What keeps women from making a move? (Different question)

I'm not here to lecture women on why they should make a move. I'm asking the question itself.

What is it that makes women feel they shouldn't make a move, or that a man should do it?

Social influences, gender roles? I don't hear much from guys saying what women shouldn't do, so I doubt it's coming from us. Other women, perhaps?


Most Helpful Girl

  • First of all, love the question! So interesting. It actually took me a while to figure out my answer. Knee-jerk is to say fear of rejection, and Anon made a very good argument that it makes a girl look cheap, which I think is also a good reason. But, ultimately, for me there's a whole other reason, and I don't think I'm alone in this.

    It's simply not as fun, not as interesting or exciting! I've pursued, sometimes I've succeeded, sometimes I haven't, but every time I felt similarly. I felt proud, strong, brave, independent. In control. A lioness-on-a-hunt-kind of feeling. And succeeding feels like.. well, succeeding. All of them are nice feelings, but not all that different from the feeling I get when fighting for a new job or moving to a new place. No erotic and/or tender excitement over the whole thing other than the general "omg, my crush is so hot"-tingles.

    But when I am pursued, oh mama. When you see him, the excitement, what is he thinking? Is he going to do something? OMG, he's coming over! You're free to react, to feel all that bubbling excitement, while when you're pursuing you're trying to figure out stuff, analysing, thinking. Empowering stuff, but not as fun. Not exciting. Nervous, but not the good nervous of "he's coming over and I can't quite find my breath", but the unpleasant nervous of "need to do something, what to do, what to do?"

    Longer text than I was going for, but I guess this was a bit harder for me to explain since I hadn't quite figured it out. But in essence, the work of pursuing leaves little time for feeling excited and happy and in love.


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What Girls Said 12

  • Societal norms, fear of rejection, stigma (like, 'oh, you're the kind of girl guys don't come to of their own accord' sort of thing), it might be considered 'masculine' behavior and for the unfeminine, some people just think "it's the man's job" (gender roles), stuff like that.

    I feel like it's changing though, which is good. I'm certainly not the passive type of person who won't make a move herself.

    • 'oh, you're the kind of girl guys don't come to of their own accord'

      That line made it pretty clear. So you feel like if YOU have to make a move, then you must not be attractive enough to illicit attention. That makes sense.

      And yeah, I'm glad it's changing, too.

    • That's the idea, yeah. Glad it helped.

  • For me personally...

    1) I don't have a very high opinion of myself. I automatically assume when meeting new people that they are not interested in me and it is strictly platonic. Unless they make indications otherwise, I just assume that they're into a different type of person than me. I know I'm not the only girl out there with self esteem issues so I honestly think this is one of the biggest reasons why other girls don't make moves either.

    2) The guys I go for have all been confident and outgoing. This kinda goes hand in hand with #1, but if someone who is seemingly fearless doesn't make a move then it's because they're not interested. I know this might not always be true as guys can be confident in most aspects of life but maybe just lose their nerve when it comes to asking out a girl, but for generalizations sake it's easier to assume #1

    3) When I have tried to be bold and put myself out there I've always been shot down. Now I haven't actually been brave enough to do this until AFTER I've passed the platonic friend barrier with a guy, however I seem to always time this move perfectly with their loss of interest and despite my "confirmation" of them liking me get-I get rejected. This one is probably just a personal issue for me rather than a reason for most other women out there

    4) How to go about asking a guy out, without giving the wrong message. For the most part if a guy asks for a girls number it's probably assumed that the girl is interested in hanging out or going on a casual date sometime. With a girl approaching a random guy I honestly don't know what he would be expecting. Would it seem like I'm looking for a casual date/hangout as well?Booty call? New friend? I don't consider myself flirtatious in any way, shape, or form but that doesn't mean that I might not be setting a stronger tone of desire or interest than what is considered the 'norm' in the dating world. A perfect example of this would be this time I asked to exchange numbers with a guy using the exact words "We should hang out sometime". This resulted in a phone call at one AM asking if I wanted to "hangout" for a bit. I don't know maybe I just found a dud, or maybe "hangout" is a secret code word for f*** buddy that I'm unaware of, but either way it confused the heck outta me as to why that was automatically assumed

    5) Studies out have shown that on average men hold more interest in women if they have to pursue them a bit. If there's no chase they lose interest quicker. I don't know how legit these studies are, and in the year 2013 our gender roles have definitely changed-HOWEVER these are the types of articles that are printed in magazines like Cosmo, which women use for dating advice. link

    Heck just google "How to get a boyfriend" and read some of the articles that pop up...more than one will indicate stuff like this. (For the record I don't take this reason seriously for myself

  • Just to make it more complicated now there is online dating, where it is customary for the guy to give out the number (so the girl need not put her number on the internet). In the past the theory that if a guy is really interested in you he will do what ever necessary to get your number or hang out with you. So now the female is making the first move through texting often. Times are changing for better or worse.

