(Photo by Natalie Baugh)
Ending the Chase
A Discussion on Why Girls Don’t Have to Pursue Guys
By Sarah Komisky
I love being a modern woman in the 21st century. For real. I think I’d have a hard time in any other era. If I did, I’d probably look a lot like Jo March or Elizabeth Bennett. Yep, I resonate with the spirit of these fictional heroines who love adventure, fearlessly chase after their dreams, are authentically themselves, defy expectation, and create their own pathway in life. For you those of you who don’t know, I’m pretty ambitious and am most fulfilled when I’m challenged. I’ve been called tenacious and if you look at any of my work, you’ll hopefully see passion shine though. I believe ardently in standing up for social justice, empowering others, and want to use my voice to make my mark for good on this world. If I had to choose, I want to be known for who I am verses what I look like. As a female, I appreciate when I’m respected. Overall, I love that I get to live in a current climate that progressively gives room for ladies to have rights, equality, and in my case, creative pursuits. But as a female of faith, one of the things I’ve embraced above all else is welcoming Christ to lead my life. His Word is what I delight in as my authority to thrive in my God-designed feminine role, which is where I truly find freedom. And with all my love for the modern female of faith, at the risk of sounding old-fashioned, I still believe in being pursued and when it comes to dating, I choose to not ask a guy out.
I know what you’re thinking. Prude. Well, before I get that label, let’s dialogue, shall we? I defiantly do not want to be legalistic. I don’t say let’s kiss dating goodbye and I know the Bible never said, “thou shall only court.” Also, I don’t point a legalistic finger if you ever got up the courage to ask out your crush. This is not a do and don’t exploration or even words to condemn you. In turn, this is not about bad mouthing men because I believe they should receive honor just as must as we should. Rather, I think I want to unpack the heart behind the ideology that is present in and out of the church – why can’t women pursue men? Additionally, I want to ask more of this question: why the role reversal?
Never before has there been more pressure for female singles to be go-getters in the dating world. Asking a guy out seems innocent enough. It might even seem proactive. Asserting yourself is strength, right? Not necessarily. Strength, I believe is actually found in letting ourselves be perused.
Females have learned in this culture how to give themselves over, completely. Show off what you got. Be sassy and take charge. Get flirty. Make known how you feel but don’t be needy or desperate – yeah, don’t be that girl. But don’t wait – make what you want happen or it won’t. Yes, this is the popular culture, but it’s also adopted into the church. But this path is exhausting!
I’ve talked to a lot of single gals who are getting out there to make it happen to find that special someone. They are done with waiting. Hey, it’s the 21st century, they think. And when you’re single, many will be happy to offer some advice. We’ve heard, “He’s not going to come knocking on your door” and so, we starting knocking, frantically.
I knew a girl who was in this place. She had been single for a while, was a little older in her 30s, and was a single mom. She was driving and noticed a particularly cute guy who pulled up next to her. He had the window down and was dancing to music. She laughed. He made small talk. She reciprocated and this went on light after light. He smiled her way and she smiled back at him. He seemed to be “into” her and although she would never do something like this before, she thought, “why not?” This was her cue. She said, “hey, are you married?” To her mortification he said, “Yeah, I am.” She felt in her words, “stupid.” Unfortunately, desperation makes us desperate.
In the process of perusal, we’ve gotten a broken heart. We give over more than we’ve bargained for; our hearts, our bodies, our time, ourselves. We overshare. We don’t wait for the call or text, we get in touch and are crushed when he doesn’t respond back. We show up out (coincidentally or not so coincidentally) to his local hangout. We are there to stick around. We’re cool. We’re low-maintenance. We’re there emotionally, even when it kills us and after weeks, months, and even years, we are still there for him. We invest even when we get nothing in return. We aggressively use dating apps like we’re job hunting. We put ourselves out there tirelessly socializing to not avail. We’re discouraged. Worn out. Heartbroken. Anxious. We wonder, what are we doing and how did we get here?
Ladies, you were not meant to feel this way. Your feminine heart was never meant to be on a treadmill and suspended like a yo-yo for a guy. You are more than that.
While God did not clearly define asking a guy out as sin, we can look at our culture and see the repercussions as we females have taken the reigns and in turn, hijacked a man’s role. The unchurch and church have something in common when it comes to this subject and the consensus is this; guys like a challenge. When the challenge is removed and the mystery is gone, you’ve got a guy that doesn’t need to pursue. You’ve done the work. This is why we have more guy nowadays that aren’t doing the asking. In fact, they stopped.
Years ago, men wooed women. They wrote poems. They asked for her dancing card. They would carry books. Open doors. Walk you home. Got to know you. Study you. Gave you their pin or lettermen jacket. Yes, these guys had something in common: guts.
Now I’m not saying any crazy demonstration to win you over. And, to be clear, since we’re talking church, I’m talking about about believers dating fellow believers as God leads. What I am saying is, guys, why not exercise courage? Walk up to her. Send that text (or DM). Give that call. Start a conversation. Give a compliment. Ask about her. Let her know she is seen and is appreciated. Overall, don’t leave a girl wondering or not even knowing how you feel. How will each of you ever know, right? And isn’t she worth it? Either way, she will appreciate your honesty. So, why not take up your role guys and pursue?
Now this is alluring because it represents the heart of God. God is the Great Pursuer. He makes sunsets and sunflowers. Snow fall and leaves change color. He created things like the smell of cinnamon and baked apples and the stars twinkle against a black backdrop. He makes the wind run through our hair and rain a delight to slosh around in puddles. Yes, God created all of it, for me and you. James says that every good and perfect gift is from above. Ice cream. The warmth of sun on our skin. Laughter. Love. All good gifts from God Himself. Hosea 2:14 says God allures us (in the EXB “woos”) us to Himself and speaks to us tenderly. Psalm 63:3 in the Berean Study Bible says, “Because your loving devotion is better than life, my lips will glorify You.” He is the author of romance itself!
Have you ever read Song of Solomon? It’s not cheap one-liners or generic fluff. This guy can totally show up Mr. Darcy any day. He devotes an entire chapter to praising his bride and tells her, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you,” (Song of Solomon 4:7, NIV). All of this is celebrated by a God who sees us this way. Essentially, we fall in love with God because 1 John 4:19 tells us, “he first loved us” and Jeremiah says he loves us with an “everlasting” love. That’s what our soul craves. Security. Devotion. To be seen. To be cherished. To be pursued. Now that is what wins us over!
Girls, you need to know are loved more than you realize. Jesus told the woman at the well who had been worn out by the pursuit of men, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” Living water satisfies. God is that living water to our souls! That means we can rest. We can enjoy our singleness. Have friends. Date. But we don’t need to fear. We can stop the pursuit, take back our mystery, and live secure. We can pursue our role as God-honoring females, get busy for The Kingdom and go on adventures with God. When the time comes, we can let ourselves be perused. God wants your feminine heart to be romanced and that would be lame to miss out on that for anything that is second rate. So stop running. End the chase. The right one will recognize you’re worth the pursuit.