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The Chase

March 24, 2010

Tanya says:

The chase is an important concept in the dating game. If youre going to play the game, you have to understand the chase. Otherwise, you will stumble and fall, and wonder what went wrong.

Basically, the chase centres partially on mens instinctive desire to hunt and conquer, but also on the premise that us humans in general dont appreciate things that came too easily. To truly appreciate something, we have to have worked for it.

So, in brief, if you want a man to really appreciate you and treat you well in a relationship, you have to make him work for the relationship you have to let him chase you!

When I talk to my girlfriends about this, it seems they all understand the concept in principle, but it seems that us modern day women have trouble putting it into practice. Why? Because it goes against everything weve been taught about life in general. Who among us hasnt heard the phrase if you want something, go out and get it. Dont wait for it to come to you!

Well, Im going to be radical and tell you, when it comes to men and relationships, DO NOT go and get it and DO wait for it to come to you.

How do you let a man chase you? Easy! Dont do anything just be yourself and focus on loving your life, alone. Do the things you love to do: go bike riding or rollerblading, go see a movie or a show, go walk in the park, read a book outside, whatever. Paint your apartment, write a book, sing a song. Anything!

But whatever you do, do not chase the man.

Do not call him, sms him, email him, smoke signal, morse code, or carrier pigeon him! Do not change your plans because he calls you at the last minute and suggests a date. Do not make yourself too available. Do not see him more than 2 or 3 times a week. Never answer your phone on a Friday or Saturday night. The less you do, the more he will have to do. And the more he has to do, the more he will appreciate you when he has caught you (or more specifically, when you decide to allow yourself to be caught).

Now, I know what youre thinking: if I wait for a man to do all the work, Ill be waiting forever! Shame on you for thinking so little of the male species!

Ok, lets be honest, men are inherently lazy. They will always try to get the maximum result from the minimum effort. But guess what: theyre also very goal orientated. When they want something, they will keep trying to get it, and if the easy way is not working, theyll try harder, and harder still. The amount of effort they are willing to put in is in direct proportion with just how much they want it. And, funnily enough, their desire for their goal can actually increase in proportion to the amount of effort required. Which is the beauty of the chase it weeds out the undesirables.

I like to think of it like cars. Pretend you had a street with different car dealerships. You have Toyota, and Nissan, and Mazda and Ford. And then at the end of the street there is the luxury car dealership with the Ferraris and Aston Martins. You can imagine that if Ford or Toyota put up a big SALE sign, many people would go have a look and maybe even test drive a car (because who amongst us can resist a sale?). But the ratio of enquiries to actual sales will be quite low.

Compare it to the luxury car dealership. Instead of having a SALE sign up (which they obviously would never do!), they have a rather scary looking doorman (you know, dark sunglasses, black suit, inconspicuous ear piece). Not many customers would come in just for a browse. The enquiry to sale ratio would be a lot higher because only those who are seriously interested in buying one of those cars would go inside.

And the luxury cars are more desirable because theyre more difficult to obtain. Theyre never on sale so you have to save and save to try to buy one. But you can imagine if you did manage to save your money and buy one of those cars, you would treat it like the most precious possession you own. Not like that beat up old Ford you bought on sale without blinking an eye!

By calling a guy, and making yourself too available to him, youre basically putting a giant SALE sign on your forehead. Hell get you too easily, and then he wont appreciate you.

And youll be left wondering why he comes home and just sits on the couch, never takes you out, surprises you with little romantic gestures, or makes an effort to make you happy. Why would he? If he didnt have to make an effort to get you, he wont be making an effort to keep you or treat you well.

Thats just human nature!


Rae says:

While I agree on one or two of your points, my friend, there are a couple of snags, I think, in your reasoning. For example, sitting on your duff doing sweet f.a. and waiting for the universe to hurl what you want at you isnt a very efficient way to accomplish anything. Why not just tell people to employ the Secret? That actually makes more sense that what youre prescribing. Also, women arent cars. Theyre people. Not cars.

But, just to be agreeable, let me point out phrases of yours that arent bs: How do you let a man chase you? Easy! Dont do anything just be yourself and focus on loving your life, alone. Well said. YOU should always be your first priority, whether youre looking for a man or not. Also, do not change your plans because he calls you at the last minute and suggests a date. True. Again, you come first. Your world cannot revolve around another person, no matter how tight his abs are.

