Not too long ago, I introduced everyone to pursuit theory, which explains how dating tends to work best. Pursuit theory describes two roles, the role of the pursuer (the guy) and the role of the pursued (the girl). Each role is interesting and has both obvious and nuanced behaviors associated with it. I’ll be explaining the girl’s role later on; today I’ll focus on the guy’s.
Man is the hunter; woman is his game. The sleek and shining creatures of the chase, we hunt them for the beauty of their skins; they love us for it, and we ride them down.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
The role of the guy in pursuit theory is, quite frankly, to be moving forward. It is your job to give chase, let the girl know of your interest, and be willing to work to gain her attention. There are a lot of guys who don’t want to pursue girls, and they give several reasons for it:
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of looking desperate
- Fear of being used
- They should pursue me
The first three reasons all are based in fear of a particular outcome, which is no reason not to pursue. One of my favorite quotes comes from Karate Kid Part III, in which Daniel is getting his ass handed to him in the climactic fight of the film. On the ground, battered, and wanting to give up, Mr. Miyagi gives the following piece of advice: “It’s okay to lose to [your] opponent, [you] must not lose to fear.” If the only reason you’re not doing something is due to fear, then you have no real reason not do it.
Wanting girls to pursue you, the fourth reason, is a fantasy that every guy has. Get over it. The only guys who give this as a reason to not pursue girls are either a) reacting from one of the first three reasons or b) pickup artists. Yes, it’s exciting to have a girl pursue you, but most won’t. Even those who like you often won’t make the first move. You need to get over the need to have a girl approach you if you want to get more dates.
Yes, as the guy, you must pursue. Now, pursuing doesn’t mean you get a horse and ride after her stagecoach. What it does mean is taking control of each situation as it arises and showing a willingness to put some effort into the courtship. Putting effort into pursuing a girl doesn’t make you desperate, as some pickup artists might have you belief, it makes you active. I guarantee that you miss out on more prospective dates by not putting forth any effort. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard girls talk about how a guy pursued her for a long time before she finally agreed to go out with him. It can work, you just have to be willing to make it work.
Taking control of each situation starts right from the beginning:
- First meeting. You should be the one to approach, and when you do, have a topic in mind to start the conversation. I cringe when I see guys walk up to girls, say “hi,” and then expect her to carry on the discussion. Have something to talk about when you approach.
- Inviting her out. Don’t be afraid to suggest you should go out on a date. Most guys ask, “would you like to go out with me sometime?” This goes against the root of pursuit theory because you’re giving her an invitation to pursue you. Be direct and state your intention, “I’d like to take you out sometime. Are you free this weekend?” Now you’re not asking her to state her intentions, you are stating yours and giving her the option to agree.
- Calling her. When you get her number, tell her when you’re going to call. And then…this is key…call her when you said you would. Doing so indicates that you’re a man of your word. Even if for some reason you can’t talk at that time, call to say that you can’t talk and tell her when you will call again. It’s important to never ask her to call you back because you’re putting the role of pursuer on her. If you call and she doesn’t answer, you can either not leave a message and try again later or leave a message saying you’re sorry you missed her but that you’ll call back at another time (be specific, like “tomorrow night”).
- Inviting her out. Have a place already picked out for your date. For at least the first few dates, you should never ask her what she wants to do. You’re pursuing her, it’s your job to come up with fun dates. When you speak, present your idea as something you’ve already arranged: “So I was thinking it would be fun to go to this ____________ restaurant. It’s right by this nightclub that we can hit afterwards. Sound good?” State the time you’ll pick her up or meet as well. If she offers up an unsolicited idea of what to do, however, be sure to honor it. Being the pursuer doesn’t mean picking fights and being stubborn.
- On the date. Take control of the date from the beginning which means arriving when you said you would. Seriously, don’t be late, and if you can’t help but be late, call ahead of time to let her know. Open doors and escort her from the car to the location (open her door for her, etc.). Expect to pay for everything ahead of time. If she offers, assure her that she’s not expected to pay, if she insists, then let her (again, no need to turn an act of chivalry into an argument). Move the date along if you have multiple locations in mind, mention when it’s time to change the scenery and make sure the night flows.
- After the date. Tell her if you’ve had a good time (I hope you did). If she had a good time too, she’ll hopefully give you some invitations to continue to pursue her. If so, let her know when you’ll be calling again.
Being the pursuer takes a little practice and a decent amount of self confidence. Remember, always move forward, be decisive, and don’t be afraid to let her know that she’s caught your interest. If the girl is keeping to her role as the pursued, this should be easy. If she’s not, it can be a challenge. Either way, keeping to your role of the pursuer is sure to win you more than you lose.
You must be the one to approach, you must be the one to call, you must be the one to pick a spot for your date.