Why Aren’t Men Pursuing?
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
14 Replies to “Why Aren’t Men Pursuing?”
I’ve seen a lot of men “pursue” a woman whom they know little to nothing about. It would be really helpful and less awkward if they knew a little something about each other. Say for example, going on group outings (parties, events, etc.) so they see each other interact including casual conversation. It can help to become friends with people of the opposite gender to get used to being friends. And, slow down. It takes time to get to know people. Don’t rush it.
I don’t believe that is the point of this article. I didn’t perceive in any way her saying to rush into things, but giving helpful advice on a general matter that is pretty prevalent today in the Christian world. Common sense would say not to rush things. Maybe those who rush things aren’t ready.
Thanks, I. Well said!
Great point, b. I would agree with I below. My blog was to give helpful advice on connection in relationship and authentic invitation and pursuit. I began to explain the stages of dating in my initial post on this blog that can be helpful when navigating relationship if you choose to date. They are attraction, uncertainty, exclusivity, intimacy and engagement. I’ll be expanding on these in a future blog which may be helpful to you. Thanks for your input.
So, what Scripture references are you using for this advice? At last check, dating is a worldy unbiblical practice. Not to be prudish but when I searched the Word for 4 years including running this by Bible school prof’s they all said the same things- “uh, um…well, yes. The bible doesn’t talk about dating. The custom would be courting with intent to marry.” I liked that because it didn’t involve trying people on and then hanging them back on the rack and movingon. Ya know when you try on a shirt somewhere that someone else tried on before you and they’ve left makeup smears or deoderant marks on it, doesn’t it feel a little ike a violation? And you certainly won’t buy that one, they end up on the clearence rack. Sometimes we treat people the same way. When I asked my husband what he thought of your advice to flirt, smile, stare across the room and so on, he told me to him those women look like well, fast or easy or desperate. And yes we are in our 30’s not 80’s. Seeing a woman confindent in her identity in Jesus and the beauty she radiates while adoring Him is infinitly more inviting than social tactics you can find in any bar room. Try reading “I kissed dating Goodbye” for advice on how to win a heart by pursuing God’s heart alone.
Great point, Kate. I’d encourage you to read my previous blog on beliefs and what men and women are believing about themselves during the dating process. That will attract a Godly man or woman to them. This blog was to help people connect who are struggling in that area. I believe authentic flirting or invitation is what makes relationships in both dating and marriage wonderful and fun; my husband loved it during dating and loves it now when I stare across the room at him and flirt. It is incredibly fun, especially as a married person. I’m actually writing a blog on how most people’s experience has a reality to back it up whether it comes to their choice to date, kiss dating goodbye, court or any other way they choose, so I respect your opinion. My heart is to empower people to choose wisely and love well as I see that as a place to start to build awesome marriages. Unfortunately, I’ve come across multitudes of men and women who have been waiting for 10, 20, 30 years or more for ‘the one,’ and I believe for some of them God is wanting them to partner with Him in that process of meeting their spouse. Some will meet their spouse by kissing dating goodbye or through the traditional courtship model but I believe that God is culturally relevant. I did read that book ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ and did that for 8+ years; that didn’t work out for me. You can read my story in the next blog. One of the biblical examples of flirting involves Boaz and Ruth; which was culturally relevant at the time. She actually went to where he was sleeping, laid at his feet and waited for him to wake up and cover her with his blanket to signify he accepted her as his wife and would be her kinsman redeemer. Now that is some authentic flirting, but I definitely wouldn’t suggest it this day in age. Have a great day, I enjoy and value your opinion!
Also, Kate, I Kissed Dating Goodbye is good advice for teenagers, not for adults who want to get married. Teenagers are generally not mature enough to have a relationship that leads to marriage. Adults are generally mature enough. So, say hello to dating. 🙂
Thanks, Anon. Great thoughts! I like your input regarding maturity and dating. Healthy dating between two people can be a really great experience, even if it doesn’t work out. Of course we never go in thinking that it won’t, but done right with good communication and boundaries both people can leave the situation better.
I think this is a beautiful post on dating! There are a lot of people, regardless of gender and faith, who are finding it so hard to date, create meaningful relationships, and marry.
In today’s society its evident that there more independent women than ever before. I feel that though “dating” may not be a Biblical practice when it comes to creating relationships that will ultimately lead to marriage, I definitely feel that every single person who’s looking to marry “be harmless as doves, and wise as serpents” when dating and looking for that special someone.
I believe that love is waiting for you from someone who is equally yoked with you, only if you know how to recognize it, and if you are open-minded.
But, to answer the question “why aren’t men pursuing?”… I feel that in a general sense, men are still pursuing. But, the majority of them aren’t going to pursue something they have to work and sacrifice for, when they can get it for free. But, bottom line our culture of superficial beauty, broken families, and people who don’t have servant’s heart, together make it harder for relationships to occur.
Thanks for your input, Jason! Great points and input.
Great thoughts, Wendee! I love how you’ve elaborated on how the responsibilities are balanced but different between men and women. I have attempted to pursue women who have not been very inviting, but I realized after a while that it was very difficult to motivate myself to pursue someone who wasn’t open to pursuit. I’ve appreciated your other blog posts as well–they’ve been helpful in encouraging me to put myself out there and walk toward healthy relationships.
Wow! Goodness! Great comments. Thank you.
This reminds me of something, you know. There’s a guy I know, whom I like very much. But, I couldn’t just go upfront and say: hey, you! I like you, do you? 😀 That’d be something. Well, I have learnt the discipline of not fantasising on whether a person like me or not. My principle: if you like me, and you are a man, tell me. I can bear it. But, enter ( let’s call him Courage) Courage, and he would spend countless times trying to hold my gaze, or looking at me from across the room, or smiling at me when I happen to be alone. The mistake I did was I look back, wondering why this guy is smiling or staring.
So, one day (and I smile a lot) I happen to look directly at him and put on this big smile. Not that I planned it. It came naturally. I had this joy in my heart that I couldn’t keep to myself. Guess what he did. He smiled back. And came over and touched the small of my back. Smiled and left. I wondered why he did that but didn’t think anything of it. We were in a group.
Why am I wary of him? Sometimes, when I look at him, or ask a question or just smile off, he scowls at me. Once, he teased me and made fun of my clothes among people. He has not tried to speak with me once. But he moves with other ladies, some of whom are my friends. So, I decided that, though I like him, I won’t think much of him because he obviously doesn’t like me. But this is a guy who would take a chance to stand by me, these last months and stare me in the face when we singing in the choir. I decided not to read any meanings to it. And forget about him. Though I wish it were different, I realise I can’t force a pursuit that’s not meant to be even for friendship. So here I am, ready to date and find friends. Not ride on assumptions.
Am I wrong?