Should Girls or Guys Make the First Move?
By Nichelle Probst
Utah State University is known as a campus where the students thrive off of tradition, but do they believe in all things traditional? Traditionally, guys are the ones to make the first move in dating, but is this a tradition that students at this school hold onto, or is it one that’s dying out? We decided to interview a few USU students to find out what they think on the subject. Through our interviews, we got a wide variety of opinions on the subject.
Many students and faculty members on campus still hold strongly to the traditional roles in dating, believing that men should almost always make the first move. Many held tight to that belief.
One student said, “Men are hunters, you know, like they’re the aggressors, so they have to put a little work into it, otherwise they aren’t going to care that much.”
Another said that she “was taught that [as a woman] you aren’t the chaser, you are to be chased.”
Many other students gave similar remarks, stating they were raised to believe that men should always make the first move, and that women are to be pursued. Many of the girls interviewed believed that if a guy doesn’t make the first move, he really doesn’t care very much or isn’t interested.
One girl commented, “Girls should only [make the first move] in emergency situations.” She and others said that a girl should only make the move if the boy is “kinda wussy,” causing the girl to have to “step up.” This creates a feeling that the only reason a girl should make the first move is if the guy is not holding up to his traditional responsibilities, implying that those roles are still in effect, only that they are a little more flexible.
Other students on campus felt that this tradition is dying, and is based in an idealized scene that girls want to have happen. One student commented, “Every girl wants to have the Notebook happen to them.” Another said, “they have this idealized movie scenery played out in their head and they are waiting for it to happen, but that’s not how it works in the real world.” These people insist that the only reason these traditions still exist is because it is how love is implied in the movies, and girls want those perfect movie scene romances. Many girls feel that they cannot have the perfect romance if they have to do the work themselves.
A few of the boys interviewed felt quite strongly that there should be no difference, that it should be “equal opportunity.” One guy stated, “I think its dumb that the guys always have to [make the first move]… guys shouldn’t be expected to do everything and girls shouldn’t be expected to do nothing but respond,” suggesting that it is even degrading to women to never expect them to make the first move.
Most of the people we talked to took more of a middle ground. It seems that majority of the students took the stance that usually the guy makes the first move, but that it perfectly acceptable for a woman to do it as well. One girl stated it plainly, “If you are interested, just make a move!” Yes, classically the men do it, but if there is a person that a woman wants to date, she has every right to take initiative and ask him out.
In the end, what can we pull away from all of this? Ladies: A majority of men find it perfectly acceptable for women to make the first move. One boy even stated, “I don’t think any guy would turn down most girls that make the first move.” If there is a certain cutie that you are interested in, you can go for it with confidence, as long as you check to make sure he isn’t married first!
Men: This does not take you off the hook. Most people still hold to the traditional gender roles of dating at least to some degree, so a lot of the responsibility still falls on you. Also, bear in mind that many women still hold strongly to the traditional gender roles. There are many girls who simply will not make the first move. So, you might have to “step up” a little and ask her out!
In the end, we see that traditional gender roles in who makes the first move are weakening. They still exist and still shape societal views on dating, to a degree, but they can be worked around confidently. Equal participation from men and women is being encouraged more and more, and is in the process of being more and more acceptable. Who should make the first move? Anyone who wants to.