If You Chase Me, You’ll Never Catch Me

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After discovering I could get women to chase me, I’ve collected some priceless stories. But is that really how I want to talk about my future girlfriend or wife? With stories of how I got her to jump through all of my hoops?

Of course not. The kind of woman I want to spend the rest of my life with won’t jump through those hoops. She knows doing so won’t get me to pursue her.

Because if I am interested, I will pursue her.

If I am not, I won’t.

It sounds simple. But if everything in life was as simple as it sounded, birth control would be 100% effective, every person on the planet would be a master at parallel parking, and the girl knocking on the door to your Vegas hotel room would actually look like the girl on the card.

I allow myself to get chased because it is amusing, and my ego (among other things) always appreciates a good stroking. But when that special woman, with a twinkle in her eye and a deceivingly innocent smirk on her face, lets me know that I’m not going to catch her so easily, I take off after her while the other girls fade into the distance.

Image by James Warwick

There’s something about the chase that excites me. Maybe it’s the curiosity I have when we make eye contact for the first time. Maybe it’s the thrill I feel when I see her on that second date and have to imagine how sexy she must look beneath that dress. Maybe it’s the tension and anticipation I sense, knowing how badly we want to rip each other’s clothes off, but not knowing if we will reach that point.

Or maybe it’s the risk I take by making myself utterly vulnerable to her, because this chase is far from easy. She stays just outside my reach, subtly letting me know she wants me to catch her, but I have to try a little bit harder. She wants me to prove that I see the same value in her as she sees in herself. She won’t settle for less than the best, and the best does not give up until he has exhausted every possible effort to be with the woman he believes he deserves.

I used to think women should do some of the chasing, that we both need to “invest” the same amount of time and effort. I lived by that belief for three years after my last serious relationship, and of all the women who have done some of the “chasing,” not a single one has caused me to think, “wow, I want to be with her.

Three women come to mind:

I met Sara in a bar, and we hooked up that night. Two weeks later, she came over, and we hooked up again… just before I sent her home, so I could go downtown and party with my friends. She stuck around for the rest of the year. She was convenient, because if she was going to chase me with that kind of enthusiasm, I knew she wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Eventually, she did express interest in seeing me outside of the bedroom. That was the end of her.

I met Kelly when she was working. Later that week, I invited her over. She came over again every week for the next three months, rarely making an effort to get me to chase her. She simply showed up at my doorstep whenever my schedule allowed. She eventually stopped returning my calls and later told me she did so when she realized “we” weren’t going anywhere.

I met Hannah during a weekend trip to Hollywood. She was feisty, a trait I absolutely adore in women. I wanted her, and I was going to do whatever it took to get her. After a few weeks of trying to get her to open up, we hit it off. We spent hours on the phone every week for months. I had never clicked so well with someone. Then she came down to see me for the first time since we met. Suddenly, I felt she was into me more than I was into her. That feistiness was immediately replaced by a desire to chase me, instead of letting me chase her. It was over. I had won. And from then on, I became more and more complacent, until my feelings faded to purely platonic.

Sara, Kelly and Hannah all fell into the “If I am not, I won’t” category. When each of them made it clear that the chase was over, any interest I thought I had in them disappeared. If they had stopped chasing me, nothing would have been dragged out, unnecessary emotions would have never been involved, and the pain I know they felt would have been lessened.

It always feels good to be chased, but I understand now that it only feels good to my ego. On a deeper level, it’s not satisfying to know that I didn’t have to work for it, that the most time I had to invest to get a woman to chase me was the 30 seconds it took to introduce myself. To me, the most valuable things in life require hard work and a considerable investment of time.

Now, I’ll know what to do when that one special woman does rear her head.

Well, unless she already did

I met Ramona in Vegas. She had a fiery spirit I can’t draw myself away from. But, more than that, she had the nurturing maternal instinct that I fall for.

And I did. I fell hard.



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123 thoughts on “If You Chase Me, You’ll Never Catch Me

  1. Even if he was upfront with women why should he have to change his mind and settle for a woman he wasn’t interested in to begin with or anymore? Why should a guy settle for a woman that doesn’t respect themself?

