- Gender and Relationships
Romance and Flirting: How to Guard Your Heart - For Women
My Flirting and Romance Story that Made Me Wise-Up
Once upon a time, I was approached in the cyber world by a man I have always found attractive and we began the creative and exciting art of flirting. Since I knew he was involved with someone else, and because I am a Christian and he is not, I attempted ending the flirting on numerous occasions, but he kept coming back to me. At the time, I admired his perseverance. Later, I called it selfishness.
The real problem started when despite myself, I began falling in love with him.
What had initially attracted me to him was his honesty, which I found really refreshing. But really, how could I have known he was being honest? But I divert…
And so we continued the game, and then one day, he ended it. Abruptly. I was heartbroken. I doubt he batted an eyelid.
It took me a week to understand what had happened…the truth about what had happened that is. And it was like this: when I began falling in love with him, he realised things may start getting complicated and he had better back out while he still could. The fact is that although he may not have been in love with the woman he was living with, he was not ready to leave her or the home she provided. I was merely a bit of fun on the side. He had used me. His goal was to flirt and have a bit of fun. I provided that for him beautifully. What a score for him!
Had I known that his intention was only to have a little fun, I would not have wasted my time. But I did waste time. A lot of time. And got my heart broken in the process on a man who was not who I thought he was.
The Bible tells us to “guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:23). Once I realised what had really happened, and my flirting partner’s self-centredness towards me, I decided I would need to catch a wake up and not allow anything like that to happen again. I remembered the verse of Proverbs 4:23, but I did not know how to guard my heart if a scenario such as this should ever occur again. And since I am naturally naughty – despite being a born-again Christian – I felt I had better get a lot more heart wise about guarding my heart because I was bound to get into a mess again at some stage!
So I started researching stuff to make a check list for any future men that come my way. What I found was:
Yes, as a born-again Christian, I am not supposed to be flirting, never mind having any kind of sexual talk with a guy before I marry him, but honestly, I have not conquered this particular sin and I find it exceptionally hard not to flirt with a man I am attracted to. Who else wants to get real with me and be honest about this weakness?
Get Real and Be Honest...
If you are a born-again Christian, is sex or flirting a weakness for you?
God Knows Best: Sex Can Blind Women to Truth
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that for us women, sexual stuff really should be put on the back burner – if not for marriage only, then surely only until the guy in question has given some kind of commitment. That’s the first step to guard your heart – no sex until you are really sure this guy is into you. And by “into you” I mean, that he has proclaimed his love for you, and not in the midst of an urgent grapple on a car seat.
Because as women, we find it hard to separate sex from love. Whereas for men, it’s rather easy to do. Also, for us women, sex blinds us to the truth about the other person, so it really is a bad idea to have sex before we have built the foundation of a relationship.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…let’s go back to the dating phase; the time when you start getting to know each other.
How Do You Know if He Can Be Trusted?
What you want as a woman, is to find out if the guy you’re attracted to can be trusted. How do you find out this kind of thing in the early phases of dating? Because of course, you don’t want to waste your time on a man who is not trustworthy. What do you look for? What questions do you ask? And what about tests?
What sorts of personal qualities demonstrate that someone is safe to trust with your heart and your emotions? This is what to look for:
- The person is other-centred, not self-centred. He will demonstrate this by listening to what you have to say. He will ask questions about things that don’t only affect him. He will show interest.
- He is considerate – look for ways he tells you he is considerate by his behaviour, not only to you but also to those around him. If you go to a restaurant, how does he treat the waiters and waitresses?
- He is thoughtful – this could mean that he remembers things you tell him, he does special little things for you, etc.
- He does what he says. Does he call when he says he will? Do his actions tell you he is reliable?
How Else Can You Test Him?
How else can you test him?
- One of the best ways to test his character is by disagreeing with him on something. Sure, the disagreement shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but rather choose something wisely to disagree over and see how he responds. A man’s real self can always be covered up with sweet words and manipulative behaviour, but people generally find it hard to cover up when they feel angry.
- What makes him angry? What does the anger stem from—embarrassment? Or is it from feelings of abandonment? Fear of something intangible? Perhaps it’s merely passion for the topic at hand?
- Don’t tell him what’s important to you, because he can use it to manipulate you. Ask him questions first without giving him a clue on what’s important to you, and hear what he has to say and evaluate whether you like it or not. If he tells you something that makes you feel good, first assess it. And do this a couple of times with things he says. For instance, in my case, the guy told me two things that didn’t gel. The first was that he would never “burn” me. Honestly? How would he know things would work out with us? How could he realistically make such a statement? The other thing he told me was that he would protect me. But protect me from what?
Use "Enlightened Skepticism" To Assess What He Says
Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201104/protect-yourself-liars-and-deceivers) says that you can protect yourself from harmful deceptions by what they call “enlightened scepticism”.
This is a method to assess truth through fact-finding and questioning. This can be done by asking yourself a few questions about what may be a deception or lie:
1. What do I know about the his truthfulness?
2. Is the statement consistent with reality?
3. Can you verify the statement?
4. What do you gain by accepting and acting on the statement?
5. What do you lose by accepting and acting on the statement?
6. What does he gain if you buy into the statement?
7. What is exaggerated or downplayed in the statement?
8. Does the idea seem too good to be true?
9. Would you advise your best friend to accept the statement without a question of doubt?
10. What doesn't compute? (Is something being said too emphatically or in some strange way?)
Psychology Today says that by asking and answering these questions, you can help yourself keep habitual deceivers at a distance. If you find gaps in the information, suspend judgment until you know enough to render a reasoned judgment.
The Books That Helped Me Get Wise
Make Him Earn the Right To Your Heart
It seems as if most people would scoff at the common and old fashioned “if you loved me you would have sex with me” spoken by a teenage boy to a girl in the throes of passion, but I reckon many women are still being deceived. The methods have become honed and clever; the deception is covered much better, and if we are to keep our hearts strong and guarded, we should only let trustworthy men into them.
I am not for one moment suggesting you keep all people at a distance, but what I am saying is that make a man earn the right to the secrets of your heart. Let him earn his right to touch your heart in that special way that makes us fall in love and feel the excitement of romance.
Let him in a little bit at a time.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).