Before I share with you 5 Ways to Put Yourself Out There (and Still Be Pursued), let me tell you a little story…
As a woman who wants to be pursued, is it ok for me to initiate?
How do I put myself out there?
Several years ago, I was dating a guy that I reallllly liked. He asked me out, but I couldn’t get out of work.
A few days passed, and I didn’t hear from him. So I did what any normal girl does—and started to spiral. I figured our relationship was over. Just like that.
Up until this point, he had initiated every text and date.
I wanted him to want to hang out with me. I wanted him to think of me, miss me, call me. Couldn’t he read my mind? Weren’t guys supposed to make the move. I wanted to be pursued.
But really it was about more than that: I wanted to feel safe.
I felt safe in responding to him. There was hardly any risk involved, because at least I knew in those moments he wanted me.
He liked me, and my guarded heart only wanted him to know I felt the same way if I knew it would be reciprocated. Me telling him I wanted to see him left me completely exposed. It would open me up to rejection.
What if he didn’t want me?
What if I wanted him more than he wanted me?
What would that say about me?
I was terrified of putting myself out there, because I was terrified of getting hurt.
It took me time a long time to really practice rejecting fear, and actively choose to put myself out there. I’ve learned a lot along the way.
Let’s get practical with it!
Here are: 5 Ways to Put Yourself Out There (and Still be Pursued)
Communicate Your Needs.
One of my friends came home from an online date so put out about the restaurant her date took her to. Here’s the thing though: she didn’t tell him she didn’t want to go there. He picked it out, ran it by her, and she said nothing. She didn’t want to be too much. And shouldn’t he know that’s a crappy restaurant—and if he doesn’t, clearly he has bad taste. She punished him for not reading her mind. That’s not fair. Ladies, you have the permission to communicate your wants and needs. Let’s reject the lie that we’re not enough and too much all at the same time. It keeps us small and stuck. If a guy is so easily spooked by you letting your desires be known, then he is no man for you. Let’s also stop setting men up for failure by expecting them to be mind readers. Communicating what you want is not pursuing. It’s giving you the opportunity to be true to yourself, while also creating an opportunity to let your guy know where you stand. He then has the option to lean into that or not. By communicating your needs you’re creating vulnerability, honesty, and an invitation. And that is way different that a demand.
Drop the Hanky .
In the olden days when chivalry was alive it wasn’t all up to the men. If a woman was interested in a man she looked at him from across the room, and dropped her hanky. This signaled, “Hey, I see you. I’m interested. You have the green light to ask me out’ . Putting yourself out there, and letting your intentions be known is not pursuing. We can let it be known that we’re interested without taking the lead. We may not carry hankies anymore, but we can make eye contact with a guy we’re interested in. Once your eyes meet, stay for the count of three, and smile. Until you try it you won’t realize just how often you avoid eye contact with the person you’re interested in.
Who doesn’t like talking about themselves? I know I do. Allow yourself to be curious to get to know the person you’re interested in. Asking questions and getting to know him is very low stakes. Then the next time you see him you can ask, “Hey, how’s that thing going”. It shows you’re listening, and you care about him. He was on your mind. It’s also incredibly easy to practice. I used to be so scared of rejection that doing this felt like I might as well be walking up naked to a guy proposing. It doesn’t have to be this way. At all. Plus, who cares if he thinks you like him. You do, don’t you? Even if the feelings aren’t reciprocated, like my bestie says, “No one has a bad day when they find out someone has a crush on them”.
I talk to so many baffled single women. After spending a few minutes chatting about their day-to-day lives; it’s no wonder they’re not dating. Every night of the week is spent either at home watching The Bachelor (hey…I love the Bachelor), having a girls night, or going out with the girls. Your man is not gonna magically appear on your doorstep friend. You gotta get out there. And do you know just how intimidating it is for a man to come up to a group of women out at a bar? If you do go out with the girls, split up. Or be each others cheerleaders as you take turns going and saying hello to somebody interesting. We create space in our lives for the things we value. Part of putting yourself out there is creating space for interactions with single men.
Our bodies give us away every time. They reflect what’s going on beneath the surface. Slumped shoulders and bowed head: sadness. Clenched teeth and lips, furrowed brow: anger. Arms folded across your chest: closed off. It’s like having a neon sign blinking above you: not open for business. In social settings, take note of your physical posture, and how you’re showing up. Even when you’re not feeling the most confident, putting your body in a more open posture sends signals to your brain that you’re safe, grounded, and confident. Don’t believe me? Try it. When you’re at a party, or talking to someone you’re interested notice your body. Folded arms, or hands in pockets are a no-no. They signal you’re off-limits. Instead hold your head high. Lean forward while you’re talking to him. Stand facing directly towards him, and make sure you’re hands are apart (this can take a minute to get used to). By doing this your body is signaling you are open, interested, and invested into this conversation.
So let me ask you:
- Why aren’t you putting yourself out there?
- What is holding you back from initiating a conversation with a guy you’re interested in or dating?
What do you think of all of this? If it was supportive, I invite you to share it with a friend. What’s one thing you can do today to make yourself available? Leave a comment below, or join the conversation on social media + tag @therefinedwoman. I’d love to hear your heart, and what’s coming up for you!
I’m here to guide and support you on your journey friend.
Gossip Girl (sorry couldn’t help myself…)
P.S. #1 If you want to continue the conversation in a more private setting, join my Private TRW Single Ladies Community!
P.S. #2 If you’re wondering, I reached out to him. I told him I missed him, and wanted to see him. Guess what? So did he. He was insecure I wasn’t as interested in him as he was in me since I hadn’t ever reached out to him. A day later we were snuggled up on a date.