? Every single one of “those” guys has a girl interested in them including the girls illustrated in your example. How do nice guys not finish last? How do you balance confidence with humility?

      3. The article makes a good point about this being one of the guy’s difficulties in dating. Lets me just reaffirm what the author has said, coming up with a plan sucks. I have wasted so many amazing date ideas on dates that went no where. Now I have to keep coming up with new ideas? Sorry, but this is too hard. Maybe I’ll just reuse some of my old date plans. suddenly the plan becomes so much less awesome and special. Well, at least there is always mini golf… *sigh*

      Did you notice this article was written by a man? Not because what he says about the expense of dating, but because all the girl’s difficulties hinge on the guys difficulties. Men, have to ask out girls. Girls, have to wait for guys to ask them out. Men, have to spend money on a date that may not go anywhere. Women, have to have date pay for them, even if they don’t like them; also, have to sit through dates they don’t like. Etc… Is like to know from the ladies point of view, what Really makes dating difficult? I don’t mean to be so brash, but in asking out girls, my experience has just been that they aren’t being asked out by the guy they are interested in, forget the fact that I’m interested.

      1. Jacob,

        I apologize in advance for the sheer length of this. Wow! It took a few days to think over and write, and I requested the help of some friends, but since you asked, I’m taking that request seriously:

        1. I’m holding my ground on point #1. I’m not yet in my chosen career either, but the wage gap still effects me, and I’m only $4 above minimum wage. 30% is a fairly sizeable difference; and while I’m grateful when a guy pays for my dinner or my ticket to a movie or whatnot, and I do say thank you, I’m also not going to shower him with praise for doing so, mostly because I think it’s what’s culturally expected and fair under the circumstances. I think it’s a bit weird, to be honest, when guys make a big deal out of paying for their date, as though it’s a burden, because I’m aware that one day I want to be a stay-at-home mom with a husband who works to support that family structure, and the thought that he might consider that a burden as well makes me uncomfortable.

        2. As far as dates, I would absolutely recommend that you reuse date ideas. Have 5 or 6 standard dates that you use and reuse all the time. I am being honest when I say it really doesn’t matter to us as long as the company is good. Go to the park and feed ducks, go for a walk, make pb&j and play a board game, go to the batting cages, go hiking…it can be as cheap as you want, but if you have chemistry it will work out. Especially if you’re going on multiple dates a week with different girls, keep it simple. The point of it all is to find out if you like each other, and that doesn’t have a dollar amount required. The dates I go on are pretty much the standard dinner + a walk/drive while talking. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a date where the guy spent more than $20 on me, and I’ve been on several that didn’t spend anything. Save the special dates for when you’re in an official relationship, rather than the still-feeling-each-other-out stage of dating.

        Also, if there’s anything girls hate, it’s the phrase “nice guys finish last.” Mostly because we’ve heard it a million times, and it implies that we’re just so gosh darn incapable of using the critical thinking skills in those pretty little heads of ours to figure out who to date. There’s a cultural attitude these days that guys seem to think they deserve something special for being “nice;” this isn’t actually nice at all, and one of the general rules among girls is that if a guy self-describes as “nice,” the odds are pretty high that he’s actually a jerk.

        Are there girls who date guys who are completely awful? Yes. Do the majority of girls do this? No, relatively few girls are willing to put up with being treated badly. As far as balancing confidence with humility…I assume you’re referencing the guy in my ward I mentioned (and for what it’s worth, he’s handsome and charming when he wants to be, but the girls in the ward see through him; he’s not getting dates from these girls). Confidence is attractive; conceit is not.

        3. To answer your question from a girl’s perspective, what really makes dating difficult:

        Keep in mind that this is all coming from my own experience, and that another girl’s might be different (although I’ve discussed this with a handful of friends and sisters in my ward, so I don’t think my experience is at all uncommon; but I will admit it’s not the only experience).

        Mormon men, to me, seem to fall into 3 categories:

        1) Worthy, wants a relationship, has attainable expectations.
        2) Worthy, wants a relationship, has unattainable expectations.
        3) Not worthy, wants a relationship, has attainable expectations.

        (there’s probably a 4th category of not worthy, wants a relationship, has unattainable expectations, and a 5th of any guy who doesn’t want a relationship, but we’re gonna stick to the 3 groups, cause that’s who Mormon girls are likely to be dating)

        Group 1 are the guys who find their spouse and get married fairly easily; they might date a handful of girls before finding the one, or they might marry their high school sweetheart. They probably got married at or before 25 years old. There are a handful of these guys still floating around after age 25, and they’re working towards marriage.

        Group 3 are the guys who usually ask me out. They’re nice, and funny; they’re great to spend time with. We have tons to talk about. We are comfortable together. They take me on nice, fun dates. They are members of the church and talk positively about the gospel, but a few weeks into a relationship they admit they aren’t willing to live the church standards. They want a relationship with me, but they want that relationship to be much more physical. At that point we break up.

        I’m torn on these guys, because as boyfriends they’re great…except for the dishonesty about their church standing and the pressure they put on me to be intimate. They’ll probably end up marrying a less active girl or a non-Mormon, and though they lack the blessings of the church, they’ll likely still end up being a good husband and father. If these guys were willing to follow the commandments, more Mormon girls would be happily married.

