Alright, brothers. Here’s the “in” from women you have all been waiting for...
A quick, short worded (the best I can because, as you know, I write a lot) guide to generally* understanding females and pursuing dating.
*Some precursors before we dive in...
I’d like to state these are all generalizations. If you think I could summarize the romantic opinions of the entire female population in a few bullet points, my friend, we’d have far more to learn together than this blog could ever provide. So anytime I use the words “we” or “us” - please know I really mean “most of us” or even more specifically, “the women I have been blessed to walk life with for the past 8-9 years.”
This article is not intended to bring shame upon any woman or man who does not fall under these categories/generalizations, nor am I claiming that this is bulletproof. In other words, I am by no means saying you're not "in the clear" or a wonderful, godly boyfriend if you don't have every single thing on the list going on for ya... Just as much as I'd promise you that just because you may have everything on this list that does not promise you a perfect relationship, nor one at all.
Let's be honest, we're all still trying to figure ourselves out. So let this be a guide - and an imperfect one at that. I have done my best to include only the things I have seen time and time again come up as either problematic or celebratory in relationships, and the things in which I am rather assured most women would agree upon.
I’d also like to add that a lot of these things are not specific to men.
Ladies, we are just as much held responsible to treating our brothers with the same respect and clear intentions that we ask of them!
Consider this a resource out of many opinions out there that I'd encourage you to read, yeah?
All that being said, these bullet points are sourced from the culmination of years counseling younger women and being counseled by older women on the wonderful, ever-so-complex topic that is: men. From 12 years old to 54 years old, mentees to mentors, here’s the tea. We’re taking it straight, no cream or sugar baby.
1. We think – a lot.
Like really – a lot. Whatever the amount you’re thinking - triple it. So, in the same way we pursue physical modesty for your mind so much as our own, please help us to keep our hearts safe by pursuing modesty of speech. In other words, your words have weight. Try to use them only for the purposes of building up and giving grace (Ephesians 4:29).
2. We appreciate it and we notice when you help us not think so much.
If you feel like there is a lack of clarity between us, chances are we already feel that, but like, 1,000,000x more. Once you have processed with community about where your intentions lie, initiate a conversation.
3. We hate being led on.
I think we can all agree, no one likes it! If we could all get into the habit of praying over things before we act, I truly believe there would be less heartache in the world (both in friendships and romantic pursuits). Our hearts are fickle and deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). If you feel some typa way about a girl after a weeks or few weeks time and you’re in a healthy place to date, then perhaps it is safe to say, it could be time to act on it and take her out.
4. We feel honored when you ask us out over the phone or in person.
We’ll take a nervous, yet bold phone call over a put together text – any day. Also, this sets you apart from the rest - #win.
5. We love clarity of your intentions from the beginning.
That means sharing what season you’re currently in or getting out of, following up after a date whether you’re interested in going on another or in going separate ways, saying where you hope things to go, etc. And when you’re ready, that means calling us and saying how you feel about us. That means picking up the phone and saying, “I have growing affections towards you. Can I take you on a date?” or "I'm attracted to who you are and I'd like to get to know you more one on one, can I take you out?" Boom. There you go. Dass a strong as heck script and I just gave it to you for free. #yourewelcome.
6. We love to talk.
This you probably already know… Guilty as charged. In light of this, try your best to communicate with us and your community group both often and honestly. If you’re going to be late to pick us up – just call us to let us know. If you are no longer interested in pursuing dating – call us and let us know. If you’re thinking about us randomly during the day (and your intention is to pursue us) – text us and let us know. If you want to know more about something – make it a point to ask us next time you see us and let us know it's important to you. If you have feelings you don’t know how to bring into words – ask your brothers to process with you and let us know when you have things more clear in your head and heart. TLDR? Just let a girl know what's hanninnnnn when you actually know what's hannin, ya?
7. Please don’t abuse our wanting to help.
We’re all young and trying to figure it out, but don’t take advantage of us and our innate desire to help you. We desperately want to help, but if we are not yet your wife then your community of brothers and perhaps, God willing, your parents should be your initial support. Let us in when it will serve the both of us and still be honoring to God.
8. We are drawn to passion.
It doesn’t matter what it is - from following football teams to baking, photography to crossfit, backpacking to the art of wine and coffee - we just want to see that you care about whatever it is you care about with profound excitement. Why? Because this exudes non passivity. Das hot.