But on everything else youve said, I call bullshit. To think of yourself as hunted prey, or as an inanimate object (even an Aston Martin) is de-valuing and de-humanizing. You are not a prize or a trophy or a prostitute (unless you are a prostitute, in which case, Im not judging) and your fate should not be decided by the highest bidder. Whether they are bidding with money or effort or good deeds or whatever, it doesnt matter- youre still letting your fate be controlled by someone elses desire besides your own. After all, whos to say that the one who wins the auction is the same one you want to go home with?

Yes, playing hard to get does certainly weed out those who are not willing to work for your affections from those who are. But why do you assume that the willing workers are somehow more desirable? Maybe theyre trying harder because they have something to prove. Maybe theyre after the victory, the thrill of conquering the unconquerable, and only see you as that, and never as an actual person. Maybe the guys who give up are merely the guys who take no for an answer when you show a lack of interest. Maybe they are respecting what seem to them to be your wishes, instead of chasing you seemingly against your will. Personally, thats the kind of guy Id rather date- one who isnt threatened by letting me call the shots, and who will back off when I ask him to. The kind of guy you seem to be interested in attracting is the kind who usually ends up on Dateline.

If you want a job, do you sit around collecting EI waiting for the company to call you up and offer it? If you want an Aston Martin, do  you wait for the keys to fall out of the sky? No- you march your sweet ass straight into that dealership and pick yourself out a new set of wheels. If you like a guy and you want to get to know him better, fucking talk to him, ask him if hed like to join you for coffee, act like youre, oh I dont know, two human adult individuals engaging in interaction, instead of jungle creatures or anthropomorphic automobiles. Its not second grade anymore, and the rules of the playground have changed. Its time to start asserting yourself if youre going to end up with the man you want instead of the man who wants you.

Agreeing to disagree...

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Patrick permalink
    April 18, 2010 11:28 am

    I think both of you are full of shit. Why did I even waste my time reading this? Well, I clicked on one or your comments on some facebook page for some cinema studies launch next week or what have you. So, no, you’re not entirely full of shit. At any rate, this is my take:

    So, Aston Martins. Well, yes, why not, go out and get one. Once you’ve gotten an Aston Martin, will you turn back and get a Ford? Absolutely not. Unless you’re settling. Which is what both of you will have to do eventually. Here’s a critical point to consider: with much of the focus on me, and me, and me, like saying “You should always be your first priority”, sorry, you’re both gonna be Old Maids. It screams “I’m gonna wear the pants in this one”, which, if you find a guy who can relinquish his including his underwear, all the better for ya.

    Without sounding polemical, the older we get, the more rigid we become. In fact, our brains become more rigid (The Brain that Changes itself, great book, explains this mellifluously). We “complexify” ourselves. We gain in confidence; we know our shit and what we won’t take. Apparently, we can know within 30 seconds if some dude/dudette is good material. In fact, the longer we remain single, the more in love we become with ourselves by bordering on a narcissistic personality disorder. Which is all bullshit. There’s no room to cultivate affection then. We become like eavestroughs that are narrowed and only keep shit. The more we come to “know” ourselves, the more we know about what we don’t want. Bah, diversity, tolerance.

    The way I see it, if it’s a game to be played, you’ve lost. I agree with (is it Rea?) that you can’t dangle a reward and pull back. Once a man knows you’re playing, or a woman, the balance shifts against you. You’re compensating. If the attraction is fairly even, not too much effort should be expended. One can only admire so much before thinking that the admiration and the effect it has on that person is much more important than saying “Let’s get a coffee” and then making out at the end of the night. It really is too bad that the whole world is attracted to the idea of “You’ve been really busy? That’s awesome” “Wow, she returned my msg a week later, how awesome” The end of Swingers.

    Anyway, a paradox. You run a risk of losing a guy if you play a game too much, and run the risk also of having him think you’re starved for affection if you respond too eagerly. Am I agreeing with you both? Yes. Have I slept yet and are in dire need of a cigarette and tea? Fuck yes. So, maybe play coquette once – then say you’ll meet. If he likes you, he’ll try once or twice, maybe 3x. If he tries anew and unrequitingly at this point, he’s a loser. So when you see him, make out with him. Stare at him in the eyes. Fall in love if it’s possible. Have sex and cuddle. Have kids.

    Oh, another paradox. I think maybe men are afraid of strong women like you. Are they? Probably not. But let me ask you: Strong men typically like to have more power in a relationship yeah? And the men who will respect you tend to be weaker than you yeah because they are less assertive, and thus guys easily won? Or no? There might have to be a delicate balance between loving and expressing yourself until you’re blue in the face and saying stuff like “I like cooking for my lover and making him happy and whatever”. Ugh, does this make any sense?

