Since the 1960s, our roles in the dating world have shifted dramatically. These changes have been great, but they’ve also left many of us unsure about common dating etiquette and practices. The dating world isn’t so clear cut anymore.
Our eH+ clients often ask us who should be the pursuer in a relationship. There are all kinds of ideas out there about both men’s and women’s roles when it comes to finding love.
Some experts advocate for complex rules that dictate who can be proactive in initiating communication with the opposite sex. They believe that men should be pursuing women, and men should be doing the asking out and initiating interactions that move the relationship further.
The problem with rules like this is that they no longer work. They are leaving both men and women unfulfilled when it comes to love. They also no longer fit into the flow of how the world operates. Outside of dating, men and women are being proactive in their lives when it comes to careers, social groups, finances, parenting, family relationships, etc. It is totally unnatural to do something completely different when it comes to your love life.
The short answer is that any person, man or woman, who is interested in another individual should feel comfortable making a move, or even the first few moves. Being proactive is a success skill and mindset that will serve you in any area of life.
In all of this, both people should be initiating contact and responding to the other person’s communication. The secret is to be proactive in initiating contact mixed with taking a step back to give the other person a chance to make the effort of pursuing you as well.
If you are the ONLY person in pursuit, the other person is likely not interested.
Warning signs that you are the only one being proactive:
You are constantly reaching out via text or phone and they are only responding on a limited or infrequent basis.
The relationship is not progressing through the natural stages. You are not meeting the important people in their life.
They want to spend less and less time with you.
They keep blaming their busy schedule as the reason why you two can’t get together.
You only get together on their terms.
If someone is showing these warning signs of not being interested in you, they are likely not your most compatible partner. You deserve to be with someone who wants to spend time with you and get to know you. You want a partner who is genuinely interested in giving a relationship with you a chance.
Here are some signs that someone is interested in you:
They make a connection with you often — either via phone, text, or in person. It is these small things that show you someone wants to get to know you on a deeper level and is thinking about you.
If you reach out to them, they respond within a reasonable amount of time. It can be hard to determine what a “reasonable amount of time” actually is in this day and age. It is important to take into context the daily life of your potential partner. If you know that they have a career that requires them to refrain from using their cell all day, don’t be concerned if you text them in the morning and don’t hear back until after work hours. It is most worrisome if days go by and you only hear crickets.
The relationship is progressing. The first date may be a quick happy hour meet and greet. The next, a movie. With each consecutive date, you are spending longer periods of time together and talking to one another on a deeper level. Suddenly you notice you are invited to a work function, to meet friends, or maybe even to meet parents. Things continue to progress from here into exclusivity and a committed relationship.
The bottom line is that both men and women should be proactive when it comes to finding love. Regardless of your gender, you should be reaching out, flirting, and communicating with potential matches. You want to balance being proactive in getting to know people while also giving them the space to make the effort to connect with you.
If you are struggling to find the love of your life, don’t give up hope. The right person is out there for you. We can help. At eHarmony, you will only receive matches who are deeply compatible with you in the foundational ways that lead to long-term relationship success.
About Ashley and eH+:
eHarmony’s new service, eH+, gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. We’re taking the best of what eHarmony does and combining that with what personal matchmakers do best – person-to-person conversation, opportunities for feedback, and coaching to put your best foot forward.