In elementary school, we used to pass folded notes in class. “Do you like me? Check ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’” Unfortunately, in college, pursuing someone you’re interested in isn’t as easy as checking a box. It can be a real challenge to both your pride and confidence.
Stereotypically, the guy tends to approach the girl first. He initiates the “Getting to Know Each Other” process, and everything falls into place from there. However, times are changing, and so are gender roles in relationships. Believe it or not, it’s becoming more common for girls to pursue guys. Crazy, right? Not so much, according to some Hampton men.
“I love when girls shoot their shots,” says senior Christian Johnson. “Just as girls like to feel wanted, guys enjoy that feeling, too.”
Jaelon Bryant, a junior at Hampton, agrees, saying, “I admire when [girls pursue guys first] because it shows that if they want something, they’re going to go get it.”
On the other hand, it isn’t solely about whether or not guys like to be approached. In fact, a girl’s reasoning for not approaching a guy typically has very little to do with if the guy actually wants to be approached. For some girls, it’s a matter of how they were raised. Traditional values in the family can have major effects on relationships.
“Some girls were raised to believe that everything will be handed to them,” says Bryant. “They feel like they don’t need to pursue men because of that.”
Gender roles also play a major part.
“I feel like some girls simply feel like a man should [approach them first.] That’s just something a man should do,” says sophomore Tosh McGee.
For others, the issue could be more internal. Girls are emotional beings. We feel everything intensely, and that includes uneasiness.
“It’s about not knowing what you want and lack of confidence,” says senior Ja’Von Hart. “Both can prevent a girl from making the first move.”
So, what move is the right move, and how do you know when you’ve made one too many moves?
If you take the easy route and approach someone via social media, 9 times out of 10, they will see the message. If you DM’d him on Twitter, he saw it. If you message him on Instagram, he saw that, too. Don’t try to convince yourself that he missed the message, because chances are, you missed the shot.
“It becomes too much if you can’t get the hint that I’m not interested,” says Hart.
Johnson agrees, saying, “If I don’t respond to your initial message, that’s me trying to tell you that I’m not interested. Also, if I do respond to your message, it doesn’t mean I have the same intentions as you. It means I was just being polite.”
When shooting your shot via social media, be sure to leave it there if the shot was unsuccessful.
“It’s awkward when [girls] see you in person [after you ignored them] and they say, ‘Why didn’t you respond?’ or ‘You don’t text back,’” says McGee.
“After I don’t respond the first time, and the girl continues to message me, it’s like, ‘OK…Do I have to say it again?’” says Bryant.
Ladies, save yourself the embarrassment, and take the “L” in silence if the situation presents itself.
A DM is not the only option when it comes to approaching someone. The conversation can start in person with a simple, “Hey, what’s your name?”
“The last time a girl wanted to get to know me, she said ‘Hey, I see you around campus, and we’ve never spoken in person. I want to change that,’” says Johnson. “I really admired that confidence.”
Every effort to get to know someone won’t be a failure, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out. You’ll never know how someone feels about you until you talk to them.
“One time, a girl approached me in person, and it went well because I actually wanted her to. It was one of those instances where I thought that she didn’t want me, but she did,” says McGee.
Regardless of who initiates it, a relationship works mutually. It takes effort to pursue someone, but what’s more important is the effort you make to keep them.