It’s funny to think about the first impressions we make and the situations where these things happen. Take for example my Freshman Orientation at the local water park, an event designed to help students meet new people and get settled in at college. Or in my case, a very awkward time filled with insecurity, not to mention the fact this took place at a water park. I met many people, had many different conversations, and thus, made numerous first impressions. One impression I later found out about was from a girl I was interested in. She said after having met me, she thought I had a cool name but that she would probably never talk to me again. Ouch! As is probably obvious, when I told her I was interested in dating her, she made it clear that we were “just friends.” This DTR then launched me into an 18-month diligent pursuit of this beautiful woman to prove her wrong.
We actually had a great friendship, hanging out with the same group of friends at college and were able to spend time together given our differing views on our relationship’s potential. I thought, as well as many of our friends, that we had a great connection and clear potential for a more serious relationship. This belief kept me hanging in there even when we would have our routine DTRs, making the friend-zone stage very clear. Each time we talked, she informed me of her interest in people other than me. Many would ask me why I continued to be interested in dating her when it was clear that she wasn’t interested. I would tell them there seemed to be more potential to our relationship than just being friends because we connected well, shared many of the same passions and seemed to click.
Eighteen months is a long time to pursue a girl, or at least it felt like a long time. The wait led me to begin questioning why I was continuing my pursuit and why nothing seemed to work out. I still remember after a rough and exhausting week, I realized that my perspective and my heart were in the wrong place. I was so consumed with what I thought was best (dating this girl) that I was ignoring the incredible friendship that we had and that one of the most amazing people I had ever met called me one of her best friends. And, on top of that, I was pursuing her and not Christ. I was spending so much energy on trying to make her like me as more than a friend that I was neglecting what should have been the foundation for our interactions. This sin was hard to stomach or admit, but it was that day that I stopped looking at her as the person I should date, thanked God for our great friendship and began rebuilding my relationship with Christ. I truly wanted what was best for her, and it looked like it wasn’t going to be me.
It wasn’t too long after this change in my heart that she began noticing me in a different light and expressed interest in dating me. She said that it was after I backed off, relaxed and just was a friend and not a pursuer that she could actually see that we had a great relationship and a good foundation for a dating relationship. Some like to say that I finally wore her down; although, I like to say that she finally saw the light — an incredibly handsome, godly and wonderful man was standing right in front of her. I’m the only one that subscribes to that version, but it will definitely be the one I tell our two kids.
Not every diligent pursuit always works out this way. Perhaps you’ve had some questions about how a diligent pursuit should work: What is the difference between a diligent pursuit and stalking? What do you do when you think there is some great potential for your relationship, but at the time, you are the only one seeing that? And when pursuing someone, how do you make sure you keep your focus where it needs to be? If you don’t end up together, what do you do then?
I grew so much as a result of the months of failed pursuit that I would love to believe I would still be thankful for the whole experience had it not worked out the way it did. But that seems to be a bit of a stretch.
Guys, have you asked yourself these questions in the pursuit of a girl? I would love to hear your perspective and how you’ve dealt with these things.