Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Notes Against Chasing While Dating

Oh, for the love of a good fantasy. To have someone appear in your life, fall in love with you nearly instantly, and then do everything in their power to be with you. You don't have to lift a finger, plan anything, think about anything. It's all on them, and you get to be the prize.

What a load of bullshit! And seriously, how many of you actually would be happy with a situation like this? Trust a situation like this?

But oh, that fantasy is good, isn't it? So, good you're willing to let it trump reality. Steam roll right over the more equal, less "romantic," but much more right connection right in front of you.

The way I see it, there's a difference between making an effort to demonstrate your interest and chasing. Chasing is always a one way street. One person is expected to prove something to the other person before anything will go further. Which is very different from a mutual effort where both parties do something, say something, or otherwise express something that shows an interest in the other.

While both men and women thrive on this kind of fantasy, I feel it's more common amongst women because of the old socialization patterns we are all bumping up against these days. There's still a sense that it's sexy for a man to keep calling, keep writing, keep pressing for dates, keep doing all the work, all the while tossing sweet comments in the woman's directions. It's tied in with the whole financial set of expectations around men paying for dates to express their interest and level of potential commitment.

However, some of this is changing, and for men, employing THE CHASE is a mixed bag tactic. When I was younger, I employed a level of chasing towards a few women I was interested in. And honestly, it was mostly a flop. In fact, one got downright irritated at the extra attention I was offering, and basically stopped talking to me. It's really difficult to not look like a stalker in such cases, if someone either isn't sure they are interested in you, or doesn't like to be pressured.

And that gets to another point: I don't like to be pressured, and I don't like it when someone seems to be trying to sell me something. And that's what chasing feels like. You're upping the attention towards someone too much, and the quality of that attention feels like the guy at Best Buy trying to sell you a high end television.

Once I realized all of this, I simply stopped. No more chasing. If I show some interest, and put in my share of effort and there's no response from the woman in question, I move on. End of story. If someone is naturally shy, I might put a little more time and effort in, but at some point, there has to be some kind of positive response. And frankly, if someone wants to run me through a bunch of hoops, she's probably not right for me anyway.

That's my take. What about you?


  1. I think you're right Nathan. I agree with you. I went through a chase by a psychopathic individual a couple of years ago. It was a disaster. I'm still dealing with the fallout. I'd happily settle for a nice, normal guy now.

  2. Hello there. I see the hoop as an expectation. And the desire to have someone jump though it yet another. So, for me, I guess I would first ask myself if either of these are healthy. If healthy, I might decide to jump through. Then again, even though the expectation is a healthy one, what if I simply don't want to jump through? For example, being asked to no longer eat meat. Ever. And refuse. Or do decide to not eat meat and meet their expectation by jumping through the hoop only to find on the other side of hoop yet another hoop and the desire to have it be jumped through! Which might come as a surprise at first if I expected more time would go by before being asked to jump again. It sort of reminds me of the children's song The Bear Went Over the Mountain ...

    As far as selling is concerned, I think there's way more sellers in this world than buyers. Which can be problematic. It seems to be becoming increasingly difficult to simply say something as easy as OK and make an effort to entertain another persons ways. I mean, if an effort isn't made how the heck would I ever find out if what's being sold is useful or not? There's tons of stuff I've yet to try.

    Sometimes my efforts are met with responses that aren't exactly what I want. Or what I expect. Or like. And if I decided to opt out on ever speaking to people again due to it my relationships would be very short-lived. Actually, they had been in the past when I did this. Even though relationships can come to an end after efforts are made, at least they were made. Which makes it easier for me to sleep.

  3. I guess you should clarify what you mean by "chase" As a woman in her early 30s I am just now realizing I should let me make an effort because when its all me-I get used. So yes I expect men to make more of an effort because in my experience its the only way they respect you.

  4. Julia,

    Chasing is when one person puts all or most of the effort in. If the men you are approaching aren't willing to do their share, then they probably aren't great candidates for a long term relationship. From my end, I find that some women still expect men to do all the work of setting up dates, paying for them, initiating everything. And meanwhile, they sit back and don't have to show anything other than passive forms of interest. My experience has been that when I'm doing most of the initiating and "running" the dates, the end result isn't good. Every women I have ever had a longer relationship with has stepped up in different ways early on. Calling me or e-mailing me (without waiting to hear from me first). Proposing ideas for dates. Helping with paying for dates, or offering to pay completely. Etc. So, yes, men should make an effort. And so should women.

  5. While I do agree with some points you make and can understand where you are coming from, I like a little bit of a "chase." But I think we have different ideas on what the definition of that term is. I see "the chase" not as one person putting in most or all the effort in order to woo someone, but more so both parties playing a bit of a game; a game in which both parties are not 100% sure about the other's feelings, but there's definitely an inclination to both parties liking one another. "The Chase" for me involves a lot of flirting, but not necessarily "winning" right off the bat, or letting the other person "win," if any of that makes sense. You give a little, but not too much. And both parties have to do it. If one party is doing all the work, that's not a chase, that's more so one person liking the other person but feelings not being reciprocated. But that's just my whole take on the chase!! =)

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