Christian Women Need to Stop “Waiting On Men”

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, For the Ladies, Single by Debra Fileta73 Comments

Q: How long should a woman “wait” for him to step up and ask her out before she gives up on him and moves on?

*Note: I wrote the following article for my Q&A series in 2015, but due to the amount of questions I received about this topic this year, I felt like it needed to be resurfaced! Please, read on:)

A: Welcome to post #1 of this 10-part Dating Q&A Series. Trust me, I am eventually going to focus on the men’s role in a dating relationship, but in this post I’m going to address the women. Before I tackle this question I have to say that I chose this particular question to represent a bigger issue. You see, out of the hundreds of questions submitted, I started noticing a theme that actually made me sad.

Question after question, I was hearing from women with similar concerns. Questions like:

Why do men expect so much but give so little?

How do you attract men, not boys?

Why is it so difficult to meet godly men, who don’t just profess their beliefs but actually run after God?

As a Christian women, does it set a poor precedent to be the one initiating a relationship?

We’ve been friends for years, how do I know if he likes me?

Is it okay to initiate a relationship or should I wait on the man? 

What do men think of a girl pursuing them?

The easy answer to the above questions would be to write more and more articles to the men telling them to give more, to ask more, to get healthier, to become stronger, to be godlier…and on and on and on. But first of all, that would take way too much time. And second of all, I think by answering all of the above questions in that way, we’re missing something pretty big: DEFERRED RESPONSIBILITY. That’s the one thing I see in common with all of the above questions.

What I mean by that statement is that it seems to me that in Christian circles, we have created a culture of single women who automatically defer the responsibility in their relationships to the man: 

Men should _________________________ (fill in the blank).

But instead of just waiting for the men to do ________________, I think it’s time for us women to step it up and take responsibility for our lives and relationships.  You can never guarantee that someone is going to REACT or ACT how you want them to, but you can take CHARGE of your role in an interaction. That’s called a boundary. And boundaries are good. Here’s how:


I always get questions from women disappointed in the men in their lives. Lying, cheating, passive, arrogant, rude, selfish…the list goes on and on of the things I hear. But one thing I want to say to these single women is to stop simply complaining about the “jerks” in your life and instead do something about it! Invest your time in the good ones! They’re out there and they’re waiting! I KNOW they’re out there, because I interact with them every single day through this blog and through the churches, colleges, and conferences I visit. Believe it or not, there are still good guys out there! So often women have a hard time believing this, and so settle for men who treat them poorly. Take responsibility for your relationships by investing your time in people who value your time.


Another thing that comes up again and again is the idea of women who give too much, and men who give too little. But partly I think this is also a representation of the kind of relationships we’re allowing ourselves to engage in as women! If someone is giving too little, why waste another moment trying to convince them to give more? If this is the kind of dating relationship you’re in, imagine how terrible it will be to carry that kind of interaction into marriage? Take responsibility for your relationships by saying no to one-sided relationships.


I recently read a Christian article that encouraged women to “wait on the men”. I’ll be honest, I totally yelled at my computer screen at some point during that article. Since when are we called to “wait on men”? For some reason, I was pretty sure Scripture encouraged us to wait on God…..but hey, I could be wrong.

I see an interesting culture of conservative Christian women who believe that they should just wait around, letting the men in their lives “lead the way”, all-the-while passively following along in an ambiguous, awkward, who-knows-what-this-is kind of relationship where they have no idea if the guy is interested in them or just sees them as their “sister in Christ”.

But what gets me is that not only are they waiting, they’re making excuses for him along the way: maybe he’s too shy, maybe he hasn’t yet heard from God, maybe he’s trying to guard my heart, maybe he’s intimidated by me……..and with all the excuses, they continue to wait, and wait, and wait.

And what we get in the end is a whole lot of capable, godly, beautiful, amazing women who are just waiting around for the man to do something, all the while passing their lives away.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Christian woman get so bogged down by the concept of men being “leaders” that we fail to recognize that God only calls us into this kind of “leading” relationship within the walls of a loving, respect-filled, and mutually submissive marriage.

As single women, we need to take responsibility for our relationships by making sure to catch ourselves when we start moving into “ambiguous territory”. When your relationship with a man starts getting exclusive, emotionally intimate, physical/sexual, or starts to resemble a dating relationship in some way – don’t you DARE wait around for the next few years (or even months) wondering what’s going on in his head.

Protect your heart by either taking a few steps back and either giving him room to pursue you, or go ahead and ask him what’s up!! Something as simple as: “Our friendship is starting to look more like dating….What are your intentions here?”

It’s time for women to stop blindly following, and instead take responsibility for their relationships by protecting their hearts and minds from the zone of ambiguity, because it’s right there in the twilight zone of relationships that the most heart-break and confusion actually occurs.

Christian women need to take responsibility of their lives and their relationships, because God calls us to guard our hearts above all else, and that’s what this means. Because ladies, anything valuable, is worth protecting – AND EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU IS SO EXTREMELY VALUABLE.

Can I please get an Amen? If you hollered “Amen” at some point in this article do me a favor and share, tweet, or re-post using the buttons below!

Additional Resources:

Are you single and ready for next steps in your love-life? Check out this 21-Day Program to Jump Start Your Love-Life!

Want to know how to find and keep the right relationship? Check out True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life!

Articles Like This: 

How To Never Get Led On Again 

5 Guaranteed Ways to Attract a Total Jerk 

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 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! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!

Thanks for reading along with my “Dating Q&A” 10-part series here at, based on the popular portion of my speaking engagements, the “LIVE Q&A Sessions”. You ask me questions, and I answer them! If you’d like to host a LIVE SINGLES EVENT at your church, feel free to contact me regarding booking a TRUE LOVE DATES event for 2017 by clicking here or the photo below!20150606-JW-1093-2

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73 Comments on "Christian Women Need to Stop “Waiting On Men”"

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Thank you so much for this article, Debra! All your articles are profound, but this is what I really needed! You are doing marvelous work…keep it up! 🙂


Great article, thanks Debra!! Your articles have been really helpful and you have shade a different light to the whole dating subject and saying the truth that not many dare to say 🙂 !

Since you know many good men and women next step you should start your own online dating site, seriously 🙂 haha!


I just love this article. It came right on time. Was so anxious about a certain relationship but it hit me when I read this. I realised that all the information that I needed was staring at me all along. So I will have to just have to pick up the pieces and move on with my life


Debra, you are the greatest! Thank you so much for this article. I so appreciate your honesty and encouragement to be active in this process while still leaving room for the man to pursue and lead. Thank you for all you do!

Thanks for writing this. Personally, I’m attracted to strong women, who know how to communicate well, and love the Lord more than anything or anyone. I’m attracted to these qualities because I desire to obey God and love my girlfriend/wife well. The only expectations I have going into a relationship are that we are both going to pursue purity in our desire to love God, and that we are going to communicate to each other both in times when the other one is doing well and when the other one is not doing well. I hope whomever I’m dating knows… Read more »

#true stuff


I loved this! I recently stepped out in faith with someone I was interested in and is a good friend. He didn’t have mutual feelings, but it was relief to me to finally know how he felt. it’s been really hard, but i know God is with me every step of the way, and i don’t know what it means for our friendship, as it’s been several months. But thank you for this!

Absolutely, TOTALLY agree. I just came to this point of realization in my own life. This guy and I had a “thing” starting, but he kept saying he wasn’t ready to date yet and he understood if I needed to move on. It was all kind of vague and confusing. I found myself waiting for him to be ready and not really moving on, just hoping that something would change. I was completely miserable. I realized I could be waiting forever for this guy, so I decided to truly move on and develop other friendships and focus on other areas… Read more »

Sooo true Lacey!!!!!!


Woah. Wise hard words. Preach it.


I don’t have the time nor the energy to try and decipher if a guy is interested in dating or just being friends. I will take my desire(s) to God and I will pray, but I will not wait on a man! I will wait on God! If you’re interested in more than a friendship…..make it clear…..if you’re only interest in being a friend….make it clear….don’t blur the lines.

