Obsession

Are you obsessed with a girl?

This is something a lot of guys do.   There are a few names crush, infatuation, obsession, oneitis.  Basically, it’s when a girl (or guy for you ladies out there) gets under your skin.  You can’t stop thinking about this person.  You idolize them, put them on a pedestal, spend days imagining your perfect life together.

This isn’t new.  We even see this in the Bible.  David and Bathsheba, Samson and Delilah, Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife (she was obsessed with him) and probably the most epic and heartbreaking, Jacob and Rachel.    Imagine a young Jacob, meets Rachel (his cousin, by the way), falls in love with her, works 7 years and then is tricked into marrying her sister.   It’s a really sad, romantic story, but he was obviously obsessed with this girl, and all because she was pretty.

Sadly, we are still the same.   We see a pretty girl and are taken with her and she consumes us.   This can especially be true in the Church where there are such taboos on dating.   It can be difficult to move forward so we just worship from afar, and it’s unhealthy.   So here are some thoughts on how to deal with it.

Approach her

This tough.  Too many guys get in their head that you have to make a grand gesture, profess your undying love, have a magical first date, whatever.   That’s dumb and doesn’t work.

Just talk to her, be around her, invite her to stuff, take her to coffee.  You don’t need a massive first date.  Pay attention.  If she likes you she will probably be open to moving things forward.  If she doesn’t then she will let you know, subtly but consistently.   Also be aware that girls get really nervous too.   Sometimes the signs that she’s not interested can be very hard to distinguish from signs that’s she’s just nervous.

Be Consistent and not Afraid

One thing I’ve found myself doing recently is being too afraid to move forward.  My crush will give me (almost) every sign in the world that she’s interested.  She’ll smile and laugh and make intense eye contact and stand a little closer and remember random details about my life, but I’m too nervous to do anything about it.  I keep pushing them away, looking for more signs, and never move things forward.  Ultimately it will get to the point where she is angry and hurt that you don’t reciprocate and will shut you down.   That is usually the point where the lightbulb goes on for most of us and we realize she was into us the whole time, so we try to fix it.  Try to get her back.  That is almost impossible after it goes sideways.

So, be open.  Show a girl that you like her and she can trust you.  Stop pushing her away.   You don’t have to do this with words, or not just words.  Girls are way better than you are at picking up body language and other nuances, so just act like you like her and keep things moving forward.  If she offers opportunity to move things forward and spend time together, jump on them.

Also, don’t be afraid of your feelings.  There can be a lot of shame and guilt in the Church culture about this.  The weekly teachings on purity, lust and not looking at a woman can really make it tough to not beat yourself up about the way you feel.   It is OK and normal to be attracted to a woman.  Treat her with respect, back off if she’s not interested, but don’t be ashamed for liking her.

Focus on Yourself

I’ve seen it time and time again.  There is one girl that EVERYONE is obsessed with.  Maybe it’s the pastor’s daughter, or she’s on the worship team, or whatever.   She’s pretty and talented and loves Jesus, so every guy in there is following her around.  Thing is, you are probably not that pretty, talented, rich, hard-working or spiritual.

Stop wasting time thinking about what could be and get your life together.  Success is much more attractive than anything else you could do.   We hear this sometimes from spiritual people, especially women, “Just focus on Jesus and he will bring someone”.   There is some truth to that.   If you are actively working to be a better person, you will be more attractive.   Wasting days obsessing over some girl is NOT making you more attractive to anyone.

Know When She’s Not Interested

Much of the animosity between men and women is because men approach and try and force things on a woman when she’s clearly not interested.  Girls will avoid conflict.   They don’t want to say “Hey, quit following me creeper”, so they will do their best to send these signals out in other ways.

Here are some quick tips to know that she has no interest.

  1. Conversation is boring.
  2. One word responses.
  3. She refers to you as “friend”
  4. She tries to set you up with someone else.
  5. She talks to you about other guys she’s interested in.
  6. She doesn’t laugh at your jokes.

If she thinks you are boring, there’s nothing happening.   This leads to my final point.

Move On

This one is a little tricky, and something I’ve personally taken too far.   Church communities tend to be fairly tight-knit, so it’s really hard to date more than one woman in the same environment.   This is an area where women just don’t understand how men work.  Any guy reading this knows that there are multiple women you are attracted to at any given moment.    Just because you really like Sally doesn’t mean you wouldn’t go out with Jennifer if she showed some interest.

