The desire of every woman is to be pursued. I agree; each woman is desirable and worth pursuit. I hear this over and over from ladies in many places combined with the question, ‘Why aren’t men pursuing?’ A man is created to pursue and a woman is created to respond; this is true and a beautiful interaction to watch and experience. We experience this as Christians as the most incredible gift from God. He is always pursuing our hearts; whether we accept Him or reject Him. He’s perfect in every way in the definition of who He is; which is true and flawless love.
As we look at this beautiful interaction between men and women though, we need to realize the role of men and the role of women as it pertains to pursuit. This principle works in a marriage relationship as well as during the dating period. An extremely important piece of this interaction, and one that has been sadly pushed to the side is the woman’s openness to the man. A woman’s soft femininity and inviting attitude towards a man is what gives him both the courage and the signal to pursue.
So, why aren’t men pursuing? When talking to men, I find that they feel a lot of pressure to pursue women in the Christian world. Pressure due to expectations of what comes from pursuit. So much pressure that at times, it leads to them doing absolutely nothing out of fear. Pursuit from a man will not always lead to marriage or a relationship; that’s a risk that both parties need to be able to take. Remember, it is OK if a relationship DOES NOT work out. I believe it would be helpful to stop putting unneeded pressure on relationships in the beginning stages of dating that may cause them to short circuit themselves. Dating is dating because you are finding out if this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. A man or woman does not need to have this figured out by the first, third or fifth date. Yes, we honor each person’s heart completely during the process, but let’s remember it is a process. Men, if you are dealing with fear in this area; be free from that mindset that creates unnecessary pressure and move forward. I do believe that we as women have been empowered with some natural traits that are necessary for men to be successful in initiating pursuit. Let me explain.
I come across women on a regular basis who are disappointed, sad and disillusioned because there are no men pursuing them. Many have not been asked on a date in months or even years. As I begin to ask them a few questions, it becomes very clear to them that there may be some very vital skills of invitation that they have not utilized. I believe we are born with these God given female tendencies of invitation, but we may have pushed them to the side as they have felt like we may be putting ourselves out there too much. I’m not talking about reckless flirting (which can originate from a man or woman) with no thought of intentionality or the other person’s heart, that’s a whole other can of worms. I’m talking about feminine invitation or authentic flirting.
Ask any man around you if he would pursue a woman without any sign that she is interested in him? I can almost guarantee you (there’s always the exception) that 99% of them will say no. As my incredibly confident husband reminds me often as we coach and counsel singles, ‘Every man wants to feel like he has a chance at being successful, especially when approaching a woman’. This pertains to initial interactions that may lead to a date or during any stage of a relationship.
I’ll say it again, a woman inviting a man to pursue her will not always lead to marriage or even a committed relationship. And that’s just fine. Remember, dating can be a process and the feminine trait of invitation is one that will never expire. It will last and add enjoyment, intimacy and flirty fun through all the years of your marriage.
For the women, here are several simple and practical ways to be authentically inviting and open to a man:
1. A smile directed toward him.
2. Holding eye contact with him across the room.
3. Touching his arm during a conversation.
4. A wink or smile on an online dating site.
5. Separate yourself from a herd of girls; that’s very intimidating for a man to approach in any situation.
For the men, here are several simple and practical ways to authentically initiate pursuit of a woman.
1. Start a conversation with a woman who shows interest.
2. Ask a woman out to dinner, coffee, ice cream, etc.
3. Ask a woman for her phone number. Please call her first; a first date should not be set up through text.
4. Email a woman of interest online with specific questions about who she is.
5. Set up a phone date with someone online if you’ve made it past the initial communication.
So, there’s only one way to improve at something; practice. It’s like anything else in your life. Start small if you need to. A smile or eye contact across the room can garner big results for the ladies, and a nice, genuine conversation either in person or online can lead to an amazing date or meeting the love of your life for the men. If fear grips you as you think about moving in this direction, I will direct you to again focus on what you’re believing about yourself (see previous blog). A person confident in who they are and who God has said they are may be momentarily disappointed by perceived rejection, but it will not affect who they are. It will just be a stepping stone moving them forward in their journey.
A small disclaimer; over-thinking or analyzing perceived signals from the opposite gender can be time consuming and lead to irrational thoughts or fears for some. Moving forward with God in this area means you are giving Him something to work with and releasing the outcome to Him.
Go for it this week; you are the leading lady or man in your own love story, and God is partnering with you to move you toward your desire for marriage.
I’d love to hear both the men and women’s response to this; let me know what you think by commenting below.
Wendee Mannon, CEO OnDaySix