This guy you know… he talks to you. He invites you to hang out in groups and seems to enjoy your company. You are becoming friends. You can’t help but wonder: Is there something else going on here? Is he interested in that way?
And so you start to picture yourself dating him. Is this someone I could see myself with? And you evaluate him. “He likes pizza, too! Wow, it was meant to be…”. You analyze every characteristic of his that you can observe, constantly changing the verdict a thousand times. “I think that he is someone I could date” and two hours later: “Oh, what was I thinking? This is ridiculous. I don’t know ….”
It’s All In Your Head
What is the problem with this? We are in a relationship with someone, but it’s only in our heads. We have put ourselves in the place where we are evaluating a guy as if we actually were dating, but the problem is: We are actually not dating them.
We discover that we are spending all of this emotional and mental energy in thinking about someone that has not verbally stated any interest whatsoever. Then, six months down the road, when you discover that the object of your secret crush is actually pursuing someone else, you are heartbroken.
Have you ever been there? This is the problem we tend to find ourselves in as women: we overthink any spark of interest with a guy, over analyzing it until we find ourselves thinking about a guy too much. Pretty soon, we find that we are emotionally invested, and that leaves us in a very risky position where we have set up a romantic expectation that there is no basis for.
Now – I should also clarify that not all women read into things with a person they are attracted to; however, it does seem to be a tendency among our sex, but it’s not a given rule for every female.
Don’t Get Ahead of God
God never intended for a girl to get a broken heart before she has even dated someone. When that happened to me in the past, I realized that my crushed feelings and disappointment were my own fault. I was the one who let the expectations of my heart get way out of line. I was the one who read too much into a guy’s friendliness, and interpreted his kindness in the way I wanted, instead of assuming the best of the person by taking their actions at face value (I Corinthians 13:7).
Over the years, I have learned the hard way about not dating guys in my head. I have made the same mistakes over and over, to the point where God has humbled and disciplined me into a place of surrender (that constantly has to be revisited).
Plus, I don’t know about you, but I have a natural desire to be pursued . . . to be sought after. I would want to know that a guy has prayed and taken the matter to the Lord first, and sought me out of his own volition and the Holy Spirit working in his heart.
In God’s order for romantic relationships, the man was created to be the initiator. It is part of His design in calling them to be servant leaders, to take the right risks, and to engage in the process of becoming men of courage and initiative. The woman was created to respond. It speaks to her desire to be pursued while also requiring that she learn the discipline of quiet and patient trust in the Lord.
The next time you find yourself being drawn to a guy, take a step back and ask yourself: “Am I starting to constantly evaluate this guy in my head?” And the big question: “If he were to start dating someone else, how would I feel?”
If the answer to that last question would make you feel a great sense of disappointment, making your heart plummet like it’s got a 50 lb weight attached to it, then it is an automatic sign that your emotions are too far in with this guy. What can you do? Just enjoy his friendship as a brother in Christ without throwing the weight of romantic expectations on yourself or on him. But, please, my dear girl, don’t put yourself in the place of enduring his friendship while constantly striving for it to be something more in your heart.
I know it’s hard to patiently wait. But trust God to prompt the right guy to verbally (with his own mouth) express interest in you. Until then, as my pastor once told me, assume he is not interested in that way. Just be his sister in Christ without expecting anything else from him.
Don’t Try So Hard, Girl!
When God does work in your life, the fruit of it will taste better than anything you could have come up with yourself. God’s ways are higher than our own (Isaiah 55:8-9), but the path often requires us to learn the discipline of quiet trust, even when we don’t understand what God is doing (Romans 11:33-36; Romans 5:3-5). There is such joy and satisfaction when we know that God put our earthly love stories together!
Ask God to put your heart to sleep until the time when the right godly man enters your life; this is what the Bible means when it says to “not awaken love before it pleases” (Song of Solomon 2:7;3:5;8:4). Ask Him to grant you the grace to be disciplined in your thought life, not allowing any untrue, romantic fantasy to make itself at home in the living room of your mind. The last thing we want to do is invite those thoughts in and entertain them as if they were honored guests. Uh, no bueno.
Friend, when God writes your earthly love story, you will know that He is at work, and you won’t have to strive to make it happen.
For more on the connection between our thoughts and emotions, check out this post.
A Prayer: “God – I don’t know what’s best for me, but You do. You already have a plan for my life that is far better than my limited mind can understand.Please have Your will with the desires that I offer to you as material for sacrifice before your throne”