Crushing the High Stakes: A Challenge for Girls
In my last post, I challenged the guys to lead the way in crushing our high stakes dating culture, and this week I have some thoughts for the girls. Ladies, this is for you. Can you go from “high stakes” to “why not?” Ladies, you were made to have your heart radically pursued by a man. Deep down you know and desire that, and that’s right. But just as I challenged the guys, I want to challenge you. Are you creating space for that pursuit to happen? A high stakes dating culture tells us that the perfect scenario is for a man to sweep in from afar, admire you from a distance and pursue you until you give in. But I would argue that no man has the necessary information to truly pursue if he doesn’t know you. Are you making space for connection to grow?
Let’s talk about the early dating phase. Ultimately, you want a man to pursue you. But when you’re just getting to know each other, it can be a bit scary if the man pulls out all the stops. That phase carries a lot more weight later when you’ve built relational and emotional connection and you trust that the pursuit comes with a level of commitment. In the early dating phase, it doesn’t matter who initiates the “getting to know you.” It’s not about pursuit; it’s about discovering if you like being together. Ladies, you’re not giving up being pursued if you initiate getting to know someone. Pursuit rises up in a man as he starts enjoying being around you so much he thinks he might want to be around you forever. This will kick in at the right time.
All the information you need about a potential relationship is found inside actual relationship. If we take the first step lightly, we’re giving connection a chance to grow. If a man is asking to get to know you, I would challenge you that “why not” is the right response. We can’t build a low stakes dating culture if we’re not willing to say “yes.” You don’t need more information about him. You need to know what you have together. The rest is all assumption. Let’s be brave and approach this like we would any other relationship: "I like you, let’s hang out." Build friendship freely. Make room for surprises.
The low stakes culture does require good communication. It also requires you to build connection together. Maybe you’re passionate about marriage. Maybe you’ve gotten to know someone and already feel they may be the “one.” But the nature of relationship is that it’s built in pairs. Relational connection is like an elastic band – if either of you go too far ahead, the band will snap. If connection is building for you and not for him, then show your commitment by slowing down to come alongside him. If you run ahead, you will build distance between you and destroy the very thing you’re hoping to build. Navigating pace together is a great introduction to what marriage is.
Be empowered to initiate connection, knowing that pursuit will naturally rise up in a man in love. Be brave enough to say “why not” when someone shows interest. Let’s crush this high stakes culture. Let’s drop the checklists and create space for connection to grow!
Originally published on benpwilson.com.