My Little Valentines

I have to admit it — I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic. So, for the past week I’ve been asking people what they did for Valentine’s day. With a fair amount of young, single friends, I wasn’t quite expecting every one of them to tell me stories of Galentine’s-day-brunches and Broboarding-trips to Tahoe. What inevitably followed though, was the deeper discussion about the frustrations of (not) dating that always seems to come up wherever a few are gathered. I figure that’s as good a sign as any that I should go ahead and jump into the deep end with this whole publishing-my-thoughts-thing.

I should start by pointing out that at this point I’ve been shot down and stood up so many times that my social life suffers from a perpetual case of the bends. I’m somebody who needs to clearly proclaim that it’s not a date in order to get women to grab dinner with me, so take this for what it’s worth. After dating Christian girls for the past 20 years, the last decade of which has been spent here in the city, these are my observations…

First, women are right to be fed up w/ the lack of initiative from the men — check that — boys in this city. The Peter-Pan-syndrome of never having to grow up runs strong in a place where guys can make a living playing video games and living some sort of frat afterlife until they’re in their 40s

This is further complicated by the fact that most Christian guys are a bunch of pussies when it comes to women. I imagine part of it stems from their Christian upbringings that likely demonized sex and romanticism. And, part of it is also likely due to their honest (albeit, slightly naive) desire to be respectful toward women by not being overly aggressive and putting them in uncomfortable situations by asking them out on a proper date.

Usually though, the primary reason the average single church guy never asks anybody out is because of fear. They’re afraid they’ll get rejected. They’re afraid they’ll fail. They’re afraid the other people in their bible study will talk about them. They’re afraid they’ll cause some horrible awkwardness and have to find a new church and a new group of friends to avoid it.

Well guess what? Failure happens. Get over it. You’ll be fine. Women don’t want somebody who’s afraid and lacking confidence. (Many of them already have that covered!) Ask any church-going women out there what they want in a man and the answer is almost always going to be that they want them to be “intentional” and to “have plans.” So, get off your asses and be intentional about making plans with that girl you met at bible study.

Ladies, don’t think you aren’t w/o your burden to bare in this as well. Women, please don’t kill the messenger but I have some bad news for you — you’re not going to marry Jesus. And now that I’ve stabbed you in the heart, I’m going to give it a little twist — you’re probably not going to marry a pastor either.

Now that we’ve got those unpleasant facts out of the way, let’s talk about expectations. For every day you spend waiting for prince charming to ride his unicorn down a rainbow from heaven, you’re likely missing out on the chance at growing a relationship with an amazing Christian guy who will love you more than you love white picket fences.

When you get what you ask for and a man is intentional toward you by expressing his desire to plan a date, please don’t write him off because of some minor discrepancy with your ultimate checklist. This notion of some perfect man walking into your life and giving you butterflies is crap. Butterflies die. Find a man who gives you butter. I know most of you probably don’t eat butter, so let me explain why…

Butter makes everything better. It gives a richness and a fullness to everything it touches. It eliminates those sticky, crusty parts that ruin things. Over time, it continues to soak in and make everything better. It’s the unconditional love of the slow food movement.

(Granted, I’ve obviously already slide sideways into middle-agedom and have given up on even trying at this point if I’m illustrating my point with butter. So, take it with a grain of salt? Mmm…salt…)

There you have it — problem solved.

Men, start being men. Summon up the confidence to get off your assess and do something intentional with your lives — like ask out that woman you’re into out on a proper date. If it isn’t there, it isn’t there. You’ll be alright.

Women, when a man intentionally asks you out on a date, give him a chance. Don’t go into it dissecting how he isn’t a youth pastor or doesn’t eat quinoa, go into it with an open mind. If it isn’t there, it isn’t there. You’ll be alright.