Happy New Year! It’s January 1, two thousand and freaking sixteen. A brand new year, a brand new chance for success in love, right?! Every year we have this sensational opportunity to get rid of the old and bring in the new – new hopes, new dreams, new relationships, new hairstyles, new Justin Bieber albums…it’s all very exciting! But what if we find ourselves in this cycle of out with the old and in with the…old.
I dated some interesting guys in 2015. Interesting is a safe word. Let’s go with interesting. The other day I was pondering the past year, it really got me thinking about my singleness. I know what you guys are thinking, Leah you are fabulous and hot…HOW are you single? Thank you, I know.
So there I am, thinking about how I’m so awesome and how I date really strange guys, and then it hit me; for the past few years of my life, I have been in different dating relationships with a slightly different version of the exact same man.
Could it be me? Am I the problem?
At first I was offended that I even brought this up to myself. How could I even suggest this to me? Clearly they were the dysfunctional ones, right? But on the other hand, was there a type of man that I was allowing in my life that simply did not belong there? And if there was, don’t I deserve some of the blame? I mean, if I’m allowing these men in, how can I be mad at them for being there?
This was an alarming thought, so over breakfast I deeply meditated on it while eating two (four) brownies. I concluded that the most helpful thing that I could do is to narrow down the three most prominent personality traits that I wanted to avoid in a man, and not only no longer date guys who posses those qualities, but completely leave those homeboys in 2015.
Now granted, this list is not 100% foolproof. A man or woman can have these traits and be a perfectly functioning member or society. But at the same time, I am rarely wrong and I am relationship blogger, so you should probably listen to me.
So here they are, 3 people to leave in 2015:
The Rapid Romeo
Who they are: The Rapid Romeo is the person who falls in love with you after about 2 weeks. They will tell you that you’re the one. They will tell you they’ve never met anybody like you. And worst of all, they will try to convince you to get on their cell phone plan.
Recognizing Them: In my extensive “research”, R.R.’s always have spiked hair. I don’t know why. Maybe the velocity of their quickness to say, “You’re the most beautiful girl in the world” generates an actual breeze, causing their hair to stand up. #Science
The Danger in Dating Them: They don’t take you seriously. R.R.’s are moved by life moments, not actual life. Using your heart is a great thing, but we should use our brains as well. I’m a slow mover in relationships, and the Rapid Romeo always freaks me out.
I always feel like what’s the rush? The lack of desire to wait and the lack of responsibility while dishing out compliments and promises shows a deep immaturity. Lots of people have been hurt by Rapid Romeo’s for one very simple reason – they get out of relationships as fast as they get into them.
Inspiration Closing Arguments: You deserve someone that desires to know you on every level, not just the entry level. Why settle for quick when you can have forever? Take your time.
The Valiant Victim
Who they are: For whatever reason, I am incredibly skilled at attracting the Valiant Victim. It’s almost as if it’s my spiritual gift. The V.V. is the person who has somehow managed by the grace of God to prevail through the horrible hand that life has dealt to them.
They are never short on details about how they bravely made it through their last breakup, how they held their head high while getting wrongly fired, or how they turned the other cheek when they were mistreated by the gas station attendant. Every ended relationship has been the other person’s fault. Every hurtful situation was because of someone else’s negligence. They’re never responsible. Never guilty. Never to blame. We ALL know a V.V.
Recognizing Them: They can normally be found in the tissue or tampon aisle.
The Danger in Dating Them: V.V.’s ultimately only think of themselves. Every conversation will come back to their hurts. Compliments that they give you will be intertwined with the way that they’ve been hurt before (Example: You make me laugh! It feels so nice to laugh after the way that my last girlfriend treated me. My heart was never happy.)
But the most dangerous attribute? The Valiant Victim is literally waiting to be hurt. In their heads, everyone will hurt them…including you. One day you will do something to hurt them, and they will never forget it. Be very wary of committing to a V.V.
Inspiration Closing Arguments: We’ve all been hurt and fallen short of the glory of relationships (I think that’s in Romans), but choosing to dwell on that hurt is up to us. You are valuable enough that when they are with you, they should be focusing on you, not on who they were with 4 years ago.
The Frisky Flirt
Who they are: Let me be honest, I love flirting. Am I good at flirting? Absolutely not. But I love it. But there is a fine line between playful flirting and oh my gosh, how are we making out? The Frisky Flirt knows this line, studies it, and is an expert at crossing it. They make things that shouldn’t happen until the 10th date seem an incredibly commonplace 10 minutes into the first date, and often make you feel dumb for questioning it.
Recognizing Them: Oh, it’s easy. They’re the one with their hands on your butt.
The Danger in Dating Them: The Frisky Flirt is skilled at making you feel special by being very physically available. And girrrrrl, it’s nice! But guess what? You’re not special!!! Ouch. You are one of hundreds of people that have fallen victim to them and their wandering hands.
