Open Question: Should Women Pursue Men?

equal-courtshipSince publishing the response article Why the Man Has to Chase I’ve received several comments and emails from men and women alike explaining why, or why not, they agree with the premise of the post. For the most part, the men who have written in do not agree with the idea that while women can initiate contact, women are more successful in dating and relationships if they leave the pursuing and chasing to men.

In contrast, the vast majority of women who have given their responses agree with the article and have given their experiences with dating that support the theory behind it. In the females’ experience, for a variety of reasons, pursuing men they have found attractive has been mostly unsuccessful.

Now, I ask readers, considering all factors: your experiences, personal beliefs, and any others: do you think women should pursue men?

One part of my view is contained in the earlier post — no, women should not pursue men because men don’t want to be chased. Men, if they’re interested, will show this interest in some way, thus making chasing men unnecessary.

However, the idealist in me does believe that women should pursue men. After all, this makes securing the man she finds the most attractive, easier, instead of choosing from the men who show interest. In a world without gender bias and norms, women would and should approach men. Unfortunately, we do not live in that world.

What is your view? Should women pursue men or not?

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42 thoughts on “Open Question: Should Women Pursue Men?

  1. I’m somewhat old-fashioned in my own preferences, but viva la difference. Perhaps it depends on how much the woman in question enjoys pursuing men. Finding a man who likes being pursued might be worth all the rejection.

    For most of us, it’s easier to bow to tradition, or at least nod. I’m reminded of what my sister said about her now-husband: “I chased him until he caught me.”

  2. Hi Amy, welcome. 🙂

    “I’m somewhat old-fashioned in my own preferences, but viva la difference.”

    Agreed. I think old-fashioned can be good in dating though.

    “Perhaps it depends on how much the woman in question enjoys pursuing men.”

    If a woman likes pursuing (and accepts that rejection is a part of that) then I agree that she should pursue.

    “Finding a man who likes being pursued might be worth all the rejection.”

    Maybe! You know what they say: A good man is hard to find…

    “I chased him until he caught me.”

    I’ve always liked that expression.

  3. if a woman is never pursued by a man, then maybe, it’s time for her to pursue men, and show them that she is worth chasing. i mean, women can show motives – through flirting with men. and i think flirting is part of the chasing men process.

  4. It depends on the type of woman and the type of man that she wants to pursue, but in general, I think women should not pursue men.

    If a woman has “masculine” energy and is attracted to men with “feminine” energy, then she may well have to pursue those guys because those types of men are often too cowardly (shy?) to pursue women. Some women really do want to be the man in a relationship and there are men who like those types of women. But the woman should realize that throughout the relationship, she will have to play the masculine role. Don’t expect the man to suddenly become assertive or more of an alpha-type male once you catch him.

    I learned as a teenager that the type of men I am attracted to do not like to be pursued by women. They may be flattered, but in the end, they won’t value the woman as much. And personally, I would feel insecure in a relationship in which the man did not pursue me.

    I don’t believe that men pursuing women is just old-fashioned socialization. I believe it is biological for MOST men to want to be the pursuer. That is just how our species evolved. Men like a challenge when it comes to getting a woman for a SERIOUS relationship. Anything worth having is worth working for and if he did not put any effort into getting you, then you have very little value to him and you may learn that the hard way. An example of this is a woman who lives with (or dates) a particular man for years, expecting the relationship to lead to marriage, but the guy leaves and marries a woman that he has known for a short time and has not cohabited.

    On the other hand, I do not believe that women should play hard to get. The woman should flirt and show interest and if the guy is interested and pursues her, then she should not play games. Don’t make him put too much energy into getting you, because he may experience a big let down after he gets you and feel that you were not worth the energy after all. Then he won’t stick around for very long. A woman who knows what she wants and has her own life and interests will never need to play hard to get by pretending to be unavailable for dating, because a woman with a full-life really will have to juggle things to make room for a man.

  5. I was always too shy to pursue so I don’t really have much personal experience here. However, I know myself and a guy who NEEDS to be the one pursuing (and who wouldn’t like to be pursued) is definitely not for me. Same goes for a guy who’d reject you if you sleep “too soon” with him.

    I suppose my type of people are the ones who don’t really pay attention to these things (who was the one who approached first, who pursued whom, who was the last one who called, etc.) Like, I can’t remember if I pursued my husband or if he pursued me. Nobody did the pursuing, I think. It was all pretty spontaneous.

  6. An example of this is a woman who lives with (or dates) a particular man for years, expecting the relationship to lead to marriage, but the guy leaves and marries a woman that he has known for a short time and has not cohabited.

    This is interesting. I hear this sort of things from westerners. But it just doesn’t happen here. Cohabitation is considered the best way to go here. Nobody is crazy to marry someone they didn’t previously lived with. (Ok, not “nobody”, but you get the idea; cohabitation is seen as the logical step people should make). What is considered not a good solution but it happens fairly often nonetheless is that they don’t live together but she gets pregnant and then they get married. If you live together and then get pregnant and marry him, it’s seen as a good thing (pregnant brides are not seen as bad here). But not cohabitating before marriage is seen as immature and reckless and a few parents would advise their daughters to do it. No: live with him a little first, to see if you two can live together. If everything is alright, then get married. Don’t get marry without seeing if you can live with him first.

