I have amazing friends, some of them are very single, and I constantly hear comments about dating like, “Where dey at doe?” This makes me laugh, because as a woman I feel like we’re fairly simple and there’s a lot of us. I already disagree with that sentence after writing it. 🙂 Like I said, simple. We’re all different, but there are some pretty key things I’ve gathered that most of us are into that might help take you beyond the friend zone.
Inside a girl’s mind time!!
A lot of women are single, practically really enjoying it, and simultaneously aching for a significant other. We’re VERY good at feeling several things at once, if that helps you understand us more! In the past few churches I’ve attended the ratio of single people who take a chance on dating one another is slim to none. Singles very broadly get friend-zoned right out of the gate, which makes sense to an extent as we’re trying to do respectful relationships, but there’s a cost too. There’s a weird dynamic quietly kneecapping dating, and I want to help the incredible men I know find out how to help themselves get around the awkwardness!
Here’s some strengths plenty of women I know really value and are attracted to! We’re all different, but anytime I’ve seen a man grow in these life skills, one of those neon signs appears over their heads, wildly flashing ‘available.’
CONFIDENCE- Guys it’s hot. Anyone with a fine-tuned radar can tell the difference between confidence and cockiness. Cockiness isn’t cute, and feels like all bravado without humility. It leaves me thinking ‘there must not be much underneath that bravado.’ It’s often a shield for insecurity, and we’ve all been there. In less secure seasons, I know I’ve jumped the line trying to maintain some semblance of order in my life. When men go on a journey to genuinely like themselves and break shame in their lives, you basically turn into the sun in the attractiveness department. People want to bask in your presence. Women don’t need you to be perfect here (I’m sorry if they have ❤ ), but to be straight up, if you don’t like you, we’ll have a hard time liking you.
GOOD FEMALE RELATIONSHIPS- This is one of the rarest qualities I have seen nowadays, but one of the most attractive. Men who are able to have boundaried, healthy, female friendships get 100% cuter immediately. We’re pretty observant, we watch what you do. If you have a string of broken hearts following you around, or if you have your flirt on with most of the women around you, you’ll take a diving leap out of our safe zone. Guys who are confident enough to know women without an agenda, and who make an effort to protect hearts and create clear expectations are SMOKING.
KINDNESS- No, I don’t mean nice. We can tell when you’re doing something around us to get us to think of you a certain way. You playing with that baby giving me sidelong glances? I see you. No. I mean a genuine “let me make your life richer and more beautiful,” kind of kind. When we see you lending your strength to someone else it’s soooooooo cute. When we see your masculinity used for someone else’s benefit with nothing in it for you, we swoon. This can look like affirmation, gentleness in the face of tension, or respect in the face of disrespect.
KNOW YOUR HEART- I can’t tell you how amazing thing is. When a man’s able to show his heart and communicate needs, its jaw-dropping. You may have been told your emotions make you weak or effeminate. You may have been shamed for having a heart. For that I’m so, so sorry. The truth is you have a right to all the emotions we do, and good women really like your heart. We value emotions, and when you’re honest about a bad day or a weakness, we love the opportunity to lend our strength to you. Real relationships get fueled by meeting needs, and when you allow women to do that for you to a healthy extent, it makes us feel more connected to you. In my male relationships where there’s an ‘everything’s perfect’ facade, I’m rarely interested or wanting to find out more about you. People LOVE real people.
CLEAR COMMUNICATION- We’re all human. Our feelings rollercoaster on the daily. But honestly, so many of our lives would be easier if you confidently DTR’d once you figured out how you felt about us. What’s even better, is a clearly communicated “I’m into you, what do you think?” This might be a personal preference. Check with your other girls 🙂 For me, someone willing to open up their mouth and let me know when they want out of the friend-zone or vice versa is so attractive. Guys, so many of us have been sure he was into us, only to find out that he’s a pre-engaged flirt. The current dating scene has largely taught women that there are no rules. Personally and for a lot of us, assuming has ended badly, so until someone opens their mouth to say something I’m not going to assume anything. Even if I’m not wanting to move into a romantic relationship with someone who had the courage to say how they felt, the confidence it took them to say that garners all my respect. That move is seriously amazing, and good women will do their best not to be Queen Awkward afterwards. The ability to do status updates in relationships creates so much safety. Most of us LOOOOVE safety!!
