Rams’ Rede: Is it ever okay for a woman to make the first move in approaching a man? What does that look like?
Dear Hesitant Heather,
Since the Second Wave of the Feminist Movement hit in the 1970s, there has been a dilemma regarding straight couples: is it ever OK for the woman to make the first move? Is it the responsibility of the man to be the wooer and the woman the wooed?
The answer, of course, is yes, the woman is allowed to initiate the relationship. No one partner has to make the first move based on something as arbitrary as gender. When the first move is made, it should be based on a combination of heart, gut instinct and rational thought, not on chromosomes.
Dating and romance are not things to be trifled with. They involve more of ourselves and expose more of our hearts than anything except parenthood. For anyone to make the first move, there’s got to be an incredible amount of trust involved, just for that. A human heart is, mentally and emotionally, one of the most fragile things anyone can ever come across, more delicate than porcelain and easier to collapse than a soufflé. People need to think long and hard before they start dating, because otherwise, they might end up giving their hearts away to someone who couldn’t care less.
Good relationships are founded on equality and partnerships, not on one partner pursuing or chasing after the other. This isn’t the Middle Ages, but the 21st Century. The woman is not a prize to be won, or an enemy that must be subdued and conquered, or a prey that must be caught. The woman is the other half of your relationship, and she needs to be allowed to make decisions. It is perfectly all right for a woman to ask out a man, pay her own way or for both of them, initiate the first kiss, be the first one to say “I love you,” and she can even be the one to propose. On the other hand, she’s allowed to say, “No,” if she needs to (and so can men, for that matter), and she’s allowed to break it off if she must.
Love is something that needs the entire attention of both parties. If you find it emasculating that your girlfriend was the first one to suggest dating, you’re in the wrong relationship, and you need to grow up. If your friends are making fun of you for it, they’re idiots and spend too much time looking at women rather than knowing their inner selves. It doesn’t matter who does what first or who pays as long as the two of you grow closer and closer and base your relationship on affection, trust, respect, and maturity.
It doesn’t matter who makes the first move. Do it yourself if you’re certain that the other person likes you as much as you like them.