Truth be told, I used to enjoy the thrill of the chase. Immensely.
Being an incurable romantic myself, passion and romance come naturally to me. And so I’ve never really had trouble getting girls because I know what they like and I know what to do to make a girl feel all tingly inside.
But after much honest introspection and assessment, I’ve realised that chasing just doesn’t work. Not if you’re looking for something solid and stable; a relationship that could actually go the distance.
Because the chase is all about the ego.
It’s about winning. It’s about getting what you want, because you’ve decided that’s what you want. And then when you get what you want, you often don’t want it anymore. The thrill is over. You look for the next “target”.
Or you stay in the relationship but you feel so desperately unfulfilled because you’re staying for the wrong reasons – because it’s the “right thing to do”.
See, when you’re on the chase, you put your best version of yourself forward. You peacock it up to attract your potential mate’s attention and inspire desire. And if she responds in kind, it’s based on the front you’ve put forward, which is often not fully grounded in reality. You get together because there’s mutual attraction but then the rose-tinted lenses fall off soon enough and either party feels “cheated” and disillusionment sets in.
You may stay in the relationship because you’re not a flaky person who’s gonna ditch someone based on a sense of wrongness you can’t quite put your finger on. But deep down, you know something’s not right. Maybe there’s a major personality clash. Maybe your values aren’t aligned. Maybe the person isn’t who you thought they were (because you didn’t spend enough time getting to know them first). Whatever it is, your gut just knows it doesn’t quite fit and feel right.
But you stay anyway because your ego needs to reconcile with the self-image you identify with: that you’re a “nice” person.
Or if you’re willing to be really, really honest, you stay for even more superficial reasons like she’s really hot. Or smart. Or funny. Or (insert adjective). After all, you worked hard for the trophy, didn’t you?
But let’s get real.
There isn’t much hope for a relationship that wasn’t sown from a solid foundation.
All the relationship gurus will tell you that a solid foundation is one entrenched in true friendship and an alignment of core values. Okay, that makes sense. And I guess it explains why none of my previous relationships have worked out…
So, I take a look at my circle of friends and there’s no one I fancy. Besides, it’d be weird ’cos we’ve been friends like forever.
Then I guess I have to make new friends? But if you’re making new friends with the hope of something romantic developing in the back of your mind, doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
Then where does dating fall into this equation? And how do you do it right? Inherent in the dating “game” is the need to showcase your best self because how else will you arouse enough interest in the other party to secure a second date, and a third, and fourth… (assuming you actually like them but if you don’t, this is irrelevant). And this all contradicts the point I made earlier. But then, you are supposed to be going out and meeting new people, right? But… but… but…
So many theories abound of what to do, what not to do when it comes to attracting the “right” partner and it’s honestly too confounding for me to attempt to dissect and make sense of, so I’m not going to even bother to spend any time or energy trying to figure it out.
I have no answers to the above questions but this one thing I now know: What I once naively considered a “strength”, actually works against me if I want to create a deep and lasting relationship anchored on authentic love.
So, I’ve given up the chase.
Now if I like someone, I’ll make a conscious effort to resist the urge to go the romantic route because I want things to start on the right foot. But then again, don’t women also want romance? Arghhh… So many contradicting concepts!
Well, the way I see it now, is that I want the other person to like me for me, and not because I’ve orchestrated romantic overtures to intentionally arouse amorous feelings within them. I suppose if a person likes you enough, you’ll know it because they’ll show it, and vice versa. It shouldn’t have to be induced.
Now don’t get me wrong – I still love romantic fluff and all that stuff. I love it so much that I once owned a florist business because I enjoy surprising people with flowers and being around all that prettiness. And I can’t wait to shower someone with love and all its glorious accoutrements – but the right someone.
How on earth I’m going to find that person, I have no idea. For now, I guess I’ll take the simplest advice yet – “just be yourself” – and see what the universe sends my way.