Women don’t think that way.  They think you should love them and only them.   They can get super jealous and hurt because of that.   Watch any chick flick from the last 1/4 century and you will see this.

That said, there is zero reason you can’t be friends with multiple girls.  It’s been my experience that most church girls want to be pretty private about their dating life initially.   If you go out with one, they aren’t going to broadcast it to everyone.  Probably only their closest friends.   The Church can be judgemental about romantic relationships, so the women will generally not make a big deal about it until you are in a committed relationship and want to be public about it.

This is NOT an encouragement to be a player, but it’s OK to invest a little time getting to know multiple people to see who’s a good fit.   Just be careful about flirting with one girl in front of another.   It can be tempting to do that to make your crush jealous, but it can really backfire and cause trust issues.  It’s a very powerful thing, use it sparingly.

Be Authentic

To summarize:

Be open and honest – If you like someone, show it.   Be friendly, be nice, make her laugh, tease her.  Dating is a game, so there’s a certain amount of that.  Girls love to play games with you but don’t focus on the game, focus on being real.

Don’t be afraid of friends – We are all deathly afraid of the “friendzone”.  Don’t be, but have lots of friends.  Don’t just focus your energy on a friendship with one woman in the desperate hopes of dating her.   Set boundaries, have lots of friends, be popular.

Don’t chase – There’s a big difference between initiating and chasing.  If a girl is actively moving away from you, don’t follow her around either physically or metaphorically.   This is a hard line to draw sometimes.  Don’t be afraid to text, call or talk to a woman, but if you don’t get a positive response, stop.   Give her space to sort her feelings out and come back to you.

Be better  – Work every day to be the best person you can be.  Make connections, work harder, be successful, be spiritual.

I wish I could have written this a year and a half ago, but I had to learn some of these lessons the hard way…

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Scared to Date

Recently I met a woman.   She’s a nice Christian girl, pretty, smart, active in her church, the kind of woman I want in my life.  Not only that, but she’s clearly attracted to me.    I’ve seen her a couple times recently, and she’s been flirty and touchy, but not overly so – she’s also been nervous and uncomfortable in other situations.   Also a good indicator that she’s crushing on me.

In spite of this, I’m really nervous to ask her out.  Scared to start something.  Scared she won’t like the real me, scared I’m wrong about her indications, scared she will say no, scared she will say yes.

Anyone else out there like this?  Anyone else frozen in fear?  Afraid to let someone in?

Would love to hear comments and thoughts!

Be Bold

Men and women are different. In our modern world of acceptance and equality, this is difficult to remember. And this isn’t misogynistic in any way. It’s not a matter of capability, but simply a difference in body chemistry. Due to hormones, women will respond to situations differently than men, and this is important to remember when it comes to dating.

One area where this is very apparent is when instigating romantic interactions. Many men wonder why women won’t just approach a man, make her feelings known. Why is it always up to the man to initiate things? Most of the discussions I’ve read about this try to make it a sociological issue. Women don’t take the risk because they don’t have to. Men will pursue them. Sometimes this is true, but it doesn’t really account for the underlying reason.

Today, I think I may have uncovered why women don’t initiate.

We are all familiar with the concept of Fight or Flight. The idea that in a stressful situation you either throw a punch or run away. It’s a biological imperative – survival mechanism. Thing is, this response is mostly for men. Women respond to stress differently. Research in the last couple decades has shown that women, instead, default to a “Tend and Befriend” behavior. Different hormones are released in stressful situations, and those hormones have different effects based on biological gender.

In emergency situations, male first responders will get an adrenaline spike. Police will respond to a threat by pulling their weapon and often attacking. Heart will race, vision will narrow to focus on the threat, cognitive ability will resort to something primitive and the body will take action. Conversely, a female body will release vasopressors and cause her to freeze. Meanwhile, her perception will increase and she will actually get smarter.

Think about this, it makes sense. It goes back to when we were all kids. The pretty girl walks by that you have a crush on, and all of a sudden you are completely stupid and run away (fight or flight). Hopefully, you didn’t punch her.

So, women learn really early that if they approach a guy, one of two things happens. Either he isn’t interested and simply rejects her, OR he freaks out and runs away. She can’t win.

