Thursday, March 22, 2012

An open letter to the ones who wait.

Waiting is hard.  Hoping for something big and important to happen to you, growing tired of sitting around... these are things that most young people deal with, especially girls.

Girls have it hard sometimes.  It's not exactly right for us to go around asking boys out or chasing them.  We all know that the ladylike thing to do is wait for that one guy who will chase us.

But it gets hard.  In an era where feminists will tell you that it's ok to be the pursuer and that you don't really need a man anyway, but Christians are saying that you must be meek and wait and be silent, we girls can tend to get a little bit muddled.

Here's my opinion on the subject of girls and boys.  Please let me know in the comments what you think about it!  I'd love to have a little discussion about it with you guys.

First of all, I do believe that men should be the pursuers.  I have it as a rule that I will never call the boy first, nor will I initiate any conversations unless it's something I absolutely have to talk to him about.  This is not an arbitrary rule, but rather a gauge. (It also may just be Southern thing, but I like it!)  I would much rather make note of whether or not he pursues conversation with me than never know, simply because I pursued it myself!  It is acceptable, in my opinion, to respond with enthusiasm and mirth and honesty, but when the girl is the primary initiator, it simply makes her crazy with wondering why he never calls first.  Granted, these "rules" are not super stringent.  I don't have any issues with talking to boys, and it's ok if you don't believe that men should be the main pursuer!  I, personally, would just much rather be actively chased so that I can know where we stand.

Second, I don't think that boys and girls have to go from nothing to everything all at once if they decide they like each other.  The idea of dates is sort of flying out the window these days.  I think courting is fine, and I actually think it's healthy and good.  However, I don't want to begin the massive courtship "routine" with someone unless I know they're a viable candidate for marriage, if only because it's a lot of hullaballoo!

I don't think there's anything wrong with starting out by going on a date, or even a few.  I don't think that going out for coffee and seeing movies and just eating dinner together before an official DTR (define this relationship) is a bad thing.  If you go out for coffee with a guy, you may find that he's absolutely not the one for you, and it would save you an immense amount of frustration and, well, time!  There's nothing dangerous about going out on a date, in my opinion, especially if you understand that it's just for get-to-know-you purposes.  Granted, if you already know someone very well, like a close friend, dating first may be unnecessary.  But I still don't understand why many Christians rule it out.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on that!

Third, in regards to waiting, I feel your pain.  I know that there are probably girls reading this who are fed up with waiting for the guy they like to say anything to give her some hope, and I completely identify with you all.  And it is hard.  It may sound trivial to some, but some girls (most, probably), are wired to want that.  Girls are wired to love a man and want to be protected.  There comes a time in your life where you walk around, and all you can see are couples holding hands and you don't understand why your hand feels so empty.

It hurts, and it's not a small matter.

I can't be a major encourager on this because I struggle with that so often.  All I can do is give some advice that I think is hugely important.

  • One:  Do not settle.  If you feel as if you've waited too long and just don't want to be alone, do not settle for the first guy that shows interest.  Be discerning.  Remember who you are in Christ and be encouraged that there's someone made for you.
  • Two:  Figure out what you believe.  If you know your mind on issues like marriage, dating, courtship, and love in general, you will be so prepared, and it will help with your discernment.
  • Three:  Don't play games.  Do not have your friend call your other friend to ask her friend if that friend knows if their friend of your crush knows if he likes you.  Trust me on this one.  I know you've probably done it, and I know I have too.  And yet we all think we're so clever.... ;)  This is where the waiting gets hard, but do it anyway.  Games never end well because they're not honest.
  • Four:  What will be, will be.  If a guy you like ends up with someone else, then he wasn't the guy. It hurts big time, and it just might break your heart.  But keep hoping, because that just means there's someone better.  If HE was good, imagine how much more wonderful YOURS will be!
  • Five:  This you've heard a million times, but don't give yourself away.  You are too beautiful of a prize to be lost just because you were afraid of losing someone.  Keep yourself, and once you find that one person for you, you will have no regrets.
Girls and boys... it's hard.  But girls, do not fear being alone.  Boys, do not fear going after the girl.  

I think it's really as simple as that.  When those two puzzle pieces of waiting and pursuing fit together, it makes for what can only be something beautiful.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, everyone!



  1. Amen! I would agree whole heartedly. And so you know, most guys want to pursue as well. We want to open your door and it's not because we don't think you can do it! Those are probably the two things that bother me most. Girls who get offended or upset when I insist on opening the door, even if it is superficial I think it points to a heart issue.
    The big one though is what you're talking about here. It really is unappealing when a girl throws herself at you and weird when they pursue you and often times annoying lol.
    Of course the other side of the coin is playing hard to get. Don't do it. Please. It's incredibly overrated. As you said in three, just don't play games. Just be you (cliché as the saying is).

