Yesterday I wrote my first proper blog, and I got more feedback from it than I expected. The topic seems to have scratched where people itch.
I’ve had tweets, emails and comments from people I would not have expected, as well as the strange transition when some one talks to me in person about what I wrote. (Note to self: the blog is public.)
So my tentative conclusion is that this classifies as a Big Issue. But this blog is not going to be all about relationships, and I am certainly not the person to write it even if it was. I’m going to offer some tentative thoughts in a moment to spring wide the debate, and there are at least two more posts on the topic coming soon (‘idealised notion of romance’, and ‘where does male headship fit into all this’). However, I will also be posting on a few other topics in between, and trying to explain what ‘broken cameras and gustav klimt’ means.
I am rather unqualified to pontificate on this topic. Sure, I talk to plenty of people about relationships. I talk to plenty of girls about them. But the conversation goes one of two ways, either talking about their love life, or them telling me to man up and ask girls out. On one occasion a girl who I didn’t know that well asked me quite out of the blue whether I was asking girls out. I prevaricated, waffled and probably just about got around to saying no.
I’m not offering any answers below, I’d welcome you thoughts, ideas and suggestions about how to deal with it.
That’s why. That’s why guys in church don’t ask girls out. And this works itself out in multiple ways:
- Fear of commitment. This is the obvious one but I don’t think that major. There are certainly guys who like to play the field and don’t want to settle down, but the bigger impact of this is that it leads to…
- Fear of uncommitment (yep I made that word up). Guys shy away from asking girls out because they don’t want to be seen as frivolous, they don’t want to be seen as lacking commitment. The logic goes: if I ask someone out, she’ll tell her friends and then if I ever want to ask one of those out they’ll know that I’d already asked one of her friends out, and she will then think that I don’t think she’s the one. Yes, guys do think like this. And they don’t want to be seen as playing the field.
- This is where the Joshua Harris school of thought has had a damaging impact. Guys have been encouraged to be cautious and wait until they ‘know’.
- Fear of rejection. This is pretty obvious. Guys don’t want to be turned down so they don’t ask. There may be a whole host of guys out there who ask girls on dates left right and centre and not caring one iota what the reaction is. I know they exist but I think they’re a pretty rare breed. And those who do? Well my hunch is that they do care, I don’t want to go all psychobabble but rejection hurts, the more it happens the more you might get used to it, but the hurt is still there, a scab has just grown over it.
- I said I wasn’t giving answers, here’s something that’s not the answer: girls saying yes to dates regardless – that’s called leading a guy on.
- Fear of getting it wrong. Guys are afraid that if they ask a girl out they will screw it up. I don’t mean the relationship, I mean the act of asking a girl out. And the potential embarrasment that might ensue, which conveniently leads me to…
- Fear of losing friends. In the church I think this one is the silent killer of romance. Gaggles of guys and girls who are friends but nothing more. A wide tundra stretches between friendship and romance that gets larger by the day. A few years ago I dubbed this ‘female friend dependency theory’, and that deserves a post of its own.
Can all of these be answered by asking men to man up? Or is there more of a problem at the root?