I Finally Figured Out What It Means When Men Say They 'Want A Chase'

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woman running and looking back

Can we talk about the thing no one wants to talk about when it comes to being female in the dating scene? That thing that’s not supposed to happen but does, and then women get told that they "did it all wrong?"

Okay, here it goes.

I think that most women have had a guy who they had a crush on enough to be the pursuer. Or maybe that’s just me being a non-binary person who doesn't "do" the whole female role of being the one who ends up being pursued.

If you’ve ever been in that situation, then chances are that you may have had the same experience I did.

You’d go to h*** and back for the guy. You’d jump through hoops for him. All you wanted was for him to commit and return that affection.

Eventually, he dumps you and tells you that you "are great, but you know, men want a chase." He then points out that you never provided that chase and that it was too easy for him. So, he didn’t respect you enough.

RELATED: How To Get A Man To Chase You (No Games Required)

For the longest time, this behavior always baffled me.

I can’t name how many times men have told me that they would kill to have a girl send them flowers or how they would love to have a girl make the first move.

By their own admission alone, this means that I should have gotten the love and commitment I offered them, right?

Well, in theory, yes. In practice, the answer kept being no.

I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty infuriating to be treated that way. Without fail, being the pursuer in the relationship made me feel used — especially when my then-exes would do all the things I begged them to for the next girl.

Oh, and without fail, the next girl was someone they pursued. F***in’ ugh.

RELATED: 3 Reasons To Stop Chasing The Guy Who Doesn't Want You

The truth is, I am pretty sure "men like a chase" is actually a codeword for something.

There is a reason why so many dating coaches warn women against being the "chaser" in a relationship. I see that now. Here’s what most men mean when they say they wanted "a chase:"

  • "I was never attracted to you, but I really liked all the things you did for me." From personal experience, this is usually what it means. Most guys have never been doted on or prioritized by women. So, they often will take advantage of the ego boost or perks it offers. However, they were never going to commit. In most cases, they already knew they didn’t want to be with the girl who pursues them. Otherwise, they would have pursued her. Pushing the blame for a "lack of chase" on her is their way of trying to avoid admitting to the fact that they used her.
  • "I only really respect women who aren’t that into me." Dead serious, an ex of mine told me this. He said he’d only put effort into women who treated him poorly. I…Well, this basically means that the guy’s so psychologically messed up that he’s incapable of a healthy relationship.
  • "It feels like you don’t respect yourself because you’re so nice to me." While I get that desperation makes a doormat out of people, there’s something to be said about this particularly toxic way of perceiving people. A person who takes another’s kindness and affection for granted is a person who probably shouldn’t be anywhere near you.
  • "My toxic beliefs caused me to feel emasculated by this, so I no longer feel comfortable dating." A lot of men, due to toxic misogynistic beliefs, actually f*** up relationships because they freak out when roles are reversed. So while it’s relatively rare to see this happen, it’s still a possibility.

The bottom line? When a guy tells you "men like a chase," it means that he never was going to be the man you wanted him to be.

RELATED: 5 Little Tricks To Make Him Choose You Over Her

The truth is that a man who is truly attracted to a girl will have no problem committing to her — and typically won’t have a problem pursuing her.

Whether men admit it or not, most guys have a good idea of whether or not they want a committed relationship with a woman within months of dating her.

Most men also know when they want to explore the potential of a relationship with a woman before they even date.

Men who are attracted to you generally will not have a problem with being approached. However, in most cases, they will go the extra mile to reach out to you and wow you.

That’s why most dating experts tell women to never chase a man — their inaction speaks volumes about their interest in you.

RELATED: How To Get A Guy To Like You Using 20 Psychology-Based Techniques

This is not fair to female pursuers, but it’s also something no one can change.

As a non-binary person who presents as female, I know how hurtful it can be to try to be the "woman" who pursues.

It leaves you wondering why you’re not good enough, especially when you see him treat the next girl the way you desperately wanted to be treated.

The hardest thing about trying to find a relationship is knowing that attraction isn’t negotiable. It’s not.

Moreover, you can’t make someone feel attracted to you by the things you do for them. You can do all the romantic gestures in the world, but if they’re not feeling it, it’s doomed from the start.

I’m not saying that women shouldn’t pursue men — or at the very least, give them a reason to know you’re interested. However, I will say that it’s a rough path to walk and that you should always watch what your date does and how they react.

If they don’t match your loving energy, it’s time to walk.

RELATED: The Powerful Psychological Trick To To Make Someone Think About You Nonstop

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.