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why women want men to make the first move

Why Don’t Women Want To Make The First Move?

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As men, it’s vitally important that we understand female nature, and how the female mind works in the context of attraction. 

Earlier, I was watching this YouTube video, and at timestamp 2:54, the woman being interviewed dropped an absolute bomb of a statement on the interviewer. She literally answered this question so bluntly and honestly that it caused me to immediately sit up and pay even closer attention. 

See, she was articulating what many women struggle to not only articulate on their own, but also what many men simply do not understand about women. In fact, many women may not even understand this about themselves. 

Here’s a brief transcript of the conversation. 

Interviewer: Yeah, most women will, like, wait for a man to approach them. Why do you think, when it comes to…

Woman: Ok, well, I just want to feel like I’m wanted. Like, you gotta want me. If you want me, you gotta apply pressure. Yeah, you gotta apply pressure, baby. If you’re not applying pressure, there’s somebody else that will take your place. So apply pressure. 

I want to break this down and talk about it a little bit, to help you understand exactly what this woman meant, and what’s actually going on in this type of situation. 

Let’s dive into it. 

Understanding Commitment Skepticism Bias

Commitment Skepticism Bias is basically a bias contained within an extensive theory of perception and cognition called Error Management Theory. This theory was created by David M. Buss and Martie Haselton, and basically describes various different biases embedded in the human brain. 

These biases play a major role in human mating behavior, and men and women tend to operate with a different set of biases 

Wikipedia actually does a really good job of defining Commitment Skepticism Bias, which is an important bias for understanding the nature of why the woman in the above-mentioned interview answered the question the way she did. 

Here’s the definition of Commitment Skepticism Bias, as defined by Wikipedia. 

“Women’s commitment skepticism arises from the high costs of falsely inferring a mate’s commitment to a relationship. It hypothesizes that women have adapted to be cognitively biased towards under perceiving male interest and commitment. This is due to the high cost of a false positive – a man not being committed and a woman accepting him – that could lead to raising a child without an investing mate, reputational damage and risk reducing chances of future courtship. The cost of a false negative – a man that is committed and a woman rejecting him – is far less costly to the female.”

Wikipedia, Error Management Theory

David M. Buss and Cindy M. Meston also describe the bias in their book Why Women Have Sex.

“So evolution has fashioned a particular psychology in women, according to this theory: a commitment skepticism bias designed to underinfer men’s true level of commitment. The commitment skepticism bias serves an important function. It helps women not to be overly impressed with easy-to-fake signals, such as verbal declarations of depth of feeling. It requires men who are truly committed to display additional commitment cues over a greater length of time. And it causes men who are truly interested in just a “quick shag,” as the British say, to soon tire of the delay and move on to more gullible, exploitable, or sexually accessible targets.”

Why Women Have Sex, Cindy M. Meston & David M. Buss

What Does This Have To Do With Why Women Don’t Like To Make The First Move When Engaging With Men?

What Does This Have To Do With Why Women Don’t Like To Make The First Move When Engaging With Men

Women want men to make the first move. 

Women are also very likely to friendzone a man within the initial stages of an interaction if she fails to see that he’s ‘applying sexual pressure’ as the above-mentioned interviewee seemed to infer. 

In other words, it seems like women not only want men to make the first move, but they are also paying close attention to how sexually assertive this man is when he makes his move. 

These two pieces of information seem to matter a lot to women, and Commitment Skepticism Bias explains why. 

Why Commitment Skepticism Bias Matters

Why Commitment Skepticism Bias Matters

See, all through history, women have adapted to become experts at trying to figure out whether a man may or may not make a suitable enough sexual partner that she should allow him sexual access when he approaches her with the intent to mate. 

For women, obtaining semen with which to procreate is easy. But choosing the right man to procreate with is an entirely different problem. 

In essence, it’s really the biggest problem that women face on the dating marketplace. 

Men are driven by a biological urge to try to gain sexual access to as many different women as possible. 

This speaks directly to the core evolutionary sexual male programming:

To mate with as many beautiful, youthful, fertile women as possible while investing the fewest resources possible, in the hopes that he will successfully create as many offspring as possible, and proliferate his own genetic legacy… in the hopes that more of his genetic progeny will populate the next human generation than his competitors will successfully produce. Also, if he does end up committing his resources to one particular ‘extraordinary’ woman and her children, he will seek fidelity to avoid wasting his resources on children who are not his, or on a woman who isn’t reserving her reproductive resources specifically for him. This gives him the greatest chance of securing his genetic legacy, and that it will be his bloodline that will propagate the next generation of the species… as he will eventually age beyond child-bearing years and expire. 

Therefore, men may lie or act dishonestly if they believe that doing so will make it more likely that they’ll be able to gain sexual access to the woman they’re pursuing. 

But does this mean that the man will also want to commit to the woman?

Usually, the answer is a ‘no.’ 

Men may absolutely want to gain sexual access to a woman without any intent to commit to her after the fact whatsoever.

But for women, the problem is that this isn’t always so obvious, because men can lie about it in an attempt to deceive her and increase their odds of ‘getting lucky.’  