What happens when a guy approaches a woman? Sometimes he’s rejected, typically because she has no interest at all. This may be why when a guy hems and haws around forever that it doesn’t work. She has time to think about it and make a rational decision. But, when a guy is bold and approaches a girl, what happens. She gets stressed. But instead of running away, she freezes, gets smarter and more perceptive. Her body releases Oxytocin that makes her want to connect.

This could explain so much. Why things like scary movies and roller coasters are such great dates. Why some women love drama, like to pick fights with their spouses, love bad boys, etc… The stress releases hormones that make them want to bond. Nice guys finish last.

The expanded perception may also be the reason isolating a girl can be so important. You ask her out in front of her friends, suddenly she is keenly aware of everyone around her and how embarrassing the situation is. This is hard for guys to understand because in the same situation we get tunnel vision and only focus on the person in front of us.

So remember this the next time you meet a woman you like. Being bold isn’t just some sociological expectation, it actually significantly increases the chances of you getting that date you want.

Nervous or Creeped out

One thing that trips a lot of guys up is gauging a woman’s reaction to them.

A lot of guys come off as creepy. We’ve all done it, tried to chase some girl to the point where they just don’t want to have anything to do with us and have to get extreme to get their point across. We’ve also all been socially awkward and weird.

So, some of us, get very sensitive to when women are acting uncomfortable, and we back off.

The problem is, when a woman really likes a guy, he will make her nervous. When she’s nervous, she will give off some negative body language and seem uncomfortable. This really ties in with my last post about awkward goodbyes.

This article isn’t for those with no social skills. If you are consistently, genuinely creepy, figure out why. There are plenty of articles on this.

When you learn some social skills you will notice that sometimes, women you have had great interactions with will randomly shut down and be generally weird. Negative body language isn’t always a bad thing.

Personally, I noticed this with a woman I met. A Super nice woman that I met socially one evening. We had a nice enough time, flirted a bit, but nothing exciting. The next time I saw her, we were in a very comfortable environment, but she didn’t expect to see me there. She walks in, is talking with us, starts tugging at her clothes, appearing nervous, even to the point where she did some very clumsy things. Previously I would have always thought she was uncomfortable, didn’t like me. What I realized that day, I just made her nervous, and there was no reason to think it was in a bad way. In fact, later that evening, I was going to leave for a bit, and she made the statement that I should stay and someone else should go run the errand I was going on. I can’t know if this was off the cuff, or an attempt to get me to stay, but it was certainly an indication that she wasn’t uncomfortable with me. She wasn’t trying to get away from me.

Through this and some other puzzling interactions, it has become clear that nervous body language, fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, submissiveness, being intimidated, etc… are NOT always negative. If the woman you are interacting with has previously been very positive but is suddenly nervous, she may be into you.

If this happens, don’t freak out. Don’t get awkward yourself. Be bold, escalate, move forward, be strong.

As always, I would LOVE any comments on this. Validation or criticism are very welcome.

Saying Goodbye

Ever have a woman that is awkward when it comes time to say goodbye?   You are out with your social circle, everyone is having fun, things are good, but the night ends and she just disappears or does something awkward?

I’ve seen this a lot.  Some girls will come give you a big hug and say goodbye.  Maybe even tell you they love you or what a great guy you are.   Others will just take off.  Never say goodbye, or maybe wave as they jump in their car at before anyone else is even out the door.   Or maybe, and I’ve had this happen, they say goodbye to your friend, and you are standing there so she feels obligated to say goodbye to you and you get the most awkward side hug EVER.

This may not always be true, but this could be a weird sign that she’ likes you

She gets awkward when it’s time to say goodbye in large social gatherings.

If you’re dating, it’s easy-peasy. But if you’re in a weird pre-stage or she’s just straight fantasizing about a potential love match, being out and about with other people can throw her for a loop. One second she’s chill and it’s great, then everyone is saying goodbye, hugging, making plans, and does something she later regrets, like shaking your hand. SHE SHOOK YOUR HAND. Or just disappeared altogether and you got a text that said, “So sorry for ghosting! I had to run. But that was super fun 🙂 ” — her anxiety took over and she was concerned the whole world would sense how massively smitten she is if you two had any physical interaction when saying goodbye.

 

I’ve noticed this in my life and it really puzzled me until recently. Women that are affectionate with everyone else race for the door or be super awkward when it’s time to say goodbye to me.

