There are a million different factors that can play into the “who, what, when, where and how” of pursuit in relationships. Because of this I decided to collab with Dushawn Banks on this topic to get a male’s point of view. He did an AMAZING job in his post of diving into the psychology of the pursuit and whether or not it actually reflects interest. To read his perspective on this subject click here!!
It is now completely typical, and even encouraged, for a woman to make first moves if she finds herself interested in a guy. No two people are the same so every relationship has its exceptions. But as a person that’s been both the exception and the rule in many dating situations, I wanted to present a few advantages of allowing the man to initiate the pursuit instead, specifically the first instance of approaching a woman and showing interest in her.
To start, let’s meet “Guy #1” and “Guy #2” The names are obviously fake, but the stories of them pursuing me are very much real! I’ll be comparing them against each other to demonstrate what you can learn about a man by how he chooses to pursue you!
I was at the store walking towards my car… in the rain (ugh)… when I heard a honk. I peered into the rain splattered window of the shiny black luxury car it came from and saw a man motioning me to come to him. From what I could see between raindrops falling onto my eyelashes, his gaze never actually made it up to my face. Between his approach (if you can even call it that) and my irritation with being rained on, I tried my best to hide my disgust (I don’t think I did a very good job) and proceeded to my car. How dare he honk at me to come over to him while he’s sitting warm and dry in his car?! So I’m just supposed to stand in the rain while you spit game to me? Not to mention, he actually took me for the type of woman that would even respond to something like that. (I’m clearly getting irritated all over again… Let’s move on.)
I was walking into a restaurant as a man was walking out. As we passed each other, out of the corner of my eye I saw him stop walking and completely turn towards my direction as I was walking through the door of the restaurant. I thought this was going to be another “Aye girl” moment (you know, that one phrase that some men Down South use to get a woman’s attention for all of the wrong reasons *rolls eyes*) so I proceeded inside even though I saw him pause. As I grabbed my order from the restaurant and headed towards my car I noticed that he was still there, sitting in his car. I thought, “Is he waiting for me??” Sure enough, he quickly got out of his car to catch up to me before I pulled off. He approached me with caution to introduce himself and told me what he did for a living. He asked me the same and seemed genuinely interested because he had a follow-up question for almost everything I mentioned about myself. He explained that he wanted to respect my time but would like to talk more and asked my permission to do so. Instead of giving him my number right away, I gave him my handle to a social media, which he gladly accepted. I received a message from him later that day saying that it was nice to meet me and he looked forward to speaking more.
Now, let’s talk about what I was able to determine by the way they each chose to approach and show interest in me. I often find that a man’s pursuit shows:
1. His Character
I believe that the difference in how each of these men demonstrated their interest has a lot to do with the differences in their character.
Guy #1’s pursuit led me to believe that he could be:
#1- Entitled. He believed that he was exempt of demonstrating the traits of a proper gentleman while considering himself worthy of my time and attention.
#2- Uninterested in commitment. He’s in the market for a woman who is going to accept the bare minimum. Hookers respond to a honk and a wave, not wife-material women.
#3- Unfaithful. It seemed to me like he was waiting for someone. I mean…how many single men do you find waiting in the car outside of a CVS?? I’m just saying… (A woman actually did exit the store and got into his car right as I was getting into mine by the way. I’m not saying that was his wife or anything, but he looked mighty guilty as he was speeding away.)
Guy #2’s pursuit led me to believe that he could be:
#1- Careful- Now, waiting outside of a restaurant for a woman to come out can be a little stalker-ish, but he was very careful to approach me in a way that showed he meant no harm. I also noticed that he could have said and done the very same things as soon as he noticed me walking passed him the first time and I probably wouldn’t have been as attentive because I was bracing myself for the “Aye girl.” It’s impressive that he even noticed and accounted for that.
#2- Respectful- He maintained eye contact, listened and responded to the things I said, and asked my permission to speak to me further after confirming his interest in me. I also liked that he respected my time by keeping his conversation short.
#3- Intentional- He made a point to tell me a little bit about who he was and his aspirations for the near future while taking the time to find out the same about me before asking for my information and offering his.
2. His Intentions
Just because a man is very persistent and puts in a lot of effort doesn’t mean that he’s doing it for the right reasons. But paying attention to his actions during the pursuit could give you a good idea of what his intentions are (most of the time.)
Men are highly visual, so you can tell a lot about his motivation for meeting you by where his gaze is fixed. The actions of Guy #1 told me that his intentions were temporary and physical. I knew this because his gaze was fixed on my body and because of the lack of effort he used to meet me. When you are unaware of the value of something, you won’t be willing to inconvenience yourself in any way to obtain it.
Think about renting a pair of shoes at the bowling alley versus investing in a pair of Cole Haan’s. When renting bowling shoes, you never really ask about the quality of them. You are only concerned about whether or not they are the right size and that they don’t smell. You really don’t even care that they aren’t attractive because you’re only wearing them this one time.
On the other hand, Guy #2’s actions led me to believe that he was looking for a long-term commitment. Yes, his initial attraction to me was probably physical, but I never once caught him looking anywhere but into my eyes. Though our meeting was spontaneous, he still made an effort to approach me intentionally and used wisdom in doing so.
This situation would be like going to buy some Cole Haan’s. Anyone who even chooses to purchase a brand like this one isn’t just planning to wear them a few times; they plan on keeping them for a lifetime because of the quality, or value, that this brand is known for. People don’t usually spontaneously decide to buy Cole Haan’s, they prepare to buy them. Even those people who are able to buy them on a whim had to prepare in some way to be at that place in their life to be able to have that luxury. When you buy Cole Haan’s you:
Do a little research first: look online at styles, prices, and the stores that carry them
Dress and carry yourself a certain way when you go and pick them out
Ask lots of questions
Take good care of them and be very selective about the places you wear them to and even the people you wear them around
And if you get to the checkout counter and there’s a long line, you won’t even mind waiting, because you know it’s worth it. Well it’s the same in relationships; when a man realizes the value of a woman, he won’t mind doing what’s necessary to obtain and maintain her interest.
3. How He Operates in Relationships (and eventually marriage!)
Relationships don’t end badly, they begin badly. Most of the red flags that become so clear after a break-up were usually evident from the very beginning. I read a quote once that said, “The red flags you ignore in the beginning will be the reason it all ends.”
Think about it: Most women who agree to date men that are already in relationships eventually get cheated on. If he didn’t bother to get out of the car when trying to “holla” at you then don’t expect him to put much effort into keeping you. We, women, have to stop dating men for their potential and pay attention to who they are SHOWING us they are!
One of the first things we do when meeting a man is take a mental note of the things we can do to “improve” him. Assume that the man you meet will be that same man forever, and if that isn’t something that you can promise to love and cherish till death do you part, then politely decline.
Now ladies, I know we can be a bit “extra” sometimes, so I feel the need to explain that you should NOT make the process of pursuing you difficult just to see how much he is willing to go through to get you. Playing “hard to get” is not only unattractive, but it’s manipulative and that’s not the proper way to start a relationship.
But no matter how many dating and relationship tips you commit to memory, if you don’t know who you are, you won’t know who to date. Dating without an identity is probably the most dangerous things any person can do, so before even allowing a man to pursue you, make sure that your own identity is clear and secure. If you can’t fathom the thought of turning down a date in order to do this, then take that as a clear sign that your identity is misplaced.
If you need some help in the identity department (no shame! A lot of us do!) then click here!