What You Don't Need to Be to Get a Guy

8:00 AM

I played my friend's love interest in Almost, Maine. Naturally, his girlfriend and my boyfriend
dressed up matching and sat with each other during the show.
So glad I'm not competing for this cute guy's attention. :)

A little (male) bird told me that I was the freshman girl to get. Back when I wore vestiges of homeschool fashion and no makeup, thought all passionate and naive, and had emotional breakdowns every other day, I was popular with the guys. This makes me feel better about myself -- not, really, that all my guy friends at one time or other wanted to ask me out, but because it proves I knew what I was talking about when I suspected I had boy drama. See? I wasn't exaggerating.

It doesn't flatter me that all of my guy friends liked me because (1) none of them asked me out and (2) my current image with the guys varies between She doesn't exist to us because she's already taken and Holy bananas, I would never date that clingy, obnoxious, weepy, complicated girl. 

You know, someday I want to write a bitter diatribe about how most guys ignore dating girls. We bear a scarlet letter on our breast reading, Focus on the single girl sitting next to her. I suppose men want to protect themselves from hearing mushy gush about how awesome our boyfriends are.

All of these guys who lucked out on a purgatorial dating relationship with me are now all married or dating. In fact, it seems like all the rising seniors either broke up or got married in the past four years. Facebook is always interesting in the summer.

By referencing all of this irrelevant stuff about my freshman love life, I'm trying to say that it surprises me that I'm dating at all. It surprises me even more when I see all the never-had-a-boyfriend girls. Coincidentally, almost all the wittiest, smartest, most beautiful women on campus are single. I have several theories about this:

(1) Men are intimidated by smart, witty, and beautiful women. 

(2) Men have terrible taste in women. 

(3) It's fine that women are single, so why am I contemplating these theories?

(4) Being witty, smart, and beautiful is no guarantee and no requirement for getting a guy. 

Look at the marriages and relationships around you. Not just the pretty, perfect ones. All of them. What do you see? I see a cancer-bald, overweight woman whose husband still loves her dearly. A beautiful woman who waited twenty-seven years for the love of her life to come along. A disabled woman who married long after her accident. Shy women. Plain women. Not-really-funny women. Flawed women. Really flawed women. Women who make me wonder how on earth any guy could genuinely fall in love and stay in love with someone like them. And then I look at myself and am so glad loving plain, flawed, boring women is a thing.

Did these men just settle? Not always, probably not ever. Even when surrounded with witty, smart, and beautiful women, guys still go after the girl with whom they fall in love -- even if she's not the prettiest, smartest, or funniest. Even with options, those factors fail to give a girl an edge over another girl.

And that's what I didn't understand about love as a naive single girl. With all my checklists, my attempts to look pretty, my experimentation with different laughs and personality quirks -- none of that mattered with love. Guys walk past women more beautiful, more hilarious, more godly than their wives and girlfriends every day and still stay in love, still stay faithful. No matter how hard you try to make yourself attractive and eligible, the Prince will still fall for his Cinderella -- despite her poverty, her shyness, and her quiet. 

This means stop trying. Stop worrying about what's wrong with you. Stop measuring yourself against other women, wondering why your secret crush married her instead of you. A guy not falling in love with you is not your fault and not cause to revisit your cooking skills and character training. When a guy falls in love with a girl, it's not because she's more perfect than you or any other single woman he knows. It's simply because he loves her, pimples, tantrums, and all. You can't compete with that mystery. And you don't want to.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The next time a moody teenager writes a grumpy Facebook post about her fifteen years of singleness along with an attention-grabbing mutter about Nobody will ever love me, please copy and paste this into the comments. Thank you. 

Do you think this is an accurate view of love? Let me hear your thoughts!

