There’s been a call lately toward men for them to reject passivity. For them to step up and be men and pursue women once again. However, as men were told to focus on their careers and as women’s empowerment has progressed, things have become grey to say the least. And the messages throughout both the Christian and secular circles have become intertwined with a mix of “Women, don’t be afraid to make the first move” to “Men, quit being passive and pursue.”
As a female, I’ve pondered how to navigate this dynamic from my core beliefs alongside how society is today. When I consider myself a strong, independent woman, while at the same time believing the man is the leader of the home. How do I let a guy know I’m interested while still knowing deep down that I desire to be pursued? Am I asking too much? Is it appropriate to be frustrated at the idea of potentially taking the lead under the guise of “times have changed?” Do I join the circle of angry females that want men to step up and quit being passive?
All of these thoughts have led me to ask the question: Have the good men really become more passive or are they just not interested?
One of my guy friends put it this way:
There was a time when I knew girls were interested in me, but I was seen as shy or standoffish. I think in society today we see girls becoming more forward or chasing guys under the guise of wanting to ensure guys know they are interested, under the guise of wanting to be seen. I’m sure there are some guys out that are having a difficult time navigating the different dating dynamics but for me, it’s been less about me being passive and more about simply not being interested. As someone who seeks to date intentionally, I am hesitant to pursue if I can’t follow through. And what I mean by this is, is that for men looking to date toward marriage, it does not seem wise to pursue or potentially lead someone on if there are things evident that I am not looking for in a marriage partner. And on the outside, this may look a lot like passivity.
When I find someone that does interest me, however, the passive side seems to become irrelevant as a desire to pursue overshadows the perceived fear of an eventual end. The passive persona quickly changes to pursuit but has little to do with a girl’s actions and more to do with who she is deep to her core. I cannot be convinced to pursue. Maybe at first to pacify my ego, but that never lasts.
While the potential for it not working out in the long run is there, men will naturally pursue when they find what they are looking for. When they find someone they believe is worth pursuing. These thoughts remind me of a quote I saw from Mandy Hale:
Men aren’t “holding back.” They’re not scared. They’re not overwhelmed by the intensity of their feelings for you. They’re not “too busy with work.” They’re not unsure if they can give you what you “deserve.” If they are not acting interested, they are genuinely not interested.
So are we really mad that the guys are passive- or are we just upset that they aren’t interested in us? Because the right guy will be interested. And that interest will fuel pursuit.