Ah, the eternal question.
(It's morphed a bit into "to text or not to text"... or to IM or not to IM, but you know what I'm talking about).
First of all, let me state the obvious. We’re empowered women and we’re certainly not going to follow any rule that says we can’t make the first move, or contact a guy any damn time we like.
We can say “Hi.” We get to flirt and show our interest. Hell yes, we can lady-up and give out our phone number.
Here’s the thing though… once the ball is in someone else’s court, we know instinctively if we go over there and get the ball we’ve actually ended the game.
You know it’s true, sister, that guy you’re interested in needs the opportunity to pick up that ball and decide to play the game. Because when he chooses to reach out and ask you out, he’s investing, and he’s moving things forward. That’s what creates the dynamic energy we’re looking for.
It sucks though, because waiting for the ball to be thrown back can leave us feeling like anything BUT empowered women. We may even feel powerless and anxious, which can lead our minds to coming up with a hundred reasons why it would be perfectly fine and normal to text him or call.
Maybe he’s shy! Maybe I didn’t make it obvious enough I was interested! I’m a modern woman and I know how to make things happen. I can text him if I want to!
I’m gonna argue that when thoughts like this are running through your brain, it’s not actually your bad-ass side talking. It’s your primitive lizard brain that wants to know NOW what is UP, so she can keep you safe from potential rejection.
So when you’re feeling that impulse to text or call or IM him, consider instead taking a moment to feel into your energy and check in with yourself.
Are you *really* having a girl-power moment, about to smash the patriarchy with your bold action? Or are you, quite possibly, having just a little difficulty sitting with the totally normal human emotions associated with a fear of rejection?
If it’s the latter, take some time to breathe and chat with your "inner lizard". Let her know you understand her impatience, but she (and you) will be happiest when you see evidence that there’s some interest coming from the other side, so you’re just gonna go for a run or a walk or a bike ride, and take good care of yourself while you practice patience and let go of control for a little bit.
It’ll be okay, and the exciting energy of mutual interest will have a chance to percolate. Adventure awaits!
And if you don’t hear from him, you can check in with yourself as often as you like, to see what the right move is. Moving on, reaching out, it’s all part of the dance.
You can trust yourself to know the next step.
P.S. If you haven't yet, get yourself signed up for the goddess (and master Life Coach) Susan Hyatt's free Miracle Week! All this week she's sharing daily prompts for 12-minute actions you can take to create miracles in your life. It's so fun! Sign up here; it's not too late to have a week full of the kind of miracles that can happen when you take gorgeous care of yourself. And you'll love soaking up some of Susan's sparkly energy, too!
Jen Mallinger is a trained Martha Beck Life Coach. A former boy chaser, hopeless romantic, survivor of the dating desert, and highly sensitive intimacy avoider, she is now married to the greatest guy ever. She loves sharing insights and action-steps for those looking for love and reciprocity in relationships.