How to Pursue a Woman’s Heart


Let’s start with the assumption that the ideal romantic situation is one in which a man pursues the heart of woman. I am hard-wired to pursue. It is how God made a man to be. As a man, I thrive on challenges, and the rewards gained through effort and sacrifice. I have faced challenges in every aspect of my life, including romance.

However, this romantic quest is doomed without some practical wisdom for both sides. Before all the sparks and butterflies cloud our vision, let’s get a handle on the following: (a) what we want (b) how far we’re willing to go to get it, and (c) being prepared for the consequences.

Know what you want in a mate. My wife actually wrote a list of qualities that she was looking for in a spouse. This list was the result of personal experience and discernment. Making a list is not as extreme as it sounds. Dating online means sifting through a lot of profiles and managing a lot of communication. So often you forget what you are looking for, especially since it’s easy to get swept away with the attention of new admirers.

If you don’t know what you are looking for, you run a greater risk of getting involved with incompatible matches and facing awkward, messy breakups.

Be prepared to go the distance. When my wife and I were dating I would drive to her house through rush hour traffic three or four times during the week, and both days on the weekends. She lived 45 minutes away if there was no traffic. Any other time it was easily over an hour. This schedule meant the loss of a lot of time for myself (including sleep time).

She felt special because she knew I was making a sacrifice so that she could be safe, and have an early bedtime. I didn’t show up with flowers and gifts, I just showed her that she was worth it every time.

Are you willing to travel out of your way without complaint? Are you willing to put your time together ahead of your “me time”? And if you are, can you do it without making a big deal out of it?

If you feel as though you are being taken advantage of, then your heart is not in it. You are no longer pursuing her; you’re just trying to make an impression.

Be prepared for rejection. Rejection never feels good, but it doesn’t kill you.

Men: If a woman turns down a date without suggesting an alternative plan, then she is not interested. You need to let it go at that. Pursuing her will get you nowhere. I don’t care if you’ve been communicating with her for weeks. She’s not interested. Divest yourself of any notions that patience and allowing her to take the lead is some kind of chivalry. She’s not interested.

While men no longer know how to pursue a woman, women often have no understanding of how to be pursued.

Women: If you are not interested in getting to know a man, then come right out with it. Early on.

If you are interested in being pursued, then don’t make it too easy. A woman’s heart is truly something to be won. If a man is worthy of you, then he will be prepared to go the distance. You want someone who will go the distance for the rest of your lives, when things are no longer sunshine and roses.

Keep in mind that being pursued does NOT preclude a woman from making first contact. Romantic pursuit is not about who calls whom. It’s not about sending flowers. It’s about a man showing a woman that he is ready to face the challenges to win her heart. If a woman finds that she is usually the one suggesting a date, or where to meet, or that she is the one doing the lion’s share of the calling and emailing, then she is no longer be pursued. Stop and let him pursue. You’ll know fairly quickly if he’s serious. You’ll know soon where the relationship is going, or if it’s going anywhere at all.



  1. Joe-786218 September 3, 2013 Reply

    Douglas makes an excellent point regarding Paul’s writing about “men love your wives; wives respect your husbands”. To which I’ll add Paul’s writing in that same letter about men’s headship and women’s submission. Yes that’s politically incorrect, but that was the manual laid out in the New Testament. To be politically correct in today’s culture and regard a wife’s obligations in marriage as less important than a husband’s is to be in rebellion to 2000 years of what Paul’s theology knew and understood about human nature. When a man accepts headship of his marriage, that’s a huge obligation and responsibility, he is now responsible to God not only for himself but for his wife and for his stewardship of their marriage. But responsibility without authority is a train wreck waiting to happen. Hence Paul provides for the obligation on the wife’s side to submit to his authority and show him her respect.

    Back on topic: yes the man should initiate, he should lead, but many men are afraid of rejection so they will often look for more certain situations. Women can help here: indicate your interest to him. Hopefully he is not too dense to see it and will say hi. Past that initial attraction, it’s up to both parties to keep the interest alive. I recently let go a girl I liked that I had dated for a few months because I didn’t feel she was that interested in me. If I was wrong about her interest, then she needed to show it than she did.

