The Chase


#1

(This is a discussion thread, not an advice one.)

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I’ve just watched House, so it was kinda inevitable. As we all know, there’s a long-standing belief that men should pursue women and a converse belief that women shouldn’t pursue them. This used to be the prevailing convention and probably still is. It has had varying intensity. Some people allow exceptions, some don’t. On the other hand, there’s probably always been some kind of backlash and the “what’s a girl gonna do” problem can’t be new. Additionally, modern times call for some more room for initiative by women. The fact that it’s already hard as it is probably plays a role too.

My personal feelings about the subject are more or less like this: men should pursue the same way men do, but it would be hard to forbid them (esp. while being a man), women shouldn’t have to skip a man just because he’s oblivious of their interest and hasn’t read their minds, men are sometimes subject to various circumstancial factors and should not be held to a Latin grammar teacher’s standard, let alone have their worth as men solely or predominately on percentage expected initiative shown without considering the rest of their qualities.

When applying colder knowledge and logic, traditional positions do seem to gain advantage. A man does need to face the risk openly and take it bravely, he needs to keep his act together and wishy-washy attitudes in relationships are inappropriate. It does mean a woman is right in thinking the guy has some growing up to do yet. At the same time, it doesn’t seem proper for a woman to look out for men the same way men do for women. Not in singular cases, as everyone knows a story of a woman who picked up a man and we likely have at least one such couple among our friends and there’s nothing wrong with that - it’s the spice of life - but when it happens on a larger scale or habitually, it does seem to conflict with proper gender roles and the way we’re wired or the society “should” work.

However, as much as I was brought up on chivalric literature and I have certain resulting inclinations, there are some obvious issues with the traditional ways, which the same cold knowledge and logic requires pointing out:

  1. They expect men to be decided before they realistically can be, leaving no room for a normal process of getting to know someone and making an informed choice, plus, they force men to exaggerate and appear more certain than they are (I will reserve some blame for early to mid 20th century, i.e. the emergence of “dating” and “asking out”).
  2. They expose young women who don’t receive enough instruction or example to the risk of starting to think that men are barely worth talking back to, and everything goes through father or brother anyway.
  3. They force women to pretend they’re cold, unaffected and apathic.

Needless to say, #1 conflicts with honesty and responsibility and is superficial, #2 isn’t the best example of charity, may cause doubts as to consent (that no other human being can supplant for the woman) and may impede healthy relationships by instilling gender war schemes of thought, #3 is fast track to personality issues and insanity, not to mention it impedes growth and prevents the experience of emotions and feelings, which I see as a part of human experience.

  1. Focus on initiative - taken as a wide standard existing in fact, not in terms of personal preference (we have a right to those) - seems largely to exclude shy types, introverts, guys with less experience etc. (there’s an overrepresentation of Catholic men vis-a-vis the whole populace at least in the last category if not the previous two), while posing risk of falling for one of the “bad guys”, who as a rule tend to be bolder, react faster, assert more and be more ready to make purpose-oriented declarations.

It needs to be said that one doesn’t need to worry about the nerds or the shy types. As one website puts it, after 30 things can’t go wrong for an alpha geek. Shy types will be fished out if they don’t run away and as years pass, they’re probably more and more likely to be seen as humble and unassuming than as socially inept. Things won’t necessarily go equally well for the women who initially rejected them for a rebel. Plus, a guy is extremely unlikely to remain make-a-move-challenged past age 30 (developing commitment issues is more of a risk). It’s the women who risk more here. Men mostly risk just some unpleasant adolescent and young adult experiences that won’t keep them down forever and may actually make them better people.

To explain myself especially with regard to #1-4 above, I’m not a fan of dating. I don’t believe in wide pools and rosters, let alone romantic encounters on a non-exclusive basis with semi-random people, and I’m not a big fan of “pairing off”, either. I reject the idea of previous relationship experience with other people as requirement for healthy marriage, although I do believe that a person can’t develop in a full and healthy way without interacting with both sexes, friendship included, including conversations one on one. Finally, even though I believe neither in non-exclusive merry-go-lucky dating, nor in foolish pairing off, I don’t believe in arranged marriages or ones based on cold pros and cons. These premises affect my reasoning above (and below).


#2

(I almost managed to keep it in one post. I’m getting better!)

So what would the solution be? I flat out don’t believe that restoring Victorian etiquette and behavioral ethics would do any good. Begone with that age, I’m glad it’s over. On the other hand, there’s got to be a healthy sense of tradition and mores (without declaring for conservatism, to undercut one’s roots is madness)… Except I don’t really believe in pushing everyone (especially against his will!) - in our informal society where everybody is everybody’s pal - into patterns derived from the aristocracy of old days when “precedence” was a current word. Maybe it’s good we’re done with elitism and social distance? Okay, let’s not discuss merits of classless society and democracy, but stay on topic. Charity and kindness are much better, more important and more sufficient than etiquette and savoir-vivre… So are we inevitably heading into moral territory? And what do we do with etiquette? What are your views on this? I’m interested in the whys and the process, so type away at your pleasure. And feel free to tell me I’m totally wrong (I probably am in one or two places). (If you want to tell me, I’m a bad person, I know that already and please use PM. I’ll try not to write more than six messages in response, but I can’t promise anything.)


#3

:popcorn:

Think I’ll sit this one out, chev. You know my stance. :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

I have pursued multiple men in the past. Not in a formal way of asking them out on dates, I have never done this. But I have had many male friends that I found myself attracted to, and I actively pursued them by pretty obvious flirting and if they would flirt back I'd tell them that I found them attractive and was interested.

