Everyone knows that men are hunters at heart.
If you don’t run, they can’t chase.
So play hard to get, keep him on his toes, and don’t let him know you’re interested.
This is classic dating advice.
Your mother probably practiced it. Your grandmother probably practiced it.
And it probably worked—generations ago.
But what about now?
Cut Men a Break
In Match.com’s annual Singles in America survey, they found that most men (91%) feel comfortable with being asked out by a woman, and most men (65%) have been asked out before.
Men today are getting tired of always being the pursuers.
A study of college-age men found that 72% wish their partners would initiate sex more often. They’re fed up with always being the one to show desire. THEY want to be the objects of desire for a change.
#MeToo has made it even more important for women to make the first move. Many men hold back, because they don’t want to presume she’s interested when she’s not. It’s a relief when a woman frankly admits she’s into him.
In fact, there’s a whole genre of dating advice that teaches men how to turn the tables on women so women are the ones pursuing THEM. Yes, men want to be pursued!
The Truth about Desire
Does it emasculate men when a woman is bold?
That’s what we’ve been taught, but it doesn’t align with what we know of desire.
Have you been on one of those dates where you’re both being so careful not to act TOO interested that the date falls flat? If he isn’t sure you like him, he’s not going to see you again.
What we know from science is that people like people who like them. Liking someone is one of the best ways to boost their attraction to you. Your desire gives him permission to feel his desire.
Rejection isn’t a Sign You’re Doing It Wrong
But maybe you’ve had the opposite experience.
You let a guy know you like him, and he runs.
That hurts. A LOT.
But think of it this way…
As women step into the role of being agents of desire—rather than objects of desire—they’re discovering an inconvenient truth that men have been dealing with for hundreds if not thousands of years:
When you make the first move, you run the risk of rejection.
Men get rejected a lot more than we realize. We’ve been protected from that by sitting back and letting men do all the work.
In some ways rejection is harder for women than it is for men. It comes up right against another sacred cow of femininity: people-pleasing. Our job is to make everyone happy. So when a man doesn’t want us to make him happy, it stings.
We need to learn what men learned long ago.
It’s OKAY if you’re not everyone’s cup of tea.
It’s not your job to attract every man. It’s your job to attract the RIGHT man. The one who clicks with you, not the one who needs to be convinced of you.
And if you spot him before he spots you, you’d be a fool to sit on your hands and risk losing him forever.