Why women should make the first move
By Leah Sankey
It’s easy to sit around and wait for a man to sweep you off your feet and it’s been the status quo for ages — but it’s also boring. Gender roles have drastically shifted in other areas and equality has increased, but the perception that men should do the leg work in initiating a relationship has remained mostly intact. I would know — up until my last relationship ended, I felt this way too. I would flirt but I would never directly tell a guy that I was interested or ask them on an actual date. I would wait for them to do it, like I thought I was “supposed” to do. If nothing happened, I’d simply be left wondering. I know I’m not alone.
Merck, a pharmaceutical company, polled over 2,000 heterosexual women between the ages of 18 and 40 and found that less than one in ten women are willing to make the first move.
I had recently ended a four year relationship. It wasn’t devastating or anything, it was just time for it to end. I hadn’t been single since I was 19. It dawned on me that I had forgotten how to be single; so naturally, I downloaded Tinder and Bumble.
I needed to practice dating. Playing the field, if you will. I matched with an attractive guy on Tinder and messaged him, asking if he wanted to grab drinks sometime. I stared at my screen for the next ten minutes. He finally replied, agreeing to my proposition with multiple exclamation points. We didn’t click on our date but asking him out, even from behind a screen, gave me the confidence to do it in other contexts. The next week, I awkwardly told a guy in one of my classes that, “I liked his face and would love to grab a drink with him.” Verbatim. He kindly rejected me and said that he had a girlfriend. Okay so my game needed some work. Even so, I felt strangely emboldened even though pretty-face denied to grab a drink with me.
The guy that I’m currently seeing, I met at a bar. I liked what I saw so I bought him a drink and asked for his number. It’s as easy as it sounds.
There’s no real reason that women shouldn’t be the ones that go for it — and a woman who knows what she wants is undeniably sexy. It’s also worth noting that expecting men to make the first move is extremely heteronormative. Lesbians are forced to be bold. If each woman expected the other to make the first move, they’d be perpetually waiting for something to happen.
A University of California study found that only 25 percent of women aged 18 to 24 would be comfortable making the first move but “72 percent of men are as sick of the status quo as a lot of women are and would love women to be the first to initiate sex.” So, scientifically speaking, being assertive in your romantic endeavors could even boost your sex life. I see no downsides.
It’s easier than it’s ever been for women make the first move. Take Bumble for instance, the dating app where women have to make the first move. Bumble has become wildly popular and aims to eradicate the “damsel in distress” attitude. It’s basically the feminist Tinder.
If you’re uncomfortable making the first move, consider it a challenge and set a goal to overcome it. Doing anything out of your comfort zone is a chance to grow. Not to mention, you’ll be defying conventional gender roles, which is pretty badass. It’s the 21st century and women have the freedom to write their own rules.