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To ask if you've ever pursued a man?

123 replies

ponderinginpoughkeepsie · 08/05/2021 09:37

I was reading a book about Bill Clinton (it did not look favourably on him!) and I got to Monica Lewinsky. She was quite open about her being the pursuer, as a 22 year old intern, she knocked on the door and told him she fancied him. She was the more aggressive one, tracking down where he would be and sending him letters. She even wrote a valentines message to him in a newspaper and quotes Romeo from Romeo and Juliet, rather than the female protagonist.
This made me think about how rare that is in history. How rarely we read about a woman setting her sights on a man and just doing all she can to pin him down. I'm quite loud but even with shy DP I still felt like I 'had' to leave it to him to clarify that he felt something for me.
I'd love to hear that it happens, not pursuing in a crossing boundaries sort of way obviously! I'm sure it happens more than I previously thought.

OP posts:
coogee · 09/05/2021 11:48

If he's not pursuing, he's not interested!

A simplistic presumption that is certainly not true in all cases.

honeylulu · 09/05/2021 12:01

No I haven't. I'm all for equality but (a) I don't really feel any pull of attraction to someone unless they've shown an interest in me first and (b) I think in general (there may be some exceptions) that men don't like being chased or if they're interested they'd be doing the chasing.

In some relationships I've sensed the man may be losing interest and I've upped my efforts but whilst this has had a temporary effect (most men aren't going to turn down more sex) it seemed to accelerate the decline in interest overall. I think it's seen as an air of desperation and that's not attractive.

My best friend from school used to be a man chaser. She really didn't need to be. She was/is gorgeous, clever, a lovely sweet person. But she'd see someone she liked and ask them out straight away before they'd barely had the chance to notice her and have a bit of chemistry build up. One guy she asked out three times over a period of a few weeks. He said no every time and on the last occasion he was dating someone else and she still asked. Sometimes the guys said yes but the relationships were always short lived and she would moan that she did everything to try and keep them happy (she really did) but they didn't seem that interested. Eventually she got together with someone she'd been friends with a long time. There was no chasing and they've been married over 20 years.

Animum2 · 09/05/2021 12:26

Yes sort of, I met DH on 1st day of new job, nothing happened but we became friends after a few months, I am a shy people when 1st meeting people but DH is also shy but I waited till I thought it was a good time and then asked him out at work over the desks, which was a risk because it could of been embarrassing for me as it went quiet whilst waiting for an answer, though it was only a few seconds wait and he said yes and we went out the next day and the rest is history :)

DrSbaitso · 09/05/2021 12:31


If he's not pursuing, he's not interested!

A simplistic presumption that is certainly not true in all cases.

It's true in most of them.
Strawberrysaxifrage · 09/05/2021 12:32

I've never knocked on someone's door or taken out ads in the paper but I have, in some cases where i strongly suspected a man was interested but wasn't forthcoming, let him know that i was also interested. One was my sister's friend and was holding off out of respect, this encouraged him to ask me out and we had a nice couple of years together.

The others were happy to increase the flirting in one case, and even have a couple of dates in the other but the relationships did not progress as they didn't really pick up the initiative and run with it. This has led me to think that if men are really keen, and available, they will let you know.

Supermarketweep · 09/05/2021 12:38

Completely disagree with this if men are interested they let you know theory.

It encourages women to be horribly passive. Plus certainly in my own experience those men who are overtly interested are often lovebombers (a typical tactic of abusers) or are more about the chase than developing anything meaningful.

Y0YO · 09/05/2021 12:50

Yes, I phoned up and asked out my first proper boyfriend (way before the internet or mobile phones so I had to track down his number). He was chuffed as we'd had our eye on eachother for a while at various teen get togethers.

Strawberrysaxifrage · 09/05/2021 12:53

supermarketweep In my case, I don't necessarily mean an interested man will approach you out of the blue, but he will pick up and expand on contact that you do have which will indicate they are keen.

So, say, if you're friendly during a quick chat at a bar, he will seek you out for conversation, if it goes well, invite you to swap numbers, meet for coffee or a drink etc. Basically he will try to keep things moving, rather than fizzle or stall at just texting. I've found if this doesn't happen, no amount of effort me will make the guy genuinely keen although he may just go with the flow for a bit.

DrSbaitso · 09/05/2021 12:53

It encourages women to be horribly passive.

I think it encourages them to stick with men who are interested in them and not just using them as a bed warming placeholder until they actually fall in love. Love bombing is a different act to a man making his healthy interest known.

When I say I don't think women should chase men, that doesn't mean I think they should be doing nothing else. Do other stuff, better and fulfil yourself, see other men.

There'll always be exceptions but I've never yet seen a relationship where the woman did the running that turned into anything I'd like to have.

IReallyNeedMoreGin · 09/05/2021 13:04

Married twice. Made the first move on both husbands. Never been shy about asking a guy out but only once I was sure he was interested.

MindtheBelleek · 09/05/2021 13:30


No I'm not. I understand the meaning of both words. I wouldn't say my experience was harassment (because I've experienced the difference ) but pursuing is something beyond the first move and doesn't need to be aggressive to make people feel uncomfortable. Please don't twist it . I am allowed to disagree without being infantilised by claiming I'm misunderstanding. I'm not I just have a different opinion to you.

Someone ‘not hearing my polite No’ — implying that the ‘pursuit’ continued after you’d said no — and ‘making me feel really uncomfortable’ is harassing you.
misskick · 09/05/2021 14:07

Yes got into a relationship with him and just felt like I was the only one trying to make the relationship to work. I seemed to be only one making effort but stupidly clung on and always blamed myself. Six years down the line he said we don't have anything in common and was unhappy!

