Being extremely patient for feelings.

27 Aug

In a recent Boundless article, the author talked about how he knew upon meeting the woman who became his wife for the first time that she was The One, but that it took five dates over the course of four months for the woman to start having any romantic feelings for him.  (The article also specifies that his wife at the time was 33 years old and specifically gave him a chance because she had accepted that she needed to “intentionally alter her approach and expectations” from those of her younger years.)

I think that if more Christians want to get married, they have to accept that this is how it will probably play out for them.  Not so much the age factor, but just the slowness factor.  It’s something that I am working on accepting.  While it would be nice to meet someone who I immediately thought was good-looking, intelligent, witty, and a good conversationalist, in addition to being a devout Christian, and, most importantly, was also attracted to me AND was marriage-minded…it’s highly unlikely that all of these criteria will be met early on. Realistically, the probability is much higher that I will meet someone who is not physically off-putting and who is nice and that I can talk to, and from there it’s up to me to open my mind.

I think it’s just an issue of everybody having to swallow their pride and accept that most of us are not sexy people and therefore will not end up with someone really sexy, and that therefore the attraction discovery period could end up being lengthy.  Most people are just NOT. THAT. ATTRACTIVE.

Actually, now that I think about it, four months is pretty fast in the grand scheme of things.  This guy’s wife could have taken two years to decide if he was attractive.  Then again, she was 33.  Age is often the NOS of courtship speed.

By the way, I’m just going to reiterate my highly mansopherically unpopular opinion that you don’t need to feel IIII AMMM SOOO CRAZYYYYYYYYYYY ABOUT YOUUUUUUUU to marry someone.  Men can be equally crazy about a series of women, but only the most romantic of women are equally excited about multiple guys over the course of their lives.  Especially as women age, companionship and emotional/financial stability become more important to the love mix.  It’s less about feeling swept away as it is in feeling secure, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the woman doesn’t love the man or that she loves him less, or that she wishes she married someone else.  It’s just more prudent.

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29 Responses to “Being extremely patient for feelings.”

  1. The Man Who Was . . . August 27, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Really, if there isn’t some attraction after a couple months, with at least 4 dates, I wouldn’t drag things out. It probably isn’t to be and the longer you wait the more painful it is going to be for him if it doesn’t work out.

    It is the single Christian women who toss guys aside after 1 date or who get rid of guys they clearly _are_ attracted to, but who don’t meet their 600 point bullet list or who didn’t call them back at the precise day they thought he should, who deserve a friendly slap in the face. Sheesh.

  2. The Man Who Was . . . August 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    The article also specifies that his wife at the time was 33 years old and specifically gave him a chance because she had accepted that she needed to “intentionally alter her approach and expectations” from those of her younger years.

    I think this just says it all about most Christian women in their 20s. A woman can still be attractive at 33, but let’s just say she is not exactly giving her best to her husband. And generally this is not because of some high minded reason, but because she had very unrealistic standards.

  3. The Man Who Was . . . August 28, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Most people are just NOT. THAT. ATTRACTIVE.

    Words of wisdom. However, I will repeat my own advice again. If a woman is not at least a little bit sexually attracted to her future husband, she should not marry him.

  4. EoinMacAodh August 28, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    The article also specifies that his wife at the time was 33 years old and specifically gave him a chance because she had accepted that she needed to “intentionally alter her approach and expectations” from those of her younger years.

    Smart to pull that and point it out, but it puts the lie to the “slowness factor.” Would things be that slow if she hadn’t ridden the carousel for so long? Why did it take a woman of 33 years a whole four months to have five dates with a guy? She felt no attraction and no motivation. Would she have taken so long as a 23 year-old dating an alpha? Slowness for sex and for real, long-term emotional bonding – sure, I get that. But slowness is even starting the process of evaluating whether a person has the potential? That’s stupidity at best and sloth at worst.

    Most people are just NOT. THAT. ATTRACTIVE.

    …Aaaaaand there’s the reason. Most people are just not able to deal with that fact – because if one is dating an unattractive person, what does that say about oneself? Good catch, but the solution is not likely to happen on a large scale.

    Nonsense like this guy’s wife pulled is what drove me to date outside the church. At this point I have more hope for finding a decent secular chick who is open to conversion than I have for Churchian girls.

  5. y81 August 28, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    NOS?

