Dating Non-Strategically

My inbox has been hopping lately with your questions!  I love getting emails from you asking advice about what to do when texting or emailing a guy you have just met.  There is a lot of interaction going on in the on-line dating world and that is wonderful!  Questions range from:

“He has texted me but has not offered to call me.  How do I get him to call me?”

to

“Darn! He asked me to call him.  Should I?  If I do, how long should I wait?”

and

“It is Saturday afternoon and he just asked me out on our first date!  But, he wants to meet tomorrow!  Should I go on such short notice?”

When the girls write to me, it seems like they are wanting to do just the right thing in order to strategically insure the outcome.  What I want to write about today is about dating non-strategically. In other words, dating and responding in a way that comes natural to you rather than worrying about how your response and actions will impact the outcome.

Helping Things Along

I give a lot of advice on how to help things along.  Guys do need encouragement and the beginning of the dating phase can be tough for them.  They worry if they are coming on too strong and are sometimes unsure of how a girl will react to traditional dating approaches.

So, there are things you can say to help move things along.  Like the time I said to Gregg, “What is your end goal?” (Have I posted about this yet??)or “When are you going to come visit me?”  But, there is a difference between helping things along and trying to control the outcome.

Control Freak

No one understands the temptation to control the outcome more than I do!  One of the many frustrating things about our vocation is that we don’t have direct control over it.  Gregg and I laugh when we say this but, in addition to God’s will, it takes the cooperation of two knuckleheads to make a marriage vocation.  The only control you have is over what you do.  It all requires a great deal of trust and dependence on the Lord.  The control freak within must die.

Do What Comes Natural

Everyone is different.  As an example,  if a guy asked me out at the last-minute, it was a no-go simply because I felt like an afterthought.  I would be too annoyed and would not be able to fake a smile.  My irritation would show through.  So, I always declined these last-minute offers.  But, others may not mind.  To them, I say, go and see what he is all about!

Another example is from a reader who had an online guy give her his phone number rather than directly ask her for hers.  This particular reader was disappointed because she wanted the guy to call her.  I encouraged her to do what comes natural, depending upon how important things were to her.  Was it more important that she help move things along or was it more important to her that he call her?  I could not answer this for her.

She did not feel comfortable calling him so I suggested she email him either of the following:

“Hi!  I am home now.  I look forward to your call. XXX-XXX-XXXX :)”

or

“I would prefer to receive a call from you.  I am sort of old-fashioned. 😉 XXX-XXX-XXXX”

In the end, she chose the first one and he called her!  And, they are going out on a date this weekend.

This is who she was at the core and therefore she did what came naturally while trying not to worry about the outcome.  He could have been turned off or thought she was playing games by tossing it back in his court.  But, she wasn’t.  She was just being herself.

I Called First

I revealed to another reader that I called Gregg first.  He gave me his phone number and told me that if I felt comfortable giving him my number he would call me.  I called him but he was not home.  We remember this fact because the next day was 9/11.  Gregg was freaking out trying to return my call and if you recall, the phone lines took a couple of days to come back up again.  We finally did speak and as they say, the rest is history.

Anyway, my point is that I called him first.  And, it felt totally natural. No way would I have called any of those other guys first.  But, unlike the other guys, I did not feel like I had to manipulate the outcome with Gregg.  I could tell simply by his emails that I he was a nice guy who was very interested in me.

noStrategy

The Veil

The concept of The Veil is not based on strategy.  It is based on obedience, trust and providence.  The Lord made you.  He knows what you need to feel love, cherished and pursued.  Not everyone is the same.  Some girls would have never called Gregg.  That is fine. The Lord’s will for you takes that into account. Most likely, even if I had not called him, he would have called me.  In the end, it did not matter.  It was the Lord’s will and somehow we two knuckleheads got together.

So, do whatever comes natural.  If you are not comfortable calling a guy, then don’t.  Just let him know by responding with “I am sort of old-fashioned.  Will you please call me?”  If a guy gets irritated by your sweet, simple, honest request, then it was not the Lord’s will.  Can you imagine being married to a guy who would not respond with honor to such a sweet, simple request from his beloved.  No, no.  It will not do.

I know this sounds trite but you really can be yourself.  You can respond to men in a way that aligns with who you are.  And, you can trust in the Lord.

Please feel free to email me your questions! Knowing what to do is not always clear and it is okay, within reason, to help things along.  I so enjoy walking you through the dating process in obedience to the Lord, trusting in His goodness and providence while remaining true to who you are.  He knows you.  He loves you.  You can trust Him.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

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6 thoughts on “Dating Non-Strategically

  1. This is a really interesting idea, especially as dating trends have shifted away from men always being the initiators for everything.
    I was raised not to ever call a boy and felt uncomfortable doing it even in college for class work. My dad interviewed the couple of guys who wanted to take me out in high school.
    When I met JA, he happened to mention while driving me home from church one day (I didn’t have a car) that he was playing in a upcoming concert. No actual invitation was given though and I spent the next two weeks agonizing over whether I should go and what message it would send if I did. I even called my little brother whose very sound advice was to just go if I wanted to (and not go if I didn’t) and not to stress about the outcome. I did go and was quite independent about the whole process–I surprised him by showing up and then ran off as soon as the concert was over to catch my bus home–but that gave him the hint that I might be willing to return his interest.
    We will be celebrating our 9th anniversary this summer.

  2. Not sure my comment took: FWIW, I’m reading a book that recommends giving prospective first dates 3 days’ notice.
    Great post. Looking forward to sharing it and seeing what else people have to say in comments. 🙂

  3. FWIW, I’m reading a book that suggests giving your prospective first date three days’ notice.
    Thanks for this great post. I’m looking forward to sharing it and seeing what else people have to say in comments!

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