Giving Guys the Green Light

Today’s post is for girls.

The ’green light’ is what I like to call the way a girl let’s a guy know that she may be interested in them. The green light is subtle, it’s not even overly romantic. If we ever want this guy to ask us out, you have to give them the green light, otherwise he’s going to stay behind the wheel, at a red light, thinking he can’t move forward.

So how do you give a guy the green light?

In the digital age of text messaging, Facebook and Instagram, it’s no longer compulsory to wait for a guy to call you on the telephone before you are in contact. Whoever this guy is, you could already be in regular contact with them using any of these social platforms. You could already be giving them attention, liking their photos or commenting on their status updates. You could use this to your advantage, or disadvantage, depending on how savvy you are, and how good you are at holding back.

Safe ways to give them the green light:

Show interest in them as a person.
This may seem obvious but it’s not always easy to do in practice. What are they passionate about? What are their hobbies? Try to support them in what they do. Start up a conversation about their interests; ask them about their latest art project, mountaineering expedition, or guitar lesson – you get the picture.
My top tip: Unless they’ve just had amazing job news, like an interview or promotion, don’t ask them about work. I can hear him snoring already!

Physical touch.
If it feels natural you can start getting a little closer. It’s a very friendly thing, to occasionally pat someone on the arm when they make a joke, or playfully punch them if they tease us. Hitting is good! Just be careful not to kick them in the nuts. That will hurt!
My top tip: Be careful with hugs, some guys aren’t very huggy people. Until you know them better, wait for them to make contact first.

The shy smile.
There will be moments with this guy, when you start to open up a bit more and you could find yourself feeling like your heart is opening up. It will feel glorious, you’ll want him to sweep you into his big strong arms and plant one on you. If you sense these moments, try not to swoon! Instead, if it feels absolutely right, give him a shy smile. Just a little one. Or, in a completely different situation, you find yourself making eye contact from across the room. Give him a little shy smile. You’ll probably blush and that’ll be a dead giveaway but LET IT HAPPEN. He wants to know the impact he has on you. If his sheer masculine presence makes you buckle at the knees then he wants to see a glimpse of this. Trust me, it’ll do wonders for his ego.
My top tip: If he already thinks he’s Gods gift to women, this move will be wasted on him.

It’s important that these moments are brief. If you linger for too long it may get uncomfortable. Also – if he isn’t interested then a correctly delivered green light will mean NOTHING to him. Unless he is trained in the art of body language, he will most likely be completely oblivious.

Wrong ways to give them the green light:

Don’t flirt outrageously. This includes smiling a lot, patting his arm every few minutes, winking, or being overly complimentary. Laughing at everything he says, hanging around him all evening. Don’t do it! Ugh. This idea makes me cringe already.

Don’t dress too sexy for church. It’s a 7pm evening service at church and you’re in sky-high heels and a slinky low-cut dress. Really? PUT IT AWAY. You may think you look hot but unfortunately you are actually repelling the men who are trying really hard not to look at your breasts.

Don’t tell everyone that you like him hoping it’ll get back to him. What, really? Are you in high school? Be an adult! Consult close friends only who you know are not going to spread the gossip.

Don’t chase him. I’ve seen girls chase guys and it always ends in tears. They ask them to the movies, text them several times a week, and act overly enthusiastic whenever they see them. The green light is a subtle invitation, it is not as obvious as a club over the head! Stop initiating contact. Sit back and wait for him to come to you.

Don’t tell him that you like him. That would NOT be a green light. By revealing your feeling you are making him decide then and there if he wants to date you or not. The fear! Don’t do it. You’ll only embarrass yourself. If you strongly think you must tell him how you feel, because you can’t possibly go another day without knowing, you must realise that this means he probably doesn’t like you. Either that or he’s not ready or just isn’t that into you. If a guy likes you he’ll ask you out. End of.

Don’t initiate a conversation by being negative. Also don’t talk endlessly about yourself. In fact, try to make your first few sentences questions all about him. Stories about your hectic schedule, crazy mother or other such dramas aren’t really turn-ons. Save the boring stuff for your mother.

To summarise, the green light is a glimpse of your interest in him. It’s a small sign that you like him. Keep it short and brief and most importantly remember that if he’s not asking you out – he’s just not that into you. Next!

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Should I ask them out?

One big question that often goes through our minds, as church-goers, is – is it a good idea to ask out someone at my church?
For some people it will happen easily, you’ll have a group of 20 to 30-something’s, some of the guys you’ll be quite friendly with, then out of the blue one of them will ask you out, you’ll realise you’re soul mates and wham-bam you’re married. Easy! No embarrassing speed dating or time-consuming internet dating involved.
For others, they might not be the obvious choice, perhaps they’re in a completely different friendship circle. But somehow you are introduced and then you’re engaged and married within a year. Well done you!
Either way, depending on the size of the church, it’s utterly nerve-wracking to gather the courage to ask someone out who you go to church with. Primarily, for one reason – REJECTION. Ugh, I hate that word. Not only does it hurt to be turned down, but then you have to face seeing them again. If you’re in a small church then bumping into them is inevitable. If you’re in the same friendship group, it’s even worse.
So, we chicken out, stop in our tracks and try to bury those feelings deep down. The fear of rejection takes over because we’re convinced nothing is worse than being rejected. Well, here are some handy Do’s and Don’ts that will hopefully encourage you to take the leap, and help you to make good decisions when it comes to dating someone at church.

 

DO ask them out if they’re not your usual ‘type’.

We all have a type. Some people say they don’t have a type – they do, they just don’t want to admit it. I’m not just talking about appearances, either.

I’ve heard loads of people say to me, “I like them but they’re much older than me.” “I like them but they won’t want to date a single mum.” “I like them but they’re teetotal and I’m not.” Stop being so ridiculous and change your pattern! This is probably one of the most important things to learn about ourselves while dating. They might be quite different to the person we usually go for, and only God knows why it works, but maybe that guy ten years older than you in a different circle of friends is who God wants you to date next. (Notice I said ‘date next’ and not ‘marry’.)

 

DON’T ask them out if you only like them a little bit.

How much do you like this girl? Thirty per cent? Fifty per cent? More? I think it’s really important for guys to get to know a girl reasonably well before asking them out. Don’t ask someone out just because they’re ridiculously good-looking or sing in the worship band. If you only like them fifty per cent, then wait until you know them better first. You may find that over time you don’t fancy them as much as you originally thought.

I have this theory, which is loosely based on science-fact, that after the first two months of dating someone, that initial physical attraction disappears. Which is why 2-4 months is the average length of relationships before they hit the bigger figures (9+ months). After two months, if you have any true bond together, any deeper connection, then this attraction will last longer than two months. So, if you wait a good two months or so, to get to know them better, you may find the attraction disappears, often as if a light bulb has simply been switched off – it is crazy how quickly this can happen! Save yourself the embarrassment and be patient, wait a good three months before making your move.

 

DO ask them out if you’ve liked them longer than three months.

Still like them after three months? What are you waiting for? Ask them out before someone else does! You have no idea if they like you unless you ask.

DON’T ask them out if you also like their friend.

If you can’t choose between two girls, the likelihood that you actually like either one of them for who they truly are, is quite slim. Ask yourself why you want to date this girl in the first place. If the friend of this girl is just someone you like a little bit, but not a lot, then maybe you’re simply infatuated with the IDEA of being with them.

If you decide to ask this girl out, proceed with caution. Firstly, ask yourself how much you value the friendship of both of them. You are risking your friendship, as it currently stands, when you make your feelings known.

If it doesn’t work out between you two, then you try to date her friend, you probably won’t get to, because girls don’t usually date their friends exes. In the unlikely event that you do end up dating the friend, think for a moment about how that will affect their friendship. Also, whenever you see your ex and your current girlfriend talking, you will always be afraid that they could be talking about you.

After all this is over and you’re single again, the girls will probably resolve any issues between them – they’ll be absolutely fine. But you can forget about being friends with either of them now. Of course, there’s always forgiveness, but that depends how hard they were stung.

In general, it’s not a great idea to date several girls from the same friendship circle. If you find yourself in this situation the best idea is to get to know them really well first so you can choose wisely.

 

DON’T let peer pressure get to you.

Often we find ourselves with genuinely close friends of the opposite sex. You end up spending a lot of time together but you just don’t fancy each other in that way. But over time, others in the church will notice the two of you hanging out a lot and put three and five together and come up with nine! I’ve been in a situation myself where I was really good friends with a guy at church for ages and everyone was asking what was going on between us. “He’s just a friend,” I’d say, “He’s like a brother to me.” But they’d smile a sly smile, as if they knew better than me. People would suggest that we get together – there was no shortage of encouragement here! But we just didn’t like each other romantically. Eventually we did date for about six weeks before realising that acting as girlfriend and boyfriend just didn’t feel quite right. We’re still friends now.

When I say ‘peer pressure’ this can include people in your church congregation who may not really know you that well, who may have a ‘word from God’ for you about said person they’re hoping you’ll date. If you don’t know this person that well, then listen but take advice from them warily. Pray about it!

You don’t have to give in to peer pressure. Whether it’s the classic “How come you’re over 30 and still single?” comment or there’s someone in particular they want to set you up with – follow your heart! Don’t ever date a guy/girl just because someone told you to!

 

DON’T ask them out if they have just lost their job, cat, Grandma, etc.

Anyone going through a hard time just needs support from their close friends and family right now. Vulnerable people tend to do things without thinking them through properly. Keep this person at arms’ length until their situation has improved. Getting involved might just confuse them. You may really care about them, but trust me, they have a lot of other people in their life that care too.

If you don’t agree with this statement then you need to read ‘Boundaries’ (by Henry Cloud and John Townsend).

 

Next time – Can a guy and girl just be friends? For Girls – how to give the subtle Green Light.

Successfully Single

It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and I don’t have a date. Do you know why? It’s because I am successfully single.

This old, but also new, phenomenon, started by Carrie in Sex and the City, has many 30-something women choosing not to be monogamous. I’ve read several articles about how women don’t need men, and how women don’t need to be in a relationship to be complete, but I haven’t met many women my age who are deliberately not looking for a relationship.

Recently I met a girl who is polygamous – she dates several guys at the same time. Every guy she is dating is aware of this status, she certainly doesn’t keep it a secret. I was aware of this concept, but, until recently I hadn’t met anyone who specifically identified with this.

Last year I tried internet dating over the summer, I went on a total of seven dates in two months. That seemed like a lot of dates at the time! But it was also confusing and once my Match.com subscription ran out I decided not to renew it.

Maybe it’s because I’ve only been single for three months, or maybe it’s because the last few guys I dated wanted something more serious than I did, but I am definitely enjoying being single right now. I have zero interest in dating anyone. The whole game just seems tiresome right now. Plus, I’m enjoying volunteering for my local amateur dramatic society and studying towards my Journalism qualification.

I am staying single, successfully. Out of choice, not due to lack of options.

Don’t get me wrong, I do know several attractive guys, and there’s a very sexy bartender in town, but I’m not interested in approaching them right now. For the first time, in a long time, I’m super happy just hanging with my girlfriends. On Valentine’s Day I’m hosting a dinner party for my single girl friends and I can’t wait to drink Sangria with them!

Maybe there’s a Mr Right out there somewhere but he’s going to have to wait – I’m enjoying being successful at being single.

Until next V Day…

Miss Willa xx

Valentine’s Day

It’s the day before Valentine’s Day and my boyfriend texts me saying, “Remind me of the perfume you like?” Now a lot of girls out there may think that he’s left things to the last minute and might not be too impressed by this. However, this doesn’t bother me, because I’m a Great Girlfriend.

How did I become a Great Girlfriend? First of all, I’m thankful that God has given me a Real Man, I’ve been dating him for over three months and my heart still leaps every time I see him!

Secondly, I’m thankful that my Real Man really wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me, instead of telling me some rubbish about how commercial Valentine’s Day is and how it was created just so the flower shops and card companies can squeeze money out of us. He’s not spinning off some story about how it’s actually un-romantic because it’s not spontaneous, therefore he’s not going to get dragged into doing something purposely romantic just because it’s in the calendar. My Real Man wants to spend Valentine’s with me and I’m thankful for that!

Thirdly, I’m thankful because he’s made the effort to ask what I want. He’s not getting me a ticket to the football (alongside him), nor is he getting me steel brackets to hold up my shelving unit (practical but not romantic) and don’t even get me started on ornate crucifixes and other such pointless ornaments! Plus, perfume is a romantic gift – bonus boyfriend points!

I will back track a little here and explain that a few weeks ago we agreed we did want to do something for Valentine’s Day. I suggested a low-key dinner, nothing fancy. I asked if he was getting me a gift – because if he was getting me a present then I would get him something in return. Sure, we agreed, nothing fancy but just a little something to make it special. I also made it clear that I would let him make arrangements for the evening. This is important ladies! Men like to feel like they’re needed and they like to do things for their women – let them lead you, even if you are afraid they might be rubbish at it!

I don’t want to brag, but I have been wined and dined plenty in the past few years – especially since I got rid of the punk dark red locks and went back to my natural (highlighted) blonde look.  But even though I’ve had plenty of male attention in the past, I’m still super excited about spending tonight with my Real Man. I guess God has planted a seed of gratefulness in me – and I count many blessings with my Man because I know he’s worth it.

Doing Stuff cont.

In my last entry I wrote about Doing Stuff and how it can enable you to both build yourself up as a more spiritually active and well-rounded person, but I only briefly mentioned about how you can meet men this way.

Imagine this; you’re sitting at home watching re-runs of The Office while editing photos you took of last night’s office party (especially the ones with your eyes half shut that make you look more than tipsy when in actual fact you only had two and a half glasses of wine before you managed to escape) when there’s a knock at the door. You open the door and stifle gasp as the most beautiful man stands before you. He is handing out posters because he lost his cat and asks you if you’ve seen it. You shake your head sadly, you haven’t seen his cat but would he like a cup of tea? He comes inside your slightly unkempt but cosy home and you promptly fall in love and get married within a year.

Sound familiar? No? That’s because this does not happen in real life! If you want to find a date, a husband or even a friend you will need to step outside the comfort of your home and do something!

If you’re under the age of 22 then you still have the possibility of meeting your future husband at school or university, but for the rest of us we have to get out there and meet men. Some girls are lucky enough to be asked out by a guy in a book shop or café but these are exceptions to the norm. Also I would recommend, if you are a Christian, that you focus on only dating Christian guys. In this case it would be highly unlikely that you will meet an eligible, single Christian guy on the Piccadilly line train to work.

So where are you going to meet men? Start by finding a hobby or two, you may already have some. Joining a gym or salsa class, learning a language or starting a photography class are all fantastic ways to meet friends men and make new friends.

Getting involved with your church is also a great idea – this is where real friendships are often made! Perhaps volunteer your home as a place to host a connect group, help out on an Alpha course or join the refreshments team at your morning church service.

Going to events are often a fantastic way to meet men. Try industry-related events for your job, gigs or gallery openings. It’s important to attend events that you actually like – don’t go to the football just because you want to see men running around in little shorts! You may think it’s a goldmine for meeting men but you may be giving them the wrong impression if they end up thinking you really like sports (if you really don’t!) and you may find the guys are too focussed on the game to engage in a coherent conversation with a pretty lady.

Finally there are the Christian based events, like New Wine, which are fantastic ways of meeting men. Being at a festival all week without your hair straighteners or a proper shower may not instantly sound appealing, but often these conferences put on events for singles and some even have a bar to chill out at in the evenings. Look out for other Christian events like black tie balls, charity fundraisers (there’ll always be someone going to Africa – find them and attend their fundraisers!) and if you’re musical, Worship Central.

Tried all those things already? Then it’s time to change a few things. Try a new connect group. Research churches that run evening services in your area and try to visit new churches once in a while. Change your patterns – take a new route to work (if possible).

A little word of warning about dating events: Events set up purely to meet members of the opposite sex can often be a let down. Sure, go to a speed dating event if you want, but be aware of your focus and desired outcome. You need to be prepared to leave the event alone and without the phone number of that guy that looked just like Brandon Routh from Superman Returns. Often these events give you high hopes and expectations which don’t pan out – try not to feel let down by this. Treat the event as an experience in simply getting to know men. Try not to judge the event on if you met a man or not.

