My friend Shelly wrote an interesting blogpost the other day that got me thinking. I’ve observed her musings a lot in my own life lately and in the lives of my friends. It’s exhausting.
Essentially she says that immaturity in women lead them to believe that the next great guy they meet is, “the one,” whereas immaturity in men lead them to constantly consider, “Can I do better?”
So then, if this is what immaturity leads us to believe, then how does immaturity lead us to act?
Disclaimer: I am not playing the blame-game. I am not a man-hater. I love men and would like to get married one day. I am thankful that my dad and brother have provided a solid example of biblical manhood. I do however, think that men and women alike have to get their acts together and create some boundaries, both emotional and physical, if they have any intention of marrying.
Men, here is something you should know about women: we are neurotic. If you haven’t figured this out yet, it’s best that you learn by now. Here is a small example of what I mean:
Guy A says to Girl A: “I like your hair/shirt/backpack/shoe laces.”
Girl A isn’t interested in Guy A, so she thinks little of this interaction.
Guy B says to Girl B: “I like your hair/shirt/backpack/shoe laces.”
Girl B has a huge crush on Guy B, so this interaction can only mean one thing: he is so into her.
Here’s what happens next:
With the assumption that Guy B is now the love of her life, Girl B begins to make herself available to Guy B. This can manifest itself in a number of ways: text messages, Facebook chat, hang outs, etc. Girl B will think nothing of changing her schedule to accommodate Guy B. Essentially, she does the pursuing while Guy B enjoys the comfort and affirmation that he gets from such an exchange.
I see this happen far too often. I once had a friend that spent huge amounts of time with a guy under the assumption that he liked her. (Guys, if you are spending copious amounts of time with a girl, don’t expect her to believe otherwise.) A couple months later he told her he wanted to formally thank her for being “such a good friend” and then he started dating someone else.
Girls, here is an important rule. You’ve probably heard it before. There was even a movie made about…
If he isn’t asking you out, then he’s just not into you. Assume, in all cases, that this is the truth. Everything else is an exception. And while exceptions do exist (maybe he’s shy…?) it will save your heart a LOT of grief if you err on the side of caution.
“But we always hang out!” “But we talk so openly with one another!” “But he’s totally flirting with me!”
But, but, but!
But he’s not asking you out. And as my dad tells me (he’s my go-to guy when it comes to dating) guys want to be liked. They want attention (who doesn’t!?) And even if they don’t like you like you, they still want you to like them. Don’t get all man-hater about this. We’re neurotic, remember? Both sexes have flaws.
But guys, this does mean that you should watch your actions.
Here’s another scenario:
Guy C meets Girl C for the first time. They start chatting and discover that they have a lot in common. They get along really well. Guy C offers to get Girl C a drink. At the end of the night he singles her out by giving her a hug. During the entire exchange, Guy C never mentions that he has a girlfriend.
There are certain ways to conduct yourself when you’re in a dating relationship. I understand that you want to be liked, but you still want your girlfriend to like you too, right? I have no other comments to make about this other than exercise caution.
My Personal Opinion:
If you are the type of guy that’s well-liked by many girls (and not just because you’re genuinely awesome, but because you give them reason to believe that you like them) then you are exactly the type of guy that I am going to stay away from. Why? Because when it comes to dating, I don’t believe in competition. I am not going to compete with another girl to be that “better” person you want to attain. I am not a contender; I am a standout. At least I will be to one person. And it only takes one.
What About Pursuit?
Pursuit. It’s the one word that all girls swoon at. It’s what we want. To know that a guy would take a risk on us by asking us out. And to the guys who do take this risk (even if the answer is no) you have my utmost respect.
I was recently speaking with a friend about a movie that she saw. At the end of this movie her guy friend commented that the male lead shouldn’t have ended up with the woman because he didn’t try hard enough to pursue her. “Awesome!” I exclaimed. That’s what I like to hear. Hopefully he’s the kind of guy who takes his own advice.
Let It Be
I once asked my friend Andrew (who is engaged to my long-time friend Steph) if I should lower my standards when it comes to guys and dating (there might have been a drink in my hand). His response was no. Though at times I’m frustrated with male-female interactions, I know that good men do exist. I also know that I’m guilty of messing up in this area and don’t exactly offer the type of encouragement that would be beneficial to a man (I’m working on it). But I also know that it’s not worth obsessing over. There is a lot of life to be lived, and there’s a lot of love to extend to every person we meet. It’s more profitable to focus on what’s right in front of us rather than to conjure up something in our head. Saves us from wasting our time and our brain space.
These thoughts have been brought to you by Natalie on her sick day in bed. Would love to hear your own!