One Direction fans

With boy band One Direction in Australia at the moment, I have been inundated with visions of breathless, hysterical and altogether obsessed young female fans. Personally I don’t consider this the most attractive look, but maybe guys do… Which brings me to a larger and universally pondered question. Should a guy pursue the girl, or vice versa?

Well, first of all, each to their own. I’m sure beautiful relationships have come about from all sorts of circumstances. However, I’ve always had an aversion to the idea of women doing the pursuing when it comes to relationships. It seems strange, doesn’t it? I don’t recall ever seeing a Disney movie where the princess travels hundreds of miles to save the prince from a besieged castle, and then sweeps him away on her valiant steed. Who wants to see that? But don’t fear, I do have more substantial reasons too…

I mean, foremost, that the natural setup suits our genders. Call me old-fashioned (and a whole bunch of less polite names if you must) – but I feel that males are made to pursue, and women to be desired. The man is naturally a hunter, traditionally the physically stronger, he thrives on a challenge. As Jordan Christy notes in her book, How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World, there’s an inbuilt reason that little boys are out playing cops and robbers while girls are having tea-parties. Hence, men enjoy the thrill of the chase and trying to figure out the mystery that is woman. We lose this allure by throwing ourselves at them, which is what society encourages us to do.

Another reason to let the guys do the chasing – it’s a foolproof way for a girl to know that he cares for her. Who wants a guy to be dating her because it’s the easiest option and the least work? NOT GOOD ENOUGH. No girl wants a guy who is with her and goes through the motions because she didn’t give him any other choice – who threw herself at him and before he knew it found himself in a relationship.

I want to date a guy who thinks me worthy enough of his time and effort to get introduced to me, get my number, call me (not just Facebook or messaging either!) and organise to spend time with me. He’ll work to get to know me, take me out on nice and planned dates, make an effort with his appearance. This may seem like a lot but look it over again and you will see that I’ve only asked for basic etiquette and R-E-S-P-E-C-T: no expensive gifts or “must be drop-dead gorgeous” required. And a man also has the opportunity to show his manhood by doing the asking, as he is faced with the possibility of rejection but overcomes this fear and also protects the female from it.

The media propagates plenty of interesting ideas these days, including that women should be more aggressive and that men like that. Sure they like it – but for “Miss Right Now”, not “Miss Right”, full stop. As a result of this culture shift men have unfortunately become lazy and expect us now to come to them, but they won’t appreciate us in the way we desire to be appreciated. My friend once told me a story about two young men. The first one saw a car and knew it was for him (I don’t know much about cars, maybe it was a red Ferrari?). Only problem – the funds. So he started working extra hard, scraping up little by little the cash to purchase the beauty. Finally, one day, he had enough and the car was his. How did he treat it? He loved that vehicle and looked after it constantly – treasured not only because it caught his fancy but now extra valued for the hard work he had put in to achieve it. Now the other bloke, he saw a model car in a shop window, and bought it then and there. It amused him for week or two but didn’t hold his attention in years to come.

So why am I telling you this? The cars in these scenarios are the women in relationships. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to belittle either sex in any way. But it does show is how a guy operates – if he likes something and has it straight away, he’s likely to get bored or disinterested. But if he had to work real hard for and wait for it, he’ll cherish it, adore it and look after it.

While all this is good and true, don’t make the guys do all the work. Work on becoming the kind of girl that a great guy would want to date. And if you reckon he likes you, you can subtly show him you’re interested (subtle does not include calling him ten times a day), which’ll let him know he has a chance. But in the end, is the guy really worth your time and affection if he can’t get over a bit of fear or pride to ask you out? Aim high, girls! I know (and have seen the proof) that there are good and courageous guys out there, who will give you the time and effort, if you take the time and effort to wait for them.

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.