  6. deti August 28, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    “the probability is much higher that I will meet someone who is not physically off-putting and who is nice and that I can talk to, and from there it’s up to me to open my mind.”

    I am really not sure where I am on this. PrivateMan started this a year ago by challenging women to find something about every man they can compliment. Susan Walsh at HUS has a post up called “Choose Attraction”. They are in the camp that suggests attraction triggers are malleable and that if women just gave more men a chance, then they would have an easier time of it and find LTRs and husbands much easier.

    Then there is Athol Kay and Rollo Tomassi. They are in the school of thought that suggests as Athol does that “attraction is not a choice”. Rollo says that one cannot “negotiate for desire” or attraction. There are those who point out t that if attraction is not present at the outset, then it will never be there. It can wax and wane, but there has to be at least some attraction there.

    I really don’t konw where I am on these

  7. deti August 28, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    I don’t know where I am on this yet. I suspect that attraction can be changed a little with altering venues where one meets the opposite sex, or with age and experience. But I don’t think core attraction traits can be changed very much at all. I do think that if attraction isnt’t there in the first one or two meetings, it’s never going to be there, and each is better served by saying NEXT and moving on.

  8. The Man Who Was . . . August 28, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    She wasn’t on the carousel. I’ve known women like this, who fill up their life with ministry and church stuff, and don’t much date. Not all problems between men and women in modern society are caused by sluttiness.

  9. Natalie August 28, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Or you might meet someone whom you find attractive but arrogant. You might laugh at his flyaway ears and really enjoy his conversation. In short you might find yourself wrestling with a range of emotions that nevertheless come down to a realization that your life would be poorer without him. Don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely hands down crazy about my husband. I really lucked up. But I still wrestled with competing emotions while we were dating. His shirts were too loud. He can be unselfconscious to a fault. Sometimes he embarrassed me. But he’s intelligent, diligent, passionate, handsome, adventurous, curious, uniquely committed to Christendom and our local church, funny, and compassionate. The only thing I settled for is the realization that if he was taking me with my flaws I could darn well deal with his foibles, and after six years I like to think we’ve each knocked some of the rough edges off the other :)

  10. Aunt Haley August 28, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    She wasn’t on the carousel. I’ve known women like this, who fill up their life with ministry and church stuff, and don’t much date. Not all problems between men and women in modern society are caused by sluttiness.

    QFT.

  11. Austin August 28, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I know several women at my office that are convinced that they are far more attactive than they really are. They fall right into that “Most people are just NOT. THAT. ATTRACTIVE.” catagory. Most of these women seem to be decent enough people, certainly not riding the carousel, and are commited Christians (whatever that means). As far as I can see their only issues are that they think they are attractive enough to pull a guy 2 or 3 points higher than their sexual rank, and that they absolutely must have a man who “makes their teeth sweat.” I’ve known the women 5-10 years, and well, they aren’t getting into any relationships until they face the reality of their sexual rank. The only thing scarier than being single forever is understanding that you are single because you aren’t as attractive as you have assumed your whole life. As that marinates into your mind, past experiences are seen in a new light and recognized for what they were, lost opportunities with compatible men or perhaps failures that need to be reclassifed as rejections. It’s got to be a tough thing to go through and I think it’s commendable that some women are willing to finally make some admissions.
    On the flip side, I have a couple of friends who are not attractive people. Not unattractive either, just maybe 5’s. They are great people, very smart and witty, and they started dating each other because they had a good time together. No physical atttraction, very friendly type stuff. During the pre-marriage relationship they broke up and both quickly figured out that they weren’t in need of someone who makes them drop their pants by merely walking in the room. They wanted companionship and family. Well, they got it and are a great couple. And they still aren’t attracted to one another. But it works out and I’d say they probably have the best lives together out of any or the couples I know. It works and can be done!

  12. Oliver Edwards August 28, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    “It’s less about feeling swept away as it is in feeling secure, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the woman doesn’t love the man or that she loves him less, or that she wishes she married someone else. It’s just more prudent.”

    And I thought you were in the “manosphere”… wouldn’t it have been shorter to say, “It’s less about alpha as it is about beta as you age.” ;-)

    BTW continued thanks for your thoughts in this area. I just think that part of people’s problems is they don’t see that this is actually normative. How many relationships begin between people who have known each other for some time platonically, then realize something is developing out of that? The use of dating to accomplish essentially the same thing is not surprising or unusual – it’s just artificial and more individual than simply running in the same social circles.

