Opinion | Making the first move: a cost-benefit analysis of a recent rejectee

Jasmin Sani
Managing Editor
@jasminsani

Here I am. Sitting on my bed alone as one of my roommates is celebrating her boyfriend’s birthday in the Bay Area, the other is somewhere in Los Angeles and the final one is asleep after descending upon me like an angel, bringing me a late-night snack. I currently have a ton of work to do and a list of priorities I need to check off as I complete them, but the only thing on my mind is this: Why is it so hard for women to make the first move?

For years, scientists and psychologists have pondered over copious amounts of research and studies collected from 13-year-old, prepubescent Justin Bieber-loving diary entries to the 20-year-old, Post Malone groupie concert-fanatics – and no matter what kind of woman talked to, these researchers find their answers to be synonymous. The man should be the one to initiate something.

If this is completely true, then why did Marie Curie carve the path for radioactivity research? Why did Rosa Parks spark the conversation around civil rights? Of course, these analogies are a stretch to say the least, but the context behind the comparison remains the same. Women can change societal expectations and lead movements – even if that movement entails a party of one, a.k.a. me, going over a script I won’t remember in my head. This is especially relevant when push comes to shove, I’m faced with a boy I like and my heart is pounding louder and faster, as if it’s about to slam the best bass drop you’ve ever heard – Skrillex be damned.

It doesn’t matter if you have his natal chart memorized or you outline every possible scenario that could result from saying that feared three-worded sentence. Men are heavily unpredictable creatures and shouldn’t be thought of as a species that follows a set of formulaic routes. Therefore, the conclusion is simple: Stop wasting your time thinking “What if” and just do.

If you’re not willing to be vulnerable in these situations, you’ll never know what will come out of it. And to be fair, when the tables are turned, men are just as terrified and worried what you’ll think too. It’s a two-way street and women should feel less trapped by society’s romantic standards and more comfortable being the first one to reach out. Men appreciate honesty and forwardness as much as women do and based on the guys I’ve talked with about my own personal dilemmas, they find it attractive and intriguing when a woman is willing to be vulnerable.

To set the record straight: Vulnerability does not equate weakness. What it does equate to is sensibility, trust and the courage to be able to put yourself out there knowing fair well you can be 100 percent, flat-out, utterly rejected.

At the end of the day, it’s really just a cost-benefit analysis. The risk compared to the reward is heavy to weigh, but it’s an easy decision to make nonetheless. You’ll know when you want to approach your crush. No one should pressure you into it or tease and embarrass you out of it. The decision is yours to make and if you’re not comfortable in your relationship to be open to the slightest possibility of rejection, then you’re both probably not far along enough to even pop that Skrillex, bass-dropping question anyways.