Monday, December 13, 2010

Pursuing Vs. Pursued

Who remembers Women’s Lib? I do. I may even have an ERA NOW button stored somewhere. Let’s face it. Women are not operating the same playing field as men, paycheck or otherwise. The big question: Is it okay to be the pursuer in the dating game? This is a tricky question and you have to define what pursuer means.


The fact that you made the decision to date means you are obviously going to put yourself out there to meet men. It’s one thing to introduce yourself at a party and even make a coffee date as opposed to constantly emailing, calling or texting a guy, especially when he doesn’t reciprocate. That not only looks needy, but it is also on the stalker-ish side.


You have friends that when they meet a guy will roll out the red carpet. On the premise, they’ve met Mr. Right, they make a five-course meal and serve it in a black lace teddy on their second date. While the man may enjoy the pampering, he’s gone within a month. What gives? Your friend wanted to show her potential man all she had to offer. It wasn’t that what she had to offer wasn’t good, it just came too fast. The man didn’t appreciate it because he didn’t work for it, anticipate it, or even have a chance to feel special. The lavish display gave the opposite message that this was something she did for almost every man who made it to date two.


We tend to respect what takes work and time. Children who spend their own allowance money on a toy will treat it better than a gift toy. They remember how much work went into it. Men are like this. I got this factoid from men! Sure, it is nice when a woman approaches them and makes the initial move, but a woman who constantly keeps making the moves leaves him with nothing else to do. When does the guy get to fulfill his traditional role as the pursuer?


Some shy guys need to be pursued or else they’ll never go out on a date. There is some truth to that. A woman who does ask the guy out should make sure that it's her last obvious pursuing move because the cards are definitely on the table. The flip side of this whole argument is the totally passive guy. You know the one. In his effort to please, it is always “whatever you want, dear.” Guys will sometimes complain that women don’t appreciate nice men anymore. It depends on what you define as nice. A wimpy man who allows a woman to make all the decisions gets old fast even for an opinionated person like me who likes to make decisions.


Men like what they don’t have or what they think they might not get. They also like to think of themselves as the pursuers…even if you’re allowing yourself to be pursued. There is nothing like a little doubt or insecurity to make a man pursue harder. I got a real life example in my own life due to the fact I don’t listen to voice mail. If I see someone has called me I’ll call him back, but often I don’t see that call. My family will keep calling until I do answer. A bad habit but I doubt I’ll break it though. About once a week to ten days, I listen to all my voicemails. That’s when I discovered one man had called me twice. I texted him with a general message and made no mention of his phone calls. His response was very enthusiastic.


He could have acted hurt or even refused to answer my text, but he didn’t. Instead, he put on his pursuer cap because I appeared elusive. If I mentioned my failure to listen to voicemail, I just sound irresponsible. Maybe he thinks I am so overwhelmed with men asking me out that I just managed to find time to answer his call. I was only able to text because I have such limited time.  :) Mentioning my state of constant absent-mindedness would probably not endear me. Why do we want to share our flaws on the first date?


If a guy is around for the fourth or fifth date, then he is willing to deal with your flaws because he has a few of his own. If you want to be pursued and you do, check your baggage at the door. Be mysterious, don’t tell everything. I used to think I had to detail all my failed relationships. Do you want to hear about all his failed relationships? Even if you think you do you’re only fooling yourself. No one wants that. If you insist on rehashing past loves it becomes a therapy session instead of a date. Is that what you want? Keep in mind, you want his attention on you, the pursued, not on the ones who got away.


Men like mysterious. I’ve heard it, even read it, but didn’t believe it. As a woman who talks way too much, I thought it was my goal to reveal every tidbit of my life. I had my doubts about my ex’s sexual orientation and a dislike for my ninth grade locker partner. This did not benefit me. It may have made some men run screaming into the night. It is rather freeing to realize every aspect of my life does not have to be on an examining table. There are things I don’t tell my family. Why would I want to tell a man I‘ve known at best a couple of hours? Mysterious can be good. If he doesn't know everything then there is a reason for him to pursue you to learn more. Keep in mind you never have to reveal all.


There is a common joke among women my mother’s age that they allowed a man to chase them until they caught him. They knew all along which man they had set their cap for. Their girlfriends knew too and probably the guy too. Still, on his part, there was a bit of insecurity that she could prefer another guy or lose interest so he needed to be clear where his interest laid. He did this by bringing small gifts and squiring his girl around. There’s a good chance he also warned off other guys by either looks or actual words. Almost reminds me of a nature show where the male animal puts on his mating display to attract a female and chases off the competition. Ever wonder if the female animals were talking among themselves pointing out which male they liked already, but allowed the male to feel like he was the pursuer


Update: I joked on a blog that I allowed my husband to catch me, while I had decided on him from the start. This amazed him because he believed he was pursuing me. He was to an extent. Rather like primitive men, he demonstrated why he was superior to other men as far as a mate.



  1. Long-lasting marriages also need infusions of pursue-pursued dancing. I've learned that the hard way, but my husband and I just celebrated our 41st anniversary. Not a road of roses, but remembering how to play the dating game helps the roses rebloom.

  2. Ana,
    Thanks for your insights.
    I always thought the game should continue, but obviously never convinced my ex of this. I like to think I am never too old to learn.:)

  3. Research studies have shown that, even in bars, men (in general) don't approach women until they've been signaled. Eyes and smiles are the way to show interest. Of course, the men don't usually realize they've been signaled. They congratulate themselves on being the pursuer!

  4. Amazingly, we women do so much to attract a particular man from appearance to rehearsed conversations in front of the mirror and yet they are the pursuer. I believe it is a deception that we all willing embrace rather like Santa Claus.:)

  5. I think this blog is soooo interesting. I'm pretty sure I'd be a failure at dating again (I was the first time around, too), but I still think it's interesting to read about.

  6. This is a great post to keep in mind while writing a book or dating! Good job.
    Liz Arnold
    The Wild Rose Press

  7. Hey Liz Flaherty,
    First of all, you're not a failure at dating, but you may be attracting the wrong type of men. That's why I look at my foray as a research project and I have heavily researched via reading books and the Internet. It is work, but this time even though I am older and heavier I am attracting a better class of men.:)

    Keep reading, I may even have a pearl of wisdom or two. LOL

  8. Liz Arnold,
    Keep reading, the best is still yet to come. :)