“I always wanted to talk to a guy, but I was never allowed to because society and my friends said no. So I said, ‘We’re going to reverse engineer this.'”
Whitney Wolfe, Founder and CEO of Bumble, tells Guy Raz her story on one of my favorite podcasts, How I Built This. She explains what inspired her to create the dating app where women must message the men first or else their match deletes in 24 hours. Bumble is a great concept because it flips gender roles on their head. But the ball being in the woman’s court isn’t limited to Bumble. In my opinion, it’s time for more women to “shoot their shot”.
I wasn’t always for women making the first move because I myself didn’t have the confidence to do so. But my fear of not getting asked to my high school senior prom pushed me to shoot my first ever shot. I asked my coworker to prom and I’m glad I did. I had an amazing time that night and got my first taste of female empowerment.
Not all the shots I take are slam dunks. I once flirted with a guy on a party boat just for him to burst my bubble by telling me he was gay. Another time, I flirted with the employee at my gym, only to find out he’s 18 (I’m 22). A few weeks ago, I had a one way conversation with a dude at a party. Turns out, he was being so icy because I had completely missed the wedding band on his finger.
Sometimes shooting your shot is a hit and sometimes it’s a miss. It can be awkward, embarrassing, or just flat out challenging to think of something to say to a guy. But as one of my male friends told me, “If you never ask, the answer will always be no.” This is how I look at shooting my shot now: What do I have to lose? The worst thing someone can tell you is “no”. I highly doubt you’re going to ever get a response of “ew no as if lmao” from a guy, unlike the brutal responses girls give men in their DM.
I feel bad for men sometimes. They are raised from an early age to be the go getter in a heterosexual relationship. Literally, go-get-her. And women, on the flip side, are trained to play hard to get. So, to be clear, society is telling men to always make the first move and telling women to do the complete opposite of that. This logic doesn’t make much sense. We’re telling two human beings to act in inverse directions of each other. No wonder we’re failing at love.
Men are pretty much set up to be rejected, and women get called snobby/boujee because they sit pretty waiting for the knight in shining armor. Why not put ourselves in control, ladies, by shooting our shot? Shooting our shot enables us to steer the conversation in the direction that we wish. When we take the reigns, it takes the pressure off the men for once. Most of them say they’re actually flattered by it.
“I think it’s definitely cool. I think it shows that the woman is brave and can make her own moves. It can show she’s a very confident person.” -Craig, 25
“Just like dudes are supposed to initiate convos, be smooth af, do and say everything right, ask the girl out, make the first move, I think it’s fair that if a girl wants to do one of those, then she can because relationships these days are changing in so many ways. So, girls are allowed to do some things out of the norm if they’re interested.” -Dan, 22
Still, even with the above proof, we have women calling favoriting all of a man’s tweets and liking 6 Instagram pictures in a row “shooting their shot”. I conducted a poll on Twitter that concluded 42% of people think women don’t shoot their shot as often as men because “they think the man should do it”. That kind of thinking is why ladies will never get the man they really want. You’re on an Applebee’s date with a lame you don’t even like, hoping your Instagram crush watches your story for a “hint”, when you could simply message him first.
At this point, women shooting their shot is so few and far in between, you might wow a guy just by being the first to hit him up. Ladies, did you know that men want to feel wanted too? Heed my advice and let the chips fall where they may. And don’t give me that “what if he’s out of my league” crap. Do you think Nola Darling or Jacqueline Broyer ever worried if a man was out of their league? There’s no such thing when you’re in a league of your own.
As usual, I’m sharing this piece of advice after observing and living it. I’m tired of seeing women act like little girls who are too scared to go after what they want. If we can shoot our shot for the careers we want, why should we be intimated by men? We have women proposing marriage and paying for dates these days! If I can get over my fear of rejection, you can too. As G.L. Lambert says on BGAE, “True confidence doesn’t come from never being challenged in life, it comes from overcoming those obstacles.” Are you up for the challenge sis?