The low-speed chase

You’ve heard of cops engaging in high-speed chases to catch criminals. Then OJ Simpson made the low-speed chase a new buzz word when he was avoiding arrest. The concept can be applied to dating, although it is not to avoid incarceration. It might be to avoid entanglement, but it also might be a sound strategy for engagement.

When two people get together too fast, the common advice is, “Slow down. Get to know each other.” Yet few of us heed this counsel.

A man and I have been flirting for a year. We had 3 dates, then another man and I decided to be exclusive. But because the other man and I had struck up a good connection I asked if he’d like to remain friends.

We talk every two weeks and get together for coffee or a walk once a month. I always enjoy the conversations. He makes me laugh, is intellectually stimulating, emotionally stable, physically attractive, affectionate and brings qualities of character, ethics, and self-awareness I’ve not seen in others. When my then-beau and I broke up, I let this man know. We continued our regular talks, emails and get togethers, although it didn’t escalate because he was between jobs and didn’t have the bandwidth to take on a relationship, and I didn’t really want to date a man who was unemployed.

The flirting has continued and in fact, escalated a bit. He sends loving and flirtatious emails and still calls every other week.

It feels like a low-speed chase.

I am used to men who are interested in me putting on a full-press pursuit pretty quickly. Although I’ve seen those fizzle after a few weeks or months. So this slower pace is foreign but appreciated. I don’t feel like he’s just trying to seduce me. I feel we’re getting to know each other. It feels respectful.

Would I like the low-speed chase to quicken to a medium-speed chase? Yes and no. If he were employed, definitely. But while he’s in this limbo I don’t think it is wise to move to the next level.

Will I wait for him to get a job? I will continue to see other men and will welcome his contacts. He needs to decide he wants to step up the wooing, as I’m not going to pursue him. But I will keep sending him leads for jobs he’s qualified for so I can help him get on his feet and hopefully increase his chase pace.

What do you think about slow- versus fast-paced chases? Which do you prefer?


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13 responses to “The low-speed chase”

  1. toni Avatar

    i think the low-speed chase is great, but I’m sad to see you won’t get involved with him unless he has a job. Sorry, but seems wrong, especially at this stage in our economy when many people are out of work. Has he had jobs in past and been industrious? In short, is he a responsible man with good skills who has hit a hard patch? If he’s really a great guy and you see the ‘hirable’ side of him, why wait? What is you get involved and someday he loses his job – not unlikely in our day and age? Do you not stay with him because he doesn’t have a job? As you get older you realize that time is short and you stop worrying about small stuff and focus on what really matters – being with someone you love, in the good and the bad times.

  2. Deborah Avatar

    It’s great that your getting an opportunity to see him in adversity. So many times we only get to see the “good” side of another person’s life until we are in a commited relationship then adversity and they either are or are not the person we thought they were. I want to know, that’s why I love slow paced relationships. Time is on our side!!

  3. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Hi Toni:

    He quit his job about a year ago thinking he could find another one easily. But then the economy started tightening up and there were very few openings in his field. He couldn’t pay his cable, Internet or cell phone bills. He went through all his savings. He is in such dire straights he lost his apartment and had to move in with a relative.

    It puts a crimp on what we can do, as we can’t even go out and go Dutch. I’ve had him over for dinner a number of times. I don’t mind walks, bike rides, and picnics, watching DVDs but I also like to go out but don’t want to spring for both of us all the time. When he gets a job things will loosen up, but now it just really limits what we can do.

    So I will just enjoy his company and not push moving forward until he’s on his feet again. He seems to share the same perspective.


  4. Anna Avatar

    DG, I admire you and him for the “low speed chase” while he is sorting himself out. I was in a relationship with a guy in similar circumstances and we foolishly thought at first that it would not matter. But ultimately it did come between us, his own self respect was damaged by not being able to meet me on equal terms financially as he had always had a good job. And I also got fed up either having to do the free events type of dating, or having to pay for us both. There were many awkward moments. Eventually it caused arguments, feelings of guilt on both our parts. No matter how far we have come in equality, it does not suit either men or women if the man is not in a position to meet us on equal financial terms. Well done to you both for being more practical than I was !!

  5. Jack Avatar

    As a man, I wouldn’t date an unemployed woman. Extended unemployment, by definition, is a period of transition and very tough psychologically so you’re walking into a dependency trap. Not a good way to start off.

  6. Samantha Avatar

    I don’t agree, Jack. I was unemployed for almost a year. At no time was a guy ever in danger of me becoming dependant on them in some unhealthy way emotionally or financially… and yes it WAS very tough for me psychologically. You have to look at a person’s character here…. unemployment may or may not be an automatic dependancy trap for you.

