They Do Exist.

Dating Mistakes: Chase Me If You Can

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Katey Kerman. She blogs at Stretching Faith. She describes herself as a self-diagnosed serial flirt – a phrase that I am far too familiar with. For years I was caught up in the game, only to realize that the game kept me from being myself. Read, and listen. – Lauren

“Stop following me, Katey” he spoke assertively, and yet still in his soft tone. He had turned around to face me now, and all I could do was stop, frozen in my tracks. It was a stare down now, and he was determined to win. So, in the game that I often played with men, I let him. I began shifting my weight, walking tentatively backwards toward my room to show I had listened, eyes still fixed on his gorgeous, tan and freckled face. I felt like I was swimming in his brown eyes as my heart sank, realizing that this would probably be the last time I’d ever see this new friend of mine.

And before I knew it, he was walking toward me.

“There. Doesn’t that feel better?”

My heart began racing, my cheeks burned a deep red as each cell in my body felt as though it would explode from excitement. I could barely breathe. It was as if time had stopped. In an instant I could feel the heat of his body near mine, posing such a vague question.

Doesn’t that feel better…?

If you don’t already know me, let it be known here and now: I am terrified to let men chase me.

Doesn’t that feel better…

Let’s get this straight: Women deserve to be chased. Not because it’s fun or because we love playing games, but because we, as human beings, were all born with the innate desire to be loved and adored – and with this desire, comes the proving of worth and intention. It’s so complicated in this day and age to know whose role is whose in the chase, but I have recently found how truly clear a man’s intention is when he is allowed to take the lead in chasing a girl he truly respects and admires.

Before you go all feminist on me, let me explain myself – I am a self diagnosed serial flirt. I’ve journaled about it, written blog posts about it, talked to my priest and prayed and worried over it. In many ways this terrible habit blossomed due to my lack of trust in God’s plan for me, but even more so because I never truly learned to love myself with the grace of God as a young adult. As I grew into the awkward teenager, I felt so unsure of the ideal that a man could actually love and see me the way the Lord saw me. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a chunky, ugly theatre-geek. I did not know how to embrace and love this girl that so easily despised herself. So, I made the assumption that most self-deprecating teenage girls make: If I saw myself this way, surely no man would ever respect and adore me the way my creator had intended.

But…there was one hitch.

…Self diagnosed serial flirt, remember?!

This is where things got messy. I, being the brilliantly broken child of God that I am, took matters into my own hands. I decided that the most sensible way of finding my self-worth would be chasing every boy that I ever found remotely attractive. I know, brilliant, right?!

I followed, pined, pushed, cuddled, dated and eventually smothered man after man. If I realized one wasn’t for me, I simply picked up and moved on – but more often, I found the men disappeared on their own accord. Instead of seeing this as a red flag, I found it motivated me to work harder to keep their attention.

It wasn’t long before it stopped being about finding the one God had created for me, and was replaced with a game. It was as if I thought ‘You know, I won’t miss out on love if I try out everyone!’

I was finally living the life that society said would make me feel full!

…so why did I feel so empty?

Eventually, in trying to find my self-worth by chasing, I became someone I did not recognize – a person who hurt other people with flirting, put strain on friendships with constant pushing and even pressured men into dating when they weren’t ready or truly interested. In the end, I hurt myself, because while I was continuously being rejected, I never had the common sense to understand that these were not relationships that should ever have been pursued. I did not understand that God had kept those men from asking me out because they did NOT have pure intentions or genuine care for my being.

When it came down to it, I was the only one who perpetuated the idea that I wasn’t good enough by pushing situations that were never truly meant to be. I was my own worst enemy.

Fast forward a couple of years to that great question: “Doesn’t that feel better?”

“NO!” I screamed.

In that moment it didn’t feel better! I was terrified, scared, self-conscious and worried that I would simply fail to be worthy of such intentional care and romance. The very idea of a man seeing me, finding me enthralling or beautiful and choosing to pursue me seemed only a fabricated myth that Hollywood had led me to believe as a child. I felt like screaming how I had proven that this concept was not true! How, at the ripe age of twenty-one, I had watched boy after boy, man after man, soak up my chasing them and then, as if I were nothing but a nuisance, disappear without a second glance while I stood blue in the face, salty tracks upon my cheek and more desperate for love and affection than ever.

