I grew up a “good girl” and by the time I got to college I guess you could say that I was considered the kind of “virtuous” woman that guys in the church tried to date. My answer almost invariably no. Yes, most of the guys who approached me were nice, and maybe they had serious intentions, but there was something I could see in all of them that made it easy for me to dismiss their advances.
They were too adoring.
I hate to sound full of myself, but I think it’s important for guys to understand why that may be a turn-off for some women.
See, people in my family, at church, and even at school already saw me in a certain light. I was a God-girl, seemingly perfect, a youth leader, and always studying. I really did come off as a cliched good girl.
Only a few people knew how messed up I was inside. I was trying so hard to be good because I thought if I studied hard enough and became a doctor, my accomplishments would make my parents happy enough to stay together. I thought if I was obedient, and did as much work around the house as possible, that my mom wouldn’t be so bothered by the problems in her marriage. I thought if I helped my younger sister with her homework and stayed on her back about getting her college applications done, she would snap out of the depression caused by everything happening in our family and become a successful person.
I remember lying awake some nights, my heart pounding and my hands clammy with sweat, worrying about my life, the future, and all the stuff I couldn’t control. I remember worrying that something terrible would happen and I would have no power to stop it from happening. It wasn’t until years later that I realized those were anxiety attacks. Sometimes I would be awake all night, and it wasn’t until I would start seeing the sun start to rise that I would feel calm enough to doze off for a little while.
So when guys would approach me, telling me how highly they thought of me, I would scoff and think to myself, “This dude has no idea who I am.” How do you know you want to date me when you don’t know a thing about me? You’re seeing me from afar, and assuming that the persona you see is the person I actually am. Why would I want to mess that up?
So my walls would stay up. I would smile politely and decline, saying that I thought sticking to being friends was a better idea.
When I met my husband, he gave me the adoring eyes treatment too, except he was a lot more sure of himself than most of the guys I’d ever spoken to. But he still got the “let’s just be friends” treatment. It wasn’t until we crossed paths again a year later that we became friends. We were both through with finding love, and trying to figure out our lives.
We would talk about everything, anything. For the first time in my life, I felt free to say exactly what I felt and what I was thinking. I told him stuff I had never told anyone before. And no matter what I told him, he still treated me the same. Eventually, he told me that he was into me. I told him I didn’t feel the same. I expected the conversation to get awkward and for us to hang up and never speak again, but he insisted that he was okay with it and that I better not act funny with him over it. I laughed and we kept talking. When I hung up I was amazed, and intrigued.
A couple of months later we were dating.
See, he had managed to avoid my adoring eyes radar by starting in the friend zone. It wasn’t until my walls had come down, and I was completely comfortable with him, that he announced his feelings for me. And even when I rejected him, he didn’t let it stop our friendship. He still wanted to talk with me and spend time with me. And that made me love him. He knew the best and worst about me, and he still wanted to be my friend.
So when he said that he was into me, it meant that he was into the person I actually was, not an ideal image he’d made up in his mind from a superficial association with me.
Apparently, I found that irresistible, and here we are today, married with two kids.
My advice to guys who think they’ve found their wife: take it easy on the whole “God told me you’re my wife” bit and try being her friend first without announcing your feelings. That’s a whole lot less threatening and gives her time to develop affection for you; that way, when you do announce your attraction, it’s a decision she actually has to think about instead of dismissing outright. It’s very easy to dismiss someone you don’t really know, as opposed to someone who’s company you enjoy and that you’ve begun to consider a friend.
Hope this helps! And may the odds be ever in your favor.