Sorry Dudes, But Your Crush Will Probably Never Text You First

You're pretty sure this girl is into you. You talk relatively frequently, you've hung out a bunch of times, and she seems excited and present when you're together. But then, when you're apart, you have to do all the work. She doesn't text you. She doesn't schedule a date. She doesn't ask how YOUR day is.

"It's 2016!" you say. "SHE could reach out to ME, you know!"

Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh. As if it were that easy. As if all she didn't want to DO right now was text you and move this relationship along. Trust me, she's sitting in her apartment agonizing with her roommates over why YOU aren't texting HER either and wishing with every fiber in her being that she could.

Yes, she could reach out to you. She is just as capable as you are of making the first move. But there's a huge reason she's not. There's a huge reason any woman who you're involved with, at least in the beginning stages, isn't texting you first or is being unpredictable and mind-gamey and vague about how she feels about you. It's super frustrating, especially if you know she's into it.

You'll be happy to know her behavior has little to do with how she actually feels about you. It has to do with what she feels like she has to do.

Let me explain. Every woman you know has watched "He's Just Not That Into You," the rom-com that essentially taught us that when it comes to love, you men are very simple: either you are obsessed with us or you DGAF about us. You guys are very black and white.

But that's sort of because you have to be.

To put it in the simplest terms on earth that I will expand upon in a second, you are the pursuers, and we are the ones you pursue. It goes unsaid that you are in control of any romantic interaction. Because of this dynamic, you have permission -- and are in fact encouraged -- to behave in that simple, black-and-white way. If you didn't, how would we know you're pursuing us? How would any romantic interactions happen if the person who's supposed to make them happen isn't making them happen?

What sucks about being a woman is that we don't have the luxury to behave in that way. We're expected to sit idly by and wait for YOU GUYS to make things happen. Regardless of how much I want to, I'm not "allowed" to express my feelings in a way that will make things happen. Yes, still, even in 2016.

"Of course you're allowed to make things happen! My life would be so much easier if women made things happen!" you say as you take a swig of your Miller Lite and sit down at the bar with your bros who are nodding aggressively in agreement.

OK, yeah, sure. Technically, like I said before, we are indeed capable of making things happen. But we women live in a world in which our worth is based on how desirable we are to men, which affects our willingness to make things happen.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many hot, semi-nude women on television and movies and advertisements and hardly any hot, semi-nude men? That's because pop culture operates under the assumption that the only media that needs to be created is the kind that satisfies heterosexual men (aka you!). The entire world is inundated with visuals of sexy naked women because presidents of media companies believe that only straight dudes watch Netflix and look at ads on the subway.

All of this f*cks with this dynamic between men and women. It has created a culture in which women are the desired and men are the ones who get to do the desiring, not the other way around. Think about it for a second. NOBODY wants to see sexy naked men as much as they want to see sexy naked women. Even straight girls who really do love the D get freaked out by dick pics. And that's because men are supposed to be subjects that desire and women are supposed to be the objects to be desired. The other way just feels...wrong.

So once women catch onto this subject-and-object-of-desire dynamic, either consciously or unconsciously, we ask ourselves, "Wait a second. How much are dudes desiring ME?" And then this question, whether we want it to or not, becomes an important metric that we use to gauge our value as a woman in society.

Yep. This is sexism, you guys. It's sad, right? It's very sad and very f*cked up. We attain our confidence and self-worth not from ourselves, but from whether or not you guys want to have sex with us.

But this is why we won't make the first move. Because if we pursue you before YOU get the chance to pursue US, it removes you of the opportunity to desire us. It removes you of the opportunity to be that subject that desires and it removes us of the opportunity to be that object that is desired. And we need you to desire us to give us worth.

This is also why your crush is playing mind games and making it challenging for you when you pursue her. She's complicating your life with bullsh*t because she has to keep you desiring. She's making you jump through hurdles to make sure that she's desirable enough for you to overcome them. She's not necessarily doing these things purposely or consciously, either. They're just one of the many millions of things women have to do to ensure that YOU DESIRE US.

Personally, in spite of what literally everyone tells me to do, I don't really make it challenging when guys pursue me. If you want me and I want you back just as badly, you're probably going to get me. I don't fear feelings or letting dudes know that I'm into them. Like, that dating app Bumble, in which only girls can message guys first, is my jam.

But I'm also single. I've freaked guys out with this behavior. And that's because I don't have actual permission to make things happen like you do. At least, not without feeling like I'm compromising my value as a woman.

The good news is things are changing. Feminists were like "WTF, no" and are working on changing the way women are depicted in the media and in the world, and it's working: My once-shy girlfriends are slowly coming around to being more obvious with guys about their emotions, and dudes are slowly coming around to the idea that a woman who says what's on her mind is attractive. Also, Bumble is a thing! The more these things happen, the more OK women will be with telling you how they feel about you.

So, this is why your crush is taking forever to respond to your text or not being super attentive. Have some patience, and just know that she's not ignoring you because she wants to. It's because she has to.