I wondered how best to start this, how to address you. I thought about women, but that seemed too sterile, I thought about girls but that seemed too infantile. So I write to ladies everywhere. I want to give you the status you deserve, I want to honour you and encourage you. I want you to be better people, as I want to be a better person.
That’s not so hard an ask is it? But then it comes down to the task of working out how I am going to say this, because this is a little hard. I know most of the people who read this blog, and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that when I publicise my introspection you read it.
Let me start with a bit about me. I’m not a ladies man, I don’t have the skills to charm the girls and lead them into my arms. My experience of relationships is equivalent to Neil Armstrong’s knowledge of moon walking before he stepped foot on Apollo 11. A lot of thinking, a lot of playing it out in the mind, but rather short on actual experience. So I write out of friendship and not as a response to bitter experience.
Here’s the thing, my fellow guys and I like you. And one day I hope that I will get to spend the rest of my life with one of you. That makes it all a bit scary. Because there we are, stood in front of this mass of femininity with the same dilemma you face and thought was perhaps the exclusive preserve of your gender. Which one is for me?
And if you thought it should be easier for us because there are more ladies than men, please think again. It just ups the pressure.
I think, and think again, and then tie myself in knots thinking about the thoughts that started it all. I play convoluted games in my head trying to work out what I want.
I want to be a good guy, but I hear that they come last. I want to be the person who everyone likes, but I find they get ignored. I want to be funny, but I struggle to make people laugh. I want to be wanted but too often I am all alone.
In the end I don’t know if I would be any better off if I got all that I wanted. I dream dreams, I conjure lofty thoughts of happiness and satisfaction and then they come crashing down to earth. I wonder if the girl of my dreams will ever walk into my waking hours.
And then I remember. I am to live in the day, not drift in my dreams. So the lady I really want should not be a figment of my imagination but a part of my life.
Ladies, there’s quite a lot of pressure on us, I don’t want this to be an excuse, but let me try and explain. What we hear time and time again is that there are many ladies who are just waiting for guys to step up to the plate and ask them out. Pause for a minute on this.
What if my heart is not stirred to affection, or there is no one in particular who has caught my eye? Am I to act anyway, pick someone and do my job, ask them out, wine them and dine them, and see where it goes?
That would cheapen and demean the hope I have for a lady to one day share my life with. It’s not the now that matters most; it’s the future that stretches out from this day. The years that are to come and the eternity that has already begun.
So what I do today really does echo in eternity. Even if I choose to do nothing. Choose not to raise a ladies’ hope. Choose not to pursue a romance that is not meant to be. And doing nothing is the surest way to come last. Being a good guy and not ruffling any feathers, being a good guy and not causing offence. Being a good guy because one day I might hope to be your best guy.
Ladies, you are beautiful people. And you deserve a guy who will commit to you and love you. But that doesn’t let you off the hook. It doesn’t leave you with nothing to do but wait.
If my heart is moved towards you I will let you know. I might not want to, I might wait a while, I might try and rationalise my way out of it but this is my commitment to you. I will tell you.
And if I don’t know you all that well I will try to. So if I’m hanging around you more than usual, or I turn up at parties where you are the only person I know, if I find time in a hectic week when a chance to see you emerges… well I hope you might see where this is going.
But I’m a quiet guy. I don’t do bravado very well. I’ve also taken to talking a lot about relationships recently, and a lot of you ladies have talked back. And that’s okay, but it also leaves it all a bit messy.
Passivity is not the answer: for me it’s okay for a lady to give me a nudge. If they are confused about whether I like them I’d rather they said something than contorted their emotions to try and fathom me out. If the guy does like you he should jump at the chance to get things moving. If he doesn’t share you affection then it might be a tad awkward, but we’ll work through that.
A while back I wrote about when friendship can get in the way, I know it has for me. I want to have female friends but here is a request: if you only want to be friends, hold back on the flirting. And I don’t mean the overt provocatively sexual behaviour, I mean the more casual signals that you send to guys.
