Monday, September 13, 2010

They Kiss Too Early

Mistake #12

Ella was a girl with high standards when it came to guys. In fact, she didn’t date much at all. It wasn’t that she wasn’t attractive or nice. She just knew what she wanted in a man and had decided she wasn’t going to settle for less. Then Jordan came along, he was super cute, way fun and very flirty and he wasn’t afraid to pursue Ella. Ella found this very flattering and fun. At first, she had no problem turning him down, because she knew that Jordan wasn’t the kind of man she wanted to marry. However, as time went on, Ella started to think that it might be fun just to kiss him. There wouldn’t be anything wrong with that as long as she made it clear to Jordan this wasn’t going anywhere. They were just going to have fun. Before she knew it, Ella found herself heartbroken that she was going to have to break up with Jordan, someone she never even wanted to date in the first place.

In college, my group of friends had something we called NCL, or Non-Committal Lip. Basically, the thought was that we could make out with someone just for fun and it wouldn’t mean anything the next day. In theory, this sounded great, but it never worked out this simply. Did I mention never? Literally, never! Many times NCL make-out sessions led to relationships my friends never wanted and later ended in unnecessary heartbreak.

I’m not just talking about NCL here. I’m also talking about kissing or other physical affection whether it is someone you are casual with or someone you are interested in having a future with. Here are the cold, hard facts, girls:

• Fact #1: Our hearts, minds and bodies are not separate entities unaffected by one another. When we start kissing or snuggling someone, we start caring about them differently than before. We have shared an intimacy with that person. When you kiss someone you are creating a connection.

• Fact #2: Kissing makes us feel committed to someone. Internally, we all just seem to know that it is not okay to be physical with more than one person at a time. With that in mind; once we kiss someone, we innately know we shouldn‘t kiss anyone else until that physical relationship has been severed. Therefore, if you don’t want to be committed to a guy or you just don’t want to be committed yet, DON'T KISS HIM.

• Fact #3: Kissing is foreplay to sex. I never realized this until after I got married. Knowing this explains why once you start kissing it is so hard to stop yourself from going further. You aren’t designed to stop at just kissing. You are designed to consummate what you have started.

To quote my hero Paul, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2 NLT)

Before you start kissing someone, ask yourself two questions:

1. Am I ready to commit to this person?

2. Is this pleasing to God, or am I just trying to satisfy my flesh?

Here is another reason to limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage. More alcohol makes you too comfortable and equals loose lips. You are more likely to reveal too much (as we discussed in the last chapter) and you kiss too much.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

They Reveal Too Much Too Soon

Mistake #11

My friend Jennifer is known for her long-winded stories. She will talk and talk and talk and give every single detail to her audience. She is entertaining and guys are drawn to her, so she is asked out on many dates. However, after the first few dates, Jennifer felt completely in love with Mr. Amazing and Mr. Amazing had suddenly lost interest in her. Why? She always revealed too much, too soon.

We have seen too many girls reveal their entire life stories complete with their hopes and dreams (and chosen baby names!) during their first conversation with an eligible bachelor. At the end of her monologue, the guy typically thinks to himself, “Thank you, Lord, for letting that conversation be OVER.”

Men enjoy a challenge. They are internally wired by God to enjoy competition. They love sports, video games, war movies and wrestling matches. Even men who do not obviously follow this stereotype can be found competing with others over who works the hardest, tells the funniest jokes or who has the longest nose hair. And then there are the guys who simply compete against themselves. This love of a challenge does not disappear when men enter the dating realm. It intensifies. So be a challenge for him. Don’t hand him your heart on a platter. Instead make him dig for pieces of you over a long period of time. Many sweet, caring and very OPEN girls have had their hearts broken by revealing too much about themselves too soon in the relationship.

I always followed one basic biblical principle when being pursued by a man. “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” (Philippians 2:2-4, NLT) Here is how to practically apply this principle in the context of dating.

