A friend of mine recently tweeted about her disdain for women who pursue men they’re interested in. She argued that if women behave like kings, they sacrifice their positions as queens. Her statements sparked our 50,000th debate over the roles of men and women in relationships and whether or not it is appropriate for women to pursue men.

First, let me begin by saying that I would never endorse a woman chasing a man. In my opinion, to chase someone is to pursue someone or something that is deliberately moving away from you or attempting to avoid capture. For example, a cat chases a mouse that is running for its life because it does not want to be eaten. By the same token, I don’t endorse a man chasing a woman either. No, a woman should not just melt into the arms of any and every man who shows interest in her (for all of you who enjoy a good round of playing “hard to get”), but no man should chase a woman who has blatantly shown or expressed her disinterest. That’s called harassment, either way you look at it.

However, to pursue someone or something is to go after what you want with the understanding that while it might not be in your possession at the moment, it is attainable and it will not necessarily just fall into your lap if you choose to do nothing. With that said, I see nothing wrong with a woman pursuing a man in whom she is interested, in the same way that I see nothing wrong with a man doing the same thing for a woman. So ladies, if there is a brother you’ve been eyeing for a while and he hasn’t approached you, I am not against you making the first move: sparking a conversation, leaving him your number, and even asking him out to lunch–depending on your degree of boldness. That’s called initiative.

It is one thing for a woman to say that making the first move is not her style; it is another thing to critique or minimize a person’s womanhood according to individual, or even societal, standards.

Who says that a woman who expresses her interest in a man is not behaving as a queen should? In fact, we do it all the time in more indirect, socially accepted as feminine, and not always as efficient ways. It’s called flirting. The notion that a queen is a figurehead who just sits on her loins while people fall at her feet and do her bidding is in many ways both limiting and unrealistic.

To be a woman is to handle business, in all of its forms, to not be afraid to express your heart and mind while commanding dignity, awe, and respect at the same time. A queen is a ruler and a conqueror just as much as a king, and obtaining and maintaining her queendom takes effort. A true king is the man who recognizes this and who is willing to rule with her, as she rules with him. It’s not emasculation. It’s collaboration.

Some people may feel that it is not necessary for a woman to make the first move because a man who is truly interested in a woman will always do so. While in many cases, that may be true, and no one is discounting the importance of patience and faith, what about the man who simply hasn’t noticed you? What if no matter how amazing you are or how fly you look every day, you’re one of 300 other women in a lecture hall and he always sits on the opposite side of the room and uses a different exit? Do you leave your meeting up to fate because it’s the “queenly” thing to do? What if he has noticed you and the boss lady fly look that you think you give off actually comes across as snobbish to him and he decides that he does not want to approach you? Better yet, what if he has noticed you, and he is interested, but he is too shy to initiate contact? As shocking as it may seem, there is such a thing as a shy guy, and it does not mean that he is any less of a man.

While queens who wait for kings to appear on their doorsteps may indeed eventually get “chose,” pursuing your interests opens up the possibilities that women may actually get to do the choosing when it comes to getting the partners we truly want. However, if he has clearly expressed his disinterest, keep it moving, because remember—chasing is never acceptable.

If you happen to find the perfect man who materializes in front of you, always gets all of the cues and makes all of the moves, and you’re happy, that’s great. However, whether we’re in a relationship or not, we women have to understand that men are not mind readers, and like everything else in life, the best way to ensure that you get what you want is to pursue it.

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  • Mecca

    This is the current predicament I’m in. I’m interested in a guy but we go to two different schools however we’re both greek so I only see him on certain occasions like at greek events and what not. I am not usually ever the one to pursue but I’m REALLY interested in him so I decided that it was my time to strike things up. I got someone to introduce us and sent him a message on FB (didnt have his number) and we had a basic convo. When the convo died, I tried to spark it back up by sending my number but he didn’t respond. A few months later (last week) we were both a conference where black students come together to discuss issues at their respective schools. Somehow we ended up near each other and ended up walking/talking together on our way to the next workshop. At this point, i’m trying to figure out the exact method of letting him know I’m interested. I still don’t know him too well but he does come off as a possible shy guy (at least when I talked to him in person) so I don’t mind doing a bit more work to let him know what’s good. I’ve never said anything explicitly to him and all I have to communicate with him at this point is FB. Any thoughts?

