A Woman Worth Pursuing

1.14.2013 |

Question first.  Are you a woman worth pursuing? Now, before you jump to some rash conclusion and start listing reasons why you most definitely are a woman worthy of being led by some strong, handsome, pedestal-positioned christian man, let me just say that us woman have a lot (no, I really don't think you realize the gravity of the situation here) A LOT to learn when it comes to relationships and dating and friendships.



I guess I am qualified to talk about woman and relationships, well, because I am one and have been in one...two...ten...oh seriously I stopped keeping track (which is EXACTLY why I am writing this).  and while I am far from perfect, I have been through some sticky situations, unfortunate occurrences, and have had seasons of sheer stupidness.  Get ready, reader, because in the next few paragraphs I'm not about to hold back the reality of these situations, nor the severity of my actions.

So before we get started, please watch this video. It's imperative that you do.


DO NOT SKIP WATCHING THIS VIDEO.  
WATCH THE VIDEO.  
ok.....did you watch the video?
SERIOUSLY, WATCH IT.
ok, good.
If this video does anything, it positively reiterates the huge misconception in friendships between girls and guys. Wherever you stand on the issue at hand, it's apparent that views are either black or white. Grey area leaves too many unanswered questions and cracked doors.

So.....relationships.

It's a daunting word for some. For others, a mere joke.  But for many of us fairy tale princesses, it's a deep and expected desire in the near future (oh please, oh please, oh please!).  I want to preface this post by saying that I am in no way diminishing the importance of healthy relationships, I am in no way degrading a woman nor idolizing a man, and I am in no way an expert on relationships.  I've dated. I've dumped. I've been rejected. I'm dating.

So, again.....relationships.

Woman, if we our aim is to be honest with one another (which I hope it is), it's time to ask the simple question that may not so simply be answered: what do you want? In regards to relationships and in "friendships" with a man. For what are you searching? Is it acceptance, trust, companionship, attention, boost in your confidence, fill loneliness? what is it!? You don't start talking to a guy with the intentions of breaking his heart (well, unless you are a heartless floozie or psycho broad with "snakes in her hair"), but we all know that situations can get taken too far, we forget to "friend-zone" a guy, or we accidentally get too comfortable with a guy we really don't like.  Oh.  Ouch.  Did that hurt your feelings? Well, it would have hurt mine too, because I used to be THAT girl.  And if you aren't THAT girl, well, then kudos to you.

But, because you are THAT girl, let's dive further into the nitty gritty.  Put your big girl britches on, because you'll probably want to punch yourself (or maybe me for composing this neat little post).

Point blank, you have immense power over a man.  Whether you have "friend zoned" him or not, you can reign with an iron fist without realizing it.  You fall into 1 of 3 types of man-izers:
1. naive
2. know and don't care
3. know and care.
My well-educated hypothesis is that you fit somewhere comfortably in either the "naive" basket or the "know and don't care" bin.   Well, I just told you that you have immense power over a man.  There, hashtag boom, no more excuses for not knowing.  But what about bucket 2.  If you don't believe me, below are personal words from men from all walks of life and backgrounds.  I really appreciate the honesty these men have displayed and the opportunity for learning and growing.  Please read, and consider the real and compelling influence you have over a guy's life.

"well, the whole guy and girl friendship thing is a very touchy situation..i'll start out by saying every situation is different in regards to what type of friendship it is.  do you talk every day? do you get "deep" with one another? is it just a "hey" when you walk past each other on campus friendship? that is something to take into account.  also, i'll say that in the bigger picture, if a guy knows he doesn't want to marry a girl, then he should treat her like someone else's wife.  and same for girls...if a girl knows she doesn't want to marry a guy, then she should treat him like someone else's husband.  of course, this is the "ideal" mindset to have, and we often don't look at it like that.  in my own life, i have had to deal with that specifically.  i had a really close friend that was a girl and we did get in "deep" with each other as well as talk daily.  there were no feelings between us, so yes you can be friends with a girl, but the real question is being close friends with the opposite sex the best idea? anyways, she got a boyfriend and obviously our friendship couldn't continue the same way it had been because of obvious reasons.  guys love seeing that new text message pop up from a girl.  guys are tempted with lust...all the time.  guys doe notice those "short shorts" that girls wear.  that being said, girls do possess a very significant power over guys nearly all the time.  should you send him that text? should you wear that skirt? should you hang out with that guy one-on-one? those are all questions a girl should constantly be asking herself.  i guess to sum  that statement up, i wish girls would take the way they look, the way they talk and flirt, and the way they pursue a guy in either a friendship or relationship into consideration. frankly, when a girl friend-zones me but still sends me all the signals of being interested, it straight up pisses me off.  the only girl i ever loved was exactly like that.  for almost 4 years i lived that.  one minute it was "i love you just not in the same way" then the next minute it was looking at me like no one has ever looked at me, saying things that friends don't say to each other, and honestly just acting like a couple in general.  i'm sorry, but you girls know what you're doing.  girls that do this are just selfish people.  they have no regards for the guys' feelings.  they somehow mold the situation in their head to please what benefits them the most.  the lyrics from one of my favorite mumford & sons song pops in to my head when i think about this.  it says "you desired my attention, but denied my affections." this is exactly what happens all the time to men everywhere.  girls have a natural desire to please.  but i think that what comes with that, is a desire for affirmation.  a desire for attention. a desire to be gazed upon as the magnificaently beautiful creation God made you to be.  the thing is, you do deserve that, but it should come from your husband.  i think that desire creeps up on some girl's thoughts, and it does cause them to flirt, to wear that skirt, to look into a man's soul with their mysterious eyes."
Does this sound familiar?  have you ever been in a situation like that?

"It's been hard for me to be “just friends” with several girls. When we’re talking about “a girl,” it’s fair to say that you view her as either attractive or unattractive. That can pose problems.
There have been a few girls that I love as friends, but I have been intimidated by the relationship because I didn’t find them attractive as a “mate possibility.”  In these ‘intimidating’ relationships, I’m afraid to be too kind to them/flirtatious with them because I don’t want them to think that the relationship is something that it’s not... I’m afraid that they like me, and I know that I don’t like them (in that way). I don’t want to tell them “not to get their hopes up,” because I come across as a D-bag who thinks she likes him (while she doesn’t) and then insult her. OR she does like me and I crush her feelings...
Another relationship is the one where every time I see her, I’m thinking “God, she’s gorgeous. I’d love to get to know her better.” These relationships don’t happen as often. Every time I am with this girl, I over-analyze everything she does. “Is she looking at me from across the room?” “Does she approach me to say hello?” “Compliment?” (response: “oh, well thank you so much.” // thought process: “What can I compliment? What can I compliment? What can I compliment?”) “Does she laugh at the ‘dad jokes’?” In these relationships, I’m afraid to ask her out, because I don’t want the friendship to be awkward if I receive the dreaded “no.” But, at the same time, I can’t not ask her out, because then I don’t know if a further relationship is a legitimate possibility. Sometimes I even feel like the girl and I are guessing each other. I’m sure she thinks about it too. Why wouldn’t she? This is when the guy needs to grow a pair and just say something. Fear of losing the friendship (which I think is a pretty noble cause) keeps the guy from doing/saying anything.
My best relationship is with this one lady who may be one of the prettiest girls at my church, but we became friends because I attempted to set her up with a friend.  From the beginning, it was pretty clear we wouldn’t be interested in each other. Sometimes, I ask her to grocery shop with me. The most-uttered phrase on those adventures is, “I don’t want to date anyone right now.  ANYONE.” haha. She engrains that in my head. She may be the only woman that I can be 100% honest with, because I know that it won’t affect our friendship.  I wish every girl that wasn’t interested would say, “I’m not interested.” I wouldn’t worry about ‘situation 1,’ and any girl in ‘situation 2’ would either be identified as ‘off the market,’ or as “interested” (by their lack of response, of course...). Obviously, that would be too easy, and unmanly....The guy is supposed to do the work....
Best case scenario: There would be a guarantee that girls in ‘situation 1’ wouldn’t have hurt feelings or mis-perceive my intentions if I spoke up. AND that girls in ‘situation 2’ that aren’t interested in me would be cool and not be thrown off by me telling them that I want to take them on a date. Either say yes or no, and let’s go on from there...."
Convicted yet?

"i'd say that a woman has incredible power in a relationship.  i am, of course, speaking only from personal experience or experience that i've witnessed, but i'm willing to say that men generally want to please their women and are mindful of their opinions, even if they don't act on them.  there are areas of life where i take the word of a woman very seriously, including–but not limited to–fashion, girls' emotions. and just emotions in general.  if a girl was to make a comment in one of these areas, i'd take note.  it may be my own personality, but i find myself seeking girls' approval sometimes, both in romantic and non romantic context.  regarding the whole "just friends" thing, i am torn.  speaking from personal experience, i have probably run a "romantic scenario" through my head with most of my girl friends, but that doesn't necessarily mean that my relationship with that girl was compromised by anything other than that quick thought.  there have definitely been some girls where i had a crush, but it didn't affect the relationship on my end.  obviously all my points are from my side.  these girls may have been feeling totally differently. there are some girls in my life who are some of my best friends, yet no romantic feeling exists between us.  i wish that girls knew that, beneath our bravado, men are vulnerable, especially when we are "talking" to a girl.  relationships involve putting yourself out there.  it's scary.  when a guy sees a pretty girl and decides to see if a relationship will go anywhere, he might read into her actions, much like a girl might to a boy.  the fact is that GUYS WANT RELATIONSHIPS, sometimes to the point where we'd wish one into existence, if only in our heads.  so i'd wish that girls would watch the flirting and that they'd be intentional with it.  any if a girl said "just friends" but acted the reverse, i'd be totally confused! it sucks more, though, that you can't really approach her about it because it would be really awkward since you've apparently had a convo about y'all being "just friends"."

Are you now beginning to understand the power you possess?
"man where do i begin? personally, women have a great deal of power in the relationship but by no means all the power.  she can affect the decisions i make and motivate me to make myself a better man. depending on how close we are, she can either put me in the best mood ever or the worst.  and if i'm really crazy about her, she can make my emotions go haywire.  i do believe that men and women can be "just friends" and even more so if both are single. however, if both or just one are in a relationship, i still think there are certain lines that should not be crossed or even come close to.  when you're dating a guy, he should be your best friend.  you shouldn't be hanging out with other guys where it's just the two of you and you don't need to be going to one of your guy friends to talk when you are your boyfriend have a fight or what not.  there are tons of situations where the girlfriend tells her boyfriend that her and "Bob" are "just friends" and its nothing and not what it seems.  to her they are "just friends" but the truth is "Bob" has a crazy crush on her and might even be in love with her, but he is too crazy to tell her how he feels bc he's afraid if he does their friendship is over.  he would rather have her as a friend than nothing at all. it sucks so bad when a girl plays me. i've been there too many times. it makes me really confused and really plays with your emotions.  i'm like "do i fight for her or do i give up? is she playing some game to see if i'm really crazy about her? is she trying to see how much she really means to me?" then i really want to move on then she bats those pretty eyes and gives you that beautiful smile, it just brings you back.  it's just really confusing and it will break a guy's heart–usually one of the good guys too which makes him think all girls are blank." 

Well, reader, what kind of girl are you?
"women possess this "controlling" power over men, and they may act like they dont, but i think they know they do and they dont care about what they are doing to the man.  they can literally make men rearrange their schedules, change the way they talk, act, and think without having to do anything but be a woman. Men are driven by physical attraction. The girl knows that, and loves the power. Men will usually always have ulterior motives when he is "just friends" with a girl he finds attractive.  the girl knows that and doesnt care. she likes having the controlling power. all the while she says she is "just friends." Its very easy for a guy to think a girl is interested if she is in constant conversation with him or flirting with him or texting him first or is "feely touchy" with him. Ive had a situation where i thought a girl liked me because she was giving me all the right "signals," and come to find out i was played hard. i felt betrayed and heart broken. women should take into consideration the heart of their brother in Christ and dont do anything to give them a false impression. if the girl is truly not interested, it would be absolutely best if they made it as clear as possible. It turns out to be a disaster for both people otherwise."
So....

Let me be vulnerable with you.  Being a girl is hard, I can obviously relate.  High school is dramatic and well, doesn't it just seem like guys just understand you better and aren't gossipy and don't make fun of you and won't talk behind your back and will say nice things and are just way more fun than two-faced girls and blah blah blah!!!???  I know, you nodded your head in agreeance.  Well, college and the after-college life is absolutely no different.  We've been there–all of us have–and before you smile like you've won some sort of relational award, we are still so naive.  That is bucket 1 for those who got lost in text.  That is a dangerous trap.  Ever read the verse in Proverbs that says, "Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it" (4:23 NIV).  EVERY.THING.FLOWS.FROM.IT.   Everything flows from your heart.  Like a river, if you release trash up stream, the trash is going to make its course through every part of that river.   You can't stop it.  Everything YOU DO flows from your heart.

So the what DO we do?

That's a really good question, and before you read any further, I would like for you to join me in prayer for the relationships you have with men in your life right now: for your eyes to be opened to changes that need to be made and behaviors that need to be modified, for messy situations that may be going on right now, for past regrets and broken hearts, for healing, for wisdom in your friendships and interactions with men.  We can not (let me repeat NOT) do this on our own.  We need the our True Friend's guidance, our True Love, our One and Only to lead us.

Now that we prayed here are some definitive "guardrails" of which you can apply directly to male and female relationships of any kind.  Remember our focus is to be a woman worth pursuing.  You heard it from the men on the potential power a woman possess.  How do you harness that power?

Together, let's be women worth pursuing:

DO:
  •  Let him pursue you
    • don't initiate contact or hanging out
    • dont be an instigator
    • if he is genuinely interested in pursuing a relationship and is a contending spiritual leader, he will (or needs!!!) to be absolutely crystal clear on his intentions.
    • but above all, let him be the man. let him pursue you.
    • Genesis 2:18
  • Be honest
    • if you like him, excellent. be patient.  I mean it, be patient.
    • if you don't like him and you think he may be interested, there is no harm is saying something along these lines
      • I really value our friendship and I don't know if you ever saw it going anywhere, but I needed to be clear with you so our friendship lines don't get blurred that I am not interested in a romantic relationship.  the end. 
    • be honest. be clear. stick to what you say. none of this back and forth "well I think I feel this way, but I really like that other guy, oh but he's so cute, and what about him, oh there is so much potential." no stop, be honest with yourself and with him.
  • Have a core group of girl friends
    • I'm really not sure why I feel like this is such a shocker to everyone, but this is imperative.
    • fellowshipping with other girls with like minds is essential to growth spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.  
    • your friendships should not be based on old boyfriend relationships or common dislike of that person or gossip gossip gossip.  there is so much more to talk about than who likes who and who you might date next. 
    • if your out numbered by guys when you hang out, you may need to back away from that circle of friends for a while and start investing fully in christ-centered girl friends
  • Seek the Lord 
DON'T:
  • Text a guy
    • don't text him first
    • don't text him randomly
    • don't send him encouraging little notes if you are not dating
    • don't say good morning and good night
    • don't be in constant conversation throughout the day and every day
    • it gives the wrong impression, plain and simple.
  • Hang out one-on-one
    • though this should be limited in the dating scenario regardless, in a non-dating situation, this is even more crucial.  
    • the man needs to make his intentions very clear ANNNNND (that's the catch, and) you must be interested in him too.  i'm not talking about just seeing potential in a future relationship.  
  • Cuddle, snuggle, love-pats, kiss
    • what signal are you trying to send here?
    • what do you want out of the friendship/relationship/friends-with-benefits?
    • none of this unless you are officially dating (on FACEBOOK or not, people need to know that you are in a relationship and you need people to keep you accountable on your alone time together). 
    • every other man needs to know that you are OFF THE MARKET. and if you are anything like me, YOU NEED TO KNOW YOU ARE OFF THE MARKET in order to stay accountable with flirting and friendships, to reduce commitment problems.  stop looking for the "next best thing" while you are in a relationship.  
  • Flirt
    • just stop.
    • you know you do it.
    • your back handed compliments that give you glory
    • the cute outfit you probably shouldn't be wearing but it's new and just this one time won't hurt
    • the "bat of the eyes," the extra make-up
    • the constant flirty text lingo (you know what i am talking about woman)
    • you're born for affection. stop trying to find it through flirting.
  • Have emotionally deep conversations, especially spiritual one
    • this creates a false sense of closeness
    • you are not to confide in men. that is a joy of Lord's to listen to you cry out for him.  You have girlfriends who will attempt to build you up in the love of Christ.  I know, it feels nice for a cute boy to tell you that everything is going to be okay, that you are beautiful, that your family problems will be ok in the end, that he is praying for you, that he is thinking about you, that no matter how bad it looks it could always be far worse. yeah....blah blah blah, I know. For a guy (especially a close one) to tell us this, it makes us feel secure and worthy, but that is not for what your "friend" was designed. 


So there we have it.  Nine basic guardrails to protect ourselves in relationships with the opposite sex.  Sure they seem trivial, maybe they seem logical and even petty, but as Andy Stanley has said, "No one regretted putting up a guardrail."

You may have been a closet-dwelling ignoramus or an "all's fair (in love and war)–don't care" kinda person, or maybe you really are awesome and just don't struggle with creating these boundaries.  If you are anywhere remotely near bucket 3, will you please comment on this blog and just give us stragglers some insight.  Thank you.

So are you a woman worth pursing?  Don't be discouraged by all this information.  It should be rather encouraging to know that we are important and valued by our brothers in Christ, but it is our responsibility to channel our power in a positive and constructive manner.

Are you a woman worth pursuing? Well, yes, you certainly are.  I know a God who has never once stopped pursuing you or me in the slightest.  (John 1:1-18) No matter how many times we have messed up a relationship, how many hearts we have broken, or how "with it" we may be in all of our friendships.  Never once has he ever stopped pursuing us with his infinite and mighty love.

Choose wisely how to relinquish your overwhelming power.  You are a woman worth pursuing.




11 comments

  1. Wow. I can't explain to you how that has just changed my life. Thank you so much.

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  2. This is incredible, and I've never read/heard anything like this, especially not from a woman. Christian women need to hear this so badly.

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  3. a girl can totally initiate conversation or hanging out! this is especially true if she is interested in that guy. that would make her intentions more clear rather than leaving it up to the guy "to be a guy" as you say he should be and wind up over-analyzing. if you mean girls shouldn't text guys that they are just friends with then i suppose thats fine but to not initiate conversation even when a im interested in a guy is stupid and would just make him confused!

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    Replies
    1. i didn't mean that a girl should NEVER text a guy, this is more a generalization; however, if a girl is NOT interested in a guy and she keeps texting him constantly expecting the friendship to mirror a relationship without commitment or romantic feeling and is just keeping the guy there for convenience or attention until the next best thing comes along, that isn't fair to anyone and she needs to grow up and the man needs to confront her (in a direct but graceful fashion). personally, we should all spend more time talking face to face and stop hiding behind phones anyway.
      certainly if she is interested in the guy she can text, however, i think that a guy should pursue the girl. i don't think woman should "wear the pants in the relationship." that's just me personally. nothing sexists about it. i've seen too many women walk over men intentionally and it upsets me (and vice versa). do i think power can be shared in a relationship, yes. that's not my argument. i genuinely think a man should be the leader in the relationship and should be mature enough to initiate dating. i realize that being a man in this position could be a place between a rock and a hard spot. i'm not undermining that reality in any way. this post is intended to open the eyes of girls in immature dating states desiring and wanting to grow closer in their relationship with God. for many girls, the lure and appeal of a dating relationship is a huge stumbling block and distraction in that process. not saying that at some point you cant have both, i'm learning to juggle quite nicely. but no, can you ever have a cut and dry "do and don't" list? no. but it's a generalization for a majority of girls.

      if you're a guy who posted this comment, then maybe you're just insecure from past rejection and wish women would be a little clearer on the signal they are sending? i wish women would make it easier for men too... (precisely why this post was written....if a woman followed these generalizations, i think there would be very little room to "read into" her actions and would allow the man to process emotions and feelings rationally.

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    2. if you're a woman, i invite you to do some serious soul searching and i ask you what message you are truly trying to convey. if you like a guy, there is nothing wrong with going the extra mile. if you think that he likes you, go for it. but don't try to force something that's not there or convince him he is interested in you. girls can be manipulating. and i can say this, because i am a girl....and i have manipulated situations in the past. all have ended up bad with hurt and secrets and rejection and lies and etc etc etc. if you think this guy likes you, there's nothing wrong with talking to him or hanging out, but the real question is are you guarding your heart in that process? are you emotionally attached to where if he wasn't somehow interested in you your world would be crushed? my boyfriend and i started dating in a similar fashion, we sat in starbucks (with a group of people) and eventually started texting. did i text him first sometimes....yeah, that's not a surprise. the Do's and Don'ts are "general guidelines" but should be considered in wisdom what to do with them. but i let him lead. i was interested in him, but that was never once revealed in a text message or verbally. he talked to me (face to face) and took the risk of telling me he liked me. as my heart was guarded and being prepared for that moment, i was interested too. i let him lead. that is key to a man's stability, passion, pride, value, etc. want to undermine a man faster than anything? start leading and telling him what to do and make all the decisions before he can. end. of . relationship. so, if you're interested in a man, i'm not telling you to become some holed up recluse wishing on stars, take chances but make wise choices. pray about your actions beforehand. you won't be disappointed. i challenge you to follow the loose guidelines in your guy friendships though, once you get into a relationship, you'll see the benefits and your heart will be protected.

      as always, i really appreciate your feedback. i love hearing other people's takes on things and allows me to process things differently. sometimes i have a one sided view on things and other views are valued!

      thanks! :)

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  4. Replies
    1. i'm not perfect and never have claimed to be. you must have missed reading the part in my post where i said i have done all of these things in the past. i strive daily to grow, which is one of the reasons for this blog in the first place. maybe you don't know me as well as you thought and maybe you should take a look at your own personal motives.

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    2. The post is great! I couldn't agree more. Hypocrite was too harsh, someday ill have the courage to walk up and tell you how lucky you are. For now I simply hope you realize the way guys see you and make the changes you speak of.

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  5. You clever woman! This was brilliant! Thank you for such great advice on men :)

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  6. I wish I had read this or simply even watched this video back in high school. Thank you for being blunt and so sincere.

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    Replies
    1. I'm right there with you! but look at what we have to learn from! :) nothing in our past is ever wasted.

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