Antiquated dating antics: why the old ways no longer work

There’s a long-held belief that boys should be the ones to make the first move in a relationship or any romantic situation, like asking a girl on a dinner date or to a dance. Of course, the Sadie Hawkins dance is an exception. But why is that the only acceptable exception?

This belief is so outdated now, and it should stop being encouraged. My dad got upset with me when I was a sophomore in high school and I asked a boy to go to a semi-formal dance with me. I’m sure if I had told him that it was a “girl’s choice” dance, he wouldn’t have scolded me and told me that boys like a chase so I should let them go after me, not the other way around. It sounded ridiculous to me then, and it still does today.

Why is all the pressure to be the first to approach placed on the male population? It’s not like guys don’t get equally as nervous as girls do. And why can’t a girl show her interest first? Parents shouldn’t be encouraging their daughters to act like something that should be chased, and they shouldn’t be encouraging their sons to chase girls like we’re their prey. If a girl is feeling bold enough, she should go for it and ask the boy she likes to grab a bite to eat without worrying that he’ll reject her because she seems too eager and isn’t enough of a chase to pursue.

Another large problem with this belief is that it’s completely based on heterosexual relationships. The boy can’t ask first if there is no boy in the picture. People don’t seem to think about the fact that the tradition of boys making the first move absolutely does not apply to lesbian girls. And what about when there are two boys and no girl? There’s nothing to “chase,” so according to the commonly held belief, what happens then? Homosexuality is not an ignorable part of our society, yet somehow ideas like this one manage to sidestep it regardless.

Girls and boys should be equally informed on how to ask someone out because ultimately, it should be the individual’s own choice. A boy shouldn’t have to feel like he has to be the one to initiate in a heterosexual relationship, a girl should feel able enough to make the first move in any relationship, and both boys in a homosexual relationship should feel a sense of security so either one can take initiative. No one should feel like they need to sit back and play into the roles that society has molded their gender into — those roles just don’t work anymore. It’s time for people to decide what they want to do instead of listening to antiquated beliefs that no longer apply to us.