Moises: Why don’t women make the first move?

J: Hi, Singlestalk. What’s your stand about women initiating a relationship instead of the traditional way of just waiting for the guy to make a move? I’m an international flight attendant who likes this entrepreneur who I only meet whenever I am in town. He’s in his 40s, while I am in my 30s. Each time we go out, I enjoy his company a lot. And because my schedule does not always permit me to be in Cebu, I wonder if the next time I am in town I should tell him how I feel. Do men like it when a woman makes the first move?

DJ: Yes, I like it. I also like it when I get green lights all the way to work! Seriously, he’s in his 40s and you’re in your 30s. The rules of dating have changed a lot over the years. Women are now empowered than they once were. It’s no longer a requirement for your love story to cast a guy as a default suitor. It’s already a tired narrative that a woman is not supposed to make the first move. We’re now at the age and time when you no longer have to sit back and wait for Mr. Right to do something. You obviously don’t have enough window to just wait around. Yeah, say something.

Why would you let a remarkable relationship possibly pass you by just because society says women should wait? There’s a way, though, to come across as being confident rather than sounding desperate. I don’t suggest that you bring up the idea of marriage at the onset. Once I had dinner with someone I met at a conference. She said right off the bat that all she wants is to get married. It frankly appeared to me that she’s settling with just anyone. Quite fraught. A bit of a turnoff.

Use emotional intelligence. Things can go awkward. You’re going from platonic interactions to a big move like telling him you like him. Just gradually up the ante and pay close attention to how he is responding to you. You can back off if he is clearly not reciprocating. But if he’s into you, he’ll be an active participant. Think of it like a tennis match. You hit the ball. If he hits it back, you hit again.

I find a woman who knows what she wants very much a breath of fresh air. Immensely attractive. I once had a crush on someone. As I walked her to her car, she said, “I was thinking maybe you should ask me out sometime.” You bet I did. And it was the start of a wonderful beginning. It’s nice to take the backseat every once in a while and not have the terror to be the first to reveal how one feels.

Just don’t get your hopes high though. Never assume. While I don’t see you telling him what you feel as weird, his response still depends on whether he likes you too or not. Which is what the case is regardless of gender identity. Don’t overthink. The worst that can happen is nothing. If he doesn’t feel the same way, no need to ask why. Just say okay. Don’t take it personally. It’s better than not knowing one way or the other.

Besides, if he values a woman making the first move, it shows that he appreciates a woman’s confidence. It’s healthy to have a partner that celebrates you when we are living with clarity and courage. If he’s threatened by that, it may be an indicator of personal insecurities or some ingrained traditional beliefs. Not your type.

We never know opportunities might be in front of us until we take that risk. Do you think it’s bizarre if a guy tells you he likes you? Time to level the playing field.