  7. Mira: “This is interesting. I hear this sort of things from westerners.”

    Ann:

    Hi Mira.

    Maybe it is a western thing. Since I have always lived in the West, my comments apply to Western customs.

    I think there is a big difference between a man and woman living together for a short time after they feel that they want to get married and a woman living with a man with no talk of future commitment beforehand, cohabiting and just HOPING that he will one day marry her. Many men are all too happy to enjoy the benefits of a live-in relationship with a woman that they KNOW that they don’t want to marry. And women often assume that just because a man wants a sexual relationship and living together, then he must consider her wife material. I have known MANY women who lived with men and then were dumped when the man moved on and very quickly married another woman. In fact, I know many more women who were left behind after living with a man who ended up marrying very quickly after their relationship ended, than women who ended up married after living together. Spending years living with a man with no promise of marriage is just not in the best interest of most woman, in my opinion.

    I believe that most men (over the age of 25 or so) know what they want in a woman. Living together is often just a man’s way of buying time until the right woman comes along. And most of the time, there is never an open discussion about whether the man is considering the woman for marriage. It seems so typical for the woman to ASSUME that she is being considered for marriage.

    Also, I don’t think living together is absolutely necessary. It is possible to spend a lot of of time together in one or the others living space, “nesting” so to speak, while officially maintaining separate residences. Two people should not have to spend years living under the same roof to know if they are compatible. There are men that I know I could never live with, just from a conversation or my interaction with them. But if two people want to live together for a few weeks after an engagement, then I don’t have a problem with that. If after those few weeks they feel that marriage is not a good idea, then the woman should end the relationship. If they feel compatible, the woman should insist on marriage as soon as possible because women have more to lose from these types of relationships that men do.

    Marrying a man because of pregnancy is probably the worst thing, in my opinion. I would not want to be in a marriage that occurs ONLY because of the child. If he would not want me as a wife if I weren’t pregnant, then that says it all, for me. I do, however, understand why many women will accept a marriage proposal because of pregnancy. Single motherhood is difficult, and I understand a woman wanting a provider and father for her children. Ultimately, children don’t hold men forever, so any woman who gets a man because of a pregnancy will only hold him for a few years. Divorce is no longer taboo, so few Western men are going to stay “trapped” because of an unplanned pregnancy.

  8. Well, the time they live together can be short or long, it depends on them. The thing is that in my culture, when you do that, you ARE considered a husband and wife. The fact you don’t have an official paper doesn’t change much, in the eyes of people or eyes of the law. According to the law, if two people are living together for more than 2 years, they are basically considered married and most things that apply to married couples apply to them, too. So getting the paper or not is a stylistic choice for many, though most people do get marry traditionally because wedding is considered and important event where families should spend a lot (and a lot and a lot) of money, invite 100+ people and celebrate the union of their kids in this way. This is yet another reason why many couples decide not to officially marry – they may not have money for a marriage ceremony and to have a proper wedding here, your family needs to spend a lot of money.

    Pregnant brides are common here… Many couples live together and marry when she gets pregnant. I suppose the procedure is easier if a child is born within a marriage and maybe there’s still a bit of a taboo to be a child born outside marriage.

    Personally, I could never marry a man I never lived with before. It is just not the same so spend a lot of time together and to live together. And if you do spend so much time together even if you technically have separate residences, then you are living together and a separate residence doesn’t mean much. One simply can’t know if they can live with someone until, you know, starts living with someone. Dating and living together is just not similar, but living together and being married is basically the same, at least here.

    But I suppose it’s all down to the law and the way these couples are perceived. Like I said, if you live with someone for years here (like many couples do), you are considered married anyway. So no man (or a woman) can take it as an excuse of not wanting to commit since they are seen as married already.

  9. Hi monmon,

    “if a woman is never pursued by a man, then maybe, it’s time for her to pursue men, and show them that she is worth chasing.”

    How would the former show the latter?

    “i think flirting is part of the chasing men process.”

    I guess I can be, depending on how active/aggressive it is.

  10. From my experience, it depends on what the woman in question is seeking. If it’s a purely sexual relationship, then: GET HIM (snarl and all), but if you want more and know it, be stealthy. Irrespective of what most magazines say, very very few men like an (openly) aggressive woman. They seriously feel her balls are bigger than theirs, so they worry about performance. Yes, men are thinking “sex” when they look at us, so don’t play shocked!.

  11. Ann,

    ‘If a woman has “masculine” energy and is attracted to men with “feminine” energy, then she may well have to pursue those guys because those types of men are often too cowardly (shy?) to pursue women.’

    Agreed. I just wonder how things end up sometimes with these sort of pairings. Even shy men can show overt interest, and sometimes not approaching a woman just hints at your passive take on relationships, or in general.