No, being told I was worthy of love, after years of convincing myself that I lacked beauty, grace, talent and femininity by chasing the wrong boys did not ‘feel better.” It just made me nauseous.

“No?” He smiled, almost not surprised.

I had met this boy with the beautiful brown eyes, handsome face and heart of gold only mere days before this encounter. When I first met him I could see immediately that he radiated sincerity. I felt no fear in placing my authentic self before him. I laid my cards on the table on day one, telling him my fears, mistakes, dreams, problems…and half expected him to run for dear life. Instead he took my brokenness, held my wounded heart in his hands and had me understanding something I hadn’t even begun to fathom all through the simple actions of walking towards me and asking: “Doesn’t that feel better?”

And when I blatantly lied, cheeks flushed and heart pounding…he didn’t call my bluff. He smiled.

By showing me what it meant to be chased, what it meant to be taken care of, he demanded that I see myself as God saw me. He reminded me that God literally takes delight in my existence…and that God created me because I am worth loving, fighting for and chasing.

We all are.

And, no, it doesn’t feel “better.” It feels…amazing.


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23 Responses

  1. Wow…so powerful! Thank you so much for this article! I am struggling with wanting to be pursued but at the same time wanting to do the pursuing. This puts these feelings in perspective. He needs to pursue me, not the other way around! :)

    October 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm

  2. This is very beautifully written. Thank you for sharing! Maybe we are talking about different things but there are ways of being a "flirt" without chasing. One can show affection and interest in getting to know someone in a healthy manner. Sometimes being playful and flirty can just be a way of breaking the ice with someone. I actually believe that one is able to do those things the more self-assured and and confident in who they are. You don't have to be doing those things because you are broken and desperate for love. While I believe that a man has to pursue a woman, a woman can do her part by being open and receptive. Again, perhaps we are talking about separate things. Thank you for sharing and being so open and vulnerable!

    October 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    • Katey

      I certainly agree that it's healthy to flirt and that there are ways to flirt without chasing! But in the context of my life and in the relationships that I drew from for this reflection, I can honestly say I was not confident or self assured in who I was when I flirted before this situation (and I even struggle on certain days now with it!). I'm a really good actor and a, seemingly confident, extrovert…but on the inside I have always been so insecure and scared of never being loved, that I manipulated my God given gift of an outgoing personality and used it as a weapon. I led people on with my flirting that I was not interested in at all, simply to make myself feel worth while. For those that can flirt on a healthy level, where there is a give and take coming from both sides, I commend and respect them a great deal!

      October 4, 2011 at 11:53 pm

  3. You just wrote part of my life story. I have believed the lie that no man would ever truly love me or at least, not until I am beautiful enough, skinny enough, talented enough, strong enough, successful and intriguing. And certainly not while I am this broken. Yet, I too pursued every guy I found attractive. I constantly promote myself – look at how funny, quirky, beautiful, strong and successful I am! – in order to gain the attention of men. I still flirt too much. I flirt with men I am not interested in so I can feel desired. I've ignored my true love, God, as He pursued me.

    Thank you for this, for your part in the revelation I needed, I am worth loving, fighting for and chasing!

    October 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm

  4. kelsey6791

    Oh my goodness, I know so many women just like this. They spend almost all their time chasing men. Literally, hunting them down! I went to a Christian retreat this past weekend and I promise you, the seemingly most attractive guys were practically swarmed with grown women acting like swooning girls. I was a little shocked. A little annoyed. A little envious (I rarely put myself out there). Now I understand where you're coming from. Society often tells us we have to work for a man's attention. Keep your body up, stay fashionable, outgoing, and bubbly. I think we should do these things, but only for ourselves. There are many men ready to chase us, but only one actually wins the race. Don't make it easy for them, respect yourself, use discernment. And for goodness sakes, do not pounce on any and every attractive guy! You will wear yourself out!

