Make the first move, you won’t regret it

I’ve never been the prettiest girl in school. Actually, as a teenager I wasn’t pretty at all. I can hear you saying this is not true: that I’m beautiful and full of interesting qualities. Well, trust me when I say that when I was seventeen I was totally not. I can see that there are some girls who find their way very early on in life: you know the one – wonderful hair, wonderful smile, wonderful clothes. I could see some space for improvement for me, somewhere between my bright green eyes and my clever humour. But let’s be real: High School boys don’t really care if you’re smart, and that horrible makeup I used to wear totally overwhelmed my eyes’ potential.

And then, a bunch of makeup tutorials and a significant weight loss later, High School was finally over and I moved away to University. That’s the thing: when you’ve grown up in a small village where everyone knows everyone and you’ve been surrounded by the same people for your whole life, it is not easy to change who you are. So there it was, my big chance: new friends, new place, and new confidence. Maybe this is the reason why I decided to ask that guy I liked out first: I had nothing to lose, and I felt totally attractive. I have to be honest, it was a total disaster; he thought I was kidding (we were at a party and lots of alcohol was involved) and ended up making out with one of my (ex) best friends. It was tough, indeed, but it was also a life-changing lesson.

And here I am, five years and some guys later, with my experience to share: because from that moment I started being the one who asks guys out and I’ve never regretted it. Here’s what I’ve learnt:

No more overthinking.

I’ve always been one of those people who have to think a billion times before choosing what to have for dinner, and at the end of the day is not even sure if they’ve made the right decision. So that’s it: I spent five years or more of my life thinking I loved this guy, and thinking about the way to tell him how I felt, and thinking of risks and consequences. I didn’t tell him, of course, and then I moved on, knowing for sure that I wouldn’t have made the same mistake again. Therefore, if you ever find yourself asking if that person likes you or not, stop thinking and start doing: go on and just ask them.

No more daydreaming.

How much time do you spend imagining the perfect date? Well, unfortunately reality doesn’t match your dreams at all. The ugly truth is that they will never say and do exactly what you’ve thought, simply because , surprisingly, they have their own personality. It won’t be what you pictured in your head, and it could be much worse or even much better than you expect. but, the only way to know is to go and find out. But I can assure you, reality beats the imagination one hundred per cent of the time.

No more idealising.

You still think they’re the one, don’t you? So, there’s something you should know: feelings can be terribly wrong. In your mind they have no faults, but you should really get to know them before you judge them. Do you know that on the majority of first dates, people find out something about the other person that annoys them so much not to want to see them again? Before deciding if they are a prince or a frog, give them a shot – a proper one.

No more waiting.

You like that person, and they know it, you wait for them to do something: a story of everyone in the world. Well, waiting is not romantic, most of the time it is just boring. Moreover, have you ever thought about how much time you have spent desperately looking at your phone? I can understand why people think that guys are the ones who have to do the first move: every girl likes being desired. But let’s change the point of view for a moment: you actually desire him, why not to play your best cards? Stop waiting, you’ll win anyway.

Being loved for what you are.

I can swear I’ve heard every person on the planet saying they want someone to appreciate them for their personality and not just their appearance. Well, how could they fall for your sense of humour or your intelligence if they don’t even know you? We all seem to secretly crave ‘love at first sight’ stories, but if you’ve just met someone, you can only like what they look like. Do you think you have much more to offer? Go and show it.

No more fear of being rejected.

We all know the pressure of the first date: what you’re wearing, the ice-breaker conversation, the place. And the scariest thing of all, the question of if they like you or not. I will tell you something: you are beautiful, funny and smart, regardless of what insecurities you have about yourself. Sometimes, you just need the right eyes to look at you, that’s all. If you think of it, you’ll be confident enough to show the true you without any fears. You are the one who’s trying to find out if they’re the right person, not the other way around: it’s all up to you.

No more regrets.

I have to admit that this is my favourite. My past is full of blank spaces starting with “if only”. And you know what? Making the wrong move is still better than regretting not having moved at all. You may think that it’s just easy for me, but you should trust me: making the first move will save you so much time, energy and false memories. I for one would rather take happy endings over comfort food. But think about it: which is the most painful between a bad first date and weeks (or months?) in the dark? I’ve chosen to come clean to myself, what about you? So that’s what I’ve learnt in the last few years, and I couldn’t be more grateful for my choice. The truth is I really do deserve my slice of happiness, and I will not let someone else be in charge of it anymore.

Martina Mastromarino

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