    “But the woman should realize that throughout the relationship, she will have to play the masculine role. Don’t expect the man to suddenly become assertive or more of an alpha-type male once you catch him.”

    Yes. That is what’s a letdown, I think. Women who have pursued a man expect that the man will take a more active role in the relationship later, but experience says he just might not…

    Mira,

    “I suppose my type of people are the ones who don’t really pay attention to these things (who was the one who approached first, who pursued whom, who was the last one who called, etc.)”

    I don’t know if it’s a conscious thinking about who did or didn’t do what. It’s just that who initially showed interested/showed more interested/etc tends to set the stage for how things progress.

    “I can’t remember if I pursued my husband or if he pursued me. Nobody did the pursuing, I think. It was all pretty spontaneous.”

    This is the ideal situation, I’d say.

  12. Mira: “And if you do spend so much time together even if you technically have separate residences, then you are living together and a separate residence doesn’t mean much.”

    Ann:
    Yes. You are technically living together, and that is what matters, isn’t it? You are getting the opportunity to evaluate the person, to decide whether the two of you can harmoniously live in the same space. Maintaining a separate residence makes it easier to break up, if necessary, and offers some protection in the event of a breakup. If you have one official residence, then, in the event of a breakup, one or both people will have to break a lease, find a new place, buy new furniture etc. That can be a huge financial cost depending on the cost of living in a particular area. And breaking a lease is not a trivial matter, at least not where I live. So “technically” living together makes a lot of sense for people who are already living apart. Giving up your own apartment to live with a man is equivalent to quitting one job before finding another one. It can work out well and many people do it all the time, but it can cause a lot of problems. What’s wrong with doing things in a way that provides protection in the event of failure?

    I’ll give you an example of a former coworker. She thought her relationship was going well and she and her guy got an apartment together. A few weeks into the relationship, he decides (to her surprise) that they are not right for each other and moves out. She was left with an apartment that was too expensive for her to afford on her own. She was evicted, ended up in a homeless shelter for a while, had to rent a substandard apartment in a bad neighborhood in order to get out of the homeless shelter, and owes her former landlord money. In order to move in with the guy, she gave up a small but nice and affordable apartment in a good neighborhood (something that is very difficult to find in many parts of the country). Had she “technically” lived with the guy and maintained her own residence, she would have fared better when the relationship ended.

    Here in America, living together means nothing. Marriage is not just a piece of paper and many women are throwing away precious years of their lives living with men without the benefits of marriage. I don’t think many American women realize the many benefits that are available to wives, widows and divorced women that are not available to domestic partners. Why do you think gay people in America want MARRIAGE and not just domestic partnership? Gay people know that marriage is not just a piece of paper in our society.

    The reason that I said a woman should end the relationship as soon as possible, if the guy seems to be dragging his feet, is because women and men are not the same. A woman has a relatively short period of time during which she can attract quality men and safely bear healthy children. If she wastes that time with a man (or men) who does not want to marry her, she may be left with some poor choices for a husband in her later years. Men, on the other hand, have pretty much the same options throughout life as long as they are fairly healthy. They can decide to marry and have children at age 70 or older, if they want to. So they don’t lose from the live-in relationships that never terminate in marriage.

    Of course some women don’t mind being single mothers and they don’t want any of the benefits of marriage. For those women, marriage is not necessary. But I believe that most women In America still want and benefit from marriage.

  13. foosrock,

    “it depends on what the woman in question is seeking. If it’s a purely sexual relationship, then: GET HIM (snarl and all)”

    Lol. We’re assuming she wants more than a purely sexual relationship. 🙂

    “Irrespective of what most magazines say, very very few men like an (openly) aggressive woman. They seriously feel her balls are bigger than theirs”

    *dead*

    Her figurative balls might actually be bigger than theirs, after all!

  14. Alee: “Agreed. I just wonder how things end up sometimes with these sort of pairings. Even shy men can show overt interest, and sometimes not approaching a woman just hints at your passive take on relationships, or in general.”

    Ann:
    Exactly. That is why I would never pursue a man. I believe that even a painfully shy man will find a way to show a woman that he is interested in her, as long as the woman is open, friendly and approachable.

  15. I suppose things are different in America. Domestic partners here are basically equal as the married ones. When it comes to residence, people don’t have money to have their place anyway. Most of them live with their parents in their late 20s or 30s, many never get a place of their own. So living together often means living together with one of their families (same goes for marriage). If they can afford to rent an apartment the contracts are often non-existent and the owners of the flat don’t care who you are or what you do as long as you pay them. Only a few people can afford to have a flat/house this young. They are either very rich so their parents can buy them a flat (nobody is that rich on their own in their 20s or 30s so even if they have a great job they have it because of their parents’ connections), or they have a flat because they are like me, they inherited it from an older relative (usually a grandparent), which also means that at least one of their parent is dead or else the parent would be the one inheriting the flat.

    So all in all, people in their 20s and 30s don’t usually have places of their own nor money to rent them so nobody is losing their independence by living together with someone. In fact, having one place to rent (if renting is a possibility) makes for a more affordable option. Also, since domestic partnerships are basically equal to marriage there’s no huge “penalty” for living together but not getting married. So it’s sure something many couples do, and like I said, it makes perfect sense to me.

