Girl chase boy

Being in my 20s, dating is a pretty hot topic. Besides questions like: Is there “the one“? Can guys and girls be just friends? Another popular matter of discussion is: Can girls chase guys? 

It seems like a lot of young women are wondering whether passively waiting for a man to pursue them is really all they can do. Can’t we just take matters into our own hands to get our guy?

Personally, I feel that I was the one who chased my boyfriend. I would often be the first to initiate conversations and to invite him to join me for group meals.

I must say though, he was still the one who made the significant move of officially asking me to be his girlfriend. I also don’t really feel as if I did all the work during the courting phase.

To explore this question a bit more, I’ve decided to reach out to a few experienced friends for some advice: a girl who chased her boyfriend, a dating expert and a guy who chased his wife.

GIRLS, WHAT ABOUT GIVING AN INVITATION?

When dating agency Lunch Actually released a study last year, the results became a talking point.

Among the findings: 61 per cent of Singaporean women felt that men should make the first move, while only 20 per cent of male respondents believed the same.

Wanting to hear more, I approached Violet Lim, the co-founder of Lunch Actually, which has an ongoing webinar series that dishes out practical dating tips and advice. Violet is also a Christian and a mother of two.

Photo courtesy of Violet Lim.

Sharing her views, Violet pointed out that most of the men surveyed were actually open to women making the first move, but the majority of women expected men to make the first move.

She said: “There seems to be a mismatch in terms of alignment, which leads me to think, would there be a lot more relationships or marriages if both sides are not waiting on each other to make the first move?

“I think whether a woman should make the first move should depend on the man she is interested in. There are some men out there who are really shy, lack dating experience and are extremely afraid of rejection. With such men, I usually would encourage women to give an invitation for the man to make the first move.”

What does this look like?

For example, if there’s a movie that you really want to watch but your friends are not free or keen to go with you, tell him about it. You can also mention that you don’t feel like watching it alone. Then pause and see what he says.

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“If he’s interested in you, what he knows now is that you really want to watch this show, you have nobody to watch with and you do not want to watch it alone. Which means, if he were to ask you out on a date to watch this show, you would not reject him,” explained Violet.

“If he does not take up this invitation, chances are, he’s probably not interested.”

She also shared from her own experience of giving an invitation: “My husband is definitely someone who’s more shy and introverted.

“We met at a dinner and dance, and we were messaging each other the next morning. I shared that I had not eaten lunch and did not have lunch plans. This gave him the opportunity to ask me out for lunch, which he did. And the rest they say is history.”

Speaking to Violet, I realised that it could be entirely possible that a girl doesn’t have to chase a guy. Instead, they can make an invitation to intentionally show their interest and openness to be pursued.

But I was still curious. Would it be okay if girls were to be more proactive and go beyond just making subtle invitations?

CHASING COMES WITH ITS STRUGGLES 

I asked my friend Deborah Leo on her thoughts as she was the one who actively courted her boyfriend, Jonathan. Deborah married Jonathan in June 2020, but the two have been dating since they were young students.

The 26-year-old shared how she was very intentional in chasing Jonathan even when they were just friends.

“I was the one who grabbed an opportunity to get his number and started texting him first. We both lived in the same area too, so I would ask him if he wanted to go to church with me and go home together. That gave us opportunities to eat dinner together as well,” she said.

It wasn’t about not trusting God.

But Deborah revealed that it wasn’t going very well at first. 

“It was all very slow progress. In the beginning, Jon was so reluctant to meet me. He was a very shy and introverted person, the kind who would walk alone at the back of the group with his headphones plugged in, and he never spoke.

“So when I first tried to get closer to him, he was so cold that I gave up. But I think after I won him in a game, his gamer ego was stoked and he became more open. He eventually felt bad for rejecting me so many times and realised how fun it was to hang out with me,” she shared.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Leo.

What made her do it?

“Personally, I’ve never been the type to just sit back and wait! I didn’t like the thought of giving hints in hopes he does what I secretly want him to do.

“I figured that if I just chase him, I won’t have to sit and wonder how he feels or what’s going on in his mind. It wasn’t about not trusting God; the Bible doesn’t specifically say that a girl cannot pursue a man.

“Just because I ask the guy out doesn’t mean I’m not going to submit to him. Neither does it mean that I’m going to lead the relationship or our household when we get married.”

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However, Deborah admitted that there were times when she struggled with being the one who pursued Jonathan.