  2. Joseph-746092 September 2, 2013 Reply

    I have no problem with the idea that a man must prove he is worthy of a woman through sacrifice. I do find the suggestion that women need to let themselves be pursued uncomfortable. I am not a gender relations theologian, and I admittedly have very little education in that area, but I don’t see why two faithful Catholics can’t have any one of many relationship dynamics. Early on, I like the chivalrous idea that it is all on the guy to prove himself. But eventually I feel the woman should turn around and say “I am not just your lady; I am a queen in my own right. We stand or fall together.”. Eventually coyness just becomes laziness. I guess what I am saying is, should the guy drive the longer distance and pay for the dates: yes. Should he always have to plan those dates: no.

  3. Dana-979494 August 28, 2013 Reply

    Interesting read. I’m always fascinated by the interconnectedness of life. Everything is like everything else.

    We all listen to the same radio station–WII-FM–“What’s in it for me?” Keeping that inclination in mind, it seems counter-intuitive to ask oneself the important questions: What do I bring to the table? What do I offer as a mate? If, instead, we focus our energy making a dream list of what we want in a mate(unknown variable) rather than doing our own work (known and controllable variable) , all we’re doing is shopping.

    Many people have a tendency to view past relationships through the lens of “what happened to me;” I know I have. All that kind of thinking does is act as a set-up for the next failure. It’s a by-product of our consumer culture.
    The growth comes when we have enough perspective to look back and see how we contributed to what happened to us; that we contributed to our own reality. This goes beyond the laundry list of “what happened to me,” an attitude that does nothing but keep us powerless and in need of a daddy or mommy to make it all better. We are the producer, director, and star of our own biography and if we’re not, who is? If it’s someone else, who made that directing decision?

    During the romance phase, we’re eager to overlook the ongoing quiet signals that all is not right. Later, when/if things implode, we are indignant because what’s unfolding is not at all what we planned when, in reality, we chose to ignore something that was best addressed at the time.

    Also, and it wasn’t mentioned, we trivialize and commodify sex to such an extreme because we fail to understand that there are special and unique times (rare) when it’s appropriate to engage in sex–namely, marriage. When we misuse it outside of these parameters, we set ourselves up for deep hurt and loss resulting from our misuse. It’s more difficult to extricate oneself from a relationship that has a sexual component because, whether we understand it or not, we’ve put ourselves “all in,” and, by doing so, have allowed our bodies to commit our whole being to a huge responsibility that dramatically changes us and our relationship.

  4. Joan-529855 August 28, 2013 Reply

    Very good article; read “Wild at Heart” and you will understand. Chivalry is not dead.

  5. Dominic-981542 August 28, 2013 Reply

    I have to say Doug had a much balance view . . and from a woman point of view , it can be many different kinds just as men since we are all individuals .
    But there is nothing in Doug’s story that is related to women’s Lib . . The Women’s Lib movement was beyond the balance of equal rights . .
    Eric has his idea’s But no . . when we talk about romance and want to include A God we must be a ware Gods way is not our way . . though every one will agree . . . its not put into practice to often when our opinions rule more . . There’s the worlds opinion on Romance and there is truth . . no men should have to go challengers to pursue a woman’s heart .. .. more so whats important for a women is to find a man who has respect in his heart to give to all woman . . respect has to be alive in a man first to be able to give it . . it cant be made by choice , its a living thing just like many parts of life in our soul could be dead in us . .
    No need for challengers when love is required . . whats needed from a man & woman besides having some think of being compatible is to know what to value from one another
    i have little time here to explain more because i have to go but god bless yous all & say some prayers for me to.

  6. Gary-927394 August 27, 2013 Reply

    So many theories, conditions, assumptions between men and women.
    There are a lot of childless, lonely women who assumed the knight needed to come and pursue her…and none came. Or didn’t they? Plenty of them are still bound up in their frog-suits sitting quietly on the sidelines. They never bought the Knight in Armor persona. While some men are chivalrous and bold, many are also simple and shy. What to do, call it “God’s will” if we have no romance in our lives?

    At the same time while I’m athletic and strong, I am not competitive. If a herd of men are agitating for the interest of a lovely woman, I refuse to engage. I’m not a dog and don’t view women as if they give off a scent… And yet it seems like the most favored women are grabbed up by the aggressive guys. Confusing, no?

    Some ideas: Why not use simple, clean communication?
    Walking up to another, introducing yourself and asking that person to coffee. Accepting “no thanks” if he/she’s not interested. No powerful knights. No weak damsels. Just humans looking for friends.
    Tell him/her what you like, once some chemistry has developed. Saying “I like it when you _______.” and “I don’t like it when you _______.” “What do you think?” If your friend continues to offend you, you have your decision made for you. No guess-work. You can now say “I don’t think we’re a good fit; thanks for your kindness. Bye.”
    Ask “what do you want in a relationship/marriage?” Again, taking the sail out of the wind of confusion in romance. This suggests we care enough to move the relationship forward, beyond being a “dating game.”