Sidenote: The ball is definitely in our court here too. ^ We’re all learning this together! But if you want to get a head start, let me help you… 🙂
QUESTIONS – Real talk time. I didn’t grow up with brothers, but I want them now so I’m learning how to talk to guys more easily! One of these magic tools has been question asking! It’s changed the game and made things really more fun! Let me tell you, GIRLS LOVE QUESTIONS! We may have different reactions to them, but we love them. Personally, when someone asks me a great question I remember it for a long time. When a guy actually listens and gives me feedback, it’s a soul jolter. Honestly I’m currently in the Midwest and have been in a culture that’s mostly male interruption 101, so I know personally it makes me slower to the draw when it comes to responding. I might start small and see if you’re still paying attention. If you are or ask more questions, you’ll get so much more information. Some of us are open books and some of us are onions, but we all love to be known. Some of us just won’t shout over you 🙂 Ask away!!
EMPATHY- Any guy who’s ever said ‘that must have felt…’ to me has forever been seared into my heart. When you’re able to get outside your world and into someone else’s, it’s relational fire. When someone shows me that they’ve been listening closely enough to my story and are able to relate with me about how I might be feeling, I am a puddle. You’re suddenly my favorite. Let’s talk forever 😀 😀 😀 Women have 1,000,000 feelings, occasionally simultaneously. That can be hard and overwhelming. Someone validating even a few of those helps cut down on the clutter in our heads and hearts, and makes us like you so much!
GROOMING- We smell you. If you wore cologne today, we caught it. We love it. We see your hair, beard ( ❤ ) and shoes. That sounds stupid, and not everyone cares to the same extent, but the way you present yourself to the world speaks about how you see yourself. The little, sweet things are a nice cherry on top of your incredible personality. If you’re currently poor and have about 7 shirts total (been there), we’ll figure it out soon enough and probably admire you for your perserverance. 😀
BEING OBSERVANT- Yes, tell us when you see our haircut or our cute new shirt, or on days when we’re not as per ushe. In a middle of a conversation one time, a guy told me “I can tell that you’re getting really tired” and pointed out why with specific observations. It was stunning. That kind of ‘seeing’ floors women. We’re very observant, we’re used to it. We’ve heard that you are not. Letting us know that you’ve noticed we’re tired/quiet/happy/funny immediately makes us feel special in your eyes and upgrades you in our hearts.
And finally, allow me to crush this “leader” thing. “I want him to be a spiritual leader.” WHAT does that even mean? THE PRESSURE for you! 😦 I think more than anything now, most women want someone supportive, respectful, and honoring. I hear women say “I want to be lead” and it makes me want to cry. How are you supposed to know what that means, when we don’t even know what that means? In my opinion, what most women are saying in that sentence is “I want someone who won’t try to sex me, and who I don’t have to emotionally or spiritually babysit,” if that helps. I think many are basically repeating something we’ve been told we should want, without actually knowing what that means. We don’t need you to be the loudest guy in the room, or a spiritual ninja, or have special organizational standing. Otherwise all the women in the world would be going after 100 men, total. When we like you, you are you and that’s enough. You don’t need to fight your way to the top for us to see you. If you’re a man in the church, we’ve probably already seen you 😀
Guys, you’re amazing. If a woman’s not into you that has absolutely nothing to do with your value, it simply has to do with her preferences. You’re great. If you want feedback in certain areas, find some women who love you and ask for it. Courage is the name of the game in dating. Good thing you’re full of it!
To address the places that have felt really not fun in dating, I’m sorry for every time a woman was a jerk to you after she turned you down. That’s not okay. I’m sorry for all the girls who thought that relationship with you either had to be romantic or nothing at all. I’m sorry for where we failed to set you up for success, or for where you felt used in friendships or dating. I can imagine it could feel so tiring to carry the burden of approaching women, asking them out, and dealing with their responses. I’m sorry for the times rejection felt personal, and you didn’t feel good enough. You always were. You risked! That’s so beautiful. Your courage is enormous. I imagine what it’d be like to be a guy right now in our dating culture, and I think I’d constantly be fighting the inclination to hide out in the friend-zone.
I’m sorry for where as women we’ve called you cowards instead of calling who you really are, courageous. You’re brave, freaking cute, and so fun.
I know in my own life I’ve noticed patterns in dating that I needed help with, and I pulled some trusted people in to get feedback and encouragement in those places. If you’re self-sabotaging or stalling out, get help. If things don’t feel like they’re going very well, maybe get a second opinion. Thank God our friends see things we don’t. You’re probably doing much better than you think! Talk it out. You can do this. Personally I’ve decided I’ll either do something about a problem or stop talking about it 🙂
The concern about ruining a friendship if you try to pursue a romantic relationship can feel valid, but with great communication that’s less of an issue. If you end things, there will be pain for awhile but you’ll both be okay. You’ll make it. Your friend group will recover. You’re smart and probably wouldn’t be dating someone who’s a jerk to their exes anyways.
If they’re being an idiot, you have friends, and those friends have mouths, and probably some big, firm words they’d like to try out. 🙂
Men, we love you! It’s all gonna be okay. You’re amazing, brave, funny, and so wonderful!