• On Dates: Make it your goal to find out as much information as you can about him without revealing much about yourself! Go to the date with an arsenal full of questions that you can ask him. (See Appendix B for ideas.) If you don’t think you will be able to remember all of the questions then write them down and keep them in your purse to look over when you go to the restroom. When he asks you a question, answer it with an honest, SHORT answer and ask him another question. Really LISTEN to the answers he gives and ask more questions about his response. As he talks, nod your head, smile and make eye contact so that he knows you are interested and that you want to know who he truly is. At the end of the date you want him to be thinking, “Wow, she’s amazing! She even showed interest in my love for Star Trek! But, wait, I don’t know anything about her. I’ll call her tomorrow to find out more!” (Note: If you are over 21, we recommend you drink ONLY ONE alcoholic beverage per date. Alcohol can make you comfortable. More than one drink can make you TOO comfortable revealing your deepest darkest secrets, your most embarrassing moments, and your hopes and dreams about a beautiful future with him and your seven children all on the first date. If you don't believe us, watch The Bachelor.)

• On the Phone or Skype: Screen your cell phone calls. Do not answer the phone or text him if you are with other people. Enjoy your friends and family and the event you are at instead of entering into a conversation with him. If you are not busy, keep your phone conversations down to 10 minutes or less. This will keep you from revealing too much too soon and he will soon figure out that he needs to ask you on a date if he wants to spend quality time getting to know you. The same principles apply during phone conversations. Ask more questions than he asks. Answer his questions with honest, short and cute answers. If he leaves a message, only return calls if he specifically asks you to call him back.

• Email, Texting, IM-ing: This can be very dangerous. As women we often feel very free to express ourselves when we are sitting in front of a keyboard. We start typing and suddenly we have typed a 10 page email that is humorous, emotional and perfectly describes everything we are feeling and thinking, but it is way too revealing. Use the Mirror Rule in all of these cases. If he sends a 5 line e-mail, respond with a 5 line or less email. If he sends a 10 word text to you, don’t exceed 10 words when you respond. Use these communication modes to your advantage. Be witty and playful in your responses. Follow the 10 minute rule with texting and IM-ing conversations. You are a busy, in demand woman. He needs to ask for a date to spend some significant time getting to know you.

Remember, your goal is to be an intriguing mystery he wants to solve. Always leave him wanting more at the end of every date, phone call, email or text.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Not Being Mrs. Right for their Mr. Right

Mistake #10

Jim was one of those college friends who never really seemed to go to college, although it was rumored that he had in the past. He seemed to bounce from one job to another. Each one for some reason or another just didn’t “fully tap into his talent and potential.” Therefore, after a short time he would have to let his employer go. In fact, the majority of the time he didn’t have a job, but he did have a well-worn place in front of the TV. He was average height with round glasses and a matching round figure. He was not ugly, but he was in no way trying to take care of himself. Jim was fairly fun to hang around, but at times would say things just to be annoying.

One day the conversation came up regarding what each of us was looking for in a mate. He explained that he wanted a girl who was smart, driven, pretty, and athletic. Okay, just absorb that. He wanted someone who was driven, pretty, and athletic. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Obviously, he was never going to attract that kind of girl, because any girl like that wasn’t looking for someone like Jim.

Now, I am finished picking on my guy friend, but as girls we need to take a look in the mirror. We do this all the time. For example, we want someone who is totally in love with Jesus, yet we are only half-heartedly seeking after Him. What do you want in a guy? Really, think about it. Look at your list from the last chapter.

Okay, now that you have your Mr. Right in mind, what kind of girl do you think he wants? Seriously, take time to stop and think about this. What is your Mr. Right looking for in a woman? Write it down.

Now that you’ve got in your mind what he wants, ask yourself if you are the kind of woman he is looking for.

If you are not the kind of woman your Mr. Right is looking for, you have two options:

Option #1 - Figure out who your Mr. Right is looking for and become that woman. Live up to the standard you have set so you can have the man you have spent your life dreaming of, instead of all the Mr. Wrongs you’ve been attracting. Maybe you want a man who is going be actively involved in his church with his family, but you’ve been hit or miss with church for the last two years. It is time for you to commit and serve. It’s easy to not be intentional, and before you know it you have become a person you never wanted to be and are living a life you never wanted to live. Be the woman God intended you to be!

Option #2 - Change what you are looking for. Maybe as you looked at what your dream man would be looking for, you realized you will never be that. That’s okay. If you’ve had an idea about a rugged outdoorsman, but you can’t stand mosquitoes and frizzy hair, it’s time to let go of that dream. Don’t try to become someone God didn’t intend you to be.

Guys all around you are dreaming about their Mrs. Right. Don’t just pray for your Mr. Right to come along. Also, be the Mrs. Right your Mr. Right is looking for.