  2. Women get away with non violent stalking more than men do (because men don’t report it unless it is violent, where women report all kinds). Guys put up with it because it helps boasts our ego when we feel wanted in any form. I personally find pathetic women who can’t take a hint to be very hilarious and put themselves in bad situations. I don’t lack empathy for good women who respect themselves and are smart enough to get the hint. Just like the book “he’s not that into you.”

  3. I read a whole lot of this blog (blah, boring desk jobs, but I just read blogs all day and am still getting paid, so the little things, right?) and this is the only post I felt compelled to not only read all the comments but to also add my own. The entire debate struck a chord with me because I think it goes straight to the heart of why dating sometimes does feel like war. And, honestly, I think there’s some truth to “all’s fair…”.

    Before anyone leaps on me, let me explain. Obviously all is not fair. Just as there are war crimes and criminals there are definite dating/relationship ethics and those people who violate said moral code. But in both love and war there is a substantial murky area where it’s difficult to draw the line between devastation justified by necessity and that which can be considered truly heinous. Point of view also has a big influence on where the line is drawn: any victim will probably give a harsher evaluation of the situation.

    So back to “justified by necessity”. No one should argue that to achieve military victory it is essential to be self-interested. I think to achieve success in dating, which I (pretty romantically) would define as finding someone who makes you happy to share your life with, you also need to be self-interested. Not a selfish prick, but self-interested definitely – in that I think Rick is perfectly within his rights to recognize that he doesn’t fall for girls who impress him as having insecurity issues.

    I’m not sure if I made a bigger point than “love (or at least dating) is kind of war”, but OMGGGGG it’s 5 I’m out.

    • Well, said, Lisa. I think that ultimately, we all need to realize that everyone always acts selfishly on some level and that isn’t anything necessarily wrong with that. It’s simply our natural behavior.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Well, first I’d like to say I’m flattered my post was the one to compel you to comment, and props to you for reading all the comments.

      Second, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments on being self-interested when it comes to dating as well as your remark, Dennis, about everyone ultimately acting selfishly and that NOTHING is wrong with that.

      Do what makes YOU happy. It’s the only life you have… as far as I know ;)

  4. Doing what makes you happy is one thing. Doing so at the deliberate expense of others in another. According to the article, as well as you unapologetic attitude during these comments, you fit in the latter category.

    Another thing: just because “everyone” does something does not make that thing right.

  5. Ok, I’m back at the desk and I wanted to make one more point. Some of the comments took a very defensive “didn’t you ever think that these women were just using YOU for sex??” approach. I get it, but I hate that defense. First of all, it feels terrible to be used for sex, and no one should do it. Second, why would we women, so wonderfully lacking in the testosterone that can turn even our sweetest guy friend into a prowling man-beast once the club music gets going and the biddies roll in half-dressed, decide to co-opt that ugly aspect of being a man?

    I used to subscribe to the theory that if you can use a guy purely for sex you are somehow an ideally empowered and liberated woman. In my personal experience, it isn’t true. You can’t out-man a man when it comes to sexual detachment. Unless you’re Samantha, and even she is almost a caricature of herself – not to mention fictional.

    When I still thought I was empowering myself by summoning that drunk frat boy to my bedside at 3AM, I was miserable. The impulse to keep texting or drunk dialing a guy who didn’t feel the need to win my affections in any meaningful way, besides just being generally manly and awesome, always came from my own feelings of inadequacy. When confronted with someone super cool, super hot, or in whatever way more awesome than we think we are ourselves, I think it’s a common reaction to hide our real personality out of fear of not measuring up. Women, however, can then easily resort to using boobs and other things to win a man’s attention. At least then he’s interested in something, right? It’s an awful perpetuating cycle of self-deprecation. I think as women we can also feel like if we just play it right, and be that fantasy girl, he’d be crazy not to stick around (ahem, cooking dinner in lingerie). Also self-deprecating, and kind of degrading. Do that with someone who you know already loves you, not to prove yourself.

    Back to my point: I know women do it but I am very skeptical of a woman who claims to be using someone for sex. Whether it’s true or a defense mechanism, to say you are “using someone” for anything is just sleazy and distasteful.

