The line between pursuing a woman and chasing her is so fine that sometimes it gets crossed when it shouldn’t. In a lot of circumstances those words, “pursuing” and chasing,” can be used interchangeably…but when we apply them to relationships they tend to have different social meanings.

Generally pursuing something that you want means that you have an awareness of what you want, as well as the confidence to make an effort to seek it out. Chasing on the other hand, implies that this thing you want is eluding you in some way, if not totally running and screaming in the other direction. People might enjoy being pursued, but they generally do not want to be chased.

(As a side note, pursuing can also have a harmful connotation but obviously that’s not the version of the word we’re working with here. Your intentions are good, and more tactful than they would be if you were simply on the hunt. Moving on.)

When it comes to dating, pursuing is awesome. But you should always draw the line if going after someone becomes too much of a chase, since that can start to erode at your personal power and it isn’t generally a place that you can come back from. Women like to be pursued, but if we’re not interested and someone starts chasing us it doesn’t generally help. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Pursuing has patience, chasing does not.

If you are pursuing a woman you might already know that it could take a while, but you’re fine with that because she’s what you want. When we’re being chased it can feel like you’re chasing after the sex or even that you’re throwing around the chase to 50 people at once, which isn’t flattering.

Chasing feels needy because you want it now, it feels rushed, and anything that’s real or serious doesn’t require the element of rush. If she’s dating someone else but you think she should be with you then there might be some obvious patience involved in that process. The same thing can apply if she’s totally single as well. When you’re pursuing someone from a stable place you don’t have to worry that you’re going run out of time to do so. You know that she should like you, and even if it takes her a minute to realize that fact you’re fine with that. She’ll figure it out in due time.

When you’re calmly pursuing someone without chasing them, it might actually make them more intrigued to find out why that is. If she’s used to guys chasing her down it’ll be a welcome change.

Pursuing is confident, but chasing is needy.  

Sometimes the chasing vibe can be so intense that it’s automatically turn off, even though the guy could be a perfectly nice one. It’s hard to tell what’s on through the aggravated pace. Imagine the feeling of someone you don’t know getting too close in your personal space and the instinct is to push them away no matter who they are. We all need a little breathing room.

Some guys use the tactic of chasing because they aren’t actually sure that anything else would work. But we don’t tend to like the guys who don’t think we would actually like them, so that rarely works. Do you really want to guilt trip or pressure a girl onto a date? Probably not.  We tend to group pushy guys into a category of pushy guys, and most of the ones in there have been written off from the start.  

Women like to be pursued.

Don’t get thrown off by the part of pursuing a woman that feels like you’re having to put out extra effort to get what you want. Sometimes women are the type to pursue what they want, but sometimes they aren’t, and there’s no shame in making an effort even if you’re not sure whether she’s actually interested in you or not. Being confidently pursued by a guy always feels flattering even if we’re not interested. The fact that you seem confident enough to do it makes you automatically respectable, and in some cases it can convince someone to give you a shot that otherwise wasn’t considering it.

When you’re clearly pursing a girl it is going to make her feel special and like she’s the only girl that you’re pursuing, even if that isn’t true. Think about all those romantic comedies, the smooth guy generally sends the girl some flowers to woo her, and sometimes without even a card attached. He’s that confident that she’ll figure it out and by staying a little ways back he actually effectively encourages her to go find him. Sneaky. See how that works?  

Here are some good real life examples. It seems like a guy is chasing when he sends me five DM’s on Instagram, one each month, despite the fact that I’ve never responded to a single one. You can see how that comes off as a little thirsty or desperate. A message that just says “hi again” or “please” doesn’t really give me much to work with and I’m not going to become more interested my the ongoing messaging. On the other hand, a confident pursuer comes across in a different way.

Once I matched with a guy on a dating app and he messaged me and then I never responded. I know, that doesn’t sound nice but I wasn’t initially very interested and distracted by someone else. But then about a month later he messaged me again and said something really straightforward and polite about how interested he was and that he’d love to get to know me. At that point I was dating someone else but I did go back and look more closely at the guy, and I saved his phone number. It was just so gracious and poised that it immediately made him seem more interesting.

Even if you don’t actually feel confident about going after a woman, it’s easy enough to fake it when you’re communicating over the phone in some way. They say “fake it ‘till you make it” because it can really work. You can fake being confident to avoid coming off as needy, and then you’ll be more likely to have some luck with the lady, and then that good luck will actually boost your confidence levels. Rinse and repeat.

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