Balanced Pursuit

how to pursueImagine this. A guy walks up to you at a large social gathering at someone’s home. You don’t know him, but he introduces himself and seems nice enough. You get talking to him and he starts complimenting you.

The first compliment is nice. You feel pleasantly flattered. Then he compliments you again about something

else. You feel it’s a little awkward to receive two compliments in such close succession from a guy you only just met.

Then he compliments you about something else. At this point you become more aware of him and notice his eyes continue to focus on you, ignoring the other three people participating in the conversation.

You decide you like him enough to overlook his social awkwardness. After all, you haven’t been on a date in a while. So when he asks for your number, you give it.

That night he calls you after the party. He doesn’t wait two days or a week to get in contact with you. In fact, he asks if you want to meet for coffee the next evening. He’s pushing a little too fast and too hard, right?

What’s wrong with this picture? This situation wouldn’t be all that bad if it weren’t for one thing. It’s a one-way pursuit of a relationship. If both partners were participating in this kind of head-over-heels tumble toward rapid relationship building, that might be okay. But that’s not what’s happening here.

When one person does all the pursuing, the relationship typically fades quickly. Relationships like this have no romantic tension. Romantic tension is that special ingredient you see in movies based on Jane Austin’s books like Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice. Her keen observations of human nature allowed her to build stories focused on a very powerful feature of any beautiful romance.

how to pursueRomantic tension is critical for the survival of a relationship during the early stages. If one person does all the pursuing and initiating, things usually sputter to a rapid close.

Much of human desire stems from the tantalizing possibilities of the future. If all a man has to do is give in and accept a relationship with you, it removes all romantic tension. There’s no speed limit.

Romantic tension is built when you take a step forward, and then wait. Then he reciprocates, and waits. This balance creates a palpable tension in the air between the two of you. It’s the stuff of powerful romance.

Experience has shown me that even couples who have been married for 25 years can use the principles of balanced pursuit to rekindle a fiery romance. It can also be used to enhance the intrigue and fun of something as simple as planning a date night with your partner.

When you find yourself in a new relationship (or an existing one that needs rekindling) think of ways to introduce intrigue by inviting interaction and then pulling back to give space for your partner to pursue you back.

If you’d like to study this concept more, consider investing in your dating life by picking up a copy of my training materials here.

Watch for my next post on things you should talk about on a date.

James Bauer


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80 thoughts on “Balanced Pursuit

  1. Rayan Ahmed said:

    Hello James
    I got a private consultation they advised me to read the book relationship rewrite in order to
    Fix the relationship I finished reading the book and I enjoyed every single piece of information in the addition technique I’m just wondering if I can apply share goal technique he was my consultant he used to say he cares about my career and the company goals as well now there is event coming to the company called the world sight day can I take this opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas about it although I’m outside the company but this the time that the company start preparing although he has his seperate work but I’m just saying it’s could be a an example of sharing goal together or not please advise

    • James Bauer said:

      I think that could work. It’s all about how you phrase it. Don’t phrase it as advice. Explore the possibilities together. Make it a “you and me exploring these possibilities together” sort of conversation.

      • Rayan Ahmed said:

        Your talking About to use to goal technique and I applied the problem is he is becoming very negative in his advise recently I think he disappointed because I resigned I don’t know if that would change if I show that I care about the company and we can both work toward this goal because in the private business he gives negative feedback

      • Rayan said:

        Hello James I tried the goal technique as you mentioned but it didn’t work I said I have new idea about doing the world sight day we can work together via message but I didn’t recieve any email what does that mean I assume it’s similar goals since he was helping the company that I used to work for but he has his own business lately he told me he is very busy doing his own business but they are still consult him so what I’m suppose to do

  2. Goefaone Jacob said:

    Thank you James. please help me. I have been in a relationship with this guy for more than a year and we have a child together. i have never had a real family when i grew up and now I thought we could have a real family and he said he felt the same way. But now it seems as if our relationship has become dull and there is no romance whatsoever. i tried to explain to him that our relationship needs re-candling but he still takes me for granted, feels as if I am the only one who sees that we going for the fall. I feel like I am now a nuisance to him and an annoyance, what do I do, I don’t want to leave him for the sake of our family but my feelings for him are dead!?

