I had grown to spend a lot of my time with him. Our friendship began with an act of kindness on his part, and I couldn’t help but appreciate how willing he was to go out of his way to help me.
We just seemed to hit it off, so it was easy for us to spend a lot of time together. The more time we spent, the more I became emotionally attached without even realising… In my mind, we had become so close that it didn’t make sense to just remain friends.
But there was just one problem- he still hadn’t made a move! It didn’t make sense to me, and I found myself getting more and more frustrated with the situation.
Women are at risk of reading into… well, nothing.
For men who are especially familiar with the company of women, it can be even easier to give off the wrong signals. When a man shows so much as a hint of affection towards a woman, she notices. Often men misunderstand how deep this reality is!
In the Saddle
If something is acceptable in our minds, then there is no need to question it. For example, we don’t question whether to get dressed in the morning, or whether to buy food to eat. Instead we tend to question the things that are beyond our control, such as job opportunities and relationships.
We can apply to all the jobs that we want, but ultimately, the decision lies with someone else as to whether to employ us or not. Similarly, we can get into as many relationships as we like, but the ultimate decision over the right relationship lies with God and God alone. When we take things into our own hands, things often get messy.
We need to recognise that without God, we are incapable of finding a partner that will lead us closer to God. We can’t expect to pick and choose when we want God to be in control of our lives. But that’s just it- we hate not being in control! So what next? Usually we try and find a way to gain some sense of control.
For example, when I learnt to ride horses, I was taught how to encourage them to do what I wanted them to do, and go where I wanted them to go. If my horse was being stubborn, then I was taught to persist until it would obey.
Women especially, tend to slip into this mindset when developing relationships with men. Once there is potential for that person to be more than a friend, the desire develops to encourage the relationship in that direction. But if he still hasn’t made a move, this is usually where she begins to question whether to make a move – “to ask or not to ask”…
When I was riding, I was never encouraged to let the horse lead me. Yes, there were times I would let go of the reigns to let the horse rest, but it wasn’t long before I took control again. If it was my first time riding the horse, there was always a sense of uncertainty when I let go, but the more familiar I became and the more I developed a sense of trust, the more comfortable I was letting the horse lead the way.
We need to develop the kind of relationship where we can be content letting go of the reigns. If you are struggling with the desire for control, then you need to ask yourself why. It is usually down to the fact that your trust has been abused in the past, so spend some time in reflection and prayer as to what may be standing as a barrier against you moving forwards.
I remember an experience where I was thrown off a horse. Although it was a scary experience, it didn’t stop me getting back in the saddle. I refused to let that experience stop me from learning to do something that I loved.
Don’t let anything put you off learning to love. Sometimes we have negative experiences that will impact the way we make choices for the rest of our lives – if we let them.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”
-Ephesians 5:1-2, NKJV
Trust is an essential part of the foundation for any relationship. Don’t buy into this idea that you can “love without trust”- it’s complete nonsense. The thing about trust, is that it should be formed in the early stages of your friendship, let alone your relationship.
Men were created with the desire to provide and protect, so if a man is taking his time to commit, there is usually a good (or bad) reason. Taking the reigns and encouraging him onwards can often cause more harm than good- especially if he is still uncertain.
The way I see it – if you have to keep questioning the process, then you have to consider whether you are making the right decision in being with this person in the first place. Getting into a relationship shouldn’t feel like a lucky dip, as though one day he’ll suddenly wake up and decide you’re the only one he’s ever wanted. It shouldn’t feel like an emotional roller-coaster either.
Patience is Golden
The dynamics of your relationship are established long before you make things “official”. If a man is uncertain of you, you will find it even harder to let go of the reigns within the relationship as you will find yourself wrestling with that same uncertainty. Of course, the natural response would be to tighten the reigns in response.
Look at your relationship like an elastic band. Even if you feel stretched or stress levels are high, you should never feel as though you are on the verge of breaking apart. If you have reached this point on more than one occasion and it’s still early days, you seriously need to question whether this is what you want for the rest of your life.
I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with questioning where you stand, especially if you feel like you are in a position where nothing seems to be progressing. But I do believe that women should be careful when choosing to pursue men in the hopes of establishing a relationship.
When a man goes out of his way to make an exclusive commitment to one woman above any other, he has laid an essential part of the foundation for everything that is to follow. When a man wants to pursue a woman- he will. One hundred percent. Without hesitation. I can’t stress this point enough!
Call me traditional, but there’s something about a man who is willing to go out of his way for you. A man who has chosen to pursue you above all others. A man who isn’t afraid to lead, or to be completely honest with you. A man who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable around you, and entrust you with his heart as long as you both shall live…