Christian Living

singlepurpose 03/19/09

When They Stop Calling

From Julie:

Renee wrote (condensed from 8 Traits comments):
“I've never had a boyfriend and this does bother me. …I've always had good self-esteem. I'm accomplished in my career and involved in church, with high standards and boundaries with men. I am also old-fashioned and do not pursue men. I wonder, why can't anyone I like ever see the value in me? …All the rejection has started making me wonder what's wrong with me.”

To all the Renee’s wondering why a prospective interest disappears, let’s consider some objective perspectives.

Dating or Dumpster Diving? The whole concept of dating is relatively new (100 years) and is primarily a Western concept. Typical dating often ends up becoming a stinky cycle of broken hearts, used bodies, and massive regret. As Lee touched on, courtship and even arranged marriages have been the standard through the centuries, with parents or guardians involved in the matching and pre-marriage stage, and are still in effect today in many cultures. Both of the time-tested methods have their pitfalls, but I have also personally seen great advantages.

One practice I hope you’ll consider adopting from these older methods is to nix the romantic ideals of typical dating and choose instead to remain at a friendship level with any potential interest until you know where God is leading the relationship. My husband and I did this, and it had amazing benefits!
• You don’t get prematurely attached to someone you’re not supposed to.
• You can find out “from a distance” if this is someone you could spend the rest of your life with—a great way to ward off rejection for both parties.
• You don’t get physically involved, which clouds good judgment and destroys the spiritual aspect of the relationship.
• You find out quickly which dating prospects have their priorities and intentions right (those who practice delayed gratification and want a godly relationship are eager to practice this method).
• You invite God to be in the driver’s seat.

Rejection or Protection? One possibility in guys not pursuing you for long-term relationships is that you are being protected from the wrong kind of man. Truly, you don’t want a long-term relationship with a person you are not going to marry. Anything else is a waste of time, energy, money, and heart (hopefully not body, but that is common too). If you are confident that you have not done anything worthy of driving the right kind of man away, you should be very thankful that God has spared you the pain and wasted time of the wrong thing. My husband was 32 years old before ever getting into a serious dating relationship (me), because he protected his heart from the wrong thing. He is so glad he did.

Signals or Serendipity (making fortunate discoveries by accident)? Lastly, this is a good time to allow for brutal honesty. If you dare, ask your closest friends for help in determining the answers to both sets of questions, but only if you are willing to hear the truth—truth that could greatly help you in your future. If guys you were interested in have given up too soon, ask questions that would indicate a problem
About him (serendipity):
• Was he turned off by my high moral standards?
• Was he intimidated by my appropriate confidence?
• Was he too passive or indecisive?
• Was he out to play the field or was he looking for a life partner?

About you (signals):
• Do I portray an air of self-righteousness about my faith or my purity?
• Do I flaunt my accomplishments and confidence?
• Do I have any obvious mannerisms or personality traits that are abrasive or unbecoming to others?
• Do I talk too much or too little?
• Am I fun to be with?

A little perspective can go a long way for not taking rejection personally. As you can see, there is no reason to feel badly about missing out on pointless long-term dating. Be patient, allow God to work on your character where needed, and move forward in assurance of being a valued child of God!

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