  • Personal preference, being considered "easy," worrying about turning off a guy, worrying about the guy getting lazy and never initiating anything, etc. are all reasons I have heard for the girl not making the first move.

    I personally prefer a guy making the first move for things, because a lot are not straightforward about whether or not they are interested, or say they are interested when they keep blowing me off. So, I just say "forget this" and let the guy initiate.

  • Like the one other female to answer this said- stigma and gender roles play a HUGE part. A lot of girls who make the first move get stereotyped, and many women don't want to run that risk.

    There's also the simple factor of women just not being USED to it. We are subconsciously (sometimes not even "sub") raised to expect men to do certain things at this point, and it's considered "ungentlemanly" if they don't. We also are nervous about putting ourselves out there, just like you are, but since we're not used to it, we typically don't even try.

    Finally- we are so used to the idea and habit of guys making the first move, that often if he doesn't, we feel that he doesn't like us anyway, so we don't even bother to try.

    I'm not saying it's right, but it's going to be a pretty hard habit to break. I myself have made the first move, AND waited for a guy to make the first move.

  • Traditionally it's always been guys to make a move and I think that's one of the reasons why. I'm scared I will get rejected as well as looking like a slut if I do that to guys I like. And at least if its the guy asking the girl first, shows he's interested. Otherwise I would have it in the back of my mind that I like him more than he likes me.

    • Welcome to the male experience?

      "I'm scared I will gt rejected as well as looking like a creep if I do that to girls I like. And at least if it's the girl asking the guy first, shows she's interested. Otherwise, I would have it in the back of my mind that I like her more than she likes me."

      That's why we want women to make the move as often.

    • Then I guess it comes down to which ever party is less worried about denting their pride

  • I am a Christian, so I will answer you based on my beliefs. Every woman in the Bible was chosen by the man, he was the one who made the move: Isaiah and Rebekah, Joseph and Mary, Moses and Zipporah, Jacob and Rachel, etc. It was always the Spirit of the Lord the one that guided them toward their wives. However, you have the example of Boaz and Ruth in which Ruth is the one that makes a very strategic movement by bringing some perfume to Boaz feet to get his attention. Of course, after that Boaz made the final movement.

    Therefore, Christian girls in its majority wait paitently on the Lord to show us both how to recognize that we both are a couple and we ask the Lord to confirm that to our guy´s heart so he can act on it. Believe me, I have made the first move a couple of times and the result is a desaster, so I have learned to wait patiently on the Lord.

    That´s me, my faith, and my belief.

  • I guess I'll rehash what most of the other answers here already mentioned and say that for the most-part, it's what society for the most part seems to drill into our minds (that men, not women will propose as well as make a move). It seems to be a gender role that no one until now has ever questioned.

    Also, from the past when I made a move after lots of thought and hesitation, I find that many men claim they find it 'intimidating' when the girl takes the reins by simply telling the guy directly that she has feelings for him.

  • For me it's a combo of a couple things I've never had anyone tell me that girls shouldn't make a move quite the opposite they always tell me I should. What stops me is:

    1) I like to be pursued it makes me feel super special and like the guy is actually into me if he wants to put in the effort to chase me. It's just a nice feeling to know a guy wants to put in the effort to get me.

    2) I'm just scared like an above poster said there isn't much info on how a girl should make a move besides being slutty or super blunt and for girl more on the shy side being very blunt and direct not always the best solution.

    3) how much makes you come off slutty or desperate I've heard guys say it all the time oh she's being so direct she must be a slut or clingy or desperate. We hear it from guys a lot maybe not guys were chasing usually guy friends.

