In this whole quest to make my heart less like Alcatraz (yes, the maximum high-security federal prison), I decided to explore some of the lessons I’ve been picking up this year. One that stood out was the reality that in a bid to guard our hearts, Christian ladies had turned into a whole other thing. Our interaction with men became less and less, the more we read those blogs or books by the ladies or men who we are faithfully following on social media. When we interacted with guys, it would be through the lense we developed while praying for the husband we desire. Suddenly, most guys are scrutinized initially to see if they could be the one or not. If they don’t match our list, they’re promptly locked up in the friendzone or worse, the brotherzone. The cycle continues with most guys we meet.
Then somewhere along the way, God graciously gives us wisdom to do less of that and patience to wait. So we decide to enjoy staying hidden while we wait. The problem becomes, we get too comfortable waiting or while hiding, we peek through the blinds eager to see who the one is. Any date we’re invited to is either turned down because we don’t want to lead a brother on or because we were taught how we’re not to date but only be involved in courtship.
All these good intentions become marred by the tendencies we pick. Ultimately, this leads to very unhealthy interactions with men. We either put up crazy security systems around our hearts or start treating most guys as potential future husbands. This of course leads to disappointment or heartbreaks from all the guys we think led us on.
I attended an event recently where God used a very unlikely person to remind me of basic things. First, that not every coffee date is the beginning of a courtship or any romantic relationship. Dates should be made less complicated and the pressure reduced. At times we make guys feel like after one date, he’d better be window shopping for a cute ring. Dates should be easy platforms for people to simply get to know each other. Not every date is a romantic one.
Secondly, it is not a crime to interact with guys freely. Assuming ‘the one’ is out there (not that you have only one person marked to be yours and yours alone), how will they get to know you if you’re that locked up? Or busy scaring every guy away with your crazy expectations to be married after a few dates? Be friends with them, be easy, be yourself. Yes boundaries are necessary but do away with the maximum security fences.
Anyway, so in the attempt to be less rigid and interact more, I agreed to meet up this guy. We met at an event and I knew him or about his existence, some years back but we’d never talked. He asked for my number and texted me the next day requesting to meet me. I thought about it and decided that meeting up should be just that. Plus I love getting to know new people.
It went quite well and it was a pleasure getting to know someone new. It gave me the freedom to be relaxed and be myself. It was refreshing to be out having conversations and savouring my favourite treats. There’s something about meeting new people that helps you rediscover yourself and interrogate notions you hold. New people at times aren’t like us and we’re made to review ideas we hold concerning people.
So now I plan to exercise more wisdom and appreciate the unlearning that I’ve been experiencing this year. I’m going to allow myself to maintain the lovely relationships I have with the guys in my life and give new ones a chance. Hopefully, I’ll get to remind a few of us to do the same. Take some of that pressure off the friendships you have and simply enjoy them for what they are.