Ah, the ever-popular chase.
Ross chased Rachel, and they ended up dating for years and having a baby. Carrie chased Big, and then, they got married. Seth chased Summer, and then, they were the cutest couple in TV history.
Your best friend chased her boyfriend, and now, they have, like, the best love ever. Your dad chased your mom, and they created YOU.
It seems like "the chase" is a necessary part of every love story. It's why we play hard to get, right? We need to make sure the guy likes us enough to chase us, because that's real love.
But you know what? I hate the chase. I think it's dumb, and I always have.
Actually, it's more than dumb. I think it's a manifestation of insecurities in both parties involved.
How so? Let me break it down for you:
The person doing the chasing needs to realize they deserve better.
Have you ever played the game Bubble Trouble? OK then... I guess you're not a giant nerd who never really moved on from the fifth grade and still plays computer games.
You are never going to be able to make someone like you.
You see, it's an unbeatable game. The final level lets you continue playing, with no time limit, until you inevitably die. It's a futile pursuit — much like the chase.
As much as TV characters, movie plots and random friends try to convince you otherwise, you are never going to be able to make someone like you.
It's an emotionally-draining, exhausting challenge that will get you nowhere.
And, let's just indulge ourselves for a minute and imagine you finally did manage to convince someone to like you. Do you really want to be with a person who's comfortable putting you through emotional hell?
Do you really want to date a person who couldn't see you for the awesome, fantastic human being you are right off the bat?
Let me answer that for you: No, you don't want that.
You deserve someone who makes you feel loved and supported, not like you're constantly trying to pass some sort of vague test.
The person who likes being chased needs to learn to be vulnerable.
I'll admit, this is particularly hard for me.
I don't like letting my guard down — especially with someone new, and ESPECIALLY with someone I have feelings for.
Why? Well, they have the power to hurt me, and that's scary.
So, yeah, it's easier for me to sit back and let the person chase me so I can be assured that they have feelings for me and aren't going to hurt me.
And I can't lie; I used to do that a lot.
But I don't do it anymore.
Last year, my cousin said something that really stuck with me. She asked me why I always have such a guard up with the boys I like, and I explained to her how vulnerable I would feel if I didn't put those walls up.
Then, she told me to put myself in the shoes of the boy I was seeing at the time. She said to imagine what it must feel like to have those feelings for someone, only for that person to show no indication of liking you back.
And to be honest, it would feel absolutely horrible. Putting anyone through that just to spare your own feelings is pretty selfish.
Both parties need to realize what they're searching for isn't real love.
People caught up in the chase don't want love; they want to win.
The person being chased wants to see how far backwards they can make their partner bend.
Meanwhile, the person doing the chasing just wants to do whatever it takes to win the other person.
At the end of the day, neither person is seeing the other for who they actually are.
The person being chased is nothing more than a trophy on a pedestal. And odds are, if the chaser finally wins, they'll get bored and move on to the next prize.
On the other hand, the chaser is nothing more than a pawn that can be used by the other person to do whatever they want, whenever they want, for a convenient ego boost.
But love isn't some elusive game to be won.
And above all, when you fall in love, you need to fall in love with a person, not with the chase.