A really fun thing to do is call them out on it. I had this happen a couple times recently. Once with was a woman I’d just met, as we headed for our cars I was hugging our mutual friend (who has zero interest in me) and the new girl just headed for her car. She had mentioned earlier in the evening she doesn’t like to give guys the wrong idea, so she just bumps fists instead of hugging. She was across the parking lot already, and I shouted her name. “Come Back!” She did, and I told her we had to do an awkward fist bump – just to keep things appropriate.

Another time, I was out with a group, and one of the girls who I regularly have excellent banter and flirting with just ran for her car. I gave hugs to everyone else, but wouldn’t get back out of her car after I called after her, she just waved.

The annoying thing about this situation is it’s completely counterintuitive. As guys, we are trained to see touch as being flirty, so we think the girl that never wants to touch us just doesn’t like us. At all. Even worse than that, so much of the time the woman will give lots of other indications they like us. Eye contact, laughing at your jokes, teasing, banter, stands a little too close, smiles too much, plays with her hair, whatever. But then she pulls something like this and you stand there wondering what the heck happened. Many of us guys just walk away thinking “Oh well, I guess she just wants to be friends”.

Meanwhile, we think the girl that is totally comfortable and gave us the biggest hug must be into us, which is often NOT true.

And women wonder why guys are clueless…

One final comment. One of my current goals is to get really good at saying goodbye. Learn to give a good, solid hug. Firm handshake if appropriate. Tell people goodbye, life is short, you never know if you will see them again. Just be open, warm, genuine – people love that.

Finding Boundaries

In any social circle, which is essentially what a church community is, it can be tough to figure out if a girl is interested in dating.  For men, approaching is difficult, and in spite of what so much common thought says, being bold and direct isn’t always the best policy.

Women, Christian women in particular, can be very cautious when it comes to romantic entanglements.  An easy way to create what’s called Plausible Deniability.  Make the reason you want to spend time together something besides “I LOVE YOU”, even if you really do.   Now, this seems a little smarmy on the surface, but in reality, it’s very romantic.   Every woman wants a little romance, a little mystery, a little chase.   By just flat out asking them on a “date” you take away all the mystery.  They aren’t wondering if you like them, where this is going, anything.  They know what you are after.

This idea isn’t new.  Remember back in high school when you needed to ‘study for a big test’?  You both knew there would be very little studying going on, but it was a pretext, it gave her deniability, it added mystery.

Now women, in general, will say they like men that are direct.  I think this is primarily because it’s easy to preselect guys.   They will judge you on your appearance or others opinion of you, and filter out the guys they think aren’t good enough.  The problem with this is it leads to women all chasing the same one or two popular guys.

It’s much better to spend some time with a woman, get to know her with minimal pressure.  This is where the common advice about “group dates” comes from.  The problem with that is if you aren’t spending time one on one it’s NEVER going to go anywhere and you run risks of starting rumors and being rejected.   (see the previous post ASD and Church Girls)

So what does this have to do with boundaries?   It’s simple.   Relationships are all based on boundaries.   If you have an acquaintance that might be somebody you would greet on a Sunday morning, or say Hi to on the street.  You know their name, but you don’t have contact information or hang out regularly.  Once you move to being friends, you spend time together in other settings, exchange phone numbers, etc… Moving into a romantic relationship is another set of boundaries.  Here in the USA, friends might hug, but if you are kissing you are more than friends.    Marriage is ideally the highest level of intimacy and there are very few boundaries (although there should still be some).

Every woman is going to have a set of boundaries with you.   Will she give you her contact info, will she respond to your texts, will she hang out with you in a group, will she hang out one on one, will she let you touch her, will she kiss you.   So the trick to being successful and NOT CREEPY is to push those boundaries but also respect them.  Pay attention, if her body language is negative if she doesn’t respond to your approaches, if she verbally tells you to leave her alone – RESPECT THAT.

One thing I’ve seen in the church so many times is guys that don’t pick up on subtle (or not so subtle) hints.   Don’t be that guy.   Pay attention, back off.   Many times if you back off a little you can reorient and try again later.  She may be more receptive.

Finally, if you are interested in someone, push those boundaries.  Be classy, and respectful, but push things until you get a negative response.

Personally, this is probably one of the easiest ways to find out if a woman is interested.   Sometimes you will be interacting with a person and just notice that no matter what you do she doesn’t seem to push back.   Maybe it’s time to test those boundaries a little more, see if she wants to check out a new restaurant or movie.

