I will find you.
No matter how long it takes, no matter how far—I will find you.
—Nathaniel to Cora in The Last of the Mohicans
One of my favorite games growing up was "kidnapped and rescued." I know many little girls who played this—or wished they had. To be the beauty, abducted by the bad guys, fought for and rescued by a hero—some version of this had a place in all our dreams. Like Sleeping Beauty, like Cinderella, like Maid Marian or like Cora in The Last of the Mohicans, I wanted to be the heroine, and have my hero come for me. Why am I embarrassed to tell you this? I simply loved feeling wanted and fought for. This desire is set deep in the heart of every little girl—and every woman. Yet most of us are ashamed of it. We downplay it. We pretend that it is less than it is.
Think about the movies you once loved, and the movies you love now. Is there a movie for little girls that doesn't have a handsome prince coming to rescue his beloved? Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Little Mermaid. A little girl longs for romance, to be seen and desired, to be sought after and fought for. So the Beast must win Beauty's heart in Beauty and the Beast. So in the gazebo scene in The Sound of Music, the Captain finally declares his love to Maria by moonlight and song and then, a kiss. And we sigh.
When we are young, we want to be precious to someone—especially daddy. As we grow older, the longing matures into a longing to be pursued, desired, wanted as a woman. "Why am I so embarrassed by the depth of my desire for this?" asked a young friend just the other day. We were talking about her life as a single woman, and how she loves her work but would much rather be married. "I don't want to hang my life on it—but still, I yearn." Of course. You're a woman.
Now, being romanced isn't all that a woman wants and we are certainly not saying that a woman ought to derive the meaning of her existence on whether she is being or has been romanced by a man or not…but don't you see that you want this? To be desired, to be pursued by one who loves you, to be someone's priority? Most of our addictions as women flare up when we feel that we are not loved or sought after. At some core place, maybe deep within, perhaps hidden or buried in her heart, every woman wants to be seen, wanted, and pursued. We want to be romanced.