Is it the man’s responsibility to pursue the woman, or the other way around?

Telling a woman how to make wise decisions protects her
Telling a woman how to make wise decisions protects her

If you ask this question theoretically, most people will probably say that it’s the man’s responsibility, especially in the church. Is this because women don’t like the idea of having to plan out and achieve something? Maybe. But what is interesting is that the man-pursues view is very popular in the church, even though it’s not very common in the Bible. Dalrock posted something about this.

He writes:

One comment I see from fathers with surprising regularity is that their unmarried daughter is in a great position to find a husband because she’s not remotely interested in the kind of men who express interest in her.

I… think this is tied into the erroneous idea that the Bible teaches that men should pursue and women should judge the performance. But it isn’t the Bible that teaches this ethic, it is the religion of Courtly Love that teaches this. Think of the only two women to have books of the Bible named after them. Both Ruth and Esther pursued their eventual husbands. Ruth’s pursuit of Boaz resulted in her being the grandmother of King David, which meant that Christ would come from her line. Esther’s pursuit of Ahasuerus allowed her to save the Jews.

Cane Caldo was actually the first to write about this on his blog:

According to traditionalists (and others): Men are supposed to chase, and women are supposed to be caught. Or they might say: Men are to initiate, and women are to respond.

[…]If you fancy yourself a traditionalist… [s]earch your Bible for a story about a man who woos a woman directly.

So, just consider that for a minute. Ruth is probably the best example of a woman who just makes decisions to get on with life, and happens across a wealthy single man. Then she consults with Naomi and takes action to pursue that man. It works out for her. Where in the Bible does the man pursue the woman?

Derek Ramsey was able to come up with two examples, and he commented on Dalrock’s blog:

You can find examples of all cases in the Bible: fully arranged marriages (for Isaac), where the man pursued the woman (Jacob; Hosea), where the woman pursued the man (Ruth; Esther), and where both pursued each other or it wasn’t clearly stated one way or the other (Samson; Solomon). I would argue that pursuit (by either sex) is neither condemned nor encouraged. Each situation is different and there is no rule one way or the other.

I think that Derek wins the argument, here. But I still think that practically speaking, in such a time (of feminism) as this, it’s much much wiser for women to take action to “pursue” men she is interested in. That doesn’t mean asking men out, though.

thedeti explains in a comment:

A man setting his sights on one or two or three women and then pursuing them really hard trying to get on their radar isn’t the best way to find a woman who’s interested in him and who is the best match.

Instead, he should be his best version of himself, and then see which women are tossing subtle signs of interest at him. Which women just kind of show up where he is, which ones make a point to say hi to him, which ones reach out to him, which ones contact him, which ones strike up conversations with him. And then from THOSE women he should select a few he is interested in and then pursue them.

That certainly isn’t what most Christians are teaching their children. I certainly wasn’t taught this.

And a bit later, thedeti says:

In the current #MeToo climate, false rape allegations, and sexual harassment’s current definition as “any conduct or words uttered by any man anywhere that any woman within sight or earshot didn’t like”, this model can be downright dangerous for men.

A man can no longer just pick a few girls he’s interested in and pursue them. If he selects some girls who dont’ like him, he’s in for a world of hurt by trying to “perform” for them. If he selects one who kind of likes him, but he makes even one wrong move or says one remotely mildly offensive thing, he’s done. Not only will she know about it, all her friends will know too.

When a woman is very interested and shows it, she’ll be much more forgiving of his expected missteps. That gives him room to run, and gives a budding relationship the space it needs to germinate and grow.

Deti advises women to just show up in places where men they are interested in are, and not actively discourage them. Maybe ask him questions about what he is doing as a Christian, and ask for his advice about something he knows about, etc. And deti warns women to consider that in a culture where false accusations and frivolous no-fault divorces are everywhere, men with good educations, degrees and finances will be very careful about pursuing women.

My thoughts

I was speaking to someone who thinks that she wants to be pursued by a man. I suggested that she read the book of Ruth to counter her view. The first and most important piece of advice I gave her was to “cross the room” for any man she is interested in. Stand up, walk directly at him, and speak right in his face. Maintain eye contact and speak directly to him about things he is interested in. On another day, I told her that the most important thing you can ask a man about is his vision to serve God.