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21 impressions

  1. This was a very good and timely reminder, thankyou Bailey. Even though I know a deep security in who God made me to be, sometimes a lack of attention does make those doubts and lies of "what the heck is wrong with me??" tempting to entertain. Thanks for the focus adjustment. I appreciate it. :)

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    1. Ugh, sorry you feel this way. Right there with you. Sometimes I feel that insecurity even as a dating girl: "If I was more xxxx, would he be more willing to be xxxx?" Sometimes there's a correlation between who we are and how people react to us ---- but unless we're aware of an obvious connection, we should feel confident in who we are.

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  2. Wow. Thank you so much for this post. This really encompasses the mush of my thoughts on this subject: how we girls think we have to x to "snag a guy". It really comes down to God's sovereignty and love, and nothing we could ever do or be can mess with his plan (which includes love and all that jazz). :)

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    1. Exactly! I hope these thoughts comfort you and sink into your soul!!

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  3. Ah...so very, very true. As one of those girls who's constantly asked why I'm not dating (But you're so pretty! So smart! So funny! [Do they not know I'm a flawed mess who happens to look put together?]), I definitely relate. If a relationship happens through love at first sight, then fine. If it happens through a long and beautiful friendship, even better! I could not care less how it happens, because God is in control, and who am I to care?

    Also, guys are super intimidated by smart girls. Not all guys. But, still, I feel like I have to hide my intellectual side sometimes, because I know it makes certain people uncomfortable. Then I remember that it's best to just be myself, and if that honey attracts the bees, then they're the right bees. ;)

    -M

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    1. Love your attitude, M! My boyfriend likes when I'm strong, capable, and smart, so you're right that not all guys are scared of intelligent women.

      Also, I like how you mentioned being a flawed mess. It's discouraging when people paint such a perfect, inaccurate picture of me that I think, "Wait, if my beauty and smarts and whatnot is the only thing that will attract a guy, what happens if he sees my flaws??"

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  4. This post made me realize just how many lies I was starting to believe. Thank you for this, Bailey!

    Your blog is so great, you know.

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    1. Dear Hannah, keep clinging on to the truth and rejecting those lies!! And thank you for you encouragement!

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  5. I know I haven't commented much recently, but I still enjoy your blog and read all of your posts. I especially wanted to say thank you for this one! You have no idea how much I needed to read this now. This has been on my mind a lot lately and I needed this reminder that there's still hope for us girls who don't have everything together. (Or who don't have anything together, ha.)

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    1. Oh, Kristin! I'm one of those girls who doesn't have anything together. There's so much hope for us!! :D

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  6. Possibly one of your best posts ever! I definitely went through a period of two or three years being super depressed because no one was interested in me, and also thinking that the competition I had was enough to keep me single for the rest of my life. I think I've slowly grown to understand that God's timing is the perfect timing, and I've seen so many reasons why things worked out a certain way instead of the way I planned. I have had a few guys interested in me since that time, but I know they weren't the right ones. Now I do have a sort of crush (secret, of course!) on this one guy, and I do struggle sometimes with anxiety over what he thinks about me. But for the most part I'm fine and just trusting God, especially since I have no certainties that he would be the right one for me, or I for him :)

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    1. You've got a unique, wise head on your shoulders! Every time I look back over my life, I'm always thankful God gets to decide my life (including my love story), and not me! I am so, so glad He kept me away from relationships that I badly wanted.

      I would just encourage you to keep doing just what you said -- keep trusting, keep seeking His perspective in your life!