    And hi, Dennis, thanks for the welcome! I like what you’re doing here. I think I opened the floodgates on blogs and may well be addicted.

    • Well, I’m an evolutionary biologist, so I like to frame human behavior in terms of how they evolved and what they were originally intended for (check out my monogamy article for an example).

      Although a lot of social scientists today like to belittle our evolutionary origins, the bottom line is that four million years of conditioning are difficult to set aside.

      For thousands–if not hundreds of thousands–of years now, the dynamic between males and females has been that males are aggressive and pursue, while females are selective and choose. To try to twist that dynamic today in the name of equal rights between the sexes is, in my opinion, going against many of our most basic instincts.

      Of course, there’s nothing wrong per se with going against our basic instincts. It’s just harder than we think, and it can really mess with us psychologically if we do. So, we have to be wary of that.

  6. I think there are two takeaways here:

    Life is a learning process that never ends — for both sexes

    People are different and have different motivating factors for their actions. We can only do what we think is right. It’s not up to anyone else to tell us what’s “right.”

  7. Pingback: The Ricktastic's Guide To Proper Booty Call Etiquette | Musings on Life and Love

  8. I am a girl.
    I totally agree with what the article implies.
    I think Rick has a fairly good understanding of the art of seduction, which makes the relationships special and fun.

  9. RICKY- YOU ARE SO SMART!!!! I found your frank accuracy such the breath of fresh air. Dont even respond to or acknowledge these ignorant commenters. Ignore them into oblivion. And thank you, i really enjoyed the article.

  10. I am totally refreshed by this article…can’t believe I’m just finding it in 2012. I am in a long-term (4 years on and off…1.5 years most recently) relationship with a really wonderful guy. When he and I first started dating his confidence was no way near where it is now. He would often say things like “why do you date me? you’re so much better than me,” and he would often catch me by surprise and express how much he loved me when we were out with friends. I always hated when he said he wasn’t as good as me and would tell him to stop!

    Things shifted with us once he gained a little more confidence, realized the importance of maintaing his independence and friends, and saw that we were hanging out way too much. He still loved me, but wanted to also have his time without me. It was such a sucker punch to my ego because I was initially the one thinking we were hanging out too much and trying to establish my freedom. His shift was honestly, very healthy, and ultimately good for both of us, but it was so drastic and painful that it caused a lot of turmoil.

    Fast forward to today, your attitude and some of your ideas sound a lot like his. He often feels like people either love or hate him and so he is striving to maintain a constant attitude of expressing himself no matter what. When we’re good he shares that with me and feels comfortable in my presence to fully be himself. When we’re bad, it’s usually because I am stressing him about something that doesn’t even matter right now instead of enjoying the relationship and seeing how things flow. You can’t really plan love.

    I know this man must really love me because he is with me even though I challenge his independence constantly at an age (25) where men want to flaunt it most. I totally agree that there should always be some challenge there, and have been thinking today about how

    a) A good chunk of the time I spend thinking about and talking about my relationship, I could be using on myself! Your statement that

    “A girl can show interest in me by allowing me to pursue her or more specifically letting me know she wants me to pursue her… If she’s interested she’ll respond to my efforts, and if she’s not, she won’t.”

    is such a relieving statement. The pressure is off…that’s less work for me, fewer expectations for him, and two people who are able to function happily separately and together. And it’s more fun for me when I don’t have to do much work!

    b) these things can be very simple, but are made complicated by so many exterior factors. Just let it flow! (I’m def telling myself this too lol)

    Thanks so much for your honest post!

    • Glad I could provide some insight ;) Thank you so much for your comment! I’m a strong believer in a relationship consisting of two independent people who just really enjoy spending time together, and it sounds like you’ve got it!

  11. Rick-
    I really need some advice from the male perspective. It’s an odd situation of cat & mouse, but over a long period time.

