A mistake I watch my friends make (and one I have definitely made myself) is throwing themselves into a relationship too fast, too soon.
It is easy to be overly enthusiastic about someone new, especially if they’re paying lots of attention to you. (Who doesn’t love attention?)
But what happens when you throw yourself into a relationship, you go out every night and then the guy bails after a few weeks? This break-up is hard to understand especially when he was the one initiating the calls and texts. With everything going so well, you wonder: “What did I do wrong?”
Zoë Foster in Textbook Romance writes, “One of the fundamental laws of courtship is this: men will always try to speed things up and women will always need to slow them down. … To many women this is attractive, because it feels like the guy is so into you that he simply cannot wait to lock you down. And sometimes it is attractive. But that still doesn’t mean you should allow him to dictate how quickly this happens.”
A year before my husband and I officially dated we had a “thing” (for lack of a better word). You know, that thing where you’re not really dating, but hanging out like you are.
During this time I would try to have those awkward conversations and ask: “Where is this going?” The response was always “I don’t know.” So after that last negative response, I told him to never speak to me again. Don’t text, don’t call, don’t email (it took a lot of self-control not to respond to him).
This silent treatment went on for 14 months until we saw each other at a mutual friend’s birthday party. You can imagine my surprise when he approached me to say he’s sorry for being such a jerk face. Of course I was still wary, but I allowed him to explain.
This is when the prolific texting/emailing/communicating started. After more than a year of silence I felt overwhelmed by the constant flow of attention. With God’s inspiration (and Zoë Foster’s wisdom) I put a stop to it right away.
I told him he could only contact me on the weekends and Wednesdays. He also had to give me at least three days heads up if he wanted me to go out on a date with him. After being rejected by him twice before, I felt he needed to really prove he was serious this time.
In the past I was always afraid to make any sort of demand on any guy (because us girls are often too afraid of being perceived as demanding because if we are, the guy will walk), but this time I didn’t care. I had a more cautious attitude and if he didn’t like it, then he could leave.
But he didn’t leave.
Zoë Foster explains: “A good man will be cool with you wanting to slow things down. … What men should realize is that you’re actually doing them a favor by pumping the brakes. You’re prolonging the attraction, the fun and the excitement and, most importantly, providing them with—you guessed it—a challenge.”
Well, my husband fell into the category of a good man. And after a few weeks of Wednesdays and the weekends, Lent came around and I decided it would be a good idea to give him up for Lent as well, so we only talked on Sundays. Immediately after Lent we started dating and the rest is history.
Of course, my example is a bit more extreme, but it is important for girls to realize that it’s not necessarily about playing hard to get, but letting the guy realize that you are a treasure.
If you start dating a guy who wants to go 100mph it is important to pace yourself. Because even if he bails, at least you didn’t give a piece of yourself before he disappeared.
So remember girls, it’s not about a game, its about protecting your heart and showing men that you are worth being pursued.
She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed; She is a woman, therefore to be won. ~Shakespeare