ASD and Church Girls

There’s a concept in the dating community known as Anti-Slut Defense. One definition of ASD is this:

ASD = Anti-slut Defense (Woman backs off after taking it too far in public)

The concepts of “too far” and “public” can have huge ramifications in a church setting. Too far doesn’t just mean that you made out in public, it can simply mean that others thought she was too flirty or whatever.

Often an ASD will come in the form of a girl rejecting your attempts to kiss her or get physical with her, or it might come in the form of her appearing (or trying to appear) disinterested in you. A girl who demonstrates ASD behaviour is doing so as a result of the environment around her. She does not want to be judged by those people in the environment in which she is in. This judgement can come directly from her friends, or even from you. In the latter case, she does not want to present herself to you as ‘easy’ or ‘slutty’. This is actually a good indication that she likes you. She wants you to like her and view her positively and not judge her or hold her in a negative light.

Source: http://puamore.com/wiki/asd-anti-slut-defense/

Why do women do this? An explanation comes from something known as the Madonna/Whore complex – a Freudian concept.

Madonna(or the Virgin Mary) – Jesus’s mother, a woman so perfect and pure that not only did she give birth to the son of god, but she did it without having to resort to dirty, dirty sex

Whore – Well, we all know what a whore is.

The idea is that men lust after a Whore, but won’t marry her. Conversely, they will love the Madonna, but not desire her. This concept puts women in a tough spot. If they are judged by their community as a whore or slut, they lose status, but they also have needs. This balancing act is difficult.

The Church, in spite of many admonitions to love each other and not judge, can often be very judgemental. In fact, the whole concept of the this virgin-whore, as well as ASD itself, primarily stems out of the Puritan culture that is so prevelant in the modern evangelical church.

In fact, this even runs deeper than being judged by the community. Christian women also have to reconcile their internal desire to be pure before Christ. ASD can happen even in private when you push too hard to be physical. You can violate their internal sensibilities and trigger ASD.

Impact in Christian Relationships

So, what does this all mean for men attempting to pursue Christian women? It means that us men need to recognize the challenges Christian women face.

Men in our culture can get away with so much more, while women get judged (maybe it’s every culture, I have no idea)

Here are some tips on being successful with Christian women.

  1. Be discrete
    We’ve all been there.  You have had a great time with a woman, but the next time you see her she gives you the cold shoulder.   Dial the flirting back in public.  Isolate her, remove her from the group and interact with her one on one where she doesn’t have to fear being judged.
  2. Recognize it’s an emotional reaction, not a rational one
    This is tough.  As men, our automatic reaction is that the woman doesn’t like you.  If a woman doesn’t like you she will be aloof, she will set boundaries.   If she is actively putting a lot of energy into showing she doesn’t like you, she may still have feelings for you.  Hold your frame, be consistent.  Build rapport and trust with her again.

    When a woman goes into ASD she is trying to balance her internal thoughts.  If you show you are above it and can rebuild the trust you can get past it.

  3. Give her plausible deniability
    This one feels tricky.  Most dating sites will tell you to be open and honest about your intentions, but I’ve found that in the Church, the relationships that do happen don’t happen quickly.   People may know each other for months, even years before they get together.   A high level of trust and comfort is needed for a woman to move forward.

    I think this is the reason why it’s tough to have a ‘singles’ community in the church.  There is just too much pressure on women.  Most women I know, in spite of the fact that they want desperately to be married and have a family, will be hesitant to be part of anything labeled as ‘singles’.   It’s too direct, too honest.

    This is also why most women insist on ‘hearing from God’ before they can date a guy.  If they feel like they’ve heard from God they have this deniability.   Whatever happens becomes God’s responsibility, giving them the freedom to be who they are (I’m not making any judgments about what God says about mates, but it’s a tough topic to hear clearly about.)

    This is why it’s OK to ‘hang out’, but not OK to go on a ‘date’.

  4. Don’t worry about the friendzone
    I’ve talked about the friendzone, and I’m convinced it isn’t really a thing.  I mean, it can be.  If you get oneitis really bad, you can become a chump and just follow the girl around doing her bidding.   Being a friendzone friend and a real friend are two very different things.

