Today I had a revelation while meeting with a sweet girl I have the privilege to mentor. We were discussing relationships and the art of pursuit. She was explaining her frustration about a recent relationship with a guy that ended up leaving her confused, hurt, and a little bit rejected. While we were talking I heard the Lord say “there is a difference between being pursued and being available.” This really made me think about how many single ladies are under the assumption that they are being pursued, all the while, they are only making themselves available at any time, leaving the illusion that the guy is pursuing them. Dictionary.com defines pursuit as an effort to secure or obtain. This is exactly what pursuit should be about, effort.
I am able to sit on the other side and speak about this but I have not always been an expert in this department. My husband, James, allowed me to see what true pursuit looked like. He chased after me in such a way that there was no doubt that he wanted to “secure” and “obtain” me as his wife. Pursuit was not something that I had experienced very often, or even at all, prior to meeting James.
I was “that girl”, the one who was always available to help, baked the cookies, knew his mom, and served as the back up. I honestly had never been chased. You see, I would be around, show up, and just happen to be places where my current love interest would frequent. I made myself available and then became confused as to why some of my affections were never reciprocated. I was confusing my availability, or putting myself in the right situation at the right time, as pursuit. I had created the illusion in my head that these guys were interested in me. The truth is, I was interjecting myself into the situation so that they had me as an option.
I now know the difference. James made many conscious efforts to take me on a date. He invited me to places he knew I would enjoy, he bought me flowers he knew I would like, and most importantly he was interested in me. He showed me that whatever it took he was willing to go there in order for me to know how much I meant to him.
So ladies (and men) I challenge you to not make yourself available but make yourself intentional. If you are going to spend time with someone of the opposite sex set the boundaries and be clear how you will be pursued. Guys, if you are interested in a girl, go the extra mile to let her know. If you are not interested, don’t lead her down a path you never intend to walk with her. That just isn’t fair. If you find yourself repeatedly in these situations take the time to ask the Lord why. Ask Him if there is an unmet need that you are trying to fulfill in someone else. If you value yourself and your time it will only mean more to the person truly meant to possess it.
Dr. Cassie Reid
*Article originally appeared on Cassie Reid Counseling. Used with Permission.