    I personally like the idea that a man and woman can become like children and simply play together, as opposed to having a list of rules. Once I forgot to open a door for a date in the confusion of the evening. She dropped me for that reason. She obviously had a hard rule about how men should be. I said to myself “thank God I didn’t waste more time with such a rigid human being.” All because of a rule, nothing developed. Humans are not robots. Creative people bend and change rules in their desire to be playful with one another. In doing so, rules take a back seat to a genuine spirit.

    If you want someone you can control, admit it and then order a lifesize photo of yourself and hang it in your home where it will be quiet, obedient, non-challenging to you. 😉 😉 If you don’t like that idea, then go be playful and sincere. You just may attract the same spirit in another.

  7. Douglas-984666 August 27, 2013 Reply

    Well, I can see that my comment has attracted a swarm of like-minded men. For anyone who is interested, I would recommend researching the “marriage strike.”

    Although “going on strike” may same like a childish (and futile) response, it is actually a perfectly logical and rational coping mechanism, considering the predicament of the modern American male.

    • Joseph-953397 August 27, 2013 Reply

      Amen Douglas! Until men stand up and hold women responsible for what they want they will never show the respect the Bible instructs them to. Women are quick to blame men for their misery when in fact they have only themselves to blame.

  8. Donna-83441 August 27, 2013 Reply

    When my husband and I met he was retired and I was working full time. My days off were very limited in nursing.. I would get 1 day off in 9. He was willing to do all the traveling for the 2 hours we were separated by. That showed me he was very interested. He pursued me very determinedly. That was my first experience with someone pursuing me like that. By our second meeting he told me he wanted to see me every day off I had going forward. We stuck to that plan and found that we enjoyed each others company so much that we were soon engaged and then married.. We are 61 and 65 though so we knew what is important to us.

  9. Stan-973128 August 27, 2013 Reply

    I actually agree witg many points that were made within this article. I find it very refreshing to read an article that is more from the heart and realistic. I believe in old fashion Man initiates date request. However having been rejected more than I care admit I also have no issue with woman making first contact to show interest. I do tend to miss those cues, be patient. I am not afraid to rejection, all I ask is for honesty. Fastest way to loose my respect much less my trust is to “spare my feelings”. I am a big boy I am ok with a woman honestly stating she has no interst in me for whatever the reasons. I truely detest the answer….. “Im not looking for a serious longterm realtionship/ boyfriend, but yet two days later said woman now has new boyfriend. Im you dating someone already just tell me Ill be fine. I asked for a date not marriage. I do totally agree that in person meetings are a must. In truth I do better in person. I can tell you evrything but you understand completely until you see me in action. Often times I see, read, and hear mostly women state the their man has stopped trying to win them after winning them. Ok I accept that, however ladies how much energy.was spent by said man

  10. Reena-961146 August 27, 2013 Reply

    I’ve been told recently that I have a low RQ – Romantic IQ hahaha. It’s been a very steep learning curve.

    I agree with reciprocity. It is great to see a man taking the lead and if I’m interested , I will respond accordingly, I don’t think I’m a passive recipient though. My problem is, it’s so easy for me to get strung along only to find out that it’s not me that they like but the attention that I give them, the responses and maybe the idea of me, but not me per se. Same thing can be said about men, say it early if you’re no longer interested, we’re grown women, we’ll be ok. 🙂

    It’s great to see a man initiate (doesn’t have to be contact) to take more action if they really want to know a woman. Words are empty and void. Actions is what counts the most for me.

    My problem is, there are times when I thought a man likes me and I like them too and then they change their mind and things don’t turn out the way I hope it would be.But I am hopeful. I don’t want to be discouraged.