  13. y81 August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    The OP is conflating two issues: love at first sight as a prerequisite for dating–not necessary–and melt-your-butter lust as a prerequisite for marriage–which is definitely a good thing, if not absolutely necessary. On the first point, I know that my wife and I definitely didn’t have some great “this is it” moment when we first met. In fact, we knew each other, rather distantly, for several years before we even had our first date. (And our second date was more than a month after the first one, so I don’t think the fact that the first five dates took four months is evidence of some character defect.)

    On the second point, sex is the yoke that keeps the yokefellows pulling together.

    Judging by her inability to complete the 12/12 challenge, our hostess has heretofore thought that strong attraction is a prerequisite for having a date. I am glad she is rethinking that position, but it doesn’t mean that marriage should be based on convenience, just that hot lust can develop during the dating process.

  14. ornamentalwomanhood August 31, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    If you serve and invest in someone, eventually you will have feelings for them. Love comes from investment in someone. It’s good to remember that for when the “feelings” fade – even after 7 years you can get them back by serving the other person and investing in them and their goals. If emotion dictates commitment, that’s a problem. The committment should dictate our actions and from that thinking, and action – positive emotions result.

    Sure, some level of basic initial attraction on both sides is important. Who would honestly want to later find out they married someone who didn’t find them attractive physically or otherwise?

    The more attractive you are, the harder (not easier) it may become to find an attractive partner who also wants to invest in marriage with you. Attractive equals over an 8.5 on a scale of 10 type partners have a lot of options – and that can cause problems if they aren’t both single-hearted:

    Anyone over an 8.5 on the 10 point scale is likely to have a lot of options; they can choose from anyone below or equal to them, and maybe even some above their DMV if they have epic spiritual growth and personality (or other marriage-worthy assets like a great family, etc.)

    Someone equal to a 6 would have far fewer options – and be more likely to cut their losses, pony up, and marry the best one that came around by a reasonable age. Fewer options doesn’t necessarily make marriage more difficult – it makes it more likely.

    If there are 100 different kinds of toothpaste, you take longer deciding which to buy and try to figure out what’s the best deal on what you want. If there are only three tubes to choose from, you grab and go.

  15. Mark Slater August 31, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    “..I had been active in ministry to young single adults for nearly 10 years at that point, and Jennifer was ministering to the same group of people at her church…” — from the article

    Here we go again, all these people “in the ministry” having difficulties in love. Do auto mechanics, salesmen, civil engineers and such have these problems?

    “And then, it happened: On our fifth date, our first movie together, something clicked for her, chemistry with me that she hadn’t experienced up to that point…” — from the article, describing how his love finally fell for him.

    So I’ve been informed, the mere fact being pursued is very intoxicating to a woman. This alone *might* explain it.

    The Man Who Was said: “She wasn’t on the carousel. I’ve known women like this, who fill up their life with ministry and church stuff, and don’t much date.”

    Confirms my earlier point

    Austin said: “They wanted companionship and family. Well, they got it and are a great couple. And they still aren’t attracted to one another. But it works out…”

    That comment, to a slight degree, took away my will to live. Not exactly “Song of Solomon” material, here.

  16. Aunt Haley September 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Mark Slater–
    So I’ve been informed, the mere fact being pursued is very intoxicating to a woman. This alone *might* explain it.

    I think it’s probably that she was 33, had no other prospects, they got along and had good conversations and shared the same beliefs, and he wasn’t physically off-putting to her. And then, on top of that, yes, he wanted her. Men act like this is the WORST REASON EVERRRRR to get married, but like…marrying someone only because he is rich is a better motive? Marrying someone primarily because he is famous? Marrying someone because he’ll let you do whatever you want? Marrying someone just because he’s there?

    I think when you get older and haven’t been married yet, the likelihood that you will have a “second marriage” type of courtship and marriage as your FIRST marriage greatly increases. First marriages are all about the butterflies and being CRAZZZZYYYYY about each other and can’t-keep-hands-off-each-other, whereas second marriages are more about stability and companionship. It doesn’t mean one type of marriage is better or worse. As ornamentalwomanhood pointed out, it’s really the investment that matters in the long run for keeping the love alive.

    Do auto mechanics, salesmen, civil engineers and such have these problems?

