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Start with “me” to build a “we”


One of my friends, Brandon, was always in a relationship. I don’t think I’ve seen him single for more than a week in all the time we’ve know each other. Now he wasn’t quite the chick magnet, but he had a way with words. He was one of the good guys.

In one of our discussion, this came up. He admitted that the real problem wasn’t not finding the right girl, but hating to be alone…

In order for there to be a you+ me= we, there must be a heathy “me”. A growing relationship is based on two mature individuals who know how to handle life and want to share it together. When one of them is dependent on the other for their happiness, weird things happen.

When the relationships is a patch for a soul struggle, a deep heart wound or insecurity, the relationships is not in a good spot. If you’re using the other person just so you won’t feel alone, how much is love and how much is self-love?

I’m not talking here about being selfish, not that kind of love but a proper understanding and relating of you with yourself. How can you love your neighbore as yourself if you don’t love yourself?

Take the time to understand who you are. Take the time to appreciate the good, to ponder about the things that need some work… Take some time to work on yourself. Be loving, be firm, be honest and real. And when you’ll meet somebody who you want to spend your life with, you won’t have a perfect heart to share… but one that’s been healing and growing.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Expectations: the silent killer.


Princesses. White churches. Cherry blossoms.

Every since she was a little girl, she wanted her wedding day to look a certain way… Roses. Champaign. Slow dancing.

Every time she saw a wedding, she got more ideas of how her weeding should be.

Weddings are just one example of how we model expectations…. often by osmosis. We see a cute couple and decide that our life will be like that. We hear a romantic line and decide we’re going to be better. From real life examples to magazines, cartoons, cereals ads and museum painting- each element ads another expectations to what we want our relationships to be like.

Where do you add that in Christian thought, marriage is a “for-life” deal, so whatever deal you make, you better make the best one you can. No pressure. But really, make the best deal you can. And all this from afar- because as soon as you’ve had coffee you’re on a count-down to either rejection or an exclusive relationships.

I’m being a bit sarcastic here…. but let’s be hones: how many times have you not seen this happen? Our expectations, coupled with the exclusivity of marriage make dating relationships incredibly hard. 

So what about expectations makes them so dangerous? Most commonly, the fact that they are silent. They’ve been silent for a while, even subconscious. Some of us may be more vocal about them with our friends, but for the most part they go under the radar, unnoticed, unchecked.

I’ve this scenario one too many times in my life or the lives of my friends: things are going well, the day is unfolding and then snap- something happens. The other person doesn’t know what exactly it was, but something happened, and it killed the mood, the night, the relationship. And often, the other person doesn’t even know what hit them. Sometimes even we don’t know what hit us… we just know that we couldn’t see ourselves with somebody like that.

Expectations are relationship killers because they are silent. They go unsaid, yet wanted. 

And when we dont’ get what we want, we’re not happy campers. The problem is that we never said what we wanted. Often we can’t even name what we want, it’s kinda there – as they say:”you’ll know it when you see it”.

This kind of approach is not healthy. It’s magical, it’s romantic, but it’s not mature. If we are to embark in long-term relationships, we have to employ a better technique than “finding a soul mate that is my other half and makes me happy”.  A mature relationships would require talking about what we want, processing through our life history, our culture and our desires. Expressing our expectations is a grown-up way to go about it. Some of them may be legit, some may not. But either way, the other person can’t meet some of them or address other, until you talk about them.

So do the hard work of figuring out what your expectations are. Work through your history, figure out what has defined them for so long. As you work through that, look for somebody who can meet them and who knows them.

After all, to be loved is not just to be know, but to be know and loved as you are.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Jack

 

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Learning by Doing: Practice Makes Perfect


Have you ever been good at anything from day 1? How many skills that you have now did you always have? And how many did you acquire?

Being good at relationships is a skill that is acquired. 

By doing relationship.

You get good at relationships, by being involved in relationships.

As Christians, we are often afraid of failure. We don’t want to do what’s wrong, we don’t want to mess up. Sometimes we would rather not do something, than do it and fail at it. This mentality often pervades evangelicals. And it inhibits us to do relationships.

“I want my first boyfriend to be my husband”. Great desire, hardly the case. We’ve hear people say that. Straight shot, getting it right from the begging. I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m saying that we’re not naturally good at it. We learn by practice, we learn by doing. It’s the same with relationships. We learn how to interact with women by having friends who are girls, by spending time doing what they want, seeing the world from their perspective.

