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Another Christian single man’s take on the issue of women approaching men/initiating relationships.  This is in response to a post the other day “Maybe I Have Been Wrong about Letting Him Pursue You? ”  Thank you very much to this man for sharing his perspective!
First, I don’t think you are way off on what you’ve told women when it comes to approaching men, etc.  I think you’ve actually told them a lot of good ideas.  It’s not like you’ve said:
  • “be a wallflower”
  • “never go introduce yourself”

What you’ve said is basically, “Don’t chase guys, don’t ask them out, don’t incessantly text them, etc.”  I really think that is right on.  I do think that it can be taken to the extreme.  For instance, once you are in a relationship, texting back is good.  You don’t have to play hard to get – you just don’t want to slide into control the relationship mode. (From Peacefulwife – I agree.  Please do text guys back.  Don’t purposely ignore him or be mean to him or try to make him jealous.  But do continue having a full, rich life with Christ, your church, your friends and family and your schedule.)

I don’t think I’ve ever been asked out.  I mean I was single forever so I may be forgetting something but I don’t think so.  I’m not sure how I would have reacted.  It probably would depend on whether I liked her or not. Haha.
I think most men would rather ask her out.  I would say a couple of caveats to that.
  • The point the guy made about mixed signals is pretty valid.  It’s not always fair but women sometimes do send them.  Sometimes they are just being friendly and sometimes frankly they just change their minds.  That can get tricky.
  • I think it’s ok if a girl approaches a guy.  Sometimes we need some encouragement.  And I even think occasionally a fun line like, “so are you going to ask me out or what?” can be good.  But if you are using that line a lot, something is off.  (From Peacefulwife – that is a REALLY direct line – be VERY sure before you use that – and if you do, definitely use it in a flirty way.  But I still think that generally waiting on the guy to ask you out is wise.)
  • I think guys want to know the answer before they pursue.  Who doesn’t.  But it can be tough.  The part of the conversation on that post about if it’s just a date why can’t you ask, is a great one – from both sides.  Especially in Christian circles we up the ante so fast sometimes it’s crazy.  Again, on both sides..  Just ask us out, but guard our hearts, but don’t over think it, but pursue us, but don’t be to fast etc.  But I kind of tell guys, “so what, get over it and move on”
I feel like most of the women I dated the last three or four years let me pursue or not.  Sometimes I didn’t handle that perfectly but I didn’t feel controlled.  But then again, I would be done if it happened so I might not be the best litmus test for that.  But one thing I appreciated about my girlfriend now is that she let me call her and didn’t assume it was going anywhere.  I remember this one time on what was probably our 5th or 6th date she said basically:

“I’m glad I met you.  Even if this doesn’t go anywhere, it’s been really good to know you and see a good man etc”.

Brilliantly played by her and of course made me want more.  Really until recently she pretty much never calls me first.  I’ve called her every day for the last year.  But that is us. (From Peacefulwife – Greg called me every day the whole 6 years we were dating.  I only called him if there was some kind of emergency.  We never talked about that, it’s just what we did.  But it worked really well for us, too.)
Two more thoughts
First I think the key to this whole thing is principals not rules.  I think you do a good job of that by the way.  But it’s not a formula.  There are so many different scenarios, stories, wounds, etc.  There are also different ages.  22 and unmarried is COMPLETELY different than 32 and unmarried.  I think that women have to work to put themselves out there.  If I were a 32 year old woman, I’d be on e-harmony etc.  Effort is good, control is bad and that is a fine line.  But we need to just know that we aren’t working with dogma here.  In Christianity we often like to make dogma out of practice and that is usually a bad idea.  That is where we move from relationship to religion.
Finally the leadership in the relationship thing is tough.  I was usually at first just trying to figure out if I want to hang out with the person.  Then I wanted to know – could they go where I’m going?  But that requires knowing where I’m going.  Two things about leadership (and this isn’t just dating)
1. You have to actually be going somewhere.
2. Someone has to actually be following you.
That sounds simple but honestly those two things often get left out.
I think once it’s heading toward marriage, it’s on.  And once you are engaged its even more on.  To me that is where you really start to assume the roles.  Before that it’s tricky.  But I think you say a lot of good stuff about this.  It might be more about being aware of and avoiding the traps of control, manipulation etc than about how exactly you do all of that.
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