The Boundless blog is a collection of unique voices addressing the issues young adults care about right now – everything from dating and faith to current events.
Listen to this week's show!
Roundtable: Girl Trouble
It’s no small feat to pursue a woman, and for those guys who feel they start out at a disadvantage, the process can be downright discouraging. Is there hope for the quiet and quirky guy who may not be the stereotypical alpha male? Our panel of self-described “underdogs” thinks it’s possible, boldly sharing insights from the dating trenches.
Culture: Kingdom Woman
You can probably rattle off the standard definition of a Christian, but what does it mean to be a victorious, effective, faith-filled and God-empowered Christian? What does this mean specifically if you’re a woman? Chrystal Evans Hurst, daughter of Dr. Tony Evans and co-author of Kingdom Woman, wants to tell you. Get ready to understand who you are and what you’re capable of. (Guys’ version next week!)
Inbox: Trusting and Trying
If marriage will happen in God’s timing, what’s the point of searching for a spouse now? That’s this week’s question. Fortunately, Candice is on the line with some great wisdom.
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--"Don't try to understand women. Women understand women and they often dislike each other." (T.I.C.)
--I disagree that most women are as competitive as men, at least when in a group with other women. A man's version of "winning the cocktail party" is much different than a woman's.
Men in many social situations will talk about accomplishments and things which involve competition (sports, salary, girlfriends, etc). It's all about increasing one's status among the group. Self-depreciation is practically non-existent and looked down upon even by most women (although it can lead to coming off as an arrogant jerk if one is not careful). Whereas women will often prop up the group as a whole (i.e. exhibit more of a communal mindset) even at the expense of themselves. It's the whole, "You're not fat; I'm the one who's fat" and "Really, you too?! That's sooo cool. Let's get together sometime to share recipes/stories/etc" mantra.
--Would it be so bad to wait to see if there is any romantic chemistry in a platonic friendship before stepping up and requesting a woman's presence for a one-on-one get-together? Not all marriages start that way. I am so sick of Boundless pushing the double standard about romance starting only ONE way. It truly disgusts me.
--I identify with that part around 19:00! Truth be told, I am mortified of being in that kind of situation if I doubt that the woman likes me. That's one of many reasons why I don't talk to unattached girls much.
--@MikeTime, I've found that women tend to reserve their cattiness for when the woman in question is no longer present. "Oh Kelly, I love that shirt on you. It makes you look so pretty!" *Kelly leaves* "Hah. Like anything could make Kelly look pretty."
@DreamerGuy, isn't it much simpler to just go ahead and ask a woman out if you see potential for romance before you end up over-romantically attached to a lady who has no clue?
--The roundtable briefly touched on guys cultivating the ability to carry a conversation with a girl. The suggestion of having some questions in mind is useful and practical. Here's another thing, if you can somehow discover what she loves and get her talking about that, then you've found the gold mine! People love permission to discuss what brings them alive with someone who is genuinely interested. I'm not talking shoes and clothes here--I mean the underlying thing. For example, if she does enjoy shoes and clothes, what she loves may be bringing beauty to the world, or creating a visual statement, or experimenting with the effects of color and pattern.
When it comes to conversation, we don't have to make it too complicated. Conversation can simply be a way to serve each other--to create an interesting safe space in which to be yourselves. Be attentive. Be interested. Be kind. Have some questions in case you are both scared stiff (shyness can appear very stand-offish at first).
--A little friendly teasing is always fun from a guy (if that's a natural thing for him--otherwise it could be really awkward). It doesn't necessarily imply interest, but it at least indicates the dude recognizes your existence and thinks you have a sense of humor.
-- Thanks that was a great round table. Just to throw it out there, I love reading books and would love a man who loved reading too ;) this is to encourage all the man who think reading is a disadvantage its really not. Its a great thing :) so I am sure geeky guys are in too, no matter what you guys think some of us don't like the stereotype Alpha male's. We just want a man to be following the Lord at a close proximity and lead even if it a quite and calm leading and yes its very attractive :) Well at least that's true for me and what I want.
--Lol, honestly the round table on “how to talk to girls” was kind of funny to me. The way you posed the issue makes it seem like most boys view girls as being this entirely different species of creature that they’ve only observed from far away and never really interracted with. Don’t any guys go to co-ed schools anymore, or co-ed churches? Are we all just gender segregated our whole lives until we become teens/young adults and then all of a sudden we have to start interacting in order to date? Honestly, I think this is a little weird. Personally, I grew up going to school and church with lots of kids of both genders, and had to interact with them constantly. Yeah, I can see that talking to someone you’re interested in could be awkward or nerve racking, but that’s because you’re interested in them, and I wouldn’t say necessarily because they happen to be the opposite gender. I've always been able to interact with girls in my social settings just as easily as interacting with other boys.
When exactly did reading become a nerd quality ^^? When I was in school, a "nerd" was a kid who was into sci-fi and video games. If they read anything, it was usually comic books. Reading, in and of itself, wasn't really considered a "nerd" quality, it depended on what you read. As a kid I read mostly goosebumps and books like that, which were pretty popular in general, so I wasn;t seen as nerdy or weird for reading that stuff.
“we lose hope when expectations don’t come to fruition” YES, exactly. I have definitely felt that in the last few years. And at the moment I feel like I am not really getting any “road signs” from God either. To be perfectly honest, I have rarely felt in my life that I have received many such signs leading me towards one thing or the other. Maybe I’m just too dense. I’ve always had a hard time grasping subtlety and nuisance and stuff. I’m the kind of person who needs a booming voice from a burning bush to get the message into my head. School was always super easy for me because I knew exactly what to do. Go to this class, read this book, write this essay, turn in that assignment, take this test, etc. etc. Whenever there was a choice of what class to take, I would always choose to take the class that interested me the most, which lead to my major and minor in college. And I always thought that if I just did what I was supposed to do and got good grades in school and paid attention and graduated, that my ”path” would be clear, and I would just know what I was supposed to do and what job I should get and where to go in my life. But I graduated from school, and suddenly discovered that I had no idea what to do, and there were no “road signs” in sight, and I felt completely lost. Every job I’ve had since college has literally fallen into my lap, and it seems I’ll never get anywhere else until something else “falls into my lap” because unless the direction of what I am supposed to do comes from “outside” and is super obvious, I have no idea what to do. Even in work, I only feel comfortable if I have a job where I know exactly what I’m supposed to do every day, and it’s the same routine every day, and if something new and unexpected comes up there is someone there I can ask to help me, because otherwise I won’t figure it out on my own, because I get paralyzed if I don’t have concrete specific direction on what to do.
“God is sovereign, and I’m responsible” I have to admit that this is something I have constantly struggled with in my life. Because it seems to me…that that statement is kind of contradictory, or mutually exclusive. How does that exactly work?
--A while ago one of my friends on Facebook posted a picture that said "Finally a book on how to understand women." Next to the quote was a guy looking through a massive book that was around 10 feet high. It's a lot to learn.
The best advise I feel I can share is that it is so important to be affectionate and you lead a woman. Many women don't usually make decisions in a logical way like many men do. To men their thinking might not make sense. But over the top affection does make sense to them though. It's easier to change a woman's mind by holding her than it is by reasoning with her.
Women need love more than most men realize. That's why the book of Ephesians instructs us to love our wives. It tells us that because most of us think we know how to love our wives but we don't.
--MikeTime, I laughed out loud! and GrinAndBarrett, that's often true. Women's communication even when it isn't catty is usually more high-context than men. That means we don't say exactly what we mean. More than men, we tend to run our words through a filter of "does this fit the situation/expectations of others around me right now?" High-context communication takes a little effort of reading between the lines from the other party, so when men hear only the straight meaning of our words and miss the boat on the implied, true meaning them, we get frustrated feeling communication hasn't taken place.
--@Ria, I can't speak for all men, but I know for a fact that some men pick up on what's being said between the lines. We just ignore it because if you can't say what you mean, we feel you don't deserve what you want. For example, if you want me to stop texting you and inviting you to do things with me, just come out and tell me. Coming up with excuses about why you can't go anywhere is way more effort than just a simple, "I think I'd be happier if you weren't in my life."
--So, let me get this straight: according to the round table guys, if I want to get a date, I have tone down my personality (especially if I'm a nerd/geek, which, for the record, I am). How is that fair? I'd have to pretend I'm someone I'm not, which is misleading to the girl. I know from experience that a girl may be attracted to a guy at first, but once she sees those aspects of his personality he toned down, she'll drop him. I'm not apologizing for who I am. I want to be loved for ALL of who I am.
So, despite the fact that some people say nerds/geeks are more popular and accepted these days, this round table makes me think that in general, girls still find them less attractive than other kinds of guys.
In conclusion, I'm going to wear my Superman T-shirt on a first date regardless of what they say. I'd rather be true to myself and to the girl, even if it gets me rejected.
--@ GrinandBarrett: I am reminded of a story a friend of mine told about when he and his wife we returning home from a trip not long after being married:
Wife: Did you know that our suitcases are still in the car?
Husband: Did you want me to get them?"
Wife: Of course!
Husband: Ok, I'll get them this time, but from now on, in this marriage, we use our words!
Sometimes, from time to time, we all need to be reminded to use our words. ;)
Rocketshipper: "God's Sovereign, but I'm responsible" is, I think one of the best paradoxes of this lifetime. To me, it means that God is big enough to compensate for my foolish mistakes. Rarely, in the bible do we see God telling people to do nothing -- but often in the evangelical church, we are encouraged to sit and do nothing while we wait for God. This is the tension that bothers me. God has given you hands, skills, a brain, feet and good sense. He has designed you, specifically you, for a purpose. If it is the nature of humanity to seek after God, it should be our goal to find that purpose, to use the gifts and abilities that God has given us to do those things that align with his principles. The parable of the two sons, I think speaks to this dichotomy. A father tells his two sons to go out to the field and work. The oldest son tells the father no to his face, while the youngest readily agrees with a smile. Later, the older son goes out and accomplishes the work while the younger son does nothing. When Jesus gets done telling the parable he asks those gathered, which son obeyed the father -- and clearly, even though the second son was much more agreeable in his reponse, the first one did the work. Actions speak louder than lip service. If you spend your whole life waiting on God to drop things into your lap, you might live a long and blessed life, but you also may miss the blessing he wanted to give you through hard work. Further, if you become reliant on God dropping things into your lap it will rock and challenge your faith if he chooses, for a season, to lead you out into a desert to test and try your faith. Is it good to trust God to provide? Yes. But should your faith in God be contingent upon his provision for you? No.
--Nate: My husband is an avid Warhammer fantasy player who has three complete, fully painted armies, is working on two additional armies, has the rulebook compeltely memorized and when we first started dating played nearly every weekend.
He didn't hide that from me, but he also didn't start our first date by saying, "Hello, My name is The Future Mr.A(tof) and I am an avid player of minatures war-games! Let's talk about statistical analysis on how many dice on average you need to dispel a level 4 lore of beasts mage casting Savage Beast of Horos!"
It's a good thing, too, because I would have had no idea what he was talking about!
NOW we can have those kind of conversations, because I know it's a hobby he enjoys and it's important to him. But if your plan is trying to romance the ladies by asking them if Superman could beat up Batman in a cage fight where his powers of flight become fairly immaterial (he still could, btw. :P) without asking them first if they would like to go to Panera Bread or Chipotle, you're probably going to thin your odds a little.
It's not "hiding who you are" it's being a multifaceted individual. Find common ground first, geek out about seeing John Barrowman at Gen-con *later*. ;)
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