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If He’s Not Chasing, Why Are You Investing?

Stephen Hussey

It’s easy to find yourself wasting a lot of time and heartache over guys who were never really serious in the first place.

What usually happens in these stories: a guy approaches you and shows some interest, and you start texting and talking on the phone. Maybe you go on a date. Things seem fun, but after a while his interest just sort of tapers off, or he only makes contact at random intervals, drifting in and out of your inbox.

You feel you’ve already become attached to him, yet you don’t know where you stand.

Now you’re thinking about him a lot, discussing his behaviour with your friend, and over-analyzing every text he sends (when he does bother to send them).

You are investing deeper and deeper in this guy, despite the fact that he’s not showing any signs of chasing.

I know this position sucks, and what makes it worse is that the guy gives you no obvious sign about what he wants.

Chances are, he feels some level of attraction to you, or enjoys your company, but he doesn’t feel enough interest or urgency to seriously make an effort.

Why Guys Show Attention But Don’t Take It Further

Men who string women along tend to be those who need of a lot of sexual validation.

He may not be interested in any kind of serious relationship, but he wants to boost his self-esteem by reminding himself that women are attracted to him sexually. Hence he goes and dates and sends flirty texts even when he has no desire for things to move forward.

So what can you do about this?

The trick is knowing the difference between him pursuing and him chasing

Look for the following signs to know if he’s chasing you:

  • He gets back to your texts and calls in good time (i.e. he doesn’t wait for a week or more before texting out of the blue).
  • He suggests meeting up and actively tries to schedule a date.
  • When he meets you, he expresses a desire to do real dates, rather than just hanging out at his place.
  • He wants to get to know you rather than just sleep with you.
  • He doesn’t express a desire to be single (i.e. if he keeps saying he doesn’t want a girlfriend, take him at his word).

Before a guy does these things, by all means you can be in contact and flirt with him, but don’t hold out a false hope that with enough time he’ll suddenly “get serious” and start pursuing you for a relationship.

In some cases, it is possible that a guy is not chasing because he’s got a ton going on in his life, or because he’s under immense career pressure and can’t imagine a relationship right now, or because he just broke up with his ex and needs to heal first.

The point is, whatever is going on his life is totally out of your control. Our job (men and women) in the dating is not to play the guessing game, or try to change anyone else’s situation. Let people do what they do, and react accordingly.

My brother Matthew has a rule I’ve repeated before: Like those who like you.

I would also amend this slightly: Get serious about people who treat you as serious.

Some people advise taking a chance on the unknown. Others think that’s crazy. I don’t think it is. What is undeniably crazy though is taking a chance with your heart on someone you already know isn’t bothered about giving you theirs.

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Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.

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104 Replies to “If He’s Not Chasing, Why Are You Investing?”

  • Hey Stephen! So are men generally turned off by a girl who is a virgin? And is it something that should be brought up? Thanks for all you put in this blog, so appreciate your wonderful insights :)

  • Yep, that’s a definite warning sign that a guy is just out for fun. Good thing you realised it and acted accordingly!


    Steve x

  • This is an eye opener, Stephen. Simple and yet so true. Come to think of it, there’s really nothing to mull over. If the guy isn’t chasing and/or investing, one shouldn’t waste time over that guy.

  • Hi Stepen & Matthew!

    I am really confused and struggle now, would really love to have ur advice! Hope the msg is not too overwhelming!

    I met this guy for like 3 weeks now, the cocumstance we met was not great, he was clearly drunk and I just briefly talked to him a bit then got back to my friends on a Friday night out. That night when I left with my friends, I saw him with a lady, holding her clutch bag and waiting for taxi, but they were not holding hands not having body contact. At that point I judged him and thought he was one of those guys that go out on Friday night and try get laid with whoever he can get. Anyway I found it quite hilarious so I smiled at him and he smiled back, but bit awkward according to my friends.

    Next day he tst me, but I didn’t reply bc I don’t want to get involved with those guys. Then the day after he called me twice. Guess he is really confident and persistent, he said the girl I saw was one of his drunk friends and he has to take care of her. I did meet his big groups of lady friends but can’t confirm if it is true or not. I got intrigued as guys don’t call, so I felt there is no harm to meet up. I went out with him for a Sunday afternoon juice for an hour, it was better to talk in daytime.
    After we went out for like 2 or 3 times. It’s actually better than I expected and he seemed making effort and arranging different things to do together, we go motobiking, dinner, breakfast. He is 45, I never date these kind of mature guy as I am 28 and those guys approach me are around my age. I guess he is chasing right, and I wanna get to understand his intention and why he is not married yet. He actually has this really specific and long list about the women he wanna go out with, no smoking, no tatto, elegent, well maintanence, very specific. He certainly evaluates me all the time and said I actually passed the test for those.

