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I met this guy and I have a big crush on him, but I know the Bible says that men are supposed to pursue women. So should I just give up on my crush? Should I just drop it?
Well…scripture doesn’t say that.
Men: Do you have a sense that women want to be pursued in our culture?
Women: How do you feel about waiting to be pursued, not just in theory, but in reality?
Don't leave just yet. Besides these articles, sometimes I send out extra special stuff. Don't miss out. Sign up here.
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.
Oh yes, my friend Matt who edits loves throwing that in. He has done it a few times, but this was the first: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ob_i5KLZsA
I walked by my coworker’s office this morning and I heard your voice coming from her computer speakers. “Is that Joy?!” “Yes! She’s awesome. So awesome.” “No duh!”
Thank you for sharing your insights. It always helps to put things in the perspective of long term, specially when it comes to dating and the person you will potentially spend the rest of your life with.
Looking forward to the second part!
p.s. The whiny wife voice is pure gold.
This might be the greatest comment I’ve ever received. Narcissistically because it makes me feel good that you guys get my heart and words, but more so because I think it’s awesome that you work for a place that watching YouTube is a “no duh” ordeal. Hope you enjoy part dos!
I have been reading your blog for a bit now, and am now finally commenting. I’ve been ruminating over the CS Lewis post, which was fantastic, and I love your thoughts in this video post. I was thinking a bit about why some women want to pursue men, and it brought me back to something I heard in a sermon that I’ve never forgotten. The pastor said, “a real man pursues and romances a woman even after he gets her”; after the engagement, the “I do’s”, 2, 5, 10, 15, 30 years into marriage. I wonder if women begin to feel like objects (rightfully so) when men pursue them only to the point where they’ve gotten what they want, and then become less engaged, intentional, passionate, etc… I’ve seen plenty of Christian examples of this to know it to be unfortunately true and common. God created men to be pursuers, to go after things, but I think we really miss the mark when it comes to relationships and marriage. The one thing we can never fully attain in this life is the fulness of Christ (Phil 3.12), and I think that’s why God chooses to represent his relationship with us as a marriage. He is ever pursuing us, and calls men to follow His example in our relationships and marriages. That, I think, is entirely more romantic than the temporary euphoria that C.S. Lewis described; but the prospect of living that out is much more daunting than just being “in love” forever, as you said so well.
This is great stuff Joy, thank you so much!
Well said. So glad to hear this from a man. Your words made me think about how in our desire for “instant gratification”, we set ourselves up for temporary relationships. We want to feel a certain way right now so we don’t give much thought to how it will play out or impact us long term. However, we are still all made in God’s image so we will often do things that mimic that, but don’t have the purity of what God designed. Not sure if I am making sense, but I think that happens when men think, “Oh if I do this it seems to work with her.” And women respond because it makes us “feel excited.” Then we get what we want temporarily, but we did not set a foundation for it to last.
As I told one commenter, there is always hope for redemption. As you said, marriage is the place where God’s story is supposed to metaphorically play itself out and my desire is that we will see more and more people strive for that beautiful image when their belief that something lasting is possible.
I love the humor you put in this video! haha. I know personally for me I want to be pursued by a man. Even when I was 13 and all my other girlfriends would talk about the guys they were pursuing, a part of me was like, “I don’t want to be like that.” It was an instant thing that didn’t feel right for me to be doing the same as many other girls, at 13 years old! And I’m really glad I stuck with my convictions.
It seems like the topic of pursuing has been coming up a lot. I’m curious to know how it’s defined by the different genders (understanding that it really varies from person to person as well.) For instance, “As a man, I define pursuing as……” or “As a woman, I define pursuing as…..”
Does a woman pursuing a man look different than a man pursuing a woman? It has to be more than who is doing the asking out although it starts there.
A few months ago I began pursuing a woman. I asked her out on a date, and I did use the word date when I asked her out, and made my intentions clear that I was interested in getting to know her and spending time with her. It was great in the regards that I had been falling into the trap of hanging out with women which wasn’t working for them or me.
To me, that was pursuing; me leading and being intentional with my actions by being clear and purposeful. The relationship ended, but I felt like it was my most successful because I was mindful of what I was doing.
