Should I pursue him?

My gut reaction to “should I pursue him?” is always no.  Have you seen the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You”?  It’s a silly little movie based on an even sillier book.  When I was in college, my roommates and I kept the book on our coffee table and would read excerpts to one another as a joke.  90% of the statements in that book are just ridiculous.  For example, “If your boyfriend would rather smoke weed than hang out with you, he’s just not that into you.”  That was my favorite one.  We all read that and think, “DUH!” but the truth is that we’ve all been in a situation where we like a guy more than he likes us and we let him treat us like we are less-than-worthy.  And if we’re honest, it means “he’s just not that into you.”

Why am I rambling about this book?  If a guy isn’t pursuing you it’s for one of two reasons.  Either he is scared out of his mind or he is just not that into you.  And the truth is that, even if a guy is scared out of his mind, he should be so into you that he overcomes his fear in order to ask you out.  You with me?  We don’t like this because we want to always be wanted.  And we want to convince ourselves that deep down he does want us.  But listen to me, sister, you are lovely and desirable and worth wanting.  However, not every boy is going to fall into that category.  And that’s okay.  Because your value and worth does not come from him wanting you.  [That's a sermon for another day.]

So typically, my answer to this question is: Let the guy pursue you. He will if he really wants to. And yes, I think it is important to let guys lead.  Now before you go all sisterhood-and-the-traveling-pants on me and accuse me of being old fashion, I am ALL for women being independent and being leaders.  But a crazy thing is happening in our culture where more women are graduating from college, more women are becoming leaders, and we are seeing a decline in men’s college graduation rates and leadership roles.  Am I saying that women need to stop excelling so that men can have a fighting chance?  Absolutely not.  You go do what you are fueled to do.  I will cheer you on!  Am I saying that we need to let men lead where, I believe, God has designed and intended for them to?  You better believe it.  If a guy pursues a girl and is the one leading the relationship, he is way more likely to be a leader as a husband and father–which our culture is greatly lacking.  So girls, seriously, let him lead.

I know I’ve been ranting a lot and still haven’t answered the actual question. Forgive me but stay with me. So, 95% of the time I say, “do not pursue him!”  But occasionally I contradict myself.  Sometimes I think it’s okay to give him a little nudge, not lead, but a nudge, to see how he responds.  So in this particular situation, as graduating college seniors, who frankly have nothing to lose, I would say:

Step 1: Wait to see what he does.  Does he ask you on another date? Continue pursuing you?  If the answer is no, you can just close the door right there.  He’s just not that into you.

Step 2: Wait some more. Seriously. You need to give him room to pursue and lead.  Perhaps he continues spending time with you but maybe not being clear about his intentions.

Step 3: When it seems like your time is almost up, and you’ve waited a while, I’m okay with you casually saying something.  This does not mean that you plan a day and time to “confront” him.  This does not mean you write him an email or letter.  This does not mean you send him a text saying “So whats going on between us?”  If and only if, there is a natural, casual way when you are already hanging out for you to say something like, “So, it seems like there’s something between us, and without putting you on the spot, I’m curious what you’re thinking…” (I think my mother just cringed when she read that) But to me, that is a nudge.  It’s a bold nudge, but all you’re doing is asking a question and listening.  You’re not arguing your case. You’re not trying to convince him to date you.  You’re simply making sure he knows the ball is very much in his court.

If you’re asking if it’s worth trying out a post-college, long distance relationship, I can’t really answer that question for you.  Only you know if it’s worth the work.  What I will say is that I think we way over analyze dating and relationships.  Do you both like each other?  Like spending time together?  And for believers in Christ, do you both love the Lord?  Then try it out if you want.  And if it seems like too much work… you’re just not that into him.

What do y’all think? Is it ever okay for a girl to “nudge”?  Or do you think it’s completely fine for a girl to pursue?

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8 thoughts on “Should I pursue him?

  1. [...] to one of the first brave girls who wrote in about pursuing a guy, it’s worth a skim.  [Should I pursue him?] But back to this specific situation at hand. 1- Friends with benefits. It always, always leads [...]

  2. You might have thought “He’s Just Not That Into You” was silly because the advice was obvious to you, but to a lot of women, they NEED that book. Desperately.

    They need to hear those obvious signs a guy isn’t interested, spelled out in frank terms.

    Even knowng this, women will make excuses, rationalize and equivocate why a guy isn’t calling or isn’t committing. And her girlfriends will aid and abet her in this excuse making saying things like, “He’s intimidated by your beauty/looks/whatever.”

    And to answer her question: unless a guy is in junior high, he isn’t afraid, he just isn’t that interested.

    • Hanna says:

      Carolina, I completely agree with your comments about girls rationalizing about why a guy isn’t calling/committing. What’s harder to swallow is why aren’t her girl friends helping her out?! We need to be living in honest, authentic communities– not just telling each other what we think the other wants to hear. That’s a harder way to live, but better in the end.

      • Her girlfriends aren’t helping out because they don’t know men, either.

        Until that book came out, that phrase didn’t even exist. That phrase: “He’s just not that into you,” needs to be repeated over and over.

  3. Agree, 100%. Just a thought: if a gal pursues and leads in the beginning, is she surprised when after marriage, he does not pursue or lead?

    • Hanna says:

      Patricia, I think that happens more often than it should! I definitely have had girl friends start as the pursuing in the relationship and then not get why the roles never change.

  4. Hanna says:

    Glad to hear that, Eric. I never know how guys are going to react to my “nudge” theory, but I think sometimes they really just are clueless or need encouragement.

  5. Eric Teetsel says:

    GREAT piece. As a 28 year old former Christian college boy I can vouch for the wisdom in Hanna’s words. If he’s into you, you’ll know. Female pursuit is never, ever attractive to a guy.

    (Commabut!) Sometimes guys don’t realize they have a shot with a girl. We’re dense and often lack self confidence. A wink, a whisper, a not-so-subtle flirtatious gesture can serve as a signpost.

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