You know what I’m talking about. When there are guys who will turn up when you text, who are the first to arrive and the last to leave. And these are the ones you choose to hang out with. They like you. If you like them, this is the right response, if you don’t: hold back. If it is just the attention we are giving you that you like, please be careful how you take it, and there maybe a time when for all of our sake you learn to live without.
I’ll be writing to the guys soon, they’re more confused than you are. If you thought that was possible. They generally want to do the right thing. We’re a fragile breed, not quite always the strong and emotionless creature we are sometimes portrayed as.
I hope we can make this work. I think it will be worth it. It might be hard but let’s try and give it a go. Let’s not find convenient excuses to stay in the comfortable track.
7 thoughts on “Dear ladies,”
We’re sorry you’re confused. Thanks for your thoughts; we’re working through our issues, and we’ll take your needs on board.
One thing, though. I realise it’s traumatic, and you feel the pressure to ‘step up’, but you’re right, we don’t need you to just randomly step up every time you’re not in a relationship. The thing is, you don’t have to figure this out on your own – you have insider information. You don’t have to walk into a roomful of women and decide all by yourself whether to pursue one or not. You get to ask the designer which is the perfect fit.
If you haven’t yet found someone with whom friendship isn’t enough, and for whom you’re willing to risk everything, even your fragile heart, then don’t sit and fret about it; you’ve got plenty of time. As you pointed out, it’s not like the supply of Christian women is going to run out any time soon.
If you’ve found the one, and God’s said ‘yes’, but you’re still holding back, then there’s an issue, but till then relax, enjoy our friendship as we enjoy yours, and keep listening.
I reckon find someone you would rate 6 or above who doesn’t have a crush on you in a serious way (friend of a friend, stranger, distant relative etc etc). Make them laugh then ask them out for a drink, if they say no no worries (it won’t be too awkward as you’re not too close), if they say yes then take them out for drink, meal or novelty activity. If it goes alright ask to see them again, if that goes alright then see them again again and so on and so on.
They might end up being the one but chances are they won’t. Nevertheless if it doesn’t work out you’ll likely have learnt a bit more about what kind of person you’re looking for or even who you are (women are observant and cruel*) than you will do sitting on your hands. You’ll also be more confident and more experienced within a relationship. At the very least you’ll have narrowed the field down by one and as long as you didn’t promise the earth to them or told yourself this is the one after the first date then everyone should walk away unscathed.
I reckon (though I’ve no idea) that dating in your 20s is probably the most emotionally secure time two people could do it. You’re both adults who are initially attracted to each other having a gradual and hopefully enjoyable look at how well you might get on better with no impending biological clock.
Anyway this is purely based on my experience: having fretted about relationships for ages when I was younger I got bored and ended up seeing someone that I wasn’t actually well matched to but we had a really fun couple of months together. After that I saw a few more ladies before finally snatching the one (fingers crossed). I got her number after a dance-off, something I’d never have done in my head-scratching days.
PS I’m not a woman so sorry for reading your letter to women. Also I realise some letter-reading women may be offended by some comments above (universal rating system, observant and cruel) – please don’t, they are merely light jokes (partly based on reality)
Just to help out I thought I’d provide some ideas for some novelty activities:
Many are suitable for all ages. Fossil hunting may require minor adaptations for the more sophisticated palaeontologist.
So tell me, if we are not to sit back and wait, what are we to do if we feel we have been getting mixed signals from one of you?
How do you intrepret friendship when it could be just that, friendhsip, or on the other hand your friend might actually like to get to know you a little better? Do we “woman up” and confess that we may like to get to know you a little better, or do we sit back and hope for the best? If we share our thoughts we may risk losing a brother in christ, but if we remain quiet you might think we aren’t interested.
Relationships, especially in the Christian contect are very confusing…
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