*Disclaimer: All opinions stated below are of the author only.*
“Never struggle to chase love, affection or attention. If it isn’t given freely by another person, it isn’t worth having.”
This quote has become my mantra in my post-divorce dating life. It is so simple, yet says so much. And is so true. These words are a fantastic reminder for a person like me, who has a very “type-A” personality… I like to be in control, and know exactly what’s going to happen, and when and where it will happen. I’m the type of person who’s always searching for guarantees in life (even though that’s impossible), and I’m quite impatient when it comes to dating; I always want to know what the guy is thinking about me and our relationship. Since I was 12 years old, I’ve been chasing guys I liked, imposing my constant need to know what they were thinking and how they felt about me, sometimes after one or two dates. If you’ve ever done that, you know it doesn’t usually work out in your favor.
Now that’s not to say that was the case with every guy I liked; I certainly had my fair share of suitors where the feelings were mutual. But I was always the first one to bring up “the talk;” I wanted to know pretty early on where the relationship was headed and how he felt about me. When I liked a guy, I immediately began looking ahead; fantasizing about us getting married and living happily ever after. There was always an end goal. And I suppose that other than my marriage, this constant feeling of wanting more was a main reason why I seemed to always be getting my heart broken.
“We often want it so badly that we ruin it before it begins. Overthinking, fantasizing, imagining, expecting, worrying, doubting. Just let it naturally evolve.”
So after getting back into the dating game last year, I vowed to do things differently this time. I took about a year after my last relationship to think about my value as a partner (or girlfriend), the type of man I’m looking for, and the type of relationship I want. I realized that in the past, I was so focused on finding a boyfriend that I lost sight of other important things in my life. I spent a lot of time feeling anxious and worried about guys, and I put way too much energy into a relationship, that in reality, I never really had.
So what’s my point? This might sound sexist in an age of feminism and strong, empowered women, but men are still men, and women are still women. And in the thousands and thousands of years of heterosexual relationships, men have been, and always will be, the hunter. Now that doesn’t men women can’t show interest; of course we should! But there’s a big difference between chasing a man and showing signs that you like him, like being flirty when he does text you and showing interest by a simple touch when you’re out on dates.
Here’s the deal: if a guy likes you, you’ll know. He’ll text you frequently and make plans to see you. Most men still like to feel like the “man” in the relationship and usually want to be the pursuer. No matter how unfair it may seem, I’ve found this to be very true. Men don’t want a woman who constantly texts him, or who doesn’t have a life of her own. Most like the chase, and then, the “reward” of the chase, which is you. As a good guy friend told me when I asked him for advice,”be the prize.” BE THE PRIZE. Because you are a prize, and any man who’s lucky enough to be with you will see you in a different light if he feels like he’s worked hard to win you over.
In recent months, I’ve followed this advice. I’ve backed off and let the guy pursue me. I’m not chasing him. And the results have been great! It’s a bit easier for me now because I’m not looking to get married (at least not for several years) and I’m definitely done having kids. The only thing I’m looking for is companionship and someone to have fun with. So I think my relaxed attitude is refreshing to guys. They can sense when women have an agenda, and most don’t want to feel pressured into getting involved in a serious relationship right away. Most men tend to focus more on enjoying the present, and not worrying about the future… at least not for several months of dating.
Don’t make a guy your life. Fill your life with other things so you’re not focused on one person to make you happy. You shouldn’t have to try to convince anyone to love you or want to be in your life. Have the confidence to know that you deserve to be loved freely and completely. No matter how much you might want someone to love you, if they don’t, they don’t. And that’s okay. Bigger and better things will come your way, even though you may never think so. Remember, when someone wants to walk out of your life: LET THEM GO. It’s their loss. End the chase.