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How important is the chase as part of the dating ritual?

The chase - how do you define it? A challenge? Mind games? Playing hard to get, or witty retorts? I guess it’s all down to perception. But one thing’s for sure, love it or loath it, it’s the spark that ignites and fuels the dating ritual.

Casting your mind back, the first ‘chase’ you probably experienced or witnessed was kiss chase in the school playground. The girls who stood still and did not present much of a challenge were simply overlooked. It was the girls that were running around and screaming that the boys pursed. Perhaps this reinforces the notion that men like a challenge and the women who give them the chase are the ones that will get their attention? I decided to ask some of the members for their opinions on the 'chase'...

Here’s what some of our male members had to say:

"When I look back at the woman that I finally marry, I want to know that I had to work hard to get her, otherwise I do not believe that I will appreciate and respect her..."

"The chase is very important, if it’s challenging it keeps you on your toes and wanting more... But if the chase is easy there’s no satisfaction and my interest falters..."

"It used to be important... the thrill was exciting, and the resulting victory was fulfilling. But that's a matter of immaturity, I've learned. What's inherently more important is the conversational connection. The back-and-forth chemistry that's evident in communication (sarcasm, a little spicy debate here and there, and the ability to laugh at and be laughed at), is far more thrilling. You could say that translates to the "chase" too, but it really doesn't. I think it's a sign of two people on the same cognitive wavelength, and that's exciting. "

Here’s what some of our female members had to say:

"Over the years I have learnt the hard way that without the chase a man’s interest is not sustained. When you make things too easy for him by being readily available and not playing hard to get, it all just fizzles out. Yet men complain that women play too many games, so to be honest it’s sometimes hard to know where to draw the line... "

"To be honest I think it is a total waste of time if two people really like each other. In fact I think it’s pointless. However, given that men don’t stay in a relationship they haven’t chased it would be higher up on my importance list then I would like..."

"The chase - definitely required – it’s a test of self worth! I just heard on the radio today, a girl who allows a guy to chase, is reflecting her own self worth... I agree! It’s a test of how much someone would do to be with you! Besides which, guys love the challenge, the buzz and feeling that they have worked hard for it..."

What’s your opinion? I guess like the members above it’s going to be influenced by the experiences that you have had. But reading between the lines of both the male & female responses, it appears that men want to date women that at some level they feel lucky and have earned a place to be with. Therefore the onus to chase certainly would be on the man. I can’t help but think that theorists are right when they say at their very core men will always be hunters & gathers. Running with this theory, when a man goes out hunting he is competing with his fellow huntsmen to return back to the camp with the biggest kill so he can show off. If he finds his prey quickly, momentarily he is likely to be pleased with himself but his satisfaction levels will decline rapidly. He’s now left wondering that if with hardly any effort I have caught a prey, what could I be capable of catching if I continue hunting by putting in more effort and going further into the forest to explore? Could I do better than my fellow huntsmen? Whilst the reality is that there’s no guarantee that he would find a better, or bigger prey it’s unlikely to stop him trying and devaluing a perfectly good prey that he has already caught...

Going back to the responses above, it appears that for once both men & women are on the same page – women believe men need a chase to sustain their interest and men are attracted to the challenge! But despite their beliefs, there is a split camp in both genders. Starting with the women – there are those who like to be chased and those who think it is a total waste of time. For those who like to be chased, primarily it validates that a man is genuinely interested in her and not just after a quick bunk up. It also feeds into her ego that she is ‘worth the effort’ and special to him in a way that is different from other people in his life.

Then there are women who believe that the chase is a complete waste of time. They lead busy lives and if they’re dating someone that they like, they just want them to get on with it. However, busy lifestyles also equate to limited personal time for all. If a man is then presented with an option to choose a date with a woman he likes but what he sees is what he gets... Or a date with a woman that he equally likes but she is mysterious, he doesn’t know how she feels, she intrigues him by keeping him on his toes with her words & actions, which one is he likely to pick, given his busy schedule?

For men that enjoy the chase, it feeds into their egos. It makes them feel powerful and reinforces their masculinity. When they look at the women that they have won over, they feel pleased, appreciative and proud of their achievement. Just to exemplify this, the chase is a lot like a negotiation. If the seller accepts the first price offered, a man will feel dissatisfied and wished he had gone in at a lower price. Despite attaining the goods he may feel they were not worth their value. However, if the man’s price had led to a haggling opportunity with the seller, he would have his work cut out to get his desired price. But he would then walk away with a greater level of satisfaction and the same goods would now be perceived to be of a higher value.

As for the men who claim that the chase is a waste of time and a sign of immaturity, I wonder how they interpret ‘the chase’. Because arguably whether they realise it or not, they are still ‘chasing’ for the woman’s interest & approval in the form of organising thoughtful dates, initiating witty banter and basically bringing out their ‘A-game’ on a date to ensure that there is a next one...

Just to be clear, the chase should not be confused with playing malicious mind games, or a way to build up a list of conquests. It’s the process of wooing the object of one’s affection. Whilst it appears that the preference is that it is instigated by the man, at some point there has to be a healthy level of ‘push & pull’ between both people. If it’s one-sided, with no response or interest (this should not be perceived as a bigger challenge), there has to be a cut off point otherwise it starts bordering on the side of stalking. Ultimately, when you’re in the early stages of dating, it’s the chase that fuels the excitement and build up of not knowing what the other person is planning, thinking, or feeling. It keeps you interested and on your toes. And when you finally experience the gratification of becoming an exclusive couple, you can breathe a sigh of relief as the chase has finally paid off!

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The chase - important initially as exciting and good for the build-up. But if it drags on too long, it leaves you wondering whether he is really interested, or just playing games!
I would only chase someone if I really liked him and wanted to pursue a relationship. I wouldn't chase someone just to see if I could get him and if I succeeded then wouldn't be interested. Itís not a game. Unfortunately, Iíve come across guys who love the chase and once they have the prize they aren't interested anymore...
Itís not that I have any problems in getting dates with women but most of the time they end up liking and pursuing me. Whilst itís flattering, itís just too easy so I now have a large group of female friends who I am not romantically interested in...
I completely agree with the cave man theory, if a woman makes it too easy and there is no chase involved, despite how nice she may be, itís only natural for a guy to think that if I can get such a nice woman without putting in any effort, imagine the type of woman that I could get if I just put in some effort...
Itís very important to me and the most exciting part of dating. Thereís lots of flirting and a build up which constantly leaves you wondering whatís going to happen next. But I also think that the chase has to come from both sides...
For me now to be honest not much, as a more mature dater there doesnít seem to be much chasing involved, people seem to meet and decide fairly quickly if they want to pursue or not. Though saying that, flirting and getting to know someone to see if there is some attraction there, can be a lot of fun!


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