9. We will still respect you if you end things honestly and cordially.
The only way people can really get hurt romantically is when things aren’t brought to the open light. We promise, we can heal if you’re honest. Don’t be so afraid to speak up that you leave things in the dark! (We can heal if you’re not honest too, but it will more likely than not take much, much longer. Help a sister out and be real! Ladies - this one’s on us too...)
10. Not all of us love flowers.
Some of us do, some of us don’t! Every girl is different. But one thing we all love is when a man listens. Take note of the little things she likes – it always goes farther than the big things.
11. No means no.
Write this on your bathroom mirror or tattoo this on your forehead if it actually takes conscious effort to remember that. No is not “maybe” and no is not “it’s up to you” - no is no. In all seriousness though, if it does take extensive effort to respectfully adhere to someone’s wishes on whether or not to move forward either emotionally or physically, you need to take that to community and perhaps see a psychologist.
12. Most chicks dig old fashioned things.
Walk us to the door, open the door, offer your coat, ask us to dance, send us flowers (or don’t, if you know she doesn’t like them or God forbid she’s allergic lol), leave us notes, send us something at work. We luv to see it.
13, If we have given you a hard “no” multiple times, let us go.
We will try to be honest if it’s a timing/stage of life type of no and that we’d be interested down the road... But if we’ve said no multiple times to pursuing a relationship, please respect it and let us go.
14. We’re no longer interested in playing hard to get nor chasing someone who is playing hard to get.
Unrequited attraction is the most unattractive thing.
15. You can be nervous and still be strong, brave and courageous.
Being nervous means you care. Just be yourself; it’s cliche, but it's only cliche because it’s true.
16. We love vulnerability.
Didjjjjaaaaa know that dudes with feelings are called humans? Girls like humans. In fact, we like dating humans.... Bet.
17. I’m fine ≠ I’m fine.
You probably already knew this one though, huh? ;) The sooner you dig deeper and find out what’s really going on, the better. Ladies, this is on us to not use this phrase as a cop-out.
18. When in Relationship… Never:
- Start a sentence with “My ex girlfriend used to do this thing where...”
- EVER EVER EVER SAY “I heard from the Lord that you are my wife” omg do not do this.
- Defend yourself with “But you’re the one who...”
- Give a discrediting “if” apology… “I’m sorry if that’s how you feel”
- Say “Your [insert: sister, best friend, cousin, aunt, mom] is really hot” HAHAHAA omg please don't do this my friend
- Forget her birthday/anniversary/Valentine’s Day/any other important day.
- Try to “solve” her - she is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.
19. You may think we're being too sensitive about the contents of #18.
You’re gonna save yourself a lot of time and energy if you trust me when I say, we're not. : - )
20. When in Relationship… Please Do:
- Press her towards Jesus in everything you do.
- Remember anniversaries, even the little ones. “Happy 19 months!”
- Send random things that remind you of her.
- Compare her to art.
- Support her passions, even if you’re not excited about them. If it’s truly love, you’ll care about them because you care about her!
- Empower her. You are no less a man, in fact you become a stronger man, when leading a powerful woman.
- Put her desires before your own (to a healthy degree).
- Introduce her immediately following your introduction in group settings.
- Memorize her order at her favorite food spots.
- Have a healthy standard of being respected by her.
- Spend intimate time with just Jesus prior to entering a relationship with her. (This one is HUGE!!!!!!!! And oh my gosh ladies @@@@@@ us too.)
- Pretend like you haven’t heard her stories, and when she realizes she’s already told you, act like you want to hear them all over again.
- Know how she takes her coffee or tea.
- (If you are not waiting to kiss), kiss her in the sweet random places, like her shoulder, hand, or right under her eye when she smiles. It shows that every kiss is like the first to you.
- Celebrate her, even when you have no reason to do so.
- Use endearing terms often. (But leave “boo” back in 7th grade, along with Axe Chocolate cologne.)
- Pray for her. Daily.
- Pray for her husband, it keeps your heart in check that you're only her boyfriend or fiancé.
- Romance her, 5 weeks in or 50 years in… Winning her over never stops.
- Call her higher in grace and love when her heart inevitably begins to waver in sin.
- Enjoy the beautiful, complex adventure that is and will always be loving Her.
Now go get em, tiger! And take care of my sisters, will ya?
Love, your friend and sister,