    So, if a woman goes into ASD, be her friend.  Be kind, understanding.  Don’t ghost her back (this is my goto move and it’s never turned out well).  Ignoring her is an emotional response on your part to protect yourself.   Treat her like a friend.  Don’t pick up her dry cleaning or buy her dinner, but just be kind and friendly.   If she reaches back out, spend some time with her and see what happens.

Bottom line?  The biggest thing is to use your freedom as men to give a woman comfort.   Be a complete gentleman in public, and get a little more interesting in private.

A friend of mine did a great job of this when he got with his wife.  She is an exceptionally beautiful woman, so was automatically slut-shamed when she joined our community.  All the other girls hated her, simply because she was pretty.   They had known each other a year or two before they started dating, and the whole time they dated they were super private.  We rarely saw them together.  He did a great job of keeping their relationship isolated, creating a conspiracy between just the two of them.

I’ve seen this first hand.  Had a woman in my life that seemed very interested.  We had a great time together.  Then all of a sudden she wouldn’t talk to me, wouldn’t even look at me.   I believe I tripped her ASD and I responded poorly.  It always mystified me why she was super friendly in smaller groups or alone, but not in a larger group.  Now it makes perfect sense.   I attempted to isolate her afterward, but she didn’t trust me not to embarrass her further, and that just made it worse.

Be a man, get out of your own way, be honest, polite, a gentleman – at least in public.  Save your flirting for private.

 

 

 

Love your wives, obey your husbands

Wives and Husbands

Ephesians 5:21-33

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her 26to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.

28In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29Indeed, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. 30For we are members of His body.

31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This mystery is profound, but I am speaking about Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5 gives us the great, and often controversial, admonition concerning marriage.   Husbands love your wives, wives obey your husbands.

Sometimes the church has used this to encourage men to love their wives, on the premise that this is what they really want/need.  That women want to be worshiped and adored.  The feminist undercurrent has minimized the women obeying their husbands as being patriarchal.   The idea being that the husbands need their ego stroked or something.

But what if our thinking is wrong?  What if these encouragements are actually to benefit the giver and not the recipient?

First, let’s look at the husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church.   While throughout the Bible God has loved his people, many, many times scripture refers to Israel as a harlot. In fact, this is pretty much the premise of the book of Hosea.  A guy marries a prostitute and spends the whole book chasing her around because he loves her.

Women, in general, don’t really want to be loved.  Every woman out there has some creepy dude that idolizes her, adores her, would follow her around like a puppy.  All but the most insecure women reject these kinds of men.

Men want to love.  Men get fixated on one particular thing and will love it for their whole life.   You see this everywhere in culture.  Sports teams, cars, heck even George Clooney chasing down his beloved Dapper Dan in O Brother Where Art Thou.

Guys will be loyal to their sports team through thick and thin, while most women couldn’t care less if the Giants or the Jets are playing.  Guys will drive a Chevy or Ford their whole lives, even if it’s unreliable and they have to spend every weekend working on it.  Women just care if the car starts.  There’s a reason no one has adapted Moby Dick with a woman as Captain Ahab, most women would think chasing a white whale was completely dumb.

So maybe, when Paul says to love your wives like Christ loved the church, he means to love her in spite of the fact that she isn’t going to love you back the same way.  When she’s crazy, or interested in someone else you have to be stalwart and consistent.

In fact, Paul likens the love a man should have for a woman to the love a man has for his own body.  To see what he means by this, let’s look at this passage from Corinthians:

Run Your Race to Win

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable. 26Therefore I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight like I am beating the air. 27No, I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. 

You don’t nourish your body with whatever it wants, feed it fatty foods, take drugs, let it sleep til noon and be lazy on the couch.  Not if you love it.  People that really love and cherish their own bodies put their time in at the gym, eat clean, don’t drink excessively or do meth.

Likewise, husbands should challenge their wives, encourage them, not cater to their every whim.

Conversely, women are notorious for wanting powerful men.   The old adage that women love bad boys is so true.  Have a motorcycle and tattoos and a cavalier attitude, you are a chick magnet.  The ladies love it.

This correlates with what every modern site about dating and attracting women will tell you.  Be powerful, make yourself better, don’t chase, tell women what to do.

But what is most men’s natural state?  Many, many men just cave to a woman’s every whim.  This even comes down to all the memes complaining about women deciding where they want to eat.

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Most husbands can’t even decide where to have dinner.  Women hate this.  They want a decisive, in charge man.  Hence Paul’s advice to obey and submit to your husbands.  Is this because men want to be in charge?  No.  It’s because women want a decisive powerful man in their life, so they need to empower this guy.   Let him be in charge, encourage him to be in charge.