    I know who I want to be with – a man who is running towards Christ. And I lately, I learned that I also want to be with a man who wants to run with me, towards Christ. He can be the most Christ-like person but If he doesn’t want to be with me, I can’t make him. I know he’s not perfect. I know he’ll have his flaws. With God’s grace, I know I can make the daily decision to love him regardless, far above emotions but more so in my reason and will – I pray he’ll do the same also…

  11. Ann-69118 August 26, 2013 Reply

    I’m old school the guy pursues the women reponds if she’s interested. If she doesn’t then she’s not interested and both parties can move on. That said I’m not out to take advantage of anyone. I’m willing to drive halfway or pay for my share. I do appreciate it when a guy takes the time to put in the effort but there are safety issues you have to observe like I wouldn’t ride in a guys car or let him pick me up where I live until I trust him that might be a 2nd date or a 3rd or 4th date thing. Guys be careful too. Overall though I think the guy should lead the relationship. When a guy starts complaining about the distance you might as well call it quits is a sure sign he lost interest. Women want someone who will put in the effort which shows interest in them. It might be calling her everyday or driving a ways to get here or just showing up with a few flowers now and again. All women are different just ask what we like believe me we will have no problem telling you. The best gift I ever got from a guy was a camelback for hiking. I couldn’t afford one at the time and I though it was thoughtful of him to see where I had a need and act on it. Some would consider that a bad gift but I thought it was great.

  12. MaryClaire-847709 August 26, 2013 Reply

    When I first saw this I assumed it was written by a woman, the fact that a man has written it gives it all the more credibility! Very encouraging to me as a young woman who sometimes questions if my standards are too high. Not so.
    And in response to Bryan’s comments; “Captivating” is a very good book and echoes what we’ve read here. I would highly recommend it! I have not read “Wild at Heart” but I have heard it is just as good.
    Thanks for the article!

    • Joseph-953397 August 27, 2013 Reply

      Maybe instead of dropping the blame all on men you should take a look and see what the culture of femininity has become. Women expect a great deal from men without charges of sexism but if a man expects a woman to cook, clean, and take care of the kids he is immediately branded a sexist pig. For most women the problem isn’t their standards being too high, it’s their willingness to give selflessly being too low. What does a woman bring to the table that a man really needs? Answer, nothing. There are lots of kids in need of adoption if being a father is what a man really want. He may even be able to save a few kids from an abortion that a woman is solely responsible for initiating. Bringing a woman into the picture opens a man up to financial / emotional ruin and the return for taking such a risk is hearing comments like yours about how unworthy guys are to be in your presence.

  13. Jacqueline-198 August 26, 2013 Reply

    Why oh why are some of the ‘devout’ Catholic gents I meet so resistant to this? I know we women are at fault at times for not allowing the man to pursue (chasing them dare I say?!) but for those other situations, why do some guys I’ve met absolutely refuse to pursue, or even attempt even though they may be very interested in a lady? As I usually state, ladies let the gents do their job.

    • Douglas-984666 August 27, 2013 Reply

      In my opinion, it has to do with risk assessment. A man is not going to feel sufficiently motivated to pursue if he does not foresee positive results and has the impression that his efforts are worthwhile. On a personal note, sometimes I pursue, and sometimes I do not. For example, if I foresee a 50% chance if getting shot down, I back off immediately; if I foresee a 25% chance, I process with caution; if I foresee a 10% chance or less, well then, I go for it! It’s all about risk assessment and weighing the pros and cons. While there are certain things that all heterosexual men have in common (being attracted to women), individuals vary. Personally, I have lower testosterone levels, but a higher IQ (mine is 125, 100 being the average). So, I tend to be much more logical and analytical, and much less passionate and aggressive.

      But to use an example outside myself, I’ll recall my college days. I went to a small Catholic college in northern VA where the girls were generally very skittish toward men. Many women did NOT want to be pursued (either because they were skittish or because average men weren’t good enough) and if a random guy asked out a random girl, his chances of being accepted were about 5%. Therefore, when the males because conscious that the odds were against them, they backed down. As a result, the girls who DID want to be pursued became frustrated. It’s a common phenomenon in both the West and in Japan (look up “Herbivore men in Japan”).

    • Brian-723684 August 27, 2013 Reply

      Obviously, because they fear rejection. Here is where I have a big problem with these outdated notions that perpetuate gender role stereotypes. Everyone has different histories, experiences, biochemistry, etc. I’ve had some women say “rejection is difficult for anyone”. True, but too simplistic. It affects different people to different degrees. Some men get rejected more than others, and it can have a devastating affect on their self confidence, so knowingly or unknowingly, they go in to survival mode, and protect themselves by retreating inward. It’s not the logical thing to do when you’re interested in someone, but when it comes to matters of the heart, we’re not always “logical”.

      Maybe a little encouragement or flirting/signaling is all he needs to “push him over the top. I’ll I’m saying is this: if the woman wants the traditional advantage of being pursued, and let the man bear all the risk, then perhaps you could help him a little. You never know what he’s been through in the name of being the pursuer in his personal history.