They are driven purely by physical interaction, which is what relationships are built on…when you’re 15. The real root of it all? The F.F. is incredibly insecure and has a deep need to feel validated without getting attached. When they feel physically satisfied, they’ll move on. Or, when you say no, they’ll move on.
Inspiration Closing Arguments: Date the person who will wait for the right pitch and swing for a home run, not the person who will swing at anything and everything coming just to get on base. I suck at baseball, but that was downright inspirational, y’all.
So here’s the bottom line: You, wherever you currently find yourself in life, have a butt-ton of value. So much value, in fact, that I would venture to say that you don’t even recognize all of it. Take time to be a little selfish. Start this year by deciding what’s important to you, and then don’t waiver on it, even it means feeling lonely. Don’t mistake lonely for love. Be patient. Just like you want that guy or girl out there to be waiting for you, wait for them.
It’s okay to say no to dates. It’s okay to not be crazy about the guy or girl that everybody thinks you should be crazy about. It’s okay to say, “You know what, this isn’t what I want.”
And it’s okay to eat two brownies for breakfast. Or four.
Leah Barterian works as the Youth Program Director at Grace Christian Church in Metro Detroit, Michigan. She is extremely passionate about singleness, Red Wings hockey, social equality, and late-night snacking. She loves baked cheetos, puppies, and laughing at videos where people slip on ice. She inexplicably hates black beans and humidity. Follow Leah on Twitter and Instagram @Leahbarterian
This is great! Thank you for speaking words of wisdom to single ladies! 🙂
Thank you, Kelly! I’m an absolute expert at being single and being an awkward dater and flirter, so I figured I could pass it along 😉 I appreciate the support!
I’m not single, married actually. But I love it!!!
Thank you so much!
Ok – this is my pearl of wisdom from someone who married at 22. 24 years later with baggage of 3 teenagers, several house moves, at least 4 career changes and lots of angst is still married to the same man.
Find someone who is kind.
It’s about the only bit of relationship advice my mother gave me when I started dating and even though I disagree with her on all sorts of stuff this one is a genuine deal breaker.
Secretly watch the man you’re interested in and see if he’s kind to others especially to the people who won’t or can’t do anything for him. He’s the one to date and marry.
If not, don’t waste your time – run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. You are better off without him.
Kindness is a quality which lasts and is essential if your relationship is going to be a happy one.
I was actually just talking to my aunt about this, and she gave me the same advice. She said, “Watch how he treats waiters and gas station attendants and homeless people. See how he acts when he’s mad or in pain or busy. Pay attention to how he treats his mom or his siblings and what he says about them when they’re not around.”
Some of the best advice I’ve ever been given, and I hold it very dear. Thanks for reaffirming it and for your support!
Great advice! Especially the part about the brownies….
I had two more this morning…
thank you Minerva! Love your name, by the way!
Love this advice! Sharing!
Thank you so much for your support, Susan!
Thank you for sharing. Very good insights….my goal is to stay single this year and that includes no single dates or hookups.
Thanks Shara! A few years back I decided to cut the hookups out of my life and focus on myself, and it was AMAZING. I wish you the best of luck!
From the prespective of an older (middle-aged!) girl, I’d say that many of us are warned and forearmed about the fickle guys, the players and the co-dependants.. In short, the *bad boys*.
It does not need too many experiences to learn how to set firm boundaries (although some of us may occasionally fall for them and need to shake the dust off our feet again) against these traps.
The greater danger to one’s heart is something I seldome hear warnings about: the *good guys*, the ones, who love the Lord, are sincere and back-boned, have a ministry, have studied, worked in their field, and actively want to serve God. And… are emotionally unavailable.
They may not know why, but because they are such decent men, and have not played at ladies’ heartstings, they do not know how to approach a woman in *that sense*.
They are great husband matieral.. if one just can get close to them.
Trying to encourage one may not bring anything but heartache – such a guy is so decent that he shrinks away from any thought of being with a woman. (that would be a temptation and distraction!) No, I don’t even mean those who are closet homosexuals, or even asexual… I mean guys , who may have raging hormones, but they are *so* decent that they have given up on any hopes of marriage – or they expect God to drop the right woman to their lap…
He might do that – but even then, the man might panic and bolt the door!
That is why so many women seem to fall for the *bad boy* – those guys are often available, and do not hesitate to push themselves into your personal space… It takes real energy and work to get rid of them!
NGal, one observation, as one of the virtuous men that you mention. Sometimes we just have our guard up because we have time and again been rejected by women (including Christian women) who choose the bad boys over us. I’m not saying there aren’t many men are genuinely emotionally unavailable, but give us a chance before drawing concllusions.
Clarke – many thanks for your comment. The rejection is real on both sides – many of us women have been rejected by the *good men*, time and time again.
I would love to know exactly how do we ‘give you a chance before drawing conclusions’? When the good men do not show any initiative, or any direct interest in us at all – an approach by a woman would be seen as a desperate attempt to catch a man. We are more than willing to do our part, after the man has clearly expressed (verbally – not some indirect hints that can be denied afterwards!!) that he would like to know a woman better.. It is not just fair to expect the woman to avail herself, again and again, with no response from the man.
