As a stereotypical girl, I love any chick flick, no matter how miserable the acting is or how predictable the storyline is. I like to tell myself that I learn something from these films. I analyze their personalities, their reactions, and their outfits - I train myself to understand what different scenarios with the opposite sex mean.
From When Harry Met Sally I told myself to keep my options open to any of my guy friends, I could end up marrying any of them!
More recently, thanks to Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love, I realized I can ignore any guy’s past and convince myself that I am different with him.
After seeing Friends with Benefits I completely believed that any interaction that starts with plenty of sex can lead to a committed relationship.
Finally, He’s Just Not That Into You led me to believe that I am the exception. I can text him multiple times in a row and e-mail if he hasn’t responded to my text, and he will find my absurdities irresistible.
Pitiful, yes, I am so aware. Nonetheless, with those romantic lessons learned, I wanted to investigate closer to home, to know how other Blue Devils saw the system. It’s the 21st century, can a girl make the first move, or do Duke boys have too much pride to give a girl that kind of power?
Thus, this week was an experiment in investigating Duke student’s interaction with the opposite sex.
Girls are of a clear consensus that yes, of course, it should be completely okay to make the first move. However, we as females also take rejection a bit too harshly. Despite this, ladies can frequently handle making the first move. As one friend pointed out, girls feel comfortable making the first move when “you both kind of non-verbally acknowledge that you are into one another, and assume that that is where the night is heading anyway. You've been alone in a corner most of the night deep in conversation or having a lot of fun together, and the inevitability is apparent.”
Although we have the ability to make the first move, what follows is often hazy. Another friend recalls her first-move anecdote in disgust: “I was ready to face the music… So I asked him out front, ‘So why haven't you kissed me yet?’ … Well, to that he replied that he is attracted to me but thinks I am too nice of a person to simply hook up with and he didn’t completely know if he wanted more than that.” My friend recalled thinking, “hold on, who said I even wanted more?!” Even if we make the first move, the boy often still thinks it is his decision as to how to define the relationship, or lack there of.
Now, the men.
According to many of our male counterparts, they would actually like us to throw a few more signals their way. Many reported that they would not make the first move until the girl shows some interest. This could be a scoot closer to them on the couch or an invitation to a date function. They appreciate the gesture and understand our intentions. “I need that because I blow at reading signals,” admits a junior boy.
Girls - if it makes you feel any better, some boys admitted to being just as afraid of rejection as we are. Maybe the college scene is to blame, a sophomore explains: “if we hook up when I am drunk, it’s hard to tell whether or not she’s into me,” and that’s why I “can’t just move in to kiss a girl in the library.”
Still other guy friends say that if they are interested in a girl, they will make it happen and the girl doesn’t have to do a thing.
All that said, Duke boys still want the power, but they appreciate a subtle hint every now and then. Girls concluded that they understand the rules of rejection pretty well by now. If only we could switch roles for a little while, boys would understand that sometimes we’re just not that into them.