    • James Bauer said:

      That’s a good question. And it’s one I’ve received many times before. So I actually wrote a mini-course specifically on that topic. You can access it for free if you’re a part of our Irresistible Insiders club. Otherwise it’s just a small fee to access the one report. It’s called, How to Get Him to Cherish Your Relationship.

      • Lana. said:

        Hi James,
        I’d like to get this report, and I will for my own purposes. In my situation the guy is saying that he Is cherishing our relationship verbally, but in reality he is doing only what is good for him, and not listening what I am asking him to do for our relationship. I need to meet my needs in relationship too, but how to address it properly to this guy? He becomes very resentful and pulling away, when I am trying to start an open discussion. Is any tips for me that you have? How to start an open dialogue, is the guy is not opening with me?
        Thank you for your wise guidance for all of us here.

      • Latisha said:

        James,
        I just recently ordered your His Secret Obsession. I’m learning a lot. I really need your advice though. My relationship with my ex ended last January and I was heartbroken. We were like best friends and he just said we couldn’t operate like that anymore. He told me that we could be friends. Since the breakup I speak with him every now and then but he acts different. It’s not like it used to be when we would laugh and talk about anything. Now when we talk he doesn’t stay on the phone long either. The weird thing is that he bought me something for my birthday, but he insists that we are good friends. I asked him in a teasing way what he was getting for my birthday and he asked what I desired. Surprisingly he mailed me a gift. It’s still different though. Can you give me some advice?? I miss the way it was when we first met. The feel like he’s someone totally different. I know recently I told him that I didn’t understand why he left and that I felt like he owed me an explanation. After listening to your training, I know that was a mistake. Can you offer me some advice?? Sometimes I’ll text and he just won’t respond at all. If he does a lot of times it’s the next day. Just wanted some advice if possible thanks.

      • Tracey said:

        Dear Latisha,

        I understand how confusing changes in our relationships can be and we thank you for your post however, a question like this requires a bit of back-and-forth dialogue and I suggest that you bring it up in our private forum http://beirresistible.com/members/irresistible-insiders-club/.

        Warm wishes,
        Tracey

      • James Bauer said:

        Hey Latisha. I’m sorry to hear about the heartbreak you have experienced in that relationship. I totally understand why you want an explanation.

        On the one hand, it seems the most straightforward path is just to ask for one. But as you’ve observed, that doesn’t always go over well.

        Sometimes it’s better to start with general questions about what he sees in his future, what he wants from relationships at this point in his life, and what a perfect relationship would be like for him. It’s less personal this way, and he may be more likely to reveal useful insights.

        This is the kind of scenario where we need more background information to be able to give you useful advice. Our relationship coaches would happy to do that for you if you want to submit a private question here.

      • Latisha said:

        I added more information to what I said in the forum last night. A moderator named Kanya told me
        To send a little more and she could tell me where to start but as for now just don’t say anything to him.

  3. Melissa said:

    Perfect timing !
    In person, I can feel the tug and play with all my sensrs. Email, texting befuddles me.
    Maybe I need nuances. Maybe it happens anyway.
    He says he Really! Wants me to write as much/orfen as possible. He responds with omg! Girl, I cannot wait to meet you in person. I feel so connected.
    I am ready to meet. Then frustration of schedules and who calls who. Feels like things are unraveling.u
    Waiting. Feeling crazy.

