The Dos and Don’ts of Making the First Move

According to tradition, boys chase girls, men propose to women, and we need to sit and wait for the right guy to come along rather than going out and finding him ourselves. Well, you know what? Screw that! The year is 2011 and feminism is no longer just a movement, it’s a reality. We get to call the shots now, and if we set our sights on a hot guy, we shouldn’t be afraid to approach him!
We’re all for equality, right? So if we expect a guy to hit on us, we should be able to do the same.  Granted, I don’t mean walking up to the next cute guy you see and dropping a cheesy pick-up line on him – seriously, does that actually work for anyone?? No, the best way to go about making the first move is to follow our tips and listen to the experiences of real collegiettes™ across the country.

girl guy flirting picking up girls dating

DO Be Confident
If there is one trait that people universally find attractive, it’s confidence. A little self-assurance and poise go a long way! When you’re out somewhere and spot a hottie, follow these simple steps:

  • Fix your hair
  • Check your teeth
  • Smile your dazzling smile
  • Talk to him

Dr. Dennis Neder, author of Being a Man in a Woman’s World (what an awesome title for a book) is constantly consulted by women on how to approach a man, and he tells them all the same thing: make eye contact, smile, go over to him, and say something! According to Dr. Neder, “by saying hello, you’re opening the door for a guy to begin his approach with you.” This doesn’t mean you should walk up to a boy and pour your heart out (in fact, don’t do that ever to a guy you just met). You just need to dig deep and find whatever confidence you have, and use it to your advantage. These girls did it – you can too!

“I’ve always typically subscribed to the ‘guys should make the first move’ school of thought, but a month ago I was in a bookstore killing time and I noticed a cute guy checking out the same bookshelf. I saw what book he was looking at and I commented on it. We ended up talking about our favorite books for an hour! We exchanged numbers and have gone out a couple of times.” – Lauren, Carnegie Mellon University

“I approached a guy in line at a bar. I walked right up to him, introduced myself, and asked him to pay my cover. I’ve heard of some girls doing this just to use guys and then never talk to them again, but not me. I was interested in this guy so I made sure I got his attention. We’ve been dating ever since. I think girls should feel confident enough to make the first move instead of the guy doing everything.”  –  Erica, University of Michigan

DO Find A Wing(wo)man
Just in case you don’t have the guts to hit on a guy alone (or you can’t get him away from his pack of bros), enlist a faithful friend to help you out. Odds are you’ve got at least one friend who’s on the prowl just like you, so work together. Talking to a guy is so much easier when you have a friend to hold your hand and entertain hisfriend, and if all goes well, you have another couple to double-date with! Worst case scenario? You and your BFF spend the rest of the night laughing about the encounter and the jerks who missed the chance of a lifetime.

“My best friend is the kind of girl who can talk to anyone about anything, and even though she has a boyfriend, she always plays wingwoman for me. I’m kind of shy, so it’s always great to have her there to keep a conversation going and sort of pull me out of my shell. Plus, I know she’d never try to steal the guy I have my eye on!” - Grace, University of Michigan drinking bar nightlife hitting on picking up women dating couples

DON’T Rely on Liquid Courage
Let me lay it down for you: Having a drink to loosen you up and calm your nerves is good. Drinking enough to make you forget your own name is bad. You want to be confident, comfortable, and coherent, not falling over your own feet and slurring your words. Too many great girls have fallen back on booze as a confidence booster and scared away the guy they wanted to impress.

“There was a guy at a bar that I thought was really hot – way too hot to be interested in me. But my friends dared me to talk to him, so we threw back shots until I didn’t care if he turned me down. Honestly, I don’t really remember if I even spoke to him, but I do remember getting sick, ruining my dress, and definitely NOT getting his number.” - Jody, Boston University

“I drank too much right before hitting on a guy at a party. I kept my act together for a little while, but after a few minutes, all that alcohol started to hit me. It must have freaked him out, because he quickly excused himself and left me with my friend. I see him on campus or at other parties and it’s really awkward.” - Georgia, Montclair State University

DO Be Assertive, DON’T Be Easy
flirting couple out dating picking up women bar nightlife

Confidence is one thing; desperation is another thing entirely. Show off all your best qualities, but maybe don’t include the part about being really good at pole dancing. This applies for girls and guys - throwing yourself at someone isn’t going to get you the results you want, unless what you want is a quick roll in the hay and unreturned phone calls. Making it clear right off the bat that you’re available for him anytime he decides he’s interested is not the right route. It may get you a few hook-ups, but in the long run, he’s not going to have much respect for you, since you don’t seem to have much respect for yourself. The best way to avoid this? Be assertive, friendly, and fun, but if he isn’t responding to your tasteful advances, then move on to someone who’ll appreciate your attention.

“I think it’s fine if girls make the first move. I’ve done it before and still do!  But it’s definitely a give-and-take type thing.  When I can tell a guy has feelings for me, but he just hasn’t made a move yet, I’ll try and hint and get him to ask me out, but if he doesn’t I’ll just ask him.  Then, after that date I leave it entirely up to him to make the next move because that’s how I can tell if he for sure likes me – if he keeps coming back!” – Alexa, James Madison University

“I’ve made the mistake of making the first move, but being too forward. A few too many drinks gave me a little too much confidence and I ended up coming off as a bit desperate. The guy I was hitting on took my number, but whenever I heard from him it was clear he just wanted a booty call. He clearly thought I was up for a casual hook-up, but I’m not that kind of girl.” – Caroline* Temple University

DON’T Let it Worry You, But What Do Guys Think?
Girls might be on board with equality and wearing the pants every once in a while, but what do the boys think of this? Do they like being approached, or would they rather do the legwork? Everyone is different, and not all guys feel the same way about this. Just like some girls would rather die than hit on a guy, some boys would rather not risk that rejection either. But for others, knowing how to approach women is a rite of passage on the road to manhood, and they don’t want us to take that away from them.

“Guys don’t like to be ‘hit on,’ per se. For whatever reason, if a guy feels a girl is being too forward, he is likely to think her desperate or licentious. What guys do love, however, is attention. Whether flirting, conversation, or just positive body language, guys love when a girl is giving him positive vibes. My advice to girls is, don’t hit on guys in the same way a guy is likely to hit on you. Instead, find subtle ways to approach him, an excuse to strike up conversation, or let him know you’re interested in talking. Guys are likely to read this (they’re always looking–hoping! –for these signs) and will make the ‘second move’ from there.” – Ben, Emory University

“I’m a bit shy – I’ll talk to a girl if I really like her, but more often than not I’m too scared of getting shut down to put myself out there. So when a girl comes up to me, let alone one that’s smiling and comfortable with herself, I’m thrilled. Odds are I’m going to try to see her again.” – Matthew, UMass Amherst

“I like hitting on girls. It’s like a game, and it’s always fun to see what’s going to come of it, whether or not I can get away with a cheesy pick-up line, or if I’m going to have a hilarious (embarrassing) rejection story to tell my friends afterwards. It’s a bit stressful, but it’s kind of like a rush, too. On that note, if a girl comes up to me, I’m sure as hell not going to deny her the fun of hitting on me. Plus, it’s a compliment for me, because girls never hit on guys – she must really see something she likes!” – Paul, University of Miami

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