Being rejected by one of the good men is worse than being played by a cheat and liar.
(they are easy to forgive!)
Myself and some friends have been in the situation – a wonderful godly man that we sincerely admire and love as a brother, and we pray for their well-being with all our hearts. After a whil, we notice that we really have developed feeelings for that man… But he treats us with indifference, only with cold politeness. That’s OK and his choice – it would not be productive to try to force a relationship. Years go by, and that good man is still single… so are we women.
My word to your good men: Not all of us girls want a bad boy – please do pray and seek God to show you a women He wants you to approach – and then do that! He will honor your initiative.
God bless you brother… May he give you His best
Ahh, the ever ongoing discussion of good guys vs bad guys. I’ve dated the epitome of both with both relationships including the incredibly stereotypical expectations mentioned by both of you. I’ve dated the bad guy who was fun and exciting…but was fun and exciting with many girls at the same time, all of us thinking we were the only ones. I’ve dated the good christian guy who took no initiative, dated me for a year, and then ended it out of the blue with the “I’ve been doing a lot of praying…” Both can be exhausting, both can be awful, and honestly, both can be great. I think it’s about the balance. Inwardly people crave the bad because they want excitement, but everyone wants to settle down with the good. I think when we get rid of the roadblocks in our mind that tell us that “he will act like this because he is _____” then we’ll be able to truly appreciate the person that we are with.
For awhile in my life, I was the bad girl, and I was asked out on date after date. Now I’m the good girl, and it seems that I can’t get a guy to glance my way…what’s the dealio? I think it’s simple: When we move away from the looking-for-craziness to looking-for-stability, we un-attract a lot of people. I think that the transition from point a to point b is obvious to most people, and they know that we’re not messing around anymore. A few weeks ago I had a guy tell me that I was “lame and boring” because I was “one of the good ones.” I took that as a compliment. Why? Because I am unlike every other girl that you try and flirt with.
Clarke, there are girls out there who want a man like you, but sometimes we don’t know what to expect because we’ve never had it. The transition for me was weird because I felt like, “How do I flirt now? What do I say?” I knew that none of my old “moves” would work and I have slowly but surely become a very awkward flirt because of it (I’ve been told it’s endearing…I don’t know).
I would say that the struggle is apparent and real on both sides. I’ve heard the good guys say that girls won’t even consider them because they seem boring. I’ve heard the bad guys say that girls won’t consider them long term because they’re too crazy. I’ve heard girls complain about the bad guys and the good guys equally. But when it all comes down to it, we have to open up our minds to the actuality that the stereotypes that we place on people are just preconceived ideas and not the rule.
Did that make sense? I don’t know. I haven’t had my coffee yet. Good luck to both of you and thanks for reading my blog!
Agreed that people are more than ‘ggod’ or ‘bad’ – and we should not categorize too easily. Still, since you presented some categorizations yourself, I thought to take the time to express the other side of the coin 😉
Each person is unique, but there are certain familiar patterns.
My experience has shown that in addition to all those negative stereotypes mentioned in your post, there are some ‘positive’ archtypes as well – and they can be equally devastating and suck all life out of the woman.
Especially the ‘Mr. Bachelor Pastor’ guy – the epithome of a good, solid, godly guy. The dream guy of all single women. Far far from boring, but often unapproachable…
oh, definitely. It’s why I made sure to mention that people can have these characteristics and still be normal, functioning people. For instance, I am touchy when I am dating someone. But I wouldn’t consider myself a “Frisky Flirter”. It’s all about balance. Anyone can be a bad person disguised as a good person, and anyone can be a good person who gets the rap of a bad person. We have to get to know these individuals. My entire point was, once getting to know them and realizing that they might be one of these 3, run! Not at all a guideline for dating as much as it is just a bit of research that’s been done on my part 🙂
Oh, and by the way. Many of us women would gladly do anything to bless & encourage a godly man – but it is not always possible (God’s intervention is a must for!), we do not want to scare you guys and make you feel uncomfortable! 🙂
So guys, please, understand that many of us have been also hurt before, bullied and rejected – and told just to ‘forget those men who ignore you’. (Men probably get similar counsel… that’s why many of us are still single!)
I wish men and women could talk WITH each other, instead of ABOUT each other…
It is also a cultural issue, as the Western culture in general places high value on individualism and somehow sees marriage as a trivial issue… I have been approached and treated very differently by men in other cultures, and I am talking about Christians… In certain areas of the world, men actually do WANT to marry – and they are much more direct about it. They ask a girl and if she is not interested, they move on. No ‘secret code’, one knows if the man wants you.
Fyi – there’s something not right in this blog entry. If I put my cursor in the text, I’m able to erase and add text. It’s not happening in other entries nor in the comments. I’m guessing there’s something going on in the admin side. Interesting piece though.
Thank you for sharing, Tracey. I am having admit check this out. 🙂