Five Reasons Why You Should Never Chase a Guy

I want to start off by saying that I consider myself a very evolved, independent, strong woman. I am a steel magnolia…I am no one’s shrinking violet. And I don’t need a man to chase me around endlessly or doggedly pursue me while I feign disinterest in order to play “hard to get.” I’m actually not a fan of game playing at all. Once you hit forty, you’re kinda over all the childish nonsense. These days the only game I’m interested in is Catchphrase. Or Heads Up. (Now that game is just good times.)

All that said, I am also very much a traditionalist when it comes to dating. I don’t need to be doggedly pursued, but I do prefer that the man make the first move. I prefer that the man be the initiator of at least the first date. Because I view dating as dance, I prefer the guy take the lead; not all the time, but the majority of the time, especially in the early stages of dating. I’m not afraid to ask a man out, and I’ve been known to do it, but it’s not my preference. Why? Because I’ve never had good results when I’ve been in a dating situation where I was the primary instigator. Usually when I’m the primary instigator, it’s a pretty clear sign that he’s just not that into me. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known a man who didn’t go after something he REALLY wanted. (Maybe you feel differently, and that’s totally cool!)

Modern dating can be extremely tricky. And by “tricky” I mean often infuriating, frustrating, and about as clear as the meaning of those Matthew McConaughey car commercials. No one’s dating anymore, they’re “hanging out.” And in the midst of all this super casual “hanging out,” signals and wires and intentions seem to have gotten crossed. Instead of men being engaged and taking initiative and making an effort to “woo” women, a lot of men seem to be sitting back waiting on women to woo THEM. It’s almost like while the women have been working extra hard at dating, the men have taken an extended leave of absence. And it’s causing all sorts of chaos.

Now, please don’t make me launch into some diatribe about how men are natural hunters and gatherers and are actually genetically programmed to be the initiators of relationships (because it’s true, but I don’t feel like doing the research to prove it). And please don’t misunderstand me, either. I’m not suggesting we, as women, sit around sniffing our smelling salts like Scarlett O’Hara or play the hapless, helpless female in need of a big, strong man to come and rescue us. That’s not my point here at all. My point is this: A lot of men seem to have forgotten how to make a genuine effort when it comes to dating, because us ladies are making all the effort for them. And in my humble opinion, a relationship that begins as a result of a woman doggedly chasing around after a man doesn’t tend to have a happy ending. I know this because I’m 41 years old and I can say with full confidence and with years of dating experience under my belt that anytime I have chased a man, the relationship has gone nowhere fast. But when I sit back and relax and stay open and receptive to the relationship without doggedly pursuing it, it has always, always, always worked out better. Because if I make my interest known without overkill and the guy doesn’t make a move, at least then I have my answer. (And btw: I consider myself a feminist. But part of being an empowered woman is knowing your heart, your time, and your company is worth being wooed and pursued. I mean…I want to be wooed and pursued! And I’m not ashamed to admit that. Don’t you?)

Now let’s define what exactly I mean by “chasing,” just so we’re clear. I absolutely believe that making your interest known and clear is a beautiful, and even necessary, thing. Men need to know that we’re into them as much as they are into us. I don’t consider texting a man first, asking a man out, or being 100% open and demonstrative about your feelings “chasing.” Again, I’m never about being coy or cagey or playing games. Chasing is when you’re daily blowing up his phone and he’s breadcrumbing you with one or two vague responses a day. Chasing is when you’ve asked him to hang out five times to his one. Chasing is when you are making ALL of the effort, and he is making none.

If you’ve lost months or years of your life to endlessly pursuing a man who always seems to stay one step ahead of you…here are five reasons why you should stop chasing that guy:

1. It’s humiliating, exhausting, and downright bad for your self-esteem. It’s impossible to feel good about yourself if you’re willing to trade in your dignity for a pair of running shoes in order to chase after any man. Especially one who doesn’t seem all that interested. And your dignity and self-esteem are never worth surrendering, for anyone or anything.

2. If you have to chase him, ladies, here’s the cold, hard truth: He doesn’t want to be caught. A man who wants to be with a woman will always be running TOWARD her, not away from her.

3. He’s clearly not that great of a guy. Why? Because a man of character would stop dodging and evading and being shady and would sit down with you face-to-face to tell you honestly that he doesn’t want to be with you. He wouldn’t keep playing games with your heart or keep you hanging around as his backup plan.

4. You are missing out on the things and people and relationships that are meant for you by wasting all your time and energy and emotions on the things that are not. When you stop chasing the things that aren’t for you, you give the things that ARE a chance to catch up to you. But as long as you’re caught up in the drama of a hopelessly frustrating and seemingly endless pursuit, you literally have blinders to all the amazing things already staring you right in the face.

5. Even if you catch him, you won’t really ever have him. I’ve learned this firsthand, the hard way. You can have someone’s physical presence there with you and their heart can still be light years away. On the bright side, the really amazing thing that sometimes happens by catching someone you’ve been chasing for so long is it finally opens your eyes to why it was never meant for you to catch them at all. Because sometimes it takes getting everything you ever thought you wanted to fully understand it’s nothing you need, and far from what you deserve.

In closing: Be open, be clear, be communicative, be engaged, don’t be afraid to be bold and text a man/call a man/ask a man out first…but please, by all means…stop chasing him if he keeps running. Something better is coming! You are worth being wooed and pursued. It’s time to resign from any relationship that makes you feel like getting to know you and spend time with you is “work.” The only man you should be chasing is the ice cream man on a hot summer day.

*This is an excerpt from my new book, Don’t Believe the Swipe: Finding Love Without Losing Yourself, available HERE for just $12 + FREE SHIPPING! 

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