For most women, the first rule of dating is to let the guy make the first move. Maybe you have an online dating profile and you’re waiting for the first message. Perhaps you’re good friends with someone and hoping you can grow to be more than friends. Regardless of where you’re hoping to meet someone, family and friends alike advise women to let the guy pursue them.
But what if women reconsidered their dating strategy and were open to sending that first message or initiating conversation?
Your parent’s dating rules have changed quite a bit in the last few decades. If you’re a single lady in search of a great relationship, here are just five reasons to consider making the first move yourself.
1. You may just end up going out on a great date
A 2015 survey revealed that the secret to success for women looking to meet a guy is to be the one making the first move. If you’re meeting someone while you’re out on the town, this may mean starting up a conversation. But for women meeting people through their online dating profile, making the first move means sending that first message.
It may be bucking social norms, but it turns out that if a woman sends the first message, things tend to lean in her favor. Studies show that women are 2.5 times more likely to get a response than men if they initiate conversation.
If you get out of your comfort zone and send that first message, the worst thing that could happen is that you never get a response. But on the other hand, the man you message could very well respond and you could have a great conversation that leads to a first date.
2. You break out of analysis paralysis
One problem online daters of both genders can experience when looking through online dating sites is that there are so many options. After all, 66% of singles in the United States alone say that they use online dating as a tool to expand their dating pool. While it’s great to have options, the result can leave you overwhelmed, reluctant to reach out to anyone.
If you’ve experienced analysis paralysis while browsing through dating sites, you’re not alone. Chances are, the guy you’re wondering if you should message is also trying to figure out how to navigate through pages of of people looking for love.
The great thing about sending that first message as a woman is that you break the cycle of analysis paralysis. Not only are you showing that you’re interested in someone and ready to be responsive to messages, you’re making a conscious choice to message specific online dating users. That choice can have huge ramifications in your love life.
“Having too many options causes a sort of paralysis in the decision-making process, which leads to avoidance behavior – i.e. choosing to do nothing at all,” writes Dr. Liraz Margalit, who analyzes online behavior. Sending that first message is a great way to snap out of paralysis and start making decisions.
3. Most guys don’t mind you making the first move
“I personally have no problem with a woman initiating a conversation. Being willing to start a conversation not only shows confidence but it often is a major compliment that this lovely lady actually wants to talk with me and get to know me better,” a man told Monica Gabriel Marshall, a writer at Verily Magazine. He wasn’t the only one who thought along those lines, either.
“I believe it’s hard to find a guy who isn’t flattered when a woman initiates a conversation with them,” another man told Monica in an interview.
So if you’re hesitant to make the first move because you think guys will think less of you, don’t be. Being the one to break the ice and reach out is a great signal of your confidence levels, which can be incredibly attractive to the men you’re messaging.
4. You avoid settling
If you’re meeting people online, that means you’re interested in people’s profiles that are attractive to you. That doesn’t just mean scanning pictures, it means you’re reading people’s profiles and taking interest in their hobbies and story. But you also likely to reach out to people whose profiles are more ‘attractive’ than yours.
One study said that men reach out to women whose profiles are 17 percentile points more attractive, and women send messages to guys who are 10 percentile points more attractive. That means that if you wait for the guys to send messages to you, you may be getting messages from quite a few gentlemen whose profiles are less ‘attractive’ to you then you profile is to them. Again, that doesn’t just mean physical attractiveness, but general attraction to who this person is and their lifestyle choices.
However, instead of waiting for messages to come into your inbox, you can send that first message to someone you find attractive and turn things around. Remember, as soon as you send that first message, results are in your favor. After all, you’re 2.5 time more likely to get a message back from a guy than he is to get messages back from women he’s contacted.
5. It pushes you out of your comfort zone
Nervous that making that first move with the guy you see in line at the coffee shop? Think that messaging that person whose profile keeps popping up will leave you a quivering bundle of nerves? Initiating conversation with them may be exactly what you should do, then.
It’s easy to settle into a comfortable position as a woman and wait to be asked out. In fact, it’s easy to settle for comfort anywhere in our daily lives, whether it be in our work, our faith, or our relationships.
Asking someone out for coffee or how their day is going may cause your heart rate to rise a little. But it also pushes you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to try something new. While it may feel out of the ordinary and strange in the beginning, research shows that those nerves are definetly worth it.
You may just initiate a conversation with a great guy who shares your values. You may be pleasantly surprised to see where that conversation leads you!