there’s an expectation for single guys to be out every night just looking for a girl to nail. it’s all over TV, the internet, your buddy who can’t keep his pants up even if they were stapled to his waist…
i call bullshit.
i talk to a lot of single men. Lord knows you can’t throw a guitar pick and not hit one in the eye in Nashville. many are good friends, some are guys i barely know. but almost to a man they tell me the same thing.
they want relationship.
i met a guy this weekend who said, “i’m a serial monogamist.” he also said what ended up being my favorite quote of the weekend…”a girl took a shit in my heart and now i’m an asshole. down deep i’m still a good guy, but one the surface, an asshole.”
wow, sharideth, such language.
yeah, well, shit happens.
ennyweigh, the conversation was familiar. sailor talk and all. he’s an eligible bachelor being told he should be out spreading his seed far and wide and that just doesn’t sit well with him. he even teetered on thinking he’s in the minority.
the Jersey Shore can shove it.
dudes are visual creatures. are you going to notice that a girl is crazy hott before your brain ever tracks to wondering about her personality? heck yes. that’s how you’re built. it is neither a crime, nor a commentary on your moral fiber. what’s going to set you apart is what you do after the initial burst of lust subsides.
you and guys like you would rather go home alone than end up with something/someone cheap and meaningless for a few hours. and that is not only noble, it’s normal. all guys feel the urge to jump on an open opportunity, but the majority just won’t do that.
from the shy guy to the alpha male, men want relationship. you may not be out there shouting it from the roof of the nearest Hooters, but it’s true. i’m pretty sure you guys think you’re the odd man out simply because you don’t talk about this stuff with each other. you’re much better at back-slapping and pointing out a finely curved female buttock. that, too, is normal. but let me just affirm something for you…
unless you make it a habit of surrounding yourself with douche bags who have no discernible decency, your friends feel the same way about relationship that you do. and just like you, they are saying nothing because they think they must be weird.
now you know.
guys, have you ever felt like you were in the minority when it comes to wanting a relationship?
girls, are you at all surprised by this?
I do agree with you, but not on the following:
‘you and guys like you would rather go home alone than end up with something/someone cheap and meaningless for a few hours’
It’s not healthy, it’s not good, it’s just filling a void, but this is played too hard. Although, in the moment it is. I hear a lot of my guy friends moaning about how they want a girlfriend and a healthy relationship, but going out and then home alone again does not beat going home NOT alone. One more disclaimer: men should go home alone though, in that situation, because the day after gives all kinds of new perspectives.
I’m slightly confused by some of the wording, but I think I get what you’re saying, VM. Basically that you know a lot of guys that talk about looking for a relationship but still go home with the cheap thrill because going home alone again doesn’t feel like the happier choice at the time. But you’re affirming that they *ought* to choose going home alone. Did I interpret that correctly?
There are a lot of guys who see that healthy relationship as an ideal they kinda hope to reach, but take what they can get in the meantime, because they’re not confident enough that it will come to risk suffering loneliness for nothing. I think I’m understanding that they’re the kind you’re referencing.
You’re a great interpreter. And I think saying that guys secretly want a relationship denies the way guys are wired. Making out in a dark corner with some random girl that you would never show your parents feels way better than sitting at home and working on healthy, long term relationships. Also, there is indeed a huge confidence part in it, certainly true.
Nope. Not surprised. I went to a Christian college where going out on a date pretty much meant you were engaged [insert rant about Joshua Harris here]. In Christian circles, at least, *I’m* the one who just wants something casual–not sex, but, you know, coffee. And studies do show that men are happiest when married, not when they’re sleeping around.
I don’t think you can say that across the board, though. There are obviously people who fit that stereotype of sleeping around very well. But maybe they’re filling a void by their inability to build a good relationship? Maybe they don’t actually know what they want? Maybe some people are just [insert bad word that Sharideth used first]?
Don’t actually know what they want definitely happens for many. Some of them don’t actually know there’s other options. No one’s ever told them or modeled something different in front of them, so they just do what’s done and gives good feelings. They usuall know something’s missing somewhere inside, never quite sated for long, but often don’t know what it is.
Just a note: that Christian college dynamic? Was around way before Josh Harris wrote his book. He just “legitimised” it.
Really, that dynamic was everyone’s dynamic until a century or so ago, give or take. Dating is a pretty modern invention.
I know plenty of guys who do want a relationship more than a lot of other things. I also know plenty of guys who will take substitutes “until they find a relationship.”
I would have to say that I am definitely in the camp of wanting a real relationship, rather than a fling. It’s a little different for me because my wife divorced me and I lost my best friend as a result. After going through marriage and knowing how true loving sex affects me what it does to a soul, I can’t even think of partaking in a one-night-stand type of thing.
