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Can a girl ask a guy out?

We're sitting on his couch and I can't stop staring. His cheekbones lie inches from my hands, and I want to touch them. It would be so easy, I think, to pull him on top of me. Easy, but out of the question. After all, I'm just a girl, and as I've been taught, girls don't make the first move.

"What if I know he likes me?" I asked my mom. "What if he's slow?"

My mom puts down The New Yorker. "Let him be slow," she smiles. "If he likes you, he'll call. If you ask first, he'll probably say yes. If he knows you like him, he'll take advantage of it. Boys can want you without liking you." She laughed. "I mean, honestly. Boys want sheep."

Actually, she said something else about boys and sheep, but it's unprintable (except perhaps in Playboy). Farm animals aside, my mom was very clear: If a guy wants to date you, he'll ask. And if a girl pops the question, the guy assumes pretty soon, he'll get to pop something else.

"That's bulls--t," snapped my friend while sucking a Popsicle. "Women can do anything men can." After remarking I couldn't pee with good aim, she continued. "Guys are oblivious. They can't tell what we want. Sometimes we have to give them hints. Big hints. There's nothing wrong with taking matters into our own hands."

When I reported this to a Rules-reading friend, she sighed. "How many dates has this girl had?" she asked, unrolling her yoga mat. "Look, I believe women can do everything men can, and more. But men need to ask. If they don't, you'll never know if they really like you. You'll always wonder if your love is equal, or if he's just along for the ride."

Stilettos in hand, I tracked my bare feet over to a section bench and collapsed. "Just tell me," I begged the guys. "Do you like it when girls make a move?!" The boys handed me a beer. "Yes! It's great," smiled a redhead. "It's like, relief. You know she's cool and low maintenance. Plus," he added, nudging the other boys with a plaid-clad elbow, "you know you'll get play."

Distressed, I phoned my best friend, a former frat guy himself. "If you want to ask a guy out," he said, "do it. If he likes you, he'll accept. If he just wants your ass, you're a smart girlâ??you'll know. But as long as you're true about it, you'll end up with the right guy, even if you ask him out first."

When I pointed out the benefits of playing hard-to-get, my friend groaned. "Should your relationship to be about games?" he asked. "Or about the two of you, together?" I didn't have to answer.

Back to the boy on the couch: I imagine tackling him to the ground. And even though I want to, I'm hesitant. I know I can make the first move, but I'm still not sure I should. I can't tell if it's my dating philosophy talking, or just my fear of rejection. But maybe it's time to change both. After all, real relationships should never be about games. And rejection?

That's just an excuse to find a cuter guy.

Faran Krentcil is a Trinity senior and senior editor of Recess. Her column appears every other Friday.


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