    *I met this guy, we’ll call him ‘B’ about 10 years ago. There was an instant attraction, but I had just started a new relationship & he was still playing the field. Over the past 10 yrs he still chases me. He has told me thousands of times to leave the person I’m with & give us a chance. Even though he has been in a few serious relationships since we met & I’m still with the same person, the feelings have never faded away. I asked him last week that if I wa single, he currently is, would it be the same, would it work because the chase would be over. He said that he hasn’t gone anywhere in 10 yrs, its not about the chase anymore. He said that he loves me, which I already knew, and that he accepted that a long time ago. Even if we were never going to be together. He said that through out every relationship he’s had since we met he has always loved me. I feel very confused. If we did get together would it be a situation of mistaken love? We have remained in close contact over the years, even his friends have told me that he lights up when he talks about me, not the same way when he has brought other women around them. I don’t know if our relationship is based on the fact that we’ve never been together (the most we have done physically is kiss twice in 10 yrs) or after all these years is it real. Are the feelings true? I could never imagine not having him in my life, never. But I also don’t want to throw away what I have with my husband (same person I’ve been with since I met ‘B’) just to find out that it was about the chase. But how do you feel that way about someone for 10 yrs? It doesn’t make sense. Still to this day we talk on the phone for hours and text all day long. I’m in a weird situation. If this was a short feeling I could let it go, but a decade of feelings is a long time.

    • I’ll be honest… Your story resonated pretty strongly with me. If you’ve read the second part to this piece you’re caught up, otherwise here’s the link:
      http://www.musingsonlifeandlove.com/2011/04/18/if-i-chase-you-i-may-fall-for-you/

      It’s hard to call what we had as “dating” because we saw each other very infrequently, we didn’t talk much in between those times, and we weren’t sleeping together, but we both admitted to feeling a connection with one another of an intensity neither of us had ever experienced. Last year we went from February to August without seeing or even talking to each other, but when we decided to break that silence and get dinner one evening the moment our eyes met we knew the feelings we had for each other were as strong as they had ever been… as if those 7 months had only been a day.

      For the past year and a half since we met it didn’t matter who I was dating or sleeping with, I always thought about her. I thought I’d never be happy in a relationship unless it was her, but since we had never truly given “us” a shot there was no way to tell for sure. All I knew is my friends had never seen me as happy as when they saw me with her, and her friends had never seen her as happy as when she was with me… it was as if the rest of the world just didn’t exist when we were together.

      So, a little over a month ago we finally decided to give it a shot… I don’t fully understand what happened inside me, but these feelings I had, that I’ve never had for anyone else, were not enough… so I called it off, and only 3 weeks into it.

      I could point blame to a million different things in my head, but in the end I feel at this point I’m just not mentally and emotionally capable of being in a truly loving relationship regardless of how badly I wanted it with her, which probably stems from a combination of fear, my lack of self-esteem, and not truly believing I deserve something great.

      Even now, I still have the same strong feelings for her, but I take a very strange comfort in knowing if I couldn’t make it work with her I’m not going to be able to make it work with anyone, at least not now, and not for a long time, but it took us giving it a shot, and consequently her walking out of my life (one of the worst pains I’ve ever felt), for me to figure that out. I’m not one to pray, but in one form or another I will always be praying that fate will bring us together somewhere down the line, when my mind and heart are actually in a place to completely submit to my feelings for her… and I believe strongly enough in that possibility that it actually brings me happiness when I think about it.

      But I digress.

      I’m not going to tell you what to do, but if she and I had never given these feelings a chance I don’t know if I would have ever stopped thinking about her and wanting to be with her. I’m not sure if I could have ever been content being with another woman if we had not at least tried to make us work.

      What it comes down to for me is if I actually believed I was capable of being happy in a truly loving relationship then I’d still be with her… and I’d be with her for a very long time.

      I have no idea what B has gone through or what he believes about himself deep down, but maybe you two are in the situation she and I will find ourselves in somewhere down the line… or maybe you’re not.

      If there’s one thing I’ve learned from not only my twisted story of love, but everything else I’ve done it’s that I can talk and theorize about something all I want, but in the end there’s really only one way to find out the truth, and that’s to experience it.

