In early September, the girls participating in the Not Alone Series tackled this question: Can A Woman Pursue A Man? I love what Morgan from Follow and Believe wrote:
“Can women pursue men?” is very different from “Should women pursue men?”
These are indeed two different questions. This post will address the “should” question.
Stephanie from Captive The Heart is happily married and also contributed to this series both on her blog and at Ignitum Today. I very much agree with what she wrote. She did not seem to be encouraging single women to pursue men. I think what she encouraged was for single women to not play games and instead to be honest. I totally agree. When you are with the right guy, no games are required. In fact, I think that when you are with the right guy, you can almost do no wrong (except sin, of course).
Stephanie’s husband, Andrew, was enamored with her. He asked her out first. She said ‘no’ at first and then when she was ready, she asked him to ask her out again. Totally cute! Stephanie did not pursue him. She responded enthusiastically to his initiation and pursuit. She is so darn cute and sassy, when you combine that with him being enamored with her, of course it was fine.
Men Need Cues
In the same Not Alone Series, Jen from Jumping in Puddles wrote:
“….Yes, sometimes we might have to help them out by letting them know we are interested. Because of our culture today, so many men are knocked down from pursuing us, they are constantly getting rejected. The more rejection, the less they want to try. It’s a sad thing, really….”
During my discussion with Gregg about this topic, he wanted me to let you girls know that men need cues! Before he met me, he experienced some of this rejection that Jen described and it can make a guy gun-shy. Gregg needed cues from me and he got them! I was occasionally pretty bold! You may be surprised at my boldness during our courtship…..
I Was Sort of Bold
Look, I am bossy by nature. And, Gregg does not seem to mind it that much. I had never been ‘bold’ when dating other guys because they always seemed to be holding back on me. It felt too risky. But, during our courtship, I was uncharacteristically bold with Gregg. And, the reason I was bold was because Gregg gave me the confidence I needed to be my bossy self. And, I knew he was looking for cues from me.
For example, after talking on the phone for about a month, I said, “So, when are you going to come visit me?” You see, I lived in Virginia and Gregg lived in Kansas City. Things were going really well and I was curious to know if we had a future. Figuring that out required that we meet in person (duh). Gregg was very happy that I asked him to visit me because, again, he was looking for cues from me.
Another example of my boldness is when Gregg visited me the first time. I hugged him as soon as he exited the security gate at the airport. This surprised him, but in a good way. You see, we had talked on the phone for 4 months. When he arrived in person, I wanted to hug him. I was pretty sure he wanted this too. Again, Gregg was extremely happy to receive this and other positive cues from me.
Another example of my boldness was in our engagement. It was March/April 2002 and we had known each other 6 or 7 months. We both knew this was a ‘go.’ So, one day I was emailing Gregg and I included this major cue: R.I.N.G
We laugh about it now because when I am bossy in our marriage, I tell him that he really should have paid more attention during the courtship. It is not like I hid this aspect of my personality! 🙂
Like Stephanie, when you are with the right guy, you can almost do no wrong. You are free to be yourself. I emailed her to ask her permission to quote her in this post and this is what she said, “When it comes to Catholic women’s perception of dating, it seems to me that honesty and candor are sometimes equated with pursuit, which I think is incorrect.”
So, be your honest self. Give your sweet man some cues. But, first make sure that you have his heart.
As the wife, you will be so much happier with a cooperative husband. I am not saying he needs to be a push over but there are daily things in marriage that need cooperation, teamwork and collaboration. This is the ‘hard’ part of marriage.
But marriage is easy when you are with someone who decidedly pursued you. Marriage involves two wills rubbing against and bumping into each other. The rubbing removes the sharp edges over time which is good. But, like sand paper on your skin, it can hurt. It is a ‘dying to self’ that is required.
When the sand paper hits Gregg’s skin, he has to remember who he is dying for. That girl, Cindy. His wife. It is during those times he has to remind himself, “Oh, yeah, I spotted her, pursued her and asked her to marry me. I have chosen this. Die, Gregg, die.”
When the sand paper hits my skin, I remember his courageous pursuit. I remember that he picked me. He asked me to marry him. He risked himself for me. He dies daily for me. It is during those times that I say, “Die, Cindy, die.”
Should You Pursue?