Evolutionarily speaking, women need to be on their guard against this type of behavior, because it has the potential to place them at tremendous risk. 

Women Place Themselves At Risk Whenever They Give Sexual Access To A Man

222Women Place Themselves At Risk Whenever They Give Sexual Access To A Man

If a woman allows a man sexual access, and if he gets her pregnant, only to leave her and go on about his way… she now has to deal with a very potentially dangerous situation that will literally alter the course of her entire life. 

Not only has her marketplace value now been seriously diminished in the eyes of other powerful and high-value men (hurting her odds of being selected as a wife), but now she’ll also be tasked with trying to survive a pregnancy, raising a bastard child, and caring for that child by herself until it reaches adulthood; which will seriously tax her ability to provide for herself and/or further her own life success. 

All of these factors significantly diminish the mother’s odds of survival, as well as the odds of survival for her child… much less her odds of thriving or having a good life. 

But all of these bad circumstances can be prevented if the woman is able to properly vet her male partners. 

In theory, if women could figure out which men were lying about being willing to commit, and which ones were being honest, she could make much better and more informed choices for her own safety and survival in regards to who she chose to have sex with. 

This speaks directly to the core evolutionary female sexual programming: 

To find the best, healthiest genetic specimen of a man so as to procure the best possible sperm with which to create offspring; and to secure a capable, effective man’s willingness (either the same man or a different man) to walk beside her in life, commitment to share his resources, and willingness to offer his protection to ensure that she remains safe from harm during the lengthy and vulnerable child-bearing process, and to ensure that the child grows up with adequate resources and protection… so as to ensure that the child makes it to adulthood successfully, to the point where he/she can then go on to create offspring of their own. This replaces the mother, who will eventually age beyond child-bearing years and expire, and continues the grand scheme of the human plight for survival, ensuring that the human race proliferates and does not go extinct.

If a woman refuses sexual access to men until she finds one who wants to commit to her, then she could be maximally successful in this goal; she could mate with him, bear his children, and the two of them could raise the children together. 

The man would be assured of the child’s paternity, the mother would have the safety and security needed to raise the child up in the safest environment possible (both parents working together), and the odds of survival increase dramatically for her and her offspring. 

In this situation, the man may be giving up his desire to mate with as many women as possible. But he’s gaining something else that he genuinely cares about… the opportunity to proliferate his genetic legacy and safeguard his offspring until they grow old enough to continue his bloodline and produce children of their own. 

Commitment Skepticism Bias Helps Women To Avoid Mating With Men Who Display ‘Lackluster Commitment Signals’ 

Commitment Skepticism Bias Helps Women To Avoid Mating With Men Who Display ‘Lackluster Commitment Signals’

When a man approaches a woman, but doesn’t make it blatantly obvious that he’s sexually interested in her, she’s faced with a dilemma. 

Either he is:

  1. Sexually interested in her and interested in commitment, but not enough to display it to an obvious degree
  2. Sexually interested in her, but not interested enough to consider commitment, and not interested in either enough to display it to an obvious degree
  3. Not sexually interested in her or in commitment, and the approach was not born out of a desire to gain sexual access

Commitment Skepticism Bias basically tells the woman that, in the event that she can’t determine the man’s true sexual and commitment-oriented motivations, there is less risk involved in assuming that the interaction falls under possibility #3, even if that means potentially missing-out on possibility #1, because in the absence of more information, it’s safer to avoid possibility #2 even if it means potentially missing out on possibility #1. 

But see, this all changes when the man asserts himself sexually. 

If a man asserts himself sexually, this gives the woman more information. She can then use that information to determine whether this scenario falls under possibility #1 or possibility #2. And, assuming that she’s interested in the man, she can then make that judgement call, and decide whether or not she’s going to give him sexual access. 

This is why women are so quick to friendzone men who don’t sexually assert themselves. Because if they don’t assert themselves and make their sexual motivations known, the woman is quick to rule them out because doing so helps her to avoid an erroneous judgement call that could put her at risk in the absence of additional information. 

Women learn a lot from men when they sexually assert themselves… and this is information that women desperately need if they’re going to succeed in avoiding as much risk as possible. 

In Summary

This is why women don’t like to make the first move, and why it’s in a man’s best interest to not only make the first move, but to also find a way to sexually assert himself if he’s interested in a woman. 

While it may be scary for a man to put himself out there like that, his odds of success are much better pursuing this avenue than if he were to try to approach her without giving her the information needed to make a judgement call about him. 

And the only way that a man can provide a woman with this information is to assert himself sexually, and to make his intentions known as early-on in the engagement as possible. 

In Conclusion

Well, this one ended up being pretty complicated. But I hope it helped you to understand the reason for why women tend to want men to make the first move.

Keep in mind that Commitment Skepticism Bias alone isn’t responsible for this, either. There’s also the fact that men are the sexual competitors, and that women are the selectors. But that’s a whole additional topic for another post.

Go with grace, my friends, and never give up your power.

Until next time…

Joshua K. Sigafus