I want to start off by saying that I’m a newbie to the whole relationship scene. My boyfriend and I have only been dating officially for a little over two months. Although I don’t have much personal experience with dating, I’ve had the honor of observing a lot of healthy and unhealthy relationships. I’ve collected some of the top things I think that women do that can spoil their relationships.
Also, this is coming from a Christian female perspective. This is real girl-talk happening right now!
1) Be unrealistic
Those movies are not real-life. Sure, chick flicks are entertaining. But that’s all they are: entertainment. I’m not dissing them (the majority of my small movie collection is romance), but I am saying that they are not realistic. If the women in chick-flicks are portrayed unrealistically, then men most certainly are as well.
2) Treat him like he can’t lead
One of the most successful ways to encourage your man to lead, is to let him lead! The more you allow him to, the more you’ll be able to praise his leadership. Men love that and feel encouraged by it, and will only continue to lead more. If you don’t believe me, read just about any dating book at Barnes and Noble and you’ll hear the same thing.
I’m pretty sure all women hate hearing that word. Nobody wants to admit that they nag. It’s an easy habit to fall into, but it’s so unhealthy. Put yourself in his shoes and imagine hearing all the negative and discouraging things that might be coming out of your mouth. Not too fun, huh? Your man is capable of far more things that what you might believe he is. Treat him like he’s capable!
4) Make unvoiced expectations
All you’re going to get is big ole’ pile of disappointment. This might be the most challenging one for us, ladies. It’s so easy to expect things and not say anything. You expect them to remember your crazy schedule and send you a sweet note. You expect them to send you “just because” flowers. You expect them to remember something as significant as an anniversary. I’m not saying those are bad things to expect, but tell your guy! Yes, I’ll admit, it’s a little weird to get used to just listing your expectations, but it’s a gazillion times better than being in a constant state of disappointment. Of course, there are times that men should go beyond what we voice as expectations and surprise us, but I only say that because we should be doing the exact same thing! Leaving a text of encouragement to wake up to, or cooking him his favorite meal after a long day. This is a two-way street, ladies.
5) Expect him to stop thinking like a man
I grew up with two older brothers, and have read handfuls of dating books. I’ve grown to understand the way that men communicate and think. These are some things that are helpful to understand.
– Men are generally only processing one thing at a time
– When men say they are thinking about “nothing”, that’s actually possible and most likely true
– Men don’t always voice how they’re feeling, but often express it in other ways (such as in acts of service)
– Men, cannot read minds (see #5)
We, as women, cannot expect our men to miraculously stop being wired the way God made them and to suddenly understand our every need. Men should have the freedom to be men, and this is, again, a two-way street. There’s some sacrifice and compromise that comes from both ends with this one.
6) Rush through the dating phase
I know, you’ve been planning your wedding since you were five. You know the exact flowers you want in your bouquet and the song you want playing during your father-daughter dance and now that you’ve found the man, you can finally make it all come true. That’s fine and dandy, but don’t spend your entire dating time planning your wedding. That’s what engagements are for! Enjoy the phase of being boyfriend and girlfriend, it’s something you can never have back. Enjoy going on dates, getting to know each other and well, being in a relationship. Everything changes when you get married, and that’s neither good nor bad, it’s just different. (Also, make sure you’re letting the guy lead here too! He’ll initiate things when the time is right, all those conversations will come in due time)
I’ll leave you with a few things:
1) I’m not saying I’ve got it all together, because I’ve certainly got a lot to learn and it’s a continuous process
2) I’m not, by any means, saying we should lower our expectations and cater completely to men, I am saying that we should cut them a little slack when they don’t act like your dream guy in your favorite chick-flick and
3) This is assuming you’re dating a Christian man who desires to love you in Biblical way
Have a blessed day!