So you’re wondering … what does a woman know about what guys think? I just so happen to have some great male perspective for this article, namely from my insightful husband, Steve. But also, I used to be the woman in some of these points, so I also know how women play on men’s weaknesses.
Christian men and women in the dating world are met with so much wrong thinking in their relationships. It’s my hope to help you identify certain destructive lies in your thinking before it is too late.
LIE #1: She’s flirting with me because she thinks I’m great.
Truth: While it seems innocent and fun, flirting is not a behavior that women who are trying to attract the right kind of man indulge in. Most women who flirt are looking for attention, not just from one certain great guy, but from any who will give them the attention they crave. Why? Likely she either has a poor self-image and she’s searching for ego strokes, or she is desperately looking for approval that she didn’t receive from her father. The trouble is, flirtatious women often have a hard time leaving that trait behind when they get married, and they inappropriately (and dangerously) continue to search for the approval of men long after “I do.” Also, women who need this type of attention can tend to be high maintenance in relationships, always craving more attention.
LIE #2: She doesn’t realize what her revealing clothes are doing to me.
Truth: More likely than not, when she bought those clothes she was thinking about how you (and every other man) would drop his jaw when she walked by. While many women don’t realize the extent of men’s visual stimulation (since it’s quite different than women), most know exactly what they are doing to you. It’s called putting you under a spell to get what they want from you. Proverbs calls this a “seductress” with clear warning: “a seductress is a narrow well. She also lies in wait as for a victim, and increases the unfaithful among men.” Proverbs 23:27-28
LIE #3: Her lack of faith won’t pull me down.
Truth: Solomon, the wisest man and king who ever lived, fell for this lie. Believing he was smarter than God gave him credit for, he stubbornly ignored God’s warning not to marry the pagan women of other nations because they would turn his heart after their false gods. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened—and it cost him greatly. In the end, he walked away from his faith. So if the wisest man who ever lived, the one who had been visited by God himself on two different occasions and who even built God’s temple, wasn’t strong enough to stay devoted to God while going after unbelieving women, how could you be any different?
LIE #4: She’s clingy, but I like to be needed. She’ll settle down once we’re married.
Truth: According to studies, men thrive on being needed, but this can backfire because many women out there are desperate to get married for the wrong reasons. A woman with “emotional gaps” will put expectations on you that you’ll never live up to, no matter how much time, love, or words of encouragement you give her, because she has mistaken you as the answer to her longings. After the wedding, you’ll disappoint her because you can’t do or be enough, and she may turn to other things for comfort—food, other men, alcohol, or shopping, to name a few. Depending on you occasionally for emotional support, or to help with certain things (like changing her oil or mowing her lawn) are great, but when it comes to emotional neediness, it’s a red flag and it’s not going to get better until she gets help.
LIE #5: If she knew who I really am, she wouldn’t want me.
Truth: This fear motivates men to tell women what they want to hear instead of being open and honest about who they really are. When this happens, the relationship is built on a lie, increasing the chance of relationship failure later on. It also increases a man’s anxiety over exposure and rejection, creating a cycle of deceit. The woman you’re dating deserves to know exactly who you are and what kind of person she’s agreeing to love. It’s not fair to give her false hope. As an example, going to church with her before you are married or pretending to be a spiritual leader, with no intention of continuing later, is not an honest representation of yourself. If she is a good match for you and she’s operating under grace, she’ll love and accept you, warts and all.
LIE #6: She wouldn’t just date me for financial reasons.
Truth: Think again. A woman’s greatest need is for security, according to studies. That doesn’t mean that all women are gold diggers, but you have to search out motives. There’s many a financially distraught woman thinking that getting married to someone financially stable will solve all of her problems, whether or not the man is right for her. Watch for a few factors. Does she manage her own money well? Is she stable financially on her own? Does she display expensive tastes out of her budget? Does she focus on her lack of finances or on your comfortable lifestyle? If you are concerned, be sure to approach this matter privately with a qualified pre-marriage counselor (her pastor?) for some objective help in discerning her motives. This may sound harsh, but you don’t want to risk marrying a woman who only loves your money.
LIE #7: When I marry her, my lust problem will be solved.
Truth: This is a frequent misconception for men who are waiting to have sex until marriage. They think, “When I’m able to have sex with my wife, I won’t be tempted by pornography or dwell on lustful thoughts anymore because I’ll have an outlet for my sexual energy.” I think honest men will tell you that marriage did not solve their lust problem. In some cases, it aggravated it. This is due primarily to the fact that lust isn’t a sex problem. It’s a heart problem. And just like a fire, when you begin to feed it, it gets hotter and hungrier, not satisfied. When a man gets married, he may be even more focused on sex and can still feed his lustful thoughts with images and fantasies. The only answer is to starve the fire of lust to make it eventually die down. Flee, as the Bible says, from sexual temptation.
Many men also go into marriage expecting their wife to be a sex goddess—ready for a romp 24/7. Relationship problems, low sex-drive, busy schedules, interruptions from kids, and physical problems can all contribute to marital sex not being as plentiful as you hoped.
LIE #8: She nags, but what woman doesn’t.
Truth: Frequent nagging is a control problem. If you want to be mothered for the rest of your life, then go ahead and accept the challenge. If not, either make sure she deals with her control problem before marriage, or move on until you meet up with a more relaxed woman who doesn’t need to micro-manage your life.
LIE #9: Her past is her past—I don’t need to know.
Truth: Wrong! Her past becomes your past. You need to dig during the dating relationship to see if there are any big issues lurking in the deep waters beneath the surface. What was her relationship like with her dad? Has she ever been sexually molested or abused? How have men treated her in past relationships? How has she treated men in the past? All of this you need to know now, or you could be shocked and deeply affected later when huge roadblocks and past skeletons emerge in her sexual or emotional intimacy.
Julie Ferwerda is the author of The Perfect Fit: piecing together true love, and has written for publications such as Marriage Partnership, Focus on the Family, and Discipleship Journal. Find out more: www.JulieFerwerda.com.