Dating in today’s world is almost too convenient. At any moment of the day or night, you can log onto your choice of dating sites and connect with literally hundreds of men. When I started this second season of dating in my life, I was fascinated by the opportunity to send someone a quick note and start pursuing getting to know them. It was so easy. No awkward face-to-face letdown. If they weren’t interested, they’d simply move on — and you would as well. No harm done.
It began to feel like my old school playground where I could pick any boy I liked and simply chase him around the chain-link fence . . . until I saw another boy I liked better, and could chase him next. Should I change my mind again mid-chase, I could always return to boy #1.
But after a few months of dating, I remembered something I’d forgotten from my earlier dating life. It was the cardinal rule in dating. The one my grandmother whispered to me at the dinner table. The one my girlfriends swore by. The one I knew — knew deep down — to be the one sage dating advice I’d ever been given:
If you chase him, you’ll never catch him.
Read that three times slowly, girls. Then three times out loud. Then three times in your head. Just to be sure you let it sink in. This must be your first rule, sweet friend. At all times.
Whether we admit it or not, we want to be pursued. It’s in our nature. And men want to be the pursuers, it’s in theirs. But when we focus on a particular person to the point that we are willing to chase them, it’s a good indicator that we are ignoring red flags they are throwing our way. Red flags that they aren’t the right person for us. Red flags that they aren’t interested in us. Red flags that we aren’t truly interested in them.
Take control back in your dating life and stop feeling the need to chase with these three simple rules:
Rule #1: If He’s Not Interested, Move On
A man that is into you will actively pursue you. If he’s not pursuing you, there is no miscommunication issue. He hasn’t lost your number, stopped online dating, or been attacked by a shark during his recent vacation. He’s simply not interested. Don’t let it hurt your feelings, sweet friend, simply move on, knowing that he’s not the one for you — one less to worry about.
Rule #2: It’s Okay To Flirt, Once
It’s okay to say “Hi,” or even initiate the contact. While this may seem like it goes against everything I’ve said up to this point, it doesn’t. Think about that dance in middle school where the girls were on one side of the room and boys were on the other. If you were brave enough to look across that gym floor and smile at the guy you wanted to dance with, chances were that gave him enough courage to ask you. It’s okay to initiate a conversation, but once you do, he’ll pick it up if he’s interested. If he’s not, drop it and move on.
Rule #3: Keep Your Eye on the Prize
As Christians, we should have different standards in choosing our dates. If we begin to allow people in our lives who don’t share our beliefs, we are simply setting ourselves up for failure later down the road. Stay connected to God during your dating pursuits to allow Him the opportunity to speak to your heart regarding the people you are considering. By taking our focus off of what God has in mind for us, and instead focusing on someone based on other reasons, we are not looking for the person we should be in relationship with; we’re simply looking for companionship. And we are either going to get hurt, or we’re going to hurt someone else.
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? — 2 Corinthians 6:14
Rule #4: Celebrate (and accept) God’s Protection
Ok, I’m the first to admit that it hurts when someone you are interested in does not pursue you. You may even meet someone, go out a few times, and then discover that they are slowly fading in their contact with you. When this happens, it is the crucial point in dating in which we feel the urge to chase. Don’t. Do. That. Keeping connected to God during this process, and asking Him to be a part of it allows Him to protect us through it. When someone falls out of our lives, we need to praise God, sisters. Thank Him for protecting you from something in the bigger picture that you could not see about that person. Then, move on with confidence that His best is still to come.
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. — Psalm 32:7
So, stop chasing. If he’s the right heart for you, he’ll recognize it and will have the desire to pursue your heart on his own. There will be a mutual desire to connect — meaning it will be equal on both sides, not one-sided. You don’t want a relationship with someone that you have to do all of the work, or beg for their affection.
He will pursue you on his own.