Don’t Chase Me — If I’m Running, There’s A Reason

What could be more exciting than being stalked by an overeager guy fixated on making me his very own? A man goes after what he wants, and if I’m it, shouldn’t he persist until I finally submit? Actually, no, but the so-called rules of love say that a guy who’s worth my time will chase me. Here’s why I’m not into that at all.

  1. There’s a difference between a chase and a courting dance. When I like a guy, I know how to mix things up: give him a hint of intrigue, make him guess my next move. However, there’s a big difference between the playful tactics of budding romance and the unwelcome pursuit of some clod who can’t take a hint. Maybe this is a nit-picky semantics thing, but the word “chase” doesn’t have nice implications. It’s aggressive, it casts me as the escaping victim and the dude as some athletic stud. I refuse to play the game on those terms.
  2. I’m never subtle about my escape. I’m always careful to mean what I say. I’m not trying to make him work for it when I put wide distances between us. I’m showing him my final decision on the relationship outcome. His feelings don’t override mine. His protests will only make me block his number. When I say, “I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship,” he can (and should) take me at my word.
  3. I don’t owe anyone an explanation. I’m not arguing a dissertation here. My logic is none of his business. All he needs to know is that it ain’t happening between us. The concept goes two ways: no one owes me romantic feelings either, hence, I don’t chase guys any more than I encourage them to chase me. I respect men too much to behave otherwise. On that note…
  4. Respecting women means desisting when asked to. It’s not sexy to keep pressuring a woman who’s clearly uncomfortable with the advances, especially when she’s stated unequivocally that she prefers to be left alone. Our culture rewards the perseverance of lovesick fools, but I find it troubling.
  5. I’m not his prey. All those hunting metaphors in dating nomenclature really skeeve me out. I’m not a vixen. He didn’t bag me. I’m not a prize to be mounted on the wall, and if he pounces on me when I least expect it, he might get a swift kick somewhere he’d prefer to keep protected.
  6. If he feels entitled to a second chance, he’s not a nice guyHe’s practically on the verge of blurting, “But I LIKE you. I’d be so good for you if only you’d come to your senses!” Oh, I get it. I’m incapable of making a decision for my own romantic well-being. He wants me, he’s willing to work for me, so he deserves me. If dudes are wondering, that’s not the reasoning of a solid, mature man but the sniveling of an emotional child.
  7. If he truly is a nice guy, he deserves to be with a woman who doesn’t need to be convinced of his appeal. The best guys don’t want to be taken advantage of or constantly disappointed by unrequited desires. They want the partnership that arises naturally and they’re patient enough to keep searching till they find the mate they’re meant for.
  8. I’m way too introverted to play games with him. I didn’t leave this dude in the dust because I wanted to test the strength of his affection. I couldn’t breathe around him. I needed my space like a polar bear needs ice. Want to see a chick get real annoyed real fast? Keep comin’ my way.
  9. I’ve never had a “one who got away.” If he really belongs in my life, he’ll be there. I don’t like trying to beat a rigged game, even if I’ve fallen hard for him. The boy whose ardor increases only when I’m ready to dash is not the man who’s going to hold me through better and worse. The minute I concede the race, he’ll be out of the picture, looking for the next challenge. If he’s not into me or I’m not into him, there’s no way to build a natural relationship.
  10. I’ve given in a time or two and it never ended well. We’re encouraged as women to support others. I used to serve up my gentle rejection in a compliment sandwich. Then, if a guy seemed to be trying hard — and wasn’t obviously riding the crazy train — I would occasionally give him a chance, then quickly become resentful that I’d allowed him to thwart my escape. I know better now, so these days I follow my gut from the start and I feel good about that. Representing my own interests doesn’t make me a bitch, it just makes me smart.
Jackie Dever is a freelance writer and editor in Southern California. When she's not working, she enjoys hiking, reading, and sampling craft beers.