Sigh. Here we go again! Heh. Jen sent me a link to a great article “What Girls Wish You Knew” in response to my complaint about the whole “princess” thing. What Guys Wish You Knew is also good. The whole site is good, especially the Dating and Courtship section! So practical and obvious. Practical… just like the bible.
Now for a disclaimer: It’s hard to judge a person through the text that they write on a keywords, because 90% of our communication is non-verbal. On a blog you can’t see my body language etc. But hey, even in real life personal relationships it can be difficult too! 🙂
By the way, I wrote some more thoughts on this topic here: Men and women – a man’s thoughts
Princes and princesses
A significant problem I see with the whole “princess” and “knight in shining armor” thing is that it drives us to not have grace for people and for their faults. Another big problem is that we develop high expectations and not expectations that are compatible with real people in real lives.
In the past when people told me to write down what I wanted in a woman I initially wrote out the spiritual and heart characteristics that I wanted. More pressure and encouragement was applied to me to list specific physical details. As a pastor said to me, when a woman walks in the room if she doesn’t look like you wrote down you know it’s not her. Simple and sweet. So I forced myself to write things down.
I listened to a Rebekah St James song “Wait for me” (a fab song!) and I read something Rebekah (an Australian by birth!!) wrote online (or she was interviewed, I can’t remember). In the song she had intended to ask for a guy who was purer than the driven snow (in my opinion) and someone pointed out to her that in fact he might have made a mistake and perhaps she’d have to deal with that. So she changed the song, to say “if you’ve made a mistake there is always forgiveness”.
Man! Imagine the pressure on that poor guy! Who can live up to the romantic ideals that Hollywood can build in our imaginations?
In a fallen world
We live in a fallen world, all have fallen short of the glory of God… so how can you hope to have someone who is not fallen?
Hey I want a perfect physical female specimen too! But what if the right woman that God has for me has leukemia? Or perhaps the woman He knows will suit me best has lost a limb (but no one wants her because they have their list of perfection and she doesn’t cut it). God looks at the heart doesn’t He – that’s why He preferred David over Saul. Should I then be biased about woman because she doesn’t look perfect on the outside?
So I’ve released God from that shallowness and returned to my original desire – the heart and the spirituality – NOT the physical outside.
I want someone who loves God like I do and who loves people like I do. Different but compatible. Someone who can be comfortable in the Sydney Opera House for an evening with me and thinks it’s romantic to walk hand in hand through a slum carrying a sick child – simply because we’re together doing God’s work. Someone who I love deeply and I feel deeply loved and accepted by.
If she’s taller than me, or fatter, or older, or much much younger or whatever, that is no issue with me. Of course I have personal preferences, but I’d like to think that I’d accept her because she’s the right person and because she’s honest, loyal and she loves me.
Is it the role of women to be passive? Really?
I have a question concerning initiative in relationships. When exactly is the woman stepping over the boundaries of her position? Christian girls are living in an age where they are totally confused as to the nature of their roles. On every side, the message is screamed at us to ask him out, be flirty, dress to show him we’re into him — rid ourselves of those Puritanical inhibitions! And yet, for many of us, voices from antiquity seem to whisper through the din and remind us to wait, be patient, exhibit self-control. “If it is truly meant to be, then he’ll ask you.” “God doesn’t like girls that are forward.” “Be the sweet little angel in the corner — some day your prince will appear.”
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I’m content to “wait upon the Lord,” but I do wonder whether He really requires me to “wait” in this situation. Am I allowed to show interest at all? In what way?
… snip …
I receive a lot of letters from young women concerned that young men today won’t take any initiative in true courtship, and I agree with you that this is both irksome and worrisome.
On the other hand, it seems to me that you are taking feminine modesty to extremes. Nowhere does Scripture suggest that a girl is to be passive, never even speaking unless spoken to by the guy. That’s not a biblical norm but a cultural norm — if it was ever even that.
Read and reflect on the story of Abigail and David in 1 Samuel 25. Now that gal had chutzpah!
So f’r cryin’ out loud, talk to the guy. It’s not as though you wanted to run his life for him.
The replier is making a good point, the whole emerging prince-princess thing is not biblical.
If you like someone, get on with it! Of course men should be strong and be leaders, yes (and we’re working on it, ok?). But as these two articles say, perhaps it’s ok for women to help get the show on the road – after all that’s what Ruth did! Pulling a Ruth, part 1 and Pulling a Ruth, part 2. I’d sure respond to a woman who prepared herself for me!
Is he into you?
I heard from a female friend a few days ago that there is a book called “He’s just not that into you“. I had heard of this book and I thought it makes great sense to evaluate a relationship honestly with yourself. If he doesn’t call you back… he’s probably not into you. Yeah. Duh.
But then I heard the book also says things like: if he doesn’t run after you and try and win you, then he’s not worth it and you should simply walk away. Holy cow! This is not good advice! People are broken. Some are shy. Some are overwhelmed. Not everyone looks like the bold and the beautiful characters… besides, Hollywood is FULL of divorces, so we need to be mature in our approach to finding a good mate.
So… I’m really not keen on the way that people are currently teaching about “Christian dating”, can you tell? It’s unrealistic and unworkable.
I think actually very simple… and it’s built into our genetics by God. Yay God! It’s called communication and chemistry… and it may work like this:
- If I think she is attractive to me, I’ll look at her a bit longer than I’d look at a friend. Try and catch her eye.
- If she likes me, she flirts with me with her eyes and using body language (stroking her hair). Nothing in-discreet or immodest.
- I take that as an invitation and respond by coming over and introducing myself and find out some things about her (is she a Christian, do we see the world in compatible ways?).
- If we both approve, we go for coffee – while maintaining personal boundaries and keeping our values in tact.
- We keep having coffee once a week for some months to find out who the other person is, if we’re compatible – while maintaining personal boundaries and keeping our values in tact.
- Maybe a dinner here and there – while maintaining personal boundaries and keeping our values in tact.
- So the affection either grows slowly OR we become simply friends. Either is a good outcome. If it fizzles and we don’t get along, that’s fine too.
- If we find there is a wonderful connection on many levels, then we progress further… slowly or quickly… we’ve already done the foundation and we know who each other are… the main goal now is to enjoy every minute of the courtship.
The main ingredient is to display your interest, go slowly and to have excellent boundaries.
It’s really not rocket science is it? 😀
The back-up plan!!
I do have a back-up plan. Prepare yourself for this (engage humour).
If all of that that doesn’t work and I appear to have painted myself into a corner… then I’ll publish a book about how I’m waiting for the right woman and I’ll write copious amounts about myself and my values and have great big pictures of me looking like a million $ on the front cover and inside. Hopefully it will sell tens of thousands of copies (especially near where I live) and badda-bing-badda-boom my problem will mysteriously be solved as I get loads of attention from women and then connect with one of them (happily ever after).
Do I sound cynical? Naaaaah. hehehehe.