Many guys have asked me “Why don’t girls make the first move?”, often expecting a simple answer. There isn’t one. There’s a multitude of reasons why society as developed in such a way that even in 2016, women are cautious about making the first move.

There’s quite a few different ways to look at this problem. The first, is to say that girls do make the first move. Just not verbally. Whilst a guy is expected to come up and introduce himself, ask for a number or ask the girl out, that doesn’t mean he’s made the first move.

Girls are constantly sending out non verbal signals. She shows you little signs, or does little things to show you that she’s interested in you. You then pick up those signals until there’s enough of them that make you feel confident enough to go up and ask her out.

These signals however can be tricky. It can be anything from constantly glancing your way, then looking away again when you catch her glancing. It could simply be smiling at you brightly. With girls you know, it could be wanting to spend more time with you or taking a sudden interest in getting to know more about you.

The problem with these signs are girls who aren’t interested in you can also give you similar signs from a purely platonic standpoint. Smiling and looking at someone doesn’t equal them being romantically interested in you. Flirting is normally more obvious, but it’s still a problem many men face.

Why don’t girls make the first verbal move?

If we count making the first move as when you go up to someone and ask them for their number or ask them out, then it’s easy to ask why don’t girls make the first move? Is it simply because of the fact we have set gender roles where men are expected to make this move? Why haven’t things become more equal between men and women in this regard?

An important part to remember is that these gender roles are really heavily set. Everything from films, music, advertising and books – the men are always the ones that make the first move. It’s similar to asking why don’t men wear skirts. Men aren’t shown to wear skirts, and so if a man does wear a skirt it’s seen as abnormal and unmanly.

Yes, a girl making the first move can be seen as  unfeminine. In fact, many men find women who come onto them first too aggressive. The gender roles that everyone has already assumed has been suddenly flipped and they are left confused as to what their role is and what they need to do next.

It brings up so many questions in a guy’s head that he doesn’t even realise he’s asking himself. “Will she be the more dominant one? Am I ok with that? Am I attracted to her?”  All these questions fill up the man’s head and brings doubt to the whole situation. This doesn’t apply to everyone, but it does apply to a lot of people.

Am I comfortable with the idea of a women asking me out?

You need to seriously ask yourself this question. Straight away you’ll probably think “of course I would be, why wouldn’t I? It’d be great!”. Everyone thinks that, until they are confronted with the situation. So take a moment to really put yourself in that situation and decide if it’s something you would be comfortable with.

Imagine first of all if it’s a woman you’re already interested in. If you’ve been interested in her a while, will you feel happy that she asks you out? Or will you feel disappointed that you weren’t the one to ask her out?

Next imagine a woman you know, but have no romantic interest towards. How do you feel? Are you happy that she asked you out, or do you feel obliged to say yes? Guys are so unused to being asked out that when a woman does show such active interest in them, they are insanely flattered and often jump straight in when really they’re not interested in that woman. If you say no, you end up feeling awkward anyway.

Now finally imagine a woman you have never met before coming up and asking you for your number. If she’s attractive, great. If she’s unattractive? What if she’s attractive and you think you can sleep with her, but you know you won’t want to be with her in a serious way. Would you take advantage and say yes to her?

Taking advantage

There’s a certain type of man out there who loves it when a girl asks him out. A bad kind of man. This is the type of man that will take advantage of a girl who asks him out as a guilt free hook-up. Douchebags after all have a fantastic way of making excuses for themselves.

The fact is, when you’re not the one making the first move, you have the advantage. After all, you haven’t stated what you want, or your level of interest. So if a girl comes onto you, and you let her take control a little, then you take her to bed, it’s not your obligation to see her after that. You can say things like “I’m not actually looking for that. I’m sorry I didn’t make that more clear.” or “I just got caught up in the moment.”

If you’re thinking “well women can do that when men ask them out”, the answer is yes, women can. But track record shows they are less likely too. It’s the difference between one person sleeping around and called a stud, whilst another is called a slut. Women are therefore a lot more hesitant to put themselves at the risk of such a scenario.

The Chase

Another reason is the tradition of the chase. A sort of mating ritual for humans. t’s part genetic, part habit and many people enjoy it. When a woman makes the first move, a man can feel like he’s missed out on something.

When it comes to love you would think everyone wants the same thing. However if you think about it, men and women want completely different things. We’ve grown up fed on the idea of the prince and the princess.

The princess, ie the woman, wants to be found and rescued by a prince. In every romantic comedy I can think of, the man is constantly doing things to impress the woman. He chases her and he makes a big show of his commitment and love. Women are often subconsciously waiting for a man that will make them feel special and cherished in the way they’ve been taught to idolise.

Men on the other hand can watch the exact same film and see that their role is to overcome challenging tasks. They have to be creative and determined and at the end of their handwork they are rewarded with the prize of the love from their desired.

So for many men, when a woman makes the first move, they are rewarded without having done any work. It feels wrong, or that something is missing. They haven’t put in the emotionally and physical effort that they would have normally, and so they might not be as attached as they would expect.

The chase finally is a great chance for men to decide if they actually really want the girl. It also boosts their ego when they manage to get the girl, especially if she was hard to get.

It’s simply easier

Sometimes the answer is the most obvious. Girls don’t have to make the first move, and so they don’t. It’s easier to wait for guys to come to them. As seen on online dating, the number of men who initiate conversation is way higher than the number of women.

Women generally get more attention from the opposite sex, and have to make less effort to do so. On the one hand, women do have a higher pressure to make themselves look good (makeup, clothing, hairstyle). On the other hand women also have to deal with a lot of unwanted attention.

It’s also easier for women because they don’t have to put themselves at risk of rejection, which no one likes.