All right, ladies. I am officially CALLING YOU OUT. If you read my blog telling men five ways they can MAN UP, you’ll know that I am most definitely not picking on OUR DELICATE GENDER. But I am going to give you five ways that you … (wait for it) …. can WOMAN UP in your life.
Now ladies, I UNDERSTAND YOU. I get the girl brain, the fact that men can drive you MAD, and the heart and soul with which you live (not COMPLETELY, of course, because that would be mind-reading, which is a level of creepy I DEFINITELY don’t want to attain).
Honestly, I think we women as a whole are fantastic, strong and amazing creatures. But I also know the nitty-gritty of our thoughts and actions in a more, AHEM, intimate way than I do those of men. And if you think I was brutally honest in my list to men, you better buckle up. Because I’m calling MALARKEY, and I’m starting now.
NO. 5: Stop LIVING AND BREATHING all that CRAP (and yes, it’s CRAP) in chick flicks and novels.
- Look, I love a chick flick and a Jane Austen novel as much as the next gal, but if you believe real-life romance is going to be like that, well, you’re INSANE. MEN ARE NOT LIKE THE CHARACTERS IN THOSE MOVIES (did you hear me screaming that to you from my house?). That’s not who men are, nor is it who they should be. Surprisingly, men in chick flicks are far more OVERWHELMINGLY VOCAL about their emotions than possibly any real-life man IN THE UNIVERSE. Furthermore, the male characters in these mediums somehow often (if not always) anticipate their love interests’ deepest UNSPOKEN needs, which they then met and/or exceed. OKAY. NO. Guys are not mind readers. And they largely DO NOT fall into the “let me bare my soul to you on a regular basis” category. Guys are not wired to be that way. So if you want something, TELL THEM. If you need something, TELL THEM. If you want them to share, BE PATIENT. Or TELL THEM. And lastly, though love may, like in those movies and books, feel MAGICAL and FULL OF RAINBOWS at times, it’s also a choice. Ladies, BEWARE of any standard you have created from consuming such drivel (though ain’t it just DELIGHTFUL drivel at times?).
NO. 4: Be honest (with MEN AND WOMEN).
- If you’re not interested in a guy, you need to tell him that. Stop hemming and hawing and friend-zoning him. HE IS A HUMAN BEING WITH FEELINGS, and he needs to know that THERE IS NO CHANCE. If you keep him in your life, he is going to hope that you’ll come around. You don’t have to be cruel, but you do need to be frank. And look, if you change your mind six months to a year down the road, it’s not like he’s THE LAST HELICOPTER OUT OF VIETNAM* and you can only BOARD NOW. You CAN say something if your heart changes (shocker, I know), and if it’s meant to happen, it will. But keeping him in some sort of purgatory is really REALLY unfair. And speaking as the friend of guys who have been in this situation, it will also make ALL OF HIS FRIENDS dislike you, at least to some degree.
- Also, ladies, BE HONEST toward the women in your life. We ABSOLUTELY MUST STOP introducing and building up false hopes and unrealistic expectations of men. And ANYTHING, really. If you think you don’t do this, recall that time your friend came to you and shared about a guy she liked who you knew was NOT AT ALL interested in her. How did you respond? Likely something similar to: “Oh, that’s so great!” or even worse, “Of course he likes you!” GAHHlly. If you know he isn’t interested or feel fairly certain he’s not (and let’s be real, most guys are relatively easy to peg), then you need to tell her that. Building up her hopes is just a TERRIBLE THING to do. We don’t need to spew BRUTAL HONESTY at ALL TIMES. But we do need to keep each other in check. We women talk about our emotions SO OFTEN (and golly, it’s SO CATHARTIC) that we must be stabilizing and correcting forces in each other’s lives. And we MUST learn to tell each other when we’re wrong or off-base. It’s our duty as friends and as sisters in Christ.
NO. 3: Set your standards higher. That’s right, HIGHER.