 

Useful Links:

www.worshipcentral.org

www.eventsforchristians.co.uk

 

Do Stuff

Do you go to work, eat lunch at your desk, spend an hour commuting home through heavy traffic (or reading a good book on the train if you’re lucky), get home, open the mail, eat dinner, wash the dishes then plonk yourself in front of the TV with your laptop? Do you check your email, Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, maybe a dating site or two and then finish off the evening by polishing off the last of the chocolate digestives? I don’t blame you for wanting to relax in the evening after a busy day at work, but if this your life Monday through Friday then consider getting a hobby or two. I say this for two reasons, 1) to become a more spiritually active and well-rounded person, and 2) in order to meet men.

I’m not just talking about learning salsa or joining a tennis club either. Think about what you can do to serve God as there could be plenty of volunteer opportunities at your own church. You could join a connect group, help out on an Alpha course or deliver food parcels to the homeless. Does your church run evening seminars or courses? Then get yourself along! Prayer ministry and small group leadership courses are often free of charge.

So, where’s the biblical back-up? Well, did Ruth and Naomi sit around in the evening doing nothing? No. They sat around and read books (which is educational) sewed up holy socks (which is productive) and cooked meals for their friends and family (which is hospitable). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with watching TV but I do have an issue with watching too much TV. You’re never going to be lying on your deathbed thinking, “I wish I’d finished watching that last season of Grey’s Anatomy!” Too tired to go out? Read your bible. Finding it too difficult or heavy to read? Get The Message and upload it to your kindle. Or read something more light-hearted – I like mysteries or fantasy stories like CS Lewis’s Narnia.

I really could go on about how bad it is for you spiritually to be bored or lazy, but I think the bible speaks for itself. Proverbs 19:15 says “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep and an idle person will suffer hunger.” Also look up 1 Thessalonians 5:14 which says, “We urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

 

Further reading – 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12.

Are You Happy?

So – you have your eye on some dishy dark-haired bloke with mysterious eyes, or a surfer dude with a cute smile and fantastic abs? He’s single and you see him less often that your best mate but more often than your mother (hopefully!). What next?

I know a surprisingly large number of women over the age of 30 that still break the basic rules of Dating a New Guy. Do you like to think that there are no ‘rules’ and playing games is simply manipulative? Do you believe being yourself is exactly what God intended you to be? Do you know girls who frequently attract male attention but somehow you just can’t attract a decent one yourself? Well, read on my friend…

The Number One Rule for successfully attracting the right kind of man is to ask yourself – are you happy? Look around the room at your local church, English class, pub, etc. Can you see any miserable girls? Are they the ones talking to the hot guys? No! It’s always the girls who are smiling who are talking to men. Actually, girls who smile more often are probably spending a lot of their time talking to anyone; their friends, teachers or colleagues. If you see a girl smiling don’t you often think; I’d quite like some of her positivity!

Before you consider dating anyone you have to ask yourself if you’re ready for this. Happiness is a good start. I don’t mean over-the-moon with joy or constantly feeling close to God and everything goes right for you (because that only happens to Princesses in fairy tales). I just mean happy as in being generally ok with yourself, your appearance, your study or work, your church and your friends. But if you honestly think you are going through a period in your life where you feel unhappy, anxious or depressed frequently, then please re-consider your journey in dating, otherwise you could leave yourself feeling even more stressed and anxious than you were before.

In the film American Beauty, Buddy Kane (the Real Estate King) says to Carolyn over dinner, “In order to be successful one must project an image of success at all times.” You could say a similar thing about happiness – in order to be happy one must project an image of happiness at all times. Try it. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Smile at someone on the train to work. Smile even wider if they smile back. Giggle to yourself if they frown or look away. Give a female friend a compliment. Got an issue at work? Laugh at it! Then attempt to resolve the problem. You may think I’m mad but the more silver linings you can see, the less you will worry about.

Positivity is really attractive – in friends as well as boyfriends or girlfriends. If you can try to be yourself in the most positive way possible, you’re on the right path to happiness. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” (The Message)