To the man who is currently dating my future wife: holding hands is one thing, kissing my wife is another.
I’ll be honest, social norms are lost on me. I spent my teenage years searching for physical relationships before emotional ones. Needless to say, my dating world is pretty messed up.
Truth is, recently I met a girl that I liked, and we clicked really well. You could say we were really close to being Nicholas Sparks’ next inspiration for The Notebook 2: Facebook Official. But for some reason I kept feeling God saying, “Not yet.”
Now to be honest, God has confused me a lot in my life, but the one thing that’s been consistent is His ability to be right. So I let her go. The weird thing is … she moved on.
Now I’ll start by saying I don’t know if she’s “the one” for me or whatever, but it’s weird watching a girl I’m interested in date someone else. Then I started to think, “What if she and I do end up getting married. How do I want her relationship with this new guy to go?”
I’ll be honest; this is the first time I’ve looked at a woman and thought “big picture.” I was the guy who thought sex and relationships were two different things—that is, until now. With this in mind, I’ve thought of a few things I really hope she remembers—and more importantly, I remember—the next time I’m out on that date with The Little Mermaid’s “Kiss the Girl” stuck in my head.
1. Where’s his bar?
What attracts us to a person? What is it we look for? “Congratulations, he bought you flowers”? What we look for (especially in the beginning) should have less to do with how we get treated and more to do with how we treat those we don’t get along with. Posting a picture on Facebook of the flowers he bought you isn’t nearly as romantic as posting, “He had to cancel because the shelter where he volunteers flooded, and now he has to help clean it up.” Any dude will spoil a girl, especially in the beginning, but ladies should pay attention to how the guy treats those who have nothing to offer him. THAT’S when you start falling in love or moving on.
2. What does he find attractive?
Cool. You two like the same band. Give each other a high-five and move on with life. Oh, what’s that you say? You both have a heart to serve high school-age kids, especially homeless teens? And you want to foster teens?!?!?! Now THAT should be a Nicholas Sparks novel, but unfortunately the world has turned love into finding what fits your lifestyle more than who you’re serving.
Pay attention to your date’s passions. If your man is already selflessly serving others, how do you think he’s going to treat you? Any dude with a minimum-wage job can buy your meal; only a dude willing to lay down his life for a stranger will be able to fight for a healthy marriage.
3. Dat booty doe …
Here’s one that’s really hit me: What do I call beautiful? Ladies, I hate to break it to you, but your body is going to get MESSED UP by life. And dudes?!?! That six-pack you think you see in the mirror is really just the result of you holding your breath for 30 seconds and becoming a shading master with a Sharpie. OUR BODIES WEREN’T CREATED TO IMPRESS THE WORLD.
Because sexual abuse and perversion were such a big part of my life, for a long time it was important that whoever I dated was basically Mother Teresa meets Jennifer Aniston in the third season of Friends. It was ridiculous. The only real thing I have to offer is Jesus.
Let me say that again: THE MOST ATTRACTIVE THING ABOUT ME IS JESUS.
If a girl wants me because I got a booty that just won’t quit, well, as soon as my booty decides to quit and starts sagging toward my calves, she won’t be attracted to me anymore. Or if I’m totally into her flat stomach, as soon as she gives birth to our first kid, I’m going to get all livid that she’s not hitting that CrossFit P90X creatine diet that gets her back to the place where I DEEM HER GOOD ENOUGH.
SO … to the man currently dating my future wife: I hope you’re quick to remind her of her beauty and worth but NEVER leave her feeling like her looks are all she has to offer. I hope you NEVER set a standard that’s even hard for me, her future husband, to meet. I hope you NEVER change your personality trying to be who she wants, and by doing so, waste more time that I could be spending with her. Last but not least, please, PLEASE don’t ever replace God in her life. Push her to EXPECT a decent man, not idolize one. Remind her God has CALLED HER TO A LASTING LOVE, not pushed her into a momentary fling. Guard her heart, protect her purity and love her so selflessly that you’d end the relationship—even knowing it would hurt her—if you knew it was best for her.