    October 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm

  5. Am I the only one who turns being chased into a bad thing?
    Before I get into that I would like to say that I too saw myself as a chubby theatre geek chasing every cute boy. That changed when I went to college.

    I run. I give guys a friendly glimpse of my personality and as soon as they show interest, I run like hell looking back to see if they are chasing me. While I'm running I pray to God that He loves me as I am and that I'll be happy even if I'm not chased. But this has become a defense mechanism. I'm afraid of letting anyone catch me. The thought of being vulnerable terrifies me. And then there is a boy who's as good at playing predator as I am at playing prey. I am then stuck in a cat and mouse cycle, is it just a game? If I were to stop and let him catch me, I don't know that he would delight in my presence and respect me.

    So in essence, I think it can be harmful either way.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    • I certainly think that it's possible for either side to become harmful. I suppose, from my perspective, this whole reflection is, in a way, about being still. I chased men because I was afraid to be still for too long, for fear that the pain of being unworthy of someone's affection would be too much for me to handle. In a way, I could say this idea of stillness is just as important from your perspective. Your running in fear is a defense against being vulnerable and my chasing was/is a defense against being alone– Learning to be still so that we may see who comes after us, without the game, is what I think I mean when I say we deserve to be chased. We deserve to see who chases us when we are so enveloped in choosing stillness over the game.

      I'm so glad you commented! Such a good point to reflect on. Thank you!

      October 5, 2011 at 12:07 am

  6. I relate to so much of what you say–even though my story is so very different. I'm not even sure I know how to flirt. I was determined not to be the girl who flirted all the time, and then never quite got it. I want to be pursued. I want to know I'm worth the effort. I know I am. I just haven't found the guy who realizes it yet.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

  7. SO good!!!! Thanks for writing!!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 12:10 am

  8. Mary Jane

    I felt every bit of this. It feels to me tw ones who have chased me got tired of it and I was BROKEN. So I don’t trust it. I want to be chased. And I absolutely hate that. I am a persuer by nature so I have no idea how this will pan out for me. I just ignore men. They seem to ignore me. Sigh.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:16 am

  9. This was TOTALLY me…and at 35 years old, I can say (sadly) that I just learned this lesson a couple of years ago! A friend sat me down and lovingly questioned my choices and pretty soon, I saw my past 15 years as so empty and unsatisfying!!! I hope many young single gals get to see this and have their "a ha" moment!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm

  10. I was this girl 4 years ago! And while I haven't been asked out on a single date since that time, that's ok. I know that God is protecting my heart and guiding me down a road that will one day lead me directly to the ONE man that will love me, cherish me, adore me, respect me. With all of my faults. ALL of my crazy. ALL of my insecurities. ALL of my weaknesses. Once I realized that the chasing wasn't satisfying, I turned to the Father to satisfy me. I've never been so full!

    October 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

  11. Cindi

    God bless you for your honesty, Katey. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, washed the car with it. . . way beyond flirting. Til the day that I dramatically decided I'd have a few more dramatic affairs, and drink and smoke myself into an early grave, because I'd never find The One.

    We just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. (Oh yeah– and I just celebrated 26 years of sobriety, which has a lot to do with the other one.) God has it all under control.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm

  12. kaleighsomers

    Katey, for some reason this post really struck me (in a good way). I've never considered myself a serial flirt, but I've definitely freaked out letting some guy actually like me, want me, treat me right for once. And that feeling at the end of your story, that overwhelming nausea, is too familiar.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm

  13. Pingback: Drama Queen: My Battle With PMDD - Good Women Project

  14. love, love this!! Thank you Katey :)

    January 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm

  15. Guest

    LOL "Women deserve to be chased", pathetic, narcissistic and even more idiotic. It won't work except if you are trying to attract a desperate loser, and it gives the impression that you are insecure and have no concrete value, if you did have a value, why resort to manipulation to attract a man?

    February 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

  16. Brad

    The poster above me comes off kind of harshly, but as a guy I kind of agree with him.