Great question Aaron. I actually tweeted your Q to get peoples thoughts. I agree with you. I personally believe that in the initial stage pursuing would look like asking out. Making definite plans and following up. Making it clear that there is interest and intention. I would hope that as a relationship develops both parties would initiate with one another. For me as a woman, I would think that in marriage I would feel like my husband still desired me when he initiated an interest in me and things that interest me. I would feel pursued and known and it would make me feel very safe.
I think most people would agree with with you did as pursuing because it was intentional. Just reading about it made me excited for you and the women you pursue. As a woman, I can get insecure if I don’t know where a man is at. Not that he has to profess his love right away, but a man who is intentional is a man who I know won’t play games. Even though it didn’t work out for you two, I am glad you both had the practice!
“Making it clear that there is interest and intention.”
I think that’s really important. I’ve pursued guys in the past but they’ve always left me confused. Does he like me because I like him? Is he going along with it because it’s just easy, or is he actually interested? Was that a real laugh or a polite laugh? Is he enjoying himself? What is this guy’s deal?
I think clarity of intentions is hugely important. About 9 months ago, I was interested in a gentleman. I thought he was interested too, but I couldn’t be too sure. We flirted. We talked when we saw each other at church. I sent him an email saying “you owe me the rest of that conversation we started”. I wasn’t pursuing anything. The ball was in his court, so to speak. He asked me out for coffee. The conversation led me to believe he was interested (you don’t just sit and chat with someone for 4 hours if you’re bored out of your mind). On our second date, I second guessed what was happening. Instead of enjoying myself, I stewed about what he was thinking “this” was. Partway through the concert he put his arm around me. Very intentional. Very clear. He was interested. My stewing stopped completely. It was really rather simple. We never had to have one of those “soooo do you like me or….what exactly is this?” conversations. Being pursued isn’t obnoxious. There isn’t awkward pressure. It’s clear and intentional. And often more simple than it appears.
So- I’m curious. Do you think there’s hope for relationships that have set the wrong precedent? There may be a little bit in my own relationship, but I am honestly more concerned for those marriages that are struggling because they started out wrong. How can that be redeemed?
Oh yes of course! That is the whole point of the Gospel. You should check our Renea’s comment. There are couples who started off great and failed, couples who had rocky starts and flourished. I truly hope that this post doesn’t put people into a box. Rather, I am trying to help people get in tune with the desires of their hearts and the way I believe we were designed. What this girl asks is not a serious sin issue. However, I know there are some patterns that we create that cause way more pain than others. I don’t know what you are referring to necessarily, but no one is without hope.
Sadly, I think people give little grace and give up too easily. Because of that it would seem like some relationships are hopeless. But I disagree. Get Godly wise people around you to talk through these patterns that you feel are in place. Evaluate and pray about what you sense you need to do in this relationship. If you are interested in understanding male/female patterns in a scientific and Biblical way, I would encourage you to read my fathers book Love and Respect. His second book the Language of Love and Respect is rich with practical application.
Redemption is ALWAYS possible.
Seriously! This could not be more perfectly timed for me. I’ve been crushing on this guy for a couple of weeks. I’ve wanted him to take the lead in pursuing me but he’s not really made too much effort. I’ve done my best to leave it alone but a friend recently encouraged me to “just ask him out; what’s the big deal” To me it is a big deal. I want to be pursued and if he’s not interested enough to make the effort then I really don’t want to go there. Thanks for helping me to remember to stick to my convictions on this one because I was toying with following my friends advice but now I won’t be. Thanks again! I look forward to hearing part 2 of this.
Wow, Joy! Way to burst our false religious bubbles! THANK YOU FOR THAT! I love the spirit with which you talk about relationship patterns, setting people up for freedom to model after examples in God’s Word, but not have to make our lives look to the T what another person lived. Such freedom. Now where’s that guy I wanted to ask out… I kid. 🙂
Seriously – I’m super excited to hear you address the fear motive in part 2. I think the most freedom I’ve felt as a single girl in the last year or so, is when I stopped trying to get the guy I am crushing on to notice me by talking or sometimes not talking to him, and just being his friend. Manipulation (rooted in fear) ain’t a good pattern fo sho!
Thanks for all you do!