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  7. This realization was a great comfort to me when the perfect guy ended up being perfect for my sister.
    However, I think there's another (compatible) side to it.
    See, I know I have good taste in men, but I realized recently that the wonderful man I want to attract wouldn't be impressed by me. I want a man who loves God more than anything and seeks hard after Him, but I am a girl who loves comfort more than anything and seeks lazily after Him. I wouldn't be impressed by a male version of myself, so why should I expect the man of my dreams to be?
    This realization led to self-examination and repentance before God. I want love for my Father to be the most attractive thing about me, and hopefully I am on my way there now.
    <><

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    1. This is EXACTLY what I've been realizing lately about myself, too! I know this super Godly guy who I think would be perfect....I'm going, "God isn't this right? He's the very things I've prayed for, he's humble, he's passionate about seeking You know matter what people think. Knowing him would draw me closer to You!" And then it suddenly hit me...knowing a guy like that could help me, but I don't think I'd help him. That's...humbling. :/ So rather than pining away about any guy, now I'm working on becoming someone who could be a blessing to a Godly guy. :) Blessings to you on your journey as well! :) -amy

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    2. Whoa, whoa, whoa, ladies! We can't make judgments about these things. We have no idea if you'd be "good" for another guy or not in an objective sense. That's not how God, relationships, or love works! It's ALWAYS good to be humbled and reminded to seek after God, so if that is where your ladies' thought processes are leading you, that's great!

      Just be very, very careful that you don't fall into the dangerous trap of thinking you can earn affection and love. Godly young men won't automatically fall in love with you for being godly. Godliness is not a guarantee for love. And you can still be loved by a wonderful, godly man even in all your imperfection!

      When you're in a relationship, you're both striving for holiness and godliness. Just the fact of BEING in a relationship (with any kind of guy!) forces you to choose godliness every single second. God uses our flaws just as much as our strengths in sanctifying our significant others. You DO NOT, repeat DO NOT, need to have attained a certain amount of "godliness" or "having it all together" in order to love and be loved by a godly man. Our striving for godliness should ALWAYS be SOLELY to love God and love others more....not to meet a checklist of attributes in order to get a guy.

      This is why I wrote this post --- to combat this way of thinking: "If I was X, then I would get this kind of guy." Lies, lies, lies! I'm so grateful love is more forgiving and gracious than that!!

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    3. I totally agree with that and I don't think of this as trying to win a guy or make myself worthy of a guy or that sort of thing....but there is a sense in which I believe it's totally acceptable to recognize that I'm not living up to the standards that I would see as neceasary in a guy that I would "date" (or whatever anyone wants to call it xP), and realizing that I'm not living "sold out for God" I can see that could be harmful to be a in relationship with. I have no garauntee that I'll get married ever and I'm not going to try to "buy" that gift as it were. It may have been harsh to say I "can't help" a super Godly guy...you know how it can be when you just get a thought on your mind and start going with it? :)

      Ultimately, though, as I try to remind myself frequently, it's not an issue of whether I'm ready for marriage but rather an issue if whether I'm being diligent in my walk with God. Gotta live for God in the here and now and not for the prospect of a husband. I have no garantuee of a husband and honestly that's fine. I'll work at this stuff hard- harder than I've been- because it's working out my salvation (Phil. 2) and hope in God does not ever disappoint!

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    4. If you're talking about realizing the double standard of wanting a guy to be X but not yourself striving for X, then I agree with you! I was just worried for a moment because contrary to your opinion, you DO have a heart for God that inspires me to seek Him more too. I'm not exaggerating when I say that you're one of the few people I know who's sold out for God.

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    5. I don't believe that I have to reach a certain level or anything like that. I just was jolted into realizing that my love for God had grown stagnant, and I was leaning on the faith of others instead of growing my own. I don't want a man like that, so why should I be content to be like that?
      A love for and striving after God is what I'm looking for and striving after, not perfection. :)
      <><

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    6. Oh, and the comment with the fishy is by me: Aemi. Sorry about any confusion!
      <><

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  8. You have intimated by your terminology that you believe these "single" women are intimate with all the boys on campus. While that theory may indeed "hold water," I'm surprised you would assert it.

    Sometimes words mean things. Spelling is important.

    Ever thankful of your kindness,

    T101

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    1. If you're referring to the sentence "Men are intimated by smart, pretty women," that was a typo. I changed it to "intimidated." Thanks for catching that!

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