    Last Sunday we was supposed to go to the beach but the weather was not good so we went to his place. It was not my intention to sleep with him at that stage as I still wanna see how far we can develop the emotion connection. But he is really pushing and not really listening to me that we can try another time. At that point my gut is telling me he is not really care about my feeling. After that we went out for lunch, bumped into his friends. I was thinking if he is only after sex we don’t need to go for lunch and coffee right? I got upset about what happened although we did just sleep together and I was not saying it’s good or not, just generally its not how it should happen in my mind. I did confront with him saying my feeling. He was more like register my thought but didn’t really response to it and just said thank you for telling him that. That was some silence as we both didn’t talk like 2 minutes.
    We carried on the conversation after and just chit chat about family, he showed me his family’s photos. He said he normally don’t do dating or boyfriend girlfriend stuff, but he makes exception, who know what that means.
    He must feel I am such a difficult lady to deal with from the last date, maybe I stepped on many deal breakers, like accusing him to force for sex, putting too much pressure for asking if he doesn’t do dating what r we doing there.
    I was starting to attach to him but not just yet fall for him. Now he didn’t contact me for two days now, normally he will arrange out next meet up while we were together but last time he was just saying see u around.
    I get that he is not really for me bc I ned someone who is care and gentle, but I really wanna learn from the experience so I won’t make the same mistake next time when I meet a great guy that I want. Should I hide my feeling and wait after the guy fall for me first then confront my feeling or show my imperfections? should we ladies pretend we don’t care about his intention whether it for casual dating or just a fling thing, and go with the flow an see how things develop first? once the guy makes up his mind that we might not be for him, should we to make effort and contact him instead of running away every time things aren’t going smooth? Isn’t it true that it ask for making effort as well as compromising between two people?
    I am really confused and not sure if I wanna contact this guy again. And more important wanna know what should I learn if I walk away from this. At the end of the day, the least thing I want is repeating mistakes every single time. Thank u so much for ur patience to read it though and appreciate for ur advice!
    P.s. I was trying to buy the online program and it could only go through PayPal? can’t I just pay via credit card?

    Thanks sooooo much!!!!!!

  • I relate. PROBLEM IS, I’m already invested so how do I distance myself? I spend way too much time contemplating why the guy I am seeing is being the biggest retard.
    This guy I was seeing at the beginning of the year is constantly sending me mixed signals. We were canoodling and talking every night and he asked me to be his valentines and then when I said yes said he was busy hahaha, talk about confusing? Anyway, after a party he cut me out with no explanation and when I asked if something was different he frantically reassured me nothing has changed and apologized but continued to ignore me. I eventually realised I needed to move on even though I didn’t get the explanation I wanted and I did but then a few weeks ago he decided he wanted to patch things up with me and I made the mistake of letting him back in thinking he had changed and he is just doing the same things. We are hooking up but He never texts me, he doesn’t flirt with me ever, he is so boring, he doesn’t laugh at my jokes anymore. We both wanted something casual but I need a bit more than what he is giving me. I just can’t think of how to get of out of this, this time? because whenever I say what I think he takes it the wrong way. Help.

  • Thanks for answering everyone’s questions Stephen! It’s therapeutic to read other female issues on this topic and know that we are not alone :)
    What if a guy texts you saying he wants to see you and hang out but that the ‘ball is in your court’ to plan something?! Is that laziness on his part? Should the women meet him half way and plan something?
    Would also love to see an article on how to have the ‘exclusive are we or aren’t we bf and gf’ convo without scaring anyone away/changing the dynamics of the ‘relationship’ :)

  • Dearest Steve,

    HELP! Matty’s tricks won’t work on me!
    I started to apply tricks and tips from Matt for my coworker that I like at work but it wasn’t as smooth as Matt shared on youtube >.< Must be because people react in different ways

    There’s this guy I fancy at my new job. The first 2 months we were completely a stranger. Since I’m new, I was friendly and greeted every staff at work, and this guy rarely greeted or smiled back. So I got annoyed by his cockiness ignored him since then. (At some point I thought he’s gay and hate women)