    • Purple Rain

      I hate to be a cynic, but it sounds like he may not like you like that. You have already hinted at being interested, you gave him your number. He has not bitten the bait (by initiating further contact), so you may need to pursue other interests. (Sorry, you asked!)

      Good luck.

    • CatchACase

      It depends: Are you interested in a hookup or a long term relationship (LTR)? Sorry to break it to you, but he’s not interested and/or you’re not the top choice (for either a hook up or a LTR). To reiterate previous commenters @Isis: if he’s (truly) interested in you, he’ll find a way.

      Other good points were made via @grateful’s advice (it’s reminiscent of The Rules).

      I’ll add that (and this was a difficult lesson for me and many others) is to work on wanting those that want you.

    • grateful

      @Catchacase

      darn ! there’s a book out already on this? here i was writing chapters…

    • tbeattband

      I’ve been in your position before, so I can relate. The fact that you blatantly gave him your number and he didn’t respond and that you had to “re-spark” the conversation suggests that he’s not interested. However, you guys have finally had the opportunity to meet face-to-face so maybe there’s a chance? By the end of the conference if he has not given you any other contact info besides facebook or hint at hanging out at a later time, I’d cut my losses and move on.

    • He is not interested sweetie. Leave him be! You have opened all the floodgates of interest and hints and he ain’t picking them up, or making an effort to even strike convo with you-He is politely telling you, I ain’t interested.

    • Bosslady

      As everyone has already stated, he is not interested. You gave him your number, not only did he not use it, I’m assuming he didn’t even acknowledge it. He probably has someone on the scene, because even if he wasn’t interested most guys in college would at least see if they could get some booty.

    • OSHH

      ITA with most of these other comments but esp Bosslady’s, dude is not interested, not even in hitting and quitting.
      Cut your losses and keep it moving.
      You don’t want to seem desperate/pressed for someone not showing you nada interest.
      It happens.

    • CatchACase

      @ Grateful

      The Rules (a summary): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rules

      The book is controversial to some (too old school for modern times, anti-feminist, playing games, etc.). I just take the best and leave the rest.

      We can argue and debate all day, but the rules of engagement in a partnership (if you are commanding respect in your relationship…from casual dating to LTR) are still the same.

    • Yea he would have made moves already

    • CatchACase

      @Mecca

      After rereading my post; I believe I came off a bit harsh. It is bitter pill to swallow and I too am still learning to “love those that love me”. You could be missing out on someone who is really meant for you by focusing on this one guy.

      Just curious, what is it that made you “REALLY interested in him”?

    • Mecca

      Ouch. :(

      Not that any of your comments were rude, I’m not a sensitive person but yeah, it’s hard to think about the possibility (or fact) of him just not being interested. To give more context, the way I gave him my number was more so in a “let me know if your org is having any other programs, if you do, hit me up, here’s my number!” type of way. Either way, he didn’t use it. The only reason I have still been pursuing is because I think I’ve been way too subtle in my approach (not directly telling him I’m interested, giving him my number in a roundabout way, not really flirting with him) and my friends who have witnessed our interactions think there is still hope lol.

      @Catchacase – He is one of those guys who is really about his business. Like, I’ve never seen someone so focused before. He wants to open a school and become a teacher. Sexy! He has amazing style, i’m talking sreetetiquette.com type of swag and he’s super nice and overall very attractive. This has been more of a long term crush that I’ve been building up since last August (also more of the reason I’m not so quick to quit the effort just yet.)

      Thanks for the replies. I’m still thinking about making a last ditch effort and literally just telling him that I’m interested and see what he does with that. If not *kanye shrug* I tried.

  • overseas_honeybee

    Remain cool and keep it moving. If he’s interested … there will be no doubt about it. Trust. Remember who you are and what you’re worth … don’t settle or hold out hope on a maybe.

  • Elle

    I actually agree with this 100%

    http://www.ellecherieamour.wordpress.com

  • OSHH

    I don’t pursue or chase men, it’s not my thing and Proverbs 18:22 comes to mind.
    “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”

    • Rastaman

      You do realize that at the time and in the place when the Book of Proverbs was written, women were exchanged for goods or livestock?
      So finding a good thing was probably based on how much you had to barter to her father for her.