  16. Mira,

    “I suppose things are different in America. Domestic partners here are basically equal as the married ones.”

    Things are a bit different. Americans tend to prize marriage (at least in theory!), so it’s seen as the ultimate step to take as far as commitment goes. There are some who don’t see marriage as necessary and instead opt for domestic partnerships, but in general cohabitation arrangements are the step before marriage (if there is to be a marriage). Other countries are more equal in their views of committed partnerships outside of marriage, I’ve noticed.

  17. But wait, aren’t we supposed to be more conservative here? 😛

    I think marriage IS praised here. The thing is that it doesn’t have to be officially recorded for it to be seen as a marriage. I suppose this mindset is very old. In 19th century or so, in rural communities, it was very difficult to go to the nearest town to get registered or even a church. I suppose it seemed more convenient to have a couple simply living together. Also, sometimes, it’s more affordable if they didn’t have money for the wedding.

    Things are changed now in terms of availability but the mindset is there. Actually, when you are in a long term relationship, people will often jokingly refer to your partner as your wife or husband. Yes, it’s a joke, but not a total joke. Especially if you’re living together. Not saying that people won’t ask when you’re going to make it official or that people don’t want to make it official – in fact, many do.

    The thing is that once you start living together, it’s basically seen ad being married anyway, so whoever is not ready to get attached or get married, he or she won’t start living together because that’s the most important step.

    So I suppose while in the US a strong indication that someone is serious (and want to marry you) is when they don’t want to live together but move to the engagement immediately; while here, a strong indication that someone wants to marry you is if they want to start living together.

    A person who wants to get married but her/his partner doesn’t show signs of wanting to start living together, well, that’s usually a warning sign that this person does not want you for a long time.

    I suppose it’s different than in the US but I can assure you it’s not because we don’t value marriage here. I just suppose the definition of marriage is different and also the steps towards it.

    For example, when people hear that my husband and I married after dating for about a year and a half, they go: “ugh, but isn’t that a bit short?” But when we explain that we’ve been living together for all this time (because we started living together after dating for about 3 weeks), they go: “ah, I understand, makes sense”. The idea is that you’ll usually date for a while (often years) and then make a decision to live together. Once you do, you need some time to see if you two can live together. Then you get married.

  18. This is relevant to the point and topic to the article, Women will never be proactive in approaching men! Period! It’s not in her gender role. Women do NOT pursue men blatantly! As a chick, you know that.

    As a PUA coach, we advocate for men to stay proactive and do the pursuing (initially) until he hits the hook point and make the girl pursue him. But women will rarely even pursue a man initially unless she’s a slut. Even if, she still will be bound to not pursue due to societal repercussions.

  19. Mira: “Once you do, you need some time to see if you two can live together. Then you get married.”

    Ann:

    Mira,
    I am confused now. If there is NO difference between living together and being legally married in your country, why does anyone bother to get legally married at all?

    Are you saying that in your country a woman living with a man has EXACTLY the same legal rights as a woman legally married to a man, no difference whatever?
    For example, if a man dies while he is living with a woman and he does not leave a will, does the woman automatically get a percentage of his assets (if he has any)?
    Does she have a right to make decisions about his healthcare (before he dies) without consulting his parents or next of kin, such as a brother or sister?
    Does she get his pension, widow’s benefits etc if he dies while they are living together, but not legally married?
    Does she decide how he will be buried?

    Here in America, a spouse has certain automatic benefits and considerations simply because of the marriage certificate. The spouse has to do nothing to ensure these rights. On the other hand, domestic partners need specially prepared legal documents to protect themselves.

    There was a case here several years ago about a man and woman who had lived together for several years. They owned property and bank accounts together. After he died, his parents kicked her out of the house, seized the bank accounts and property, life insurance etc. She was was not allowed to visit him while he was in the hospital, not allowed to claim his body after he died, and was not invited to his funeral. Since she was not legally married to him, his parents were his legal heirs. She had no automatic legal rights that his parents had to respect. A similar scenario occurs with many gay couples in America, that is why they want marriage.

  20. Yes, I believe all of this is true. Married and non-married couples are equal under the law. The only thing is that non-married couples need more paperwork and they generally need to prove they are a couple for X years (like living together at the same address, etc.) Married couples don’t have to do it (for example, my husband’s official address at the moment is not the same as mine – and we keep forgetting to change it). There are also some things you need to pay: for example, a baby born in the official marriage automatically gets husband as the father but in a non-marriage relationship the father needs to get his name signed on the birth certificate, which costs relatively much (which was the main reason why my brother and his wife got officially married one week before the birth of their daughter). Stuff like that. Also, in case of a non-married couple, I think it’s easier for the rest of the family to try to ask for their share (in case of death, etc.) so once again, you need to prove the deceased person was really your husband/wife, etc.

    So generally, it’s more about the paperwork and proving two people were partners if there’s no official marriage. But the married and non-married couples are equal under the law, just like children born in and outside the marriage are equal under the law.

