Monday, October 3, 2011
Swarming women and dealing with discouragement: recaps from last night's chat with Expert Emily Shupert
Emily: Feel free to ask any dating question, there therapist is in :)
Chatter: How should I handle overly aggressive women when I go out? For example, I saw a guy that I was interested in, but he was immediately swarmed by women (like vultures around dead meat)
Emily: Interesting question. Thanks for asking this question and it sounds like you are in a tough spot...not wanting to swarm him too but also wanting to get to know him, right?
Emily: well, I think that this is a great situation where you can get to know him by talking with him in a way that stands out from the others who swarm...be original.
Chatter: Such as????
Emily: By saying this, I wonder what activities you both might like? I wonder if you can reach out to him in a more subtle way that doesn't swarm him but shows interest in him...like asking him if he is going to a church event, serve in a ministry outreach, etc. Be different by being more original and showing that you are interested in him as a person....but also leave him with a desire to get to know you more.....let him feel like he would be pursuing you not vice versa.
Chatter: Unfortunately, I don't see him in a church setting, so being subtle may not be an option.
Emily: Ok, well, if it isn't a church event, you could probably wait until the swarm team is gone and then make a comment that intrigues him or gets his interest in a non-aggressive way.
Chatter: This guy maybe a lost cause, the swarm team never leaves. Its like they multiply.
Emily: I think that there are some situations where this is possible and others where it isn't...let the Lord open the doors if there is room/time for the conversation but if its a swarm and you aren't able to engage without shouting over them, then maybe it's not a door you are intended to walk through.
Chatter: Very true. I'm starting to realize that because he doesn't respond to any non-verbal cues I give, so it may be a lost cause.
Chatter: I don't know, Miranda, it seems like "non-verbal cues" aren't exactly big on most guys' radar screens!
Emily It's really hard to know when it is a lost cause or not but if it feels like the door continues to shut and there isn't a connection, then also look at other ways of meeting people like through cache connections. Have you gone to any of their events? they are really great! (I promise, they don't pay me to endorse but I suggest them because I truly believe that they have wonderful events.) Keep on going and try to make connections but also look online through cache, in your church, and also in areas you are interested like book clubs, community organizations, and intramural sports teams...fun ways to connect!
Chatter: I try to leave every stone unturned but everywhere I look there is nothing. (please no one say that my problem is I'm looking, I've heard that enough::laugh)
Emily: oh gosh, I wouldn't say that...one of my pet peeves to hear when clients hear that from others. Its so over used and really is faulty many times because it promotes passivity in your dating life.
But, do you have guy friends who know you well? I might suggest asking them some questions but first want to see if you have a group of guys who you know and trust.
Chatter: I don't have any guy friends.
Emily: that might be the first thing to look at. I often suggest asking a group of questions to your guy friends for honest feedback (since we can't see our blind spots or be objective with ourselves). However, I'd encourage you to think outside the box. In addition to online through cache, try to talk with at least 4-5 people a week...new guys, no matter the age, just to get some more exercise in talking with new men. It's all about a numbers game at first, especially when you feel so disconnected from meeting new guys. Many people will say "there are no good guys" but I think that it is often because we have tunnel vision. Talking with 4-5 single mostly but sometimes can include married men (not to date the married men.) But simply practice because they are all men...get your numbers up so you can see the guys around you, gain self confidence as you get in conversations more often, and see how you can strike up connecting with people, even in the grocery store line!
I take this idea from How to Get a Date Worth Keeping where Drs. Cloud and Townsend encourage 5 guys a week (and having an accountability partner to check in at the end of each week).
It isn't guys you are interested in...it's just a male...many times we look for guys of interests but we miss out on meeting guys in general. I'm not saying you need to lower your standards, but it does mean that you are increasing your frequency to simply talking and meeting new guys. Who knows, you might fall in love with one of the guys you would pass by or meet one of their friends and date them. It's not about filtering people out before talking with them but simply talking with them, possibly getting to know them more, and then deciding.
Chatter: I'm not sure if that will work for those of us who live in small cities.
Emily: I promise, it will! Give it 2-3 weeks and then decide...what do you have to lose?
Chatter: Do you all think it's a cop out for me to decide that, having done all of these sorts of suggestions--attended events, been diligent about initiating contacts online, going to different churches, volunteering, etc.--and I'm not even meeting men with whom I have anything in common (being very open-minded about that, too, and allowing for lots of differences)...given all that, is it a cop out, lack of faith, cynicism--take your pick--to decide that God does not have this plan for me right now and to just put the idea of meeting someone aside? (that sounds really pathetic and whiney, so I'm attempting realism.)
Emily: Sorry, I think I'm confused....are you saying that God doesn't have that in your path right now?
Chatter: Yes. I've begun to wonder if I've crossed the line of taking too much into my own control and not allowing for God's leading--even if it's a "no" to what I want.
Emily: I believe that the Lord opens and closes doors but I also believe that we must be faithful to pursue relationships with same and opposite genders as the community of Christ. If the Lord has put you in a place where you are feeling discouraged by the lack of guys present, it is possible that He is working behind the scenes in areas you can't see. Regardless, I encourage you to keep faithful in prayer and keeping your eyes open. It's very hard so I'm not saying that its easy...because it's not at all. But I do want to encourage you to continue to pray, keep open eyes, and become the woman who the man you are looking for would be looking for....
Chatter: I agree Emily. I have been using this time to unload old baggage from past relationships. its been so freeing and I have such peace.
Emily: continue to work on yourselves and allow the Lord to refine you in the process.
Chatter: I have grown so much in this time and feel God has put me in a better place to appreciate all it takes to handle a real relationship He would ordain.
Emily: Yes, God recycles all the time you have in this dessert time...keep letting Him work in your life, refine you, and bring you closer to Him. It's difficult in this process, but to grow in your relationship with God and in your own personal development will prepare you to meet someone great!
Expert Emily Shupert leads a monthly chat at cacheconnections.com. Mark your calendar for the next expert-led chat on Sunday, November 6th at 7:30 pm CST. You can CLICK HERE for more information on Emily.