  2. November 28, 2010 1:51 pm

    My dad has been writing a book precisely on point with this blog, I have emailed him the web address so perhaps he could pick up a couple pointers. Excellent Job.

  3. Patrick Bois permalink
    November 29, 2010 4:54 am

    I was high when I wrote a response a few months ago, or hadn’t slept. Apologies for my flippancy. But to recapitulate: yes, be smart, be leery of being too easy, however, once your prized-affection-recipient knows there is effort (italicize effort) it turns against you. In fact, to generalize in proportions (akin to generalizing like in the first commentary, about men, which renders your commentary as facile as life and people are not that simple, let alone men) once your ploy is on the table, I’d say you exponentially dig yourself a hole where he’ll lose all respect for you. On the other hand, if you’re too aggressive, you’ll scare them away, because anything compensatory can be sensed. The only guy you’ll attract is a sour puss. Or perhaps a guy who prefers a woman who calls the shots (but a guy must be quite confident to want this, thus, a paradox). So, it must be natural, and by natural I mean that no desire must be artificially manufactured. If he lazes about until you get an attractive male friend, good for you. If he ever finds out about your motives, well, I’m sure you know where that gets you.

    So, natural, but even if natural, if a woman goes after what she wants adamantly… I think that men traditionally are permitted this kind of behavior. I get turned off by women chasing me – must be the monkey in me, however, its stench is an off-putting desperation. All our behaviours are pre-determined culturally anyway, so a booty shaker in a club elicits a certain kind of response and the dumb guy doesn’t know what coquette means, while the nerdy-hipster girl who spills her guts out uber-cynically might win the heart of the dude who needs a second mother. It really is cosmic for two people to really dig each other simultaneously, and in a big city like Toronto with its options, there’s always something to dissuade you from reaching another vision of perfection elsewhere.

    But I’m sorry, the smarter we get, the dumber we get at love, as even our emotions are parsed and rationalized through. And I’m still not convinced that a game must be played. If both rely on desire coming and going equally, and that games are ridiculous… perhaps a chance… it really comes down to love at first and second sight, and seeing that we’re becoming quite picky, a highly specific sight at that… you guys are eternal malcontents though, so tough pickles.

    • December 14, 2010 3:21 am

      Thanks for your comment. I’m still a bit confused where you stand on the issue: so are you saying that you don’t like it when women chase you? Or are you saying that if women chase men, they will attract a certain type of man, which may or may not be the type of man they desire?

      It’s always good to get a male perspective.

      • Patrick permalink
        January 20, 2011 11:09 am

        Well, I think in the long run the chase must be undertaken commensurately according to today’s cultural rules (after the initial exchange of whatever – first kisses, #s, etc). Girls are still being chased more often than men are still. Aren’t we wired for it, flattery being taken by women more positively than men and men “acquiring” more easily? At least it seems like it. I think that culturally if both genders’ efforts were commensurate in terms of effort expended, girls would be seen as more desperate. Men are visual right – if we make a move and get a response from you and we like you, you’ll haunt us and make us sick and we’ll call you often and some of you might find it endearing. Now, if the flipside is evinced… All women have to do is just show a tiny bit of interest and our visual imaginations run amok…

        I’ve never been asked for my number because Toronto girls don’t look at me nor make an effort at getting to know me (even if they might find me handsome). I call Toronto women inverted Medusas because once you look at them they turn into stone. I don’t think that our culture (yet) allows for women to be as aggressive as men. I mean, try it, good luck and all, but on many levels we are still quite conservative. I’ve heard from many women in Toronto complain that men here are wusses, which leads me to believe that most wait for them to make a move. For instance, I find that women in most parts of most of what I saw in Western Europe follow their curiosity more. They will look and sometimes strike a conversation, but it’s not strange over there. Perhaps it’s the death of curiosity and the banality of it all. But it’s a mode.

        In the long run, I think that a woman must know somehow intuitively if a man can be chased. Some might resent it. It’s like me going to a bar and chasing a woman who is often chased. But men know why women chase. It’s because they’re not being chased. Now, there might be the very rare chance that she may start chasing because only losers chase her, or the good ones are too shy. I think this is becoming the reality. But chances are, if a woman is chasing it’s because men are not chasing her and this begs an important question as to her personality/situation. And we can only guess at that ourselves as to the reason. And not everyone wants to be chased. However, if eyes meet, and a first attraction is confirmed… oh the times I have kicked myself after walking down the street, locked eyes with someone, and not turned around. Now tell me who should turn in this situation, the guy or the girl, and I think this will explain the gender difference.

