She really is a great girl, but…

I recently wrote a post entitled, “He really is a great guy, but…” in which I explained that sometimes as women, we make excuses for the men in our lives because of many reasons. Jarrod Terry {you may remember him from “Dear ‘Dear Future Husband“} has now offered a guy’s perspective on the situation. Now, plenty of these scenarios can also apply to women dating men, but every single one of us can learn what kind of person NOT to be in a relationship from this post, and it is always interesting to read a male perspective on the situation, am i right? Because we all want to have successful relationships. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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After reading Lauren’s post, I thought back on all of the times in my life I’ve heard men say the above, and I realized it wasn’t very often. I personally have only said it in retrospect, and I know I would have saved myself and others a lot of grief if I’d said it early.

I think the reason I don’t hear men saying this very often is because we are expected to be the pursuers, which sometimes causes us to shy away from backing out when we see something that could be a potential red flag. Maybe this is pride thing, or even wishful thinking. “She’s not that bad. I mean who’s perfect?” we sometimes say to ourselves, and this is dangerous. Since we, as men, pursue, when someone accepts that pursuit we usually follow through with it without second thought until it blows up in our faces. But as Donald Miller once said, “Just because someone accepts you doesn’t mean they’re good for you.”

Because men are almost always the pursuers, women are expected to be cautious of men, as they should be. Comedian Louis CK famously commented that the “very fact that a woman would go on a date with a man she barely knows is insane, because historically, the biggest threat ever to women is men!” Truer words have never been spoken, but men need to be cautious as well. I will go so far to say a woman can either be one of the best or worst things that can happen to man. A good woman will either bring out the best in a man or destroy him, and this is why I feel we need to be just as cautious as women.

So what should men be cautious of?

1. She doesn’t show grace or forgive.

According to psychologists Henry Cloud and John Townsend, one of the main characteristics of safe people is that they show grace. Now, I know there are definitely things that warrant a breakup, but sometimes women are looking for the first mistake as an excuse to cut bait and run, and that isn’t loving. Because people are imperfect, mistakes will always be made. Men are idiots. I know this because I am one. We sometimes do and say stupid things and hurt your feelings. When a woman doesn’t show grace or forgive, this should be a red flag, because if that relationship turns into marriage and someone doesn’t forgive, it will become a serious issue. One of my married friends told me two of the most important things you can say in a marriage is “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you”.

2. She constantly brings up the past.

This can be either your past or her past. As a guy, if I struggled with something or made a mistake years ago but have moved past it by God’s grace, don’t keep bringing it up. God doesn’t bring up past sins, and since we are striving to be like God, neither should we. This is one of the biggest ways a woman can chip away at a guys confidence and heart. We are not our past or our past mistakes, and if the woman your with never lets it go, what will happened when you two get married? This can also apply to the woman’s past. We don’t want to hear about all the sweet things your ex-boyfriend did. It makes us feel inadequate and like we have to compete with a ghost. Let the past be the past. Learn from it, but don’t hang it like a stone over us or the relationship.

3. She has a horrible relationship with her parents.

This should be a telling sign of her as a person. Granted, some people don’t have the easiest parents in the world to deal with, but if she has a horrible attitude or says horrible things to her parents, you may need to take a step back and evaluate.

4. She isn’t honest.

One of the other main characteristics of safe people is that they tell the truth. If someone has a history of bending the truth and lying then one of the biggest foundations of a relationship has serious holes, and that foundation is trust. I’ve seen relationships, especially in the beginning stages, where people are putting on a face that isn’t their own, and that facade will only hold for so long. My friend and I were talking about an instance of this and my friend laughed and said, “The funny thing about this is that she’s pretending to be the person she SHOULD be but really isn’t, and this poor sap has no clue. I wonder what’s going to happen when he finally sees how she really is.” If there is a history of dishonesty, watch out.

5. She has an entitled or selfish attitude.

I’ve talked about this at length in my previous guest post Dear Future Husband. Basically, if you get the sense she cares more about what she can get out of you than what she can offer, run away.

6. She isn’t supportive or encouraging.

I would say this is one of the biggest killers to a man’s confidence and identity. When a woman belittles or doesn’t respect what a man is passionate about it will kill his spirit. Right now I’m working toward becoming a teacher, and I recently met a girl who when learning about my career goals, laughed and said I should go into business instead because teachers don’t do anything. INSTANT TURN OFF. When the girl you’re hoping is the most in your corner is condescending to you, it’s a spirit killer. This is also true when a woman is discouraging.

7. She’s immature.

My former boss once said to me the two biggest things you need to ask when thinking about pursuing someone is “Is she going in the same direction and is she going at the same pace?” This applies to your stage of life but also emotionally or spiritually. If someone is way behind the other, the constant dynamic of dragging someone along or being held back will put a huge amount of strain on the relationship. Immaturity is something we all need to be mindful of.

