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Dateable: Are You?  Are They?
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Dateable: Are You? Are They?

So it will last another week? Hey, you can just consider this the end of the relationship. No big deal. You knew it was coming. Yeah, there will still be some pain, but nothing like there could have been (more on that in How Much You Put In Determines How Much It Will Hurt When It Ends ).You are protected from a lot of pain because you understand that it isnít going to last anyway.

Now letís look at this from the spiritual side. God knows that if we get too caught up in chasing, catching, and hanging onto a crush, then we stop growing. We stop seeing his power. His mystery. His love. The Great Romancer wants to romance you. He wants to show you the sunsets and give you the falling stars. He wants you to run with passion after him. He wants to shape you. He wants to give you your dreams, your desires, your destiny. But he canít do that if your crush already has your total focus.

Dating is supposed to be fun. Itís supposed to be safe. But we invest way too much in trying to make it work out. If we just let go and understand that itís a short-term thing, then we get the most out of it. We learn about ourselves. We learn about others. We experience a crazy, fun part of life, and we donít get destroyed during the process. We end up stronger, happier, and more successful. We understand what makes us tick. What we like. What we donít like. We find that desire that God has placed in us. And we donít get chained to a dying relationship.

NOTE: So far Iíve been talking mostly to the girls. You know why?í Cause guys do not think itís going to last, as in married, forever, amen. Sure, he may tell you that you will be together forever. And it will seem like forever to him. Think much about things down the road, dings óthatís kind of a girl obsession. Short - term than a girlís forever.

So, girls, while you are planning your life together, heís thinking about his future. Heís thinking about what he wants to do with his life. Not your married life together! Marriage is not really a factor to him. Even if you decide to go to the same college to be with each other, you are still not the biggest issue in his life. And no, asking him if this is true will not clear things up. He will tell you what you want to hear, not the truth (see Guys Will Lie to You to Get What They Want).

All this doesnít mean guys are jerks and girls are great. It just means that we all have different ways of looking at things. The balance of the universe depends on this. Girls are home-builders óyou create, you give birth, you nurture and protect your families. So you tend to be on the lookout for the perfect home, the perfect provider, the perfect husband. Itís the way youíre wired. Guys are hunters óthey have to go off to conquer and save the world. Itís the way they were designed. So it isnít being horrible jerks that makes them this way; itís a well-designed plan. Once we all figure that out and are cool with it, we can start to have healthy relationships.

Now guys, you need to understand where the girls are coming from on this. They really think you are going to be together for the next 10 to 20 years, maybe even the rest of your life. As soon as a girl starts crushing on a guy, this whole dream world kicks into motion. She produces and directs this movie in her mind about the two of you. She sees the two of you laughing and playing together and you totally digging her. She is already picking out names for your kids.

Guys, hear me now, believe me later: The girl who has a crush on you is practicing signing her first name with your last name! Donít think sheís not. She is! She starts that before you even start dating for real. She talks with her friends about all of this. They tell her how good you look together and they talk about what your kids will look like. This is even before you are officially going out. Donít laugh this off, guys. Itís for real.

You need to understand this, fellas, because we are the ones who make the problem worse. Itís like this. A girl starts liking us, and then we start telling her what she wants to hear:

ďYou are the most wonderful girl Iíve ever met.Ē

ďI feel so different when I ím with you.Ē

ďIíve never met anyone like you.Ē

ďI want to be with you forever.Ē

The catch is, guys know they arenít planning a marriage. If someone would push us to think about what weíre actually saying, we would know instantly that we donít mean it like that. Notice that I didnít say we donít mean it. We just donít mean it like that. We know that any hot girl will make us feel different when we are with her. We know this óbut girls donít. They think our words are the honest, how-we-feel truth. Girls build their lives and dreams around these words. But for guys, they are just words that we hope will get the girl to like us.

So, guys, help! We are responsible here. Think about what youíre saying. You really know that it wonít last, so donít pretend. What you are doing is emotional abuse. See, sexual abuse is sex by force or manipulation, and emotional abuse is manipulation of emotions, playing with her feelings. Donít manipulate a girl by purposely saying things that she will misunderstand. Guys, you know that a girl who is crushing on you is going to hang on every word you say. She is going to build a fantasy romance, leaving her vulnerable and willing to do whatever she can to make it work with you. So you take the pureness inside of her, expose it, twist it, and force yourself between her imagination and her dreams. Then you rip it out, use it, destroy it, and leave her to pick up the shattered pieces. All the while, you knew you didnít believe all the stuff you said. You just said it.

STOP! Donít tell her you love her. Donít tell her you want to be with her forever. Itís not cool, even if thatís what you think right now. Because youíre abusing her emotionally if you do. As men, we have been given a responsibility. Take it and be a man.

The guy is in charge of the relationship. You canít let it get blown out of proportion into this ďforever-and-everĒ thing. Be careful with her heart. Protect it like a mighty warrior. Donít let anyone damage it, not even you. You are the protector.

Some guys who are reading this are saying, ďThatís not me! I think itís gonna lastícause I love her. The way I feel is amazing. She is the one.Ē Okay, Iíll give you that. You do feel like it will last forever, so letís talk about that feeling. You canít eat, you canít sleep, you get butterflies in her presence, your palms sweat. You feel like a total dork and it feels great. Newsflash for you: This isnít love. Itís somebody else besides your mother thinking you are cool. And itís an amazing feeling. Donít get me wrong, I dig it just as much as you do. But donít confuse the feeling with love. Love doesnít feel all mushy. Love isnít sweaty palms and sleepless nights. Love is a decision you make to care for someone no matter how you feel. If they are disfigured in an accident or throwing up for hours on end, you will still love them.


Excerpt from the book Dateable written by Justin Lookadoo and Hayley DiMarco. Used by permission of Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, copyright 2003. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in order media, or mirrored at other sites without written permission from baker Publishing Group.

Justin Lookadoo and Hayley DiMarco

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