The Internet's favorite Unkle.

Posts Tagged: attraction

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Anonymous asked: I was hoping you could give me some advice? There’s this guy, and we’re really good friends, and we spend a lot of time together at church and uni. But I found out that he likes someone else. I’m trying to get over him, but I see him so often that I can’t avoid him. I love being his friend and I wish I didn’t have all these feelings… He’s really attractive and kind! Do you have any tips on how to get over someone you’ve never dated?

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Unka Glen answered: Well, as Tennyson once said: “’tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” And, as he is quite correct about that, I fear you’re getting the rough end of that equation right about now.

Oh, you know the thing I’m supposed to say, something like “you should let God be your boyfriend, and think of Him, and look for no further attachments and entanglements, do your homework, achieve success, pay your taxes, and eat your vegetables.

But let’s not do that dance. This is a serious and heartbreaking situation, and something serious must be done. And so…

How about fighting for this guy? Hmm? I mean, okay allegedly he likes someone else, but it sounds like you heard about that second-hand. And I don’t know if you can dig it, but it’s possible for one dude to be attracted to more than one gal. Or to be attracted to one this week, and another the next week.

He sounds like he’s worth it, and one thing is for sure, if things didn’t work out, you could rest assured that you did everything you could. Ah, but there’s a reason why every romantic movie you’ve ever seen is about a woman being chased by a man (usually two in fact, one who is Pretty, But All Wrong, and another that is Shy And Polite, But Has Hidden Depths). 

Nobody wants to be the hero that makes the bold romantic gesture, everybody wants to be the one putting in no vulnerability, and yet enjoying all the relationship has to offer. And when you put it like that, it seems like some people hardly deserve to be in the relationships they’re in.

If you’re looking for where God fits into this equation, it’s in all the places He never seems to be allowed any authority or leadership at all. God should be involved in the discernment process of helping us to see who the quality dating partners around you might be. Maybe He’ll show you one quality in one guy, and another quality in some other guy, in order to help you see the kind of man He wants for you.

And God should be our rock, our anchor. Our sense of self and our sense of esteem should come from Him. So we should have no fear of rejection or breakups. As bad as those things can suck, and they can suck all the way at times, but still, it doesn’t strike us at our core. It can’t shake us to our foundations.

As that other great social philosopher W. D. Gretzky once said, “you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”

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kidcallipygian asked: SUP UNKS! I’m a Christian woman, living my 20-year-old life, and I recently realized that when I meet a Christian guy, I first see them as “potential boyfriend/husband material”. It’s only after I get to know them, that I truly see them as brothers in Christ. I feel this is really bad for me, and I want to change this way of thinking, because it promotes NOT guarding your heart. How do I change?

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Unka Glen answered: Ah the guarding your heart thing… Quick update: people in Biblical times thought you did your thinking with your heart, not your brain, and that did your feeling with your stomach (like how you get butterflies in your stomach when you see a hot guy).

The Hebrew word used in Proverbs 4:23, is translated 36 times elsewhere in the Bible as “mind”. As in, guard your mind. And what are we supposed to be guarding our minds from in Proverbs 4? A lack of Godly wisdom. Like the kind of situation where someone misuses a verse that has nothing to do with our romantic lives.

You don’t need to protect your heart from love. 

The other problem here is simple. You SEE a guy, and take in all sorts of information about how he looks, long before you get a chance to find out how he really is inside. You can’t look at a guy from across a crowded room and say, “Mmm girl, he looks like he’s totally saved and sanctified! MMM yeah, work it.” 

I mean you could say that, but it would be super creepy.

What happens is that you see a hot guy and you quickly pray the age old single woman’s prayer: “Please Lord let him be saved, please, please, please, no girlfriend, no girlfriend, no girlfriend.” Does it seem like the priorities are backward here? Yeah. But that’s just the order information arrives in. It’s easy enough to correct those priorities afterwards.

As I mentioned on a recent episode of our podcast, you may have often heard someone give their testimony about how they were drawn to a person spiritually, and then got to know them a emotionally, and then just happened to notice some time later, “hey, guess what, this person is actually super-hot!” Yeah right.

That’s stretching the truth way past the breaking point. That’s just not how life works with us humans. When I saw my wife for the first time I said, “Lord, I’d rather watch this woman walk, than eat fried chicken” (a statement I’d still go by). What I (fortunately) discovered afterwards, was an awesome woman of God. 

When we were dating we kept our priorities where they needed to be, for sure. But we also knew that physical attraction and romance and agape love can easily go hand in hand. We didn’t need to worry about one spoiling the others.

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Anonymous asked: My boyfriend and I had a discussion on what the line is between appreciating beauty and lust. He says if he sees a pretty girl he just appreciates her beauty and doesn’t dwell on it, so it’s not lusting. But what are your insights on this?

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Unka Glen answered: Well, on one level he’s right, as Martin Luther once famously said “you can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair”. You can see beauty and appreciate it, without lusting after it, no doubt.