Dear Debra, Thank you so very much for writing this! I definitely need the courage to go after this guy and this post, along with many other things, I believe are God’s way of telling me to go for it! I would love to share with you the entire story to get your opinion on what I should do. Thank you for all you do in this area, your perspective is refreshing because I also grew up in the Kiss Dating Goodbye era and have been way too afraid to even have friendships with guys. I’ve read your book and… Read more »

Olivia, I am wanting to aporoach a guy as well but I’m so nervous and have no idea if he’s single or interested. Would love to exchange stories but I don’t know how to connect with you.

Love your blog Debra! I’m ready to put your advice to good use. I first saw you at Saddleback Church! Immediately spoke to my heart and you still do♡

Finally, a blog about Christian singleness that doesn’t make me want to bash my head against a wall repeatedly! Thank you SO MUCH for this post, Debra, and for your blog – this is my first time here. Another single friend sent me the link to your post about Christian men not making a move (something she and I are both dealing with at the moment!) – both that post and this one have been a huge blessing for me, as have been the last couple hours I’ve been reading through post after post on your blog! Thanks also for… Read more »

a man whos too shy to ask has a reason. if he wont approach u theres always a good reason. its best to let him go to someone he feels comfortable approaching or ask God what the problem is. otherwise you may haveva man who cannot make decisions or lead you when needed, if doesnt have enough courage to approach you then you mayvbe thankful he doesnt bc then maybe he knows he cannot handle u or get away will something another person will allow. Gods order is best and offers protection.



I really love your response. I am trying to share this same idea with my middle-school-age cousin, and she doesn’t seem to understand that many times junior high boys aren’t really ready for that kind of relationship. Most of the time they just want a friendship. ; ) But as a single girl myself, your response was exactly my thoughts in the whole matter.

I want to appreciate Debra for this blog..although I come from a society where male dominance is the order of the day, I have taken the personal conviction and initiative to consciously give the woman in my life the freedom to exercise her full potential… although I have been brutally bruised by this noble gesture, I still believe the woman ought to be expressive especially when the heart is involved to avoid unnecessary delays and turmoil…still trusting the Lord for direction cos I don’t want to close shop to the beautiful world of true love and marital bliss….. thks for… Read more »
lisa m

Hey Debra-
This was my question!!! Awesome for you to answer it! Thanks so much!


Amen! Debra you have hit this straight on with one caveat. In you book true love dates, you talk about the levels of communication. This takes risk to talk so openly with a friend. Some people are afraid of risk or even worse “stuff it” if there is a conflict or issue.

I’d be in shock (a good type) if a Godly woman actually communicated the way you suggest.

My experience is that the women that do not have a heart for God are very direct. That doesn’t work out because they don’t understand my heart, which is for God.


So true!! My “ah ha moment” for the year: Women, respect yourself enough to not put up with less than you deserve!

Debra, your ministry is so inspiring. Thing is, God has so many blessings to give us while we are single people, and so many people that he wants us to reach out to that we cant just wait for others to do when God personally calls us to do it ourselves. Not that we can’t do that when we are connected to someone special, for that too is a powerful ministry. However, God has really poured on my heart lately that when we are so consumed with finding Mr. Right (or Mrs. Right for you guys), its so easy to… Read more »
Scott M.
Hi Debra, I too, as a single who has been really blessed by your blogs, want to thank you for just being real, along with sharing a godly perspective on Christian singleness. It is a blessing when someone who’s married understands what us singles go through, since you were also single at one time. Also, a shout out to Lindsey! I really connected with your comments bc I’ve felt all four of the points you made, at various stages of my single journey. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who deals with these challenges. (Or, in… Read more »
Thanks for the article Debra. As a single Christian man we are totally bombarded from all directions about the kind of man God calls us to be. The Bible tells us we are to be leaders in our households, but it doesn’t give a lot of guidance on how to set up that house, meaning how to get a wife to establish that household. For the most part when we try to step up to the plate and be leaders we are smacked down by Christian ladies. Go onto many Christian dating websites (that term is being used loosely here… Read more »

Hi Debra,

Thanks again for your encouraging message. Seems as if there are more and more single men responding as well which is very refreshing!! Who knows…maybe some connections can be made through your blog 🙂


Thanks, Debra! I really like what you said about how God calls for the man to lead within godly MARRIAGE….not necessarily in every aspect of my life. But I’m just wondering…what are your thoughts on that setting a precedence for your marriage? You know…some say if the woman leads that sets the standard for the woman to lead the relationship even into marriage?

