In the last post we saw that positive results can come when women take the initiative to reveal romantic interest. If you haven’t read it, I’d recommend you view that post first by clicking here: I Like Him…What Should I Do? Part 1. That brought us to an important question: If a woman takes the initiative to reveal romantic interest does that take the man out of the leadership role and mess up the dynamics of their relationship from the beginning?
Let’s look back to the story of Ruth. Ruth took initiative to express her desire for Boaz. What happened immediately after that? Boaz immediately took the reins and started making plans. For the rest of the scene, he gives Ruth instructions on what to do. The next morning, after hearing what happened, Naomi tells Ruth, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.” Ruth’s actions didn’t smother Boaz’s leadership. They ignited it. As soon as Boaz understood that Ruth wanted him, he went off like a shot to do what it took to secure her hand in marriage. I don’t think Ruth spent the rest of her life having to wear the pants in their relationship. Even in the three modern day stories I shared in the last post, you can see a pattern that the woman’s expression of her feelings galvanizes the man to pursue her. The woman takes the initiative in revealing interest, but after that the man steps up as a leader. What you’ll want to avoid, ladies, is entering a relationship where you have to keep playing leader to a man who won’t step up. Do that and you may find yourself the unhappy codependent of a passive, so-called man. If your expression of interest prompts him to step up, good. If he wants you to continue to lead him around, beware.
Ladies, can I make a confession? As men, we hear all the messages about how we’re supposed to be leaders and initiators and have courage and pursue and, well, you know the drill. Want to know the truth? Sometimes we get intimidated. Sometimes we feel uncertain. Sometimes the shelter of friendship is temptingly safer than the risk of pursuing romance. Sometimes when we look at you and see how wonderful and beautiful and amazing and incredible and incomparable you are, we wonder how you could ever like us. Sometimes we’ve never looked beyond friendship with you, but when we pause and look deeper we see something worthwhile. Sometimes we’re happy to take the lead in romance once we get past those initial hang ups. Sometimes – SOMETIMES – when you take the initiative to express your interest, it’s the spark that ignites the rocket.
So What Should A Christian Woman Do?
So what does this mean if you like him and he hasn’t shown any interest in you? It means you have a choice to make. You can choose not to say anything and see if he takes it upon himself to pursue you. That’s an entirely valid option! I recall a conversation I had with a friend. Shortly after she began a relationship with a guy she had liked for a long time, I asked her what she would have done if he never had taken the initiative to pursue her. She said she wouldn’t have done anything. She decided that if he didn’t have the desire and initiative to pursue her, then she didn’t want to be with him. That’s a valid choice. In fact, the girl I mentioned in the beginning of Part 1, as far as I know, never said anything to my friend. I believe they parted ways and sometime later she began a relationship with another man. Parting ways with someone with whom you have romantic interest isn’t the end of the world. The other option is to take initiative to express your interest. But here I must give a word of caution.
If you take the initiative to reveal your interest then you face the risk of rejection. Just like a man faces the risk of being rejected by a woman he pursues, so you will be at risk of being turned down by the man to whom you express your feelings. That, I’m afraid, could be painful. When Ruth proposed to Boaz, she placed herself in an extremely vulnerable position. You will be vulnerable also. If the guy you like isn’t interested in you, odds are you’re going to be rejected. Yet how can you truly know if he has any interest in you unless you raise the subject? And even if you’re rejected, would that be better than holding out hope that one day he’ll pursue you?
There’s no clear answer. And please mark my words: I’m not saying that one particular choice is correct. I’m trying to examine whether the notion that a woman must always wait for the man to show initiative is as biblical or wise as it’s often portrayed. There’s both biblical and modern precedent that feminine initiative can produce positive results. Yet it can also yield painful rejection. Silent desire can be difficult to endure. Yet it may allow a match that’s not meant to be to quietly fade away. Perhaps patience will be rewarded when he finally expresses interest in you. Perhaps he never will. Even if you were to begin a relationship, there’s no promise that the two of you won’t later break up. Nothing is definite.
So how do you know what to choose to do? I’d say the first thing to do is make it a matter of prayer. Always seek the wisdom of your Father in heaven. He can give guidance for your particular situation. And you don’t have to make a decision on your own. Parents and trusted mentors may be able to give you wise counsel. Depending on the situation, maybe it would be better for your interest to be communicated through a family member or friend. Or maybe those who love you will rightly encourage you to remain patiently quiet. There’s no one choice that’s always right. There’s no promise of happily ever after. You have to choose what you will do. Choose wisely.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!
And please share this post by clicking the buttons below!