Introducing our new Relationships vertical, brought to you by Bumble. Every week, we’ll explore human connections, from the profound to the kind where you need to use profanity. This week, we’re asking women we admire: How Do You Make the First Move?
“The most important thing in life is to be true to yourself. So if you like someone, and you want to make the first move, there is zero reason why you shouldn’t do it. None. I mean, why? Certainly not because you’re a woman. For me, I always wanted to have a man’s life in a woman’s body… Why can a man do certain things and not a woman? Why should a woman worry if a man will call her back? Why can’t the man worry if she will call him back? The truth is, it is always in the hands of women. Even when men think they’ve made the first move, it’s really always the woman’s decision.”
Diane von Furstenberg, Fashion Designer
“My personal mantra is if I want something, I go after it—whether it be in businesses or love. Waiting for the man to make the first move is just as archaic of a sentiment as men being the main breadwinner in a household, and I’m personally relieved that apps like Bumble are not only allowing, but encouraging, the decision to be in the woman’s hands. In my mind, making the first move is even more attractive than waiting for the guy at the bar to come to you.”
–Daniella Pierson, Founder & CEO of The Newsette
“Making the first move is about having empathy for the person you’re into. I feel like it gets a bad rap—no one ever wants to be vulnerable and be the one to make things happen. But if you really care about someone, being the one to reach out, or ask them out, or tell them you like them (or, propose, as I recently did), is the ultimate sign that a) you are willing to put the work in and b) that you want to take the burden off of them to make it happen. I think it’s a really nice thing to do for someone else. Don’t wait around for them to come to you if you know what you want. There’s no better look than confidence and assertiveness.”
Gabrielle Korn, Refinery29 Fashion and Culture Director
“Just be yourself. If they’re a good person for you, it won’t feel like a big leap to you.”
Vashtie Kola, DJ and artist
“I’m in a serious relationship (we’ve been together for 8.5 yrs), and I was the one who asked my boyfriend out on our first date via text. We both live in New York City, but we ran into each other on the street in Austin, at SXSW’s music festival. We casually exchanged phone numbers to share party invites with the best musical acts. Once back in NYC, and with his number in my phone, I texted him, thanking him for helping me snag a cab in Austin (these were pre-Uber days), and I said I owed him a drink as a thank you. So, I invited him to happy hour at a bar where I was a regular. That way, if our date was a bust, I knew I could chat it up with the bartender!”
Laura Zapata, Stylist and TV Presenter
“Setting a date is key. If you want to hang out with someone new, it’s likely they do, too. But we’re all busy, and unfortunately, we need to be reminded that friendship is as important as any other relationship in our lives. We need to make time for it. So if someone says, ‘We need to hang out,’ I trust they mean it, and say, ‘Great, what does next week look like?’ and set an actual date. Otherwise, you both know it’ll never happen.”
Mui-Hai Chu, celebrity stylist and fashion director, FLAUNT
“I view the actual process as very similar to dating actually! Some people will be a match and others won’t, and listen, that is perfectly normal. As with dating, you need to get to know the other person a bit to see if you’re compatible as friends…have coffee, grab drinks, eat copious amounts of cheese together. Like the start of a romantic relationship, the start of a friend relationship can be a little awkward. But when you find the right people, you’ll know it.”
Shiloh Gulickson, Senior Business Development Manager, Huffington Post
“One of the things I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older is that no one is scrutinizing me as much as I am. No one cares about that gaffe I made or the time(s) I fell down at Fashion Week… It really is about being yourself and finding the people who love you for that, even if you’re a total mess (which I am!). But you won’t find them if you don’t put yourself out there.”
Amina Akhtar, Author, “Fashion Victim”
“This is about investing in yourself, and making sure you’re in the driver’s seat of your career. Even if you’re low on the totem pole, take charge of what you do. Don’t wait for permission. Take some extra time and write a sample piece, shoot a short film on the weekend, brainstorm a way that something at your company could work a bit better and then share it with someone you think might be receptive. Maybe they don’t promote you to CEO, but people will remember that you took initiative and if it’s good, they’ll remember what you showed them. That pays off in the future–I’ve experienced it myself.”
Katie O’Brien, Film + TV Director (currently on NBC’s Saved By the Bell reboot)
“What works best for me is keeping my intros concise, professional, straightforward. I love to bold items and use bullet points because it shows that I’m respecting your time… I also make a point to not tell you my life story. Instead, I say, ‘I realize you need ‘x’ and I’m happy to provide that solution for you. Here’s the reason why I’m the best person to do it.’ But you also have to put in the work to be the best person to do it.”
Laura Zapata, Stylist and TV Presenter
“I stopped telling myself, ‘Oh I can’t do that,’ and started saying, ‘Well, why can’t I do that?’ And when I didn’t have a good answer to that, well, that’s when I wrote my first book. Stop telling yourself you aren’t good enough… And one thing that I think helps with that little voice is to stop comparing yourself to other women! You don’t know the work, the setbacks, the frustrations they’ve dealt with, you only see what the outcome is. Focus on you, do the work, be brave, and support yourself the way you’d support a friend.”
Amina Akhtar, Author, “Fashion Victim”