  4. Emotions said:

    How can a woman attract men like flies but she cannot find one that want to be in a committed relationship with her? I feel like men either always tell me they want to be friends,do not want a relationship, or they end pursuing other women. I am an attractive female. Not skinny not fat . men have told me I am attractive but they have also told me I am”unique”,, do not know what I want, want too much too soon,insecure,..etc. Is there something that I might be doing that turns men off? They also tell me I am a good girl..maybe the one. It’s confusing. I have only had two serious relationships in my 30years. The first relationship the guy was in the process of getting divorced but he didn’t tell me until like a month later. About a year into our long distance relationship he was moving to be closer to a so called “friend”. But claimed he didn’t know he was going to be stationed in the same town. I broke things off and he was with the friend for two months. I was crazy about him. My first love but guess it wasn’t meant to be. Second relationship was abusive. Very bad. And everything in between no one wanted a relationship.
    Some days I am depressed. I have a lot of negative thoughts. I see a lot of single guys I feel I would make a great match for but I have no hope any more that I can be in a healthy loving relationship. The last guy started off as a friend. He initiated conversation after we left the gym. He was in a baby mama drama situation at the time but he made it seem he was single. But anyways we kept I’m contact no dates.. No hanging out until months later we hung out one night and it was fun. Like two friends that knew each other in another life. We talk about anything. He’s passionate and stubborn it makes me laugh..he kissed me one night and we started hooking up. It felt like more. But then he made it clear he doesn’t want a relationship but might be ready later this year when he has a few things sorted out. Things were OK but my insecurities seem to get the best of me. I was feeling used and wanted a relationship.
    Lately he mentioned an ex coming back in town and invited him to her birthday party so I broke things off. Well he was shocked but I couldn’t understand why. And why he wanted to make me so jealous. He said my ex calls me all the time why cant he hang with his ex. I stopped communicating as much. ..i hate drama. He would question if I am sure about us being done. He says strange things like am I in love with him he knows I am. Do u think it’s because I wasn’t feeding his ego and admitted that I love him that’s why he tried to make me jealous? I mean he said he doesn’t want a relationship so I really didn’t care how he was feeling. How can a man that does not love or care for me have so much emotions? Hes a Leo by the way and I am cancer..he likes control and I am

  5. Zoë said:

    I don’t completely agree with this, yes romantic tension is important, but not necessarily at the very beginning, sometimes when there’s an abundance from both parties in the beginning (love at first sight?) it burns out after a little while and then it can turn out that as a couple you were never really suitable. For instance I’ve been in a relationship now for nearly two years, but when he first approached me I felt nothing, was completely disinterested and dismissed him as a potential suitor. He persisted, did all the chasing and eventually I started chatting with him purely as a friend because my sister told me he was a nice bloke, as it happens we had a lot of common interests and opinions and get on very well. The more we talked and laughed together the more fond I grew of him, but still only as a friend, he continued to pursue something more with me and after around a couple of months I relented, I wasn’t seeing anyone and considered a casual relationship with him would be a pleasant distraction, and when his infatuation had been sated he’d be able to move on. As it turns out, his feelings for me went much deeper than that, gradually my feelings for him deepened and that romantic tension grew between us, and I began to love him in return, and I think maybe our relationship is stronger for that, for having allowed it time to mature. To think of the wonderful man I now have in my life, but nearly missed out on, because I was also looking for that initial chemistry.
    I’m not saying that having that tension there from the beginning means I think the relationship will fizzle out, or that it will always build over time when it’s not present to begin with, I’m just saying don’t necessarily rule someone out when you don’t instantly feel it, is all. 🙂

  6. 007 said:

    James,

    Thank you so much for your insightful books and articles. They are like a lifeline sometimes. Here is my situation. I meet a great guy on a Christian dating site. We hit it off great! Texted and talked on the phone for several months. He was upfront with me that he had met an older woman that he was “friends” with and just didn’t know which way to turn. I told him to pursue her and I would go away and date others. He said that he was connected to me in such a way that he did not want to lose my friendship. I committed myself to being his friend. He asked that I would pray for God to give him an answer. Well… I’ve been hitting the floor every morning praying with him and for him for four months. We finally met in person before the holidays. There is definitely some romantic tension between us . Even some sexual tension. Nothing disrespectful happened, but we were very close. We met again in public. Had a good time. Parted with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Next time we met, I initiated the meeting and he agreed. He needed to return a Christmas gift I gave him. He was in a hurry to get to his sister’s to eat. I felt that he had been pulling away some. Not as many text or phone calls. We met briefly. I asked him if he was mad at me about something and he said “no”, that he was extremely busy. And I knew he was.His young son was changing schools in another parish, he was struggling financially after his divorce, and loaded with guilt over his part in his failed marriage. I tried to help him as much as possible and maybe I tried too much. I realize that now. When we parted the last time he told me he was going bowling the next night with family. Then they were celebrating the holidays the next day. I wished him a good time. The next day I encouraged him to have fun and enjoy his family and friends. That night by accident I saw on Facebook where he was bowling with the other woman. Hurt my feelings. I felt that I was the back up girl. I knew about her. He had told me. But she knows nothing about me. I told him I could not be “the other woman”. I would not be the closet girl that he kept hidden. It was not fair to me or the other lady. He had told me a couple of months earlier that he thought he may need some time to be by himself. That he was good at messing up relationships and he didn’t want to lose me as a friend. So we didn’t text or communicate for nearly a week. Then I texted a brief apology. He texted back that he was not upset, but all he could be was friends. I accepted that. Then I didn’t communicate for a week. He texted me and I responded briefly. I then texted him the next day and he responded. Not heard from him for a couple of days. I am giving him space. I don’t want to push or crowd. I’m moving on to other friendships and possibilities. I still miss his closeness. And I’m still praying for him. Is there any hope for me with him? Or have I sabotaged any future? I just always felt that I was not being included in his life. Did I expect too much too soon? Should I initiate any further contact? If so, in what way? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    • James Bauer said:

      I’m glad my home study materials have been helpful for you. For lengthy contextual questions like this one, please submit your question to our relationship coaches so they can give thoughtful consideration before replying.

  7. Tee said:

    I have been texting a guy for over 4 months. The first 3 weeks were intense. We saw each other 8 times. Then bam! Some mistakes. First I invited him to my son’s party. Bad move #1. Then I realized he was actively using the dating site we met on and I said something about it. #2! This became a downward spiral. Arguing all the time. Took a week break. Then I needed his help with something and asked him. That connected us again. He wanted to be friends with benefits with it open to see where it goes, however free to date others. I actually argued thinking he would then make more plans and would fall in love. Wrong. I got fed up and broke it all off and was talking to someone else. Four days later he contacts me and we start talking again. Said he was sorry still wants to be friends and wish I felt different. A week after that I did say I wanted to get out if he had any free time and he takes me to lunch, saying he didn’t want me to think he only wants sex. It was the nicest date of talking and laughing. But now again here I sit. He is still on the dating site, and from what I see he is looking, possibly chatting, but don’t know if he is dating. He texts “good morning” every day but usually that is it. How do you do any of these tips if you never have a chance? Is there a way to bring them in in a text?

    • James Bauer said:

      The ideas presented here would have been useful when you first started dating. Unfortunately, your circumstances have changed in a way that makes these tips less applicable now. If you’d like individual feedback that goes beyond the issues discussed in this post (what to do now), please submit your question to one of the Be Irresistible professional relationship coaches. You can see the options for that here. They can give you a more thorough answer than what I can get into here on the blog.

    • Ali said:

      Wow, I had a situation that is almost identical.. ..weird!

  8. Esther said:

    it’s good and incorporates everyone involved in different categories of love affair. keep it up so that who are willing to listen will listen and take action.

  9. Maame said:

    Hi James please help me out with this. I’m in my early 20’s and I’m dating this guy who is about 6 years older than me. We started dating recently. He’s caring and loving. He’s a serious person and wants commitment but sometimes I’m not too sure of him because he’s the out-going type of person, chilling with friends, going to the pub and sometimes club. He tells me anytime he’s going to the pub but he knows I don’t like that idea but he still goes. I’m not that kind of person too. I’m kind of the opposite of him but I like him anyways.He’s open to me and all that but I don’t like the fact that he likes having fun too much. I’m not so sure of his spiritual life too. He’s a good guy though but I always think of the other side and it’s like my parents don’t really like the idea that the two of us roll together, maybe because of the kind of friends he has. A few friends who know him well too told me to be careful of him. I really like him but the thought of us being together for life sometimes scares me because I’ve always wanted a man who is God-fearing, cool, kinda like me. I’ve never thought of marrying someone who likes having fun too much but he’s that type and I like him too.He shows concern about my life and he’s serious about our future. I don’t mind an out-going type who’s spiritual life is strong. But with my issue I’m not so sure. I don’t want to hurt his feelings too but I’m not sure if we can go far. What do I do? Should I hold on to him? Please help.

    • James Bauer said:

      Good questions. I’m glad you are asking the hard questions now rather than later.