Exactly! I talk about fear in part two and would love to know what you think. One of the reasons my dad fell in love with my mom was because he realized she was so friendly to everyone. Playing crazy games might work for some guys to feel like they have something to “chase”, but I don’t think it develops anything too lasting or secure. One thing I have often thought is, “Maybe this guy won’t decide he likes me, but if his friend was interested in me, would he have good things to say about how I was towards him?”
i once used the line, “my boyfriend and i broke up. you can ask me out now.” then i walked away.
that was on a Wednesday. by Friday, i had a date.
So, I think you’re probably right that women enjoy feeling pursued and men enjoy the pursuit (that is, when the pursuit is successful). However, I see a problem with the causal relationship between your assessment of gender roles and the married-10-years-down-the-road scenarios. Largely because I see that scenario in tons of marriages in which he pursued her. Literally could be word for word with the controlling/initiating issues, but they’re there as fallout of the crazy cycle: women criticize, men retreat/stonewall and stop initiating, and women “pick up the slack.”
You’re also right that the Bible doesn’t say anything about who should pursue whom. But of course that would be ridiculous. Can you imagine in the extremely patriarchal ancient near-east, Hebrew society of the Bible God talking about women pursuing men? And in the NT, the tradition of arranged marriages was rather well established. Neither gender was pursuing the other. It would have been completely irrelevant for God to talk about who’s supposed to pursue whom. And God is never irrelevant.
Good stuff! I appreciate your insights. I agree with you that this can happen in marriage even if a man has pursued. But then, should we conclude that since the scenario could happen, we should ignore the strong possibility that the way we date could increase our chances of creating this pattern for marriage? I hope it didn’t sound like I was saying, “if you do this” then “this” will 100% be the case. Moreso, I want people to recognize the desires of their hearts and why those desires are there. Then being as honest and wise as they can in dating to hopefully create a more streamline transition into marriage.
No dogmatic generalization of ALL men and ALL women should ever be made, but I think if you evaluate how men and women have interacted in the last few decades it sheds some light on why these particular complaints that we hear from men and women may be increasing. Dating can be one place where patterns start.
As you stated about the Bible stuff, yes, I can’t imagine them getting into all these small details. That’s why I don’t think this is a “sin” issue, but I appreciated her heart in asking. I believe it’s a generational issue and a design issue. My desire is for people to simply be in touch with and honest about how they were designed, their desires and view of marriage. Then hopefully trusting that what the Lord designed in them was intended for a reason and for good. And to embrace that.
OK.. I knew where this was going, and I think your reasoning is actually very insightful.
I think no matter how free spirited we want to act.. and “do whatever we want” … it’s hard to mess with nature and how men and women are “wired”.
While, I agree with many points you’ve made.. ultimately, pursuing is really not one sided. That’s the misconception people have and it’s why people might be turned off by the concept of a women sitting at home all helpless waiting to be pursued.
One of the beautiful things about being a women is vulnerability and we shouldn’t be afraid to express our feelings in the process of being pursued. We shouldn’t be afraid to express interest or do a little work.
Also, are we talking about pursuing or chasing? Because the woman you describe as “doing everything” sounds like a desperate person on the chase and I don’t think that’s attractive for either gender.
Great thoughts Denise. I also agree it’s important to distinguish chasing vs. pursuing. I think personalities play a huge role in what some may percieve as chasing or pursuing. A female may think one guy is being annoying and chasing relentlessly while a guy she likes doing the same thing she may think is being the perfect pursuer. Ha…it’s a fine line.
You are so sweet to me. Your words are encouraging and the fact that you think I have enough talent to edit my videos is a doubly encouraging. Not in a million years. I tried to get trained once and one little edit took me 47.3 hours. (-: My friend Matt of Drop Tree productions shoots the videos for free and then my videos are edited by Matt Gromley who does the videos for These Numbers Has Faces. I have amazing friends!
I think that plenty of women ‘pursue’, but its just in a different way to the way men do it. perhaps its a bit more subtle. Sometimes.
I have a friend who may have been interested in me, but feels he missed his chance, even though we were friends for about 10 years before i got married. Before I got back with the guy i eventually married, his brother-in-law tells me that perhaps my friend is interested, but I think if it takes him that long to do something proactive towards pursuing me, than its probably never going to happen.
And when I think back to the guys that I was actually interested in, I always found a way to let them know I was interested, which I think could be seen as a way of pursuing in itself.
I love the idea of keeping in mind that how you are dating in the beginning is setting up precedents for how your married life could be. More people need to know that.