DrSbaitso · 09/05/2021 14:09

I'm attracted to proactive men who do stuff.

CirclesWithinCircles · 09/05/2021 14:17

Only once actively (as opposed to vaguely putting myself in the position of meeting someone socially) and I was successful, but I believe I only pursued him because he created a lot of cognitive dissonance in me.

Basically, he gave the impression of being really keen on me for a long time, was single but still didn't ask me out. So eventually I asked him out and he said no, but still the flirting continued, he would turn up at places, stare at me, tell friends he would be really upset if he saw me with someone else. None of us could work him out at all and mostly concluded that he was very shy, although some female friends weren't taken in by him and simply said he was a headfuck.

Turned out he had a secret life, where he was in a long distance relationship with another woman! I only found this out after we did eventually start going out properly, only for us to have a minor disagreement which led to him having a strop and blurting it out!

I never even thought that I fully found out the truth about him. He could quite well have been one of those with a secret child with his long term partner, or with more than one girlfriend like me on the go. I stupidly went back to him and he dumped me for someone else, I believe he only told me because we knew each other, then 6 months later she found out that he was cheating on her with his ballroom dancing partner, whom he has now dumped because he has found a newer, younger dance partner...

And to think we thought he was shy...

Anyway, it was a learning experience.

AliasGrape · 09/05/2021 14:45

I bought a guy I thought was gorgeous a drink once. I was on holiday with a group of friends and it was a bit of a dare/ laugh. I saw what he bought when he was at the bar and later bought one took it over and said something I can’t remember but was probably hugely cheesy. I wanted to see if I had the balls to do it and turns out I did. I was a lot younger and probably more confident and wasn’t pursuing a relationship or anything so it didn’t really matter how it turned out but we had a lovely little holiday fling.

One guy I knew through mutual friends. He was clearly interested and we had some flirty nights but nothing came of it, he wasnt in a great place which I knew but I messaged him that I thought he was great and knew he probably wasn’t in the headspace to pursue anything but it never hurt to hear that someone thinks you’re lovely so that’s what I was doing. He replied and was happy and flattered but confirmed he wasn’t looking to date or anything at that time so I left it. Few months later he pursued me and we dated for a while. Didn’t work out due to distance. Tried again a few years later, that time instigated by him, still didn’t work due to distance Grin Lovely guy though and nice memories no regrets.

With my now DH there was no pursuing on either side really. We met OLD, had the first date, stayed up all that night texting back and forth, he asked for a second date and it was pretty much ‘oh right this is it then’ from then on. No chase involved on either side really, it was just very very easy and straightforward from day 1.

traumatisednoodle · 09/05/2021 16:09

No chase involved on either side really, it was just very very easy and straightforward from day 1

Honestly this is it. When it's right, it's right no games or chasing required Grin

Tal45 · 09/05/2021 16:30

When I was young, all the time - never again.

Stompythedinosaur · 09/05/2021 16:57

Yes, with dp, but I hope not in a creepy way. Just made sure I was "coincidently" at places he would be and then chatted him up. Once we were going out I invites him back to mine for sex.

I hate the idea that women should always be the passive partner.

littlebite · 09/05/2021 18:26


Yes and those were the ones that ended up only wanting sex/FWB arrangements. I learned the hard way that if I have to chase a man, he's not really bothered about me. I've quit dating but if I ever did meet anyone in the future he has to initiate everything, I won't make a fool of myself again which I have done in the past.

This has been my experience too.
The relationships that have lasted several years are the ones where the guy pursued me.
I'm a Feminist - most men aren't 🤷🏻‍♀️
Febo24 · 09/05/2021 19:12

Such an interesting thread!

I think, as always, it's all about context. Those with bad experiences, it may not be entirely down to the dynamic of who did the pursuing, it may well have ended that way due to it not being a great match, attachment style etc but I can see why you may write it off.

Also, so many variables around what is pursuit, was there mutual interest, levels of confidence on both sides, levels of maturity on both sides, what experience each bring to the potential coupling.

I don't find the 'if he's not chasing he's not interested' line very helpful as a broad brushstroke as I think women should be empowered to go for and be clear on what they want. However, in saying that, it's quite a handy thing to bear in mind, before you talk or overthink yourself into a situation where you make a move on someone where there is no mutual spark (as seen on the Relationships boards quite often).

I 'pursued' my ex husband. But as PP, if I don't do a bit of pursuing/making it known I'm interested, I'm not sure I'd ever be noticed.

But being single now, it's so different with a busy life and kids, I might need to be more direct to be sure I get what I want, on the terms I want.

LouiseBelchersBunnyEars · 09/05/2021 19:25


I was a bit odd as a teenager, aged 15 I saw someone I liked and decided that was it that I was going to marry him 😂 as far as I was concerned that was it I thought I didn’t have to worry anymore as I knew I would so I put it to the back of my kind saw him every so often where he worked. Didn’t even speak to him till 3 years later when I decided if i was going to marry him I should really talk to him and pursue him , which I did

This made me laugh - so do you end up marrying him then?
Schnapps17 · 09/05/2021 19:40

I have, once, in recent years. No where near as forward as Monica will Bill though. It didn't turn out well, even though we fell in love/limerance(?). He revealed himself to be a filthy, sleazy player.

Subsequent to that I received unwanted (non-physical) advances off a man old enough to be my father. 🤢 He didn't get that im just not interested. He lives next door. I cannot wait for the day he fks off.

TheLastLotus · 09/05/2021 19:46

Fancied current DP for ages , got myself into his social circle, then got drunk and kissed him...

Coming up to a year now 😍

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