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Who Should Chase Whom in Dating?

By Michele Burghardt November 19, 2023 Dating

There seems to be some confusion surrounding who should be the pursuer when you’re dating at this stage of life. Men love women who make the first move, and many women love the feeling of being pursued. So how do you meld these two concepts?

Make the First Move

One of the main reasons men love women to make the first move is that they are deathly afraid of rejection. This is something that men have been dealing with since puberty, and they want to avoid at all costs. So much that in some cases it keeps them from taking any type of action at all.

Women always set the pace of the relationship and once you understand men’s fear, you can create an experience that will be a win-win for both of you, and it’s not that difficult to do.

So many of my female clients tell me they are tired of driving the bus by themselves. They are looking for a man with a plan so they can lean back and have more fun. They did all the planning when they were younger, and they want someone with whom to share this responsibility now.

I totally get it and feel the same way. It’s a good rule of thumb too, because once you take control of a relationship, it’s almost impossible to give it back. If you start managing your dates at the beginning, you’ll be managing your dates throughout your entire relationship should one develop.

The Choice Is Yours

So how can you lean back, which is feminine energy, by the way, and still be the first one to reach out? It’s not as complicated as you may think.

It doesn’t matter if you’re dating online or meeting men in real life, you can still make the first move without taking control of the relationship by simply creating an opportunity for the man to step up. Now that you know how serious men feel about rejection, you know you could be waiting a long time if you wait for him to approach you. I almost always reach out first when I’m dating online.

I empower my clients so they feel comfortable doing the ‘picking’ rather than wait around to be ‘picked’ by a man who may or may not be a good fit for them. When you do the picking, you get to choose who you invite into your world, and it saves you time and frustration.

But Let Him Plan

The way I teach my clients to do this is simply to show their interest, and then lean back and let the man plan the date. This is what it sounds like when you’re texting or talking on the phone.

“Bob, it’s been great texting with you, and I feel like you’re someone I’d like to talk to. I’m happy to send you my number, what do you think?”

“I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you tonight and love that we have so many things in common. I’d be interested in learning more about you over a cup of coffee. How does that sound to you?”

These simple statements show him you’re interested and eliminate his fear of rejection while they volley the next steps back to him. Once he says, “Sure,” then you can simply tell him what days you’re available and ask him to pick a time and place to meet.

If he has trouble coming up with a location, some women offer a couple of options while other women simply tell them nicely to figure it out. If you give him options, you still want to want to leave the final decisions and planning up to him.

“I like ____, ____ or _____ and I’ll leave in your hands to pick the best place.”

Again, you’re creating the opportunity for him to take the lead. If you like being responsible for everything, you would probably simply give him a time and place to meet. This may be a little off-putting for him if he’s a masculine energy man. This type of man likes having a job to do and may feel a little out-of-sync as a result.

This Is Our Time

This is a beautiful chapter of life. We’re old enough to know what we want, and confident enough to ask for it. This is an empowering time, but it does come with some responsibility. We do need to be considerate of the men we invite in our lives. They are much more romantic and sensitive than we’ve been led to believe and words do matter.

If you want more step-by-step coaching so you can date with clarity and confidence, check out
The Perfect Dating Guide for Women or 50.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you approach men first, or do you prefer to be chased? If you make the first move, what do you say? How has this strategy worked for you?

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I reached out to a man on a dating site. We had our first date. I sent him a text message telling him thank you for lunch and I look forward to getting to know him better. He responded that he felt the same way and that we seem perfectly matched. Well, that was three weeks ago. Do I reach out again or just let it go? I really like him.

Michele Burghardt

Hi Barbara, getting to date two can be as challenging as getting to the date #1. What I recommend is that you keep reaching out to high-quality men so you don’t glob all our energy on your previous lunch date. Then drop him ONE fun, flirty message like “Knock, knock, knock, did you run off and join the circus” and then move on if he doesn’t respond. If you want more on this and dating in general check out my book at Good luck my friend!


I am from the generation, like most of us, where it was not lady-like to call a “boy”. To this day, I prefer to be chased and have the option of saying yes or no to any advances.

Michele Burghardt

HI Joyce, I’m with you. That why I teach my clients to offer men the opportunity to chase them. It’s let’s them know they are interested but volleys the action back to them. Thanks for reading & happy Thanksgiving. xxoo Michele

Stephanie Bryant

I do not like doing the picking because if I don’t get a response, I feel rejected. I’d rather someone reach out to me and then I can decide if I want to respond.

Michele Burghardt

Hi Stephanie, I know I responded to your comment via email but I wanted the other ladies to see my response so I’m reposting here.

Remember that not all the men online are still active. None of the dating sites delete profiles when a subscription runs out, so you may be messaging men who are no longer onlline. Zoosk says a 1% response rate is good. That is 1 out of 100.

Hope this helps you understand the online game a bit better. And consider that rejection is simply feedback and redirection. He simply isn’t the right fit for you! You deserve to have the right man in your life!

Thanks for your comment, and Happy Thanksgiving. xxoo Michele

The Author

Michele Burghardt is an author, speaker, and dating coach for women 50 and over with 20 + years of experience in the self-help area. She believes loving yourself is the first step to finding love. You can learn more about her transformational coaching style and her book at

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