“you and guys like you would rather go home alone than end up with something/someone cheap and meaningless for a few hours. and that is not only noble, it’s normal. all guys feel the urge to jump on an open opportunity, but the majority just won’t do that.”
I’m gonna have to disagree with you on this point a little bit.
I’ve never really felt in the minority amongst my guy friends when it comes to ultimately wanting a relationship, but I’ve DEFINITELY felt in the minority in what I’ll settle for until it comes along. Sex is completely off limits for me until I get married, but I won’t even participate in “meaningless” make out/grope sessions which is an opportunity that the vast majority of guys I know, Christian and non, WILL jump on when it comes around; at least from what I’ve observed.
Even if you don’t have sex with her, making out with some random girl you just met and/or have no feelings for has become fairly normal these days. These guys may go home alone, but often they’ll have spent some “quality” time before that sucking face.
I can count on one hand the number of women I’ve kissed in my life and on two hands the number of years between a couple of those kisses. As someone who’s never known anything EXCEPT for going home alone without even a little tonsil hockey afterglow, let me tell you; some nights it really sucks. Some nights I wish I had my 20s to do over again with a little more confidence and a little less personal morality…
Most nights though, I thank God for sparing me from being somebody’s drunken regret and pray that someday it will all be worth it.
It will be worth it. I have the same kind of standards, and you’re right, sometimes it seriously sucks. But I try to remember that I’m doing it (or not doing it, lol) for the right reasons, and even if I never get married, I will still have done the right thing and pleased God. He’s definitely worth it. And after 40 or 50 more years here, I’ll spend eternity with Him, and I won’t miss this life at all. 🙂 That’s my perspective when I’ve got my head on straight, anyway.
” and even if I never get married, I will still have done the right thing and pleased God.”
That right there, golden. There’s a lot of marriage relationship reasons to wait, but if we as Christians forget that pleasing God is our first reason, we can be vulnerable to those moments when we doubt we’ll ever get married. Well said.
Man…I really enjoy reading your comments. I just wanted to let you know that.
Thanks bro, I appreciate it.
Let me get this out of my system first: it makes me sad that I cannot think of a reason to use the phrase ” tonsil hockey afterglow” in every conversation now. 😦
OK, now to serious. Total applause and agreement from me here. I wanna court rather than date. By which I mean I want my dating to be for the purpose of finding a good wife, not just to have fun. You can hang out and have fun with friends anytime without making it a date, with all the attached romantic expectations. Dating someone you know you’d never marry is pointless, in my book. It’s asking someone to engage their heart when you already know nothing will come of it. I decided that when I was 12 and watched boys and girls pairing off just because they thought they should, not because they had any possible future to their relationship. Doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll marry the first girl I go out with; it just means I want my dating to be for a purpose and with an honest intent to find out if the person is a potential spouse.
That’s really incredible that you came to that realization so early on. I lead a small group of 10 seventh grade girls, and while, thankfully, they aren’t “dating” yet, and have SAID they will wait until college, if there is one thing that I could want for them, other than salvation, it would be THAT, a clear and concise understanding that dating for the sake of dating is fruitless and will only lead to hurt. I never got that. For years, I didn’t feel I had any value, and as a result, I desperately wanted someone to love me to convince myself that I did have value. What a damaging lie I lived under! I don’t want that for any girl.
I feel like a lot of my guy friends are “Settling” for make outs and one night stands because of hope deferred as far as relationships go. The girl they liked didn’t notice them and so they’re settling for someone who happens to be female. Would they ever say that? No. No way in aych- ee double hockey sticks. But they’re not going to settle for someone just because she happens to be female as far as real relationships go.
Personally, I feel like I’ve gotten into too many relationships because that’s what felt safe. Like going on dates SHOULD mean that we’re kissing, and kissing SHOULD mean that it’s monogamous.
And next thing you know, I realize that I just wanted someone to hang out with and go on dates, and he’s not what I want forevers with. And then it’s breaking someone’s heart because we’re breaking up, instead of having a friend to hang out with.
I haven’t felt in the minority for a long time, but I did when I was younger (late teens/early twenties). There’s a real danger with this that becomes fetishising “Not like the other guys” and turns into what is known as the Nice Guy Syndrome, which is roughly, “See, I’m not like all those other guys who only want sex, I want to be your friend. Hey, I showed you I don’t want sex and I’m you’re friend, why won’t you have sex with me? (in a Loving Relationship, of course!)” I speak from first-hand knowledge of being, in that period of my life, a real Nice Guy Syndrome sufferer….
