Seeker and Sought After


Hi, I’m dating a lovely woman, who has made comments that suggest she accepts the dynamic of seeker and sought after. For example, she wanted to call me, but then was disappointed that I had already called her, so she didn’t get the chance to move closer toward me because I had already moved closer to her. I don’t want to overstate this–I’ve considered the possibility that she’s feeling overwhelmed and we’ve talked about this, and I don’t think that is the case.

I’m wondering if this seeker/sought after dynamic is an inherent part of human nature?

The reason I ask is because I want a relationship where I’m trying to mirror the love and self-donation of God the best I can without trying to think about where I am in this dance back and forth. Am I being immature or unrealistic here? :confused:


I’m a little confused as to why it matters who called who first? Shouldn’t it be the fact that you guys are talking on the phone enough to make each other happy?

I guess I just think that there should be a mutual love and want to be together. Not worrying about who’s doing what first. If there isn’t a power struggle going on, you both will appreciate each other with equal respect.

Unless I’m misunderstanding the question? :confused:


Hi, No I don’t think you’re misunderstanding the question. To me this does suggest a power struggle. I’m questioning whether a healthy and dynamic, fun, supportive, loving relationship just inherently has this bit of power struggle, a la seeker/sought, so that I need to learn how to joyfully participate in this dynamic, or whether there is indeed a deeper intimacy that is sustaining without this dynamic? :confused:


It sounds like you are starting a realtionship playing mind games, her rules. Tell her you flunked Mind Reding 101 and prefer the verbal kind of communiation.


*Hmmm…from a female perspective, that’s a little odd to me. Why should she be disappointed that you called her? I don’t get it. :shrug: Dating is a lot of work these days!! :o I wouldn’t put too much thought into this, Ovis…BUT…I would just make a mental note if any OTHER things start to come up…where her disappointment seems a bit out of the ‘norm.’ (norm being relative) Dating really should be fun, in my opinion. If you’re with the wrong person though, it can be not so fun. *


I sort of understand the situation I think.

Let me ask you this though, has this girl been through a rough time with someone in the past? If that is the case she might feel uncomfortable being pursued. She might have more confidence if she were given the chance to take the lead in such things.

I can totally understand your frustration though. It does seem like it would be rather silly and immature to be upset that someone you had wanted to call had called you first.

Personally, I like things to be direct. Maybe you can have a conversation with her about this. If she can’t be introspective about this and insists on relying so heavily on some emotions that are kind of on the irrational side, then I would say that she probably is not good relationship material. Who wants to go around second guessing everything they say or do?


Thanks for the thoughtful replies. You all really helped me discern what needed to be said and done. I spoke with her this evening, and she made clear that she thinks about an intimacy dance in a positive way, and not in any power struggle or game playing way. As I implied, “disappointment” maybe overstated what she expressed before. And probably my past difficult relationship with someone close made me too reactive. I don’t know how to explain this well, but after our discussion I felt reassured, not least of which because we talked openly with respect and affection. :thumbsup:


Okay, time for a lawyer taking about love again. :rolleyes:

I agree with the previous posters. A healthy relationship is about understanding and communication, not about that kind of games.

In fact, some of those “dynamics” are in human nature, they aren’t altogether unhealthy and they can actually be fun at times. Except they should never be treated as hard-coded rules to follow.

Next, a relationship is not a roleplay. Relationships are lived, not acted out. Relationships are not about executing a sequence. Beware OCD.

As far as people expecting some kind of rules to be followed go, there’s something wrong with people making rules for those who want to play with game. You don’t want to be a kid saying, “if you want to play football with me, you must follow this couple of rules… Rule A, rule B, rule C…”, nor do you really want to play with that kid.

Needless to say, we’ve all had some experience (you too, and I too) and this is no reason to think the girl is somehow very odd. She just needs to losen up a bit and allow herself to enjoy life as it comes. You may as well tell her this and the more directly, the better. I’m sure many of the wise ladies here will tell you direct communication is good and better than having a guy read their minds!

Be strong, don’t obsess, don’t be anxious to please if she comes up with weird ideas, but just tell her it’s weird. Make sure she’s happpy, but not by having her demands met. Show her things to do and interesting pastimes. Make sure you can give her something she won’t have on her own - or with other guys, e.g. an interesting trip to an interesting place with a nice narrative (if she’s into history, technology, nature…), make sure you take her to quality places as far as coffee, drinks, ice-cream etc. go, don’t falter if she swings into a whimsical mood. She might catch up a bit on growing up if you’re the stable element. Sometimes people get over their eccentricities surprisingly fast, you know, and are surprisingly normal besides them (while normal people can have surprising eccentricities that come out when you get to know them more closely).

Perhaps try to look at it this way. She doesn’t need to shrink in size and tremble in obedience when you get into a foul mood because e.g. garage work isn’t working out or your boss isn’t happy or some workmate is being a donkey or a customer is going nuts or lack of sleep kicks in. You’d want her to leave you alone until you get better or help you get better if she knows how, but not be intimidated and attempt to appease you as if you were a psychotic tyrant flying off the handle.

Same way, if she gets weird for a moment, she probably wouldn’t like you to start walking on eggshells but rather be understanding for the time being and perhaps give her a slight push that she might want to get a better grip of it.

By the way, yes, you can tell a woman you disagree and no, you don’t need to use subjunctive mood on every verb. In fact, it’s probably better to make a short sentence in a steady male voice, but in a non-aggressive way. :wink: People don’t always know they’re being a bit of a pain and they don’t always take ill to being informed by others (gently) that they are.

By the way, it can actually be annoying when people beat around the bush and walk on eggshels around you because it makes you feel like you’re being treated like a mentally unstable person. I’d much rather be told directly and you probably too. Women aren’t actually much different from us here. To some extent yes. You can’t be as direct as with a dood. But as long as you’re courteous, it’s probably better to tell her directly and cut the games at that point.

As far as courtesy goes, I believe it’s acceptable to tell a woman that coming up with not too reasonable rules is not a good idea. At this stage in my life, I probably would, although as far back as two years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to. You just need to do it without grudge or offence. Remember you’re talking to a friend about something that makes you feel less than good but could easily be changed. I don’t want to make relationships or feelings look shallow, but you’d know what to do if you wanted a friend to please move a yard away from you and closer to the window with that cigarette, right? It’s much similar with stuff that people do or say that makes you less than comfortable but isn’t a big deal in the bigger light of things. :wink:

Someone whack me on the head with a pan for the length of this. Whatevergirl, I can count on you with this one, can’t I?

closed #9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit