Q: Hey Debra. As a guy, what are some tips on I can approach women in a Godly, but not creepy, way (e.g. “God told me we should be together etc.”)?
Q: You often say that the best relationships begin as friendships, but how do you even initiate a friendship with a guy you’ve just met if you don’t have any friends in common?
A: Welcome to post #2 of the TrueLoveDates.com Q&A series! Don’t you just love that both a guy and a girl submitted pretty much the same question? I do.
Because what it tells me is no matter how different men and women may seem on the outside at times, the truth is we are all going through the exact same internal struggles.
Here we have boy man and woman wondering the same kind of thing: in a world filled with do’s, don’ts and everything in between: how do you approach the opposite gender? How do you even begin to form some sort of relationship with them, particularly within the Church.
I mean, if you know anything about Christian culture – you know that interacting with the opposite sex can be daunting, to say the least. There is so much pressure. All eyes are watching at all times, and not just watching – but also reading into everything. It’s as if you saying “hello” to someone of the opposite sex means wedding bells must be around the corner.
I get it, because I’ve had to walk the fine line of this culture myself. But can there be a way to approach and initiate conversation and interaction with the opposite sex without it being awkward?
I think yes. Here’s how I think it can happen:
- GET SOCIAL: Some of you are already plugged into every single ministry, social group, bible study, and gathering at your church. And if that’s you, I applaud you because getting connected is the first step to being a healthy person. We NEED people, because we were made by a God who made us to connect. So surround yourself with friendship: with men, women, older people, younger people, and everything in between. Learning to connect with PEOPLE will prepare you to connect with that one PERSON when the timing is right. If you’re not connected, than it’s time to do something about it. How can you enlarge your circle of friends? What steps can you take to meet new people? What are some things YOU can initiate to interact more with the people you already know? Some ideas?
- Plan a dinner party
- Get some people together for a fun activity
- Start a co-ed small group using the TLD FREE 4-week small group curriculum
- Check out 10 Great Places to meet someone of the opposite sex.
- USE YOUR WORDS: I tend to use this phrase a lot around our house with my kids, “use your words, please” when they want something but aren’t expressing it in the most appropriate way. But oh, don’t we as adults do the exact same thing? When it comes to relationships, one we can want a relationship, but getting there can be the hard part. So, let’s take it from the top.
- Introduce yourself: This is always a great place to start, and the art of introducing yourself has sort of been lost thanks to social media (because it basically does it for you!). Learn to share who you are, and a little bit about what you like. Start the ball rolling by taking the first step in this basic, yet meaningful way.
- Ask good questions: Stay away from asking only yes or no questions. Because that will end a conversation REAL quick. Try open ended questions like, “what are some of your hobbies?”, “what do you do for a living?”, “what are some activities you’re involved in at church?” “what good books/movies have you read/watched lately?” etc.
- Look for common ground: When talking to someone new, always make sure to be on the lookout for similarities or things you have in common. The funny thing is, this can actually help you decide whether or not you want to pursue them romantically! Because just because you are attracted to someone, doesn’t mean they’re good for you.
- LOOK FOR CUES: Body language, reciprocity, give-and-take – these are things to be on the lookout for regarding cues. Are they answering your questions or quickly ending the conversation? Using positive body language or shying away? Keeping eye contact or looking distracted? If someone is enjoying a conversation, you’ll get that general feeling eventually.
- TAKE INITIATIVE: It may be up to YOU to start a conversation, ask someone out to coffee, or to grab a bite to eat. Taking initiative is important – but always remember that healthy relationships are always made up of give-and-take. You give a little, you get a little. If that doesn’t seem to be happening then it’s time to re-evaluate your interest and ask yourself whether or not you’re willing to invest in a one-way relationship?
At the end of all this, my simple advice to you is this: wait for someone who is just as into you, as you are into them.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!
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