Thinking emotionally

It doesn’t come natural for most guys. You’ll have to learn how to think through the prism of emotions. It’s taking other people’s emotions into account. Guys are so factual, they usually don’t pick up on all these relational clues. Emotions is information. If you miss an emotional communication, you’ve missed part of what was being communicated. Guys have to learn to gather that information and process is effectively, thus being an emotional mature person. Emotionally savvy individuals do better in life and business. Oh, an relationships of course.

Thinking factually

Don’t mean to throw blanket statements over there, but some girls may be so overwhelmed by emotions that they are not reasonable. There’s many reasons  why that could happen, yet the same effect- not being reasonable. Knowing how to handle’s one emotions is also part of emotional intelligence. Learning coping skills will make for a better partner.

What I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t have this expectation that life will just work out. Sometimes it doesn’t and this is not a reflection of your character of choices. It just is. What we can do, is choose a response and choose to grow in maturity. Don’t hope to be good at relationship -become good at relationships. Become by doing. And if you find out that you’re not as good as your thought you were, well, count it as a blessings. It’s a lesson that you can learn to become better.

 

You should follow me on Twitter here!

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Jack

 

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Being “hot” 2 of 2


So I was in preventive class today for well you know… preventive driving, and there was this other guy there. He was in for aggressive driving, doing 102 in 55. He also had a Lamborghini. After talking for a little bit, I asked him how much of those was, and he casually said something like “I don’t know… about 250”. Yeah, and I’ll never play in that league I thought to myself. Anyways, we talked for a little more and I had to say: “that must be such a chick magnet”. “Not as much as you’d think”, he answered. “I get more guys checking it out, yeah, haha, guys and kids”.

Now this is very interesting. From a guy’s perspective, that is like the ultimate sign of power: I’ve got money, I’ve got guts, and I’ve got style. What more could a girl want, right? Well, there’s a little more the girl side of the story.

Even though every girl would want to drive in one of those, that is just half of being “hot”. The other half is the confidence that comes with it. Being hot is about being desirable for the other person and remember, attraction is not a choice.

Emotionally Hot Guys

What girls want besides a super nice car and a lot of confidence, is somebody who can handle them. Somebody who will know what to say to sweep them of their feet, somebody who can be adventurous yet sensible. A lot of guys out there can buy the nice clothes, spray some Giorgio Armani and drive a fast car. It takes a lot of work to get to the other level, of being emotionally mature, expressive and connected. Yes, girls want the adventure, but they want the shared adventure. That is something that the macho guy will not be able to provide in a relationships.

Somebody who is confident, yet kind and interesting with a good sense of humor is so hot because a relationship with somebody like that would be amazing. Besides the physical part, it would be a blast to spend time with such a guy. Learn to be that guy.

Emotionally Hot Girls

For a lot of guys, what does the trick is a short skirt and a tight tank top. It really does, because men are such visual creatures. That however, will not translate into a healthy relationship. Every guy wants somebody who looks attractive, again- because we are such visual creatures. But the emotionally mature, confident, sweet and funny guy will want something more than an intense make-out session. He will want to share his adventures with somebody who can appreciate it, who can understand it and enjoy it.

An emotionally hot girl is one who can understand what the guys is feeling and come along-side, join the fun. Not because she’s insecure or because he will complete her or because he has been prince charming she has been waiting for. A hot mature guys would want to spend his time with a girl who is confident in herself and wants to join the party, the adventure, the journey. They would want a companion that comes not because she needs the adventure, but because she can enhance it.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, being hot an attractive is much more than being like runway models. What we want is not just somebody to have sex with, but share our life with. We want somebody mature, strong, caring and comfortable in their own skin. If you’re enjoying the life you live, you want to share it with somebody else.

Being hot is about learning how to be desirable for the other person, both physically and emotionally- because we have a body and a soul. Don’t be concerned just about the body, chiseling those curves and don’t be just about the soul, praying and reading books all the time. Learn to do both, learn to do them well – because you have both a body and a soul.

Be that kind of person that other want to spend time with, that are enjoyable company. Be like a birthday present for your future spouse: nicely wrapped with great content inside.

 

You should follow me on Twitter here!

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Jack

 

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And they lived happily ever after . . .


You know what’s striking in fairytales? Besides the happy ending I mean…It’s striking that the good characters have a happy ending and the bad ones don’t.

Here’s what I’m getting at: I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think that’s the point.

Fairytales can happen if you’re willing to work: work hard at yourself and your relationships. 

My point: it’s not a coincidence that the good characters in fairytales are exceedingly good. Good things tend to happen to good people and vicerversa bad things to bad people.

Princess: good, kind, hard working, compassionate, educated, stylish, subtle, courages… how are you doing on the list?