The most powerful, independent, strong women I’ve ever met will absolutely cave to a guy that asserts an opinion.  They love it.  Many women I know are opinionated and strong-willed with everyone they meet, except their husband.  A smart woman will listen to Paul and encourage her husband to be that guy because it’s what SHE needs.

Again, if we look at scripture, Christ doesn’t love the church by putting her on a pedestal and catering to her every whim.  No, Christ tells his church she has to give up everything and follow him.

The Rich Young Ruler

Mark 10:17-27

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words a]”>[a]he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

Imagine how different your dating life would be guys if you had this attitude.  If you went and told the woman of your dreams she had to give up everything for you.

Women Testing

Women test men to validate their love.   This is commonly referred to as a “shit test”.

‘Shit Tests, in my definition, are her way of finding out whether or not you’re a remarkable Man.

I’m not talking about her finding out if you’re potentially a pro football player here; I’m just talking about a guy who knows what he wants and is willing to go after it.

Shit Tests: Why You Fail Her Shit Tests.

Vulgarities aside, this is a modern way to express a principle as old as the Bible.  The Bible is full of places where people tested God. What did God do? He had zero tolerance for it, which is exactly what guys should do. Don’t cave into a woman’s tests, don’t respond negatively, or at all if you can avoid it – just continue to love her. God is sovereign and cares little about our whining and temper tantrums, He’s still in charge and he knows it. Men should live their lives this way.

One caveat here that I will add, just in case someone reading this is a moron. I am NOT promoting abuse, or just being a jerk all the time in general. God a caring God, he loves us.

Luke 11:9-11

9Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Be good to the women in your life, just don’t be a doormat.   And women, submit to the men in your life, encourage them to lead a little bit.

 

Women, be more aggressive in dating

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If there is one constant when it comes to dating and women, it’s that men are mystified.  If you are a woman and don’t know why the guy you like doesn’t ask you out, it’s probably because he has no idea if your flirting is really flirting, if you are just being nice, or what.

Every woman should watch this video (it gets a little racy at the end, so don’t be offended), because this is exactly what every man is thinking.

The problem isn’t so much with the men, it’s with the women.   Women will do things all the time that are flirty, either without meaning to, or just so they can get some attention.    This means when a woman is really interested, guys are confused.  In fact, often times (and guys do this too), women will only flirt with guys they AREN’T interested in.  When they are around the guy they are interested in they will ignore him.

This situation is rooted in our modern world, and trying to adjust thousands of years of human behaviour.  From the dawn of history until fairly recently, men and women didn’t interact like they do now.   Men and women didn’t really have casual relationships.  Today, in our modern society, women are free to interact with anyone they want to, and this complicates things.   Watch an old movie or read an old romantic novels.  Women used to do things like drop handkerchiefs to attract a guy’s attention.  Subtlety totally worked.  Now we are in a world where men and women interact all the time, some of them flirt, and it makes it really hard to evaluate the subtlety.

So, bottom line ladies.  If you are interested in a guy, be aggressive.  Don’t quit.   And learn how to establish boundaries when you aren’t.  If you are going to be flirty, make sure that flirting doesn’t go too far because that gets people hurt.

What is a Date?

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One of the trickiest things to navigate in the modern pursuit of romance is defining a “date”.   Many of us have been there, you are out with a woman, and she comments something like “Just to be clear, this isn’t a date”.

I’m here to tell you this is nonsense.  If a man and woman are alone together, it’s a date.  Plain and simple.   You see this all the time in our modern world.  Every married couple I know has a “date night”.  What does it mean?  It means that they are going out without their children.

The problem is, that the term “date” has come to mean a serious thing.   50 years ago people dated.   They went to the movies, they went to dances, they went out for dinner, they could do it with different people on a regular basis and it wasn’t a big deal.   Somewhere along the line, the idea of being on a date became more than just sharing a meal, it became synonymous with a serious relationship.   So what did society do?  It stopped calling dates “dates” and instead referred to it as “hanging out”.

