Making The First Move
By: Britny Montano | Temecula, CA
In this modern world where female voices are being heard in areas that may have been male dominated before, I can’t help but feel there is one area I consistently hear women having less courage in: approaching men. Wherever we might find ourselves - bar, coffee shop, class, etc. - we have no trouble making flirty eye contact, but I’ve found many ladies still expect to be approached first.
In my last year of college I remember seeing a really cute guy across the bar. We had been making eye contact for a while, and I remember turning to my friend asking, “Why hasn’t he come over here or met me at the bar?” Her response, “I don't know. Maybe he’s just shy.” This unlocked Pandora’s Box about the expectation society has of men to be the brave one in these scenarios. I remember telling myself in that moment, “Well, I’m not a shy person. Why don’t I just go to him?” As the nerves rushed over me, I shot back my liquid courage, and slowly made my way to his end of the bar. I think I surprised both of us when my sweaty palm met his as I introduced myself. Also to my surprise, I didn’t die from embarrassment nor was I met with any judgemental hostility - as guys sometimes are from ladies. No this isn’t some love story about how we then ended up married with the white picket fence, but I remember feeling a rush of empowerment. I felt my confidence shoot up, and I’m sure there was a spike in his as well.
"...getting 'rejected' wasn't as soul crushing as I always imagined it would be."
Over time, I started to conduct my own little social experiment when the opportunity presented itself. I began approaching guys instead of waiting for them to make the first move. I noticed every guy I introduced myself to was never rude, and, usually, was quite flattered I took the first step. Even if he had a girlfriend or was seeing someone, he’d politely tell me he was taken but still thanked me for the compliment. Again to my surprise, getting “rejected” wasn’t as soul crushing as I always imagined it would be. Now, before you read that as me downplaying rejection, I will be the first to tell you, each time I approached someone I needed some liquid courage to get my feet in motion. It’s also worth mentioning that the nerves decrease each time but never fully subsided. Either way, my little experiment began turning into a major self confidence booster in my dating world!
My friends began raising their fleek eyebrows at me in question of my actions. I began encouraging them to try it out at least once to see what happens. For the ones who participated in my experiment - also to their surprise - agreed it gave them a small empowerment surge they never really experienced in this department before. I don’t know how many of them kept it up when I wasn’t around adding peer pressure, but the friends I witnessed taking the leap of faith were happy they stepped out of their comfort zone.
If not only for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone a little, I would recommend the ladies that have never taken this leap to try it on for size. At least once. If this is too much to do in person, but you’d still like to try making the first move, try the dating app Bumble. Similar to Tinder with the swiping but only ladies can make the first move when messaging. If this is a new area of interest for you, whatever platform you choose, take the leap and you might just be surprised how you feel when you do.