Category Archives: Godly Men

Why Nice Guys Finish Last

We say we want a man to “take charge and lead the relationship.” Yet, we are adamant against relational tyrants. This is all quite understandable. What might add a twist of confusion to the mix is when such a large clump of women end up with tyrants, control freaks, manipulators, and abusers. All the nice guys are left wondering, “What is wrong with me?” Well fellas, here is how this works.

The cocky, take-charge man that we all say we hate has some appeal to his manner of approaching relationships. He knows what he wants and he is confident in his pursuit. That type of guy realizes –at least, some of them do- they may fail. The relationship may go bust. However, that does not stop them or hinder their pursuit. From a girl’s perspective, we can spot insecurity a mile away. After all, many of us are hitched to it like a ball and chain. It is something we hate about ourselves. So, when we see it in a potential mate, we are practically ruthless in shutting that person down. We need someone who will balance us out. Be a rock when we’re a mess, be level-headed when we’re freaking out, and be an open ear when we are rambling a million words per minute.

The female gender is astutely critical. We most often criticize ourselves, but when that cup overflows, we look elsewhere for targets. I am not proud of this, nor do I justify the weakness. But, I do know that it happens. It’s our weakness. It can be an asset when we use the criticism to better ourselves. But when it is exercised to belittle our mate, compare ourselves to other women, or complain about features we cannot change, it isn’t being put to good use.

Here is how nice guys fit into the mix. “She would never go for a guy like me.” “If she really likes me, she’ll talk to me.” The nice guy can be so shy and passive that he doesn’t even ask a girl out. Sometimes, the “nice guy” stereotype comes with something else: insecurity, uncertainty, inability to take charge and lead.

My first love was one of those guys: so very nice… so very insecure. We were snowboarding buddies. I loved how daring he was on the slopes. I wished he would become more daring in our friendship, too. But, he was deathly shy and couldn’t seem to put one relational foot in front of the other. So, I grabbed his hand and lead the way. We liked each other that much I knew. One night, before departing ways he asked me what I was thinking. Being a silly little girl, I told him exactly what was on my mind. “I want to kiss you, but I don’t know how.” Yeah, that was a lie. I knew how. I just wanted him to lead this relationship, not me. Our young love sprouted and we kept seeing each other. But I was the leader. I instigated, I lead, I controlled the relationship, and I hated it. He would look at me, stand near me, tell every other guy not to go for me. But he himself could not make the moves. Miscommunication and lack of leadership on his part lead our relationship on a merry-go-round with no destination. It was a fun ride, but had little purpose. I regret how it all ended, but I wasn’t prepared to get down on one knee and propose to the guy. So I walked away. And like a typical romantic comedy, I wished and prayed he would stop me, come after me. He didn’t.

Sorry guys. This is just how it works. If you are nice, but can’t lead a relationship, things are going to crumble fast. One of two things might happen. Scenario A: it’s a sweet, but boring date and interest chokes with the first bite of food, can’t get resuscitated by dessert, and gets buried when the two say their goodbyes. It’s a hopeless cause. Scenario B: it is an opportunity for the woman to take charge for a bit. She’ll lead the relationship awhile until she grows bored or meets a confident leader who can make decisions and hold a conversation. They say nice guys finish last. Sometimes they do. And this is why. Women crave men with leadership abilities and confidence. Women will go for a confident man over a “nice guy” 99% of the time. The key is to become both.

Nice Guy, put yourself out there more. Take chances. You may fail thirty-seven times, but when it does work, it is worth it. Be confident in this: you are exactly who you are supposed to be. God created you a specific way. There is a type of girl who is madly wild about your character. So be confident, be bold. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to say all the right things and ask all the right questions. We’re learning together. Just roll with it. If you make a mistake, shrug it off. Life is fun and relationships are incredible gifts from God. Treat every woman like you’d want your sister or future wife to be treated and you will leave every girl better off than before she knew you.

I respect a man who will put himself out there. I’m not talking about the creepy guy that accosts me in Wal-Mart ranting about my outer beauty. I’m talking about the budding friendship that clicks well. Most of the time, I’ll say yes to a date, especially if a friendly platform has been established first. There, that should be the hardest step covered. The actual date is the fun part. A plan is good. Questions are great. But stress is unnecessary. It seems like a lot of pressure, but there is only one thing you need to do on this date: be confident in yourself. Now, if the date doesn’t go well, so be it. Not every girl is the right fit. The confidence part is what you can control. If you are confident you will shine and exude a certain authenticity that is attractive. That is how you will have a good date, regardless of the outcome.