  12. For God’s sake, stop writing articles like this on the internet. I’m a man and I hate chasing. The best relationship happens when BOTH sides are chasing each other. Plain and simple, no games, straightforward, not hard nor easy to get, just natural attraction between two intelligent creatures.. Jeez

  13. Found you by chance online, love your writing. Could you ever have a relationship with someone you had sex with quite early? Or is that always a no-go? I met a guy after my last break up, he chased me for a couple of days, by then I was so emotionally tired I agreed on meeting him. We chatted for hours and hours, then had sex (I was the initiator), I needed it, it made me feel better. The problem was, it was GREAT sex.. so we ended up having sex about 7 times in two weeks (sober), I asked him once if he could sleep over and not have sex, he did, I woke up in his arms. When I left (I moved away), I found myself missing him. We text about once a week, sometimes about random things, sometimes about sex, we always text for several hours, no matter subject. It’s been four months now.. He’s coming over to see me in two weeks, and I realize I like this guy. Should I call it off? I’m not interested in getting burnt..

    • “Could you ever have a relationship with someone you had sex with quite early? Or is that always a no-go?”
      -I can’t really answer this because I have only been in 3 relationships (by society’s definition of one, anyway), 2 of which only lasted a matter of weeks, so that’s not a sample size I’m willing to base a knowledgeable response on.

      I can, however, say this: some women simply become chases in which my feelings will decrease in intensity after sleeping with them, but it doesn’t mean I viewed them as relationship potential beforehand. Chances are if I meet someone and view her as relationship potential I won’t rush to bang her because I’ll expect she’ll be around for a while.

      But like everything else in life, there is one black, one white, and an infinite number of greys. Life has played quite the number of tricks on me over the years so I hesitate to state anything as universal (even this article is a heavy simplification of my experiences).

      As for whether or not you should call it off, I’m not going to tell you what to do. There are countless emotions, feelings, and experiences between the two of you which you both interpret through your own filters developed over the course of your individual lives.

      If you want to know whether to call it off that’s something for the two of you to talk about. Is there long term potential? What do you both want? How do you feel about one another? All of those are important, relevant questions and only the two of you can answer them for yourselves.

  14. I appreciate the honesty in this article Rick, though it may be blatant to some.
    Chemistry and attraction is hard to explain sometimes. You may come across as being crude and a jerk for treating Hannah but then we don’t hear from Hannah’s point of view. My last relationship, i would say, is pretty much somewhat like yours and Hannah. I learnt my lesson the hardway. Being elusive is part of my nature, but once i thought that i met ‘the one’, my natural character of being cool and elusive is replaced of being ‘trying too hard’ to make it work. Yah my ex-bf was like you. So this two mix of characters ‘Ms trying too hard’ and ‘Mr fear of commitment and loving my single life too much’ just won’t work.
    So moral of the story, seriously ladies, never try to hard and try to chill, even when you’re already in a relationship. Sometimes, we ladies overthink and overwork about everything. Just bask in the sun and sip that cocktail and let him serve you, while giving him kisses and compliments while he does so. Cheers!

  15. Hello,

    This is a great article but it is making me feel guilty! I need an advice!
    I met this amazing guy few months ago in college. He is very close with my best friend, they are like relatives. He is very mysterious and reserved…he has this wall that i just can’t seem to penetrate. On the other side I am reserved but not too much, very open and outgoing and love being a little crazy and I just love to have fun. I’m very emotional in a sense that I express my emotions whether I am upset or happy. So if I like someone I show that i like that particular person. I will help them and treat them in a certain way and flirt with them and get all touchy. He is completely the opposite of me. We’ve become close ever since we met. We go out with other friends together.
    I love flirting around and I know when someone likes me but with him I can never tell. He treats everyone the same way whether it’d be guys or girls. You’re probably thinking I’m some silly college student but no I consider myself smart and mature. He is a bit religious so he is very mature and responsible.
    Last week we (friends) all went out and I had a few drinks. So, I was talking mostly to him and touching him and playing around. So from the side it was pretty obvious that i like him. The entire night he was looking out for me because i was a bit tipsy. I was worried that maybe I annoyed him but I asked our friends and they all told me he looked very flattered actually.
    My friend told me that he likes to be the initiator and the dominant one or the ‘man.’ But I have zero patience and want things done quickly. Since you wrote, “Because if I am interested, I will pursue her” do you think I should wait or just make the first move?
    He flirts with me but again it’s very hard to tell if he likes me because he treats all girls the same way.

    What do you think I should do?
    What are the signs that guys show when they like a girl?

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