Ashley and I were sitting around talking the other night and the topic of dating came up. We've been married going on five years now and have been in a relationship for seven. It's so minimal in comparison to others, particularly Ashley's grandparents who are going on 58 years of marriage. Talk about the legacy they have! Anyway, we’re sitting there discussing dating, specifically the pre-dating phase, and I realized that I'm really frustrated with it. I just feel like there's a major double-standard that people aren't seeing. Or if they see it, they're disregarding it as no big deal. Ashley told me to blog about it, so here I go. I say all of this knowing it is merely my opinion and I have a personal bias when it comes to the topic of dating. So take this as my opinion based on my personal life experiences.
Here is the statement I want to make up front: guys and girls should be held to an equal standard of protecting the other's emotions. We all know the people who are too forward with the opposite sex; too charismatic, too flirtatious. They charm you then harm you and it's all a big game. They're known as players who casually lead others on - it's all about the chase. They're the girls that your momma tells you to avoid and the guys your daddy wants to threaten with a shotgun. We all know them; emotional abusers. As men, we are taught not to be that guy. You are taught, or more instructed, to treat girls with the utmost respect. Do not be the guy who leads girls on. Do not be the one that leads them into an unsure relationship which has the potential to damage their future marriage. Do not be the guy who plays with girls' emotions. All of this is great and valid and important. I am completely on board with the thought of guys stepping up and leading, protecting, and caring for girls. I accept, as a guy, the part I have played in leading girls on in the past. But there's a very, very big problem with this. Girls aren't seemingly being taught from the same rule book.
Girls, for the love of your future husband, STOP misleading guys! There, it’s out. The reason Ashley told me to blog about this. I get so frustrated with guys that are “there for” girls and the girls aren't there in return. I see young men being vulnerable to girls and putting their emotions on the line only to be disregarded time and time again. These are not the girls that I mentioned in the above paragraph that you'd normally beware of. These are the girls next door; kind, sweet girls, just being completely oblivious to guys' emotions. Just because dudes play sports and hunt bears and rip their chest hair out to be manly doesn't mean our emotions don't go as deep as yours. It doesn't mean when you blow us off and we pretend it's no big deal that it doesn't break our hearts a little. And you need to know that it's a little confusing when you spend 5 evenings a week with us and then suddenly spend Saturday evening out on a date with someone else. Girls...you're leading guys on and you don't even know it.
We guys want to show you who we are, but we don’t want to compete for your attention. We can only live our lives like a contestant on "The Bachelorette" for so long until we call it quits . Our persistence, our attention towards you, our “being there” for you only goes so far. So help us out. Think about what you want in your future husband. You want someone who is always going to be there for you? You want someone who places value in you? You want someone who will open up to you? Then start now. Begin this journey before you even think there may be something there with someone. Start by placing an equal responsibility on yourself and your future husband. Don't give in to charm and attention guys are willing to give you now. Start preparing for the future you want.
Here’s the reality; we try to do things the way we think you want them to be. If there’s nothing there on your side, let us know. Stop the cycle of brokenness within relationships by placing a higher value on your future relationship. I completely understand and agree with having friends of the opposite sex. I am all for it. But girls if you think the guys may be getting the wrong idea about it, don’t just say, “Oh I just think of us as friends”. I firmly believe that you should just walk away from it. Save the misconceptions and false leads. It may be painful but it may be what’s best for the guy’s future relationship with his wife. It may be what’s best for both parties.
So here’s the closing thought. You, right now, may be in a friendship with someone else’s (future) husband/ wife. How would you want your future spouse to be being treated at this time? Would you be alright with playing games with their heart ? Or would you want it protected from as much pain and heartache as possible? Be careful. These are individual’s futures we are talking about here.