Why do men have to make the first move? Or do they?

Vedanova asks:  Why is that most of the times the male has to propose or make the first move and face the risk of rejection? It feels really unfair to me. Is it because of some evolutionary reason in humans (which I most likely think it is) or anything else? And also, please tell me, what can I do?

Hi Vedanova –

I’m going to say something very different from what I’ve tended to say to you before.  In our earlier conversations, I told you how little we dogs care about traditional gender roles.  But there is one very basic role we dogs do tend to have, and that’s about The Chase.  I’m a very aggressive player, but when I meet a boy dog, I let him know I want to play and then I run away, and hope and expect that he’ll chase me.  And boy dogs who meet me usually expect to be the “aggressor” in play and run after me.  Now, if he’s fast enough, once he catches me, then all is equal and we tumble over each other and play-fight and have a great time.  But if a boy dog just sits there, or runs from me, it feels kind of incomplete to me.  I expect the boy to chase me.  And I think, even with all the gender roles changing in people, there’s still some of that in you all as well.  It’s not that a woman can’t ask a man out (a few have asked out Handsome over the years), but when they do it’s a statement of assertion, of independence, of “I can do this.”  And yes they can!  But the normal rule – which is tough on both men and women – is that the man offers and the woman chooses.  It’s not nearly as fun as running around the dog park, but that’s just because, to my mind, you humans don’t play nearly enough!  

However, I do want you to realize, when you say that it seems unfair, that it is equally unfair to both men and women.  Men, you’re right, set themselves up for rejection every time.  But women, in that role, sit around waiting for the phone to ring – which means they feel rejected ALL THE TIME unless it’s ringing a lot!  

What I’d say to watch for is the human equivalent of me going up and nipping at a boy dog and then running away.  Does a girl come up and talk to you in a fun way and then leave?  Does one look at you, and make sure you see her looking at you, and then look away?  Does one drop something near you in hopes you’ll pick it up?  ALL of these are signals that she might like you to pursue her.  And if you don’t respond by pursuing her, then you’re the one doing the rejecting – at least in her mind!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t play the same game.  When she talks to you in a fun way and walks away, you can do the same to her.  Same with the eyes.  And if she drops something and wants you to pick it up, you can do so, look into her eyes, say something funny, and walk away – which will make it her job to do the next step.

And that, my friend, is another thing that’s true for all humans.  You will be doing, in the truest sense, a DANCE!

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