Is It Okay for Women to Approach Men

By Sowhatiff “Never Scurred” Jenkins

While women are going around getting all independent and what not, there are still things that remain somewhat traditional…the initial approach.

I know I was once guilty of this attitude: “If he likes me, he will come over here and talk to me (despite my pack of 7 friends, and stank look).” So…yeah…I have learned that that is not necessarily the right attitude to have. Though I touched on this in my Are Black Women That Stank entry, I thought I’d take it a step further.

Women often think that making the “first move” sends certain signals to men. As usual, we are often caught up in over-thinking.

Woman to Self: Omg. If I say something to him, he’s going think I’m flirting.

Self to Woman: Which I am, cuz he is fine.

Woman to Self: He’s going to think I want to have sex with him. I ain’t that type of chic.

Self to Woman: Well, eventually I will give up the draws, but not today…

She has this dialog with herself, and by the time she makes a decision, homeboy has moved on.

But does it have to be like this? Why is it that women feel as though we cannot make a first move? We have been conditioned to think that a man has to take that first step. Well, I posit that this not always the case.

He probably doesn’t think you are a jump.

Unless you want him to. Short of you talking all super sexy as you order your morning coffee, or stroking his chest (or your own) all sensual-like as you converse, you are probably not sending the “let’s take it to the back seat” message. If you are looking to get the jump off jumped off, or not, you are probably hinting at something by a bunch of unconscious signals. Tone of voice. Posture. Distance between you and him. Stuff like that.  Pay attention to the signals.

Your environment matters.

Making the first move in the club is one thing. Drinks are involved. Heavy grinding beats are bumping. Sexy lighting is all around. All of these things factor into the sending and receiving of messages. Speaking to a man at the gym or at some other well lit venue that does not serve dranks, or sell condoms in the men’s room, can impact the way messages are sent, and received.

If he didn’t come up to you first, it doesn’t necessary mean he doesn’t think you’re hot.

This is where learning to chill, and not over think can come in handy. Think about the times where you were not initially super physically attracted to someone, and, minus the snaggle tooth they turned out to be a good catch anyway. He may not have noticed you at the same moment you saw him. Maybe his line up is not on point today. What if his breath is kicking like Kung Fu fighting.  Or he might be shy. ::Gasp:: Yes, sometimes guys are shy.  Try not to get lost in doubting yourself before you know what’s what.

Men like to feel desired too.

The same way we like to be complimented on the effort we took to get all fly, men probably like the same treatment to a degree. I don’t mind telling a man that his button up looks good, or that he has a nice smile. Sometimes, you may engage in further conversation and exchange digits, but often times, you don’t and just part ways. No harm, no foul.

Ladies, don’t be scurred.  Sparking a conversation does not make you look ::insert all the negative things you think here::.  Just be who you are.  Whoever that is (jump off or otherwise) is likely to shine through.

What do you all think about women making the first move?


29 responses to “Is It Okay for Women to Approach Men

  1. It’s the era of equal opportunity! Aight, so maybe not, but I think a woman should be able to make the first move if she is interested in a dude. What action she determines to take in making that first move is going to set the tone for what dude is going to think of her though. Approaching a dude after seeing him dance with a chick and saying “do you always move like that?” as an ice breaker is probably going to make him think you want your walls worked…not that there’s anything wrong with that. But yeah, seize the opportunity and go for yours. I ain’t hatin.

  2. Heres my story: On a Manhattan bound C train at 9 am. In a “two seater” she sat down though being the local the car was very empty plenty of room.

    She noticed in those initial moments when boarding that I was sitting there and with a bookbag-job-ID and button up-jeans and Chukkas (to all you timberland challenged out there-these are the timbs that look like shoes but fit like kicks-even cut like them).

    As is in NYC you dont really “speak”-you acknowledge.

    We did so and thats when I noticed that rich dark skin-her hair and yea she wasnt in “office attire” but something told me “shorty aint no hood rat” and she pretty than a mu’fuka.

    In basically a workout outfit I was curious as to what her story was. Well she must have felt that vibe BUT I dont holla at women on the train she seemed to realize that.

    She made the best move I have had a woman make on me. We all know how you “rock” as the train stops. Well when she “rocked” into me she kept her hand on my knee longer than usual, but she put her RIGHT foot slightly over my left one and never moved it…she followed my foot when I moved it, after the second time I spoke.

    This took about 10-15minutes.

    She didnt get cute and act coy and indifferent she was sublte yet effective. Heck what ever happend to asking a man “what time is it” just ot break the ice, especially if its apparent he hasent noticed you.

    But say I have and you have no competition (like early morning at a bookstore) but I still have made no move then what? Well again I say speak-say something-anything, introduce yourself, find something interesting about me and bring that up or if I have a book you read or just think is interesting (All Gods Children…men should stop brothers they see reading this book).

    Truth is I can be so caught up in a book or writing on my blackberry (obviously on the train) I dont want to break the concetration UNLESS its to talk.

    Overall I dont see the problem beyond getting him to notice you…now Courting is HIS JOB.

  3. I think sometimes you have to just take a deep breath and say okay this brother’s fine “Hello” and a smile. I really think a smile is the best ice breaker from woman to man and even vice versa because it shows that you’re a happy person. I learned in high school that one smile can change a person’s day and who knows that person might be your future mate!

  4. If I’m at a crowded sports bar or lounge, and especially if he’s surrounded by his friends, I like to send him his drink via the bartender.

    Has worked quite a few times because he knows I’m interested and he feels compelled to come over and say thanks.

    Of course it can backfire too. LOL! He could just nod his thanks from 10 feet away and keep it moving!

  5. Vanessa aka Miss V

    i’m usually the one who likes to play coy, and wait for the dude to approach. but these days, it’s very hard for me to meet a dude i actually like. with said, i think that i def have to muster up the courage to approach the dudes i am attracted to, instead of hoping that they will notice/holla at me. i feel like i will have to be a little creative with it, though… def don’t want to put out the wrong msg!

  6. “If I’m at a crowded sports bar or lounge, and especially if he’s surrounded by his friends, I like to send him his drink via the bartender.”

    I have never, ever, seen or the been the recipient of such. That’s an excellent way to get a dude’s It’s refreshing to not be surrounded solely by chicks standing in proximity of the bar waiting for a dude to buy them a cold one while he hopes he can pour her a stiff one later that night.

  7. this post makes me happy to live in the south…here in Atlanta, everyone just says HEY!

  8. Yea..including the LAMES and “Yup in my White Tee’ers”…no thanks…lol

  9. Senor RightCoastLexSteele bka God's Gift to Humanity

    It might be a north-east, primarily a NY thing. South of the Mason-Dixon the lady folk are so friendly and always like your NY swag. Maybe they are just nice when you visit, it might be a different situation as a resident, who knows…

  10. WithRainbowSprinkles

    I, too, was once a “no way I’m going over there” kind of girl and I guess in a way I still am, but I’m all about putting yourself in the right place at the right time like the girl who sits beside you on the train, the one who has ordered all her drinks beside you at the bar, or the one who is using the machine next to you at the gym…either way the initial approach happens, I agree with temps, in that the courting should definitely be on him…

  11. Sowhatiff Jenkins

    I feel like “courting” comes after the initial encounter…i.e. initiating a date, phone calls, etc. My issue with home girl on the train…she could have made herself look really silly by rubbing up on homeboy and then, lets say, he just bounced when his stop came. Now she is left feeling some kind of way about the indirect “rejection” because she didn’t say something…

  12. Just smile and say hello it won’t hurt..

  13. B/c a dude doesnt holla DOES NOT mean he isnt feeling you. There are so many woman that i see everyday that are absolutely gorgeous and I just cant holla at all of them. Furthermore, he might of just got shot down and thus his confidence is down.

    I remember this one time when a jawn (and she would be mad if she knew i referred to her as this) holla’d at me. It was my bday and i was done off of 50 cent drinks and huge $7 margaritas. And we flirted but i dont remember it and then the next day she hit me on facebook and then we started chilling. I know this isnt a good story but i think she holla’d at me. LOL

  14. haha @ brownskin…you must be an ATL transplant b/c the white tee’ers are some of the best 😉

  15. intellectualhedonist

    while I agree that there is nothing wrong with being the first to approach the guy, either with a smile or by sending him a drink via the bartender, we as women need to stop traveling in packs. Occasionally venture around the spot alone, go for a walk alone, to the ladies room alone, and even go out to a venue alone (if that would be too overwhelming, get to the spot an hour or half hour earlier than the girls you are going to meet up with). The mark of a truly independent woman is that she doesn’t need people and can stand on her own.

    As for me, my wing-man is a man. One of my boys. He and I chill meet at locations for drinks and are able to have a great time. Usually by the end of the night we have bought rounds of drinks met new people, men and women. Arrive by yourself and leave by yourself (unless you meet someone and wish to leave with that person)

  16. intellectualhedonist

    oh yeah I forgot to add~”Courting is HIS JOB”

    after the initial contact we need to chill, let him do his job. let him call you, or text you, or ask you out again. Don’t press it, initially.

  17. I was gonna quote one part of intellectual’s comment, but the whole thing is an excellent Very well said.

  18. intellectualhedonist

    @ slimjackson~thanks

  19. I kind of like that buy a drink idea. Never thought of that. I am victim of that “He’s not that into you,” book. It has forever made me scared to hit on ANY guy for fear that I’m just another lame chick and he doesn’t care, if he did he’d initiate all contact.

    Yes I know some guys won’t even though they want to. It’s hard though.

