In the dating world “chasing after someone” has a romantic connotation; this is likely a direct result of all of those romcom scenes where Richard Gere chases after Meg Ryan in the airport to confess his eternal love. Outside of the dating world chasing is usually a bad thing–as in, “I'm being chased by a large carnivorous animal…help!” But should you chase after someone you are attracted to?
Somewhere along the way chasing became a typical part of dating. It's rarely as simple as two adults admitting they are romantically interested in each other and then skipping off into the sunset. More often than not, dating begins with the chase. There are different ideas of what that is, but generally it can be defined as the cat-and-mouse game two people who are interested in each other play before committing to each other. And usually, one person is chasing the other.
While chasing can be exciting and fun, it can also be painful and damaging.
If you are chasing someone it can turn out one of two ways:
First, you can chase after someone and then after a time they return your affections. Great! Only what took them so long? Whatever hesitations your partner had initially could potentially lay a foundation of insecurity in the relationship. To avoid any problems down the road be sure your partner is able to communicate and be honest with you about why it took them time to commit.
Or, in a less fortunate case, the person you are chasing never commits to you. Having your feelings unrequited is truly heartbreaking. Only hurt, anger, and resentment await you if you spend too much time and energy devoted to someone who isn't devoted to you.
If someone is chasing after you, it can shake down a few ways:
First, after time you may realize your feelings for them (and you will need to be able to communicate and be honest with them about your hesitations to move forward in a healthy way). Or possibly you will never return their feelings. If you've been honest with your admirer from the start about the uncertainty of the future and your feelings, then you can walk away with your hands clean. However, if you've led them on, you've just earned yourself some bad karma points.
Lastly, you could realize you have feelings for them after they stop chasing you and move on. That’s the worst. Unfortunately when this happens there is little you can do. Unless you're absolutely convinced that this person
is your soul mate and that if you two aren't together you will lead miserable pathetic lives, it's best to let them go.
Most relationships involve chasing. A little chasing is harmless. But chasing is a game, and if you get too caught up in chasing or being chased, you'll lose.
Rachel Harrison is a freelance writer who lives in Brooklyn. She graduated from Emerson College with her Bachelor's in Writing for Film & Television. She enjoys stories, melted cheese, and embracing her inner nerd.