By Arleen Spenceley
You meet a guy, online or otherwise. He’s cute and he’s Catholic and you click.
This, you decide, is worth a gift: your phone number. Maybe he’ll use it. But what do you do if he doesn’t?
I have a suggestion: nothing.
If you writhe at the thought of inaction, you’re not alone. I writhe at the thought of it, too. That’s because I was raised to act, to assert myself, to exercise control—to handle it.
And these are good traits. In fact, I wouldn’t trade them. But hear this: I abuse these traits when I use them to hand myself to a man on a silver platter. I wasn’t designed for that.
And neither were you.
And neither was he.
But how many times have I done it? How many times have I forced my heart on a guy who hasn’t actually asked for it? How many times have I committed my energy to a man who hasn’t committed his to me?
Each time, I’d wonder why his passivity persisted—as if a guy who gets a girl without exerting himself will suddenly exert himself in order to keep her. I’d wonder it without acknowledging: if we want men who take action, we have to give men opportunities to take action.
But we often rob them of that. We initiate all the encounters or plan all the dates before he’s had a chance, for fear that he won’t. And you know what?
He might not.
He may never speak to you again if you don’t text him. He may never go out with you again if you don’t ask him.
But a man who only speaks to you or sees you when you create conditions in which he has to can’t be that excited about you. And no wife wants her husband to look back and be able to say, “I was so lukewarm about you while we dated.” According to this post at Moral Revolution, “Men are designed to set their eyes on something valuable and fight for it. Women are designed to respond to the man who is willing to risk it all for her.”
I believe that today. But before I believed it, I lived like no man would decide that I’m worth the risk. Which probably means I believed that I’m not worth the risk. Which is a lie.
Today, I invite you to cut ties to it. Rebuke the belief that your value hinges on whether any guy you like ever picks you.
You are worth the risk a man must take to use your phone number. You are worth the energy he has to expend to pursue you. You are worth the decisiveness he has to employ to choose you.
When a man I like won’t do those things but I grant him all access to me anyway, I participate in the perpetuation of his passivity.
For our sake and for his, it’s time to stop that—and to recommit to the virtue that equips us to wait as long as it takes to meet the man who’ll love us well: patience.
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