I’m a guy, single, raised in a family of two older brothers, went to an all-male high school and joined an all-male Christian small group in college. I’ve only known girls as acquaintances, not close friends and I’m worried that I don’t know enough about women to find myself a girlfriend. I sometimes feel insecure in my knowledge and abilities and don’t know if I can “handle” a godly woman. How do I get over my fears and insecurities? (Edited for length)
My man, this is outstanding. “How do I get over my fear and insecurity” is the number one question that leads to growth, spiritual or otherwise. Not having the courage and authenticity to ask that question is what keeps more Christians in miserable circumstances than any other factor I can think of.
You have also done some good work in sussing out the root of that insecurity, which is half the battle. You are afraid you don’t know enough about women to have a relationship with one. Perfectly understandable, but I have good news: no man understands women. The only men I know you even have a vague idea about women have been married for years, and they are still learning new stuff all the time.
I personally know so little about women it is almost comical, but I do know one thing and I think it will help you. Brace yourself, here comes the super secret, insider wisdom.
Women are people.
It takes most guys a long time to figure that one out. When you are little they seem like a different, cooties filled species. When you are 90% hormone as an adolescent they seem like unattainable objects of mystery and desire. But, at some point, a smart man comes to the inevitable conclusion that women are just people. Luckily, you can just jump to that realization.
You know how you have good days and bad days, how you have serious bouts of insecurity, how you sometimes do something you don’t even understand? Women are that way too, because they are people.
That should be a huge relief to you. There is no code to crack, no secret password you have to learn. If you like a girl, you can just talk to her, like a person. You can be funny and ask questions and have a lovely time.
Now, generally speaking, there are some differences between men and women, and knowing how to address them is a good idea. Here are some strategies for interacting with a young lady you like different than the way you talk to your bros.
Compliment her. You may think to yourself “she knows she is pretty, it’s dang obvious from where I am standing.” Remember, there are multiple billion dollar industries whose entire marketing strategy centers on trying to make young women feel like crap about themselves. And don’t just compliment her appearance, that’s a little weird. If you enjoy her sense of humor, or taste in music, or the kind way she treats people, say it out loud. That is all a compliment is: noticing something positive about a person and saying it out loud.
Be direct. Hinting is not going to get it done. If you want to go on a date with a girl, use the words “I think you’re awesome, and I would like to take you on a date” or a reasonable facsimile thereof. This will also save you a lot of “she put 2 exclamation points in this text, but 3 in the last text…what does it mean?!”
Treat her like a person. Listen to what she says. Ask if you don’t understand something. Respect her. It’s not that complicated. You’ve got the right attitude and you are going to do fine.
-Matt from The Bridge