When I first met Clark when I was 43, the man who would become my husband three years later, I experienced something I hadn’t experienced with many other men: peace and calm.
There was zero dating drama, no games, and no wondering where I stood with him. It was so amazingly refreshing! I finally felt loved, seen, and adored—which, was exactly what I wanted after being single until I was 46.
But why was this relationship different? There are lots of reasons, including that he makes me laugh every day. But a main reason was because Clark pursued me. I didn’t pursue him.
That hadn’t always been the case in my relationships. There had been plenty other times in my twenties and thirties when I was the more interested party. I pined after men who gave me relational bread crumbs or who played a lot of cat and mouse games with me.
Unfortunately, I reserved my affections for men who hadn’t reserved their affections for me. I hoped incessantly that these guys would see I was enough, that they would desire me the way I desired them. So, what did I do?
I chased them without even realizing it.
It thought that maybe this would result in getting the love I always wanted. I thought they would see that I was enough. I thought it would draw them to me, but it didn’t. All it did was give me anxiety.
You see, when a woman pursues a man, it robs her of the satisfaction of knowing she is desirable, that a man is truly interested in her, and that she is a treasure. As a result, she loses the peace and calm that she could have if she wouldn’t chase. When she chases a man, she doesn’t know she’s desirable; she doesn’t know she’s treasured, and she definitely doesn’t know if he’s really interested.
When my husband and I were getting to know each other, we were just friends. During this time, I flew to Colorado Springs to visit a sick girlfriend for a few days and Clark offered to drive me to the airport when I traveled back to my home in Atlanta.
On the way to the airport, he reached into the glove box and pulled out an envelope and handed it to me. “I wrote you a note, but don’t read it until you get on your flight.”
Being the very curious sort, I completely disobeyed his instructions and the minute I got inside the airport, I dove into the nearest women’s bathroom and read it in one of the stalls.
When I tore open the letter, I read the most tender words:
“I can’t deny how I feel about you. I know this might be complicated, but I want to continue to get to know you. Most importantly, I think you are wonderful, and I just want you to be happy, whether it’s with me or someone else. But I just had to tell you how I feel.”
I felt peace and calm with Clark because the roles had been reversed from what had often been my experience.
I could just be myself. I wasn’t trying to impress him or prove I was worthy. I wasn’t trying to be more this or more that because I thought I wasn’t enough. Even now I sigh as I write this. What a relief!
After finally (and happily!) marrying at 46, I asked Clark if things would have been different if I had been the one to pursue him. What if I had been the one to let him know I was interested?
What if I had written him a sweet note professing my affection rather than him writing one for me?
What if I had asked him if I could come and see him in his town rather than the other way around?
What if I had planned most of our dates, rather than him honoring me with that gift?
“It wouldn’t have worked out,” he said. “Because I would have felt pressured. I would have thought you were pushy.”
Listen up sweet friend. . .one of a man’s core needs is to be the pursuer. He needs to do this because he needs to know that you will let him be a man. He needs to know that you trust him to do—whatever it is—the right way.
When a woman becomes the pursuer, she may come off that she wants to be in charge—and men (real MEN) don’t want to be with women who try to control. Men want to be with women who make them feel like MEN. And men need to know that the woman in their life sees them as competent.
This doesn't mean you have to sit back and do nothing. It doesn't mean you're a doormat or lesser. It means you give a man space to make you feel like you're special.
And, it means there is a right way—and a wrong way—to let a man know you’re interested. This means that you can invite a man to pursue you (without chasing him).
Alright, maybe you are groaning as you read this because it all seems so confusing, right? What’s the difference between inviting a man to pursue you and chasing him? Great question.
When you’re chasing a man, you’re doing most of the relational work. You’re trying to push the relationship to the next level. You’re taking the lead by doing the texting, the planning, and the asking out at the beginning of the relationship.
But when you’re inviting him to pursue you, you are letting him know you’re interested and giving him space to pursue you.
For example, if you casually give your guy your number after meeting him, and give him a smile as you walk away, you’re inviting him to pursue you. When you call him after giving him your number, you’re the one doing the chasing.
At the end of your first date, when you say, “I had a great time. I really hope we get to do it again” and give him a wink, you’re inviting him to pursue you. But when you call him and ask him out, you’re chasing him.
Invitations are just that. . .they are invitations.
The important thing to remember is that it is possible to let a man know you’re interested without chasing him, and you should let a man know you’re interested.
Some women are so worried about coming across as inappropriate, or as an insincere flirt that they forget that men need to be encouraged to pursue.
If you’re afraid of giving a guy the wrong idea, you won’t give him any idea at all that you like him.
That’s why I have created this free download for you, “8 Ways to Invite a Man to Pursue You” (without chasing him.)
In it, I show the difference between inviting a man to pursue you and chasing him. Check it out!
I hope you are encouraged. And remember that the dream you have to love—and be loved—is possible! It happened for me. It can happen for you too!
Your dating and relationship coach,
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