    Also, this summer in chi, I went to a bar an hour early when meeting w/ a guy friend. Sat at the bar for the entire hour, smiling, trying to look approachable…I got nothin for about 55 minutes and then an older dude started chatting with me about politics (he was in his 50’s). I was so bummed. I kept thinking here I am finally, taking the risk, sitting here alone..andddddd nothing.

    Hey I’m not a quitter though I’ll try it again someday. I am not a typical girl that has 10 girl friends I travel with. I have about 2 girl friends and a whole lot of guy friends so I’m much happier by myself or with 1 really good friend (guy or girl).

  20. Oh side note. The best guys I’ve met have been in class, at conferences/trainings, or at work.

  21. i never had a problem with women in packs. I just be like..

    Honey check it
    Tell your friends… to get with my friends
    And we can be friends .

    Shit we can do this every weekend.

    Ayite? Is that ayite with you?

    Yeah… keep bangin..

    – Gs&B

  22. THE MAIN REASON females don’t holla at dudes is b/c they lack this thing called SELF-ESTEEM! If a female was to get rejected the amount of times a dude has been rejected in his life she’d never leave the house ever again. Now if the ladies could get the self-esteem together, they could possibly go on a baggin spree. Besides, guys like confident/sometimes arrogant females.

  23. Seattle Washington

    That is true Brooklyn’s Own, there are plenty of young ladies who refuse to do the Sadie Hawkins thing for fear of being shut down. Call me selfish, but I’m all about making dating life easier. If I’m at a spot, I’ve more than likely had a few drinks in me, my judgment is questionable due to Mr. Jack Daniels and/or I might enjoying the music and good company. In other words, I’m doing my own thing. So if you ladies want to give me some sort of hint short of opening your legs and turning on the neon signs pointing to the goods, it’ll be much appreciated.

  24. Yeah…Many women love to go into “baggin'” because we frequently get approached by a lot of un-eligibles. However, Brooklyn’s Own is correct. It’s definitely a fact that many of us are afraid of the rejection issue and more the fact that women don’t want men to think they’re easy. It usually doesn’t turn out to well if the woman does the chasing and the man is the chased one. However, there are particular ways to get around this dilemma by playing the “hot and cold” coquette game which I am becoming better at playing with each test subject. LOL. Shower them with attention and then just turn it off with no reasonable explanation. Works better if they are attracted to you and you keep the attention-showering down to a tolerable, non-annoying level. In my experience so far, the guys become the chaser after I chased them just a little bit. Yes, I guess one day I will have to stop playing games, but right now I am having way too much fun with them. I need to stop reading so much Robert Greene.

  25. To Sowhatiff Jenkins:

    Life is about risk. Crossing the street, riding a horse,playing football are all risky.

    Getting that cute but distracted guy on the train to notice you. Men play on splitting risk and degree of risk.

    So Shorty telling me no is the extent of my risk , ego’s are like bones they become accustomed to the pounding.

    So I can be dissed cold its like the kung fu dude punching the concrete and not breaking a bone…BUT no man likes to be rejected by women…but we are willing to take that risk especially if she is really turning us on…

    Now will women do the same for men?

    Can a women really sit there day after day knowing Dude has comp but she’ll just “hope” he’ll holla and ignore all those other pretty women. Well hope came when you first saw him now hope is saying DO SOMETHING. Now Shorty on the train, she could have in typical NY way asked a “subway related question” such as “this train stops at 59th street, right?” .
    Despite there being MAPS all over the train.

    All I am saying is segue, kick game, bat a freaking eye…smile:) still works.

  26. I am convinced more now than ever that MEN ARE NOT SHY. Don’t fall for it ladies. He will find a way if he’s interested. There seems to be a fine line, however, between encouraging his interest and outright breaking the rules.

    Think of the peace of mind you will have when a guy is pursuing you for for real. No guesswork involved! And I believe you can’t let something go that wasn’t yours or supposed to be yours to begin with.

  27. Krystaliah….gotta say that I disagree. Men can be shy/standoffish/whatever you wanna call it. The “He’ll come over if he’s feelin’ enough attitude” can be sensed. It turns some of us off early in the game. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…

    Equal Opportunity.

    Within reason of course.

  28. Senor RightCoastLexSteele bka God's Gift to Humanity

    “Men like to feel desired too.”

    Nuff said.

  29. I have to add this: I feel a lot of this “if he is really into me he’ll approach” is borderline cockiness.

    Is is that your SHOES and HAIR + NAILS and T&A (oh and yea your degree and independence) is just ALL THAT, so “he better reckonize”. In a crowded place with other women around I have but there are other women that are NOT being coy, i suppose they “ho’s”. In the public I have noticed your new hair but we are strangers in the street…when we make eye contact if I get NO SMILE but a plain Jane look or a mean mug..”if he’s really into me” has left the building.

    And like I said TO BE YOUR MAN HE MUST COURT!!! But damn complimenting he shoes and break the ice-thats really too much for some of you women to do?

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