From a young age, I felt acutely aware that as a woman, I was going to be disrespected by men sexually and otherwise unless I found a way to assert my power. As a naturally shy and avoidant person, it wasn’t going to work for me to be domineering and forthcoming. So I decided the way to win was to work with my strengths and play hard to get. As women, we’re often encouraged to not let men get what they want from us. To be passive. I made a choice to never approach someone I liked. I would always let them come to me. 

Throughout my twenty four years, this has worked very well. It had my friends and family in wonder: ‘How do you get so many men obsessed with you?!’ they’d ask in exasperation. I’m a 6.5/10 at best, but I know how to play the game, is what I would reply. But no one wants to play the game forever. I recently realised the true power of the pursuer and the shortcomings of being avoidant. 

The Power of the Pursuer

The active participant sets the dynamic.

You might think that the pursuer, when approaching you and expressing their affections is putting themselves in a weak or vulnerable position. They are risking rejection. This is true, for within that moment. But in the long run, if you accept their approaches, they have successfully put themselves in a position of power. How?

You could compare the pursuer giving you their affection, to them giving you a treat, an apple, per say… You feel worthy of this apple. You have earned it. But now the pressure is on you to keep it, to not let it rot. In giving you something, they have the power to take it away again. They are the active participant. 

The more affection they show at the start, the more pressure you feel to keep their attention and to make sure their feelings don’t die down. I can’t keep count of how many times I’ve seen men love bombing women at the beginning, pushing and pushing until the woman gives in and accepts his approaches. Once she gives in, the ‘chase’ is over. What happens now? The woman feels pressure to keep the man’s love at the unrealistically high intensity that it started at. This of course doesn’t happen, and she begins to feel insecure, losing the attention that she never necessarily asked for in the first place and eventually feeling worthless. When a woman is the pursuer, she is able to avoid a situation where she will gradually fall from the pedestal and take control of the dynamic from the offset. 

 

The pursuer is always less hurt. 

Let’s say a guy pursued you, on his usual love bombing bullshit, a relationship began and eventually he was the one to cut things off. You wonder, ‘where did I go wrong?’ They were obsessed at the beginning and now they don’t want you. It’s quite a blow to your confidence. 

Now let’s say you pursued a guy, a relationship began and eventually he was the one to cut things off. Of course, it’s still going to hurt, but at least you can take the responsibility of being the person who pursued it to begin with. You weren’t their cup of tea, but there’s plenty more fish in the sea! It’s an easier rejection to digest. 

 

Pursuing more often normalises rejection. 

Men are brought up to be the pursuer. From an early age, it’s more instilled in them to be the strong guy and approach girls. The benefit of this is that they get used to approaching people, and used to being rejected. By the time a guy’s in his twenties, he’s going to approach plenty of girls in one night out and not be too phased if any of them reject him. It might seem scary, as a woman to be a pursuer, especially as it’s so instilled in us to be passive, but once you start, it only gets easier!  

 

The Shortcomings of the Avoidant

A short term gain, a long term lose. 

In a society that stereotypes the female population as being the more clingy and obsessive partner, it’s no wonder that some women try desperately to go the other way, and play ‘games’ or be purposefully distant even though deep down they care a lot. I learned the hard way that trying to always be chased doesn’t work out in the long term. You can’t keep someone at a distance forever.  It’s understandable if you’re exploring your pussy power, hooking up with a load of guys and watching them fall at your feet, but in a real relationship it’s quickly turns completely destructive. Not only will people get tired from not feeling enough love from you, they will simply become used to it, backfiring on your goal and instead creating a relationship that’s unfulfilling and hopeless, proving that in the long term, the hard to get game loses.

Do they like the circumstance, or do they like you?

The worst thing about playing hard to get is the realisation that you’ve manipulated the circumstance to make them obsessed with you, and their feelings might only be based upon this. You question, if you didn’t play the game, would they actually even care for you? It’s at this point that you see that you’ve dug your own grave. Although it might mean your ego isn’t constantly stroked, it’s better to be real, voice your emotions, pursue those you want to pursue, and see who truly likes you, rather than the circumstance. 

You put yourself last.

Being purposely avoidant is an immediate sign of insecurity. You don’t believe people will love you for who you are, so you think you have to play a game in order to be loved. But by not expressing how you really feel and burying your feelings, you put yourself last. You choose to deal with your own hang ups alone, rather than communicating, because you’re terrified to seem vulnerable. With nowhere to go, your feelings will only build up inside of you and burst out when you don’t want them to. If you don’t let people in, not only will the relationship not grow, but you as a person won’t grow.

Choose Love, Not Fear!

In a world where a woman hitting on a man is still considered less normal than a man hitting on a woman, it’s time to rethink the behavioural patterns we perhaps obliviously adhere to, and see how it feels to be the active pursuer. After all, it’s always best to make choices out of love, rather than fear…

Advice
Feminism
love
power
Sex
Iso

Iso

Author

Iso is a writer and filmmaker based in East London. She is passionate about all things erotic and leads a sexy, shame-free life in hope that she can inspire others to do the same. Originally from a Northern seaside town, she is naturally drawn to the best things in life: candyfloss, trashy karaoke bars and heart-shaped sunglasses.


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