I really enjoy receiving your letters because when I see your name and read about your life it makes this whole blog thing come alive. You sweet girls become real to me and I begin to care deeply about you. That is why it is not easy when I have to tell you things you do not want to hear. I do not like to hurt other’s feelings because I know what it feels like to have your feelings hurt. You get that big lump in your throat and your eyes fill with tears. You think to yourself, “She doesn’t understand.” Ugh, it does not feel good.
The reason I tell you these difficult things is because I have walked in your shoes. I have made your mistakes. I have felt your disappointments. And, I wish, despite having my feelings hurt, someone would have told me these things.
The difficult truth I want to identify in this post is: Fantasy Relationships are not Healthy
Many men will flirt with you and pay attention to you. They may text you or tweet with you. They may stand close to you at parties and make you swoon. They may even call you on the phone. But, these are flirtations and flirtations are not dates. Nor are they marriage proposals. The danger is that they can easily turn into fantasy relationships.
A man who is potentially The One for you will take you on dates (Ice Cream, County Fair, Boardwalk, Movies, walk your dog). Real dates. Where the two of you are alone. Where he can show you off to the world. Where he can impress you with his manners and open doors for you. Where he pays and takes a risk by asking you out formally. Everything else is a flirtation; a fantasy relationship. It does not count. As Gregg says, “Anything else is the Lazy Man’s approach!”
The notes I get from you tell me that you are spending an awful lot of time and energy wondering if these flirtations count. And, I have to tell you that they do not count. But by the time I get your emails, most you are already attached to and fantasizing about Mr. Lazy Man. Maybe you have paired your first name with his last name…..Suzie Man. Sound familiar?
Normal, Totally Normal
Look, I am not making fun of you. I want you to know that your desire to be loved, cherished and happily married is Normal and Healthy. And, if you are over the age of 20, your hormones are raging and this fact contributes to your drive to be loved, cherished and married. Hormones are not just a guy thing. They are there for a reason and are healthy.
But, your low expectations are not healthy. I am so saddened when I get a note from a girl who is attached to a guy who has not even taken her out on a real date. Please, please raise your expectations.
Here is the advice I have been giving privately: Do not even consider a guy or allow him to occupy your heart or thoughts until he has taken you on 3 dates. Yes, 3 real dates where he pays and impresses you. Why? I will answer that next week. But, basically because that gives the guy enough time to decide on you. And, if he has decided on you, then you can consider him. But, not until then. That is just the way it works. Sigh.
I was the same way when I was young. It seemed that any amount of attention from a guy would do. I could pick from a myriad of stories to share about guys in my life who were flirtation experts. There was this one guy who flirted with me big time. Everyone saw it and recognized that this guy had a thing for me. He would call me and ask if I was going to attend a certain party and then let me know that he would be there too. I responded positively to this information leaving him little room to wonder if I was interested in him. He even bought me a Christmas present once (now hanging on our bathroom wall ~ LOL). He would look intently at me and stand close to me at parties. But, he never asked me out on a date. Never.
Did I think about him too much? Yes. Did I wonder if he was The One? Yes. Did I pair my first name with his last name? Maaaaybe. And, did I respond with Shock when he married the very next girl who he actually took on dates? Yes. Ugh.
So, I am guilty too and I understand how easy it is to fall into a fantasy relationship with Mr. Lazy Man. But, looking back, I realize that he was not really being lazy. Instead, I believe he (and all those other flirtation experts) saw something in me that they really liked but held back due to The Veil. If you were to shoot them up with truth serum they most likely would not be able to pinpoint their reason for holding back. As I said last week, love and attraction are a mystery. It cannot be explained.
I am certain that this same thing is happening to you if you have committed to Chastity. The guys who are flirting with you really do see something they like but they are being held back from pursuing you. Therefore, please don’t feel rejected but instead realize that you are being protected. The one that God has for you will follow through. He will take you on dates and pursue you and marry you. He will make you feel amazing.
Why Does It Happen?
You might wonder why you are so vulnerable to having fantasy relationships and how you can avoid falling into this unhealthy state. Why do these guys have such an incredible power over you? Please come back next week and we will talk about a very important aspect of the single life: Emotional Chastity
God love and bless you!
