Some women end up here looking for “let him chase you book”.
And that’s how I realized there is actually a book with the only goal of making men chase.
Well, it’s not surprising.
That’s what almost everyone says in the dating industry.
But that doesn’t make it an effective advice.
Keep on reading and you will understand why “making men chase” often backfires.
- Do Guys Actually Like Chasing?
- How a Song Exposes the “Let Him Chase” Theory
- Science Exposes the Let Him Chase Theory
- When You Must Cut (To) The Chase
- So, Should You Stop Letting Him Chase?
Intro: Debunking Dating Myths
We have already addressed a few very common dating mantras in the women’s dating literature.
Some of them:
Check those out later.
Do Guys Actually Like Chasing?
This is what some of the most popular dating books say:
Let him chase because that’s what men want.
They are hunters at heart.
They like chasing the prey.
Millions of years of evolution shaped them that way.
Personally, I have always been skeptical of pop evolutionary psychology.
However, there is some truth here.
There is indeed an innate tendency for people to want what’s scarce.
Robert Cialdini said it first in his seminal work “Influence“.
And there is also a tendency for people to keep chasing what seems to be right at the edges of their reach (“cat string theory“).
So let’s say that “the let him chase theory” has a valid theoretical foundation.
In theory, it works.
Or at least, it works with some guys.
But the major drawback of the “let him chase” advice is that it doesn’t work with the best men.
Let’s dig deeper:
#1. The “Let Him Chase” Strategy Works With Lower Quality Men
The “let him chase you” mantra is a generalization.
And, like most generalizations, it works sometimes and with someone, and it backfires in some other situations and with some other men.
Letting him chase you is bad advice because it works with the lowest quality men.
- High-quality men are busy, and have their goals and visions
- High-quality men have dating options
- High-quality men are socially aware
Being socially aware means that they know what’s going on and they will either outright avoid pursuing or stop as soon as you do it a little bit too much.
Here is an example, notice how I analyze her attempts to make me chase her:
What are the issues with this?
- I, as most men, don’t like overpowering women
- I, as most intelligent men, see her power moves, and don’t like dating or, God forbid, partnering up with uncollaborative women
- I, as most men who feel like they have other options, prefer dating and meeting more feminine and more collaborative women
This is why, letting him chase works best when you are above him, in terms of general personal value, and when he idealizes you.
But since women prefer men who are around their same value, or above, the “let him chase” strategy is most likely to work with men that you often don’t truly want as long term partners.
And that’s why “letting him chase you and invest” is a favorite technique of hookers and gold diggers: they are not looking for a win-win relationship, they’re looking for a sucker who will dote on them.
#2. Instead of Chasing He Might End Up With More Available Women
Sure, under the right circumstances, some men will chase.
But guess what’s another human tendency?
Men also tend to follow the path of least resistance.
Same as women, after all.
Imagine you are at home.
You have two options: eating an OK meal at home or a good meal outside. To go outside you need to dress, put on makeup, drive and fork out more money.
Sure the restaurant would be nice, but… You’re in PJ now, you have work tomorrow, and you’re a bit tired. And you could just watch TV now. And save some money and time.
Chances are that, at least sometimes, you just stay at home.
Indeed that holds true oftentimes even the quality of the meal you can have at home is not comparable with the one at the restaurant.
It’s the same for men and dating.
What’s available right here, right now, often trumps the hard to get option.
#3. Men Like to Be Liked, Too
Men are humans.
And, like all humans, they like to be wanted.
It’s a major inner drive and well known in psychology.
Psychology researcher Viren Swami and author of “Attraction Explained” puts it best:
When we play hard-to-get, we give the impression that we dislike the person – and that just isn’t conducive to sparking attraction
But you don’t need to read any paper.
Simply ask yourself: how do feel when a man tells you that he likes you? Good, right?
So why do you think it would be any different for a woman telling a man she likes him / respects him / adore him / love him?
Indeed, from personal experience, I make the case that early honesty in dating, opening up and showing appreciation, helps the woman’s case.
From the how to get a boyfriend article, take this example:
I wasn’t uber-excited about this date.
And if she had canceled I would have definitely seen the bright side of staying at home and keep working.
But when she replied she was “looking forward to meet” an immediate switch happened.
