In my post from four weeks ago, I shared that it is unwise to chase men. And, that if you find yourself doing the chasing, you should:
- Stop sleeping with him.
- Stop chasing him.
- Stop thinking your expectations for being chased are too high.
- Stop responding to lame and inconsistent initiation from him.
This week, I will address #4: Stop responding to lame and inconsistent initiation.
Lame and inconsistent chasing by men is a symptom. I recommend women pay attention to this key symptom because it is often a result of a need of his being met. You, wonderful you, are fulfilling some or many of his needs and he is under the impression that you are happy to fulfill these needs.
These needs can be physical, emotional or social needs. Or, it can be simply that you build up his ego by your strong interest in him. Your chasing, responding and flirtation are making him feel great! But, it also makes him feel sort of guilty knowing that he doesn’t have the same strong feelings for you or the same vision of your future together dancing in his head. So, he waxes and wanes in his approach. He runs hot and cold. His initiation is lame and inconsistent.
Have you ever heard of the term practice girl? Sometimes, not always, guys like to practice on girls who will let them. They practice their skills in asking a girl out, calling girls, kissing girls, etcetera (yes, etcetera!). But, the guys know deep down that they are just practicing for the big game (marriage) rather than sincerely pursuing these practice girls. So, they manage the situation by pushing the emotional boundaries and then pulling back so that the girl’s expectations remain low and in check.
In the meantime, his needs are being met. His skills are being developed and his confidence in himself is growing. And, because the girl continues to respond to the lame and inconsistent initiation, he doesn’t feel all that guilty about it….until the girl complains or acts and feels frustrated.
How Will You Know?
As the girl, this will be the symptom to look out for: you complain and/or act and feel frustrated. Then, in response to your complaints and frustration, he pulls back instead of addressing your complaint in a way that will completely reassure you.
You see, even your Holy Spouse (the one that God intends for you to marry) will not be perfect in his wooing. But, once a Holy Spouse realizes his mistake, he self-corrects and does things that will reassure his beloved. Your Holy Spouse’s feelings for you should very rarely ebb. Rather, they flow and they grow. Even if he does have a smidgen of doubt, he keeps it to himself in order not to lose you.
But, when you are his practice girl, his feelings will ebb and in response, he will pull back. So, don’t listen to his words, pay attention to his actions. Here is a refresher from my past post on genuine, courageous, reassuring chasing:
“Chasing means he tries to draw you into his life. He makes plans with you. He calls you daily just to hear your voice and make sure you don’t forget about him. He sees you as a marvelous mystery so he spends his time and energy trying to figure you out and get closer to you. He envisions a future with you and this, my friend, excites him!”
Are you being loved, cherished, chased and pursued in an impressive and consistent manner? If not, you may just be a practice girl. Sigh.
What Should You Do?
Keep in mind that I think men are awesome, competent and brave when it comes to pursuing the one they want to make their wife. So, I am not saying that men are bad, bad, bad if they practice on girls. But, they are wrong to do so. And, we are wrong to allow them to practice on us. It is incumbent upon us women to discern the man’s intentions by astutely paying attention to his actions. Women have had to do this from the beginning of time.
Of course there are times when the relationship runs its course and the guy decides, after many years, to marry Practice Girl. He marries her because no other girl (with whom he has true interest) will have him. So, after much frustration, complaining and cajoling by her, they get married. I say without a doubt that Practice Girl will have a tough row to hoe. This is not what you want.
If you discover that you are a practice girl, then all you need to do is stop responding. Stop responding to phone calls and texts. If he asks you out on a date, simply smile and say “No, thank you.” The romance will die a natural death and you will have your dignity intact.
Be prepared to battle doubts that make you feel like your expectations are too high and that you have been too hard on him. As Katie from It’s Fun To Be a Girl says, “immerse yourself in the Sacraments.” You will need the strength and grace that only the Sacraments can give you.
If you have been sleeping with him, the sex will result in strong feelings of attachment and this will make it hard for you to judge the romance clearly.
But, try to keep in mind that his lame and inconsistent approach to your romance has led you to believe that you are his practice girl. And, in response to your complaints and frustration, he has failed to convince you otherwise with impressive and consistent actions. There are not many feelings worse than that.
You may be wondering why he pursues you at all if his intentions are not on the up and up? Well, I believe that in addition to having his needs met, he also likes what he sees in you. But he can’t fully see you. I believe that we are all covered by a veil and only the one that God intends for us to marry, our Holy Spouse, can see us fully.
So, his insincere intentions may be completely subconscious rather than openly sinister. And, your temptation to continue on as Practice Girl, although it is not healthy, is understandable. But, only through the power of grace and chastity will you have the wisdom and strength to discern the quality of the romance and overcome the temptation to be a practice girl.
Don’t waste your time. Instead, trust that God has a more dignified role for you; the honorable role as a wife to your Holy Spouse. Trust that God wants you to be loved, cherished, chased and pursued by your Holy Spouse. Commit to Chastity. Wait on your Holy Spouse. Wait on our dear Lord.
If you are having doubts that God intervenes in our lives when it comes to marriage, check in next week when I share the beautiful Old Testament story of Tobias and Sarah!