    Judging by the number of STEM nerds who read game blogs…yes?

  17. Elspeth September 2, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Most people are just NOT. THAT. ATTRACTIVE.

    Most people aren’t hideous either, though. Attraction is fluid, and what one person finds “meh” another might find irresistible.

    The problem is that we (meaning the culture at large) have allowed media saturation, self-esteem teaching and unrealistic expectations to make us over inflate our own value and under value others.

    Most people are attractive enough, and people who have a modest and measured opinion of themselves can find a compatible mate- even one they truly have the hots for.

  18. Gabriella September 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Haley Halo- I think you have a critical eye and that causes you problems.

    I find many men attractive. Probably a good 20-30% of the ones I run into that are not elderly. I hardly notice imperfections unless they are glaring and I can usually find one or two traits that I think are very nice.

    The only thing I really don’t like is small hands and small chin.

    I had more objectively attractive men interested in me but my husband had major hots for me and so that put him in the lead. My personality is a bit challenging and I tend towards extremes in mood so I knew I needed a guy who was really infatuated with me for him to be able to tolerate me for 50 years.

  19. Mark Slater September 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Aunt Haley said: “I think when you get older and haven’t been married yet, the likelihood that you will have a “second marriage” type of courtship and marriage as your FIRST marriage greatly increases. First marriages are all about the butterflies and being CRAZZZZYYYYY about each other and can’t-keep-hands-off-each-other, whereas second marriages are more about stability and companionship.”

    Ugh! Include me out.

    * * * * * * * * * * * *

    “Most people are attractive enough, and people who have a modest and measured opinion of themselves can find a compatible mate- even one they truly have the hots for.”

    “…so I knew I needed a guy who was really infatuated with me for him to be able to tolerate me for 50 years.”

    Gold stars for Elspeth and Miss Gabriella! Haley, I’d clip-and-paste these ladies words of wisdom and re-read them often.

  20. Cane Caldo September 4, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    The OP is conflating two issues: love at first sight as a prerequisite for dating–not necessary–and melt-your-butter lust as a prerequisite for marriage–which is definitely a good thing, if not absolutely necessary. […] it doesn’t mean that marriage should be based on convenience, just that hot lust can develop during the dating process.

    y81 nailed it.

  21. imnobody September 6, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    I don’t think being in love is a prerrequisite and it can even be damaging. I don’t demand butterflies and I don’t demand love. But I would like a woman to enjoy my company before she marries me. 5 dates in 4 months? That says a lot. I go out with male friends and married female friends more often.

    I think I must be very romantic and delusional because this thing about “I am 33 years old. this might be my last chance. I want financial security and this guy could be my financial insurance. I want kids and this guy could be the father and help to raise them. So he is a good investment. So I will date him so I could learn to love him because I can’t do better” does not work for me. I think it is selfish and it objectifies the guy. As Warren Farrell says, while men objectify women as sex objects, women objectify men as relationship objects.

    It’s not about the guy. It’s about the usefulness of this guy for the woman’s life. It’s about the role the guy plays in the script this woman has for her life (“I will marry, I will have kids”)
    , a script she has been rehearsing in her head since she was a little girl. While you are good enough to play this role, you are good enough. But the girl loves the script, does not love you. Furthermore, it’s risky. Once you have played your role in the script and you have given the woman the things he want from you (marriage, kids, financial security), you are not useful anymore for the lady. She can dump you and get the prizes (alimony, child support, etc).

  22. Aunt Haley September 6, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    imnobody–

    The article says that they got along well initially, and then months down the road, the woman started to have romantic feelings. What is so controversial about this as a start to a courtship? The author and his wife are still married, and based on the language and tone of the article, I presume they are both happy with their choice.

    I don’t understand why men whine that women need to be more open-minded about men, and then whine even more when they are. Do men think that all women prior to feminism were just head-over-heels for the farmers in their small towns who came calling? Or that gratefulness was sufficient for sexual attraction? Just because a woman assesses her situation and acts practically doesn’t mean that she can’t or won’t love her husband. If female nature is the same now as it was 1000 years ago, then I guarantee you women were assessing men exactly the same way. Their decisions were just more practical since their economic survival depended on marriage.

  23. imnobody September 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    @Haley. With a sincere affection:

    I don’t understand why men whine that women need to be more open-minded about men, and then whine even more when they are.

