I’ve heard the arguments about why men shouldn’t chase women from the dating experts as well as the pickup artists. They both make good points even if their goals are somewhat different.
Unfortunately, sometimes the advice one can get is biased, gender-specific or heterocentric but I think there is a central point that fits anyone’s sex, gender or sexual orientation.
There comes a point in life where one learns that in order to get what one wants, one has to go after it. Be relentless. Never give up.
Many of our favorite romance novels and movies have the male lead doing the most to get the girl but sometimes the roles are reversed.
Regardless of who is doing the chasing, it simply reinforces the notion that if you want something, go get it. The problem I have with this is that a person is not an object. You can’t just “go get it.”
But maybe you think I’m splitting hairs and what the person is really going after is the relationship. Even so, people often have an idea of the type of relationship they want and when they don’t get it, they get upset with the object of their desire or with themselves and their inability to woo.
This isn’t like getting a coveted job or winning a tournament where there are several opportunities and avenues to achieve this. When it comes to infatuation, the focus is on one specific person. And if things don’t go the way you want, the chase is on!
Some people encourage the chase but I don’t understand why. We don’t chase friendships so why romance? I think it’s merely due to the romance of the whole ordeal. We think chasing is romantic, being romantic is good, therefore chasing is good.
But all I’ve ever seen chasing to be is putting another person on a pedestal because let’s face it, you wouldn’t chase someone that is on the same level as you. Moreover, I think the people who encourage chasing enjoy the ego boost but miss the underlying issue behind why someone would chase in the first place.
People chase because they do not see themselves as the prize.
I’m not saying that you are the prize and the other person is a piece of crap. You are both prizes. When you interact with someone you like and you have this understanding, it’s impossible to chase them. You just respect them.
If they want you, cool. If they don’t, cool. If they’d just want to be friends, cool. If they’re with someone else, cool.
But at no point are you trying to force your will onto the situation. At no point are you trying to force, coerce or cajole them into something other than what is. As far as I’m concerned, this is respect. Anything else is seeing the person as an object and something to edify yourself with.
Not to mention that if the shoe was on the other foot, you wouldn’t appreciate someone trying to get you to be with them. You would like your “no” to be respected.
But I can’t help but think that there are some people who would want their no to be challenged. They may want the chaser to prove to them that they are wrong.
I’ve been both the chaser and the runner in this scenario and from my experience, this just means that you have a weak sense of self. You aren’t sure of what you want or what your boundaries are. You are just hungry for love and it is perhaps the most unsafe place to be.
It’s like seeing liver and onions on a menu, saying no to it and then asking someone to sell you on the idea that eating liver and onions is going to be great. Why isn’t your no enough? Why would you destroy your own boundary and doubt your own intuition?
It’s because you don’t value yourself enough to take yourself seriously.
Only by valuing yourself as you are can you ever hope for a life that is yours and not something someone else concocted for you to suit their own needs. Only by knowing that you are a prize can you ensure your safety. No one is entitled to a prize and not everyone can get it. Only winners win prizes.
If you cannot hold yourself to such a high esteem, that is okay. But if you want to be a prize, I encourage you to act as a prize. Be valuable. See yourself as a treasure. Improve the self-talk. Drop the energy vampires. Invest in yourself and your future. Give yourself what you want.
When you do this, you will walk and talk with more confidence. You will find yourself in the best of friendships. You will adopt the habits that maintain your well-being. And of course, you will attract relationships with people who live as prizes into your life.
Earlier I mentioned that when you see yourself as a prize, you don’t chase because you have no need to force your will onto the situation. You merely respect the person and the dynamic that comes up from your interactions.
Carl Jung wrote, “Logically the opposite of love is hate, and of Eros, Phobos, (fear); but psychologically it is the will to power. Where love reigns, there is no will to power; and where the will to power is paramount, love is lacking. The one is but the shadow of the other…”
Basically what Jung was saying was that when you truly love someone, you do not try to force anything to happen. There is no “will to power” where love is present.
So when we talk about chasing someone, is it not the same as using willpower to make something happen? Would you want to start a love relationship where love is lacking?
Ultimately, I can’t say it is inherently wrong to use your willpower to get what you want. But if you want a loving relationship and you are chasing someone or you want someone to chase you, pump the brakes and ask yourself:
1. By doing/wanting the chase, do I think of myself as a prize or do I want someone to validate me so that I think I am a prize?
2. If I’m using my willpower to make something happen, what am I afraid would happen if I didn’t use my willpower?