    One day during lunch time at canteen I sat alone next to him by accident because other tables were full. We got to know each other, he smiled (for the first time!), we had background similarities like living in same cities, etc. Next (not in daily order), he would sit beside me during lunch. I gave him compliment because he got nice review on TripAdvisor (Matt’s trick) and he liked it. He asked me to pass by his office to show him that review when I have time. He offered me help with something when I was in trouble (I can’t go to work because I live far and on that day there was no public transportation). I invited him to go to a BAR with other colleagues and I said YOU SHOULD COME (Matt’s trick) and he said yeah why not (not happening yet, still planning the time). I invited him for my favorite coffee after work but he said he couldn’t because he wanted to sleep and said we could go one day though. I also look for signs that he might fancy me from Matt’s POV such as, he got close to me physically, start touching/poking me, caress my hair, asking questions with value and not just what’s up?, smiling, joking, and he remembered small details about me through regular conversation like the area where I lived and my favorite coffee shop.

    I tried to find out if he is into women or single by flirting Matty’s way. His traits are not the kind of person who smiles a lot or talkative to stranger like the Americans or English, he is more direct, but when he knew the person like after he knew me, he acts more friendly. I think he’s not gay (I emphasize this because I live in Gay-friendly country) but his response is not strong enough or so slow. He never asked me to hang out. And it’s been 3 weeks since we first talk.

    Should I ask him out again and keep flirting? (I will for the BAR because it was still on the schedule)

    Thanks very much for reading my comments,
    Kind regards

    1. I think you were doing too many initiatives, like asked him out to party & coffee, that might 1) scared him away 2) didnt find you special

      Matt’s tricks needa be applied strategically. I guess girls at first just can be ‘more friendly & welcoming’ to give him signs you are available for a date, but never take the initiative to ask him out first.

  • Hello steve,
    I have a question that goes along with this article. I am talking to this guy for 2 almost 3 months now. He is amazing and shows me a lot of attention over calls and texting. I live 3 hours away from him but moving closer in the next couple months but I keep trying to make plans with him but he keeps coming up with excuses why he cant. He recently told me that he wants to wait tell I move down there before we hang out. We did go on one date though and we both had a lot of fun. I am completely confused. He acts like he likes me he is very attentive when it comes to texting and calling but if he wanted me wouldnt he want to see me?

    1. in the texts he sends he tells me how much he enjoys talking to me and how much he wants to be with me and how much he cant wait tell i move down there so he can see me. Then when i make plans to go down to that area he always has excuses why he cant see me from he doesnt want to stay in a hotel to he doesnt like to feel rushed to he wants to wait tell I move down there before we hang out again. But he got upset last time i can down to that area and hang out with some friends and didnt come see him before i left.

  • This post shows perfectly the dilemma I’m in – even tough I swapped the word guys with employers;)
    Very similar dynamic, especially the ‘playing versus chasing’ part.
    In my case, juggling 3 jobs:
    – They all want me part time, but 100% ‘flexible’.
    – I get asked what I want a lot, but don’t get what I need.
    1 hasn’t walked his talk right from the start, didn’t get the hours promised = all in all not taking me seriously at all. Still waiting for that raise. Got my working schedule for the rest of may last weekend!
    2 is ‘my new one’, I like him, I have much better communication there. The only one who shows a little interest on how my life looks like, where my priorities are, and straight out giving me schedule in advance for sure! ..except for the salary.. after 2 weeks they don’t even have my bank account details yet.
    But I got some allies there. Chances for development. And some competition.
    3 is my ‘occasional fling’ over the internet, my ‘working assignment booty call’ short notice – he doesn’t care but pays the fastest.
    I’m constantly trying to find no.4, to stabilize my situation and mostly dump 1 and 3..
    So the dilemma is mostly that both sides have to know what they want, but then start from a completely different point and see how things grow.
    Don’t show all your cards vs. be honest.
    I’s obviously not easy to get a stable no.4 on the side if I can’t ‘stay centered’ and don’t know how my life’s gonna look like in a month or two!
    When I think about commitment or depending on one solely I wanna run.
    None of them wants me to depend on them exclusively.
    On the other hand every one of them, even though they know the business has this ‘oh she’s kind of flaky’ thought in the back of their mind.