      Honestly, I think that these traditional stereotypes are unhealthy and I don’t buy for a second that we are “hard wired” this way. This is almost entirely attributable to socialization as we grow up, and the author is a perfect example of that.

    • Joseph-953397 August 27, 2013 Reply

      Ever hear of sexual harassment laws? Yeah, all a woman needs to do is claim a man made a pass at her and he will find himself in court. Can a man really afford to loose his reputation and possibly a job over a woman? I wouldn’t. Sorry ladies, but it’s your turn to do the pursuing since the law put the ball in your court. Men need a water break. We’ve been in the game long enough to know the score.

  14. Lisa-933589 August 26, 2013 Reply

    I am so much more receptive when the man takes a deliberate lead, makes plans in advance–and pursues my heart with joy. I return/share that joy to/w him and look forward to seeing him every time in confirmation of his efforts–and my desire to get to know him better each time. I appreciate when the invitation is extended to also enter his world and share in the things, people, places that surround him & give him peace/joy/history etc. This continually builds trust and the ability for love to grow–the invitation from God, the invitation from the pursuer and receptivity to both–makes being pursued a blessed occasion for discernment-something I look forward too. While discerning, it is the kindness, courtesy , prayer and gratitude of each that makes it truly Catholic Courtship –and wanting the true happiness for each other no matter what the outcome–and with kindness etc there can be no bad outcome–as ultimately we have to help each other get to heaven–and that responsibility is there even if we find we find ourselves questioning compatibility. As bro’s and sister’s in Christ, we should be leading one another towards the truest love–we always hope for things to work out–and if we are not compatible, leave each other better than we found each other–and hopefully open to find spouse. God can do all things!

  15. Kevin-592535 August 26, 2013 Reply

    Overall I felt, Erik hit home with this article. However, in one point concerning traveling to her (girlfriend at the time I take it) home he stated “If you feel as though you are being taken advantage of, then your heart is not in it. You are no longer pursuing her; you’re just trying to make an impression”.

    Just one thing I would like would like to note is that this should be a two way street where she should go where he lives. Of course there are some circumstances such as health reasons, afraid of driving long distances and so forth. And maybe those can even be worked around.

    If there is a meaningful relationship I feel the women should make an effort in meeting at least half way at times or simply to his area from time to time. I certainly don’t mind going her way but it’s nice to see the women make an effort every once in a while. Makes the guy feel that he’s worth the trip. Heck, it would truly benefit the relationship on a whole. And yes in my case she’ll get some flowers and related showings of appreciation because I would know the relationship is on the right track.

  16. Esther-532964 August 26, 2013 Reply

    Great article! It’s good to know that other people feel the same way.

  17. Bryan-324283 August 26, 2013 Reply

    To further support Erik’s arguments, I recommend reading “Wild at Heart.” It’s a great book that talks at length about what Erik has so wonderfully summarized. It’s all about how God created our hearts as men. The other side of it is “Captivating,” which is all about the heart of woman. Both are worth the time.

    Erik also left out the second part of the pursuit: what do you do once you’ve won her heart? I think many men know how to pursue, but once we’ve won we give up that pursuit. The reality is we should be working even harder to show her that just because we’ve won her heart doesn’t mean we’re going to be lazy. We should show her we are more determined than ever in our pursuit of her heart because we recognize just how great a treasure we have.

  18. Laura-997821 August 26, 2013 Reply

    I am in agreement with you, Eric and I particularly “leaned-in” on the part, “I am hard-wired to pursue. It is how God made a man to be. As a man, I thrive on challenges…” It gave me a reminder of what my Mother and Father taught my sister and brothers growing up…isn’t it great to know that we can behave as women and men again? 🙂

    • Joseph-953397 August 27, 2013 Reply

      Are you prepared to give up your right to vote, own property, be totally to your husband, and resolve to being a homemaker for the rest of your life? That’s what “being a woman” meant once. You don’t get the perks unless you give something up for them!

  19. Michelle-860764 August 25, 2013 Reply

    How does a man know if the woman is interested if he is doing all the work? I do agree with another writer here, that visits should be mutual, unless there are extraordinary circumstances. Women, many times may have custody of children which makes it harder to commute. It really depends on the situation. I think for younger people who have never been married this is really good advice and it shows you (the writer) have a very good heart. Thank you for writing this. It is very helpful information.

