There is a pretty impassioned hash-out going on at Boundless on the topic of why men don’t ask women out. (Yes, Boundless went to that well again. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.) As per usual, it’s a veritable cornucopia of insights into the modern evangelical female mind and young, evangelical relationships (or the lack thereof) in general.
One point that was brought up in the comments is that men risk their reputations when asking out women from a certain church. If a man screws up his courage, asks out a woman, and she shoots him down, he is then socially obligated to wait an undefined period of time before asking the next woman out from the same group, lest he be pegged desperate, creepy, or undiscriminating (i.e., a wannabe player). The risk factor is high, because one wrong move can decimate his chances with anyone for a long time. No woman wants to be some man’s back-up plan when the most attractive option flames out.
When the topic has arisen on my blog, usually the proposed solution is just not to date women from your own church, thereby sidestepping the possibility of social ostracism. (Of course, if you happen to find someone from another church, the single women at your own church will just despise you for not finding any of them up to your lofty standards. Or, if they find the girl not up to snuff, they will decide that you like to slum.)
Given women’s hypergamous natures, however, I started wondering if more church women would say yes to a date with a man who had just been out on a date with another woman from the same church group. Getting rejected by a girl in the group serves as a pretty unavoidable and obvious DLV. If Jim Bob asks out Sue on Sunday for a date on Tuesday, and she rejects him, there is a very tiny probability that Wendy will say yes if Jim Bob asks her out on Wednesday after singles group.* Wendy would likely cite the abovementioned reasons for rejecting him, but isn’t her hypergamous hamster the real reason? Conversely, getting accepted for a date would be a big DHV and make a man more attractive to the other women in his social circle. If Jim Bob asks out Sue on Sunday for a date on Tuesday, and she accepts, wouldn’t Wendy be more likely to accept a date from Jim Bob as well when he asked on Wednesday? Someone needs to do a study on this.
* Exception: Wendy has a pre-existing crush on Jim Bob and is doing the happy dance on the inside that she’s finally getting a shot at her dream guy.