    I think hat’s very true in relationships as well:
    I don’t wanna settle.
    If I did, and a new one sees what I had settled for in the past he’d go like ‘why did she settle for such a douche’?
    And: no one goes straight out for commitment and being serious from the start.
    (Don’t be stupid and believe everything you’re told.)
    Honestly I’d freak out if someone would.
    BUT: I don’t wanna be the one who never ‘goes for it’.
    ..Thnking about all that, having this whole ‘attracting and funneling’ in my working life and, honestly doing the same mistakes over and over again, like:
    Still not having learned to know and advocate my worth; negotiate from the start;have better options instead of being desperate; and even though I depend on it show the they need me too:
    I can already imagine the mess if I’d try to get more active in my love life right now.
    This would be too much chaos and stress and not ‘fun’, I don’t have the ego, logistics and strength for this..
    I wonder:
    If I know the status quo, how do I learn to change that to snap out of it versus trying to and not succeed and getting crushed by doing the same mistakes once again, which confirms my old crappy beliefs?
    Like how can I NOT get the ‘tunnel view’ by my current situation (that guy or that job), and instead keep my options open when I risk being a bit of ‘everywhere and nowhere really’?
    Because if I didn’t invest in every single one of them and look at it closely, that’s what would happen.
    If I ever get the hang of how this works I’ll be one lucky girl in every area:)

    Sorry for the comparison to a not related topic, but for me they really are, very much so.
    I really like that in this blog, people write from one sentence to very detailed long texts – everyone as he/she likes without judgement – chapeau and big shout out from Switzerland.

  • Wow, this sounds like a copy/paste of my last dates with a guy – and I can’t believe it…He looks so great that I would never thought he might need a sexual validation, but he acted exactly as in the article…He seemed to “chase” me by texting, but when coming to actual dates, it was very difficult to find the good time…Then we would meet for an hour and he would rush somewhere…but then he would text me in a couple of days “Did you forget about me?”…He made it sound as if I am the difficult one, but in reality, he was the unavailable one…He told me he has a lot on his plate and works hard, and I made myself believe it, as I quite liked him, but then he would call me or text me for a date with a 2-hour notice or so and I refused to change my plans and run to see him in his free 30 min. slot. When I told him that I like him because he is smart he was disappointed and asked me if I do not find him attractive?! Well, it looks like he really needed some validation without real investment in anything with me…

  • Went out for lunch with this guy before he left for a vacation and start on a new job. That was the first time getting to know him on a first date. After that, we have been in touch via on – and- off texting.

    I’m the first to initiate to text him. Recently,ask him out for dinner but he replied if time permits he will arrange when he is more settled on his job.

    Well, to sum up he’s an introvert and I’m not sure what I should do. Should I even invest my time on him?

  • Hello,
    Here is my problem. Actually, the man i’ve a crash on is a very close friend. Things changed months ago between us. let’s say, we overstep the limits of friendship. But, after that, he just told me he don’t want to go any further and just wants to preserve our friedship. i agreed and go through the motions. But, the truth is, i’m in love with him. this is really hard, because he is calling me almost everyday, we still see each other very often, he’s really important in my life. Now, i just can’t play anymore. I know he wont change his mind, so i have to do what is best for me and eventually stop being his friend!! Eventhough, his friendship is so important to me. Do you think keeping out of his neighborhood is the best think to do?!! Thank you!!

  • Hey matt..
    I am in a situation right know that.. Ehm, dont know where to begin.
    The short version is that a (guy) friend of mine know eachother through some sport.
    And we are a group of friends who spent a Lot of time together, we have known eachother for Real in 2 months, and for a couple of days ago we where at a party together. We had our moments where we were about to kiss but didn’t do it, later he said that it was because he was friends with my brother, and there was a Ground ruel to not go after friends siblings, but actuelly my friendship with him have abselutley nothing to do with my brother, anyways, i said that i thought the problem lies with when they where visiting eachothers houses, but they wherent that good friends, then a couple hours after that converstation we started hugging wery close like if u where about to kiss someone, and we where holding hands, but he Got so drunk the end of the Night and felt ill that he took of, That we could’nt arrange something new, and it has Been 3 days where i haven’t heard from him… So i have my doubts …. I REALLY need help to know what he is thinking and i so wanna be with him… We have an amazing time together and i know for sure he likes me bit i wanna handle the situation right.. I have done that till know i think.. Otherwise he would’n have take things further that knight..
    (Hope u understand my english writing is not the Best) hope to see u once

  • Maybe she is no longer his biggest fan

    In a nutshell, a man will not stay where he does not feel appreciated and will often gravitate towards a girl who they think is their biggest fan. If they marry such a girl but she later on starts fading out, they are likely to have an affair with someone else who will show them enough attention to make up for what they are missing from the current woman in their lives. We like being appreciated too and the men in our lives are no different. Try to be his biggest fan at all times and chances are that he will not want to lose you.