  20. Jason-862068 August 25, 2013 Reply

    I’m with you on your comment about meeting in the flesh and blood (in person) for long term and I would add that the lady should be willing to meet in person if within an hour and half driving distance sooner than later to have a coffee or something short and innocent before writing someone off if they are on the fence about. More frequent dates can be practice on how to carry yourself and be your best charitable and graceful self with date etiquette and non verbal cues which online cannot provide.
    The lady really needs to be upfront online on her interest as there needs not to be a waste in time if she is trying only to be courteous. We all know that non verbal cues are all the more important then what is even being said at most times. I can recall a date where only a handful of word had said that was more meaningful than one filled with meaningless chatter leading to confusion and no second date or further interest.


  21. Douglas-984666 August 25, 2013 Reply

    I do not accept that assumption. The ideal situation is one of balance, equality, and reciprocity. This ideal situation, of course, rarely exists in a perfect form, but placing the woman on a pedestal and viewing the man as a lowly supplicant who must “prove himself worthy” creates imbalance in the relationship. I still remember my first relationship; I sacrificed a lot of time, money, and energy for the woman I loved; I pursued her; I initiated contact 90% of the time. I told my friends that I wanted to do everything I could to make sure I never took her for granted, and I still remember the sage wisdom that one of them shared with me, “but Douglas, what if SHE takes YOU for granted?” Turns out she did. After she was finished using me, she then broke off the relationship. To the author: in an ideal situation, you and her would have alternated visits. Every other time, you would have driven to her house, and every other time SHE would have driven to YOUR house. I’m not advocating a “tit-for-tat” policy; I am advocated that balance, equality, and reciprocity is the ideal which, even if not attainable in its purest form, should still be striven for as the goal.

    Q: How much am I willing to sacrifice for love?
    A: How much is the woman willing to sacrifice?

    Q: How much of a risk am I willing to take for love?
    A: How likely is the risk to result in something good?

    Q: How serious am I about her?
    A: How serious is she about me?

    Q: How will I prove myself worthy?
    A: How will she prove herself worthy?

    This debate could go on forever, so let’s assume that both parties are “worthy” and take a look at a more central question: are they COMPATIBLE?

    Individual circumstances must be taken into account. Sometime a man whose “natural role” is to be the active pursuer may become exhausted. Sometimes a women whose “natural role” is to be the passive recipient may become restless. Sometimes an unusually shy man and an unusually outgoing woman could make the perfect couple. These so-called “natural roles” are more nurture than nature. It’s not fair to claim that women are “naturally” more emotional than men, when many men have been consistently taught to suppress their emotions and “be tough” while many women have been consistently taught to express their emotions (and unfortunately, often use them to manipulate).

    End of rant. Nuture, not nature. Equality. Balance. Reciprocity. Etc.

    • Laura-997821 August 26, 2013 Reply

      Gosh, Douglas, from a woman’s point of view – Eric is right on. Your view is very “women’s lib” era from the 50’s and 60’s that started this mess in the U.S.A. I know, I was growing up during that era. I am truly, truly sorry that she didn’t do right by you; perhaps there were other hints that you missed? God bless you in your search.

      • Douglas-984666 August 26, 2013 Reply

        Yes, but I’m approaching from a different angle. Those from the “women’s lib” era would point to how the old fashioned ways were disadvantageous to women. I am making a case that there are also ways in which they are disadvantageous to men.

        The problem with modern chivalry is that it is very selective in that certain elements of the old social order are emphasized whereas certain other elements are down-played.

        Take, for example, the double-fold mandate “husbands love your wives, wives obey your husbands.” It’s almost a form of academic dishonesty to pick-and-choose here. The “husbands love your wives” part is emphasized and re-emphasized ad nauseam, while the “wives obey your husbands” part is often downplayed or simply ignored.

        Keep in mind that during the age of chivalry, yes, women were placed on pedestals and romanticized about to an almost obsessive level. But at the same time, they did not have the same political and social rights that men had. They could not inherit property. They could not vote. They could not run for political office. With authority comes responsibility.

        It’s not right to expect men to share authority 50-50, but then, at the same time, to expect them to bear the full brunt of responsibility in a relationship. You can’t demand equal rights, and then, at the same time, expect special treatment, special privileges, special protections, and exemption from responsibilities which should, ideally, be shared by both sides proportionately.

        While I do not advocate for any particular social order (I am strictly a-political), I am always cynical toward those who want to “have it both ways.”