    But people still want to get married officially because, I don’t know… It’s official? But I believe it’s mainly because of the wedding ceremony – it’s very important in my culture and parents are expected to spend crazy amount of money for the wedding and call all those guests… It’s a show for the community and people expect to be invited to this show and they expect families to make this show happen and to judge how much money was spent and how big of a wedding it was.

    There’s also a recent trend of people wanting to get marry in church, but church ceremony is not official – a couple who marries in church only is still considered domestic partners (unmarried couple).

  21. Mira: “Yes, I believe all of this is true. Married and non-married couples are equal under the law.”

    Ann:
    Interesting. Maybe people in your country take living together more seriously than we Americans do. I personally don’t know anyone who considers their live-in partner their spouse just because they are living together. In fact, it is not unusual for someone who is legally married to one person to cohabit with a lover. I have a friend in that situation right now. She is living with a married man who left his wife years ago, but did not divorce her. When I was in college there were lots of people living with lovers of the opposite sex. It would have been crazy to consider them married.

    Anyway, I am glad things are different in America. Many people live together for sex and to share expenses, so considering two people married just because they live together is not a good idea. Living together should not imply marriage any more than having sex should imply love/commitment. Legal marriage removes uncertainty. It is too easy to get married, so there is no excuse for simply living together, if two people “feel” married. All it takes is a marriage license and an authorized person; an expensive ceremony is not necessary. Children deserve to be protected whether or not their parents are married. But the women, they choose to enter an uncertain situation; if they get burned from living with men, they deserve it.

    You said this: “So generally, it’s more about the paperwork and proving two people were partners if there’s no official marriage”,

    and

    “for example, a baby born in the official marriage automatically gets husband as the father but in a non-marriage relationship the father needs to get his name signed on the birth certificate, which costs relatively much”.

    So even in your country, marriage is still held above living together. Because couples still have to “prove” that they are partners, whereas married people don’t have to prove anything if they have the piece of paper. And the man is not automatically considered the father of his child.

    And with regard to the marriage ceremony, a couple can certainly have a church ceremony without getting legally married. Gay people have been doing that for a long time here in America. The fact that people still want to get married even though there is no significant legal difference between married and cohabiting couples shows that there is a psychological difference between marriage and living together.

  22. Hi Kenny,

    “This is relevant to the point and topic to the article, Women will never be proactive in approaching men! Period! It’s not in her gender role. Women do NOT pursue men blatantly! As a chick, you know that.”

    I do, do I? 🙂

    Not really. There are women that are more active in showing their interest in men, and they’re not exactly rare. I don’t do so anymore, but in my past life, I’ve approached men.

    “As a PUA coach”

    *pukes*

    “But women will rarely even pursue a man initially unless she’s a slut.”

    Uh, hmm, that’s a new one. So a woman that pursues a man for a committed, monogamous relationship is usually sexually promiscuous?

    Eliss,

    “No.”

    Thank you for your concise response. 😛

  23. Kenny,

    I think you’ve come to the wrong blog, if that is the attitude you’re going to have. Perhaps there are other blogs that accept such comments, but this isn’t it. This is not your backyard, I’m not your buddy, get a clue.

    If, on the other hand, you’d like to comment here, read the guidelines for commenting. They are conveniently located in the header of every page. Commenting on my blog is not your right; if your comments are neither constructive nor well-mannered you will lose your privilege to comment here.

  24. I’m more about mutual pursuing. I’m not someone who’s strict about the man should pursue and the woman should be chased. I also don’t understand the logic that if it’s any other way it sets the stage for the relationship, if the woman is being chased, to me that also signifies she’s being passive in the dating process. So does that mean she will be passive in the relationship or marriage? To me I don’t think so. Besides, that simplifies human relationships which are far more complex.

    There’s also the issue of some men suffering from social anxiety,or just be extremely shy, so they may be too afraid to pursue women. But on the other side of that coin, if women pursue then we’re viewed as being desperate. So there’s that problem.

  25. RenKiss: ” also don’t understand the logic that if it’s any other way it sets the stage for the relationship, if the woman is being chased, to me that also signifies she’s being passive in the dating process.”

    Ann:
    It sets the stage because people are who they are. If a man is afraid to pursue women, that is usually a reflection of his personality, typically a passive one. Any woman who expects a man to change after they become a couple is setting herself up for disappointment. Shy people do not change on demand. Of course, in the abstract anyone can change, but it is a mistake to fall in love with potential.

    Also, why would any woman who values herself want a man who puts no effort into getting her? Shyness is an unacceptable excuse for a man not putting effort into attracting a woman that he wants. If the woman is friendly and open and he is still too shy to approach her, then he does not REALLY want her. But I guess in that case the woman will stroke her ego by telling herself that he really wants her but is just too shy to put any effort into her. I know from personal experience that interested shy men will take the lead as soon as the woman gives them the green light with her behavior and facial expressions. If his social anxiety is so severe that he is too cowardly to talk to friendly, smiling women, then he needs to get professional help to overcome or reduce it.