  • For me, it's a combination of two things:

    One, social influences. I hear from guys and adults all the time about how a girl is "creepy" and/or "desperate" if she pursues. It makes me feel kind of uncomfortable with pursuing wholeheartedly. I also always hear about how guys my age are so hard up that they will do anything for sex, which leads me to believe that if they wanted it with me then striking up a silly little conversation would fall under the category of "anything."

    The other is that I'm just plain scared. I have no idea how to approach a guy. Everything I ever hear on how to approach is meant for guys to approach women. Or it's stupid things like walking up to him and grabbing his d*** or basically just telling him to do me or anything stupid and totally whorish like that. No thanks. So I have little expertise and there is little advice available. The only thing women hear about getting guys is to look pretty and wait.

  • There is only one reason why I don't make a move (other than the reason of having a bf). I don't like to date unless I have a chance to get to know the person. Additionally I don't like to date unless I like the guy. Both liking a guy and getting to know him takes me some time. If the guy waited long enough I'd make a move. I liked my current boyfriend for four years, after the first year I made a move. He thought I was just joking...but it took me a year to decide to go for it.

    All the other guys who have asked me out asked me out after a day of knowing me or at latest two months. Two months isn't long enough for me. If they waited I'd either come to the conclusion that I didn't feel for them in that way or I'd ask them out. :)

    I'm a slow mover and that's just me. :)

  • When a guy passes on a woman's advances -- ignores her or brushes her off in front of her friends -- it makes the girl look cheap. There's more than just a bruised ego at stake, there's the girl's reputation, which is usually tied to purity EVEN IF she's not a virgin. Her ability to select a guy to be with holds a certain sociological significance. If he turns her away it's a sign of shame on the quality of woman who she is. If she gets him (short-term) and he leaves, she looks cheap.

    When a girl passes on a man -- ignores him or brushes him off in front of his friends -- it makes the guy look like a dude who's rolling with the punches. When the guy goes back to his friends, the punch him in the arm, offer him a beer, and life goes on. If he gets her (short-term) and leaves, he looks cool.

    Not to say that there aren't hurt feelings either way, or that it takes more/less courage for one to approach the other. It's just that a guy's honor is not completely challenged just because he approaches or doesn't get a girl.

    The standards are just a little different from start to finish... always have been.

    • Fascinating. I haven't thought of it this way, but it makes sense with the old-fashioned "asking a guy out makes you look easy" rule.

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    • Nice description. I suppose that makes sense.

      What about men like me who have trouble expressing interest? I was raised to believe that wanting to date a girl was basically already creepy. If you think she's pretty, you're objectifying her. If you show it, you're already harassing her.

      I thought it was just my imagination, but then I had asked a friend out once, and was accused of harassment and stalking, and received death threats from her friends. I've never felt like my interest was so hate

    • Why "creepy"? If you ONLY think she's pretty but don't value anything else about her, THEN you're objectifying her. If you value her personality (or are dating her to get to know her personality), then you're getting to know her, gradually opening up to her, and ultimately getting closer.

      If someone's seriously accusing you of harassing or stalking, then there's something else to the equation that you're missing. Assess the situation and figure out what led to this matter.

What Guys Said 5

  • First thing - fear from rejection, women are more sensitive than men, thus also more fearful

    Second thing - just objectively, purely aesthetically - most of women are WAY more prettier and better-looking than most of men, thus the pool of women who get approached by men is much larger than the pool of men who get approached by women

  • Because just like men no one wants to put themselves out there and get there feeling stomped all over but yet woman want us to make that first step but there is a small percentage of women that are confident with themselves to do it... I guess that's why the say "you gotta have the balls to do it" lol

  • eventhough Wikipedia is not always accurate, I'm trying to find out if it is the truth or not, because it says on there that Female Gorillas initiate, and last time I checked, we humans are primates like they are, but once again, I will have to research that more throughougly

    • Ohhhohoho.. Now you're entering my domain of interest. haha.

      If you want a real crazy comparison, compare our two closest relatives: The Chimps north of the congo and the Pygmy Chimps, or "bonobos" south of the congo. Two polar opposite societies, but we are equally related to both.

      In chimps, males approach the females, and usually only the best of the best are selected. For bonobos, the females play match-maker, and everyone sleeps with everyone.

    • True but if it is true regarding Gorillas, then if Female Gorillas can do it, so can human females

  • They say that's the way its always been , yet women used to stay in the house and they want to change that ..."Equality"

  • Awesome question!

    Too bad your not going to get any girls to answer it!


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