Women, Make Your Move!

C’mon, now: Waiting around for a guy to say “hi” — or to ask you out or move in for a kiss — is so last century. Here’s how to take charge!

By Maggie Kim

ure, it’s nerve-wracking. And you can argue that women aren’t biologically programmed to make the first move (men are historically the hunters, right?). But then, women weren’t ever supposed to hold high-powered jobs, serve in the military or even vote. So now that we’ve done away with those stereotypes, how about tackling that final frontier of asking your latest crush out for a coffee? If you don’t believe us, listen to what real men have to say about bold women: “I love when women make the first move,” enthuses Bryan Dunn, 31. “It takes all the guesswork out of things immediately and makes the second, third and fourth moves that much easier!” Here are some of the best and worst ways to make that first move and double (hey, even triple) your dating success.

Say it electronically
Thanks to email, you can avoid the frightening face-to-face proposition as well as multiple phone hang-ups before mustering up your courage (and quite frankly, ubiquitous
Thanks to email, you can show off your wittiest side since you have time to compose your thoughts.
caller ID makes that behavior look immature). It also gives you a chance to show off your wittiest side since you have time to compose your thoughts. Jeremy L., 29, was pleasantly surprised by his now-girlfriend’s opening gambit. “I met Jenny online, and we discovered we had a couple of friends in common. We emailed for a couple of weeks but hadn’t yet met in person,” he recalls. “She took charge and wrote me one night, ‘After much consideration, I would like to suggest a meeting. Although I would have preferred it was your suggestion (being Southern and all), I would like to spend some time with you in person. May I suggest Tuesday night?’” Jeremy was charmed by her sweetly courageous move and took her up on the date.

Try the come-hither approach
Straightforward aggression can certainly get the job done, but couching your come-on with a bit of coyness can also do the trick, especially if you’re on the shy side or want the guy to close the deal. “Sharon and I flirted for years, but we never got together because one or both of us were always dating someone else and I’m also not the Rico Suave type who thinks every woman is waiting for me to hit on them,” explains Bryan. “Well, she and I wound up at the same wedding one night and at the reception, she said to me, ‘I hope you know I’m planning on having a great time dancing tonight—with you.’ That did the trick big time! It was sexy without making me feel like a wuss for not taking the lead and it was the go-ahead I needed to make the next twenty or so moves. We wound up dating after that.”

Get physical
Nothing says, “I’m interested” like a light touch, be it on an arm or a leg, to let a man know pretty quickly what you’re up to. And the best part of this technique? If he’s not reciprocating, you can play innocent and pretend that you actually weren’t coming onto him. John Emch, 34, reveals his favorite moves. “I’ve got to admit, I go crazy for take-charge women,” sighs John. “Some of the physical techniques they’ve used: The soft-hand touch, the full-body press if she needs to squeeze by me to the ladies room, the dance-floor grind… subtle and not-so-subtle, but all seriously sexy. They’ve all worked on me!”

Suggest swapping numbers
Asking (gulp) “Can I have your number?” may feel daunting for even the most confident gal, so consider this compromise:
As tempting as it is to use tequila to help you approach the hottie at the bar, being sober (or just slightly buzzed) is far more appealing.
Say, “I’d love to exchange numbers so we can meet up sometime. What do you think?” This approach feels more friendly and egalitarian than the one-sided phone number swap. And yet, most guys can take a hint at this point and will be elated to give you a call.

Try a little positive affirmation
So you’re on a date and want to show just how much you like this guy... only how? Sometimes, all it takes is a well-timed compliment to get the ball rolling, so make sure your date knows what a good time you’re having with him. “I recently went on a first date with a cool girl,” recounts Evan B., 41. “About midway through, she looked right at me with this sexy little smile on her face and said, ‘Well, I think this first date is going spectacularly well, don’t you?’ Somehow that did the trick. I seized the moment and kissed her. Needless to say, I was already attracted to her, but her little statement was definitely a catalyst to action on my part.”

Don’t resort to liquid courage
As tempting as it is to use three tequila shots as the shot in the arm you need to go up to the hottie at the bar, being sober (or just slightly buzzed) is far more appealing. After all, how are you going to win him over with your wit and charm if you’re busy trying not to tip over? John states simply, “Many a drunk woman has approached me at a bar and even though it’s sort of flattering, I almost always pass.” So summon your courage, put down that drink—and give it a try!

Maggie Kim ( is a rock musician working on her next album as well as some new first moves.
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