  • This actually baffles me more. The guy i was seeing did all the above with the chasing… Was massively keen and was the one to always instigate our dates and doing things outside the bedroom. He was a gent to say the least. Made me feel like he could be the one. He suggested holidays he wanted us to go on, leaving his toothbrush at mine etcetera… Stuff you don’t say to a girl you’re JUST sleeping with. Anyway this all actually happened over the course of 2 weeks – which although could have been deemed ‘red flags’ I put down to him being super sweet and interested. I’m 30 and he is 36 with 2 daughters. At the end of the two weeks with no word of warning he ended it claiming he ‘wasn’t ready for a relationship’ (could’ve fooled me pal) and has barely spoken to me since. Needless to say I am confused and hurt

  • Hi
    I’ve never posted on here but have read your book and blog for a long time and I think everything has worked for me so far. I assert my standards and have a fulfilled life but I am now in a difficult situation where I am avoiding confrontation. I have been introduced to a guy I’ve been seeing a parents however we are not exclusive. A holiday came at the wrong point for him and since going to Ibiza I encouraged him to enjoy his holiday and left it as that on the text front. He replies when he gets there and then I hear from him three days after he has got back. However I see he has an updated tinder profile and is gaining a lot of sexual validation in back and fourths on social media like Instagram, as you say in the blog a virtual dating profile. The only hope is that he is confused and that he asks to see me shortly I have avoided gut reactions to seeing what is right in my face because I am jumping to huge conclusions. However am I going to have to actually state my standards verbally because he is not getting these impolitely clearly. I want to say I want him to be happy but the feeling that he needs to be on tinder is a turn off and I hope I’m still around when he works out what he wants. Is jumping the gun a nail in the coffin for any new relationship ? Or do I take it as read that things have now changed and he is no longer who I thought he was ? By saying it bothers you are you ending it?

  • When a man is interested in being with you, everyone will know it. Please don’t waste your time on someone who plays with your fragile heart. Here is my story. I gave my heart to a selfish narcissistic guy. He never paid for mr flight, rental car, gas, or anything except for a meal or so. He would leave me and go to games with his family, do Sunday dinners with his family while I would have to entertain myself. Im really upset at myself for being a fool for love. I have deleted his number as well as blocked his number should he try to call me. I dont know why I ever liked him except for physical reasons. He hates most women, especially black women. However he seems to love his black female family members. He never introduced me to his sister and she lives right next door. I drive 10 hours and not once did he call to see if I made it home safely. He never met me halfway or introduced me to his chid but he was introduced to my child. So, I am done. I do believe that he cared about me. I have known him for almost 30 year but I dont believe he ever loved me.

    1. He sounds a lot like my POS ex-narcissist! Does he live in North Charleston, SC? Like seriously, narcissism is much more rampant than people realize, but your post sounded like my long term horror story!

  • Soooooo

    I bumped into this guy in a bar months ago ….. said we would see each other at an opening night at a bar a few weeks later ….. very casual no numerous exchanged.

    Anyway …my father unexpectedly asked away and I didn’t make it …. I knew he was linked to the pub/ bar so made contact and got his number …explained my lack of attendance.

    We agreed a date … met in a bar and took be to a great restaurant

    We chatted and laughed all night spoke of going to other places on dates

    The night passed in a whizz…..for both of us.

    We had a peck on the lips goodnight and he text me when home saying great to see me and planning our next date

    I responded positivly … then nothing for 2 days

    He messaged me saying

    You are quiet ?

    So I messaged back saying lovely to hear from him and knew busy etc …setting up our next date lol

    We chatted briefly on the phone that day
    And text that night once and next day

    Not a short text …he sent long one saying both busy so may have to be week after for a next date and my be going away with work this week ( own buisness)

    To me he is perfect …we just clicked

    He said he was she’ll shocked in a good way as never really dated ” blind” before.

    He’s late 50s I’m mid 40s but that’s no issue for me at all and I have young children which he seems OK with as not had his own.

    So …… it’s very early days …. just one proper date

    But I normally wait for the guy to contact me if interested he will.

    But I get the impression that he wants me to initiate ….. could be fear of age thing ….. as many guys chase/ love my personality … I’m sad he’s not chased

    Could it be work/ busy genuinely

    Or is he not interested ?

    Is agreeing to meet next week enough for him to focus on work ?

    Should I send nice happy no pressure text or just wait ?


  • I do not think ( or else I hope not) that I need the woman in my life to be”my biggest fan”, but I guess that there is SOME level of mutual feeling and respect that I would enjoy. Do NOT how you ever arrive at that if the woman EXPECTS him to chase her ,so that would prove something to her, so that NOTHING gets proven to him. Can you say 50% divorce rate?

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