        However, I am also coming from a different vantage point: I do not believe that there is really anything in this world that is worthwhile simply for its own sake (except for attaining salvation / avoiding Hell, but that falls outside the category of “in this world.”)

        Most decisions in life, whether careers, relationships, or living arrangements, are about prioritizing and weighing the pros and cons. If you want a job that pay better, you have to be willing to work longer hours. If you want better job security, you have to put in the training and education necessary to make yourself an irreplaceable employee. Etc., etc.

        I’m always coming across articles that talk about what a man’s responsibilities are, bemoaning the absence of good men – but bad men are only half the problem. I prefer a gender neutral approach that holds both men and women to the same standards.

        End of rant.

        • David-629572 August 26, 2013 Reply

          Modern chivalry is in many ways what anthropologists would call a “survival”–I.e. a cultural practice that outlives the set of conditions under which it developed and gave it meaning. The very sentimental picture at the top of this article is telling.

          In an era when women demand full equality in the workplace and in society as a whole, it no longer makes sense for men to practice chivalrous gestures, such as holding doors, giving up one’s seat on the bus, etc. These actions imply the concern of the strong for the weak, which runs directly counter to the modern idea of men and women being equals. Men are stuck between a rock and a hard place because they face the prospect of either being viewed as un-reformed chauvinists who adhere to outdated notions of women needing men’s protection, or else they are seen as betraying the old standards of chivalry by the “traditionalists” (who often are quite modern and want to “have it both ways”, as Douglas says).

        • Matt-732236 August 27, 2013 Reply

          Na, I agree with Doug completely, then again I am a 32 year old man, so in my generation it has become more known for equal work. Women today are very independent and don’t “need” a man, as say back in my grandparent’s or parent’s days, and that is with the upmost respect of using the term “need”. Heck I try to spoil my gf’s and they just don’t need it and or the last two gf’s of mine weren’t very materialistic to begin with. Doesn’t mean they have a problem ever accepting things and aren’t appreciative, but yeah with this making the drive all of the time on your own, just isn’t cool in my book. I dated a woman I met on this site, had a rosary blessed by the pope sent to her and everything. She lived 2 hours across the state and would make the drive to come see me just as much as I would to come see her, and I tried to be that guy, with saying, no you don’t have to drive here, for safety reasons etc…etc…and she just didn’t want to be that girl. She wanted to share in that, which was great, because it showed me she was very interested in me, that she was willing to take the time and spend the money on gas just as I was to come and see her. It did not work out, we both are too busy with our work schedules to be trying to date each other 2 hours away etc.., and well I don’t want 6 kids some day, maybe 2 haha…. meaning didn’t have a lot in common with her in the end, but the point being, if the guy does everything, it will always be expected of him and this one way street stuff is just garbage. Most women today I date find it almost unattractive and cocky for me to blow all of my money on them, as most guys reading this will laugh and say, introduce me to those women then Matt hahaha, but I mean a lot of them now a days like knowing they can take care of themselves just fine on their own, and like the fact of showing us how they don’t need a guy for things. I was dating a 31 year old single mom who is also a Jehovah witness by the way, (that was interesting) but not a strict practicing one like her folks would prefer her to be, and though I’m Catholic, thought I’d give it a chance, and this most beautiful woman was the same as the Catholic woman 2 hours away with the wanting to divide up things equally. So cool point is, two women who were both complete opposite were actually the same in that respect. I mean granted yes, we would go to a movie, dinner, I pay for it all, but she would look at me and say without saying anything technically, like she’s pulling out her purse, and of course I’d smile and say silly put your purse away, and yes some could say that is just the game of the woman playing me, and deep down is expecting me to pay, but at least she would attempt to offer, and how I know that no it was not a game, because if so, she deserved a Grammy with her acting, but because she refused me to pay for an expensive dinner a couple of times her and I had as well as other things here and there for a couple that wasn’t serious..serious…but just dating. She said with everything you do that is sweet for me Matt, and your great to my young daughter, this one is on me, don’t argue with me. Those couple of times easily added up to 4 or 5 movies, out of my pocket etc… Some could argue, well because she was a single mom, you wanted to do everything for her Matt, and she didn’t want that, and if that was the case, then good for her. I respected her greatly for that, and I did try to argue with paying because I wanted to do something nice always for a hard-working single mom, that deserves a good man to wine and dine her and give her a night where she feels very special (as cheesy as that sounds to fellow guys out there reading this…. I don’t care). Well she did appreciate it, and paid for a very VERY nice dinner as well as other gifts. Love takes works, and can’t be one-sided, I’ve had to learn that myself, because I was raised by two parents happily married, and saw that old school mentality with my father, about taking care of your woman, but women today, in my experience, will contribute just as much, if not more in some cases. It’s not unheard of for a woman to be the bread winner in relationships now ah days. I need to meet me one of those 😉 Just kidding of course, but to have a nice living situation, it’s good when there are two salaries coming in, and the man doesn’t have to feel like all of the burden is placed on him completely.

