Or, Why the Church Desperately Needs the Red Pill.
In the latest “Boundless Answers,” a 21-year-old female reader asks for advice about her current dating relationship with a 33-year-old man. According to the reader, she had a crush on this guy for three years and has never dated anyone before. Oldie finally asked OP out after getting the green light from other adults at church. Oldie is moving slower than molasses in the winter and since January has taken OP out on about six dates and “really likes [her] but doesn’t put any pressure on [her] to like him back.” On paper, he is everything OP has ever wanted or prayed for. Consequently, OP has completely lost all attraction for Oldie and is distressed at this development. Why doesn’t her heart match her head?
Enter Candice Watters
to give textbook bad Christian advice to the rescue. First, Watters decides that the only reason OP liked Oldie in the first place was because it was Oldie was someone she couldn’t have. Not only that, but OP imagined onto Oldie all sorts of qualities that Oldie couldn’t live up to in person. So basically, Watters is claiming that OP Edward Cullen-ed Oldie in her mind.
Next, Watters declares that the age gap is an “added reason for caution and concern,” reminding OP that only two years ago, she was still a teenager. (My analogy: you know, kind of like how when you are 18 and can vote, you should realize that only two years earlier, you were 16 and couldn’t vote, so you should realllllly think seriously about voting. I mean, are you even ready for that?) Watters is right that often there is a big gap in maturity when there is a large age gap at that age, but she seizes on the age gap issue like Oldie is an alien to young women, even though OP’s parents and the adults at her church overwhelmingly approve of Oldie and his (slower than a tortoise) pursuit of OP.
Just to make sure that the situation is spiritualized as well, Watters equates OP’s “intuition” with CONSCIENCE. Yes, biological feminine intuition that a man is unattractive is now given the stature of biblical conscience, and Watters reminds OP that it is a sin to violate your own conscience. Somehow this is twisted into the (correct) conclusion that if you have serious doubts about marrying someone, you shouldn’t. Finally, Watters concludes with a reminder that God will never forsake OP.
This whole article had a giant neon WTFWTFWTF light scrolling above my head. The assumptions that Watters makes are astounding. Unless substantial portions of OP’s original letter were edited out, there is nothing in OP’s letter that indicates either OP’s crush being out of place, or that age is an actual issue. Yet Watters assumes that it is wrong for a young girl to have a crush on an older guy, and then, when that guy has been vetted, approved, and encouraged BY THE ADULTS IN THE CHURCH to pursue OP, who is now a legal adult, that the age gap is cause for added “caution and concern” – even though OP states that she has been praying all along to have a guy very like Oldie! Then, to make sure that no one can dispute her reasoning, Watters uses the old “listen to your
feelings conscience” escape hatch. Because obviously the Lord would use a woman’s conscience to tell her that a man isn’t the one to marry. Why attribute anything to biological fact when you can put a spiritual spin on it? (And what about all the women who marry “the wrong guy” even though they felt on their wedding day that he was the “right” guy? Did the conscience kick in late, or did the conscience just change its mind?)
Watters has no clue about the true mechanisms of attraction – that much is evident by the wild grasping of straws in her advice. Her reasoning was so full of unwarranted assumptions and twists of convenience, that the possibility that anyone could read it and believe it sound (or even follow it) just kills me.
OP, if you are out there and you happen to stumble across this blog, please listen: there is nothing wrong with you. What is going on is that on a fundamental biological level, your body is rejecting Oldie as a mate because he has not been sufficiently alpha. He sounds like he is a good man who is boring and has no game. If he were exciting and playful – if he knew how to tease, if he didn’t capitulate, if he showed he could lead you instead of letting you determine the progression of your relationship, if he made you feel safe and secure but still kept you on your toes – in addition to all of his other good qualities, you would probably not have any qualms, and Candice Watters’ “concerns” about the age gap would be completely irrelevant – the only reason Candice is even “concerned” about the age gap is because she can’t explain why an otherwise good man who you were initially attracted to would now be unattractive to you. Having no way to explain this phenomenon, she has turned to the age gap as a last resort. Trust me, she would be urging you to the altar if you hadn’t said you were repulsed by this guy.
When you’re young, crushes usually revolve around the following three criteria: he is cute, he would be nice to me, and he gets along well with other people/other people like him. Then you get to know the guy and realize he is boring or has personal traits that are ladyboner-killing (e.g., indecisive, cares too much about what other people think, won’t touch you at all because he defers to the virgin forcefield surrounding you and/or seems uncertain about how to proceed in your relationship, likes you more than you think he has reason to at the moment, has social awkwardness, etc.). My guess is that your crush was based on his good traits, but then you got to know him up close, and he killed your ladyboner with betaness.
Do both you and Oldie a favor and break up with him. Until he learns to be the driver, you’re going to feel more and more revulsion for him and ultimately start treating him like crap to try to get him to show some alpha traits, and then start feeling contempt at his weakness. Avoid that ending and break up now. You’ll never be able to love a man you can’t instinctively respect.