Matchmaker Says: Cat Versus Mouse


Jon Birger, author of Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game, says “it’s a myth that men enjoy the chase…

The aggressive women are the ones more likely to get the guy.

“I was talking about this with my rabbi, and he does premarital counseling,” Birger says. “Of the nine couples he had in counseling, seven of them shared a similar story: The guys all had several options, but they married the women who pursued them the most.”

And ladies, don’t worry about turning off guys by being too pushy.

New York Post

Matchmaker Nneya Richards sent this article around to the matchmaking team last month, and it got us all talking…

Nneya agreed with Birger (especially as it related to dating in NYC). She kicked off the discussion with:

While doing feedback with a client today, I explained that we’re here to help improve their odds. The dating stats out there are rough for single women in cities like NYC. This article has been especially helpful to cite for clients that don’t like to follow-up, as they feel they should be chased.

So who has the upper hand in cat vs. mouse…and who’s the cat…and who’s the mouse?!

Matchmaker Sophy Singer says:

This goes against everything I believe when it comes to dating, but maybe I am wrong. Just wondering what others think about this. I think in general, men need to have the opportunity to pursue the woman at the beginning. She can be fully available to him (no need to play it too cool), but she should not be in the driver’s seat for the earliest stages of dating. If a man is truly interested in a woman, he will pursue her and contact her and make plans. Or he won’t, in which case he wasn’t that into her. I’m old school about this stuff – so I’m curious to hear what others think about this.

Matchmaker Liana Afuni agrees with Nneya on the NYC front, but echoes Sophy’s message:

NYC is a bit of different beast — but I agree, I do not like being the aggressive one. I’ve learned to let some walls down (because, yes, the culture is different here), but I will not chase after a man — but again, I’m a bit traditional. 

Matchmaker Deepali Gupta strikes a balance:

I often find myself adopting an attitude that’s a little in-between: letting a man know that he can ask for my number but not asking for his, letting him know that I’d like to see him again, but establishing that it’s his job to ask me out if he wants that to happen. It’s a game, but it’s a fun game – works for me in the short term at least!

Sophy Singer adds:

I agree with you Deepali! I always advise my clients: if you like him/her, ACT like it and don’t play it too cool for school. There are many ways to let someone know you’re into them, without initiating plans and coming off as too eager.

Matchmaker Gaby Aratow keeps it short, but sweet:

I’m with Sophy — in order to have the right dynamic he needs to drive at least at first.

Matchmaker Atena Shad offers some field research: 

I just asked a couple of the men in the office to get a male perspective. They all agreed that the woman should show her interest and not play around too much. This is especially true if the man has more than one woman on his horizons — the woman that shows genuine interest, answers texts and communication attempts (of course said woman doesn’t need to answer within a minute, but also not should not wait 3-4 days to get back), is who they’ll likely find more attractive. 

In other words, someone who’s confident in herself enough to appear slightly vulnerable by asking for what she wants.

They also seemed to all agree that they can generally tell when a woman is trying to tease them/get them to engage in a chase — and this can be a turn-off, as they all have busy lives. If you’re wanting something more serious, then both parties should make an effort. Obviously, avoid being too available, but also avoid being aloof. Men want to feel like they are “liked” as well.

Nneya agrees with Atena’s fact-finding:

So good Atena! I completely agree. Games can be such a bore — especially when there are so many options (or seem to be) in our swipe culture.

Matchmaker and Heartalytics writer, Cora Boyd, weighs in: 

Totally agree that at the beginning of a relationship it’s a balancing act of showing interest and then seeing how the other person rises to the occasion. i.e. you can set the stage….and then observe how and if he delivers. I’m all for ladies making moves, but it’s a give and take. Both parties need to show and reciprocate interest.

Be bold, but also remember this subtlety: sometimes a “move” can be creating the opportunity and level of comfort for the other person to make moves as well.

Matchmaker & author of the Solo Trip Series, Olivia Balsinger reveals her own personal approach: 

Maybe I’m not the best to contribute because anyone who knows me knows that I wear my heart more than even on my sleeve–perhaps smack dab in the middle of my forehead 24/7 (I once took a Megabus 14 hours to meet a guy in Toronto I had only known for 3 hours at a club in Prague). I believe in love. I believe that life is short and you should speak your mind, and feel what you feel. I don’t believe in games. I don’t believe in the chase. Humans have been humans forever and have found companionship before swiping apps and the concept of games. We all want to feel wanted and loved. Being real is sexy.

Matchmaker Alyssa Bunn agrees with Cora and Olivia:

Love Cora’s comment about setting the stage and Olivia’s about being real. How he responds isn’t in her hands, but she still has to be herself; to invite him in. A real women can do the pursuing, but a real man won’t let her do it all.

Heartalytics Editor, Valerie Presley Ackler, offers some closing thoughts:

Sometimes I wonder…should gender even apply? It’s natural for us to speak in terms of male-to-female relationships, as the New York Post article prompted…but, people are so much more complex than their gender prescripts. I know women who have always been alphas, who have been very successful in love. I know men who are more gentle creative-types, who naturally take a back seat approach when it comes to dating.

Whatever your gender/sexual orientation, I think what’s most important is to be your authentic self — and cultivate a dating experience that makes you feel happy and desired.  

What do you think?

Much love, 

Your Tawkify Matchmakers

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