And if I can ask this…how old were you when you met and married your husband?

I’ve definitely noticed that something that stops women from making the first move or asking a guy to clarify his intentions is the idea that if he doesn’t make the first move, he’s not being a leader and/or not really interested, and therefore the woman will be the one ‘leading’ in the relationship. I loved what you said about how this ‘leading’ is supposed to be in the context of a healthy and mutually submissive marriage. A good relationship will be a give-and-take, regardless of who said something first. And there’s way better things that speak to the quality of… Read more »
Michael H.
One suggestion I have for the ladies is to consider going out with guys who may not be, should I say, on the top of their “would date” list. I’m a very introverted guy (it’s important to understand the correct meaning of introverted) so I am always at a disadvantage compared to outgoing and/or extroverted guys. I never get dates despite fairly frequently asking girls out. And I am completely on board with the girl getting things going. I have two reasons for this. 1) By getting rejected all the time, I assume she’d uninterested unless she proves to me… Read more »
This is a great article and I’ve enjoyed reading the responses! I guess I’m still a little confused though. Debra, you talk about how you and your husband met in your book True Love Dates and how you were friends first and after 5 months had a conversation to take things to the next level. So, you were waiting on him to take the next step. So, I guess my confusion or question is, as a woman, how do you guard yourself in that period of time and not get your hopes up or let your romantic feelings take over… Read more »

Great article; thanks for articulating the conundrum so well.


I worry about some attitudes that seem to be so common. I would caution anyone who truly desires a Christ-centric, God-honoring, two-way partnership, and joy-filled marriage to take a step back and stop focusing on finding a man. The Father knows your heart and desires, but we need to focus on Christ first and the Kingdom of Heaven. If you are involved in doing whatever it is God calls you to do and you’re passionate about it, may I just suggest to you that those moments are the ones where you are most attractive to the right man and when… Read more »


The biggest thing that I see in Christian women that I pursue is that they are actually completely scared of the relationship. It seems that every real Christian woman that I have pursued with passion from the bottom of my heart has moved on to something more “safe” to them. I want to live a life full of adventure and it seems that all the girls I have met recently are more wanting to settle down and would rather have the guy who has it all planned out, rather than the one who wants to live a life on the… Read more »
“…stop simply complaining about the “jerks” in your life and instead do something about it! Invest your time in the good ones! They’re out there and they’re waiting!…” So….just exactly where are they? (The ones who aren’t married, to clarify.) Not to offend all the good guys who do actually exist (who will likely be upset at this response), but honestly, where are they? These “good ones” are so few and far between, I’m seriously doubting that they’re out there. I’ve come across lots of intelligent, caring, fun guys who are not interested in following Christ. And a good number… Read more »


thank you for the interesting article. I would like to know where “out there” is? I have heard phrases such as “women have to put themselves out there.” My question is where do good girls go? The regular places for meeting are bars and clubs but then that is not where you find a man that loves God and wants to marry. So where do good girls go? Where is that ”out there”? From the above comments, I am not the only one asking!

Maya Moore

When your relationship with a man starts getting exclusive, emotionally intimate, physical/sexual, or starts to resemble a dating relationship in some way – don’t you DARE wait around for the next few years (or even months) wondering what’s going on in his head. —–AMEN!!! I needed to hear that!!! 🙂

Being an older woman hoping to find a man strong in faith, I am grateful for this article. Recently formed a wonderful relationship with a man of strong faith. When it started to feel like ‘dating’, I wrote and said I cared for him and wanted to make sure we were on the same page. (he travels a lot for his job so face to face communication is extremely limited) I was met with total silence. I must say I am heartbroken but moving on. Asking for what you need, trying to clarify where things are and guarding your heart… Read more »

Good stuff, Debra. I think many of us stay stuck in the whole “waiting for a man” concept is because deep down inside we honestly fear rejection. Somebody’s gotta take the first step…

