Why Is It Still Considered “Desperate” for a Woman to Call First?

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

Dear Em & Lo,

OK, I have to ask, because maybe I just don’t get it. Really, if a girl likes a dude, why does she have to wait around and hope he gets back to her? Why does making a move appear “desperate?”

To be more specific, I just moved to a new city where I don’t know a soul, for a career opportunity. Feeling lonely, I decided to give online dating a try for my first time ever. I have never struggled with meeting guys and tend to navigate well in the realms of love. But this is totally new and weird to me. Normally, if I find someone attractive, I reach out to him. So, after some decent but not great dates, I managed to go out with a fella I now have a total crush on. It was a coffee date that turned into a six hour affair that only ended because a family member kept calling him about needing something.

During the date he repeatedly told me he was really having a great time, to let him know when I was free next, kept suggesting future date ideas, texted me immediately after to say he had a blast, that I was very pretty, that he wished he didn’t have to leave and then a few hours later to see if I was out (I wasn’t), asked if it was ok he had kissed me or if it seemed he was moving too fast.

It’s been a few days and we’ve only talked once since. What is this? He asked if I took down my okc profile and I said yes as it was proving a distraction from my work, but, shucks! Does it really make that big of a deal if I ask him if he wants to kick it again? I guess I feel it’s better to take a shot in the dark than to sit around wringing my hands about some boy I think is dreamy. Why is being proactive in what we (women) want such a bad thing? I suppose the very worst that could happen is he says yes but never shows up, so I have to sit around and drink my beer like a sad little girl, alone.

— Ms Independent

What advice do you have for Ms. Independent?
Leave your suggestions in the comments below.


  1. It’s only been a few days. If you said it’s been more than a week, I’d say something’s going on, but it’s been a few days and you have apparently spoken once in that time. It doesn’t sound like anything to worry about at all.

    Johnny’s potential reasons are all completely plausible. When it comes down to it, your contacting him will not make or break this potential thing you have with him. If you contacted him 10 times in the next 24 hours, sure, that might send him running, but a perfectly normal level of communication is not going to sway him one way or the other. If he’s into you, it’ll be welcome. If he’s not into you, contacting him very likely won’t make the difference there, either.

    So yeah, I’m with Johnny. Hit him up. Best of luck!

  2. The notion that it’s desperate for a woman to make a move sounds like Neanderthal bro-talk to me. Like part of shaming culture that also says you’re less than if you don’t have an 8″ cock or D cups. If a guy actually ripped into you before for displaying some initiative, do you look back wistfully?

  3. You do realize that you’re actually not making the first move here, right? That immediately following your date he contacted you a number of times, and even asked you to hang out again that same night? Came right out and said he liked you?

    Here’s what could be going on:

    – maybe he’s concerned that his post-date overtures were a bit much (asking if you want to hang out again that same day? Unheard of!) and has decided to play it a little cooler from here on in.

    – maybe he’d like to see some investment from you, so he doesn’t feel like he’s the only one trying to move this thing forward

    – maybe he’s just got a lot of shit going on, including – yes – other internet dates (in which case you’d better strike while the iron’s hot).

    – maybe he reeeeaaaally likes you and is insecure and nervous that you don’t feel the same way.

    But these are just guesses. You don’t know what he’s thinking or doing right now, and you can’t possibly find out, which is why any further analysis is pointless. You like him, right? Call him then. Just do it. Right now. Don’t even plan out what you’re going to say – who needs a script when you’ve got chemistry?

    As for whether it’s desperate, nah. Not at all.

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