That was the equivalent of saying “I like you” and “I want to spend time with you”. It was the female equivalent of chasing the man and it made me feel great.
I also loved her honesty, it showed me she was a woman that didn’t play games.
I loved her honesty, I valued her much more and I was also looking forward to seeing her.
How a Song Exposes the “Let Him Chase” Theory
I know none of you knows Vasco Rossi.
It’s funny how everyone knows Pavarotti but nobody knows the greatest Italian rocker outside of Italy.
But for our purposes, you don’t need to know him. You only need to know that his personal experience with the “let him chase you” is generalizable to many sought-after men.
In the song “Quanti anni hai“, he sings:
I thought of you, you know
I thought of you later
She called me first
I couldn’t say no
Where are you going later (she asks)
I don’t really know, kid (he replies)
This song explains exactly the major flaw with the “let him chase mantra” when it comes to sought-after men.
Vasco Rossi lets us know that he preferred the girl number two. But girl number one called him first. Girl number one was there, and available. And probably made him feel good for showing her interest.
And now he is going out with her.
Maybe they’ll never ever a relationship.
Maybe they’ll even hate each other. However, girl one has a shot. Girl two is playing second fiddle hoping for her turn… If it will ever come.
For all purposes, girl one who didn’t play “chase me game” won the dating game.
And the more successful a man is, the more likely this scenario will play out.
Of course, as for everything human, one can go to an extreme and lose out. Men will probably not want for long term the girl who throws herself at him. But we’re not about that type of extreme here.
Science Exposes the Let Him Chase Theory
The best advice is based on both experience, observation, and on some good science and data as well.
So let’s review some data now.
#1. Men Only Chase When Women Are Scarce
In many animal species, humans included, male behavior changes dramatically when gender split ration changes.
When women are scarce, the culture tends to become highly romanticized. Men pursue, chase and engage in ostentatious displays to woo women.
In these favorable dating markets, she ABSOLUTELY she should let him chase.
That’s what he wants, that’s what the culture expects.
However, the opposite is true when there are few attractive men and lots of attractive women.
As Birger brilliantly shows in his Date-Onomics men chase very little -if at all- when there is an abundance of women.
What does it mean to you?
Do not make him chase when there plenty of (attractive) women.
That is likely the case if you live in big cities, if you are a smart woman and if you got a good education and career (also read: successful women dating).
Do you want to see a texting proof?
Here it is.
The exact same place, two opposite approches: one girl wants me to invest and chase, the other one is more accomodating.
Guess who had a date that night:
The first woman is not wrong. Yet, because there were more available -and warmer- women, at parity of sexual market value, the guy does not chase the demanding woman. It’s a simple law of offer and demand.
And just to be sure here: being more accomodating does not mean that you must sleep with him quickly.
The woman of the second text example did not come up to my place after our date. And we saw each other again.
#2. Assertive Female Daters Win, Auction Theory Predicts
Auction theory is the second big issue for the make him chase theory.
I’ll try to be brief and simple.
In auction theory strong bidders are the bidders with more resources and more confidence they can win the auction. These are the equivalent of women with a lot to offer.
Conventional wisdom would have that these bidders would win most of the times.
But that is not always the case.
Mark Gimein says that auction theory predicts, and empirical studies confirm, that weak bidders win more often.
This is because weak bidders, with less to offer, know they can be outgunned and they feel the pressure to “bring something home”.
Weak bidders are the equivalent of more assertive female daters.
Assertive female daters win because they date more actively: they don’t play “chase me games” and help men along the dating process.
In a way, weak bidders date more ruthlessly.
The strong bidders instead are more likely to hold out, keeping their powder dry for the imaginary great auction to come. The great auction is the equivalent of Mr. Right.
As you know, in real life Mr. Right is extremely rare. In the meanwhile, almost all “Mr. Almost Right” and “Mr. Good” have all already paired up.
And that’s why the high quality woman with a great career often suffers in her dating life.
#3. Successful Daters Pick One Man And Avoid Distractions
This is a pet peeve of mine.
And it’s the so called “paradox of choice”.
Barry Schwarz reviews the literature on decision making to make the case that having lots of choices often leads to choice-paralysis.
And, perversely, when a choice happens, we are less happy with it.
People with fewer options instead, knowing they don’t have that much to choose from, tend to pick something quicker, be done with it and… Be happier.
