“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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