Are you someone that general doesn’t mind making the first move?
Are you someone that is generally tired of making the first move? Like I am?
When I say “make the first move,” I don’t mean with everything and always in a romantic setting. It can be with a potential friend, making plans, calling someone first–you get the idea. With me, I find myself making the first move whenever there’s some sort of…strange intensity.
Take this one woman, I’ll call her R2. One of the first memories I have of R2 is when I was in the back trying to close the store down for the night. She was doing her thing on the other side, prepping to call it a day. As she was getting ready, I decided to take a quick look at her for some reason. I was mildly intrigued, the intensity wasn’t at its peak, so I could focus. But maybe we had the same idea, because I looked at her and she looked at me at the same time. I tried to smile and went back to registers.
It was awkward but nothing I couldn’t handle. We’ve had moments like this for months, speaking and nonspeaking.
Tonight when it has about closing time and she came from the back, me and another coworker were up front talking. She spoke and I spoke. She was going to buy something so I went to ring her up while the other coworker was talking to her. She’s a much bigger talker than I am, this coworker, clearly extroverted. I’m trying to listen to them and she doesn’t even look my way until I make some sort of sound to show I’m listening. Then she tries to make some eye contact while she’s talking about her plans to this other girl. I put everything in her bag and she quietly says thanks. I said you’re welcome. When they’re done talking, she says goodnight, I turn around but I look back and could see her looking at me. She waves a little bit and tells me have a good one, and I told her have a nice night like I always do.
It was a very uncomfortable feeling. That was one of the most uncomfortable quick meets we’ve done, if not the most uncomfortable. But I know why it was awkward feeling:
Because I stopped talking to her first. I felt bad but I don’t feel sorry. I find her interesting and I would like to talk more but I’m constantly making the first move on her.
While I was listening to R2 talk, I tried to fight against that little thing in me that simply wants people to feel better, or wants me to “fix” things. I had to fight against looking too happy to see her, and fight against using those common conversation fillers to make me feel better about looking interested in people when they talk. Thing is if there is no established intimacy somewhere, I really don’t have much to say. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested, which is why I still will make some effort.
But if I’m always feeling like I’m coming to you first, well I’m starting to have second thoughts. And the fact that this is one of those “intense” connections doesn’t make this easier.
Here some do’s and don’ts for both parties when it comes to making the first move:
DO act like you are interested (receiver)
This is the biggest. The reason why I that was awkward for me was because I could feel the tenseness in her voice every time she said something to me. She probably thinks that I don’t like her, but R2 has NO clue how many times I’ve timed myself just right only so I could speak to her (yes it’s sad.) Whether it’s her coming in or going out, I know once she gets back there in that little hole, she ain’t talking to me. She won’t come up front to say hey to me but I have gone to the back to speak to her. She has given me hardly no feedback. It feels one sided. I’ve tried looking interested for months now. If she happens to see me down the aisles while she waiting on someone in the back, she won’t call my name to speak to me, and instead waits until I look to the back, and only then she’ll give a half-hearted wave.
DO be understanding (both)
Until someone actually says what’s going on, there’s is no telling what they are going through. I don’t know her. She might be really introverted like myself. Who knows, maybe anxious too. I know that I’ve been told I’m an “intense” person and hard to read. Still I try, but I will take these into consideration whenever I want to get to know certain people.
DO be confident and have fun with it (giver)
It doesn’t have to be serious, a quick joke can go a long way. Both parties are more nervous than what they lead on. The main reason people don’t like initiating first is because it can be scary. You’re taking the time to let it be know that you’re interested, and they may not react the way you want them to. Give a complement. Poke fun at yourself (not them.)
DON’T rely on “negative” space (both)
Most people will hot-wire connections through negativity. At school, work, home, etc. everyone is more than happy to overtly go on and on about what’s wrong with them, wrong with the world, wrong with you even–if they’re that crazy to bring that up. Unfortunately being that our jobs are the only place we see one another, I’ve noticed that soft complaining (bad customer, ready to go home, etc.) was the only thing we could talk on when we weren’t constantly saying “hey, how are you” to each other. That did bother me a bit.
DON’T assume that you’ll get anywhere (giver)
As a energetically sensitive person, I feel things. A LOT of things. The main reason I make the first move with intense energy around is, well I know nothing will happen if I don’t do something. Most people play it safe, and while I know that other people get scared, I don’t let that stop me. And we always seem to be a bit withdrawn or introverted too. It can be a lot to handle. R2 isn’t the first. Hopefully this is the last time I assume that something will work in my favor regardless of making it clear I want to know someone.
DON’T keep trying, DO know when to stop (giver)
Look, this is the most important. I have recently decided I was going to stop going first. I can clearly see that she wants to talk to me, but I can’t keep going by my senses: After a while, it’s time for the giver to be the receiver and the receiver the giver. I need concrete evidence. I have done everything I know to do, and now I just feel bad. I had enough courage to make the first moves, and ended up with nothing. I have tried not once but TWICE…with men I was interested in. Yep I made the first move on them. Once in high school (yikes right?) and the aftermath was something fierce, and once this year in January via facebook. Neither one went the way I hoped. Even though I knew the truth in my heart, nothing worked out. I’m naturally self assured, but I got my limits too.
If you start feeling bad about yourself, this is a perfect time to let it go. After dealing with it with men I was romantically interested in, I really don’t want to go through it with a woman for friendship.