Advertisements

Jabber Mouth Princess

“I’m going to be true to myself,” Jackie claimed as her approach to dating. If she had feelings for a guy, she let him know. If she wanted to talk to a guy, she called him. If she was scared she might lose a guy, she’d cling to him and ask for some reassurance. If she liked a guy, she threw herself into a relationship head first, whether he was open to it or not. There was no mystery, or chance for a guy to lead the relationship. She made the moves and made sure not even a day went by that he didn’t hear how she felt. A lot of people might wonder what’s wrong with this bold approach. There is a time to share feelings and have defining conversations for the direction of a relationship. But there is also a time to be patient and silent.

A girl sometimes talks just for the sake of talking. If a moment becomes too quiet, she gets nervous and feels the need to tell a story, or rant on about meaningless nothings, “This one time, at band camp….” This inevitably makes her look as insecure and nervous as she is feeling. Many guys have something important they could share, but they choose not to when a girl goes on and on … and on. “So like, today was just the best day! I was driving… to like, work or something, and this BABY BIRD flopped into the road in front of me. Luckily, I was at a red light or like, I might have squished that poor, helpless creature. And then, like, how would the momma bird feel?? How would I feel?? Oh my gosh! So then, anyway, I went shopping after work and bought this pretty pink shirt and these leggings. I was totally about to buy some new socks with puppies on them, and some new shoes, but then I remembered I needed to go to the post office for some stamps. I was talking to my best friend on the phone and she said her boyfriend’s mom’s boyfriend bought a new Porsche. He modified it so it cost, like, more than my whole wardrobe. It’s a pretty metallic color with flames and chrome wheels. I’m going to get a Porsche someday. I think they are so pretty, don’t you?” On and on… it’s meaningless, but it beats the silence, right?

I cannot stress enough how vital it is to get comfortable with silence. I know some women like to talk. They use more than ten times the amount of words men do… each day. That does not mean every moment and every day should be filled with mindless banter.  There is a time for everything, including silence. How will we ever hear those few important sentences other people need to speak if we do not give them the opportunity?

We all know that girl who jabbers a million miles an hour. It doesn’t go well for her on a date. She goes home thinking she met her future husband and feels great that she shared so much of her heart. He, on the other hand, was ready for the date to end right after they sat down for dinner. She told him about her best friend from middle school, her popularity in high school, that she was on the honor role, how her dog Skip died, about all nine of her boyfriends and why it didn’t work out… with each of them, her favorite pastime, what she likes to eat while watching TV, and the names and personalities of all seven of her cats. She connected. He didn’t.

There needs to be some mystery. The most exciting part of getting to know someone is discovering their personality through questions and interactions. If a girl tells everything about herself, without even taking a breath, the date loses its mystery and the girl just comes off as a boring braggart. We don’t need to chase after or pursue anyone.

Joann pursued Tony. She is gorgeous and outgoing, but doesn’t have a lot of self-respect. She eventually snagged him. Soon, his disinterest and boredom became evident. Predictably, he began to look elsewhere. He wanted to pursue someone with mystery who would take some effort to finally win. No matter how beautiful she looked, it wasn’t enough to keep her man occupied. Men are made with a desire to win a battle, and fight for a woman. It’s not our job to pursue. It is hard to keep that kind of relationship. Of course, that is not always the case. I realize there are some special circumstances. But let me be clear, those circumstances should be the minority, not the majority of relationship beginnings.

There are a few exceptions to the rule. When a guy is outrageously shy, it is okay to throw a few extra hints his way, perhaps a sky message that reads: “I like you, shy guy, when you ask me out I will say yes.”

Another case that might need some encouragement: sometimes we give ‘hands-off’ messages to guys. I started to develop some interest for a friend of mine. Throughout our friendship he saw guy after guy pursue me without luck. We would even talk about the other situations and how awkward it was for me. Their desperation to win me, a stranger, was unnerving. He admitted to me that he didn’t want to ever pursue me because he was afraid I might categorize him with those others. I did like him though. As our friendship blossomed but never progressed, the time did come when I shared my heart with him.