If you are together someone is interested

This comes back to the concept of the Friend Zone.  The idea of the Friend Zone is that a man spends time with a woman, but she only likes him as a friend.    The Friend Zone is largely a myth.   If two people are out together there is some level of attraction on both sides.   Now, it may not be enough to evolve into a romantic relationship, but a woman will not spend time alone with a guy who she isn’t somewhat attracted to.  This is why it’s almost impossible to spend alone time with a woman who is in a relationship.   When is the last time you spent an evening out alone with a married person who wasn’t your spouse.  It just doesn’t happen, and if it does, even under the guise of “just friends”, it typically causes complications.  All too often those “just friends” activities turn romantic.

If a woman is alone with a man, it means she trusts him, and for a woman trust is fundamental to romance.   Men don’t always recognize this, but women are vulnerable.  The average man is bigger and stronger than all but the most athletic of women, so a woman putting herself in a situation where a man can use his size and strength against her is a very vulnerable position.   If she doesn’t trust you, and like you, she will not be alone with you.

How to behave on a date

The best thing to do, as a man, is to treat every time alone with a woman as a date, and no, that doesn’t mean you should try to kiss every woman at the end of the night.   If you are out with a woman, be charming, funny, talk to her, get to know her.  Be polite, open the door for her, stand when she comes to the table, walk her to her car, etc…   but don’t go over the top, don’t be creepy.   Here are a few things that are problematic.

  1. Opening the car door for her  Opening a car door is a weird thing.  It’s a minor inconvenience, I mean really, who can’t open their own car door.  Thing is, if you do it, it has to be very intentional.   Back in the day before automatic door locks it kind of made more sense.  You could use the key to unlock her door first.  Now you just hit a button, so if you are going around the car and opening her door it’s obvious what you are doing.  Kind of goes beyond politeness.
  2. Making plans/Ordering for her Women like decisive men.  I think this is why there is a perpetual “where do you want to eat”  “where do you want to go” battle with most couples.    It’s good to be decisive, make the plans, women will typically go along with your ideas in the dating phase, but don’t be a jerk about it.  Don’t just order for her or try to boss her around, unless you can do it without being creepy.  There’s a fine line to walk there.
  3. Paying This is a big one.  Buying someone dinner is a big deal.  I’ve noticed this even out with my guy friends.  If someone picks up the tab it really changes the dynamic of the interaction.   If you try to pay for a woman and she’s not interested, or not interested enough to move forward with the relationship, it gets really awkward.  The initial “dating” or “hanging out” really should be about getting to know each other, if it inject awkwardness it’s a problem.  Also paying can be a strong signal to a woman that’s interested that this is moving forward.   Not paying is a good way to set a boundary and indicate that the man doesn’t want to be more the friends, at least not yet.
  4. Kissing  Getting physical, kissing, holding hands, or just touching is a strong signal that there is more going on.   If you kiss her it’s definitely going to the next level and becomes a “real date”.   Don’t be touchy if you don’t want to move forward.

Every man should treat every woman like they are on a date, even if it’s your Mom or sister, or daughter, or niece, or even your wife.   Be polite, take charge, (no, don’t kiss your Mom, at least not like that).  It’s good practice, and when you are in a romantic relationship those types of things will just come naturally.

What to be careful of when dating

Two points I would like to make here, both vitally important.  First, don’t be afraid to date.   Personally I have a policy, I will go out with anyone once.   You don’t really know someone until you’ve been alone with them.  Maybe you will have great chemistry, maybe they are super fun with the pressure of having their friends around is gone.   I would encourage everyone to spend time with others unless you are truly uncomfortable around them.  Dating is about getting to know people.

Second, don’t date once you KNOW you aren’t interested.   I’m a big believer that guys and girls can’t just be friends.  One of the parties ALWAYS wants more.   Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but we all want something out of a relationship.  Maybe she just likes the free meals, maybe he just likes the attention of a pretty girl, but you don’t make time for people in your life if you don’t have an interest.  I’ve seen situations where women are totally head over heels with a guy and he spends time with her.   That’s just wrong, and is going to lead to problems.

If you do go out with someone you have no interest in, use it as an opportunity to set boundaries.  If you like and care about the person, but don’t want to be romantic, it’s much less painful for everyone to go out with them and treat the situation as completely plantonic, than it is to freak out and be offended because they even asked.  Life is about relationships.  Flat out rejecting someone is more about fear, creating distance and control, than it is about love and kindness and respect.   If you are struggling with this I would recommend Danny Silk’s excellent book Keeping Your Love On.   It has great ideas for building relationships, communication and setting boundaries.