He Said/She Said

Lauren Mendell

The first night of freshman year, I sat in the Chapel next to a girl I just met, a stranger who would later become one of my closest friends. Out of nowhere, I asked her if she had a problem with “the chase?” She obviously had no idea what I was talking about. I explained that I only like a guy when I think that I can’t have him. However, the second he is within my grasp, I am no longer interested. Four years down the line, I am still plagued with the “chase” epidemic even though I promise I am trying to get better. But unlike my friend in the Chapel, I know I’m not the only one out there with this disease.

Miranda may not have brought physical beauty to the brunch table in Sex and the City, but she did bring intellect and insight. When it came to why us girls aren’t attracted to nice guys, she replied, “Maybe you don’t believe it’s for real unless somebody is playing hard to get.” I didn’t have to major in sociology to figure that one out, but she makes a good point. Put it this way: girls, do you know that feeling you get when you’re in a clothing store and you look at a cute dress but decide it’s not for you and yet the second someone else starts looking at it, and you realize it’s the only one left in your size, you have to have it? It’s not a new concept that we always want what we can’t have. But how do we fix this? Wanting a guy who, quite frankly, doesn’t want you and doesn’t treat you well is not very productive. It’s actually completely masochistic.

This “chase” epidemic is not even about the boy at hand – it’s a challenge, a selfish game with yourself to prove that you can get what you want. It not only means that others find us desirable, it means that we persevered. We set up obstacles for ourselves that we overcame, leading to a wonderful sense of accomplishment and an elevated ego. Easy things are just that – too easy. For some reason, there is no appeal in something functional and effortless. That’s probably why good girls like bad boys. At the end of the day, drama makes things a lot more interesting and exciting. However, this excitement and thrill of the chase normally comes to a dead halt once you actually catch your prey. Once you have someone wrapped around your finger, and you’ve tamed the suspected untamable “bad boy,” it’s time to start looking for a new target. The cycle repeats itself because you’re never satisfied.

That’s a pretty pessimistic way of life. I am trying to find a cure as we speak but it’s not that easy. Even the token “nice guy” is not always that nice and can have a hidden agenda. So what’s my prescription for this ailment of the “chase?” I say we should try to get as much of a rise out of being the hunted as being the hunter. In the real world, it is a known fact that boys actually pursue girls – and they do it well. Let’s not play hard to get girls, let’s be hard to get. That’s not saying that we can’t still have fun. Confidence is the best bait for attracting what you want, so let’s keep our heads held high and make the boys do the work. In the end, we are the catch. Besides, when the right guy comes along, there really won’t be any need to play these games and create this drama. It will just work without this cat and mouse power struggle. Instead of being selfish, you’ll be selfless. But until that happens, let’s change the rules of this diseased game of the chase and be more open to the idea of being satisfied and finally caught.