“It was difficult for me back then because sometimes it felt like everyone else was chased by their boyfriend, how come I had to chase mine? Did he love me less than other guys loved their girlfriends? 

“Looking back, my main issue was that I bought into the assumption most people had, which was ‘chasing’ equals ‘love’ and ‘not chasing’ equals ‘no love’,” she said.

However, over time, Deborah came to see the efforts that Jonathan made in other ways.

She recounted how at one point of the relationship, she had contemplated breaking up because it felt that they were just going with the flow. After hearing about this, Jonathan learnt how to be more intentional in showing his care and love for her. 

“I learnt that he wanted to make me happy; he just didn’t show or express it in the way I wanted him to,” she said. “I learnt to accept that him wanting to make me happy is already an excellent effort.”

When asked if she would advise girls to chase guys, Deborah responded: “In general, if a girl feels uncomfortable chasing the guy, then don’t!

“However, I would still encourage her to let the guy know she is interested and open to exploring the relationship.”

PURSUING CAN BE GOOD FOR GUYS

Well, we’ve heard quite a bit on the ladies’ side on whether girls should chase guys, so let’s hear a male’s perspective on this issue. 

After a long-distance friendship for six years, Ken Tan dated Angel for four years before tying the knot. They have been married for nine years and have three children.

Ken has also mentored many young men in the area of dating and marriage. I asked him what he thought about the guy’s role in the dating journey.

Photo courtesy of Ken Tan.

Similar to Violet, Ken agreed that it’s okay for women to give an invitation. He recalled: “I used to think that girls shouldn’t make the first move until I re-read the book of Ruth recently. 

“What’s interesting is that Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, was the one who prompted Ruth to dress up, and even instructed her how to make the invitation to Boaz (Ruth 3:3-4). 

“The way Ruth made her invitation was in a discreet and respectful manner. She put herself out there but not in front of everyone to see; it was after everyone had eaten and when Boaz was asleep.

“But what really stood out to me the most was what Naomi said after Ruth made her move. Naomi told Ruth to “wait… for the man will not rest until the matter is settled today” (Ruth 3:18). That line blew my mind.”

Naomi’s advice to Ruth was that she need not be anxious as she had done everything fit for her to do – all that was left to do was to wait.

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Pointing out that Ruth’s invitation and Boaz’s response is a great biblical example of the beginning of a relationship, Ken continued: “I would want this generation of guys to know that it’s your job as the guy to follow through and say, ‘yes, I will pursue,’ or say,  ‘I’m not interested, and this is why and we can resolve this well.'”

Ken also posed another question for reflection: If a guy is passive, could it be because he is afraid of rejection?

Sharing what he gained from his own experience, Ken encouraged the men to pursue. 

“In my own journey of pursuing my wife, the biggest lesson I took away was to be okay with rejection. I had to go through the emotional pain of being rejected, but my journey of being okay with it breathed into a lot of different parts of my life.

“I learnt to have a healthy confidence and sense of security that’s anchored in God. I needed to go back to my relationship with God, and know that I was loved and valued.”

WE CAN ALL GROW FROM THE JOURNEY

Here’s what I took away from these interviews: The girl has the freedom to make it known that she is interested, which can range from the subtle to obvious. But the guy would still have to respond to the invitation and follow through if he is keen.

At the end of the day, it takes two to tango, so there needs to be mutual reciprocation for things to progress.

After both parties have talked about their feelings and want to explore a relationship, they would also have to take steps to intentionally get to know and love one another.

At some point, it then becomes hard – and honestly unnecessary – to quantify who is making more effort or who should make more effort.

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Every relationship starts and grows differently because of how unique we all are.

So, maybe the point isn’t about who should initiate first, but whether the way we’re chasing someone is honourable. How do our words and actions honour God and honour the person we’re pursuing? 

Whether you’re a guy or girl, the journey of chasing someone can also be an opportunity to grow in our relationship with God as we learn to be more secure of our identity in Christ.

In deciding whether or not to pursue someone, we need to first reflect on our own fears and insecurities. Because in the face of waiting or rejection, the truth is, we are loved by God and we are worthy in His eyes. 

THINK + TALK

  1. What are some fears you have about dating?
  2. What does it look like to pursue someone from a position of security – knowing that you are loved by God no matter what?
  3. How can we honour God and the person we’re chasing through our words and actions? 
About the author

Justine Ocampo

Justine doesn't wear a watch, but she's always just-ine time, just-ine case you were wondering.