    Also, I don’t believe that a woman should be chased, because that implies she is running away. When a woman is open, friendly and flirtatious, she is not being passive; she is actively showing the guy that she wants to be approached. And if at any time she changes her mind about the man, she should let him know this and he should leave her alone; otherwise, he is stalking her. If she is interested and playing hard to get, I don’t approve of that either.

  26. It sets the stage because people are who they are. If a man is afraid to pursue women, that is usually a reflection of his personality, typically a passive one. Any woman who expects a man to change after they become a couple is setting herself up

    Hence is why I don’t think the rules should ” the man should pursue while the woman should be chased” because of what you mentioned, it can’t be applied to all cases. The whole premise is based on the man being the assertive one, while the woman is passive. As you mentioned, there are men who are shy and passive, that’s against their “supposed” nature. There’s also the implication that shyness is a negative trait, in men that is.

    Also, I don’t believe that a woman should be chased, because that implies she is running away. When a woman is open, friendly and flirtatious, she is not being passive; she is actively showing the guy that she wants to be approached. And if at any time she changes her mind about the man, she should let him know this and he should leave her alone; otherwise, he is stalking her. If she is interested and playing hard to get, I don’t approve of that either.

    That’s all well and good, but it just doesn’t seem to make sense to me as to why the man has to always be the one who has to do the approaching.

  27. These types of discussions actually make me glad I didn’t take the traditional route. 😛 Because I would have screwed up somewhere. Not there’s anything wrong with that, but with my current bf with us at first we went out with groups, but then it go to the point where we just started spending time together by ourselves, after 3 years it’s getting to the point where we’re discussing the possibility of marriage. So I guess we’re just weirdos in that sense. 😀

  28. Renkiss: “That’s all well and good, but it just doesn’t seem to make sense to me as to why the man has to always be the one who has to do the approaching.”

    Ann:
    Fortunately, in America, women can pursue men. But exceptions do not change the rule: most men do not like to be pursued by women. There are men who like being pursued and there are women who like to pursue men; they are in the minority. If you and your guy are of those types, then there is no problem. But let’s not pretend that most men are happy being pursued by women or that most women don’t feel good knowing that a guy wants her enough to put effort into getting her.

    I did not say that a woman should not approach a man. Approaching and pursuing are not synonyms. I think it is fine for a woman to approach a man (in an appropriate place), start an interesting conversation, etc. What I feel a woman should not do is be the first to ask a man out on a date or call him more than he calls her. Nor should she give him gifts or take him out to dinner before he has done any of those things for her. And I do believe that a woman who values herself would not pursue a man. Women want to delude themselves into believing that men have intrinsically changed because of the women’s movement. They have not. Men have a tendency to believe that women who pursue men are sexually promiscuous or desperate. It isn’t fair, but that is just the way it is. If a woman is interested only in sex, that is not a problem. But I have heard too many women complain about how badly things turned out when they pursued a man.

    Renkiss: “As you mentioned, there are men who are shy and passive, that’s against their “supposed” nature. There’s also the implication that shyness is a negative trait, in men that is.”

    Ann:
    Any man who is too shy and passive to pursue a woman who is friendly and approachable does not deserve to have a woman. Would you accept a man telling you that he is too shy and passive to look for a job?

    Shyness is a negative trait for both men and women. What makes you think that it is easy for a shy woman to flirt with or start a conversation with a man? Or maybe she is too shy to go on the date and be alone with a man? But I don’t excuse the woman. If she is too shy to do her part, she does not deserve a man. I am a very shy person. I had to get professional help to learn to control it because I realized that life was passing me by. My shyness affected every area of my life, from dating to employment. I was even shy about making platonic friends with women. Men often assumed that I was conceited, when in actuality, I was sacred to death of even looking at them. So I understand shyness. But I also understand that no one is going to hand me a great guy on a platter.

  29. Hi Renkiss,

    “I’m more about mutual pursuing.”

    This would be the ideal situation, but it often doesn’t work out that way, for various reasons.

    “I also don’t understand the logic that if it’s any other way it sets the stage for the relationship, if the woman is being chased, to me that also signifies she’s being passive in the dating process.”

    My reply for setting the stage more or less mirrors Ann’s response.

    “There’s also the issue of some men suffering from social anxiety,or just be extremely shy, so they may be too afraid to pursue women.”

    This is why I think it could be useful for women to show interest in men. They can say hello, flirt, show that they appreciate the guy’s existence. Even shy guys will make a move if it’s obvious that the woman is interested.

    “That’s all well and good, but it just doesn’t seem to make sense to me as to why the man has to always be the one who has to do the approaching.”

    The thing about this topic, that I’ve noticed, is that people are set in their views and can’t be persuaded either way. And that’s fine, but my personal view based on my own experience and observations is that women can approach men and otherwise show interest, but they should let the man take it over from there. I’m sure they’ve done studies on this somewhere, but I haven’t looked into it.

    There are some exceptions — some guys really don’t mind women taking a more active role and they won’t place less of a value on her/any subsequent relationship. But in dating you can’t cater to the exceptions.

