The other day I stumbled upon the phrase “Follow me and I’ll flee, flee me and I’ll follow”, and I recognized many relationships in it, especially in their early phases, and it also made me wonder wether it belonged more to seduction or to manipulation…
Follow Me And I’ll Flee, Flee Me And I’ll Follow : Seduction Or Manipulation ?
The cat and mouse game : first-hand experience
I’m the mouse and you’re the cat
It was in elementary school that I learned – unconsciously – how to play this game, which wasn’t that funny after all. I had a crush on Justin at the time, the kind of crush you have when you’re an eight year old little girl. I was constantly talking about him, I was in love, as in love as a third grader could be. And then came the day when I mustered all my courage (and it took quite a bit before you could do this over the phone or on the internet!) and I confessed my love to him, face to face, with an adult-like seriousness (although I’m not sure I could do that today, but well…). And then he looked at me with his dreamy little eyes and told me : “I’ve been in love with you for a long time too” – sooooo cuuuuute. And, just like that, I didn’t love him anymore. So that’s when things got complicated.
I’m the cat and you’re the mouse
If the first case scenario provokes some guilt for rejecting the other and breaking his heart, in the second one, you truly suffer.
So, once upon a time there were two young adults who got along really well : Vincent and… well, me. He had loved her for three years, with a love both sincere and pure. She had loved him for three years, with what was a deep friendship. He was jealous of her boyfriends, wrote her letters, sent her flowers, made art using pictures of them, you name it. But she didn’t really pay attention to that. It was that other guy who lived downstairs who held the key to her heart, and eventually she managed to lock pick his own muahaha. (I’ll stop third-person singular, it’s starting to be tiresome!). So I got in a couple with the Turnkey (yep that’s how I’ll call him) and Vincent was crushed. To make him feel better, I told him about that awweessoooommmmmee girl I know whom he will adore. That girl immediately fell for him and, out of spite I guess, he went along with it. Then, suddenly, (ssuuussppeensssse) my birthday came up.
Where it gets interesting
I had booked some kind of all included party hall that could accommodate 80 people. And that is where I saw, in the middle of the rager, Vincent kissing his “sweetheart”. I felt my heart break. You know what they say, “you don’t realize how much you love someone until you’ve lost him”. Then for some reason he came up to me alone and asked me to dance with him on a song we both really liked (Leech, by Incubus). And just like that we kissed and it was wooaahhh. He broke up with his girlfriend, I escaped the Turnkey. Only, once he had what he desired more than anything (that is to say, ME), he stopped trying to surprise me, clearly showed that he was bored, preferred going out with his bros (when just a few months before he would have given away everything he owned for a mere hour with me).
In short, I ended up running after him for more than a year of relationship. He had become the mouse, and talking as the cat, I can tell you that’s a real pain in the tail. Besides, you realize all too well that you highly annoy the other, but it’s stronger than you, you can’t step out of that role. And the more you feel he’s getting away, the more you want to catch him. You often do the opposite of what you should. I ended up breaking up with him because I had given enough to a guy who didn’t give me anything in return anymore (NOTHING, not even anything remotely intimate, NADA!).
The beginning of the relationship : The game of cat and mouse as an almost compulsory first step towards seduction
During the early steps of a relationship, it’s a fun game because you jump from one role to the other. You like to tease the other, drive him crazy when you don’t answer his calls right away… And in a way you also enjoy that your own romantic quest doesn’t come to an easy end right away. You like that he knows how to make you wait, and how to drive you crazy as well. However, it’s a dangerous game in the sense that developing an obsession is never far. You start by glancing at your phone every ten minutes for fear of missing Thingy’s Blessed Phone Call, you spend your time scrutinizing his Facebook or his Instagram and hope that his angry status wasn’t meant for you, you constantly talk about him like you’ve been living together for eight years, your friends can’t stand your neurosis anymore. And you think you fell in love when it’s in fact just you wanting to possess something. And obviously, you can’t stand the fact that the other is slipping away.
I’d say this game is worth playing when it goes both ways. Sometimes you feel the person you have a crush on is deliberately taking the time to answer you, only to reschedule your dates to make you impatient, when in truth, he really doesn’t care about you at all. If it’s the third time he’s cancelled, do yourself a favor and forget about it!
Couple’s relationships : “Flee me blah blah blah” is bad for your emotional health
The saying we’re looking at today is very different within a solid, long-lasting couple. In that case, it’s not a game anymore. Why? Because it’s involuntary. You don’t care about making the other run after you in the hope he will like you even more. In this case, you just want him to leave you alone because you’re sick of being with him but also scared of giving it all up.
Also, it’s good to – sometimes – remind your companion not to take you for granted. And that he must make efforts (just as you have to as well). But men encounter than kind of problem more frequently than women : as a general rule, we tend to bear in mind that nothing lasts forever if you don’t tend to it.
As a conclusion, I will add the pretty “definition” the reader who gave me the idea for this article formulated : this game is like “a physics theorem where two magnets attract and repel each other in turn”.