Let a man pursue you – that’s the #1 thing you can do get him invested in dating you. Follow his lead for the lasting loving relationship you dream of.
How To Let a Man Be a Man
Right now I have an awesome single guy as a client. In his early 50’s, Rick has shared with me the ups and downs of his love life. He felt ready to date again, but wanted to avoid some of the painful mistakes he made in past relationships. I have been very excited to guide him on this journey, as he’s a great catch.
His First Date
After starting with me, he was nervous on his first date and let the woman lead the conversation. She went down the unfortunate road of discussing past relationships and he followed her there. Then, Rick noticed the energy between them diminished immediately following this conversation.
They talked about getting together again and his date said she’d let him know what was good. He told me he left the ball in her court. (Oh no – that’s a big dating mistake for a man!)
Who Should Lead the 1st Few Dates?
Let’s talk about who should lead on the first 4-8 dates. I explained to Rick about my “Ballroom Dancing Theory of Dating.” In ballroom dancing, there is only one leader – the man, and one follower – the woman. This strategy works best for the first 4-8 dates, (8 is better) depending on the couple, for so many reasons.
When you let a man pursue you and take the lead, you can observe what he’s willing to do to win you over without your prompts. This is essential to discover his interest level.
Does he take three weeks to call for a second date? Or does he ask you for a second date within three days? Obviously the quicker he gets in touch and asks you out, the greater interest he is showing. In this case, texting does NOT count – only his efforts to see you.
Don’t Take the Lead
As the woman, if you can’t handle waiting or think it’s unnecessary to let a man pursue you, you might call and ask when you can see him again. “Are you busy this weekend?” might slip out of your anxious lips. This is not a good dating strategy for women.
Can’t Take the DNA Out of Dating
Now that the genders achieved greater equality in the work place, women think it’s perfectly fine to initiate. You want to call and ask him out, be direct and say what’s on your mind or shoot the breeze.
Unfortunately dating has not caught up with equality in business. Dating is still an archaic mating ritual based on biology. Sorry to say, you can’t take the DNA out of dating – not yet.
Men Want to Win
What does that mean about DNA? See a man has hunter instincts coded into his DNA. The hunter wants to win. He enjoys setting his sights on a woman and then doing what it takes to win her over. Dating you needs to be his idea.
Once you are into the relationship (after 8 – 12 dates) then the chase is over and the communication can be more balanced. However, as the woman, if you don’t wait and try to take over pursuit, you can lose big time.
Men Don’t Like to Be Chased
Instinctively, most men (over 40) know leading is their role in dating. They know they must pursue you to win your heart. So, when you take over his role and chase him, it’s often a turn off. It destroys the sexual tension that otherwise builds between a man and a woman and can make you unattractive or push you into the friend zone.
When you chase him, he’ll no longer be guessing if you like him or not.
There’s nothing to win and no reason to strive for your attention when you serve yourself up on a silver platter. When you call or ask him out early on, you take all the challenge and mystery out of the process causing a man to lose interest.
What Makes Him Pursue You?
That’s why you want to let a man pursue you, so he gets invested in winning you over!
Making yourself too available by initiating contact or asking him out ruins the magic and eliminates the mystery. Instead of appearing independent and confident, you end up looking aggressive, needy or desperate! These are not traits men seek in a woman.
My steadfast dating advice is:
DON’T CALL OR ASK MEN OUT!
To be crystal clear, I want to share Rick’s email with me after we talked about the “Ballroom Dancing Principle of Dating.”
At this point, Rick totally understood why leaving the “ball in her court” was a passive move that would get him nowhere. This was how he tried to ward off rejection. He thought by leaving the next move up to her, he could avoid hearing her possibly say, “No” to his next invitation.
Now, Rick Gets It!
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Ballroom Dance analogy and wow, that’s really powerful.
When I actually took Ballroom Dance lessons, I was really nervous and awkward at first and didn’t know what to do. Gradually, I became more confident. As my confidence grew and I had more lessons, this is what my instructor taught me.
My Job as the Man:
1) Lead – never, ever let the woman take the lead. Never. Ever. Period. This was drilled into me.
2) Make the woman feel that she is the center of attention and the most beautiful, graceful being on the planet.
3) Have a plan on the dance floor and know where you’re going – the woman usually can’t see where we are going because she’s facing backwards. It’s the man’s job to keep a woman out of trouble and on the right path in dancing.
