Let’s start with the assumption that the ideal romantic situation is one in which a man pursues the heart of woman. I am hard-wired to pursue. It is how God made a man to be. As a man, I thrive on challenges, and the rewards gained through effort and sacrifice. I have faced challenges in every aspect of my life, including romance.
However, this romantic quest is doomed without some practical wisdom for both sides. Before all the sparks and butterflies cloud our vision, let’s get a handle on the following: (a) what we want (b) how far we’re willing to go to get it, and (c) being prepared for the consequences.
Know what you want in a mate. My wife actually wrote a list of qualities that she was looking for in a spouse. This list was the result of personal experience and discernment. Making a list is not as extreme as it sounds. Dating online means sifting through a lot of profiles and managing a lot of communication. So often you forget what you are looking for, especially since it’s easy to get swept away with the attention of new admirers.
If you don’t know what you are looking for, you run a greater risk of getting involved with incompatible matches and facing awkward, messy breakups.
Be prepared to go the distance. When my wife and I were dating I would drive to her house through rush hour traffic three or four times during the week, and both days on the weekends. She lived 45 minutes away if there was no traffic. Any other time it was easily over an hour. This schedule meant the loss of a lot of time for myself (including sleep time).
She felt special because she knew I was making a sacrifice so that she could be safe, and have an early bedtime. I didn’t show up with flowers and gifts, I just showed her that she was worth it every time.
Are you willing to travel out of your way without complaint? Are you willing to put your time together ahead of your “me time”? And if you are, can you do it without making a big deal out of it?
If you feel as though you are being taken advantage of, then your heart is not in it. You are no longer pursuing her; you’re just trying to make an impression.
Be prepared for rejection. Rejection never feels good, but it doesn’t kill you.
Men: If a woman turns down a date without suggesting an alternative plan, then she is not interested. You need to let it go at that. Pursuing her will get you nowhere. I don’t care if you’ve been communicating with her for weeks. She’s not interested. Divest yourself of any notions that patience and allowing her to take the lead is some kind of chivalry. She’s not interested.
While men no longer know how to pursue a woman, women often have no understanding of how to be pursued.
Women: If you are not interested in getting to know a man, then come right out with it. Early on.
If you are interested in being pursued, then don’t make it too easy. A woman’s heart is truly something to be won. If a man is worthy of you, then he will be prepared to go the distance. You want someone who will go the distance for the rest of your lives, when things are no longer sunshine and roses.
Keep in mind that being pursued does NOT preclude a woman from making first contact. Romantic pursuit is not about who calls whom. It’s not about sending flowers. It’s about a man showing a woman that he is ready to face the challenges to win her heart. If a woman finds that she is usually the one suggesting a date, or where to meet, or that she is the one doing the lion’s share of the calling and emailing, then she is no longer be pursued. Stop and let him pursue. You’ll know fairly quickly if he’s serious. You’ll know soon where the relationship is going, or if it’s going anywhere at all.