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.
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.
- Conversation is boring.
- One word responses.
- She refers to you as “friend”
- She tries to set you up with someone else.
- She talks to you about other guys she’s interested in.
- She doesn’t laugh at your jokes.
If she thinks you are boring, there’s nothing happening. This leads to my final point.
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 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…