8. She lives within a victim mentality.

Women have it tough in today’s society, this is an undeniable fact. They are constantly being told they aren’t thin enough, pretty enough, or fashionable enough. A lot of women struggle with confidence. As men we always need to be a constant voice of encouragement into women’s lives. So when I say that you should be cautious of victim mentality, I don’t mean moments of discouragement. I mean her entire mindset is one of a victim. Victim mentality is just another form of emotional manipulation. People often play the victim because it

1. It gives them attention.

2. People make excuses for them.

3. It means they don’t have to try as hard.

Women sometimes think it’s cute to be rescued, and while we as men are willing to rescue, we really love a strong woman who is willing to stand beside us, not always cower behind us.

9. She’s lazy.

If you read Proverbs 31, one of the biggest things that will pop out about the woman described is how productive she is. She’s described as energetic, strong, a hard worker, and that she “suffers nothing from laziness.” I’m not saying this applies to being domestic, I think this applies to how she carries herself in general. If there is a general attitude of laziness in everything she does, that’s a big red flag. I love it when a woman carries herself with pride and stand proudly behind what she does. If she’s lazy with her friendships, her school work, or her job, she’ll probably be lazy with her relationship.  Men like women who aren’t afraid to work alongside them. This also applies to being mentally and spiritually lazy. If I see a girl has no interest in reading books or learning new things it discourages me because that means to me she doesn’t value her brains as much as she should. Women shouldn’t be afraid to be smart and motivated (as I’ve talked about in another post). Spiritual laziness is a danger because in a relationship both parties need to always be encouraging each other spiritually, and if one end isn’t putting in the effort it may hurt other people.

10. She gets her identity from you.

We all know that girl, the one who barely has a month between each relationship. She moves from person to person, posting pictures and cute statuses all over social networks, as if saying to the world “Look at me and what I have!” The usual reason for this? She probably has no confidence in herself as a person on her own. Men don’t want someone who has no identity apart from her connection with them. Men desire a woman who is confident in her own skin, who is comfortable with who she is as a person. When a woman get’s her identity from who ever she is with, she will also inevitable get her value from who ever she is with. When this is the case, and a relationship doesn’t work out, she’ll rush to another without really thinking it through and hurting herself and others all the more. She’ll put unrealistic expectations on you and probably cling. Woman who gets her identity from who she is in Christ, not the guy she’s dating? That’s the kind of women men want to pursue.

11. She has no desire for a direction or purpose for the relationship.

All relationships should be teleological, meaning they have a sense of direction or purpose. If a man is pursuing a woman and she has no desire for it to go beyond casual then you’re wasting your time. You can’t ask someone with no desire for a serious relationship to suddenly get one by sitting around and hoping for them to come to that epiphany. People who only engage in casual relationships usually do so because they are scared of commitment, so don’t waste your time on them.

12. She uses her sensuality as a tool.

Webster’s defines sensual as “relating to or consisting in the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of appetite,” and while men are often the physical initiators, women are not innocent. There is a difference between being affectionate and using yourself to get something. Women by their very nature are sensual to men because men are visual creatures, and when a woman realizes the kind of power she can have over a man by using that sensuality, it becomes a form of manipulation. It’s also completely disrespectful to women themselves. You’re not just some body in a pair of tight jeans. You’re a creation of God and you’re created with so many gifts and talents BESIDES your beauty. When you make that your biggest asset to get what you want you’re only short-selling yourself. This is why modesty and purity are so important. It’s not just wearing the right things or avoiding situations: it’s a mindset and an attitude, and men find that attractive because it says your value yourself enough to not parade yourself around. When a girl has a passion for purity and modesty, she helps the guy she’s with stay strong in those areas as well.

This isn’t just a post for men, this can also apply to women. If any of the men in your life exhibit these kinds of traits you need to think about what you’re getting into.

Relationships are tough. They require sacrifices of our time, our emotions, and our own personal desires. Because of this, we also have to protect ourselves. No one is perfect. I’m certainly not, and I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, a few I could have listed above. We all are going to end up with someone who isn’t perfect, and that’s fine, because our God is. The best way we can be someone who can love another person the way the Christ loves us is to constantly let Christ mold us to be more like him. If we make God the foundation and center of our relationships then we’ve won half the battle. If you’re reading this, male or female, take some time in prayer and ask God to reveal any “buts” in your life and let God help you past them. Don’t look for perfection in another person, you’re never going to find it. Look for a heart chasing after God. Those are the best kind to chase after.

 

About the Author:

Jarrod Terry hails from Memphis, Tennessee, where he’s currently working towards getting his English teaching Masters because he loves Dead Poets Society and hates math. When he isn’t trying to be funny on Twitter, he’s following college sports, loving the Memphis Grizzlies, over-analyzing pop culture, drinking coffee, and trying to point others to God through whatever he can.

Learn more about him on his blogjarrodterry.wordpress.com

Follow him on Twitter HERE

Like him on facebook HERE

or email him at jarrodterry15@gmail.com!

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3 comments

  1. This post even makes me thinks that I should get a better type of living!!
    Juat Love all your works!! Thank you very much it has help me so much!!

    Like

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