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Ladies, Here’s Your Sign to Shoot Your Shot

Waiting for your crush to ask you out? Ask him out first.

Woman swiping on dating app.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So, why aren’t women shooting their shot with the men they’re interested in? If you aren’t familiar with the phrase, “shoot your shot” refers to the act of approaching and/or reaching out to a person that you’re interested in possibly pursuing romantically. It can be a stranger, someone you follow on social media, or even a friend that you’ve been hiding your feelings from. Either way, the goal is to communicate interest in hopes of that interest being reciprocated.

Within the general, heteronormative realm, men seem to be more comfortable approaching women first. Women who make the first move are rare, and the act has almost become stigmatized. Women should never show their hand first—but why? Because it’s a “man’s job” to take charge? True, taking that first step can be scary—for both men and women—since that common fear of rejection lingering inside of us all is so easily activated. In fact, research shows that the same areas of the brain that register pain are also activated by feelings of rejection.

If you want to conquer this fear, harness your independence, and make the first move, here are a few tips:

Forget societal norms

The tradition of men initiating every romantic, sexual, or even platonic relationship with a woman is pretty outdated. It permits an inflated sense of power for men and denies a woman her own authority. It’s perfectly okay to be vulnerable and let a man know you’re interested, as long as it’s in an appropriate and respectful manner.

Two lattes reading "Coffee chat?" and "Yeah!"

Don’t try to predict the outcome

Trying to predict the outcome of anything can be tiring, disappointing, and all-around a waste of time and energy. Don’t assume that he’ll reject you before even giving it a chance.

Similarly, don’t assume anything will happen after shooting your shot. There’s no way of predicting your crush’s response; assuming the worst adds an unnecessary level of worry and negativity that will only make you more nervous. Expecting the best possible outcome can also be a letdown. Just take it step-by-step, and keep your expectations realistic.

Be confident

Easier said than done, I know. Approaching unchartered territories can be nerve-wracking. Revealing your feelings to a crush while battling insecurity will only trigger more personal distress and prevents you from being fair to yourself.

Confidence is cool, calm, and collected. To break the tension, you could start the conversation off with a light, friendly joke because you know you’re pretty funny, or be bold and direct because you know what you want, or maybe you’d prefer to keep it simple. Regardless of which route you choose to take, be yourself wholeheartedly. If he feels threatened or intimidated by your openness, then that says more about him than it does you.

What’s the worst that can happen?

A man and a woman on a date in a coffee shop

Maybe he won’t be interested, and that’s okay. Accepting this outcome purely as an objective matter rather than internalizing its possible meaning and reason frees you from the shackles of self-deprecation and questioning. It’s not worth that pain. Really, all a rejection means is that they’re not into you in that way. Who knows—maybe you guys could still be great friends.

Got your eyes on him? You know what to do!


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