My Challenge to the Advice That Women Should Make The First Move.

Today I watched a lovely presentation by a woman who gave a multitude of reasons why women should make the first move in approaching potential suitors.  Honestly, she made a lot of great points. She even wrapped up her talk by giving a simple, easy to follow method for starting conversations with potential boo-thangs.

When the video was over, I felt a little unsettled.  Not necessarily because I disagreed with her method, but I felt like there needed to be a little more conversation on how to approach this strategy in a way where the woman avoids any potential pitfalls.

Here's what I mean....
I understand why women are being advised to become comfortable with making the first move.  Some men aren't comfortable in talking to women in real life.  Not to mention that sometimes the only men that come up to us aren't exactly who we're attracted to.  It's tempting to want to take the bull by the horns and go after the guys that we want for once!

As a single woman, I can only recall one instance where I made the first move.  I was barely in my early twenties when I saw a guy who I thought was absolutely gorgeous.  Typically, I'd play coy but on this occasion, I boldly decided to approach him to start a conversation.  He was cordial enough and smiled as I tried to make banter.  Eventually, I walked away with his phone number (he didn't ask me for mine).

Days later, I mustered up the courage to actually try to call him and.......guess what.......he gave me the wrong number.

Yep, that's right, he swerved me.

I had made one of the biggest mistakes in how to successfully approach a man by not gauging his behavior to see if he was also showing interest.

From that day I swore to never approach a man I'm interested in ever again.

The story doesn't stop there....

Years later, I was hanging out with a friend when a car pulled over so the guy in the vehicle could grab my friend's attention.  While they were chatting another guy in the car got out so he could speak to me.  He was all smiles as he tried his best to make a great first impression upon approach.

Except there was one problem.

He wasn't making a first impression because it was the same guy who gave me the wrong number years ago.  The more he tried to get to know me, the more I realized that he had absolutely no idea that he was talking to a girl he brushed off years earlier.  Eventually, I let him in on why I was giving him the side eye the entire time.  At first, he didn't believe that I tried to talk to him but I refreshed his memory by rehashing personal information about him (like his birthday being on Christmas).  Once the truth was revealed he apologized profusely and continued to try to make a connection.  I was in a relationship at the time so I politely informed him of my current status.

I saw him one more time after that. His friend came to visit my friend and he happened to come along.  The entire time he tried to pursue something with me even though he knew I was off the market.  Looking back, I ask myself, "had I experienced the ultimate glow up" that even a guy who knowingly gave me the wrong number was now interested?

Honestly, I doubt that my glow up had that much to do with it.  Perhaps I looked different, but I think the change in his behavior may have to do with the fact most men prefer to be one pursuing.  You've heard it said a bunch of times that men are the hunters.  When I played the hunter role, this guy came off a shy. Truth is, he just wasn't that interested.  Once the roles were reversed, I practically had to pawn him off to another friend (who he ignored) to get him to chill.  When an animal is on the hunt, I'm guessing that certain parts of their brain are stimulated which enhances the experience.  The object he's hunting now suddenly becomes the prize.

If you approach a man, does that make still make you the prize? Maybe, but you could also be seen as an easy kill.  It's important to identify the difference.

When I worked in corporate America, I did a bunch of recruiting.  Sometimes we would screen countless resumes and invite qualified candidates to interview.  On rare occasions, we would go out to recruit potential candidates from rival companies.   Both methods were effective, but sometimes we'd make better selections when the candidates were coming to us.

And I'll tell you why....

When we're approached by people interested in us, we take on the position of power.  Suddenly we are in the driver's seat.  When a man approaches us, we begin the fleshing out process.  Our minds are on the defensive about whether this person might be worth getting to know a little better.  But when we make the first move, the goal is now to secure the next step.  We're no longer judging him as hard was if he were the one to make the first contact.

People who are "recruited" see themselves as desirable those doing the recruiting...and they are.
Often times this meant they didn't have to work as hard as those who sought out the position and applied for it.  I noticed that managers were a bit more lenient with hires that they sought out. They kept them in their positions even when it was clear that things weren't working out.

I'm here to remind the ladies who chose to make the first move to avoid the possible pitfalls of overestimating someone's potential simply based on initial appearances.  It's ok to make the first move, but keep your eyes and ears peeled.  Be friendly, but still maintain your awareness of what makes a person a great fit for you.   A man who's approached by a woman will be flattered. This could lead to him making assumptions about your intentions with him. Approaching a man should only serve the purpose of opening up the conversation.  After that, you must objectively figure out his true level of interest in you.  If he's genuinely interested, don't automatically assume that he's the one simply because you picked him out.  It's important to allow him opportunities to show his interest by making the first move in phone communication, setting up dates, etc.

And please, don't be like the managers who were slow to pull the trigger with bad hires because they were convinced they had an eye for identifying a good fit based on first impressions.  If this guy is a dud, move on and do it quickly.  Do not invest extra time into a man who doesn't view you as a prize. 

It's fine to build up your confidence by experimenting with breaking the ice with men you're interested in.  But once you do, you have to reverse roles immediately to allow him the opportunity to reveal his level of interest.

1 comment

  1. Girl!! I approached my soon to be husband. I didn't do any of this. It's a bit too aggressive for me. I simply told him in a joke manner that he was in my seat. He got up, I sat down and we chatted. He asked for my number privately and took me out two days later. He called me every day and we built a strong relationship over time. Another of my friend sends water over to guys and they usually come over and chat for a bit. It's ok to show you are friendly but I'm not breaking up a bromance to tell you that your handsome and talk to you for any amount of time, but her video was so cute!!


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