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Relationships- What if she made the first move?

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th February 2009 03:00 AM

TODAY the battle of the sexes is hotter than ever before. Women want equal opportunities as men in everything. They compete for the same jobs, drive the same cars and want equal rights.

TODAY the battle of the sexes is hotter than ever before. Women want equal opportunities as men in everything. They compete for the same jobs, drive the same cars and want equal rights.

By Carol Kezaabu

TODAY the battle of the sexes is hotter than ever before. Women want equal opportunities as men in everything. They compete for the same jobs, drive the same cars and want equal rights.

One would expect that the fairer sex would be just as aggressive in their dating life as they are in every other aspect, but are women capable or willing to make the first move?

Playing hard to get is a woman’s game — it has been for centuries — and men have always made the first move. Even when a woman likes a man and he does not seem to be getting it, she waits helplessly for him to finally get the point.

These old-fashioned values have remained etched in society and in women’s minds. Playing hard to get is part of the dating game, not to mention the part that makes it fun, but can roles be reversed and the women be the chasers and the men the prey?

After all, some men are shy. Sometimes all they need is a nod and they can take it from there. And if women expect to be treated as equals, why can’t they take the first step?

Daisy Ayesiga, a young businesswoman, says she was amazed the first time she saw a personal advert in the newspaper of women seeking lovers. She always assumed chasing was a man’s preserve.

Today, newspapers and magazines have almost the same number of women as men seeking partners. The same applies to social fora like Facebook, where often, women invite men they don’t know personally, to be their friends.

Steven Ojora, a lawyer, says he sees no problem with this. In this day of women emancipation, women can approach a man they are interested in. “A woman, is in all ways, equal to a man and if a man knows what he wants and can go for it; a woman, too should, including pursuing a man she fancies.

People should stop thinking that a woman who initiates a conversation with a man she likes is desperate. It is okay and a wise move.”

Alex, a journalist, agrees. He says if a man makes the first move, he has the power to steer the relationship so if a woman takes the first step, she decides the pace of the relationship and it is easier for her to walk out if it does not work.

He also thinks more women are taking the initiative today than in the past.
“Women will flirt and send signals that they are interested. Some women have approached me and made their intentions known and I don’t have a problem with that,” he says.

But Joshua Musalo, a relationship counsellor with the Uganda Christian University, says many women are still impeded by cultural and social restrictions.

“Women as well as men have been raised with the perception that men must make the first move. Women would, therefore, be overwhelmed by culture and public opinion even when they want to take the first step.”

Musalo says the other hinderance for women who want to approach men is that women do not take rejection as well as the men do.

They fear what their peers will think of them and are hesitant to jump over the cultural bridge. They grapple with questions like; ‘Is the man open-minded enough? Won’t he think me loose if I make the first move?

Won’t he take me for granted? How do I make the first move and then play hard to get there after?’

Melanie Kaita, a presenter on Sanyu Fm’s Breakfast Show, concedes that women can make the first move in a relationship, but cautions that they need a lot more tact because men are not used to being approached, so they may misunderstand them.

“Because of the cultural norms, society still frowns at women who take the initiative to approach a man, and as much as we are empowered, our men are not that different from the cave man; that is something we should never forget,” she says.

She, however, says women can encourage a potential suitor in a subtle way — make yourself available, show that you are interested and if a man can take a hint, he will follow through.

But hardliners like Samuel, an environmentalist, insist that women who make the first move, especially in a nightclub or bar, are like prostitutes on the streets.

“For a men, it is all in his chase and if he wants to get a serious woman, he has to chase a woman for a while. Women should play hard to get.

If a woman makes advances at me, how do I know she is not doing the same to many others?

“Unless I have known her for a while, but as a man, I am capable of doing the chasing and if I haven’t done so, I’m simply not interested.”

It is this kind of mentality that keeps some women from making the first move. Some women ask themselves: ‘Won’t the man think that I am too easy to get because I approached him first? How soon should I make the move?’

Musalo says while it is no crime to make the first move, it is safer to wait for the man, in order to avoid misconceptions.

Relationships- What if she made the first move?

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