There are certain things in life worth waiting for.
A really awesome guy is one of them.
Unfortunately, our world has devalued the art of waiting. We want our heart’s desire now. And for teenage girls eager to fall in love, that eagerness can get the best of them. They may chase the boys they like instead of waiting for the right boys to chase them – and then wonder why their relationships are empty, short, and shallow.
If you have a daughter, it may frustrate you to see the new breed of aggressive females being cultivated and encouraged by our society. They are bold and forward in interacting with the opposite sex. They text boys constantly and seek attention in all the wrong ways.
The world tells girls it’s empowering to take charge and make advances, but I believe it hurts them. It can lead girls to lower their standards and behave in ways that make them look bad and, ultimately, feel bad about themselves.
In addition, chasing boys often makes boys run the other way. As many boy moms can attest, their sons lose interest when a girl is pushy or constantly checking in. They don’t like it and usually aren’t sure what to do with the excessive attention.
If you hope for your daughter to buck the trend of girls chasing boys, here are five talking points to start the conversation.
1. You were made to chase your dreams, not boys. You are so talented, and you were made for a purpose. You are smart, energetic, and equipped to change the world with your God-given gifts.
Rather than make a boy the center of your universe, keep God at the center. Listen to His call and pursue the passions He plants in your heart. The right boy will show up at the right time. God will make sure of that.
You don’t need a boyfriend to make your life great. You build a great life for yourself by cultivating strong relationships with family and friends, developing your potential, and living out your God-given purpose.
When you find fulfillment before a boy ever enters the picture, you become the kind of girl who lives with such joy and peace that the right guys inevitably take notice and think, “Wow. She’s cool. I want to know her better. I want more of what she has.”
2. The way a relationship begins sets the tone. So if you start in role reversal, catching your heart’s desire by chasing him, expect to continue taking the lead. A boyfriend who had to be hunted down is very unlikely to court you, plan special dates, and initiate contact. Rather than being smitten, he’ll probably be passive and lukewarm in his feelings toward you.
Girls often complain about boys being lazy daters, but in this day and age, they can be lazy. Why ask girls out when girls will ask them? Why make dinner reservations when your girlfriend agrees to meet up with friends and count it as a “date”?
If you want a boy to court you, let him work a little. Set reasonable standards that require some effort. If he wants a date, have him pick you up and meet your parents. If he waits until Friday afternoon to ask you out for Friday night, keep your plans with friends and suggest he plan ahead next time.
Am I saying it’s wrong to speak or interact with boys? Of course not. I think it is fine to initiate conversation, smile, make eye contact, and express enough interest to let a boy know you’re interested once you’re of dating age. If he calls first, call him back. If he texts you, text him back. But don’t be desperate or make the common mistake of building your life around a boy. Besides hurting your relationship, it holds you back from achieving your own goals and pursuing your interests.
A guy worth having will rise to the challenge. He’ll figure out quickly how to improve his chances with you and find ways to spend time together.
3. Chasing boys might capture their attention, but it won’t capture their heart. God created you to guard your heart, not freely give it away to every boy who comes and goes. Chasing boys might make them notice you, but it won’t make them love you. It might lead to dates, but probably not healthy long-term relationships.
God wired boys to be the pursuer, not the pursued. He wants them to take the lead because it cultivates them into young men and prepares them for their future role as husbands, providers, and leaders of the home. You aren’t doing boys a favor by taking the risk of rejection off them; if anything; you’re depriving them of an experience that helps them grow up and mature.
There is something attractive and desirable to a boy about a girl who is humble and confident yet not overly aggressive. That is the kind of girl the good guys – the protectors, not the predators – are most likely to be interested in.
4. The best way to approach boys is as potential friends, not potential boyfriends. My goal with my daughters is to teach them how to be good friends with boys. If they master the art of friendship with the opposite sex, I believe the right romances will follow.
In dating and marriage, friendship is essential. It’s the glue that holds a couple together when times get hard or when the fireworks fade. When chasing boys, girls skip over friendship and plunge straight into passion. But passion without friendship won’t last. Passion without friendship makes a girl (and a guy) easy to replace once the excitement dies down.
Seeing boys as prizes to be won – rather than friends to be made – makes you feel the need to impress them. And the harder you try to impress someone, the less you are yourself. This makes you come across as fake, and as my husband tells our daughters, who wants to date an imposter? What boy will be interested in dating a girl who isn’t comfortable being herself?
The better approach is to focus on friendship first, even when you have a crush. Let boys see the real you. Friendship offers a safe way to get to know each other, and if a chemistry does exists, the romance can evolve naturally from there.
5. The right guy won’t need to be chased. Give it time and he’ll come after you. Right now, God is working on you and your peers. He’s orchestrating big changes from one birthday to the next, giving you big bodies, big emotions, and big thoughts to grow into. The teen years bring major transformation, and if you compare a 13-year-old with an 18-year-old, you’ll notice how much can happen in a relatively short time.
The boy you’ll eventually date or marry may not be ready for you yet. You may not be ready for him. Only time and maturity can bring you both to a place where you’re ready to give your heart fully and jump into a serious relationship.
In the meantime, have fun. Develop strong friendships with boys who make you laugh and feel good about yourself. Surround yourself with people who bring out your best, and bring out the best in others. Most importantly, grow your relationship with God. Get to know Him so well that when the right guy comes along, you’ll recognize God’s voice telling you this is the guy worth waiting for.
As for us parents, let’s recognize the trends of today’s dating scene and understand how hard it may be for girls to wait for boys when it seems like all the girls getting dates do not.
Our daughters are better than the lifestyle this world ubiquitously pushes on them. They shouldn’t have to compromise their values to win a boy over. And what every girl must believe is that she is worth the wait. She is a great catch. She has a lot to offer to anyone smart enough to notice.
In matters of the heart, patience pays off. My prayer for my daughters and yours is that they learn to love their lives regardless of what their love lives bring. The guys worth knowing will show up at the right time, and until that day comes, there’s still plenty of fun to be had, dreams to be chased, and friendships to be made.
On Aug. 18, my new book Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Joy and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter releases. It’s gaining fantastic early buzz, and by pre-ordering now, you’ll receive amazing incentives like downloadable prints and prayers. Simply redeem your receipt here. Pre-order through Amazon, and you’re guaranteed the lowest price between now and Aug. 18.
I’ve also written books for teen girls, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked, used widely across the U.S. for small group studies. To keep up with future posts, subscribe to this blog or join me on Facebook, Instagram, and the Girl Mom podcast
Posted by Kari on October 11, 2016