    I've been fed this idea that it's my noble calling as a man to chase down a girl. The girl runs for a while and it's my job to convince her to stop running.

    After trying this out for a few years, it's a bit of an understatement to say that I'm worn out and discouraged. The majority of the time, whenever I try to open up and interact with a girl, showing what should be noticeable signs of interest, I feel like I am talking to a sexless robot with no predisposition to long for members of another sex. I am so jealous of you women who have experienced what it is like to be longed for. And yet the majority of what I see is women who seem to want to either drop their sexuality altogether or make it all about finding a man who treats them the way they "deserve" to be treated. Well, my response is that it's very hard to build love starting with an expectation that you deserve to be treated like a princess. Do I want to treat my wife like a princess some day? Absolutely. But I will treat her like a princess because I love her, not because I ever owed her anything. And I hope I can find someone who will love me too. The beauty of love is supposed to be mutual selflessness.

    March 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    • I can totally understand why this post may turn men off, but I have to say that even months after writing it…I still feel very strongly on the subject.

      Flirting IS manipulation. At least how I'm using the term, it was a form of manipulation.

      I wish I could emphasize how many men I hurt by flirting with them when I wasn't truly interested. How many friendships I destroyed because my flirting made other girls jealous or angry…how many men I said I 'liked' only to hear them say that they liked me back. My flirting, my chasing men was the most manipulative and selfish act I could commit, but I so desperately longed to sense that I was wanted.

      You're right, love is about mutual selflessness…but I was being selfish when I flirted with men. I wanted them to look at me, compliment me…as you say 'treat me like a princess'. All because I was lashing out for being looked past, ignored, treated like like the best friend or the 'down-the-line' dating material. I was tired of not being the pretty one, the talented one, the one that got all the guys…

      I'm certainly not saying that women should play games in this reflection and I don't see where I said that women should expect and only love men that treat them like princess' from the moment they meet , but I do think that there is something to allowing a man take the initiative to show they are interested. The point of this post was to remind myself [and others who might be like me] that flirting just for attention will not fill the emptiness that single people can often feel. Once we realize that we are worth being loved, when we begin to love ourselves enough not to chase every person that might give us an ounce of attention…when we are finally able to find the confidence to just be still enough for someone to notice us, there will eventually be a special someone that will pick us out of the crowd and think 'They're lovely..' Believe it or not, a lot of women have been so hurt by the not-so-nice-guys that don't realize this.

      March 28, 2012 at 12:31 am

  17. mzsmayer

    I would strongly consider developing this into a book. I would say about 80% of the girls I know, and I work in ministry, suffer this problem that culture also aids. I wish I had read this 10 years ago! Youre onto something…giving it a name…writing about it…is powerful. The enemy is not happy that you just revealed and shed light on this war in our hearts.

    May 25, 2012 at 9:48 am

  18. Katie

    Everything you said about chasing after the wrong guys due to low self-esteem and a lack of common sense was everything I was lost in until a few months ago. I wasn't rooted in God, or myself – nothing positive was in focus in my life, actually. It's crazy to see how things change and the perspective I've gained since I've figuratively wiped my eyes. Your article just furthered another "woah…THAT was me" moment but I couldn't be more appreciative :) Awesome.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

  19. New Believer

    I AM SO GLAD AT 23 (almost 24) I have been knocked out of this phase.

    Hey I know this article is old, but i thought i should say: THANK YOU, you were me, I was you, whatever. I recently got so hurt by a really bad guy, just complete rejection and you know what ? He wasn't worth it. The boys before him had nicer personalities. It took a mean nasty guy to knock me out of it. I used to cringe and hate that fact that women could not chase men, now I AM A HUGE SUPPORTER OF BEING CHASED ! All my friends in meaningful relationships or married were CHASED INCESSANTLY by their men.

    The men who say this is not true have not found their person yet. The person they can point out in the crowd and say: "I want her".

    Currently making God my focus and trying desperately not to fall for the very nice but not a Christian guy.

    November 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm

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    June 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm

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