quieting your inner crazy-girl

I wish you paid more attention to me. 
I need more from you. 
I don't feel pursued by you. 

All things I've said to someone I was dating at some point or another. In typical girl fashion, heaping all the fault of the fact that I don't feel desired or pursued on the man. Because he's the one that's not doing enough after all, right?


Ok. Not totally wrong. There's always the possibility that he has, in fact, slacked off and just plain isn't trying anymore. I've been in a relationship where the boy had checked out and it was completely valid that I felt unloved and undesired. But that was just a result of one of the most unhealthy relationship known to man-kind. I'm exaggerating, but you get the point. That's a completely different story from being in an amazing, growing, Christ-centered relationship and finding yourself feeling less than admired. What I'm talking about is when you know he loves you, but you don't feel it. You don't feel like he's doing "enough" to make you feel loved. "He's not pursuing you anymore" is most Christians' favorite way to put it. Let's look at the part we females play in that, yea?

1. Maybe you need to chill out a little bit.
Let me begin by clarifying that I am in no way, shape, or form encouraging you to play games with you man. Or your potential man. All that crap does is cloud the water and get people hurt. So by telling you to back off a little bit, I'm not saying "play hard to get". But I guess, in a really healthy and not of-the-world way, I kind of am. The reality is that men love the chase. They do. They're hunters by nature, and the pursuit exhilarates them. But today, when women are more empowered than ever {which is awesome, by the way}, we kind of suck at letting them pursue us. I know I do, at least. I wonder why I don't feel like he's trying, and then realize it's because I've never given him the chance. If you're constantly initiating, constantly available, then what opportunity does he ever have to be the man? So maybe you need to calm down a little and put your phone down. Make plans with your girlfriends, he wants you to have a life outside of him {and so should you}. Invest in the things that are important to you, further your talents and passions, get absorbed in a good book, learn more about who you are outside of him. If you're dating, go home at the end of the night rather than staying over {partially just because that's healthy...}, because if you're never gone, he can't ever miss you. Let him chase you.

2. Exactly how much of your self-worth and identity are you getting from him?
This one's touchy, since most girls that are consumed by their boyfriends become banshees at the slightest mention that that may be what they're doing. And I'm allowed to say that because I've been there, done that. You know exactly what I'm talking about, the girl that's let most of her female friendships fall into disarray, spends every waking {and sleeping} moment with her boyfriend, her entire identity staked in this boy. I was that girl, and I remember very vividly just how miserable it was. Because when you're this girl, he's never going to be enough, because he's not supposed to be. And because boys struggle with this far less than girls, he's not going to need you as much as you need him, which will wreck you and leave you wondering why you're spending Saturday night at home alone while he's out with his guy friends. And can I tell you how unattractive this trait is to men? Don't let the chauvinistic "woman in the kitchen" bit fool you, most men want a strong woman, who can stand on her own two feet, and mostly, doesn't find her identity in him. And I know you're in love, and he's wonderful and it's relatively easy to fall into this trap. But you're going to be be constantly disappointed, and always wanting and needing more. Until you can wake up, smell the coffee, and put your self-worth in Jesus, that's just how it's going to be.

3. Are your expectations too high?
We've been set up for failure, I'll give you that. In my personal case, the two culprits are When Harry Met Sally and a Walk to Remember. When Harry Met Sally caused me to believe that some man, some day was going to love me because of all my ridiculous idiosyncrasies, stand in front of me, and give me a speel like Harry gives Sally at the end of the movie. And I really feel as though a Walk to Remember is largely responsible for my past attraction to the "bad boy", and my desire to date boys to fix them and turn them into angels a la Landon Carter. It is possible to set your expectations too high. And even though I just talked a couple weeks ago about not having standards, this is a different problem. This is having expectations dictated by movies and songs and fairy tales. Expectations no real man will ever match up to {do we really want him to? because I'm convinced that realistically, Prince Charming would be a pain in the butt} . And we hold them to these sky-high standards, while we aren't exactly Cinderella ourselves, you know? So maybe you need to remove yourself from the latest chick flick fantasy world, and realize that this man loves you, flaws and all, and he's doing his best to show it.

See? We're a part of the problem too. I'm guilty of doing all of these things to guys I've dated. But in the end, you're just empty and discontent. All three of these issues fall under the umbrella epidemic of not dating like Jesus wants us to. I know the Bible doesn't exactly have books devoted to "how to date", especially not the way we date today, but He does tell us how to live. And when we're dating, it doesn't mean we stop trying to make our lives look like Jesus, you know? I know that I write about dating a lot, and it's because our society has turned it into a war zone, and it's freaking scary. It seems no one's willing to talk about the big, difficult issues. We all want everyone to think we've got it all together, that this dating thing's a breeze {me included}. But until we can all start being real and honest, people are going to keep falling in the same traps we've just climbed out of. So I know some of this might have pricked at you, or made you realize you're kind of being a crazy b-word. That's why I write though, and I can only write this stuff because I daily have to suppress the inner crazy girl.


Chelsea said...

You're seriously a genius. When are you coming out with a book? ;)

First of all, thank you! You're right... no one really talks about this stuff. Everyone posts pictures of themselves and their significant other doing something fun but what about the times that aren't fun? That's real life. Sure, some couples "don't fight" but that doesn't mean there aren't the uncomfortable or difficult moments.

I've been reflecting a LOT lately on my past relationship. I can see now the expectations I had of him. They were very high. After all, aren't we raised to date men who have it all together, who pursue us, who make us never doubt their love even for a second? Well, that would be the perfect man. No one is perfect. Not even ourselves. I've learned we are all different, we all have different expectations or needs and that takes time for the other person to learn about! Anyway, I'm blabbing but this was amazing! I can't wait for more of your insight :)

Kelsey Rosie said...

Girl, I'm pretty sure I'm going to print this out and have all my youth group girls read it. Women find so much "worth" in their relationships instead of in the Lord. Thank you for writing this, and being so dang wise!