        This is where I think the hardest part of dating comes in. Groups 1 and 2 are the guys that Mormon girls want to end up with. The problem is that Group 1 is likely already married, or seriously dating/engaged. There are some single stragglers from Group 1, but the competition is high and they always seem to be in a relationship before you can manage to introduce yourself. Group 3 we like, but they can’t/won’t give us the eternal family we want, so they’re out. And Group 2 are where most of us single ladies are struggling.

        Group 2 are the guys who can’t differentiate high standards from high expectations. Temple-worthy is a standard; a petite C-cup with a button nose is an expectation. These are the guys who, on a scale of 1-10 might be anywhere from a 2 to an 8, but without fail expect the girl they marry to be no less than a 15. They’ll express interest in you for a while, even admit they have feelings for you, but if a ‘better’ girl comes their way, they’re gone and you are history.

        Group 2 wants everything, and can never settle; they want their girl to be strong in the church, a regular temple goer, well-versed in the scriptures…but a little bit risque, a little bit slutty. A girl who is just sexy enough with them, without compromising her standards; will go right to the edge of what is appropriate in dating, but not cross the line. They want a girl who is smart, but not smarter than them. They want a girl who is pretty and in great shape…but who eats junk food with them while playing video games. They want their future wife to have a constantly clean house, perfectly behaved, well-groomed children, and her pre-baby body back before the kid hits 3 months old; they want to come home to a gorgeous, happy wife, smiling kids, and a hot, gourmet, home-cooked meal. Group 2 wants a fantasy, not reality.

        Group 2 breaks off into two sub-groups, which, to be blunt are usually (but not always) broken out by the attractiveness and/or social skills of the guy:

        Group 2A are either slightly less attractive, or slightly more socially awkward; the only girls they ask on dates are girls they would describe as their “dream girl;” and when this girl says no (either before or after the date), they end up complaining that “none of the girls I’m interested in are interested in me” and the solution to their problem is right there in the complaint. There are girls interested in them, maybe a slightly chubbier girl, or a girl with a flatter chest, or a girl with less perfect fashion sense, or a girl who doesn’t feel the need to wear makeup every day, or whatever quality that doesn’t meet his expectations. Still attractive girls, worthy temple-goers, and the type of girl that Group 1 would consider a catch if they hadn’t already been caught themselves…but Group 2 aren’t interested in these girls. They want a different girl. A better girl. They’re not willing to lower their expectations and date the girl who is actually interested in them, even though she meets all their standards.

        Group2B guys are either slightly more attractive or charming, and they are the guys who date and break up with every girl who will go out with them. They can’t commit. They refuses to “settle” and they keep waiting for a girl who is “the whole package.” What they don’t realize is that she doesn’t exist. They’ve had several relationships that could’ve led to marriage, but they couldn’t give up on that idea that a better girl might come along later. The girls they date will move on and find someone else and eventually get married and have a family while he is still dating everyone he can, looking for that elusive “One.”

        So here is what the hardest part of dating is for me, as a Mormon woman: I’m temple worthy, I love the Lord, I’m funny, I’m smart, I’m charming, I’m loving and nurturing, and I have a body/face that is certainly not magazine-worthy, but which has received numerous compliments from Group 3 and a handful from Group 2. And yet, I continue to be single, not because there is something wrong with me, but because the guys who ask me out are either not worthy to take me to the temple, or would only consider marrying me if no one better came along. A lot of LDS girls are aware that this is how guys view us, and it creates a lot of problems for us.

        For me, I have a lot of doubt about future relationships; how can I be sure that once I’m married my husband will stop looking for someone better? If guys are constantly going after the thinner/prettier/more stylish/more charismatic/whatever je ne sais quoi it is that men are looking for, how can I trust that that’s going to end when I’m married to him? What if I gain weight while pregnant? What if the baby cries for 30 hours straight and I look haggard and haven’t put on makeup or changed out of my pajamas by the time he gets home from work? What if I’ve spent my entire day talking to toddlers and have nothing substantial to add to conversation when he gets home and wants to talk? What if I’m too tired to have sex with him? If it matters to him now, it will matter to him then. How can I trust these guys with my heart if they’re measuring my value by my ability to attract them and turn them on and keep their interest?

        In writing this, I definitely acknowledge that there are girls who do this to men, and I believe that it is just as harmful; I know a girl who refuses to date any guy without a higher degree or a certain baseline salary, for example, and I think it’s sad to look at how many great guys she has passed over because they don’t meet those expectations. But I think this expectations-over-standards problem is primarily a male issue.

  2. everything is still totally centered in a girl’s favor the only reason? well God never gave them balls.Biological and obvious. A girl or a boy it doesn’t matter they should be treated on their merit. Passive women are always a turn off.

  3. I’ve had women insist on paying half before, even though the date went well, and others that were just friends yet constantly begged for free stuff because other guys pay for them. Having people offer you free food/drinks all the time is probably annoying, but really isn’t some major hardship… Guys have to suffer through bad dates and reject women as well, so those don’t really count as a dating hardship either. Waiting for the guy to ask is a social expectation most women follow and then give up if he doesn’t ask, but realistically most guys really don’t care if the girl asks them on a date. I’m sure some of the things on the guys side apply to women as well; women follow up all the time if they are interested, so that one definitely doesn’t count.

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