As women age and lose their beauty, the only thing that remains is the man’s passion – his plan – and the place of the woman within it. Men stay in love with women who have invested in the plan they made to serve God. Naturally, it’s POINTLESS to choose any man unless he has a plan to serve God effectively that he has demonstrated his willingness to sacrifice for. In my case, writing this blog is a sacrifice, and giving money to Christian apologists and pro-life debaters is a sacrifice. A woman should be skeptical about anything a man says – look at what he has already done for his vision, and whether he is actually practical and determined enough to achieve anything. That’s where you’ll find your place. And that’s what you need to investigate in a husband candidate. Standing back and remaining passive, waiting to be pursued, is just going to attract a lot of non-Christian men who are pursuing you for sex. If the man is pursuing you, and he hasn’t told you his vision (why he needs you as his wife anyway), then he wants sex.

The pursuit of women by non-Christian alpha male bad boys seems to be welcomed, surprisingly, by a lot of passive Christian women who kind of lie back and expect to just acquiesce to experiences that feel good. Women today don’t like to think about marriage in a structured way. And they especially don’t want to be asked by men about past decisions, demonstrated abilities, future wife responsibilities and obligations, etc. (How dare men evaluate them for a marriage plan!) They don’t want marriage, defined as self-sacrificial commitment. They want marriage as constant tingles, supplied by an alpha male bad boy who exists solely to generate feelings of happiness in them, and feelings of envy in their girlfriends. Think about marriage as a plan? That’s boring. Let’s get drunk and hook up with an alpha male bad boy, and see if he calls back after the abortion.

Alpha male bad boys feel good (for a while) and this is how women get trapped into relationships with men who have no reason to commit to them. A much better strategy is to stop being attracted to alpha male bad boys, and deliberately engage in conversations with marriage-ready men. As my friend Lindsay says, you need to learn to become attracted to men who have a vision that will survive the loss of your youth and beauty.

In my own case, I’ll be able to retire at 50 with a net worth well north of 7 figures. Because of this, it would be stupid for me to waste my time pursuing Christian women whose criteria for men has nothing to do with the marriage enterprise, and is INDISTINGUISHABLE from the criteria used by non-Christian women. The ONLY thing that would catch my eye at this point is a woman who is equal to me (chaste, no tattoos, STEM degree(s), debt-free, married parents, house or savings, into apologetics, conservative politics, and between the ages of 23-28). And that’s a minimum. And she can forget about being pursued by me. She’ll have to approach me, and question me about what my plan is, and where she would fit into it.

I’ve often been told by wise female Christian advisors that I need to do a better job of showing off my situation to women. But if I spent the money on sparkly things and fun, I wouldn’t be financially secure, would I? It’s up to women to stop being so shallow and emotional. They need to look beyond appearances and fun. They need to have a marriage focus, and they need to choose men, show up and start investigating and investing. I simply don’t have the time to flail around in a feminist culture where women, including Christian women, are woefully unqualified for the marriage enterprise. It’s not my job, after having made thousands of good decisions, to risk my fortune by pursuing women who have made thousands of bad decisions (promiscuity, debt, useless degrees, etc). The entitled attitudes of women today, including Christian women, is nothing short of astonishing to men like me who have spent a lifetime being careful about being chaste, sober, practical, frugal and effective.

Alistair Begg has a great sermon series on Ruth that emphasizes Ruth’s agency, and her willingness to make decisions that were practical without any sort of being led by feelings or being nudged by God. Christian women, if you want to get married, then get to work on finding a man and making it easy for him to choose you.

32 thoughts on “Is it the man’s responsibility to pursue the woman, or the other way around?”

  1. Great advice.

    “A man setting his sights on one or two or three women and then pursuing them really hard trying to get on their radar isn’t the best way to find a woman who’s interested in him and who is the best match.

    Instead, he should be his best version of himself, and then see which women are tossing subtle signs of interest at him.”

    Yep. Women can see from a mile away when a guy has “oneitis” — that is, if he is only pursuing her as “the one.” That not only turns women off but gives them all the power. Eventually the guy should focus on one woman to marry — if he wants to — but he shouldn’t rush that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Feminism is rot – and a form of witchcraft. It’s rampant in the churches too, and many women who would not classify themselves as feminists still behave that way, because the “pastors” are so incredibly weak and soy-boyed themselves, and the churches have been infiltrated by the world rather than the other way around. Women need to clean the inside of their own cups. I want to see women preaching to other women about this before I will have any hope that women have improved their sex to even be worthy of a husband. And put some clothes on, gals!