4) Lastly, leave past mistakes in the past. You can’t do anything about them. Focus on the here and now and the immediate future, to avoid more mistakes.
Rick Filled His Dance Card
When I learned to put these concepts into place, my dance card was always full and I never sat down at a dance party. In fact, the Dance Studio I went to stopped charging me for coming to the dances because they wanted me to keep coming as I was an excellent dance partner.
So now, I’ll compare this with dating. I’m like a past dance master just getting back into dancing. But instead of dancing, I’m talking and thinking about my past dance partners! What I should be doing is leading and making the woman feel special. And I don’t have a well defined plan or letting go of past mistakes.
Most importantly, if I don’t get this under control, I’ll be sitting out most dances (figuratively speaking) and ruin my chances to find a new partner. Now I know what to do and how to do it.
Time to get off my duff and start leading again!”
Let a Man Pursue You!
You can only imagine how excited I was when I got this email from Rick! He had forgotten what his role was in dating AND dancing. Rick needed to step up to be the leader if he wanted to find the right woman.
Finally, he could see avoiding rejection was becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy of rejection. To find love, he’d better take charge.
This is why when you meet a guy who is too nice, he has usually forgotten that he needs to lead. And guess what, you find him unattractive! So, you must let men be men and take the lead. Let a man pursue you.
Promise You Won’t Take the Lead
Sit back and let a man pursue you. If he calls, call him back. When you have fun, tell him at the end of the date. Just don’t call him, ask when you can see him again for at least eight dates in a row.
Give yourself the chance to find out how much a man is interested in you and what he will do, on his own, to win you over. This is the best way for understanding a man’s intention.
Let a man be a man and do the work so the sexual tension builds and he gets invested in you for a lasting, loving relationship.
Find out if you might be making any other major midlife dating mistakes with my book 7 Dire Dating Mistakes that Keep You Single
34 thoughts on “Let a Man Pursue You to Clear Up Dating Confusion”
Love this article, women shouldn’t take the lead and it’s taken me a long time to realise this. When I intentionally date these days I leave it open for the man constantly, I test him and where he takes it and if the conversation is left closed I don’t find the silence uncomfortable and try to reopen it. Feels like such a good place to now be I have gone from anxious attachment to secure and take it or leave it. One question, when you dated did you find some men were amazing and made you feel exactly how you wanted but you just didn’t have the attraction physically?
Hi Lily, First glad to hear you no longer pursue and feel better as a result! Good for you! What a relief, right? Then to your question, I must admit my answer is no. I only met one man who I felt amazing around and we had insane chemistry. That’s how I learned that intense attraction and sizzling chemistry aren’t a good indicators for long-term potential. Don’t get me wrong, I was and still am attracted to my husband, but not at that off the scale intensity.
My question to you is why aren’t you attracted to these men? If you feel amazing around them, I would think attraction would be part of that. This might not be true for you, but when this happens, women are often not as open-hearted as they might think. There can also be worthiness or trust issues that keep you from feeling unattracted and therefore you can stay safe. Or sometimes attraction can grow, but women don’t follow the 3-date rule, to give a guy a chance and bail too quickly. It might be helpful to journal about some of these things to see if you uncover any surprises about yourself, just in case.
Hiya, I’ve just started dating a man who has a couple of businesses.
We had a great first date. I’m just wondering, if there are work commitments etc do you think the rules still apply ie that he’ll go out of his way to pursue despite a busy schedule?
Hi Anna – absolutely! If a man is serious about getting to know you, he will FIND the time. That’s because either his love life and your are important to him, or NOT. So, if he’s already too busy with business at the start of dating to connect or see you, he’ll always be too busy and you’ll never be his top priority. That doesn’t always matter to a woman, so you get to decide. If your life is super busy too, maybe you won’t mind? That’s up to you. You just started seeing him, so time will tell.
I met a guy for the first time the other day (we had been speaking on and off for a few years) but the last we spoke was October 2020. So I contacted him and he responded also asking when am I free. We arranged to meet up. He’s such a nice man, the connection was there, he was feeding me grapes and drinks etc.
He stayed over and said I was beautiful. We had coffee in the morning, he told me he’ll message me before he left. We spoke a bit for two days, and then he went blank for three days. He does work within construction so he may just be busy, but I saw him go online on what’s app today but still nothing. Should I now leave the ball in his court?