        I sometimes like to point out gender differences. For instance, in Rae’s comment, she wrote “Personally, that’s the kind of guy I’d rather date- one who isn’t threatened by letting me call the shots, and who will back off when I ask him to.” If I substitute him for her, some might call me a misogynist. I find that nowadays a lot of women can get away with doing and saying things that men normally used to do liberally and now cannot (well, explicitly stated at least). I personally prefer equal power/control, however, there are men out there who need to be chased since they won’t do it themselves, and to each his/her own. It’s about finding them I think. I think that if a man can realize that a girl would chase him but that cultural rules are holding her back, this would strike me as ideal. Equal amounts explicit/implicit chase or best, equal amounts explicit, like two people bumping on a dance floor. Will she ask him for his number or he? Who calls first? Maybe there could be a formula arrived at here. Given the panoply of choices in Toronto, if attraction is not made parts equal than it’s much more difficult, as cultivating affection is not bred as a forte.

        Let me know what you both think. Ok, so, now it’s your turn, since it’s also always good to get a female perspective. I think I’ve agreed with you both. Personally, if I like a girl, I pursue her incessantly if I know there’s a chance she’ll like me although I do have a life and I try not to overdo it. Don’t you think we lack subtlety, finesse, in our times of bluntness?

      • January 21, 2011 11:12 pm

        That’s an interesting rant! What do I think? I think you need to move to Australia. I was talking to my um… let’s call him my gentleman caller… and he was telling me that here in Australia it’s quite common for women to approach men at bars. Of course, men like it because they see it as an invitation to have free sex, which I don’t think is the objective of most of these women (although perhaps in some cases that is what they are after… which is great). He did admit, though, that he would not be inclined to call a girl back or continue to see her if she’d approached him at a bar and they had a one-night stand (I think the name says it all: ONE NIGHT).

        And for the record, I never approached him, and he has chased me, although I’ve obviously returned his affections. And he admits that he often gets bored with other women, but he’s never been bored of me. Is that only because of the chase? Of course not!! What I think people fail to understand is that all of these “games” are really just part of the meeting people and testing out who they are and what their intentions are. Ultimately, though, there is a huge element of compatibility, which is out of your control. Playing the game is just an effective way, in my opinion, to weed out the undesirables, which will help focus more energy on those people who have true potential. For example, if you go up to a guy at a bar, he may or may not be interested. But if a guy comes up to you in a bar, he’s definitely interested.

        And your point about Medusa girls is true, and kinda sad. It’s too easy to get a guy to approach you by catching his eye and smiling. If you do that and he doesn’t come talk to you, there’s a reason (ie not interested/not available/socially retarded). It’s much more efficient than talking. And within a few minutes, you’ll find someone else to lock eyes with.

        But then I’m also a believer that being yourself will attract the right person for you. So I like the chase because I know myself and the kind of guy I would get along with. But if you don’t like to be chased then it’s a different story. I guess we all have to write our own rules for living our own life.

      • March 28, 2011 10:12 am

        Guys, really, it’s this simple.
        If I’m attracted to a guy and want to get to know him better, I’ll talk to him, and if we seem to get along and I decide I’m interested, I’ll ask if he wants to hang out sometime. If he says yes, we’ll go out. If he says no, I walk away.
        Meanwhile…
        If a guy approaches me and expresses interest, one of two things happen. A) If I’m interested, I’ll talk to him, etc. B) If I am not interested, I’ll kindly ask him to back off.
        If B happens, and he backs off, no harm done. If he does not, then he is being an asshole, and not only will I never date him, but will defend myself if he doesn’t realize that No means No.
        It’s that simple.
        Guys approach me all the time, but the overwhelming majority of them do not appeal to me. So I turn them down. Is this an invitation to “chase” me? Of course not. Meanwhile, the reverse is also true. While I very rarely approach guys (what can I say? I have high standards), if I like a guy, I will. If he’s not interested, he turns me down, and I recognize that it is not an invitation to chase him.
        Is there a double standard in society? Yes. Do we have unjustified expectations of people’s behavious based on their gender? Indeed. Have we ev0lved enough to see through this bullshit? It seems we have. Should we let it dictate our lives anyway? OF COURSE NOT!

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  5. December 5, 2010 10:36 pm

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  7. March 28, 2011 9:40 am

    A fellow WordPress blogger touched on this topic recently, and I have to say, I agree with everything she says, and consider it a must-read:
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