    I can’t find the story, but my brother was telling me of a man who helped a single Mom out by sometimes babysitting her child while she was at work. When he stopped doing that, she sued him for alimony or child support or something. I think she lost, but he still had to go through Hell to get his life back. No good deed goes unpunished.

    Seriously, gals: you broke it, you fix it. Until then, your silence is complicity.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I remember having a similar discussion on JCW’s blog once. And I remember that Cane Caldo post because I pointed out there were instances in the Bible – like David and his many wives and Bathsheba of men pursuing women. (IIRC, he just dismissed me and declared those as not counting for some reason.)

    My observation is that societies usually set up forms of marriage. Once upon a time in England, there seems to have been rules set up whereby men and women participated in the courtship game.

    The simple fact now is that all rules are out. With the price and consequence on guys making a mistake in the dating market, I would highly recommend traditional minded girls to start putting in some effort. They don’t HAVE to start doing the pursuing, but they’ll need to at least be making signs that they are available and not insane.

    I also know this a topic fraught with a minefield of debate. Remember this?
    https://archive.is/Nzeqh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “The simple fact now is that all rules are out. With the price and consequence on guys making a mistake in the dating market, I would highly recommend traditional minded girls to start putting in some effort. They don’t HAVE to start doing the pursuing, but they’ll need to at least be making signs that they are available and not insane.”

      This. Women need to start showing that they have the ability to be wives and mothers AND that they have the necessary knowledge (apologetics, economics, conservative politics, men’s rights) to be a good ALLY for a husband. If women don’t know about these things, then they will be a drag on the husband’s decision-making. I don’t want my family ruled by the secular left, and have my wife agree with them against me, because she doesn’t know better.

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      1. I would highly recommend traditional minded girls to start putting in some effort. They don’t HAVE to start doing the pursuing, but they’ll need to at least be making signs that they are available and not insane.”

        This. Women need to start showing that they have the ability to be wives and mothers AND that they have the necessary knowledge (apologetics, economics, conservative politics, men’s rights) to be a good ALLY for a husband

        I’ve made this suggestion many times elsewhere. The girls and most men always push back hard: “But you can’t demand that women be attracted to men they’re not attracted to!! But now you’re demanding that women wife up beta simps they’re not attracted to! Isn’t that the problem we’ve had for, like, forever? Women being married to men they don’t really want??”

        I don’t know what to tell you. Men aren’t attractive. Women can’t have the men they’re attracted to. Everyone loses. There’s nothing that can be done. This is an insoluble problem.

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        1. Yes. I’ve been doing some investigating as well, and people feel that its worse than rape to tell women to prepare themselves for marriage, choose marriage-minded men, and delay sex until after marriage. You can’t ask women to control their feelings, you have to let them run wild and then blame the bad boys they choose for not “working out”. After all, we can’t ask women to control themselves, can we?

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        2. But its not an insoluble problem. I know Christian women who have sexual desire reactions to men who are bold defenders of Christianity, competent providers and caring mentors. We just have to tell men to never settle for less than perfect, since the alternative (marriage to a woman who is not attracted to good character men) is disastrous for men.

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  4. That’s why you aren’t married.
    It is the woman’s responsibility to LET the man think HE is pursuing her while she reels him in and lands him.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. If we are going to bring up Ruth, Boaz was a kinsman redeemer. he wasn’t just ANY man who had a farm. He was the one. Boaz also knew there was one before him and knew that the guy wasn’t going to take care of both Naomi and Ruth, so he did the lawful thing and went through the process of the guy rejecting them, but knew the end that “he would get the girl”.

        Christ is our Kinsman redeemer and He paid the price for us. Marriage is a metaphor for Christ and His bride and He goes after His bride. He doesn’t wait around for her… He goes and gets her. He is getting the place set up for when He comes back.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes, that’s exactly what Ruth did. She proposed to Boaz. I realized what she was doing when I read Ezekiel.

            Naomi KNEW who Boaz was and what it meant for the family, so she sent Ruth.

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        1. That’s a fantastic point – thanks!

          Of course, Christ also sends a LOT of His suitors away, placing stumbling blocks in their paths, versus the easy believism that is taught in Western churches. Granted, they aren’t His Bride (the Church) at that point, but some DO return to Him, like His brothers James and Jude and of course some pharisees also. Yes, He knows that they will return, but He does push some away for a time, even if He never gives up on them.

          That’s a lesson that American churchianity, in its urgency to “get numbers,” would do well to learn. And it’s also why, on average, more than 80% of those sitting in the pews of American churches are not born again followers of Jesus Christ.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he do does the will of my father in Heaven.”