There is (and has been the last 3 years Ive been attending worship at my church)just one man who I consider marriage material and a good match for each other at my church. Lots of eye contact..smiles..waves and hellos over the years. He is 6 yrs younger he is athletic..I am older and heavy despite trying different ways to lose weight at over 50 its not likely to happen. He knows how I feel about him..I was blunt about a year and a half ago but I wont go further than that..its up to him to pursue if I am… Read more »
Amen! Wow this really spoke to me. I was interested in a guy at my church for three years and I could really identify with being in the zone of ambiguity. He would always come and sit next to me in church services, he would pray for me, he would tell me all the good things he sees in me, and we would even talk about our journey in our singleness, yet I could never tell for sure if he actually liked me. I was really passive and waited for him to make a move and “be the leader”. I’ve… Read more »
I love it that you are mostly pointed in your responses. One issue I was not sure about in your article was about ‘waiting on the man.’ So is it okay for the woman to initiate a friendship with the man that could result in a serious relationship? I do that with men I view as potential mates and would like to become friends with, but the response is not always favorable. I’ve noticed that many men are uncomfortable with a woman pursuing a relationship with them, but I always make it clear I’m wanting to be only friends. So… Read more »

One sided relationships……did that …..totally my fault. Boundaries. Boundaries, Boundaries. I wanted to help, she let me. So then I got my feelings hurt, when a relationship didn’t happen. ……….. Finally stepped back.

Working on my own identity now, what do I like, what makes me happy? Instead of looking for a partner.

Loneliness does not have to be a sorrowful companion.

When Christ is lord of my all, then all can begin to amount to a lot. In the process I quit thinking of self so much.

Ladies….my Mother and Grandmother always said…..NEVER chase a man….period! You want to show interest if you are interested in them, but never pursue. I do believe and always have, that this is the responsibility of the man. I have yet in my 50+ years seen a relationship where the woman did the pursuing and have it work out. If you are showing interest in someone and they are giving very little back to show they are interested in you…..move on because they are not. I have had this happen to me, I thought someone was interested, we talked all the… Read more »

Amen! Seek his kingdom first and everything will be added to you!

Rosanne Green
I am a mom, and I love your book “True Love Dates!” I have boys who are just now approaching dateable/marriable and I tell them allllllllll about the clarity you have brought to many of the issues. I have another favorite book “Crushed” that is geared toward junior high and high school age people. I believe most of the trouble and misinformation starts with how we see “dating” modeled on kid’s TV shows and even cartoons. I see so many girls in high school involved in relationships that just drag them down and suck the joy out of their lives.… Read more »

Amen.Thanks my dear for the inspiration

Amen Debra. Great article and I wholeheartedly agree. If anything, I’ve gotten more (positive) attention from great guys, and established great friendships and relationships from being more out-going. I don’t think men like crazy aggression, and it’s definitely not good if the man isn’t interested in you. However, being out-going, laid-back, fun, and funny is what men love. They’ve told me they love when a woman exudes confidence, and is free to be herself. Men have also told me how this takes the pressure off of to initiate everything, and always take the lead in everything, (and they like this… Read more »

Amen. Well stated!!

Will Emler

I Was Told By My Mom & Some Of My Family & Friends On Facebook Many Times Let The Great Special Women Find Me . I Have Been Told To Never Look At Women Let Them Come To Me & Great Things Will Happen In My Life


Hi Debra!

In terms of the taking responsibility of our relationships, here you quoted:

“Protect your heart by either taking a few steps back and either giving him room to pursue you, or go ahead and ask him what’s up!!”

Is asking him what’s up include telling him how I feel about him that I am attracted and interested in him even though there’s a possibility I will be rejected? Or does this seem to much of my heart to make known to him if he’s not even pursuing me?

What is your definition of good? Having God and finances, or a man having God and faith. If a man has Faith but you find him on a low point of his life, is he still good? If he drinks but never treats you bad, do you try and understand why he fell. Or do you have your mind made up to what a good man is supposed to be? Would you settle for a man that would change his world for you? A man is supposed to put God first, and a woman is to help a man. Most… Read more »

Real men don’t play no games


Hi Debra,

I am very glad that there are women like you out there. Women in general should not be afraid of making the first move: in the end they will get better! I hope to see more articles from you!