Chasing vs. Pursuing

Two words that sound so similar yet are actually vastly different from each other.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about a car chase here, I’m talking about the two terms that involve making an effort towards a relationship. Towards a girl (or guy).

The other day I had a top-shelf discussion with a coworker. One of those high-quality chats, the ones that you actually extract valuable information from. It just happened to be about relationships and the similar, as she (my coworker, that is) was going through a rough patch in her relationship and wanted to vent a bit. She’s in an opposite circumstance than I am;  she wants to be single for a while, realizing that she’d been with someone for years, and had only minuscule amounts of time for her personal life. And, that’s fair- being single has it’s benefits, that’s for certain. It’s just that I’m on a different wavelength, in that I’m sort of striving for the opposite. I want to date someone, I’ve realized, as I haven’t had anything real serious in my life.

Then, it occurred to me, during this conversation, that I’m a bit of an idiot when it comes to this. The idea of effort was brought into light, the idea of actually trying to get someone. If there’s no effort, then plainly, there will be nothing. No partner to be found without a bit of effort. Going further, it eventually needs to be mutual, there has to be interest on both sides, I’d acknowledged. Well, Luca, have you actually done your part? I thought. Then, it hit me, like a brick to the face. I haven’t honestly pursued someone, ever.

I’m not saying I haven’t been into a girl and actively sought her. I’ve done that much, maybe. Maybe. I think the hardest I’ve ever pursued someone, to be completely honest, was a few years back when I went after a girl who was sigh already in a relationship. It was a stupid pursuit, a pointless one, one that should be compared to a Malibu trying to catch up and wrangle a speeding Ferrari. It wasn’t a pursuit at all, it was chasing. I told myself on day one that I shouldn’t have been doing what I was doing- I always ruled out girls that were already taken, because, come on, that’s just not right. Being a home wrecker isn’t what I ever want to be, but on the flip side, if you’re into someone, you can’t just hide that. So, I didn’t, and thus I wasted energy whilst thinking I was doing something worthwhile. None of it was the other person’s fault, it was all mine- I made a good friend out of the person, anyway, so I’ve no regrets, other than this false sense of pursuit that I gave myself. I wasn’t pursuing at all, or at least I wasn’t doing it the right way.

Outside of that, I’ve gotten into a few other people (most were single, mind you), but I’ve never actually ‘shifted out of neutral’ so to say. I think I’d always believed in ‘just letting things happen’, as in a girl would fall into my lap if I let time move on. There’s some truth to this idea, that 1) you shouldn’t force things and 2) people will come along in your life that pique your interest. But, here’s where I was terminally wrong- finding a girl is step 1, but actually doing something about it needs to follow. So, I’m the problem here. Yes, don’t dispute it with me, I’ve made up my mind. I never have made a conscious effort to build a bond with a girl and actually seek a relationship. Usually, I’d put in some sort of small hints and subtle work to start, but get deflated easily and just think ‘well, she’s not into me, so I better not bug her and ask her to hangout to get to know her. I’m inevitably not going anywhere here.’ Well, call me impatient, but when I look back on how I tried getting my message across, I realize it was never noticeable enough. Being annoying and hangout-happy at first to build something, to connect, is necessary. No kind of relationship happens after a few texts and a date. Much like Rome, those couples that’ve been together for years weren’t built in a day. Sounds simple, yet, I’ve made it a bit too complicated.

So, there’s been only a handful of times that I’d even pursued a person- and, admittedly, a majority were just me chasing. Chasing does not equal pursuing. Chasing is akin to a hamster on it’s wheel- it doesn’t go anywhere, or maybe it moves a bit, but it’s not real forward progress. And, pursuing is honest work that you do in the hope that one day you’ll move that friend to a girl-friend, or a boy-friend. Pursuit can devolve into chasing, when the other person doesn’t reciprocate. When you’ve been earnestly trying to build a bond with a person, and they stop giving you any effort back, I believed the situation has downshifted into chasing. It really is a process, it really does need time funneled into it.

I think I have given up too easily, or let myself chase people that I’m just not even compatible with. You’d think I’d know better, but, again, my whole philosophy on this ‘single ready to mingle’ shit has been all out of whack. Patience and effort, two ingredients that are essential here. Over time, it’s easy to tell if the effort is getting you anywhere- and, when it’s clear that it’s not, it’s a cue to cut it. Because, then it’s a moot point. If the person isn’t into you, they’re likely not going to ever be into you, and anything from there on out is chasing. Does the difference now seem a bit clearer?

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 2:53 AM

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