A few weeks ago I wrote a post about chasing vs. pursuing. I’ve already decided we need some new language to make all of that more clear, but that is not the topic for today.
I received a note from one of my female leaders asking a good question in response to that post. In actuality she asks a much more important question, perhaps without knowing it. I don’t typically write specifically to women here because, well I’m not one, and I don’t come from that experience. But I think this is important and merits an post.
In follow up to the post on chasing vs pursing, may you write a refresher on how women should appropriately response to being chased or pursed? I think that for the well liked, popular Christian single lady, it may be easier to differentiate the two and act accordingly, perhaps due to exposure or experience. For other women, especially when requests and invitations are few and far in between, or even non existent, it can be hard to tell what is a good and noble pursuit versus what is simply a chase because we are a woman. Sadly, I have fallen for this one, and I would appreciate insight on how a woman should respond to such encounters in the future.
This question brings up a few very important points that we need to consider. So let me take a crack at them here, while hopefully helping answer the intent of her question.
I think what she is really asking is not so much how to understand the difference between knowing when guy is chasing vs pursuing, but instead how to know who to respond to. How do you know who is noble regardless of their approach?
This is a vitally important thing for women to get a hold of. Because here is a gigantic truth. Ok ready? Both noble and ignoble men can be chasers and both noble and ignoble men can be pursuers.
This is what I’ve been telling men here for four years. Being a good Christian guy or even being a guy who would make a great Christian husband does not necessarily help you attract the girl you want. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s not typically what causes or doesn’t cause attraction. It doesn’t get you in the door – it should help you seal the deal. It’s the difference between marketing and managing. Two totally different skill sets.
In the Church we only teach one skill set – that’s being a married person. It’s killing us.
So let me actually answer the question as best I can for the ladies that are interested out there.
First, you need to understand that initial attraction, while nice should always be checked with some qualifiers. Now that doesn’t mean you have to figure out all the qualifiers before you go on a date. But it does mean you are looking for some things. And you are looking for them quickly.
I say quickly because if you let attraction grow with someone who isn’t qualified you can end up in a bad spot in a hurry. Pretty soon you are saying things like, “I know he’s not a Christian but I can’t help what I feel“. Bad.
What you need to have clear in your head is that for most women, what is attractive about a guy initially is how he carries himself, how he talks to you, how he “makes you feel”. Again there is nothing wrong with feeling attracted, even to the “wrong” person. But that attraction does not make the guy noble or not.
There are a lot of guys who would make great husbands who come off less attractive at first. But if you want a good marriage, then you need to think about not just how you feel, but what kind of man this guy is. Is he deep? Does he lead others? Is anyone following him? Do people respect him? How does he treat people? What does he do with his time and money? Is he a hard worker? These are all good questions that show you more about him.
A great example happened recently to a gal I know pretty well. She came to me after being on a few online dates. She said that one of the guys seemed like a really good guy, with a really good background. She “wanted to like him” but she didn’t “feel” that attraction. Now realize this is after one, maybe two dates. She asked me what I thought.
I said, if you want to get married then I would maybe give this guy another couple of dates. The truth is that a lot of Christian guys aren’t super comfortable and confident right out of the box. There are many reasons for this (which we’ve talked about ad nauseam here) but if you think he is a high quality guy, then I’d give it another go.
She did and they are well on their way to marriage. As they dated more, he got more comfortable and therefore she grew more attracted.
Now that won’t happen every time. I’m not suggesting here that you marry someone you aren’t attracted to – although you could. What I’m saying is that how someone pursues you has to do with attraction, not how noble they are.
Bottom line, if a good guy seems awkward at first, I’d give him another chance. See if after a couple of dates you feel different. If he stays weird then yeah, maybe you bolt. And if a guy charms you and you are paying attention and figure out that he isn’t a good guy, forget what you “feel” and bolt. In a dream world, you are instantly attracted to a good guy. But we live in the real world.