    And I have a life long friend who has been unemployed for almost two years. She is still the same person she was before becoming unemployed. And that would be a person who doesn’t look to solve this problem by latching on to a man in an unhealthy dependant way. She’s been living her life the same way, doing the same things, just living on a lot less money!

    I am sure it has more to do with who the lady was before she became unemployed. It will dictate how she deals with it if she becomes unemployed, it really will.

  7. searchingwithin Avatar

    Personally, I wouldn’t determine whether or not to have a relationship with someone who is unemployed during this time, unless it was their pattern. As stated already, it is a good opportunity to observe how the person handles the pressures, and disappointments of life. However, he more than likely doesn’t want to get into a relationship under the circumstances. When you are used to being able to support yourself, and you are reduced to unemployment, and having to rely on outside help, it is very demeaning. I know, I got hit with it.

    The “low speed chase” is the only way to go, in my opinion. It is so important to me anymore, to get to know a person well, before I am willing to invest too much of my heart.

    Best Wishes

  8. Emily Booth Avatar
    Emily Booth

    You are a good friend, DG, and it’s a boost to your friend’s self-esteem to have such a beautiful woman as yourself in his corner. A friend of mine recently got an executive position after being unemployed for over a year so it’s possible to get hired in today’s economy. Things will pick up.

  9. Mitsy Avatar

    I could talk about this issue from a few perspectives. For starters, some of the concerns mentioned would be a concern for me if I was on a “low-speed” chase with a guy. For most men, a lot of what they are and who they feel as a person, is tied to their job or career. I know it is for myself as well. I have dated some men who had some pretty serious issues in their life. To my way of thinking, it’s best if you can guard your heart and not get too tangled up with their problems BEFORE you are an actual couple. I know that I tend to take on their problems as MY problems. I carry that burden with them, but it usually ends up breaking the guy anyway & he decides to bail on the relationship regardless. I guess I wouldn’t be willing to risk if the guy is in between jobs. I think it’s a LOT different starting out that way than being a couple and then LATER he loses the job as someone mentioned. That changes the dynamics of things considerably because by then you hopefully have had time to see how he reacts with a crisis or disappointment.

    Lastly, my sister has been married to an educated man who I believe suffers from Ausberger’s Syndrome. It’s a neurological personality disorder and people who have this have a lot of problems learning to deal with other people and keeping a job. Although he has not been diagnosed (that is my interpretation), my brother-in-law’s personality is not one that is endearing to anyone who meets him (not sure what she saw in him to begin with). But he has lost several jobs since we’ve known him and 2 jobs were lost since they’ve been married. My sister is now on the verge of leaving him because he can’t keep a job. Even if he got one tomorrow, she can’t trust that he could keep it. So a job and job security are major issues for most couples. If my sister had known it would end up like this, I know she would have never married him. My advice–wait until they have a job to put your eggs into his basket and also see if he can keep a job (and not just talking bad economy here).

  10. Lyn Avatar

    It really depends on the situation. It sounds like your friend is in dire economic straits. I’ve been unemployed and was able to live on unemployment, savings, rental income, and freelance work without having to be dependent on anyone. In less than a year, a new job came along. During that time, I tried to stay productive and worked on upgrading my skills. Has he been financially responsible in the past? Does he continue to work on making himself more marketable? Is he willing to take a less than perfect job in order to stay afloat? Perhaps even more important, is he weathering the storm, or has he become depressed? Slow may not be a bad thing, given the circumstances.

  11. Mark Avatar

    There are lots of free things to do. Ultimately, if you are just looking for companionship there’s no reason not to see someone and do the free stuff and every now and then scrape up some money to do something else.

    If you want a spouse or live-in partner, then yes, you probably need to concentrate on someone who is employed.

    If you lost your job would you expect your boyfriend to dump you? That wouldn’t be much of a boyfriend.

    Honestly, Dating Goddess, you’ve been through so many relationships that didn’t work out I am thinking it is you. You want the near-perfect man and you will never find him. Maybe you will find someone and think he is near-perfect, but chances are after you make a commitment you will begin to discover flaws and irritations.

    I think we all get pickier as we age, because we know more based on our life experiences. Relationships are all about compromise and putting the other person first half the time.

  12. Yolanda Avatar

    Yes I’m all for the slow-speed chase these days. I’m finding out I need more then a few weeks to get to know someone enough to know if I want things to get more serious. For me I would like to try this modality while dating a few men at the same time.

  13. Jenwren Avatar

    Love the terminology “slow speed chase”.

    I’ve been involved in this for the past 6 months – there is progress just soooo slooooww. And it is a great relationship.

    I don’t really mind the slowness of it but it feels so much better to have a “label” for it.