Sunday, March 22, 2009

One Two... Get Down

I think we can probably all agree that one of the hardest things in life is "making the first move" in a relationship. This can mean two different things; either asking a person out on a first date, or initiating the kissing thing. From a gender role perspective, both are traditionally the responsibility of the guy, but many of us know that you boys are chicken shit. Often if we girls want to get something done, we just have to do it ourselves. Many guys I've talked to think this is a good thing.

The first incarnation of "the first move" (the asking out), I think is the easy one. How hard is it to go up to somebody (or call, text message, IM, whatever) and say "Hey, there's this thing on this day, do you want to go with me?" It's really not very hard at all. I promise. I've done it several times. In fact, I would say that the majority (though not all) of the first dates I've gone on have been completely due to my own initiative. The way I see it, first dates are really just a way of testing the water - see if the two of you have enough in common to actually spend time together away from a group. Most of the time the first date is a more casual affair and so it's really easy to casually ask about. Plus, if at first you don't succeed, it's just as easy to ask again.

Maybe I cheat because I never ever say "Hey hot stuff, wanna go on a date with me." If that's how you roll, good for you. I'm not really in favor of that approach though for several reasons. First of all, when you ask someone out, it's always better to be specific and have a game plan. "Want to go to this concert on Friday?" is much more effective than "Want to go out sometime?" Second of all, officially labeling something as a Date puts a lot of pressure on both parties. What if you go out and discover that you have nothing in common at all? You still are somehow obligated to act like you're on a date. It adds a weird aspect of formality that I am not a fan of. There are a few other small reasons too, but I don't really feel like going into those.

Anyway I pose the question to you, dear internet users, is it better for the dude or the dudette to do the asking? Does it really matter? And, if the girl asks, should she then expect to have to pay? Concerning the last question, logic tells me yes, but life experience tells me no.

The other possible meaning of "making the first move" is the really scary one. There is much more risk involved in going in for a kiss than in asking a person out. For one thing, it's much easier to recover from a failed invitation than from a rejected pucker.

I would certainly be comforting to know how the other person will react before one goes in for a little lip action. It's often very difficult to judge that though. I guess you always have to option of asking first, but I hate hate hate when guys do that! Seriously. When I am hit with the question "Would it be alright if I kissed you?" I can't help but roll my eyes. I usually say something like "Do whatever you want" which, if I don't want to be kissed, doesn't actually solve the poor boy's problem of knowing how I will react to him trying to kiss me.

I can already hear the argument pertaining to this subject that kisses can just naturally happen. It's true, with the right set up, it can be very hard to tell who really initiates the kiss. I'm sure you've had the moments (they may seem to happen more often when there is alcohol involved) when you're standing fairly close to the object of your affection, you lock eyes, your faces drift closer and closer, suddenly your lips make contact!

It is nice when that happens, and it is sometimes hard to figure out who really went out on a limb and made the move. It had to be one of you though. Someone had to move thier head that extra inch or so to make contact. I promise. I have encountered a few of those magic moments that have ended up being completely fruitless due to the cowardice of one or both parties.

While I have no problem asking guys out, I am very hesitant to initiate kissing. Not that I don't do it, but it happens much less often.

I pose the same question for this situation: Is it better for the Jack or the Jill to take the plunge? Does it really matter? If one takes care of the asking out, isn't it only fair that the other takes the risk on the first kiss?

I think my answer to all these questions is: It all depends on the situation. Therefore, I disallow any of you to use that answer! Ha!

this message has been brought to you by the letter M and the frustrating fact that I have been lying in bed the last 4 hours trying desperately to sleep, because I'm very tired, but not managing to drift off.


Shani said...

I suspect that if I ever stop being too lazy for a love life, I'll have to initiate as much as possible. Otherwise, I'll suspect my motives too much ... and, you know, I'll doubt the subservience of my potential partner. Can't have that!

But, well, what does any of that have to do with my being female? Control freaks come in all genders!

Dave said...

I'm not going to address the bulk of your post, because the older I get, the less I find I know about the dating process.

But I will say that I once went on an actual Date (with a capital D making it very official), and we turned out SOOOOO incompatible that we had no choice but to make fun of how incompatible we were the entire night. We started to discover this before we even had dinner. Every single thing I brought up we had completely opposite views. Sometimes you just have to make light of the silliness of the situation.

veganaron said...

Lauren and I always talk about who's paying. Are we paying for ourselves, is she paying, am I. We ask before we go out. It works really well that way. It worked great when we first started dating as well. That way it gets the whole gender bias thing of the man always paying outta the way but in a way that doesn't seem like one party is cheep.

K'laamas said...

< datingisinsane >

Short, 3-Part Epistle:

1- Who Asks?:
This is the *21st* Century, people--girls should be doing *just* as much of the asking out as guys! Clinging to archaic courtship rituals just causes problems these days...not the least of which being 2 people who like each other *not* going out because they're *both* too scared!

2- Who Pays?:
This is a dicey issue... The guy always paying was one thing back in the day when men were "dominant" & women were "subordinate". But in today's enlightened time of gender-equality... Money can *quite* easily become a problem when it comes between equals. The guy doesn't want to come off as cheap, or that he's trying to "buy" the girl's affection. But neither person should *expect* the other to spend money... Cheap or free dates are thus best,'s just hard to say. I still kind of expect to pay, but ladies, I suggest that if it's something cheap (movie, ice cream, cheap meal, etc.), offer to pay for yourself--it'll take a *lot* of pressure off of the guy. But regardless of who does the asking, the more expensive the activity, the more the askee would expect the asker to pay there's still no definite solution...

3- Who Kisses?
Like with asking out, either person should be able to initiate the first kiss. Obviously it's harder...there are no guarantees, but it's just about how the chemistry has definite solution here, either. I've heard of a way for the guy to covertly "test" to see if the girl wants to be kissed, but I think I'll keep that under my hat >.>

< /datingisinsane >

Tim Hinkle said...

Ideally, all date related communications should be made via the use of hand-painted signs similar to those employed by Wile E. Coyote. Thus, when I can no longer withstand the urgent longing to taste the lips of my female companion, I hold up my sign reading, "Kiss Me Now!" My date bobs her head forward sharply, our lips briefly touch, and then, a millimeter away from my face she softly coos, "Meep meep!" and runs off into the night. Once again, I set off in pursuit.