Hello, all! I was very sorry to miss last week’s Follow the Peace link-up. But then again, I was quite literally following my own personal peace by roaming the more natural parts of San Francisco solo while my host was at work. Now for this week! Go see Jen and Morgan (and married lady Stephanie!) for more opinions.
What do I think of women pursuing men? It depends. I really wish I had a more clear-cut answer myself or could speak to the experience of following some hard and fast rule. But as I have neither, I don’t feel right advising the greater world one way or the other. So here’s my take for both sides:
Let the Man Pursue:
Pro: You know he is interested in you because he is asking you out.
Pro: It is so gratifying to have him speak the words you long to hear: “Will you go out with me?”
Pro: It forces him to put in effort, and if he’s the only one who does so, he rises above the competition.
Con: If he is shy/timid at first, but at heart a great guy, waiting for him to propose a date could have you waiting for what feels like forever. Or worse, you give up, move on, break up with Mr. Second Best, and Mr. Awesome is now with someone else who might be Ms. Not-As-Awesome.
Con: His pursuit is conditional on being nearly certain you will want to be caught. If you’re not giving off signals of mutual interest, he’ll drop the hunt.
Con: It’s exhausting to always be wondering if he still needs to feel like he’s chasing you, or that if you give in to the pursuit too quickly he’ll get bored.
Con: It can be very frustrating waiting for him to come to you, and worse, wait for him to determine he’s completely caught you. In other words, he could be like a cat and toy with you, never fully committing.
(CLICK ON THAT LINK! Advice from the hunter’s mouth)
You Pursue the Man
Pro: You feel you have a sense of control, a say, a voice, an action item in the situation.
Pro: It seems logical: you want husband, you want particular type of man, you go find that man.
Pro: You may save yourself waiting time and angst if it turns out the guy was just shy.
Con: For all they may say about being “turned on” at your boldness or “cool” with you making the first moves, many men and guys, actually do NOT really like this. While they may entertain it for a little while, ultimately, they may feel emasculated, controlled, or too complacent. Or, once they’ve let themselves be grabbed, they realize they don’t like you as much as you liked them and end up performing a hatchet job of a break-up.
Con: You encourage male laziness within the relationship once he realizes you’re willing to do all the work.
Every situation and person is going to be different. That is why it is a tough call on how you want to act and react in each circumstance. Be gentle with yourself. Pursuit can look like many things to many people, and actions big and small have meanings big and small, all depending on each individual’s frame of reference. For example, would you consider sending a smiley face to a guy first as “pursuing,” (and bad) or are you like me, viewing it as a welcoming gesture, like smiling at him across the room? Right now I am in the phase where I will do the live action and online equivalent of the “Hi! Nice to meet you!” and let him take the lead. Then I definitely want the guy to suggest the next steps (what many call pursuit): going from messages to live chats to phone to live dates. But I’m also giving off subtle cues (I hope) that will assure him he will have a successful hunt without outright asking for a date. I think I may have suggested a couple of times “Wanna meet up?” and those never worked out beyond that first date (there were other reasons, too).
I wish dating didn’t have to be so fraught with complications and worries. Because I don’t believe the best relationships should depend on whether someone followed or broke hard-and-fast social rules. I pray that I can pray “Lord, if this is right, let us both know and act accordingly.” So, maybe instead of worrying about who’s doing the asking, the paying, the chasing, the game playing, we just run the race we were originally called to:
We Pursue God
What if instead of pursuing a person, we pursued the Almighty? We’re chasing after eternal happiness, look around, and see a fellow runner. Either one of us extends our hands, not mattering who did what first, and we pursue Him together.
EDITED TO ADD: After commenting on Morgan’s post, I realized something: when we say we want men to take initiative and the lead, it’s a little like they’re in the driver’s seat. But we women are not to be passive. We’re more than some prize to be won . And the minute a guy’s pursuit “nails” us, we’re not to become some lifeless, so-to-speak, object, not contributing to the relationship. Oh no, if we learn after we’ve been caught that we just want to get away, we should. But if we want to stay, we have to be equal partners. So in my rough little car analogy, that means if we’re in the passenger seat, we can be the navigators, aiding our men as they get US where WE BOTH need to be. 🙂