Making the moves can be an intimidating and nerve-racking process. It is never fun to risk rejection. So if we are clearly telling people we don’t want to date and we don’t want a boyfriend, the right, respectful guys will step down and either be a friend or move on. If an interest is formed for one of these respectful men, a hint or two might be needed to encourage them in the pursuit. In this case, a conversation might even be best. The conversation, though it can be scary, should be easy-going and honest, “Hey, we’ve had ____ many months to get to know each other. I just want you to know I appreciate _____ and _____ (character qualities) about you. I have developed stronger feelings for you. But you do with that knowledge whatever you see fit. I cherish your friendship, so just let me know if there’s something there for you or if we should just keep being friends.” If this conversation is going to happen, breathe. Don’t get worked up over what needs to be said or what needs to happen. We can only share what’s happening on our side. Feelings have to be reciprocated in order for a relationship to ensue. We have no control over that, so there is no point in stressing. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, there is always going to be someone better suited.

These are not common situations. Guys have an innate desire to pursue. When they step into their God-given leadership roles they become more alive as men. Their masculinity is strengthened when we allow them to make the moves and do the wooing. The more we scream out equality on the playing field, the lazier our guys become. “Don’t wait for him to call you. You call him.” Just as we need to learn silence in order to give our guys a chance to share deep stories, or ask personal question, we also need to learn patience when it comes to first moves. We have to be careful about making hasty decisions or running ahead to take the lead. The most loving approach we can take in new encounters and relationships is to be open and friendly; not brash and outspoken. This isn’t a competition or a burping contest. We have an innate desire to be pursued. We don’t need to prove our worth or independence in order to impress guys. When we understand our security is found in Christ, we will learn how to respond to the right guy’s pursuit. There is no need to blare a loud horn to get a guy’s attention.

Some women are shy, so this approach is easier for them. And then there are some of us who are go-getters and major competitors.  It is hard to practice patience and self-control. We know what we want and we’re ready to get it. The downfall of this trait is a hasty decision. Backpedaling is hard to do when we’re already going down a hill. It is important to learn patience. Every man is a leader, or meant to be. Some have had their leadership squashed by so many women that it takes them a bit more time to pursue. They do have it within them. We can be a part of a great lesson for these guys if we just learn some patience in their pursuit. Just like talking, he’ll make the move, if we just step back and give him the floor.


Not A Frog… Not A Prince… He’s A Man!

 “Tall, dark, and handsome. Mm, mm!”

Why are these the descriptions of a good-looker? Why can’t he be a bit short, not so dark, a little less muscular than a body builder, yet fully on fire for God and dreamy to a particular girl? Fairy tale beauty isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. We have to get past those little Disney figurines; Erik, Aladdin, and even Prince Charming. We set guys up to fail by their very genetic makeup. We are sometimes quick to pass judgment because a guy doesn’t initially send an electrifying spark through our systems, or he didn’t fly in on a carpet or wild steed. He didn’t rescue us from the girls in the locker room or the fights with the parents. He didn’t toss his life in the ocean and start worshipping us the moment we walked into his life. Bah! Who does he think he is? Well, for starters, he’s a REAL guy. He isn’t a character dreamed up by an old man for millions of little children throughout the generations. Sometimes he doesn’t brush his teeth in the morning, doesn’t know how to comfort us when we’re crying, and may not want to carry on an elaborate, detailed conversation for more than five minutes. That’s okay. If we could get past the fictitious measure of handsome, we might truly see some of these guy friends and pursuers as the handsome creations God has uniquely made each of them to be. We might learn from them and find glimpses of God in each of them. I do think attraction is important, but first impressions are not always accurate portraits of true beauty. Some of these guys deserve a second glance where their true and handsome character may be revealed.

Ever since we were little girls we’ve been hearing fairytale stories. Aside from the innate desire to be pursued by the one we like, there are reinforcements in stories, playtime, movies, and in the modeling we observe from our peers. Many young girls have dreamed of their wedding day. Many dream of meeting their Prince Charming. He saves his fair lady, sweeps her off her feet, and makes her feel like the only girl in the world. There is only one problem with this foggy story: when young girls make this fairytale story their only goal in life. I’m afraid our make-believe world has sold us short on real life adventures. If we recall, many of our animated heroines are living lack luster lives looking for adventure. Along comes a hero. He is her adventure. He brightens the picture and brings color to her world. Somehow this has poisoned our minds to singlehood. Many are just waiting for that guy to prance in and turn the world upside down with discovery and expedition. Whoever our prince may be he is not the only adventure for us. Imagine how much pressure it would add to our guys if they felt they had to live up to the fairytales. Not only do they have to figure out their lives, become responsible leaders and providers, but now they also have to portray a gallant hero and continually provide copious amounts of entertainment for us. We have to keep these relationships in perspective. He’s human, just like we are. And we both bring something to the relationship table. We both have unique aspects of God to portray to the other person.

Do you think women’s expectations of men are too high? Could this mentality be one of the main culprits?


%d bloggers like this: