Holding Out for a Hero

How “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” Broke My Heart and Killed My Generation. Part 5.

Man, I have been getting some great feedback from you guys! I’d love to hear more of it so keep those tweets, messages, emails, and texts coming!

So guys – thanks for letting me focus on you a bit today. Yesterday was more of the tactical stuff. Why to ask girls out, how to do it, how to not do it, etc.

Today I’m going to focus a little more on some heart issues with you. I promise not to get too touchy-feely so don’t worry. I talked to the women about how scary it can be when you’re not getting asked out on dates and you feel the need to control or manipulate situations to try to. I want to clue you in a bit from another perspective on some of that.

I’ve never been the type of girl who walks into a room, heads turn, and people pay attention. I’ve never been the most beautiful girl in the room and most likely won’t. I’m okay with this. I’ve always been the buddy. The girl who guys really like to hang out with, who can hold her own in conversations, and becomes the stand-in “girl friend” when the girl they want won’t go out with them. I’ve counseled many a guy friend who was interested in dating my best friend or someone else.

I don’t know if it was some masochistic tendency but it became my story. My pattern. And eventually my wounding. These poor guys had no idea. Most of the time I kept my feelings so secret that no one knew. But then they would eventually start liking someone and I would be devastated. I was their friend so I was safe. They could talk to me about girls they liked or problems they were having.

It sucked. I’m still not entirely sure why I allowed myself to be in those situations but I did. I thought maybe, just maybe, they would see how awesome I was, and funny, and easy to be around, and they’d want to date me. But they never did. I was always put into the friend zone.

I’ve heard both arguments on the friend zone. I’m still uncertain whether or not I believe someone can move from friend to significant other. I do however believe you’re supposed to marry your best friend so I’m still trying to sort out how that all works. But I digress.

The friend zone I could handle. It was the “Are we or are we not?” zone that really drove me crazy. And guys – here’s where you come into play. The easiest way to fail a woman is to lead her on when you have no intention of pursuit.

Hurting us, disappointing us, breaking our hearts are all things we can generally handle. We’re pretty forgiving. But lead us on and you’ve pretty much shot yourself in the foot. Many of you could easily say that it’s just as much our responsibility not to get led on as it is your responsibility not to lead us on, but really guys? Again – let’s go back and look at the lesson we’ve been learning. You hold the power. You direct the relationship be it friendship or romantic.

Just for the record telling us that you’re not ready to be in a relationship but you’re not ready to lose the intimacy you have with us AKA a FRIENDATIONSHIP is leading us on. Your actions and words must line up. If you’re telling us you don’t want to date but you are continuing to spend time exclusively with us, then you’re not protecting us. You are hurting us. And guys, I’m not going to insult you and give you a hard fast rule of when it’s okay to hang out with a girl as a friend and when it’s not. Because honestly it’s a different line with every girl.

Let’s be honest you usually know when she’s falling for you.

It may seem extreme but the best way to prevent things from getting messier is to get out of that relationship. Take time away from each other. Just because you don’t want to date us doesn’t mean no one else can date us. Unfortunately, many women, myself included, see the potential in a guy and we want to give him the benefit of the doubt. We believe in him so we stick around way longer than we should. Our hearts get involved and it doesn’t end well for anyone.

And our hearts. Men, our hearts. They are incredibly precious and tender. Don’t get me wrong, we are warriors in our own way. Have you ever seen a woman’s loved one threatened? We go crazy. Hair starts flying, fingers get pointed, claws come out, and there is usually some sort of vicious throw down.

But our hearts are so soft. I cannot stress this enough. Because when it comes to you, we melt. All of the princess movies and fairy tales come rushing back to our memories and we twirl and laugh and smile all over. We glow.

We’re constantly warring within ourselves whether to lock those hearts in a big safe tower so we can’t be hurt or wear them on our sleeves. And yes, most of the time we give them away too freely. We offer them to anyone who says our hair looks nice or likes our picture on Facebook. For that I absolutely hold my gender responsible. We’re crazy, remember?

It’s not easy to decide how or when to give our heart away but when we do, you get the greatest treasure in all the world. Please protect and cherish it. Please love us enough that if you don’t return our feelings or worry that we are falling for you, you end it. You end the friendship even if it hurts you.

The wound you inflict momentarily will spare endless nights of tears. It will spare the tear-stained pillow and the muffled midnight sobs. It will keep us from hating you. It will keep our anger to an appropriate amount of time. As Counselor Kevin told me, “Anger past it’s expiration date is bitterness.” Give us the gift of being able to forgive. Give us the gift of closure. Give us the gift of moving on. Give us the gift of forgetting you. Give us the gift of letting go.

Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be.

That little girl you all know or have seen? The one who wears princess dresses and twirls and still believes her prince charming will slay the dragon? The one who you would literally fight to the death for? Fight for her. Fight for her by sacrificing your own wants and needs.

She exists in every woman. So fight for her. Fight for her little girl heart that has probably never been fought for before.

Next up – we’re delving into Friendationships. And oh man is this a good one!

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