I can count on ten fingers the numbers of times I’ve been approached by a woman where she’s tried to pick me up. Not counting the times where I was being coaxed into approaching her without realizing it (I will admit, I am easily bedeviled by flirty smirks from across the room), I’m talking about the times a woman approached me, hit on me, and tried to pick me up. I can’t even remember the last time it happened, but it’s definitely been a couple of years. I’m not the best looking guy in the world, but I’m no slouch either, so you’d think I’d get approached by women a lot more than like, once every two years. You’d think so, but…
The thing is, whether we want to deny them, or fight against them, or try to change them, society at large has views on heterosexual male and female roles in dating, and those roles inform how a lot of people date. I don’t agree with most of them, but it’s not like they don’t exist because I don’t agree with them. Things are changing, but if you’re unsure if people still believe in gender roles in dating, try asking 10 different people who should pay for a first date and why, and I’m sure at least 5 of those people will say “The Guy” because “that’s what they’re supposed to do”. There’s a lot of reasons why women might be reluctant to approach and pick up dudes, but here are the main reasons why (in my opinion):
“If I approach him, he might think I’m less desirable” is a thought I’m sure a lot of women have had, with a lot less forgiving language. On the flip side, I’ve heard plenty of men say that any initiative to pick them up on a woman’s part is unattractive, or that it means that she isn’t relationship material. I’m sure part of that has to do with antiquated gender roles, or because they view a woman taking initiative as emasculating because their masculinity is about as durable as rice paper, or it’s more of a cognitive dissonance thing where they’re never approached by women, so they get all sour grapes about it and think it’s a bad thing. Whatever the case, I’ve encountered both men and women who have these sort of thought processes, as silly as they are.
There’s also the fact that since dating has existed, it’s has largely been the norm that hetero men do the pursuing, and hetero women are pursued. This isn’t so much a gender role thing, but more a “it’s always been this way so that’s just what we do” sort of thing. People tend to default to the behavior they think is “normal”, and if the norm is “Guy approaches Girl if he likes her” and it seems to be working, since we’re not exactly experiencing a under-population problem or anything, why rock the boat? Even on dating apps, which are a relatively new way to date, many women will not send the first message unless they use a dating app that specifically requires them to start a message chain.
Also, and this might sound weird, but a lot of people just don’t know how to approach and try to pickup people. Men are generally more comfortable doing it because it’s sort of expected and there’s an entire industry focused on building these skills that targets men. I really don’t think there is a similar level of content and resources out there geared toward women, nor is there really an expectation. There is an industry around teaching women how to get and keep a male partner though. If you don’t believe me, do a quick web search on things like “Get him to notice you” or “keep him interested” or “keep him satisfied” and you’ll quickly change your tune.
There’s also a ton of other factors with lots of nuances. Nerves, fear of rejection, and let’s be honest, some people are just so attractive they’ll never have to approach anyone, like ever. That goes for men and women obviously, but probably more so for women, though I’m generalizing of course, don’t cite me or anything. I know plenty of women who make the first move, but they’re exceptions. I know plenty of men who have never wanted to or even tried to approach women who just get attention thrown their way. Plenty, but not most, or even half.
There’s no one reason that women aren’t approaching men at a rate that matches the population split between straight men and women, but maybe they should. Maybe with the rise in popularity Bumble, an app that depend on women to take initiative, we’ll see more and more women approaching dudes. Who knows, maybe instead of buying fedoras and calling women “M’Lady”, guys will start subscribing to CosBRO magazine and reading articles like “9 ways to please her in bed, #7 will make her call you Zaddy”.
Probably not, but who knows?
Good Luck Out There.