BUT that’s missing the larger point here. Let me speak to your boyfriend a moment…

Let’s make sure we understand a few things about the questions that our special lady friends ask us. If they ask you, “do you think this is a good television show?” they are looking for your opinion and analysis. If they ask, “do these jeans make my butt look big?”, that’s a trap. Don’t fall into the trap.

Okay, to be fair, it’s not so much a trap, as it is a test. When they ask, “do these jeans make my butt look big?” she’s obviously asking you if she looks attractive in this moment. As a male person, you’re tempted to think in more shallow and literal terms. Woman are deep. Implications are everywhere. 

Let’s make this clear, this isn’t about treating women as if they’re insecure, it’s about respect. When God told husbands to respect their wives, He wasn’t fooling around. So you shouldn’t be fooling around either.

Tell her, you are my woman, and there is NO OTHER WOMAN ON THE PLANET FOR ME. I don’t find them attractive, desirable, or sexy. I have hit the jackpot, and therefore, I am no longer playing the game. Let your lady know, as far as you’re concerned, theologically speaking, the sun shines directly out from betwixt her perfectly shaped buttocks. 

As a handy guide, I’ve produced a series of common girlfriend questions, so all you need to do is memorize the answers

  • Her: Are you lusting after that woman?
  • You: No.
  • Her: Are you appreciating her beauty?
  • You: No.
  • Her: Do you find her attractive?
  • You: No.
  • Her: Seriously, you can tell me, I’m not like that, so you don’t have to be all like that, do you think she’s pretty? Seriously, I won’t be mad.
  • You: No.
  • Her: I know you’re just saying that. TELL ME! Do you think she’s pretty?
  • You: No.
  • Her: Do you think my friend is pretty?
  • You: Are you kidding?
  • Her: I’m serious.
  • You: No.
  • Her: If I died, and I put it in my will that I wanted you to marry my friend, who we both know is pretty, would you marry her, granting my dying wish as my last act on this planet as your mortally doomed girlfriend before I go forth unto the bosom of the everlasting?
  • You: No.
  • Her: Okay, but do these jeans make me look fat?
  • You: No.
  • Her: You’re not even looking.
  • You: [said as you run away] No, no, no, no.

Do you see how I made that easy for ya? God gave you a lovely girlfriend, so make sure she knows that you already think she’s the most beautiful woman, inside and out, in the whole wide world. Okay?

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ssarahlane asked: Hey Unka Glen, when I first met my boyfriend, I was physically attracted to him, but I feel like over the last few months he’s really let himself go. He’s put on quite a few pounds and eating healthy/working out aren’t really priorities for him. He complains that he needs to get in shape and eat better, but he doesn’t do anything about it! I wish it didn’t bother me, but I know that physical attraction is important in a relationship, and this is affecting how I feel about him. Do I tell him?

Unka Glen answered: Well on one hand, this is the point in your relationship where you find out if it’s built on physical attraction, or something deeper. When the connection is more than skin deep, the outside doesn’t make or break things. Let’s face it, physical attraction is what starts most relationships, from there, you either discover something more, or you don’t.

On the other hand, we both have a certain obligation within relationships to keep ourselves healthy and to not let ourselves go. I’m talking about the basics of hygiene and grooming and clothing. It’s a way of honoring our partners, by showing them that we care about doing our best for them.

In this case though, he already knows that he needs to eat better and lose weight. So it makes sense to tell him something like: “there comes a point where you either put your foot down and make the changes you say you need to make, or you keep following your bad habits, and you lose my respect. That point is fast approaching. If you need help, I’m here. But make no mistake, a lack of self-control doesn’t look good on you.”

That’s a pretty cold way to go, but if you’re sure that your attraction is more than just physical, then he needs to know where he stands. Just remember, 1 Samuel 16:7 “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

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jkhayz asked: Hey Unka Glen. I love your dating advice, so I’ve got a question of my own. I struggle from this disease. It’s called Chronic Little Sister Syndrome (CLSS for short). I’m a senior in high school and a pretty easy going person, but I’ve never dated. I’m really involved in the 20 somethings group at my church, and I’ve gotten really close with a lot of these guys, even “talked” to some. But then they end up seeing me as a little sis. This happens with most guys I know. How do I stop it?

m0eseph asked: Unka Glen! I saw your recent post about relationships, and how men should treat women when dating. But I would also like to know, what can I do to be the perfect gentlelady as he is being a gentleman to me? Certainly men don’t have to do ALL the romancing, do they?

Unka Glen answered: Two great questions, from two awesome gals, on what is proper for a young Christian lady to do, in the beginning stages of a relationship with a man. There are two schools of thought on this question. The first is that women should never ever do anything of any kind under any circumstances in pursuit of a man, and the second school of thought is the sane one. 

Obviously it’s wrong for you to step to a strange guy, and tell him “I want to lick Nutella off of every inch of your body, and then get really freaky”. But, as you’ve learned, by going to the other extreme, men just won’t think of you in a romantic way. But there are TONS of room in between those extremes.

Do I think you should stick to the modest end of that scale? Yes, actually I do. So where does that leave us on being romantic towards a man?