This can, in many cases, lead to misogyny and the attitude “All women just want jerks and arseholes” (with the possible addition of, “So I’ll be the worst arsehole I can and get the girl”), but thankfully I didn’t go down that route, I rebooted and started viewing women as people (and myself as a person, listening to what I really needed in a relationship).
I refuse to describe any person or any sexual experience as “cheap and meaningless” – I think it is disrespectful to that of God in that person (yeah, I like some of the Quaker view of these things, and I definitely adopted that phrase) and I think that all sex (even short-term sex with no commitment) has meaning (on a spiritual level, even) that is brought to it by the participants, though it might not be a deep or lasting meaning. It is impossible to say what meaning it has for the other person, or how helpful it can be to them even though it’s a one-night stand. But I do think that all actions should be from a spirit of the rules from which all others spring: love God and love your neighbour; and so the short-term/one-nighter is rarely going to fit into that.
So I would definitely rather go home alone than be with someone for whom I felt it would be unhelpful or whom I felt would be unhelpful for me – and how can you feel someone will be helped or helpful until you know what they have to offer and what they need? (I mean spiritually here especially.) I won’t use the terms used in the OP, but I think that my philosophy brings the same conclusion about not going home with someone just for a short-term “buzz”.
One other thing: Are you sure women don’t also think “Mmm, hot guy!” first, and then wonder what his personality’s like?
Also, on the “Guys, what do you notice first?” thread on this very blog, the most common answer was “confidence and her smile” which sounds like personality first, looks second?
So, I’m just going to say I think men and women are about evens on this one, really, so the statement could be just as accurate if you said “people are visual creatures”.
Yes, it goes both ways. Girls often peg males as non-candidates based purely on looks.
sorry about that.
On the other hand, a good smile used often, and accompanying confidence enhance a person’s features significantly. soooo, is that strictly a personality thing? 😉
It’s me… the overly serious guy again. 🙂
If we guys really want the relationship, we gotta be willing to give up the rest of our lives and plans for it.
That sounds freaky harsh, but I mean it in the sense that I think we men somehow have these dreams (well hidden, under the surface) of living the life of freedom, and only later settling down. We dream of the perfect family, and worry that the one in front of us is not quite The One. Even those that dream of marriage for years have this hangup. (I’m looking at myself here.) And they don’t even know they have this hangup until it is time to jump overboard into the marital seas.
Which makes the comic at the top of this post kinda funny and kinda thought provoking. Twenty minutes is probably too early. But I wonder if the trend these days is way too far in the other direction.
If we guys want sex and want relationship, are we ready to forsake all others to get it? Even with a woman who is not perfect? Because she only becomes perfect in proportion to the amount of love we pour onto her.
And are we asking the right questions on our dates to find out the critical answers we need in order to decide whether to flip that one-way switch? I confess I’m doing a bit of a poor job.
Some of our parents were married at half our age, and are still married today.
Personally, Chris, I like your brand of serious. I wish there were more like you. Where did you learn to have such thoughts!? I have found quite the oppposite to be true, and I am tired of dating selfish. Not that I am perfectly selfless, don’t get me wrong. But I am tired of dating men who don’t seem to really know what they want, don’t want to sacrifice their independence, or who knows what else. It’s too hard allowing your heart to be vulnerable with someone who doesn’t value it or want to protect it, even from himself, and frankly, I am trying very hard to never make that mistake again.
I don’t have any more experience starting those sorts of conversations than you probably do and can’t expect that I would start a first date out by asking for his views on marriage and sacrificial love–that would scare off everyone but Shakespeare, and I’m not sure I would entirely agree with his views either–but it would be nice to have a clearer understanding of the way a guy is approaching a relationship BEFORE handing my heart over to have it trod in the mud.
I want to experience the kind of love that God designed between a man and a woman, and I know that it will require huge sacrifices and dying to self. But when is that ever a bad thing? Hard as it may be, I always come away from those situations thankful that I did. In that way, marriage can be an extreme training ground for the way we were called to live and love others. I’m okay with that. More than okay. I want that! And I find it tragic that this kind of love gets a lot of abuse and is less than people desire. No wonder we’re so quick to walk away from marriage! We aren’t signing up for what God asks us to sign up for. But disillusionment should be an opportunity to get a better glimpse of what the true vision for marriage is and reshape how we approach it.
Too serious? Maybe. But that’s the way I see it.
Too serious, Rachel? Yikes. Too long.
Too serious? nope, not at all.
You didn’t comment on whether it was too long.
Thanks Rachel. And I don’t think your post is too long or too serious. 🙂
Where do I learn such thoughts? Well, I confess to making many of the blunders I mentioned, so I hope others can avoid that pitfall and benefit from my errors.