Modernity has tricked our brains into a huge paradox of choice.
We live in big cities where we are led to believe there is an endless supply of options, we can swipe a hundred profiles in a matter of minutes.
And of course, says evolutionary researcher David Buss, advertising of photoshopped supermodels make us believe that the options are all much better than they truly are.
Women who fall for the paradox of choice make men chase more than it’s effective because they falsely believe there are endless choices.
Keep that in mind next time you meet a good prospect.
When You Must Cut (To) The Chase
Let me say this first:
Reality is complex and any non-personalized advice must be taken with a grain of salt.
However, there are a few situations when dropping the “let him chase” theory and being decisive is a clear winner.
These are some of them:
#1. When There Are Few Attractive Prospects
When men have a lot of options men switch to a “players’ strategy” and get lazy.
There is no hunter and chaser there and assertive women win the day.
#2. When You’re a Good Prospect Yourself
As we’ve already seen, weaker prospects are naturally more aggressive.
If you think of yourself as a good prospect, chances are you tend to wait and dawdle.
And dawdling has rarely led to dating success.
#3. When You’re College Educated
If you are consuming content here, chances are you are either a smart gal and/or an educated one.
In the West -and in many other areas of the world as well- there has been a massive shift in the education and earning potential of the genders.
Women are kicking boys’ asses. But that comes with huge dating handicaps. There are now more college-educated women in the West than men.
And that trend is not getting any better.
And since women, on average, strongly prefer “marrying up”, that means that they are dating in a difficult market.
As we’ve seen, in difficult markets the assertive dater wins.
#4. When You’re Still Young In A Difficult Market
Difficult markets get worse with time.
And there is a simple way to explain this concept: remember the game of musical chairs?
Well, it’s the same principle.
In the beginning, even if there are more high quality women (players) than men (chairs), it’s still easy to find a mate.
But as time goes by and more chairs get removed (bachelors who pair up), the game becomes more and more difficult and the percentage of people who don’t find a seat (women staying single) increases.
Just like a musical chairs game, it becomes a mathematical certainty that dating in such a market will only get worse with time.
And as we have seen, women who locked in early weren’t necessarily prettier or smarter. Often, they were simply more decisive.
What does decisive mean?
Here is an example from my last girlfriend:
So, Should You Stop Letting Him Chase?
Well, not always.
Sometimes it can be a good strategy.
If you’re trying to make a man spend on you, for example, it’s a great idea staying just a bit outside his reach.
Femme fatales have been doing for centuries, and even an expert seducer like Casanova fell for it.
Or if you are confident he will not meet any other woman, the amount of chasing he does also increases the value he places on you.
It’s difficult to give specific advice without knowing the specific situation, and that’s exactly why you should stay away from generalizations.
However, as a rule of thumb, I would be wary of “let him chase games” in all these situations:
- He’s a great guy and he’s socially aware (he see through the game)
- There are few good male prospects (lots of options, assertive female daters win)
- You have a history of getting angry over men who stop investing as much as you want (that’s a warning sign for you)
- You live in a big libertine city with lots of options
- You two have great chemistry (chasing games will only douse water on the flame)
Finally, there is a great middle of the road option that has the benefits of making men feel special and liked, and exclusive as well.
And that’s being selectively hard to get.
Be Selectively Hard to Get
When a woman plays hard-to-get, men might end up wanting her more, but actually liking her less.
For some men, the most driven and abusive, that ends up looking like “fucking her and then throwing her away” just to “show her”.
So is there a way to be wanted more and liked more?
Enter, “selectively hard to get”.
Being selectively hard to get means that you are hard to get for most people, but “easy” for the man of your choice. Not because you are generally easy, but because he is special.
Psychology research supports the idea that “selectively hard to get” is what men prefer the most.
And experience confirms that men do love easy women who are easy just for them.
This article is no bashing of the “let him chase theory” here.
Whenever you can get people coming to you, that’s all power to you.
But besides the fact that it might not be best foot forward towards a relationship, it simply works against you in many situations.
This article explained why and when “let him chase” works against you.
And as for everything: balance. This is not a free pass to start doing all the chasing and romancing. Quite the opposite. The most skilled gals are great at “helping” the man along the romancing process (story for another article).