          • Meesch-691047 June 26, 2014 Reply

            Women need men, especially the ones who say or act like they don’t.

            I want to know about this gorgeous and breathtaking painting! Anyone know who painted this?

      • Joseph-953397 August 27, 2013 Reply

        I agree with Douglas 200%! Laura, you know nothing of what it is like to be a man these days. In fact being male is almost criminal under the current administration whose strings are pulled by powerful feminist interests. Obamacare is one example of a feminist pay off. Kaiser Health ran an article that detailed how discriminatory the healthcare bill is towards men. Why should men and women be forced to pay the same for health insurance? Women use it more and are a greater risk. Just like men with car insurance. Car insurance companies can charge men more than women and no one bats an eye. Yet when women are charged more its sexism? The problem with women is they expect everything and leave men with the bill. What exactly have you done lately to counter the “women’s lib” movement? I bet very little to nothing! When you have something to show for your opinion then you are entitled to it.

        • Joanna-615441 November 4, 2013 Reply

          You are on a dating site to find a mate. Your defensive posture is not helping. If men are not using proper discernment in their pursuit (prayer, discussions with people who love you and have your best interests at heart), then you may very well set yourself up for being used. Just as women who do not use proper discernment set themselves up for being used. You MUST pray (and listen), you MUST talk to your intended, you MUST sound out to those people who love you and want you married and in a right relationship. All of this must be on going and not a one time deal. Situations change, people change, a lot of things happen that affect a person. This is really great training ground for the married life, because change occurs in marriage. If you do not have a foundation of prayer and discernment during the dating/courtship phase, you are not going to have a very successful marriage.

          The heart of woman desires to be cherished, cared for, protected. The heart of man desires to protect, cherish and care for his beloved. THAT is the ultimate joy in a relationship. THAT is how God wired us. When we are outside that model, we are defensive and self protective.

          If you have done those things (cherished, loved, protected) and it didn’t work out, did you discern with all aforementioned suggested parties? Was that ongoing? I have a friend who says “rejection is God’s protection.”

          I hope all men are able to find a measure of forgiveness toward those women who have hurt them, not to let the offender off the hook, but to release them (the men) from the bondage of unforgiveness.

    • Joanna-615441 November 4, 2013 Reply

      One of the things that seems to be missing from this entire conversation is the subject of discernment. Marriage is an awesome and very challenging state to enter and it takes great discernment and prayer to locate a potential mate. That discernment is not one way. If you have pursued a woman with the intent of winning her (marriage), but you didn’t discern with God AND with her that the relationship could move in that direction, well then you made a mistake in your pursuit. I can just hear the self absorbed woman say “well I never told him I wanted to marry him, HE was the one who was doing (giving, etc). It was his choice.” Ugly, but true. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting someone in our lives we don’t stop to see if they are worthy of our interest. In a man’s case, worthy of pursuit of her. Women makes those same mistakes, not discerning if he is going to be a good husband, father, life long partner.

      In the “game” of life, it does take some effort to determine if someone will be a good mate. No where in Doug’s initial post did I read where he discerned the pursuit of aforementioned selfish former girlfriend. We not only discern in prayer, we talk to those who love us and have our best interests at heart (family, close friends, pastor, etc).

      Men, love your wives the way Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. Eph 5:25. Before that it is “Wives be submissive to your husbands as to the Lord.”

      It is an interesting note that women are unable to submit to something when they do not feel safe to do so. Men, the question you have to ask yourselves (regardless of your age) is, what does it take for a woman to feel safe with me?

  22. Kathryn-872445 August 25, 2013 Reply

    Wow. I felt that this was very well said and included some great advice. I especially like the idea of letting the man take the lead. Thanks for the article!

  23. William-607613 August 25, 2013 Reply

    I would point out as well that an on-line forum is no place to be coy. You have to meet someone in person before you know whether or not there is a possible long-term relationship in your future.

    Once you’ve had that meeting, then a man knows whether or not he wants to pursue the woman, and the woman knows whether or not she wants to be pursued by that man.

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