Women messaging first

Kimberly

Here at DATEnhance, we spend a lot of time on dating apps. I personally have right- and left-swiped in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Singapore, London and beyond. Perhaps say 30 percent of these profiles contain a variant of: "If women want equal rights, you can send the first message". Alternatively "Wonder if girls ever send the first message on here".

Bumble - great. Women are required to send the first message after matching. But for every other app, it's whoever decides to move first, who moves first. That is, until Tinder launch this new feature that will make it possible for women to chat with men they message first, only.

I totally get wanting women to message first. As part of my ongoing attempt to help men see why women do the things we do in online dating, here are some insight into why we might not be messaging first.

I've sent the first message in most of my online dating conversations. So yes, girls do sometimes send the first message. But here is my experience as I did.

Around 9/10 times, when I've messaged first, the guys reacted like they were being reluctantly interviewed by Jimmy Fallon. I crack a joke — they type "haha" and no more. I ask a question — they answer it and don't ask me one back. Eventually I get frustrated and leave the interaction.

The funny thing is that the genders are so very much more similar than they appear. Men don't want to send the first message because many women don't reply, or when they do, they answer questions but don't ask them in return. Men do this, too!

I could go into all the occasionally gross but oftentimes bizarre things some men say to us as we do message first, but you probably already know it. It's like to being asked to open a bunch of doors where we don't know what's lurking behind them - most of the time what's behind the door was a waste of time, or makes us feel gross because we did not need to hear how some guy we just said "hi" to would love us to "sit on my face". TOO SOON, SIR!

Many of us women, just like you men, are tired and scared of online dating. Writing that line in your profile where you conflate wanting to feel safe walking down the street alone at night, or wanting equal pay, with being able to message first on a dating app is rather bizarre - well, if equal rights is only a "I messaged him first on Tinder" away, yay, equal rights is solved - it also implies that women who don't message first are lazy and/or entitled. I know, and you probably know, that's not quite true.

You may think it being cute and playful being an adult who is still pulling our pigtails, saying, "I dare you to ask ME out for a change." But the way that comes off is, well, like a little boy pulling our pigtails. Which is not a hot look for an adult man.

If you're reading this and you have something to that effect in your profile, that's your choice. It's not the worst thing you could say. But if you want to communicate mcuh better and display how wonderful and kind I bet you are, try saying something along the lines of, "I welcome women messaging first, but I'm totally cool with hitting you with an A+ one-liner that may or may not be entirely terrible."

This lets the girl know you're not a guy who is turned off by women making first moves, but also that you're not expecting her to - or calling her a bad person when she doesn't. Many women still like to be asked out first, or be messaged first, and that's okay.

Plus, it keeps it fun and friendly, as opposed to seething with rage just beneath the surface because WHY AREN'T WOMEN MESSAGING ME FIRST!!!

While it's easy to forget, dating is actually supposed to be friendly and fun. Let's bring that back a bit.