  30. Ann,

    “And I do believe that a woman who values herself would not pursue a man.”

    It doesn’t have to be a question of a woman valuing herself or not. Some women, like my younger self, are truly unaware of or dismiss the reasons why taking the lead with a man usually does not turn out favorably. Women learn this through being taught it and absorbing it, or directly experiencing it, so if neither occurs then there you go.

  31. I think “pursuing” is not well defined here. I see women pursuing men all the time. Heck, dressing up in order to look attractive is part of pursuing men. Wherever you look: media, magazines, etc., it seems that all they teach women is how to pursue men. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a different message in media that, you know, pursuing men and getting a man may not be the only (or the most important) thing in a woman’s life.

    But this situation is what makes women pursue men in a passive way. (By looking pretty, by sending subtle signs, etc.) While men are taught to do it differently. There’s no instinct about it – if nothing else, in the animal world, males are the “pretty” ones trying to impress the plain-looking females with their beauty. It’s just that society reduces women to ornaments and being in charge and making decisions is seen as unfeminine. So a woman who wants to pursue a man has to do it in the socially acceptable ways for a woman and not in a “male” sort of way. But women pursue men all the time and heck, I’d say women are often more dedicated to getting a man than men are to getting women, and it’s also influenced by the fact that society tells a woman her main interest in life is to get a man, while men are given other options to fulfill themselves.

    Personally, I see nothing wrong in stepping outside the game. Perhaps one should not cater to the exceptions in dating, but if your goal IS to find someone who doesn’t play the dating game (because you don’t like it and you want to meet someone who is like-minded) then cater to exceptions makes perfect sense. I suppose it all depends on what you want to find and what kind of a person you want to meet. There are never guarantees, of course, but you can always try. This is why knowing yourself and knowing what kind of a person you need is important. For example, I wouldn’t want to date a man who is attracted to pursuing or who likes when a woman is playing hard to get. This is just not a guy for me. So of course I wouldn’t act like this when I’m interested in someone. It’s actually a quick way to filter those who are not compatible. Same goes for not dressing up (it’s important for me that a guy doesn’t need a girl to be dressed up or elegant) and some other things we discussed before on this site.

  32. Mira,

    ‘I think “pursuing” is not well defined here.’

    Here pursuing refers to using direct, active actions to influence the other person. So things like wearing make-up, etc aren’t included because they’re not direct actions aimed at a specific person. I guess those could be considered a passive form of pursuing, but I’d put them more in the category of attracting.

    “I’d say women are often more dedicated to getting a man than men are to getting women

    Ha, yes, they are.

    “and it’s also influenced by the fact that society tells a woman her main interest in life is to get a man, while men are given other options to fulfill themselves.”

    Yes.

    “Perhaps one should not cater to the exceptions in dating, but if your goal IS to find someone who doesn’t play the dating game”

    I guess you could do that, but you might be waiting a while. Dating is a numbers game, and everyone wants to increase their chances although of course quality is very important.

  33. I have recently decided pursuing is a bad idea. I rarely experience anything mutual and part of the reason is because I pursue the wrong guys, which then comes across as desperate. I also find it almost demeaning since I’m putting all this time, effort and energy into texting a guy I’m interested in, only to get a half-assed reply back and then nothing reciprocated in the end. At this point, women often make excuses for the guy and continue to contact them. Instead, if you wait for the guy to show interest, you will know immediately that they like you and you won’t have to exert all this energy for the wrong person or waste your time. If no guy happens to be showing interest in you, I think you are STILL better off alone then being the one to act desperate. If no guy is pursuing you, love and pursue yourself instead! The more you love yourself and show self–respect, the more likely you will attract a guy then the woman who does the chasing.

  34. Hi Melanie,

    “if you wait for the guy to show interest, you will know immediately that they like you and you won’t have to exert all this energy for the wrong person or waste your time.”

    Agreed.

    “If no guy happens to be showing interest in you, I think you are STILL better off alone”

    Yes, I agree it is better to be alone. Then you also have time to think about what you want in a relationship, what you’re bringing to the table and how much effort you’re willing to put in.

  35. I don’t think there is anything wrong with women approaching men (if that is what you meant.) I’ve heard both sides of opinion from guys themselves. Some guys actually favor women approaching men because it takes the pressure off of them, but some are more old-fashioned in their beliefs. Honestly there is nothing wrong with it and the risks are the same. When men approach women, they have a chance of getting rejected, as is the other way around.

  36. allthedots,

    I agree and I disagree. The risks are the same and yet they’re not. Yes, some men may say they prefer it, and some do, but IME you should assume that if the guy was interested he’d show it, in some fashion.

  37. In my opinion yes woman can pursue men some men will like it and some won’t honestly not every relationship a guy has pursued ended in a marriage or life long bond so neither has a success rating that trumps the other.

    All this leads to is shaming on men calling them “cowards” and the “slut” label being applied to woman. If someone disrespects on those small matters then that was a dodge bullet. This kind of shaming a labels help no one.