      Here’s what I suggest. Open a conversation with him about your differences. See if he notices them too. There is often more going on inside a person (both spiritually and in terms of their hopes, fears, and desires) than what is apparent on the outside.

  10. Evetah said:

    Am so glad i came across your advice James .am so loving these moments cause i am also facing problems with my bofriend ,

  11. Mel said:

    James,
    I was seeing someone who’d I’d dated back in college (20 yrs ago). We reconnected via FB. He and I live 6 hours apart so it was a lot of telephone calls and trips to see one another. I really liked him…I always had. He came on strong and called me every night. We had great conversations and chemistry together. However, I got fearful because I liked him so much. I worried about all the “what ifs” and in the end, he left. I have come to realize through a lot of reading that I was needy and that repels. At first I sent those emotional letters thinking he just needed to hear how I felt, but of course that didn’t work. One day I saw, on FB, that he was seeing someone else. I couldn’t take that and so, for my own well being, I unfriended him and had only contacted him to say Happy Birthday every year.
    Recently, about a month ago, he contacted a mutual friend, and asked her if he thought I would meet up with him. He was having training in a city close by and thought we might have drinks. I thought about it and the next day I texted him and said I didn’t know if I could meet him bc it was the middle of the week, but if he wanted to talk he could call me that evening. Well, he did call and we talked a lot. He asked about my life and how I was doing. I was positive, telling him how well I was doing. He asked if I was seeing someone. I said no, but was just dating people here and there. he went on to tell me about a woman he had been seeing for the last 2 yrs and how he’d broken up with her. Later, he brought our past relationship up and said he’d felt he’d had to leave because I was “uptight.” He said he had tried to get me to loosen up, but didn’t work. He even said, “I am not a hugger and I hugged you while you slept one night.” I was so surprised that he brought that up. I hadn’t known that. I told him that I realized that I had been reserved and fearful and that if he’d left because of that, then he had done the right thing. I told him our relationship and breakup had taught me many lessons. Now I was not fearful when dating men and that I had learned how to just be myself without worrying if they were gonna leave bc I now knew I was the one who was seeing if they were right for ME. It helped me to relax when I kept that in mind. I knew I was worth it and although I wasn’t right for him, I would be for someone else. We ended our conversation on a good note.
    I had missed him and so the next day I texted him asking if he still wanted to meet for drinks. He said, sure and dinner would be better. I drove over to his hotel and we had a nice dinner downstairs in the restaurant. We talked about his kids, his family, his job and how things were going there. He asked me more about what was going with me and my family. We shared food and joked around. At the end of the night he walked me to my car, we hugged and that was that.
    Here’s where I think I went wrong, I texted him to say I had had a great time and to have a safe trip back, then 5 days later (he hadn’t texted me anymore) I AGN, texted him. He texted me back a brief message. It sounded polite. I got the message and texted him that I understood he was not wanting me contact him and that that was fine. I told him how I had felt about how i’d been in love with him back then and that’s why I got fearful. I was afraid to lose him, but reiterated that It was a good learning tool for me and understood why he’d left. I told him I hoped that he was well and that his mom (who has cancer) would recover soon.
    Now that I’ve read about men and understand better how they think, I can see I should have just played it cool and NOT contacted him after dinner…or even gone to dinner after we’d spoken.
    Here’s what I want to know James, do I have a chance with him at all? I have not contacted him for a month 1/2. What do I do…if anything? I really like this man, even this many years later. I’m still confused by the phone conversation and him telling me about his ex, our past and then him mentioning holding me?
    If there is anything you can do to enlighten me, I would appreciate your thoughts even if it’s not what I am hoping to hear. I respect your opinion as the professional.
    sincerely,
    Mel

  12. MS said:

    This guy sounds like a stalker. He’s a little too interested too quickly. I definitely would not have given out my home phone number

  13. v said:

    balance is the key…patience and understanding combined with respect…opens the door to trust and gives way to believe in each other, which in return brings honor that instills pride.

  14. Tiff said:

    Now I get the picture. It was all my fault!! He was the only one pursuing all this time..without me returning the affection!! I expected Him to do everything for me..and me not doing anything.Thanks James!! You made it clear for me… I should be participating too, for a balanced relationship.

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