Imagine me as a kindly older or younger sister who has realized anew in hindsight the necessity of tempering/managing infatuations, attractions and other such romantic feelings. Because at some point, we all need to SHUT IT DOWN. I’m here to give a few kind tips on how to do so. You’re welcome.
See, recently I was confronted with one of the most truly annoying things in the world: A stupidly adorable and seemingly normal man (I know. TERRIBLE). Oh surrrreee, my crazy girl brain tells me he’s “perfect,” and all other manner of delightful things. But no matter how available and wonderful he may be, girl brain running amuck is not how I want to think about any guy, even the most “perfect” ones. I’m a human being, so emotions and attractions are part of life (and often, a great part!). But psycho girl brain? NOPE. JUST NOPE. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!! (Why yes, I did recently watch the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy for the millionth time).
So maybe you’re in the same boat as me, where you need to SHUT IT DOWN because crazy girl brain has kicked down the door of your mind with surprising strength and agility. Perhaps you need to SHUT IT DOWN because this is not a good guy, and he most certainly does not love the Jesus. You may be OVERWHELMINGLY attracted to him, but he’s that “bad boy” attractive (think Jess on “Gilmore Girls”) who is not at all who he needs to be (and NO, you CAN’T change him). Or maybe you need to SHUT IT DOWN because he’s already involved with someone or married. That’s the chief reason you should always SHUT IT DOWN.
Feelings are great things, but no one needs to be run by them — not even when it comes to physical and emotional attraction. And since you are not an ANIMAL, you can, in fact, temper and (at times) even control your emotions (or at the very least, your SEMI-CRAZY responses to those emotions).
Here are five handy self-talk and action tips, in order of procedure, to help yourself SHUT IT DOWN:
1. HE IS MARRIED.
At least, tell yourself that. If you can verify a wedding ring to further the conviction of your self-talk, that would be helpful. But if not, just imagine he’s got a beautiful wife who will BEAT THE SNOT out of you if you make a move on her man. As she should. He’s her husband, not yours. Don’t be that girl. Try my approach. As soon as you realize an attractive man is married, scream inwardly to him, “YOU ARE DEAD TO ME!” and flee the scene.
2. GIRLFRIEND. EIGHT KIDS.
Tell yourself that he is in a committed relationship. Again, verification can be helpful to cementing this SHUT IT DOWN practice. And if you are fairly sure he is single, remind yourself there is a BIG possibility in this day and age that he has a million children. So unless you want to be a part of a contemporary Von Trapp-type family, you do not want this man.
3. NO JESUS.
You’d think this would be the first one, but you’d be incorrect. See, attraction is a perfectly normal physical reaction that happens even if a guy is attached and has eight kids. IT’S OKAY to feel, though it may not be okay to act. After all, WE ARE NOT ROBOTS. This level is really more for SHUTTING IT DOWN once you start to get to know a guy. It’s more of “starting to crush” than “cute guy in the elevator” SHUT IT DOWN help. Once you know a guy is not 100 percent committed to God, the romantic relationship card is ABSOLUTELY off the table. You’re distracted enough in your relationship with God. You don’t need a guy to help with that.
4. YOU DON’T KNOW HIM.
This is one of my favorite self-talk SHUT IT DOWN reminders. This guy could absolutely and totally just be showing you his best self because he wants to sleep with you. This is where projecting abstinence
is a great thing. And no, I’m not talking about screaming “I AM A VIRGIN,” when you first meet any attractive man (although that would most certainly be an easy way to SHUT IT DOWN). I’m more thinking that when you’re indulging yourself in remembering how perfect this guy is, you can slip in the fact that he may hate baby bunnies, smiles and rainbows.
5. SHUT IT DOWN FAILURE.
This is the danger zone. Every SHUT IT DOWN tip has fallen by the wayside. You have completely and unequivocally fallen for said guy. Remember, at this point, all attached men have become DEAD TO YOU. So this is a single, available man you loves Jesus and is someone you know fairly well. Self-talk at this point is stupid (although you should definitely still be SHUTTING IT DOWN when it comes to the crazy girl brain that is already planning your wedding, possibly even before a first date). At this point, I’d recommend not shutting it down, but instead leaning in with lots of wisdom, boundaries and prayerfulness. He may not be the Mr. Right your 13-year-old self
conjured up. But he very well could be Mr. Who Is Right For You In God’s Eyes (more on that to come in a future post).
So there it is, ladies. Some great self-talk/action tips to help you SHUT IT DOWN and think more carefully about the attractions and emotions you indulge. Because unless you want to spend the rest of your life mooning and pining over every seemingly wonderful man you meet, I heartily recommend learning how to SHUT IT DOWN.
This post’s catch phrase brought to you by “30 Rock.”