But as for how men are supposed to love, I find it in the Bible. While the Bible seems to preach to women first, in all the sections on marriage (“Wives, submit. Wives, obey.”, etc), the big job is on the husband. He is to love like Christ loved the church. And Christ loved the church by giving himself for it, sacrificing his own power, his own glory, his own life. And Christ loved us before we even knew him. So while Biblical teaching hits women first, merely in the order that we read the passage; in practice, the men are to love first, because that is how God loves us. As the Bible says elsewhere, we love God because he first loved us. And that’s how men are to act toward their wives.
I have also seen the effect of love in action, and it is beautiful. Sometimes I’ve felt taken for granted. Or maybe I felt like my needs weren’t being taken seriously. The solution is always to love more. (Honesty is part of love, but so is patience and understanding.) If I’m not feeling loved, then in many ways it is my own fault. If the husband is the head, then he also needs to lead by showing the very love he wants to receive.
And the icing on the cake? Ephesians 5:28 says that the man who loves his wife loves himself. I’m not married yet, but even at the boyfriend/girlfriend level it works. All that effort I put into loving my girlfriend comes right back to me in the end. It’s just the way it’s designed. And I’ve seen it happen. God is good that way.
If I just believe that God knows what He’s doing, and obey, I see good things.
Thank you, Chris, for your wonderful reply. I find it a little heartbreaking to hear such fervency and passion for obedience to God’s way, which doesn’t make sense in the way we would naturally see things but always leads to blessing, peace, and joy, and to compare that with what I have seen so much. I’m so sorry that not everyone takes these parts of Scripture to heart as you have. Your wife, marriage, and family will be truly blessed as a result. That kind of love makes it easy for a woman to live out her role in submission. I can only imagine, with rapture, what our world would be like if more men were to lead as God has called them to. Talk about both partners feeling safe in the relationship. Keep pursuing God’s way of loving and devote yourself to quick obedience. It has encouraged me, and will lift up your family someday.
How do you know who you want to marry if you don’t date a little first? Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t want until you try it for a little bit. I’m not saying you should drag out a relationship that is clearly going nowhere, but to only date people you are considering for the role of ‘the one’ not only puts a lot of pressure on both people, but also potentially eliminates a lot of great people that don’t fit in a box. I spent most of my teens and early 20s approaching every relationship as a potential ‘forever’ and all I really did was prevent myself from totally enjoying time with some really nice people. I mean, when your that age you don’t know what you want. I thought I wanted a mate that was committed and romantic, but what I learned is that can be clingy and stalker-ish. I thought I wanted a mate that was ‘strong and active in their faith’, but what I learned was what it felt like to be judged and belittled for every choice. In the end, it wasn’t until I decided just to date for fun, taking all of the pressure off of myself and the other person to be perfect and make critical decisions, that I met the person I’ve now been married to for ten years. They were very little I thought I wanted, but it turns out they were everything I needed, and I would have missed it if I had stuck to dating only those I thought might meet my criteria for ‘the one’.
Good heavens! Please don’t mistake me to mean that every time you date it should be serious as a vow. That. Would. Be. Scary. For everyone involved. Fatal Attraction anyone? And anyway, my heart certainly could not withstand dozens of quasi-serious breakups.
I think what I was talking about was more in line with what Chris said: ‘If we guys really want the relationship, we gotta be willing to give up the rest of our lives and plans for it. . . . If we guys want sex and want relationship, are we ready to forsake all others to get it? Even with a woman who is not perfect? Because she only becomes perfect in proportion to the amount of love we pour onto her.’ (Personally, I want to be loved like that, because I know I am going to fail. A lot, probably. I want someone who expects that and has a plan to actively pursue and love me regardless of how awful I might be from time to time. And I want to love someone with that same fierce commitment).
My issue is that I see people dating just to date. Yes, their stated intention may be marriage, and there may be truth to that. But are they prepared to be the spouse they are called to be, that they should be in order to build a marriage that can last, can thrive? If we aren’t firm in knowing who we should be as a spouse and at least committed to loving sacrificially, I think our chances of finding marital bliss are that much bleaker and our chances of being hurt in a relationship that ends up nowhere that much greater.
What I was trying to get at in my earlier comment was that I think we are *too* picky sometimes. We men don’t have faith that a good relationship can work with many more women than pass our filters or templates. I suspect that could be true for women too.
I believe that how much a man loves his wife determines how “perfect” she will be, both in reality, and just in his eyes.
I don’t want to encourage reckless marriage, by no means. I’m just saying that I see a lot of “waiting for perfection” when what God is really asking of us is commitment. And I see this waiting in myself as well.
So I’m not surprised in the least that you found exactly what you needed in the last place you looked. 🙂 It takes us a while to work through our preconceptions sometimes.