I used to be the type of woman who would ask a guy out if he hadn’t made a move and I was tired of waiting around. It might have seemed independent and made me feel I was taking control of my romantic destiny, but it came with a price that I’m no longer willing to pay. Here’s why I’ve stopped making the first move:
- I never knew if the guy really liked me. At the back of my mind, there was always the worry that the guy I’d just made a move on wasn’t really that into me. After all, wouldn’t he have made the first move if he was?
- I killed the chase. Although I used to roll my eyes when women would say that they’d always wait for the guy to make the first move, I learned that there’s definitely a benefit to it. Guys like the chase, period. By making the first move, I’d shown them I liked them too quickly and totally screwed up their love of the challenge.
- I felt it was up to me to move things forward. One of the problems with making the first move was that I always felt I was the one leading the guy through the choppy dating waters. This also had the effect of making some guys become lazy. Why should they do anything or keep the momentum going if I had already shown them that I was a relationship work horse?
- An ego stroke does not a relationship make. There was a guy I was really into and I’d called him up and told him that I’d like to go on a date with him. He agreed and was so flattered by my interest in him. Until date three, when he gave me the “I’m not looking for anything serious” spiel. Turns out he was charmed by the fact that someone liked him but didn’t actually want to date me. Ouch.
- The guys had a ‘get out of romance free’ card. When I’d ask a guy out, I’d do so with the intent of actually dating him. But a lot of guys figured they could try their luck and get a fling or one-night-stand out of the situation. It’s such a letdown, honestly. Would have been better if they just said they weren’t interested in anything real.
- I felt desperate, even though I wasn’t. When I’d ask for a guy’s number, I’d try to do so in a flirtatious and gentle way so that I wouldn’t come across as aggressive. But I still felt like the guy was looking at me thinking I was desperate or that I was pushy. It’s a stigma that doesn’t seem to want to die and I got tired of dealing with it.
- I messed with the guy’s plan. By jumping in and making the first move, I stopped the guy’s plan from playing out. I would never know what he would have done if I hadn’t made the first move: would he have flirted with me some more or officially asked me out? Was he just physically attracted to me or did he want something real? If he wanted something real, he would have followed through with things sooner or later. But I would never know what his initial plan was and I could never be pleasantly surprised by it. Yup, I’d ruined the anticipation with my big mouth.
- It revealed a nasty truth about a male friend. When telling a guy I liked him, I was in a vulnerable position no matter how much I tried to guard my heart or play it cool. When the guy was a male friend, the situation intensified. Once, I asked one of my best guy mates out on New Year’s Eve and things were never the same between us again. It wasn’t just that things became awkward, but that the whole situation showed me who he was — and he was not a nice guy because he started putting my friendship on ice. I not only lost the chance to date him, but I lost who I thought was my best friend.