He Said-She Said: Ready to Date? Or Not
EDITOR'S NOTE: Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view.
QUESTION: I recently had a first date with a guy who after the date told me he "had a great time," gave me a big hug and then said, "I'm not at a place right now emotionally where I can handle dating or having a serious relationship." My question is: Why did he go on the first date then? (No, I did not ask him that. I just let it go.)
HE SAID: After reading your question, I thought I heard a collective "Amen!" I would venture to guess there are many singles who have experienced this same situation, probably on both sides of the issue.
If you haven't known each other very long, and you didn't know of his intentions, he may be telling you the truth (and doing you a favor). It is a lot easier to accept an unwanted reaction after one date than weeks or months down the road after your heart is seriously invested.
Many singles, both male and female, want to go out once in awhile even when they are not looking for a committed relationship. It is possible for a person to have a great time on a date without it leading to something more. This may have been the case.
Sometimes, as we grow to be more "seasoned" singles, we can become prone to give kind gestures, like being asked out, more significance than they are meant to have. I'm not endorsing non-committal relationships or leading a person on. However, some first dates end up being an enjoyable evening between two people ("friends") without an emotional commitment or connection.
If this guy had told you what he was looking for, or you had known he was seeking a relationship, there's the chance he just didn't feel any chemistry between the two of you and, kudos to him, clearly ended it before anything got started.
Granted, first impressions are not always indicative of a person's true personality or a measure of a person's character, however it is often how we evaluate a person during an initial meeting. He may have decided that a relationship between the two of you was something he did not want to pursue based upon his first impression, and if that is the case, you are perhaps better off without him.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind on first dates or at the outset of a relationship.
Men Should Be the Pursuers
It seems as if the women's movement many years ago has left an environment of men not knowing how to properly pursue a woman and women struggling with the desire to wait for a man's advances and a yearning to expedite the process.
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22).
God created man as the "hunter-type" to find (and protect) his wife. There's nothing wrong with letting a guy know you are interested or suggesting you should get together, however he should be the one who pursues you.
I hear from many women who get tired of waiting for a guy to ask them out and take matters into their own hands. The lack of initiative on a guy's part is often a precursor of what you can expect of him in a relationship and in his personality. Oftentimes the things that attract you to an individual at the outset are the exact things that turn you away later in the relationship.
Say "No" to Negativity
Oftentimes, we want to share our "time in the desert" with those around us. A first date should be an experience of unbridled excitement of possibilities, not an opportunity to share your recent disappointments. Save the venting and negativity for a close friend or family member, if you must share it with someone.
I know there is nothing better for men than to be happy (Ecclesiastes 3:12).
I have always approached a first date as I do a job interview, with a positive optimistic attitude, discussing and displaying the best I have to offer. I don't share any hardships I may have experienced in the past or pessimism I may be feeling. I want the other person to enjoy our conversation and desire to spend more time with me, not feel sorry or put up with me.