Hi Blossom, I’m sorry to tell you that he’s not serious about you. You started talking in October 2020? That was 10 months ago and he never asked you out. That’s the first sign. He was willing to get together when you contacted him, hoping to sleep with you. He knew you’d want to see him again so he said he’d message you, but now he’s stopped. Sadly, he’s not serious or interested. If you keep after him you may see him again, but this will not develop into a relationship. Your best bet is to let him go and move on.
When you connect with guys on the apps or a dating site, don’t message longer than 7 days. If a man can’t meet you in 7 days, he doesn’t want to. Case closed, no excuses are acceptable even if they sound reasonable. You might meet some great guys, but you want a man who is relationship ready. This is how you can separate out the men who are causal or players. If you keep this in mind, you won’t be left brokenhearted or waiting for some guy to get back to you.
Do you think I should send him a text to see if he responds ? Maybe he is shy and thinks I’m not interested ?
So I had an incredible first date (we both felt the same). He was very respectful and kept saying he just wanted me to have a good time. After the date, he texted saying, “I enjoyed your company a lot.“ Next day he texted asking how was my day etc., and I told him I had a great time with him. He was happy to hear that, it made him opened up and he told me I was so pretty. He almost felt shy and that I was so feminine it was an extra dose of beauty. We texted the following days and talked about next dates, but suddenly he stopped texting. 5 days passed and I haven’t heard from him. What happened? Did I say something I shouldn’t say?
Hi Confused, Sometimes men aren’t ready for a relationship, but they want to connect and communicate. Then they disappear. He might not be ready to really date, not want a relationship, was just seeking a little attention or got distracted by another woman. Impossible to day. One thing I know FOR SURE, is that it’s not about you. Don’t blame yourself (even though most women naturally do) because I doubt it was anything you said or did that pushed him away. He chose to disappear. It’s just a part of dating. Do your best to not take this personally and shake it off. Most times, when a man disappears, he is doing you a huge favor. By becoming unavailable now, you didn’t waste months or fall in love with the wrong guy. Move on and meet some new men – someone will be the right man!
I met this guy once. He was extremely interested, calling & texting at least every other day. I moved away for 4 months but planned to return. We kept in touch. Since I’m older & have only been alone for 18 months, I forgot the rules & began initiating contact. As soon as I returned, he asked for a date & it was fine. But there have been long stretches with no contact & he’s gone on a 3 week trip planned long ago. If I leave all to him in the future, will this recover or should I write it off?
Hey Pat, Leave it all to him to see what he does. This is how you discover a man’s true interest level. If he continues to consistently pursue you upon his return – great! But if he’s spotty or disappears, then you have your answers. Usually a good rule of thumb is if a man doesn’t want to seek you at least weekly, he’s either not into you enough or not into a relationship.
From the perspective of a man, this is a bewilderingly passive strategy that would probably cause me to conclude that the woman is uninterested if she expects me to put forth all of the effort.
Of course I don’t look to be take a totally passive role myself, but I really appreciate it when outdated tradition is swept aside to clear up ambiguities.
Hi TK, For heterosexual people, these are NOT outmoded traditions but, coded into DNA. A man’s eyesight is better for long distance with a focus because men were the hunters. Women on the other hand have stronger peripheral vision for gathering food and watching the children. These are FACTS. There are some “modern” Beta men today who are confused about their role, so let me clear that up. If you see a woman you feel attractive to – ASK HER OUT. That is your job. The ambiguity stems from a lack of initiating or taking action on the man’s part. I’ve been doing this work for 18 years and it’s a super rare, highly unusual occasion that a relationship works out because the woman asked a man out. Once in a relationship, things definitely balance out today – that’s where the modern difference shows up most and works very well. Take action TK – women like a man who knows what he wants.
Interesting to read guests post, i am left taking the lead in things and can’t decide if its putting him off or if happy with that, he certainly responds when I message and appears keen. But words are one thing…. I worry in trying to hold back will it make things worse? Would I not benefit from trying to communicate how I feel, but if so, what do I say without appearing too desperate?
Hi Jane, You want to read this post – stop texting him to see what happens. That’s the only way to know what you mean to him. If you stop and he doesn’t pick up the communication then he’s not into you the way you thought. Might as well find out. There’s nothing you can say to MAKE a man communicate unless he wants to so don’t even start that conversation. If you’ve been keeping the relationship alive and now he’s pulled away, it might just be time to read between the lines…