11 Times When You Shouldn’t Make The First Move

It’s really no big deal to make the first move on a guy — it’s 2020, for crying out loud — but it can be a problem if the timing is off. Here are 11 times when you should hold back and keep your feelings to yourself instead of putting yourself out there for the object of your affection.

  1. You don’t know him that well. If you want to make the first move on a guy, go on and do it as long as you know what he’s about. Why go through all the stress and anxiety of asking him to coffee if you haven’t even had much interaction with him? You have no idea what he’s like and what he’s looking for. You might end up discovering that he’s so not your type or just looking for a booty call, which is such a waste of your time and energy.
  2. You don’t know if he really likes you. You could ask him out and risk getting rejected or you could be smart about it. If you’re not 100% sure that he’s into you, why bother? You’re just going to feel like an idiot. Feel him out — that’s where conversations come in — to see if he’s giving you signs that he really likes you or if you should save your coffee invitation for someone else.
  3. You’re really good friends. It’s often an excuse when a guy says he doesn’t want to date you because it’ll “ruin the friendship,” but sometimes there are valid reasons why you shouldn’t bring romance to the friendship table. For instance, if you suspect telling him how you feel could make the friendship weird. Or, if you work together, which can make things awkward every day because whenever you walk into the office and see him at the coffee machine looking so hot, you’ll feel like crap.
  4. He’s got someone else in the picture. When your crush expresses interest in someone else, you might feel your adrenaline kick in, pushing you to make a move and get in there like it’s a 50% sale at Gucci. But wait, hold on. If the guy’s telling you about other women, it’s a sign he’s not into you. Abort mission. Walk away.
  5. You know he’s definitely not shy. He’s made the first move on other women plenty of times in the past, so what’s stopping him from making the move on you? If he was interested in your, chances are he likely would have acted on that by now. If he’s not, there’s a reason.
  6. It just doesn’t feel right. You can psyche yourself up to ask him out all you want but honestly, if it just doesn’t feel right to make the first move you should listen to those instincts. It might also be out of line with your personality, so don’t do it. It’s better than doing something that makes you feel really uncomfortable.
  7. You can’t handle the rejection. Sometimes it’s better not to open Pandora’s box. If you know that getting rejected by this guy will totally mess with you and it’s highly likely he’ll turn you down, then it’s better not to go there. Just don’t. Only do something if you’re okay with all the worst-case scenarios that could happen.
  8. You know what he’s really like but hope you can change him. You’ve heard the stories of this guy’s romantic antics and how he’s a player, but you’re still tempted to ask him out. What, do you think that you’ll be the one to change him? If you’re cool with a quick fling or casual dating, then go ahead and ask him out. If you’re looking for something more serious than Netflix and chill, don’t waste your time.
  9. You’re after an ego boost. You really find this guy attractive and getting him to say “yes” to you would really boost your confidence, especially after you got dumped by the man of your dreams last weekend. This is not a good reason for making the first move on a guy ever. It’s like trying to prove something to yourself or looking for someone’s approval to make your day. Forget it.
  10. You want what you can’t have. You really like this guy but he’s got a girlfriend or isn’t into serious relationships. This motivates you even more to want to ask him out. Um, are you sure you’re not just after the chase? Ask yourself honestly: if he were available and could be yours in a second, would you still want him?
  11. You’re not sure how he sees you. He flirts with you and it’s crystal clear he’s into you. But sometimes it feels like he sees you as a potential booty call instead of a girlfriend. If you’re not sure what he’d want from you, don’t make the first move until you have a better idea. Asking him out could make things really complicated. He might say yes to coffee, only to lead you on for a while because he’s just looking for some no-strings-attached fun. Meanwhile, you’re hoping to become a couple. Awkward. You deserve more than a guy who’s just after one thing, so don’t flatter him by showing him how you feel.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.