Prince Charming: brave, independent, strong, financially secure, wise, good-hearted, compassionate, kind, charming

We all want to live in a fairytale. The question is: are we willing to pay the price? It’s like wanting a Ferrari for a car. It can happen, but there’s a lot of work and saving that you have to put into it.

Good things can happen, and you can enjoy them, but not devoid of hard work and knowing how things go in this world. And if you think that you really are a good deal and have worked hard on yourself but the fairytale isn’t happening, maybe you need to revisit how you relate to others. Being charming or seductive isn’t natural to most people, but you can develop that skill like any other.

I wish you the best and I hope that you will live in a fairytale as much as one can on this earth. I also hope that this has been an encouraging and enlightening post for those who don’t know how to get there. Some of the other post touch on these matters as well.

More important than living happily ever after is to live right. Happily ever after will follow.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2011 in Jack

 

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Why are all of my friends getting married and I’m not?


Ring by spring! MRS. Degree. Finding Mr. Right. These are all the subject of many conversations in Christian circles. Marriage is a good thing. Designed by God for our enjoyment and a real reflection of His beauty. Christians also preach abstinence before marriage, simultaneously sweetening the concept. Children are often of higher values. Many Christian girls are even brought up with the notion that they are incomplete until they are connected with the man of their dreams.

So if marriage is so highly sought after and so wonderful, why are all my friends getting their rings and I’m still unhappily waiting?

To start let me ask you a simple question: what are you doing right now to become the best possible girlfriend and wife you can be?

Are you enjoying your favorite TV shows? Working so you can have extra money to spend on cute outfits? Gossiping with your girlfriends and talking about who’s hot and who’s not? Involved in fun activities to fill every moment of your day? Regretting what you don’t have rather than rejoicing in what you do have?

I wouldn’t condemn any of these things (except maybe gossip) but let’s change the perspective. Which would you want the man you eventually marry to spend his college and early adulthood days doing:

  1. Playing video games eventually mastering World of War Craft. Drinking beers with his buddies. Flirting with other hot girls he knows he’ll never date just for fun. Watching football.

Or

  1. Reading books on how to be a better man. Learning to understand women by interacting with ones similar to one he might marry. Cultivating healthy lifestyle habits. Pursuing a career that could support a family.

My guess is that most of you would pick number two. So putting the ball back in your court: what are you doing to make yourself that charming, appealing, helpful, hardworking, respectable woman that a guy might want? Are you pining away with jealousy every time another one of your friends says “yes!” or are you praising God that you have that much more time to become an even more irresistible woman?

Think about how much you prepared for college. It all started when your parents taught you the basics of life like not touching hot stoves and doing your laundry. You learned to read. Math. Social interaction. Writing. Driving. Interpersonal skills. For the first 18 years of your life you were being prepared to leave the home and go to college in the “real” world. Wouldn’t it seem right to put that much effort into something that should last a lifetime?

Once you’ve started down the right track of preparing for marriage you can start the often painful step of realizing why perhaps you aren’t getting snatched up. Perhaps you have a tendency to nag? Any guy who understands women and can emotionally connect with them can spot a nagging type woman often on the first date. If he is secure and willing to wait for the right girl, he will turn this one down without thinking.

Or maybe you are given to a negative attitude. You may be a beautiful girl with the most perfect smile and gorgeous curves. You may be more intelligent than the guy’s law school buddies. But if he senses a negative approach toward life he may look down the years of the future and realize a lifetime of negativity is not worth your company.

Here’s another thing to consider which may make some quite angry but I have to bring it up because rightly or wrongly it’s so important in today’s world: do you take care of yourself physically? Do you dress attractively? Do you eat right? Do you work out regularly? No guy in his right mind is looking for a Victoria Secret model. In fact, many guys prefer much more curvy women. But few guys want someone who is unhealthy or seriously overweight.

I saw an episode of “Lie to Me” where the lie detectors determine that a woman was motivated to pursue a guy because of his money. She loved him from her heart but had initially gone for him because he was wealthy. But before allowing him to ditch her in anger, the team of psychologists aptly pointed out “didn’t you desire her for her beauty?” He truly loved her, but that initial attraction was sparked by her outward beauty.

So before you judge a guy for initially being attracted primarily by your looks think to yourself: what was the reason I was initially attracted?

One final thought. Perhaps the reason your friends are getting married is because they are trying but not appearing to try. What do I mean?

To get a guy you need to go where they are. Meet them. Spend time with them. Become what the guy of your dreams would dream about. But when you meet him you can’t appear desperate. You have to be relaxed and happy with or without him. Be your best, but do so even when he’s not around so you don’t act differently in front of him.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in James

 

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