Guys love the chase — they all say that. But when a guy loves the chase more than you, you have a problem.
But when he first enters your life, you don’t know it yet. He’s cute, he’s your type, he seems different — believably so. He meets all your initial expectations. He knows what he’s doing. He showers you with attention. He texts at the right times and says all the right things. He makes you feel so sought after, so special. He’s transparent and consistent enough that you want to believe he’s good. He must be good. He seems so into you. He asks to meet you. He makes plans. He talks about the future. He pours honey into your ears with the word “commitment” at any chance he gets. He makes it seem like he wants something more with you. You can’t tell if he really means it as he comes on so strong so early on, but it doesn’t matter. He knows exactly what girls like to hear and he gives you just that. Before you know it, you get terribly hooked.
You start to like him… without really being able to pinpoint why. You just want to hear from him, you get the buzz from him asking you out. You develop a soft spot for him. You want to express your affection towards him. You want to reciprocate his seemingly strong interest in you. You want to show him more of you, who you really are. But something seems off. It’s not quite right. You feel uneasy. It hits you that his behaviours aren’t about you. They can’t be. He doesn’t know anything about you. Nothing is personal. You struggle to be yourself as you soon learn that he doesn’t respond to authenticity. He responds to your indifference, your leaving him on read, your saying no, your being a mystery, slightly out of reach, which also means you can’t be true to your feelings towards him, you can’t get too close to him, and you have to put a hell lot of effort into playing it cool. He wants to make you a prize and he be the one to chase it and earn it after enough hard work. In a nutshell, it’s all about him.
The guy who likes the chase is the guy who cares about feeding his ego more than getting to know you. The guy who insists on the chase but isn’t curious about the real you is the guy who is emotionally unavailable. He doesn’t see you as an equal, he doesn’t respect that you’re a multi-dimensional human being with feelings and deliberate actions of your own. If you don’t have strong self-esteem, you will get confused. When there is even the slightest change in his behaviours in the opposite direction, you will question yourself. You will blame yourself for being too easy, for not being hard enough of a mental challenge for him. In other words, you beat yourself up for being who you are, acting upon your genuine feelings. “It must be all my fault!”, your obsessive thoughts jump right at it. And if you usually demand deep, authentic connections, you will feel cheated — so close yet so far. The trick is you’re led to believe that if only you had done this one or two things right, maybe it would’ve worked out but of course, it was you, not anyone else, who screwed it all up.
Worse, the moment he drops the facade and shows you his true colours, you will fall immediately into cognitive dissonance. You can’t make sense of it. Only after it’s way too late do you realise there’s nothing to make sense of in the first place — it’s all empty bubbles. Unfortunately, meanwhile, your head is twisted in a knot so tight that all you can think about is how you can get him to act like he does in the beginning again. He makes such a strong impression on you during his chase that you can’t take in the reality of who he is — someone who essentially doesn’t care about you at all — and the reality of his level of investment in you — superficial. So you hold onto him, you fight for him, you think it’s all your fault. You grieve a past that had nothing to do with you and had never materialised into anything of value. You’re stuck in a thought pattern that assumes his interest is your responsibility, his commitment is a prize, his absence is a loss. And suddenly the table is turned, and all you do ultimately is waste your own precious time on someone who has done nothing substantial for you and should mean nothing to you.
Don’t date the guy who likes the chase — he isn’t ready for you. Though if you fall into the trap of one, it’s okay. It’s okay that you miss the beginning, that you get addicted to his attention and unknowingly tie your self-worth to it, that you want it all back, that somehow you didn’t see it coming, that you hate yourself for ever letting him in in the first place. It’s no big deal. But at some point, hopefully, real soon, you gotta see reality. Don’t overvalue the connection. Don’t hold onto first impressions. Don’t turn your head away when people show you who they truly are. Especially, don’t rely on anyone to see your reality and do the right things for you. The guy who likes the chase more than building a real, honest, two-way relationship with you might not even recognise what he is doing or agree with your version of truths, so he takes no responsibility, he keeps doing what he does, life goes on. You can’t blame him here — It’s YOUR responsibility to take care of yourself. You have to do what’s right for you. You have to stop accepting less than what you want or you’ll never get what you want. Know your worth and have enough self-respect to walk away from what doesn’t serve you by any measure.
His interest isn’t your responsibility. His commitment isn’t a prize. His absence isn’t a loss. You haven’t lost anything. It was fun when it was fun, and when it turned shit, it turned shit, you move on. It’s simple as that.