How To Make The First Move

November 13, 2017  |  


Call us old fashioned, but making the first move isn’t exactly a tactic that we are used to employing. That might sound obnoxious, but honestly, women have enjoyed the spoils of men bending over backward for them for quite a while.

In high school it was the boys who suggested heading to the homecoming dance or going to the prom. In college, a night out at the bars quickly became hunting season for women who had any number of suitors spit their most impressive (or their saddest) game for a chance at a date. And then well into adulthood, we have enjoyed a casual drink sent over from an admirer across the way or an endearing, yet somewhat awkward introduction in a very unromantic setting (sweaty at the gym, crowded on the subway). And while it’s easy to mock these ambitious Lotharios, trust us you’ll have a bit more respect for them when you decide to take romance into your own hands.

That’s right, making the first move is bound to give us ladies a bit more appreciation for the menfolk than we had in our 20s when hustling free drinks under the pretense of a date or even a brief conversation was one of our favorite games.

And it goes without saying that putting yourself out there in that way can be incredibly nerve-racking and scary, but also wonderfully liberating. Though we’ve covered why we basked in the glory of being the chased after, now it’s time to take a look at why being the chaser can be just as much of a thrill. Sure the lesser feminist in us loves the idea of being fawned over by men. But there’s another part of us that wants to go after exactly what we want, when we want to, how we want to. Whose to say that when we spot a tall glass of water grabbing a drink at the bar that we can’t just go in there and make our move? We don’t need to wait for him to come our way, we can make the magic happen ourselves. But what if you’ve never really been the first to make a move? How do you gain the confidence and successfully make a play for someone’s affections? We got your covered.

In honor of Sadie Hawkins Day today, MadameNoire is happy to share some sage advice on how best to approach a man who has caught your eye in a way that you feel comfortable with.

1. Don’t Bring Reinforcements: We know what you’re thinking. It’s so much easier to swoop in and chat with a guy if there are other people around. You’re out to happy hour with a more extroverted friend so it seems like a no-brainer that you would enlist her help to make the initial intro and get the conversation flowing. But as easy as that may seem and as much as you may want to bring your homegirl in for the assist, we suggest otherwise. There is something very empowering and fierce about being about to seize the opportunity to talk to someone you’re attracted to without using friends or other distractions as a crutch. Plus, it’ll make your approach feel more genuine and honest (and less of a happy hour-induced novelty) if you don’t come with an entourage in tow.

2. Be Yourself: This might sound like the most cliché bit of advice we could serve up, but it very much holds true when it comes to putting traditional gender roles aside and approaching someone you might be interested in. As much as it might seem appealing to play a part to win his favor (if he seems engrossed in the basketball game on TV, suddenly you’re a die-hard NBA fan or if he is rocking a designer suit with the cufflinks shining then you suddenly make about $50,000 more than you currently do), don’t lie just to get his interest. Not only will the truth eventually come out, but you’re cheating yourself out of the opportunity to really extend past your comfort zone. If you’re playing a role, then you’re not really embracing the independence and fierceness that comes with putting yourself out there to potentially meet the man of your dreams.

3. Go For What You Really Want: It probably goes without saying, but we still wanted to toss this bit of advice out there. We’ve all seen those guys out and about who seem to just jump from lady to lady in their pursuit of affection. If they get rejected by one, then we aren’t surprised to see them a few minutes later chatting up another woman. While we applaud their persistence (sort of), we suggest a much more targeted approach. For women, making the first move isn’t always easy, so why expend the effort on a guy that you’re only moderately feeling. If you’re going to go out on a limb, make it for the guy that makes your heart flutter and mouth water. Wait for that special, Idris Elba, Morris Chestnut-like man who has you feeling some kind of way.

4. Keep Things Light and Fun, but Useful: We’ve all been on the receiving end of unsuccessful romantic approaches. The worst ones typically don’t go past an exceptionally superficial level: “Hey you’re hot, blah, blah, blah.” While any first moves should be marked by a fun, light-hearted tone, they should also make some attempt to actually get to know the other person. You don’t need to hear their deepest, darkest secrets, but after a few minutes of conversation you should be able to know a few important details of their life: what they do, where they live, some semblance of what they like or don’t like, etc. Making the conversation feel more substantial will not only help to grease the romantic wheels by making this introduction feel less forced or awkward, but will also give you the opportunity to see if you actually like the person or if they’re all looks and not much else.

5. Don’t Be Discouraged: You’ve mustered the courage, you’ve made the approach, you stayed true to yourself and sadly you don’t come away with the digits or a first date. We can’t say this loud or directly enough: Please don’t be discouraged. Not every approach is coming to result in ever-lasting love, but the fact that you were willing to step out there and go for it is something to be extremely proud of. And as the old adage goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” And ladies, it’s definitely fun to try.

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