Should women pursue men in dating?

Times are changing. As a woman, you may be tired of sitting around and waiting for the right guy to contact you. You want to take control of your love life and your destiny. You go after what you want in other areas of your life, so why not pursue men also? If this is you, you need to STOP! There are better ways to feel in control that will yield results.

If you are accustomed to pursuing men, there may be two major reasons this technique is not working. Firstly, men know how to pursue women when they are interested. Secondly, women think this approach gives them more control than it does.

Let’s start with what men really think about a woman contacting them first. I asked single men what they thought about women making contact with and approaching them, either online or in person. I asked if the men were more or less attracted to women who reached out first, if they were likely to go out with these women, and if those first dates would lead to healthy relationships.

Most single men said their first response to an email from a woman is, “Hey, that’s flattering!” The men felt a sense of ease knowing the woman was interested. One of my male clients said, “Wow, now I know how it feels to be a woman.” He also reported feeling bad rejecting women. Getting beyond men’s initial flattered response, how did they behave?  Ultimately, men only responded to women they were attracted to, regardless of who reached out first. A few men said that they were slightly suspicious of the women who initiated contact. They wondered why she was not getting more attention on her own. Those men who did follow up with a first date thanked the women for reaching out but did not go on to date these women exclusively. My question is, why? Mature men pursue women, and women respond to the male’s pursuit. For men, if a woman is worthwhile, he will want to pursue her. Men feel stronger about something they worked hard for. If a man goes out of his way making plans for a date, thinking about what the woman likes and how to please her, he is investing more. In this case, love is a verb: if I love her, I will do more for her.

The women reading this may think that I’m delivering an archaic message and that relationships have progressed beyond the hunter/gatherer days. But take time to focus on the things you do have control over. How good are you at signaling to men that you are interested? Signaling behavior is a woman’s ability to make eye contact and use body language to suggest she is open and receptive. When a man approaches you, can you be soft and flirty? Many women think they are making their interest obvious when, in fact, they are not. Men admit that they sometimes miss cues from women and appreciate hints that you are interested. Do your best to make sure they receive your message.

To feel more in control of your online profile, get online every few days.  Check out men that meet your criteria. Feel free to favorite the men you like and wink at them, but don’t send the first email. These behaviors are equivalent to signaling in person. Take control of your personal life by signing up for lots of activities. Go to local meet-ups or take a class.

I asked women who pursue men if there were negatives to reaching out first. Many of them reported that although at first they felt more in control, they often questioned the man’s commitment and felt more vulnerable waiting for responses. Ultimately, what these women felt was the opposite of control.

If you are still skeptical about my advice, be careful where you get your answers. You can always find one or two examples of couples where the woman pursued her man and it became a happy union, but I’m looking at overall patterns for long term happiness with men and women. You have only one beginning for any relationship. If the man does not pursue you from the beginning, when will he? You are establishing a pattern for your relationship that will hopefully carry you into a long future with this man. I’ve seen from many couples that the patterns established at the start of the relationship set the tone for the future. If a woman says, “Sit back. It’s OK. I expect very little,” that is exactly what she will get in the long run. If she says, “I am worth pursuing,” the man will continue to pursue and love her romantically for years to come. The larger problem with women pursuing men is that men learn to expect this behavior from all women and get comfortable with more passive behavior.

secure note: A man has two options in a relationship: either stand up and be the man or sit down so a woman can see the man behind you!
 

 

6 thoughts on “Should women pursue men in dating?”

  1. Scott Daugherty

    Dr. Dianne,
    As a 55 year old man reading your blog, I endorse the wink or favorite approach. That’s sufficient acknowledge of a woman’s interest. In fact, I would suggest that a lady take that step. There are 100’s of women out there and many do not respond at all to messages for a whole variety of reasons which are not necessarily related to whether they might be attracted to the man sending an e-mail. To me it’s sort of like if you made eye contact across the room and smiled to acknowledge the glance. It suggest a woman wants to know more. Scott

  2. Diane Strachowski

    Scott,
    Thanks for the feedback, yes, I can imagine how frustrating that must be when women don’t respond. I think both men and women have to be more curious about each other and give each other one a chance, especially to meet in person.
    Best,
    Dr. Diane

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