    1. Jared, thank you for your comment! It's good to hear from a guy's perspective. I definitely do not understand why girls get offended at chivalry, and it's most certainly a heart issue.

      I feel you on the second point, too. I've seen it happen and it's never pretty. I think, just for guy's sake, waiting for the pursuer is a KINDNESS.

      And playing hard to get.... ugh. Don't even get me started! But the problem is, nowadays, guys often think girls are playing hard to get when really they're just waiting for the guy to initiate! So it's a frustrating cycle.

  2. Dating/Courtship/Betrothal is a HUGE topic in my church and denomination - and I've heard a lot of varied degrees of stances on courtship. Most of the Christians I know and run with believe in the daughter being under the protection and headship of the father (until marriage) and dating takes her out of that protection. In their minds, dating isolates these two people from their families and biblical Christian community. A lot of the people I know also frown on and even condemn any sort of physical contact between an unmarried couple. Dating can easily encourage romantic, sexual feelings and can be a temptation to give in to those, since no "chaperones" are around. Some people I know are against dating since it gets two people who may not end up married emotionally involved in one other. In most of these people's eyes, courtship is like a safe, protected way to marriage while the dating game is fraught with different dangers.

    That's only scratching the tip of the iceberg, but these seem to be some of the main reasons I have heard. And I totally agree with you that courtship can be a big, inquisition-like ordeal! You're right; it can seem like taking a relationship from nothing to everyhting all at once. And I'm not sure I would want to go through all that. I don't necessarily agree with all the anti-dating/pro-courtship stuff I hear (and I hear a lot =] ), but thought you might like to hear a little bit about that viewpoint.

    1. Thank you for the clarification, Caroline! I think I get the idea a little bit better now.

      My issue with that, mainly, is independence. I have no issues with the idea of submitting to one's father, but ultimately, when I'm away at college, I can't really have a guy I'm interested in be interviewed by my father every time. With the way the world turns these days, with girls living on their own, having jobs, and going to college, it's impossible to keep up that patriarchal courtship, if only because it's impractical.

      I think that romantic feelings are a given. If you have no romantic feelings toward someone, you shouldn't probably marry them in the first place. And honestly, complete suppression such as no physical contact only *grows* that yearning because your left to imagine it in your head. Does that make sense? I would feel much safer going out for coffee with a guy I liked then being at my house with my parents milling about because I could really get to know this person, and romance wouldn't be a scary taboo, which I think is an unhealthy thing for romance to be.

      Does this make any sense? I might be off my rocker here, but I'm trying to wrap my brain around all of it. I so appreciate your comment! It's good to understand every side of the issue.

    2. *you're left to imagine, not your. :P

  3. Thank you for this post, Caroline! It was really thought provoking.
    My family does not do dating, but we don't automatically condemn someone who does. A couple of the huge problems I have with dating, are:
    1. Nowadays, it often starts WAY too young. Seriously guys, 14 isn't anywhere near being mature enough to marry.
    2. It really does play with your emotions. I personally have had some pretty major crushes on guys, where I think if I had started dating that person, I probably would have "known" that it was the right guy. A couple years later, my feelings have completely changed.

    Also, I have witnessed courtships that were not a huge deal, and the parents weren't around every moment of the courtship.
    Thanks again for your post! I love blogs that make me think when I read them. =)

    1. Thanks for your comment!

      1. I agree with you there! But at the same time, I had a sort of courtship scenario when I was 15 (fully chaperoned and all of that), and I actually learned from it. He wasn't the one for me, and I've actually become much more discerning since then. So I think learning that lesson earlier in life has helped me be more discerning now.

      2. I suppose that's a subjective thing... I don't find that it would mess with my emotions. I think, as someone who's heading pretty fast towards being an adult, I'm getting more and more sure about what I need in a guy. So I think I'd be able to tell fairly quickly he was worth my time, and if it didn't work out, I wouldn't feel that my emotions had been played with. Rather, I would just feel that it wasn't it God's plan and I would move on! But I don't think going out to dinner and seeing movies would really play with my emotions, personally, because dating is on a smaller scale than courtship. Dates often happen before the deep, emotional connection, though that can grow during that process. It's not as if a guy asking me to coffee means I have to know whether or not he's the one. It's just a get-to-know-you.

      But maybe it's just different for other people. I don't think it's biblically mandated, so we have to all figure out what works best for us, I guess! I really appreciate you reading!


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