There is an unwritten rule, Christian and secular, which states women are never to make the first move. Not only does this mess with the order of things and breaks tradition – it shows the woman is simply a thirst-pot (desperate). Call it patriarchy or whatever you will – the general consensus is only desperate women approach men. Men are to do the approaching – at all times, no ifs, no buts.
Now, in Christianity, men are called to be the head of their families. Preparation for this often starts from the initiation of relationships – essentially. It is implied heavily that the onus is on the menfolk to make the first move. People often cite Proverbs 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the Lord” as the ‘go-to’ passage on this. Whilst I am not contesting what God’s word says, yes, to find a wife is a good thing! I would like to unpack how our interpretation of headship, leadership and their complementary bible verses can affect us.
Not only must a man initiate, he must also pursue. He must woo you, he must court you – all the while being your best friend! I must reiterate that the issue lies not with the idea of headship but with the implications of our interpretation! It is assumed that the initiator of a relationship must take on the role of ‘pursuer’ – this doesn’t have to always be the case, they are actually two distinct roles but I digress.
Women are often advised to appear aloof in an effort to draw out the chase and firmly establish the man as initiator and pursuer. In my humble estimation, there is nothing wrong with striking up a conversation with a man you find attractive or are intrigued by. Many a time, we are stuck in our, “He must speak to me first” high tower waiting for a prince in shining armour, who doesn’t even think you’re a damsel in distress!
Show interest! My BICs (Bros-In-Christ) have been given a lot of slack for not being intentional. Being intentional is a pendulum – it swings both ways. I charge us to take an active role in the pursuit. Contrary to popular belief, the pursuit is not only about the woman – mutuality is an important aspect in building a relationship. If a chase must ensue, it should be enjoyed by both parties. It is disingenuous and, dare I say it, selfish to intentionally mask how you feel yet trying to find out how the other party feels about you. With the chase comes venturing into uncharted territory, you must be willing to reciprocate!
To be entirely honest, I am not particularly thrilled (pun intended) at the idea of likening the beginning of a relationship to a chase. It is too rigid! It doesn’t reflect the dynamism of life. It doesn’t showcase the reciprocity of relationships; it allows for relationships be seen as a game. Also, it infers that the thrill is only in the chase and not in the capture, which ought not to be so. Relationships are to grow richer and deeper as time progresses!
Perhaps this is why so many pseudo-relationships (the ‘talking’ stage) exist. People are concerned that once the thrill ceases after the chase boredom sets in. This reduces relationships to giddiness and butterflies. There is time for everything under the sun – a time to be excited about the first FaceTime call, a time to refer to him solely as #GodlyZaddy in group chat, a time to share your hopes, dreams and concerns with him.
When the fleeting whims of the chase seem to wane, the comfort and security of the capture can wax strong! The thrill is in the chase and the capture.