Dr. Lisa: Boys vs Girls: Who should make the first move?

Valentine’s Day is upon us. A great way to avoid all sorts of Valentine’s Day awkwardness is to join us at our Bushwick Daily Party—Over It: Valentine’s Day Apocalypse. It’s on Friday, the day after VD, so you have a chance to make Valentine’s Day-ish plans without the pressure of overthinking that pretend special day. And if you’re single or got ditched because of some Valentine’s Day-centric argument, you will have a chance to meet someone new. Or at the very least you can win a free dinner while getting set up MTV-Singled-Out-style during my Dr. Lisa’s Match-Up Mash-Up Game!

The Valentine’s Day season is a great time to revisit the age-old discussion of who should do the pursuing. Bear in mind, none of this is personal. But I do think biology weighs in on the side of men pursuing women. As Matthew Boggs of the Man Code put it, albeit quite inelegantly, “More often than not, the feel-good boost he gets by being ‘asked out’ gets squashed within hours by a biological backlash of she-male chemicals.” In other words, the ‘high’ he gets from you asking him out will only last until his internal romance meter realizes that he is now in the ‘feminine’ position (aka: being the chase)…and this kills the attraction.” And here’s some new research that suggests that when pursued, women turn down offers of casual sex for one simple reason: they suspect they won’t enjoy it. Of course, biology is not destiny! Believe me, on a personal level I am all for everyone having casual sex.

Read what Ms. U has to say and then find out what guys in Bushwick told me when I took this topic to the streets.

Dear Dr. Lisa: Why won’t young, 20-something hipster guys make the first move?  Why don’t they just own up to their masculinity and self-confidence and just, ya know . . .  BE A MAN?!  How are we ever going to enjoy SEX if they don’t start the chase? Being female, I don’t care what generation I belong to, I like to be pursued. . Period. OK, here’s an example:  Last night I was interacting with a delicious young hipster man and I did everything but pull down his pants in public (hyperbole).The best he could muster was “Well, umm, I guess I’ll see you around then . . . our friends live in the same neighborhood.” Was he alluding to the chance that we could “bump” into each other at some show or backyard party?   Hipster guys don’t take initiative, it’s like they feel entitled. Why should girls have to do their job?  No matter what stage they are at in the courtship process, whether it’s the very first move when seeing a cute girl at a bar or even the first kiss, they still act so damn “cool” all the time and don’t wanna betray the fact that we are the women and they are the men, and even if they don’t like tradition, nature dictates that THEY pursue US. In our social setup today, I never see that happening. I just don’t see young men acting like males should.

They kinda wanna take on the female role and have the woman do all the work. That’s not natural and it’s called bullshit, cause I ain’t doing it and no girl should.

— Ms. U

I wanted to find out where Ms. U’s complaint was coming from, so I had a variety of fine young men speak for themselves. This is what they told me when I asked them their thoughts about pursuing women:

“Approaching women is simply not on my radar. I would like a girlfriend, but when I’m out I don’t think about picking girls up. I like to meet women through friends…I don’t make the first move because I don’t want the responsibility. If you go up to a girl, she assumes you’re definitely interested. Too often I’ve approached women and then after five minutes, I can see we’re not going to be right for each other.” — Rob, 32

One dude in Bushwick said he was afraid to approach women because of his finances. “Women in Bushwick are very ambitious. If you don’t make enough money, they’re not going to be interested in you.” — Justin, 28

“Online dating has changed everything. It’s a lot easier to have courage on the keyboard than talking to women in person.” — Bruce, 29

One “happening” guy told me he had no problem approaching women and slept with quite a few, so I asked him if he would initiate seeing a woman again after he slept with her. “What is comes down to is who’s hotter. If the chick is hotter than you, you’ll want to pursue her.” — Stew, 27

The comments that struck me the most came from the quintessential, handsome, cool hipster guy. “I don’t think it matters who makes the first move. Women want to get laid just as much as men do. I have a girlfriend who’s 15 years older than me. We’re in an open relationship. We’re each other’s number one, but we date whomever we like and we tell each other about it.” His statement that surprised me the most? “If I slept with someone too quickly, I would probably lose respect for them.” — Tommy, 29

Photo courtesy of VerySmartBrothers.com

What should we make of all of this information? If you want to have a good time, take risks and meet as many people as you like. Do whatever you want, that’s where the freedom and fun is, if you don’t think you’re up for a relationship. Be honest with yourself, though. It’s a lot easier to say you don’t care about having a relationship if it’s not happening for you. If you’re having trouble finding a relationship and you really want one, you can always write me.

If you’re a chick looking for a relationship, generally guys who have a lot of chicks will pursue you. Guys who aren’t keeping score on the quantity of ladies they attract are more likely to be open to you approaching them. Be careful of giving the guy you’re interested in a free pass by saying he’s just shy. That’s less often the case than you might think.

As far as dudes go, I think approaching a woman in a nice, friendly way without expectation (obviously treating them with respect) is always a good thing. If a chick is rude to you, that’s her problem. Secure ladies will always be nice to someone who’s nice to them whether they want to date them or not.

The point I’m really making here is after all this research, I’m not telling you something you didn’t already know. I’d love to hear your opinion. Leave me a note in the comments.

Send Dr. Lisa, S.P. (Self-Proclaimed) your questions and dilemmas about your art, life, job, sex, you name it – and she will post responses to your questions and issues right here. Please send email to: [email protected].



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