Only a few times in my life have I been "pursued" by a man I didn't know very well, so it felt like a pursuit. The vast majority of my relationships and half relationships started out as friendships that evolved into something else with frequent interaction with about equal participation by both parties. You can't really say who is pursuing whom when 2 friends gradually grow close and flirt.

To be honest, the more formal "pursuit" has always felt very strange to me. For me it tends to happen naturally either from friendships or professional relationships.

As for what people should do, I would say they should do what works for them. There are people out there who want to have their marriages arranged by their parents. I don't understand this, and I have always been shocked to learn that some women actually want their father to be involved in their relationship.


#5

[quote="whatevergirl, post:3, topic:176875"]
:popcorn:

Think I'll sit this one out, chev. You know my stance. :p

[/quote]

Yes and I agree with it. I just don't make the same conclusions about people who fall short. :p


#6

I never pursued women. My wife just kept batting her eyes at me. I was visiting her because she was sick. I was preparing to return to the seminary and the next thing I knew it I had a ring on my finger.:shrug:


#7

Ouch. :D


#8

Yes – and also note that Ruth Revisited was written after the new editor took over in 2005. Note that the author of “Pulling a Ruth” was the editor of the magazine at the time the article was written, but when the new editor took over, I think he wanted her to add the disclaimer and write a “clarification”.

Going back to the original thread’s situation – when it comes to dating, I think absolutely following rules such as “the woman must never initiate a discussion of a relationship” comes from the same impulse that leads Fundamentalist Protestants to take individual verses out of context and follow them literally. It is better for the man to initiate the relationship, and the man should show some kind of leadership once the relationship has begun…but sometimes, it’s hard for men to realize that a woman is a “good match” until the woman suggests the possibility.

This literalism seems to be worse in Fundamentalist communities – the worst example I’ve seen is the fundamentalists (from that magazine again) who assert that women MUST get approval from their fathers before marrying a man (even if the woman in question is 40 years old), while men have no obligation to ask their parents at all. This was an incorrect extrapolation of the fact that the Bible refers to women as being “given (away) in marriage” but not men. It would be more accurate to distinguish between which traditions in the Bible are due to God’s Law, and which traditions are a reflection of the ancient culture. (The correct teaching regarding obedience of one’s parents can be found in CCC 2117.)


#9

Ugh i met a guy who i thought was ideal for me. I thought he liked me so i told him i liked him.
He knocked me back ( no “spark” didn’t like my hair} and then lectured me on how women are suppose to be “chased” and send out “lures” to men. If i had not said anything he* might* of *concidered *me in a year or so.
I was really hurt and t took me ages to get over it.
It didn’t matter that we had heaps in common and shared the same faith. All that mattered was that i had behaved “incorrectly”.

Now i just think he’s a moron.


#10

My dh and I met on the internet we talked on there for a month before we exchanged numbers. Unbeknownst to me he thought I was too good for him so he was scared to ask me out. :rolleyes: (He told me this on our first date) After talking for four hours on the phone on our first conversation I grabbed the bull by the horns and asked him out. :eek: Glad I did. We were married a year and a half later. Hasn't always been perfect but it is good.


#11

(It sure takes us a while to figure out what we are truly dealing with, doesn’t it? I bet it was like seeing lucifer pop out of his chest.)

What an arrogant tool! I can’t stand this stuff next to the Chase game. A woman playful giggles, smiles, compliments, and encourages a single guy, but has no interest in the pursuit…, she is always called a tease, BUT when a guy does it, we get back lash, insults, and a lecture. Holy Double standard, Lord! I tell you something else, most of the guys I deal with like this, ALWAYS turn out to have a wife or gf they seem to forget to mention in passing.

In my area we are having too many more fussy single people. I think the Arch dioceses of all affected areas are going to have to set up a lengthy interview with each single and then prearrange marriages. If you really want it, just deal with it, no falling in love necessary, that can all come later.

As for me, I’m just happy to be successful and single.


#12

O would charitable say that the arrogant tool was probably “not called to the marriage vocation.”


#13

[quote="joandarc2008, post:12, topic:176875"]
O would charitable say that the arrogant tool was probably "not called to the marriage vocation."

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#14

I chased my wife for a total of 10 hours. I met her one morning, in the barracks. I knocked on the door actually looking for her roommate. I had tried chasing skirts for months by that point, and was rejected every single time. This one was different. I didn't say anything different from what I'd said to the others, but it was good enough for her. Once she accepted, neither of us kept track of whose ideas were whose

:hypno: I had her right where I wanted her. :cool:


#15

And are you sure that you were not trying to date the younger version of House?


#16

There was one guy I dated for awhile that I did ask out. And our whole relationship was off. I was viewed as the "man", and he didn't want to step out. So that obviously didn't work. Ever since them, I prefer to be chased. But I do send out pretty obvious signals. Plus the attention is a confidence boost. :D


#17

Wow, it’s a very good thing you asked him then because had he asked, and had you said yes, you might have now been married to a man who turned out to be a domineering control freak with sexist attitudes. Not good for you or any daughters you might have had.


#18

So Chevalier which House character upsets you the most.


#19

Whoever Wilson becomes friends with.


#20

Going at the dating thing a little older and hopefully wiser, I decided to ditch the rules. When we were in the getting to know each other phase, before he asked me out, I finally did ask him when he was going to ask me out. When I went on the first date with my boyfriend, I called him on my way home from the date to let him know that I had a good time. Pretty sure that would be considered to be a big no no, but I did it anyway, because no matter what happened, I wanted him to know that I liked him and enjoyed being with him.

A year and half later, the relationship is going great. He is comfortable and so am I. We both put effort into it and are at the point we are talking about marriage.


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