STEP ONE: Make a man feel like a man. You know how it feels when a guy does something that makes you feel good about yourself as a woman? Well, it works the same way with guys. If a guy says, “that blouse really brings out the color in your eyes. You have pretty eyes”, that’s a really nice thing to hear. So you could say, “that shirt really makes your shoulders look nice, you have really nice shoulders.”

This is pretty innocent stuff, but if you give him a nice smile when you say it, he’ll begin to get the hint. Christian relationships are about serving each other, and lifting each other up. Giving feedback and encouragement. So why not learn how to make a man feel better about himself?

STEP TWO: Show passion. Every romantic comedy I’ve seen in the past 10 years has been: man (or multiple men) fall for woman, and the woman is JUST NOT SURE, for the whole movie, and the last scene is… okay I’ll take you. Think of a romantic comedy for which this isn’t true. It’ll take you awhile. In the real world, uncertain people don’t belong in relationships. We all want to be with someone who openly wants us back.

Men have a very tough time figuring out what women think, and what they want, and how to please them. If you repress yourself, we’re all lost here. If a guy asks you out, don’t be cool. Don’t say “okay”. Say, “I’d love to!” If you wouldn’t love to, tell him no. If you know what would make you happy, why not say so? “Can we go to that new diner on main street? I’d love to try that place out!” You’ve just saved a very clueless dude a LOT of agony. 

If you want to see a certain movie, or go on a picnic (and I think we both know you do), just say so. A Godly man truly wants to please you, even if it’s something “girly”, so any info you can give him on that will be a major relief. Men like the feeling of succeeding at being romantic with you, so you can be romantic with him by telling him that it’s working.

STEP THREE: Be nurturing. Let’s say this guy is heading out to take a big test. When he walks out to see a plate of cookies and a note with an encouraging verse, that guy will feel like he can do anything. Sometimes having a little backup can make all the difference in life. I did prison ministry before I was married, and I’ve done it as a married man, and the difference is immense.

Being in a Christian relationship is about working to build a team that can do more together than each of us could do separately. So doing your half of that, and showing how powerful that can be, it gets a guy thinking about waking up to fresh baked cookies on every rough day of his life, and that sure does change things. 

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Anonymous asked: Would it be wrong to pursue a girl that I am less physically attracted to than I am spiritually attracted to? We’re on the same page, pursuing many of the same aspects of God’s heart.. It’s a good match and it has been confirmed to me by a few friends. I am nervous though that I will feel as if someone “better looking” will come along.. know what I mean?

Unka Glen answered: I do, and someone better looking will come along. But, as they say, “you show me a supermodel, and I’ll show you a guy who’s tired of putting up with her crap”. At the end of the day, no amount of looks can take you past the place where you already are with this gal.

It’s really up to you to see it that way.

After a couple of years of marriage, you could show me the sexiest woman in the world, and all I could picture was starting over again on yet another set of in-laws, additional co-dependent pet relationships, endless negotiations over closet space, and bitter arguments over how many pairs of black shoes does one woman need? (correct answer: ALL OF THEM).

Likewise, I’d look at all these attractive women and ask which of them was going to see me as the Lord King and High Master of All Things Sexy, as my wife does. How many are going to share my devotion to God and love of inner-city ministry? How many would put up with my Jack Sparrow-like desire to do something naughty, dangerous, and/or inappropriate on a near-daily basis? How many would know, or care to know, how to please me, how to talk me down from my dark moods, and how to call me on my B.S.? When you’ve hit the jackpot, it’s time to quit playing around.

Looks fade, but love just keeps on blossoming.

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Anonymous asked: Okay, so I go to a christian college and there’s one guy in my friend group, and he’s a great guy - very Godly. Well he’s been complimenting me a lot more than usual recently, and trying hang out with me more. I can’t help but wonder if he’s interested in ME. I won’t do anything, because I should be pursued if that is his intent, and if not, fine. and I have handed the situation over to God, but I can’t help but ask - I’ve never been flirted with and never dated - do you think he’s interested in me?

Unka Glen answered: If a sweet, Godly guy compliments you, and you like it, and it makes you feel pretty and all fluttery inside… well then, I say hold on to that feeling, regardless of his intentions. Maybe it makes you hold your head a little higher and say, “this brother better recognize, because I don’t play, and I got it goin’ ON!”

Who knows what this dude is thinking. Men, bless them, have no idea how to woo a woman. None. It takes a team to line out one dude. Seriously, we have meetings. And a lot of very bad ideas come up in these meetings. It’s like the blind leading the clueless. But the surest thing I can tell you is this: men do not know if a woman is attracted to them or not. You think we know… we don’t. You’re sending coded messages when we don’t even know how to get the radio equipment turned on.

This guy may be trying to figure out if you’d say yes, but if you’re determined to have him “pursue” you… then you (apparently) can’t help him figure that out. So you have only two options: 1) ask him if he’s gonna ask you out sometime soon, because you’re tired of waiting, or 2) wait. But as was mentioned recently here and here, if there’s no vulnerability there’s no love. Women like to be pursued, but it’s tough for a guy to ask a gal out, if he’s not at all sure she’s interested. So somethin’s gotta give.