I think the answer to this question is that it depends on your definition of Pursue. If you mean Chase, then I say it is not a good idea. If you mean Respond and Flirt and give Cues, then yes, of course you should. If you mean, return his efforts with your equal effort, like a tennis ball in a tennis game, then I think that is fine too. But, I think the relationship should be established first.
For example, after Gregg visited me the first time, he asked me to visit him in Kansas City. He felt that if things were going to progress, then I needed to be willing to visit him. I think it was important to him that I see his home life and meet his family and friends. I took that as a great compliment so of course I said ‘yes’ to his invitation! He served the ball and I hit it back.
But, here is the thing. I never felt like I was pursuing Gregg with my actions and affections. His pursuit of me was consistent and reliable. I responded, I flirted and I gave cues. I felt no angst or obsession. I felt happy and cherished. I was free. God had finally lifted the Veil.
“…know that if someone gives you anxiety and draws you into obsession, it’s not a relationship coming from God….” Christina from The Little Signs
Preach It Morgan
I am going to close with a quote from Morgan from Follow and Believe (I added caps for our Lord):
“…I think there’s a delicate line to walk between being open and approachable and being the desperate throwing-herself-at-you girl. Because like everything in life, there is an order and all of that was put in place by the One who knows what He’s doing…”
God Love and Bless You!
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Chastity’s Veil – Let’s hurry up show these guys that they are not worth very much!
I think you missed the point of the post. Men are worth the same dignity as women. Blessings to you.
As a woman who was totally and utterly pursued by a man who is now my husband for almost 24 years, I totally agree with you. Because he established early on that he was in earnest, was sincere, and not just looking to play games, I was free to be open and honest with what I thought and felt — whether that came out as responding or flirting or whatever, didn’t matter. I didn’t need to play hard to get because he knew he wouldn’t get a yes until I was sincere about giving it. We knew if we committed to each other it would be for the long haul. And the long haul means exactly what you say — dying daily to self. Love this post!
Thank you, Stef for visiting and for your comment!
I would say as a husband that it’s fine for the woman to be strategically in a pursuit posture as soon as she regards a man as a potential mate, but all tactical pursuit must be 100% up to the man.
Thank you, Christian for your comment and for visiting!
How is telling someone to do things like buy you a ring and ask you out, not in the category of pursuing someone? That does not make sense to me. Maybe the wording is different, but you’re still pursuing someone. I don’t think there’s that big of a difference, and I also don’t think it’s such a bad thing for a woman to show interest.
Thank you for your comment. I am sorry this is confusing to you. I didn’t tell Gregg to buy me a ring and I did not ask him out. I responded, I flirted and I gave cues (R.I.N.G) that I knew he would love. I had the confidence to do this because his pursuit of me was consistent and impressive. I agree that it is not a bad thing for a woman to show interest which is why I encourage girls to give the guys cues. Smile, flirt and look him in the eye. Please feel free to email me directly. I would love to hear from you! God bless, Cindy
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I loved what you wrote about regarding the sandpaper and rubbing to soften the edges. This is one of the things I’ve been working on regarding my virtue as a single gal – being willing to ‘die, katie, die’ regarding items that are irrelevant. Like restaurant choice, activities with friends, what’s on tv with my roommate, etc… Standing firm on the things that matter, and letting my will die when it’s just a matter of preference. I’m hoping working on this muscle will be fruitful if/when there’s a man, children, and more in my life!
Also, thanks for being honest about the ‘pursuit’ – just being able to make it clear when I’m interested, but not pursuing him (the guy-whoever, whenever). My prayer lately has just been “Lord, help me to be open and vulnerable when the one you desire me to date is presented.” It’s given me much more peace!
Thank you for the sweet feedback, Katie!
Great post, Cindy! I think I made the mistake of believing I had a guy’s heart because he’d communicated I had it before…like I was cashing in feelings chips. But after reading your post “Stop Chasing Him,” I realize I was missing the signs…I did wonder. Plus, the quote “A man can tell when he is dealing with an impatient woman,“ fits me to a T, and that may have made him back off. I am now doing much better and even kinda pulled the bold “so when are we going to meet?” line. It worked! One date down and a call he initiated! 🙂
Oh yes, that Stop Chasing Him post has the most page views out of over 100 posts. I am glad it helped. 🙂