Here lately I’ve been involved in many different conversations with women regarding the treatment they receive from the men their dating. It appears there seems to be some disconnect on both ends regarding expectations that should be or are set when in the dating phase. The question I always have is whether or not the two have identified what phase they are even in, Dating or Courtship?
First and foremost, there is a difference between dating and courting. Many don’t either clarify this fact, or even believe this to be true which I find fascinating. I find this fascinating simply because without clarity, how does one truly know where they are headed? How do you know if you are aligned properly with someone if you are not clear on their intent? Especially when embarking on any type of relationship be it personal or professional. So let’s clarify the two shall we?
Dating- A couple, to be in the early
stages of a relationship
where they go out on dates to find out what each other is like, as a prelude
to actually being a fully fledged couple.
Courtship- Courting is the experience of developing a deep relationship
with someone, with a view to seeing if marriage
is right for the couple, without the complexity of sexual intimacy being part of that relationship. Enabling each to find out everything about each other, developing unconditional love and trust, with out rushing things, to decide if this really is the person
you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Alright, now that we have clearly identified the differences, let’s talk about setting the tone for intent.
For the ladies….
Believe it or not, you set the tone in which you are treated. An individual can only do what YOU allow. This isn’t just in the case of dating/courtship with men, but in all areas of relationships. You allow someone to treat you poorly, they will. You allow someone to take advantage of you, they will. When in the dating phase you must remember, you’re only task is to get to know the man. Don’t go so far ahead of yourself by putting your eggs in one basket seeing one guy. You shouldn’t be sleeping with anyone at this point so there should not be a problem with you seeing other people. Until THAT MAN steps up and asks you to be with him solely (move to the courting phase)
, it’s open season for anyone to be considered. This does not make you hoe-ish nor thirsty, it makes you WISE. Be selective with your time and careful with your heart. You are precious, treat yourself as such. This leads me to my next point, NO MORE SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE! You will NEVER capture any man’s heart by feeding his flesh; even if you can cook! Flesh is flesh. What capture’s most men I have talked to is an ability to speak to his heart. Think of a mother son relationship and the power it can have on a man’s growth and confidence. His mother speaks to his spirit. She often feeds his ego, yes, but the biggest area a mama feeds is her ability to see all he can be (his spirit)
. She speaks to his gifts and talents. She reprimands him when he strays from who he is and comforts him when he has tough times. Now I don’t want you to take on mama’s role, but I do want you to start thinking like a mama would. Meaning, how can you possibly speak into any man if you don’t truly know him? How can you correct him to help him get back on track if you have no idea what he’s made of. You don’t find this out by sleeping with a man; you find this out by hanging with him in his natural environments. Learning his friends and family, seeing him in his element. That takes an investment in time and time is a commodity you can’t afford to play with, so just like your body use it with great care.
As you get to know the men you’re “dating”, you then can determine who should have more and more of your time. You determine the amount, but you do not demand it be done! Ladies to often we demand more of men we are “dating” than we should. If a man wants to see more of you, trust me, he will let you know. If he does not, this is why “dating” is what it is, you can keep it moving! As you cross over into the courting phase, you will then be able to set more expectations with one another that both can agree to and grow from within the relationship. Move too soon (meaning you push him to be exclusive)
and you could lose out on a good thing. This is why “dating” is so important for a woman to learn to do. It’s a great way of guarding your heart (Proverbs 4:23)
and an avenue to use often to avoid unnecessary drama.
For the men…
We ladies love to be girly. Even the most strongest and independent of us still LOVE to be girly. It’s the essence of who we are. When you speak to the little girl in us (saying things like “hello beautiful or “where’s that beautiful smile today”)
it gives us the warmth of what it is to feel pretty. It’s highly welcomed when done right (that’s another topic for another day)
and goes a long way. When I say cherish the little girl, I am saying be able to see what makes her unique from any other woman. Be able to pinpoint what makes her tick and speak to it. This gives you major brownie points!
Now when it’s time to lead the lady, you need to be direct and play no games. If you are only interested in a hang out buddy, say so. If you are not in a place to pursue more than a friendship, say so. If you think she’s nice and a great catch but just not for you, SAY SO. Don’t play the game of hopefully she’ll get the hint and go away, it’s a cowardly move and you’ll look weak. Because here’s the deal, once you burn the bridge with a GOOD WOMAN, there is no rebuilding. So be wise in your walk regarding her. On the flip side, when you know you want to cross over to the courting phase (you see true potential in marriage)
, BE CLEAR! Just make it known. Say things like “Are you seeing anyone else? If so, I don’t want to see anyone else but you so how can we make that happen?” Or “Encase you didn’t know already, you’re the only woman I am seeing. If you’re not doing the same, can we be exclusive?” (Just trying to help my shy brother’s out)
By making it clear where you want to take things, you are leading the lady. Oh and can I mention, whenever you are courting your lady, maintain her security. To lead a lady, she must feel secure with the man she is with. That means honoring your word and when you fall short owning up to it versus redirecting it on something or someone else; especially when the someone else is HER! Be productive (have a career game plan or business in place your pursuing or building)
, I’m sorry most independent women are not interested in the “Come up brother”. You know the one who is working on his business plan, but not implementing or showing any advancement in it. Ah no! Not going to work. When stressful situations hit, she needs to know that you know how to bounce back. In other words show her your resiliency. She needs to know that you can handle stress when it comes and how to partner with you as you lead the way out of it. Yea, that part is crucial. Lastly, fella’s PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t tell the lady you want to lead what she wants to hear all the time. Tell her what she NEEDS to hear balanced with what she wants to hear. When you walk in truth you allow her to see that she can trust that you have her best interest at heart in good and bad times. That my friends speaks volumes to a woman!
So as you continue on in your pursuits of healthy relationships; remember ladies and gents to do your best to speak and walk in truth and be clear on your intent. By doing so, you will save yourself much heartache and headache!
Wishing You Peace and Prosperity