First and foremost, read this: http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/06/19/dear-single-men-time-man-figure/. Matt Walsh provides wise words coated with humor and yet a sincerity that cannot be ignored. It's brilliant.
Ok now ladies, I think if the men are going to own up to their side of the story then it's time for us to do the same. Christian culture loves to point the finger at men and tell them how they're screwing it all up. How they need to man up and move out. But it's time for us to admit that we have some skin in the game as well. We're not blameless, the problem is on both sides of the street. And there's comfort yet frustration in knowing that this has been happening since man and woman both inhabited the planet.
"It was this woman you gave me!" cried Adam. "It was the serpent!" excused Eve. We've been pointing the blame at men for too long when it comes to dating and the frustrations therein. Our curse for our blame-shifting is right there in Genesis. It says "your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you" (Gen. 3:16). Basically, it all went to whack when Eve took control and Adam sat back in complacency. Hmmm, sound familiar?
Girls, we have fed into this vicious cycle of confusion, hurt, and frustration. It's only fair for this external problem to get an internal evaluation. It takes two to tango and it seems to me that we've been stepping on each other's toes a lot and no one is having fun dancing anymore. Now, I'm not a relationship expert. In fact, I too am single. I too have received ambiguous texts and gone on confusing friend hang out dinner conversation whaaaat is happening dates. And yet I too am part of the problem. So let's stack hands and own up to a few things.
1. Say Yes: Do you want to know why "guys just don't ask girls out anymore?" Because we have been saying no. Well of course they don't want to ask us out! They've done due diligence plenty of times and asked many of us out. But for some reason or another we've turned them down. It's time to start saying yes, and I'm not talking about the dress. It's a date for goodness sake. You're not saying yes to walking down the aisle. If he's doing his part and manning up to actually ask you out, then be a woman and honor it by saying yes. No wonder it's all gotten so muddled and confused. A guy wants to intentionally hang out with you but has been rejected enough times to know that he can't simply come out and say what he wants, so the only way to get some time with us is in vague group settings and through unimposing text messages. Say yes! Let him take you out, buy you dinner, ask you questions. Answer the questions. Let your guard down, be vulnerable, speak your mind, be yourself.
2. Say Yes Again: Is it just me, or is anyone else incredibly awkward on a date? Just me? That's why I'm still single? Oh ok just making sure. No, I know I'm not alone in this. No one is on their A game on a first date. It's uncomfortable. You have to make eye contact for goodness sake and we barely know how to do that anymore. You don't know if you should order the pizza or the salad and neither is flattering so you're stressed. Your lipstick is probably on your teeth and it feels like you're playing 20 questions all night. First dates are hard and tend to not be super fun. If he asks you out again would you do yourself a favor and just say yes? He probably wasn't his best self and if you're being completely honest you weren't either. Give both of you another chance once you're more comfortable and relaxed. You're not obligated past two dates. If you're not feeling it after that, be completely honest and cut it off before you lead him on. But two dates is totally acceptable and again, it's not like you're saying yes to the dress here either.
3. You're not actually friends: Stop using the line "Oh, I thought we were just friends." Or even worse, "I don't want it to ruin our friendship." If you're just now finding out that guys and girls can't be friends then I'm sorry. Your friends who are girls did not prepare you well in life and someone should've given you "the talk" a long time ago. This talk being that after high school, guys and girls just simply can't be friends. Here's the deal, you can't actually be his friend anyways. You're only friends because you're both single and the second either of you gets in a relationship, especially marriage, you cannot be besties for the resties anymore. You just can't. It's weird and will breed all sorts of insecurity in your dating relationship with the other person. Odds are if you're friends you will probably have a great time on a date (see 1 above) and it might actually be less awkward (see 2). Your friendship has an expiration date that ends in marriage- either to each other or to other people. Might as well figure it out. Go on those two dates and if you're still not feeling it, be honest and say so. Stop holding on to a friendship that can't really go anywhere.
4. Txtng: What is wrong with us?! Don't do it! What is this sick and twisted game we play? If he texts us we respond a convenient 1 hour and 26 minutes later so that it looks like we're busy and not anxiously awaiting his correspondence. Stop it, it's playing games with guys hearts and feeding into passivity. Just stop texting in general. It's stupid and cowardly on both ends. Pick up the phone and call if you want to hear about their day. If he calls you, call him back. If he asks you on a date via text then say "I would love to, give me a call and we can set something up." If he likes you, he will do it. If he doesn't like you enough to stop being a manchild and text about it then he's never going to like you enough when it comes to the hard things in life. Stop enabling! And don't look for ways to "accidentally" text him. When we do that we're opening the door because we're bored and insecure. Stay strong sister and let him pursue you.
5. Speaking of Pursuit... It's a real thing. I know the last time you might've heard it was the game Trivial Pursuit, but actual pursuit is alive and well if we would let it be. We claim that we want a direct, honest, driven, man. We don't want someone who plays games or hard to get. We want a man! And yet when a guy asks us out, shows interest, or does a good job at those things we are quick to say he's "a stage 5 clinger" or just "way too into me." That is so confusing! No wonder guys think they have to be passive and sneaky about it. Allow yourself to be known, cherished, and fought for. If he likes you, let him show it. Don't make a guy feel less than or creepy for showing his emotions. Now, of course there are some exceptions, but on average we say we want one thing but we act like we want another. We say we want honesty, decisiveness, and clear intentions yet when they're presented we tell our roommates that he was coming on way too strong. If a guy likes you and gets your number don't make him wait 3 days so he doesn't look over eager. Our hurtful words have fed the flame of men being non-committal. It's a guys job to pursue and it's our job to let him. Appreciate the clarity in a sea that is normally churning with confusion. Sisters, we are worth it. Do you believe that? We are worth him making mistakes, looking like a fool, and chasing after. We are worth the risk and we should create a safe environment where that can happen. Be kind, be gentle, and let yourself be loved.
It's time to own up. It's time for both of us to cross the street and meet in the middle. We can't keep shouting to the other side waiting for the other to fix it. The only way it will change is if we both take a few broken, messy, hard steps and find each other in the inbetween. Let's be honest, let's be open, and let's have soft hearts. I'll bare mine if you bare yours and maybe we can get somewhere along the way.