Guys, you might think you make the first move, but you might actually not do so all the time. Take note of subtle gestures from women, but PLEASE be careful not to flatter yourself and think every woman who smiles at you is attracted to you.
When I was in Year 6 (about 10 years old), there was this major feud between the girls and the boys in my class, it was so bad up to the point that, except during classes it was extremely rare to find girl within less than 3 feet of a boy.
But with maturity, this war ends and flips into a completely opposite situation… Talk about the thin line between love and hate! From our early teens till death, the topic of many conversations amongst women surrounds boys…guys… MEN! And this is natural, as men do the same thing. Eventually, we reach that stage in our lives where we start that animalistic hunt for our perfect mate.
It is widely perceived that men are the ones to make the first move when approaching a woman they are attracted to. Sometimes when some guys talk about a girl they chased so hard till she finally gave in, I just laugh because women may actually have more control during this mating stage of courtship than men give us credit for.
Some women I’ve spoken to deny this, but even making subtle moves to give a man we’re interested in the “green light” is etched in our DNA. Some psychological studies have also shown that 90% of the time, women are the initiators of the first move during the dating game.
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According to behavioural scientists, male and female animals (including human beings) use these intricate courtship gestures to attract one another, and most of this is actually done subconsciously. Women have many ways of indicating that they are available, most of which are non-verbal. Studies have shown that women are much more aware of their environment and are more perceptive body language signals than men.
So women have masterminded ways to use their bodies to attract men and the success they gain in the mating game is indicated by their ability to send courtship signals to them and eventually decode the signals men return to them. Whereas success for men relies on their ability to read the signals being sent to them in the first place.
In a social environment (wedding, networking event, etc.), a man who bothers to walk across the dance floor to speak to a woman has done so either because:
(1) she has given him the go-ahead, or,
(2) he just feels super confident that evening and is simply just taking his chances by playing a numbers game of probability.
These days, the first scenario is more likely, and in many cases, it appears as though the man made the first move because he was the first to make the physical gesture, whereas, the woman was the one who used her CIA skills to pull him in in the first place.
Sometimes, however, because men are not as good at picking up on body language signals, they misinterpret the smiling and friendliness from women as sexual attraction. Well, to be honest, I can’t blame them. After all, men have about 10 – 20 times more testosterone, the sexual hormone, than women. So they tend to view the world in a more sexual way.
So what exactly do women do, you would wonder? Do you remember the famed “bend-and-snap” move that Reese Witherspoon performed in the first Legally Blonde movie? Although this was exaggerated, it is a good example of one of our sneaky moves to get the attention of men.
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First of all, it starts with the eyes. When a woman scans across a room and targets a potential man of interest, she checks him out and waits for him to notice her (subtly, she wouldn’t gawk at him, as that’d probably freak him out). When she gets his attention, she then holds her gaze for a few seconds then turns away. Now she has signalled that she is attracted to him. Let’s say that’s the amber traffic light.
Now she has his attention, and he knows it. Now, he has to return the gesture. If he is interested, he’ll try to make eye contact with her again. Then after he catches her gaze one or two more times…. GREEN LIGHT! But following this approach, the woman hasn’t completely given in (What if he when he finally approaches, she discovers he’s actually not as good looking as she had anticipated?).
So if on his approach, she likes what she sees, she’ll give a smile, inviting him in; if she doesn’t, she’d look away and if he’s smart, he’ll make a detour to the bathroom.
So now (assuming she let him in), they’re having a conversation, and she likes what she hears and sees. In order keep him interested, she’ll start to show off her God-given features by adjusting her body language: She’ll stand or sit upright to emphasise her breasts; if she’s seated, she’ll cross her legs to show them off; then she’ll occasionally tilt her neck and flip her hair (or weave/braids as the case may be in Nigeria) in order to show off the length of her neck.
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Now she’s warmed up and feels confident that she’s having a good time with this man, so order to further indicate her interest, she would make very subtle physical contact (which the man may think is accidental); maybe a gentle stroke of the hand, arm or shoulder.
After this, comes self-touching (not in the way you think), if the man plays his cards right. She might not realise when she starts to do this, but she’d start to stroke her thigh, neck or throat in the same way she’d imagine him doing so.
After this, they’d probably exchange numbers and take their relationship further.
So there you have it guys. You might think you make the first move, but you might actually not do so all the time.
Take note of our subtle gestures, but PLEASE be careful not to flatter yourself and think every woman who smiles at you is attracted to you.
Written by Oyin Egbeyemi.
Oyin Egbeyemi is an engineer-turned-consultant-turned-educationist, runner and writer.