Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dating Advice from a Singleton

The irony of a single person offering relationship advice is not lost on me. My older brother passed on this gem of wisdom and it really has proven effective. Often times women on the Christian dating scene, myself included, get frustrated because

Woman- “There are no good single men left, and if there are, they never pursue me.”
Reality- Really? Didn’t Bobby just ask you to coffee the other day?
Woman- Well, yeah, but I’m not really attracted to him.
Reality- Oh, okay, how about Sam who invited you to that concert?
Woman- Well yeah but… he’s too quiet.
Reality- Hmm, and Kevin? Why did you turn down his offer to go dancing?
Woman- Oh Kevin? We’re not right for each other, it just wouldn’t work.

But how do you know?

One of the biggest mistakes we women who want to be pursued make is not accepting the pursuit!

1. It takes a lot of guts for a guy to walk up to a beautiful creation like you and ask you out. And despite the confident fa├žade, guys can and will get discouraged if they are turned down too many times. This can and will cause them to put the brakes on and cease pursuing. Definitely not what we want.
2. There is no way to see what he is like in a one on one setting, which is how the majority of your time will be spent in a relationship,  if you are never one on one. Absolutely you should spend time in groups, and his actions with his friends, your friends, family members and even strangers are very telling about him and his character. But naturally there is a difference between interacting with one person, and interacting with many at once.

Example: Since receiving this advice I have been able to put it in to practice twice. First guy, I would have totally said no to because he just seemed…awkward. I was kind of uncomfortable talking with him…lots of awkward silences. But he was pretty persistent so I gave him a chance. And I was pleasantly surprised! We met, had a really great conversation and he was a perfect gentleman. The second time was very similar. I had been hanging out with this guy in groups for a while and he hardly ever talked to me, sometimes I wondered if he even knew I existed! He asked me out (huge shocker) and my friend had to remind me to take my brother’s advice and give him a shot. Again, I was proven wrong! He was able to carry on good and engaging conversation the entire night, and it seemed as if he was a different person!

3. So often you don’t get to know someone, the real him, until you have spent a good amount of time together, in a variety of situations, exploring a vast array of topics. First impressions…SUCK! Ahem, what I mean is, how many times have you been wrong about someone based on first impressions? Or someone wrong about you because they didn’t give you a chance? It is the same with relationships. Saying hello occasionally to an acquaintance, stalking them on facebook or even having a class with someone does not constitute getting to know someone; therefore you cannot know what he is like until you give him a chance!

“But Catherine, if I am not totally into him, and I accept his invitation, isn’t that leading him on? I don’t want to make him pay for me and spend time with me if I don’t know for sure if it will work out…”

1. Guys aren’t as sensitive to the “leading on” conundrum as women can be. If he is mature and in a healthy place to be pursuing a gal, he will know and understand that this is dinner, it’s not an exchange of vows, and no one is legally bound to anything just because he will open a few doors for you and share a few laughs. He will know and understand that this may be a one-time thing that doesn’t go any further, or it may go well and you’ll see each other again.
2. You are worth everything he spends on dinner and every minute of his time. Whether this is your last first date or your last date ever with him. If he wants the opportunity to get to know you, spend time with you, pursue something with you and the grace of your presence, his time and pocket change is surely worth it.
3. Again, it is certainly possible you are not already head over heels in love with him, or you may have never even considered him as an option romantically. However, now a door has been opened to see where it leads and you can either walk through to an adventure or slam the door in adventure’s face. If nothing else, my brother always reminds me, you get to dress up and get a free meal out of the deal ;)

We women are lovers of the romantic, fantastical world. However, we live in the awkward, ordinary world. Most stories of married couples began as just friends, and the story progresses plainly and unexcitedly. Although there are some instances of love at first sight (my brother-in-law felt this toward my sister), there are also instances where a person is totally not into the other at first (my sister toward my brother-in-law). And yet, by being open, adventurous, and willing to give a little on your idea of your perfect man and romance story, God can show you His perfect plan for you and your unique path to Holiness.

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