    I disagree with everything Ann said and cosign to Renikiss and her observations about some sort of biological reasons or the “set the tone of the relationship” thing when it comes to this that simplifies the topic and its played off as “fact” so it won’t be challenged. Honestly if we could just apply the negatives to all genders and stop with the who has it worse contest things could be better but I don’t see that happening.

  38. As a reasonably attractive and confident middle-aged man I am surprised to see this old tradition of men pursuing women still being popular. The trouble with it isn’t so much that we fear being rejected (at least then we could move on quickly); the trouble is that pursuing women is a very good way to get into a bad relationship. Most women love being flattered (with attention) – and some are capable of stringing men along for a very long time. And this can still apply no matter how many books the guy has read, or how much he thinks he knows about women and relationships.

    The next point is that pursuing a woman for very long feels like sexual harrassment and probably is. Even if the woman keeps smiling and putting up with it. And do men who chase women realise how weak and desperate they are going to look in the eyes of their peers ?

    Lastly, even a reasonably attractive and eligible man will probably get attention from a fair number of women over the course of say, a year. He wants a woman who can be a companion and is hopefully capable of making some kind of commitment ( a great many women probably aren’t). Why on earth (unless he’s a player) will he go after a woman who isn’t taking a serious interest in him ?

    I am writing this from the UK. It is small wonder that two work colleagues have recently given up on the local dating scene; one has married a far Eastern bride, the other intends to very soon. Relationships are very complicated and I’m afraid there aren’t many simple and straightforward rules.

  39. This issue has been one that has tortured me as a male for many years, and it continues to do so for several reasons. “Pursuing” women I am interested in is very difficult because of eight personality traits that I possess:

    1) As a man I do not possess a type A personality
    2) As a man I do not possess a competitive personality
    3) As a man I do not possess an aggressive personality
    4) As a man I do not define myself by my work and the money I make
    5) As a man I possess an introverted personality
    6) As a man I can be slow to trust people
    7) As a man I tend to be shy around women I’m really attracted to
    8) As a man I will not sleep with any woman outside of a committed relationship that has a high level of trust, communication and emotional connection.

    Now some of these things I continue to work on. For example, my slowness in trusting people (I had unhealthy emotional attachments w/ both of my caretakers as a boy), and also my shyness around women I am really attracted to. But the other things will never likely change. They are either too integrated into my personality as a 41 year old male, or they are an integral part of my ethics and boundaries. Moreover, I like being the way that I am for the most part. It works for me. It should be noted that even though I do not define myself by my work and the money I make, I have a good, stable job that I have been at for 17 years. I keep a roof over my head and food on the table. But I consider my job to be just one thing that I do. I have things that I am interested in outside of work. I don’t sit on a couch and drink beer all day.

    The thing that I dislike about pursuing women is that it implies “competition” and “challenge.” The idea being that a woman should present herself as a passive being, and that the male should thrive on the “competitive challenge” of “winning over her heart.” I just do not view love as being about competition. I also do not feel that I am in competition with other men to win over that woman’s heart. I view love and dating as being a discovery of attachment. It’s about discovering whether you are compatible with someone. My view is that if I have to win a woman over to get her to love me, she is simply not a good match for me. If dating is about male pursuit and competition for women, I am simply going to lose the race for the eight reasons above. They pretty much disqualify me from the starter’s gun. So I have to look at dating in a different way in order to do it.

    I also have real problems with dating rules, gender stereotypes and other things that define a person by a simple set of labels and that limit their individuality. There are no musts. People should do what is comfortable for them, while occasionally stepping out of their comfort zone.

    That being said, at a certain point I realized that, despite my personality orientation as a male, I was going to have a really hard time getting dates with women unless I made my interest known and at least directed the first few dates. No matter how much I hate the social conditioning that women receive which tells them that it is inappropriate to pursue a man they like, I felt I was fighting a war that I simply would not win by not pursuing in some fashion. I was going to end up single, alone and celibate unless I hit the lottery.

    However, I have my limits. For one thing, I do not make tons of money, and so I cannot afford to pay for dates for months and months on end. Also, I don’t want my date to get the idea that I am a guy that I am not. I want her to love me for the man that I am. I am willing to “play the game” of pursuit to a point. However, after a few dates, if she’s interested in me, she needs to come up with date ideas and to take over the driver’s seat a bit. If it’s my role as a man to get the ball rolling, I can live with this, but what I can’t live is doing it all and being a person that I am not. I desire a true partnership and true compatibility. Playing hard to get doesn’t do it for me. I will never be a type A personality. I will never be extroverted, competitive and aggressive. I love NOT being these things. I don’t feel that guys who are these things are any better than I am. But they do tend to have an easier go of it in the dating world it seems.

    So my concern revolves around the amount of pursuing I have to do in dating before I become a stage actor and alter my personality as a male to such a degree to where the woman falls in love with something that I am not. It’s a real struggle.

  40. I like it when a woman pursues me. The reason being, you never know how to read a woman’s signs. If a girl starts chasing you, then it makes everything easier.

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