            American christianity is not Christianity at all. It’s prosperity teaching and feelings.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m almost 50 to and waiting for this ‘equality’ thing to kick in. I have STEM degrees and have to compete with women for said jobs, but no woman will keep me at home to take care of the house while she works. This equality garbage only works one way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve often been told by wise female Christian advisors that I need to do a better job of showing off my situation to women. But if I spent the money on sparkly things and fun, I wouldn’t be financially secure, would I?

    I must agree. Furthermore you will attract women who want you for your money. Ideally, one marries before they have anything and then share a life together building it up. Displays of wealth aren’t prudent because it will bring in a lot of chaff to sift through.
    But I have to add, if you want women to pursue you and keep that long list you are very unlikely to find what you are looking for. Women who are forward enough to pursue men typically lack some other character traits you’re looking for.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was told by one of my pro-marriage advisors (who is married with 4 kids she homeschools) that it was unreasonable for me to expect women to look past my appearance and ask questions about my beliefs, plans and finances. Instead, she advised me to buy an expensive watch and an expensive car. I’m not joking. So, I’m not allowed to expect women to ask me what I read, where I get my news, what I do for work, etc. They have to be able to see everything with their eyes, so they can decide by first impressions. Give me a break. No.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not to mention that any woman who approves of you based on your expensive car and watch is NOT the woman you want.

        Of course she should be asking you questions and trying to understand you. After all, there are a ton of bad boys out there, and any sane woman doesn’t want to be left a single mom, like so many are. What ever happened to the age old concept of conversation – and not just the witty emotional kind, but substantive?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. There is a common concern among men about dates where the man does all the talking and the woman just responds in one word answers, with no preparation. How can you evaluate a woman for marriage, if she expects you to entertain her and make her feel good? Asking her serious questions is “boring” and she’s not prepared to answer them anyway, e.g. – how would you raise our children to be conservative and Christian. If you can’t ask that, then you’re wasting your time. I’m not going to be a clown to get women to like me.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Absolutely! And it cuts both ways too. How many women can say that they tried desperately to get more than two words out of a man but couldn’t?

            I’m not talking about once in a marriage where the man withdraws because the woman has turned into something ungodly. But, if both have read their Bibles and studied this current culture, it should be VERY easy to have a lively conversation over dinner with a prospective future spouse. We are to love what God loves and hate what He hates, and right now He hates a LOT about what is happening in the West in particular.

            If I were that guy at dinner with a prospective woman, I would just bring up the topics that pastors never preach on: Hell, abortion, gay “marriage,” divorce, and now transgendering children. And I would sit back and listen to her thoughtfully and watch her body language. She should be on fire about these things, and if she is not, then something is seriously wrong. It should be difficult to get her to stop talking about these abominations. If she isn’t using the words “child abuse” over and over to discuss the last 4 of those topics, I would be very concerned. If she doesn’t have an intense passion for the precious little ones of Christ, then something is off. You could also throw in the topic of public schooling, another form of child abuse in 2021.

            I want to see if she is a warrior-esse for Christ. After that, the conversation can get down to other issues, but she would have to pass this test with me first. Everyone is different of course, but you could cut through any intimation of modern-day faux-men-ism with the topics I mentioned. The dinner would be over quickly, and save you money, or else there would be potential. Ideally, you would know these things about her before even the first dinner. Because it’s gonna be awkward if, after the two of you have ordered, she says “Well, I’m against abortion, but…”

            Liked by 2 people

          2. They have learned to be “nice” and to not “argue” with reason and evidence. But no serious man can marry a woman who wants to feel good, be nice and be liked. She will just accept what the culture tells her, and the family will achieve nothing for Christ. You can’t marry an airhead like AOC and pay money into that.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Right! And even a lot of conservative women aren’t much deeper. That’s why she better have a warrior spirit or she wouldn’t get a second look from me. That’s not enough, but it’s a good start. I want somebody who will fight WITH me, not against me.

            Liked by 2 people

      2. I returned to Asia after spending many years in the West.

        In Asia, my experience is that girls are more ‘alert’ about financial status. In church gatherings, work/education does come up occasionally in casual conversation. Once an older married woman from church (I knew for 10+ years) mentioned my background while speaking to me at a church lunch, some of the surrounding younger girls suddenly became much more interested in me.

        I did not own a car as I had just arrived in Asia. I did not wear anything expensive either.

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