    It’s easy to understand. Firstly, “men” are not a single individual. I don’t whine about women needing to be more open-minded. My position is “Ladies, don’t settle for us”.

    http://ca.askmen.com/dating/curtsmith_300/371_please-dont-settle-for-us.html

    Other men want women to be more open-minded but every man is responsible of his own words.

    Do men think that all women prior to feminism were just head-over-heels for the farmers in their small towns who came calling?

    If you had had the chance to read my last 10 or 20 comments at Dalrock’s, you would not have asked me that. As I explained once and again, I lived the patriarchy in my country when I was a child and it was not a pretty sight. Most women married with this kind of “practical love” and made their husband’s life miserable. Being single was much preferable and, when these men got a couple of beers, they told you how they regretted having got married.

    There were a few couples that were happy, though. They all married young and being in love. Not “crazy in love” but not “I have grown to love him now that I see that I have to be realistic” either. For example, one of my aunts and her husband.

    No patriarchy for me, thank you very much. After seeing my father, most of my uncles and most of that generation living with a woman who didn’t love them and who only saw them as a means to an end, I’m not the one who thinks that patriarchy is a “Daddy knows best” paradise.

    If female nature is the same now as it was 1000 years ago, then I guarantee you women were assessing men exactly the same way.

    Oh, yes, I can attest that. I could give you tens of examples. And no, I don’t mean examples taken from a book but flesh-and-bones women, with names, most of them are still alive (but they are very old now). And I’m aware that most women do it right now too.

    If you read my post, Haley, I only said: “Not for me”. But if somebody wants that, I’m a “live and let live” kind of guy.

  24. jack September 8, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Modern media and society trains women from a very early age to have the highest possible standards, and to exhibit the highest possible selectivity.

    The average male cannot experience true sexual intimacy with a woman far above his rank unless it is with a hooker, stripper, or the virtual reality of porn. All of which are scolded by polite society.

    Women, however, can experience pornographic thrill in REAL LIFE by making “mistakes” with men several clicks above their actual SMV.

    This was once scolded by polite society, but now we have the secular world calling it empowerment, and the religious faction blaming on men and their dirty impulses and seductive ways that are leading astray the precious daughter of Christ who only wants “love”.

    Women, therefore, are now granted an indulgence of sorts to scratch this particular itch, while men are still expected to play by the old rules.

    I give women some slack here, because our culture immerses them in an endless catalog showroom of alpha worship, and actually lets them sample the goods a little as well.

    This creates an appetite and preference for what they cannot truly afford. Once affected in this way, believe that these women are too burned out for real marriage to the man that they would actually be able to get.

    Like the Israelites in the desert, this generation may have to die without entering the promised land of marriage due to believing and acting on a lie. And this also applies to women who (while still virgins) are steeped in alpha worship.

    Some things cannot be unbroken.

  25. OffTheCuff September 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    I think for a man to marry a woman who isn’t turned on by him, is foolish. Yes, women should examine if their checklist is too stringent, and give him a chance, to allow attraction to build. But that’s to DATE, not marry.

    Come on, if you haven’t feet the tingle by ring-time, forget it. In fact, you should be well past the crazy lust phase, settle down into some great compatible sex, and then marry with a clear head and away from the influence of those lusty hormones. But that requires sinning, and I digress…

    I’m average, and the Mrs. is still plenty enthralled with me 20 years later. I really like Elspeth’s comment a lot. Sure, most of us not hot to everyone, but we only need to be hot in the eyes of one. Or a few.

  26. RG3 September 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    San Francisco has the same expectations inflation problem as Haley’s church, it would appear:

    http://whytherearenogirls.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=4

  27. Professor Ashur January 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    There is no cure for alpha widowhood.

    Perhaps a few women may overcome it with a lot of prayer and soul searching.

    But most won’t. It’s over for them, and when they do marry, it is out of pragmatism.

    I wonder if these women ever consider that they have robbed their husbands of their best years?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Link Fest #3. | The Society of Phineas - September 2, 2012

    […] Haley’s Halo: Being extremely patient for feelings. […]

  2. The Mainstream Trains Men In Compatibility, Not In Attraction Where Most Men Need Work | The Badger Hut - September 9, 2012

    […] attraction in the open and instead replacing attraction psychology with fairy tales about “the Holy Spirit told me to marry this person” and churning out self-flagellating men whose debasing exercises in boisterous humility are […]

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