- Look, I TOTALLY get that the idea that being single forever is scary. UMM. HELLO. SINGLE FOR DECADES OVER HERE. But you know what’s even more frightening? Marrying a man who is not at all someone you SHOULD be marrying. THEN YOU ARE MARRIED TO THEM. Which is pretty damn PERMANENT, though perhaps not as permanent as it should be nowadays. My fellow women, we HAVE to stop dating guys that aren’t ready to commit, that are emotionally unhealthy, that aren’t Christians or that have no standards for purity. (I could go on, but I’ll spare you the rest of the TIRADE.) It’s not that men who fall into those categories are TERRIBLE PEOPLE who don’t DESERVE LOVE. But they’re DEFINITELY not ready for us, dating OR MARRIAGE. I think the real issue is that we have to STOP BEING SO AFRAID OF SINGLENESS. Listen, friend, if God wants you to get married, you’ll get married. And if singleness is where you need to be, God will equip you for it. Stop trying to FORCE relationships with men who aren’t in any position to be a good or healthy partner for you. Pursue God, be open and it’ll work out as it should. REAL TALK: If I’m not scared of singleness even though my “when I grow-up” dream as a kid (yup, as a KID) was to be a wife and a mother, than you don’t have to be scared of it, either. God’s got this, dear friend!
NO. 2: Stop using guys emotionally. STAHHHPPP.
- Please, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, stop doing this. It is SO UNFAIR. This is where I think guy-girl friendships get DANGEROUS. Because if you know in the back of your mind that a male friend will affirm you and take care of you, it is SO VERY DIFFICULT to not manipulate that friend (at least on some level) to get what you want. Sure, we’re called to speak truth into each other’s lives, and sometimes male friends can do that for us. But, REALITY CHECK, if you’re seeking validation in ANY OTHER PLACE than God, you’re absolutely in the wrong. Plus, if the guy is in the friend-zone and desperately wants out, he’ll feel like there’s HOPE when this happens. But there isn’t hope. You don’t have feelings for him. Instead, you’re keeping him around to feel good about yourself. And that is all kinds of NOT OKAY.
- And MAY THE RECORD STATE: NO GUY WANTS TO BE YOUR FRIEND. All right, maybe one guy in a million wants to JUST be a friend (but even then, I’ve got my doubts he’s telling the truth). Let me specify, I’m not talking about friend as in one step above an acquaintance. I’m talking about a guy that MAKES FREQUENT EFFORTS or one who is EMOTIONALLY CLOSE to you. ANY GUY who does that IS INTERESTED IN YOU (did you hear me bellowing that one?). I can hear the protests rising up now, and I’m going to tell you that they are all LIES. I do not know ANY STRAIGHT MAN ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH who continually exerts effort to maintain a close emotionally-involved friendship with a woman he does not want to date. (And trust me, I’ve asked a lot of guys this question.) For further affirmation of this, watch “When Harry Met Sally.” You’ll see I’m right, even in a secular worldview.
NO. 1: YOU are YOU. NOT HER.
- Please stop comparing yourself to other women (self, ARE YOU LISTENING?!?). You know what? Another woman’s beauty or talents or abilities DO NOT IN ANY WAY lessen your beauty or talents or abilities. We MUST STOP acting as if the good attributes of another woman somehow decrease our value. If you were supposed to be that way, YOU WOULD BE THAT WAY. Instead of affirming each other’s amazing differences and the varied beauties that each of us possesses, we spend time ripping each other down (either in our minds, or worse, OUT LOUD). We have to STAHHHPP. If you have to join the crazy club with me and follow the thought, “Wow, she’s really pretty,” with, “That doesn’t lessen the fact that I, too, am pretty,” (REAL LIFE) then by all means, do it. You aren’t meant to be this person or that person. You aren’t perfect, but you were created as YOU. So FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, stop comparing yourself. It’s apples and oranges: Two very different, but equally good, things. The best you can be is yourself. In the words of the wise Gavin Degraw (insert chuckle), embrace this principle: “I DON’T WANT TO BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN ME.”
So there you have it, my fellow ladies. All the areas I wanted to call “BULLSHIT” on, and all the arenas wherein I think we need to WOMAN UP. I’m of the mind that chasing after these five things will make you a kinder and wiser individual. Trust me, I’ve had A LOT of practice at COMPLETE AND UTTER FAILURE in all of them (my bad, men in my life!). In my experience, I can say that WOMANing UP is much better than not doing so. At the very least, I think you’ll have a lot of grateful men in your life if you do, in fact, WOMAN UP. I can’t read minds, though, so I guess I can’t say that for SURE.
But here’s a thought: Why don’t you ask that guy friend who OF COURSE is not AT ALL interested in you. What’s that? He just told you he loves you? (insert smile)
Disclaimer: The author is aware that she is being QUITE FRANK and SLIGHTLY HARSH to women, but really thinks its for their (and her) own good. However, she welcomes correction and dialogue since she is not a complete know-it-all (though she sometimes plays one in real-life!).
*borrowed from a Brian Regan sketch.