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When you speak of dating, I kind of have my hesitations about it. I have done taken out various women on dates but nothing really branched from there. sure we were in a relationship together, but constantly going on dates (just us two) makes me feel like it is an attempt to create a world within a world. I like the idea of courtship. I am guessing that you have spoken about this and maybe I overlooked that section of your blog. if you haven’t, I would love to see you write a blog about courtship. in courtship, you encounter the other among their friends, family, and your family. The idea of going to the movies alone is probably not recommended right off the bat especially if one is attempting to live emotionally and physically chaste. Courtship requires one to take things slow. Please let me know what you think. our world’s idea of dating, FOR ME, doesn’t seem to work out so well. it hides many things that need to be known of the other.
I believe it is a two-way street: both parties have to consider each other. For instance, I might be “considered” by a guy who doesn’t interest me. It’s not like I only have to wait around until I’m lucky enough for someone to decide I’m worthy of his time; it should go both ways. Respectfully, I don’t like the way you put women in a subordinate position in this blog!
I am sorry that my posts are not resonating with you. My goal is for women to **not** be “subordinate” in their **marriage**. A fantasy relationship is hardly a path to marital bliss. However, marriage is amazing with a man who has decidedly pursued you. Either way, I am fine if you go after the men you want. I have added you to my Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer list. Please feel free to email me directly any time. God bless, Cindy
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This has been the past 8 months of my life. Hanging out all the time with a guy alone, talking every night, he paid for my dinner when we went out to eat, we met each other’s friends, I met his family… but he never called them “dates”, even when I point blank told him that those seemed like dates to me… Fast forward another 2 months from that point and he told me he wanted to meet other single women. I was/am crushed, because we’ve fallen for each other. He is not Catholic and so that is one thing that is holding him back, but he is still considering pursuing a relationship with me but is struggling with overcoming his past. But it’s hard – I feel stuck and unsure of what to do, just kind of swimming around in the deep end without a ladder to pull me out. I don’t think we had a “fantasy relationship” persay because everything we did were “dates”, we just never called it a date, but I still relate a lot to what you said in this post.
Please feel free to write to me (see my Contact Me page) and I will be happy to share with you my thoughts. My first reaction is that you are his Practice Girl. I have a post that I have linked below which describes this situation. Again, I will be happy to share my thoughts with you if you would like to email me. Thank you for your comment. I have added you to my prayer list. Cindy
I’m ashamed to say I still struggle with this on occasion. *sigh*
Thank you, Anon! We alllll struggle with it. Next week’s post on Emotional Chastity will explain the root of our struggle. Thank you for your comment! Cindy
On Saturday I was just having a conversation with some teens about this very fact – the social concept of ‘talking’ and how that isn’t a real relationship! I know I get myself in the middle of many of these ‘fantasy relationships’ – maybe even right now… It’s hard as a girl not to ‘pretend’, I always think of that song from Les Mes “On My Own.” I need to have a detox of this crazyness!!!
Yes, detox with the power of Sacramental grace! 🙂 Thank you for your comment, Katie! God bless, Cindy
YES! Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!
LOL Meg! Best comment ever. 🙂
This is so great, and SO true! I can’t tell you the number of guys who I’ve had imaginary, emotional relationships with….all in my head! I’m better now, but I’ve had to put myself in “detox” before because I knew that I’d gone too far. I have to say though, I think social media has made this struggle worse. It’s hard enough when a guy is flirting with you in person, but Facebook and texting has given us all the excuse to have “relationships” based on trivial interactions that do. not. count. It also gives everyone the license to say things that we would NEVER say if we were face to face, leading to too-intimate conversations and over-confidence by both parties.
Thank you for giving us tough love, Cindy. We need it. 🙂
Hi Morgan! I am glad the tough love is being so well received. Praise God! Cindy
Hello, I, at the age of 45, still suffer from fantasy relationships. I have had my bad boy relatiinships and did regret those the next day. I thought those type of men were over with in my 30’s. Mine was not so long, it’s still very fresh. I am in college, going for my master’s. And he was the college instructor. Oh, same exact scenario, flirting and those Cheshire grins. Even my friend made the comment on how much he was flirting. And I thought he was going to ask me out after the term ended. Well, no such thing happen on the last day of class, nada. I felt as though I had mud on my face, felt rejected. I was so confused, thought I did something wrong. But, now that I Facebook and read your postings, it all makes sense. I reallly want to thank you for answering those “why me” questions. God bless you for helping us single ladies to keep our chastity safe. It is trully a gift from God.
Hi Elizabeth! Ugh, those cheshire grins are the worst. I am so glad this site is providing you with peace and answers. Thank you for your comment! I have added you to my prayer list! Cindy