In our Church’s fellowship, there are a lot more women than men. Most of these women want to be married before too long, but there just aren’t enough single Christian men to go around. To make matters worse, men in general tend to be committed towards avoiding commitment. Consequently, the competition for men gets brutal.
Recently, our friends, Josh and Yuna were married, in a very beautiful ceremony. Almost everyone was either crying or laughing. During the reception after the ceremony, a lot of the women in our fellowship were expressing their frustrations to me, and asking me what could be done about their situation. I told them some very general principles about attraction and mating that I knew they would never hear from their parents or from the Church sermons. They asked me to post those things here, so that they could continue to study and review in the future.
I was 33 years old when I first made these observations. (I’m 37 at the time of this writing.) I do not profess to be a “master of attraction”, but I am a bonerfied man (dats east tennis saying fur “bona-fide”, in case you’uns is thankin udderwoz), so I know what attracts men. I was also raised in a Southern Baptist Church, so I know what God’s standards and expectations are for our relationships.
Three Necessary Qualities a Woman Must Have to Attract a Mate
The relationship between a man and wife has been ordained by God as the highest relationship on earth, because it represents His Nature and Glory most completely, compared to all other types of relationships. The trouble we face in the “convenience” of modern times is that people desperately crave all of the benefits that a relationship can bring, and they forget WHO that relationship is supposed to represent. Both men and women are guilty of disregarding their responsibilities to build Godly (or “Christian Archetype”) relationships, but I’ll focus more on the proper place of the woman in this essay.
I have observed three necessary qualities a woman must have in order to attract and keep a mate. Kindly note that I used the word “necessary” here, which means that a woman must have all three of these qualities, and if only one is missing or lacking in strength, then any chance of a relationship will completely vanish. Unfortunately, even having all three of these qualities is certainly not a sufficient condition for success!
So what are these three qualities?
1. A Woman Must be Reasonably Attractive.
You might have guessed this one, but it’s a fact of life.
We should all agree that a “mature” relationship has a physical interaction, at some level. A woman’s appearance should facilitate this interaction, and not become a barrier to it. Contrary to the opinions of many women, the tasteful expression of personality and style can be done with a lot of self-respect, without appearing “cheap and easy”. In fact, a lot of men have the opinion that a self-respecting woman, by definition, is one who takes good care of her body and gives close attention to her appearance, whereas, trashy women do not, by definition. Sexual promiscuity is only one way that a woman can disrespect her body, and most of the other ways seem to be overlooked by most women, because they’re too busy envying other women, instead of accepting and improving themselves. But men notice these things right away. (Keep reading for a list of these things.)
I’ve seen a lot of women get offended by this statement because of two, very unproductive lines of thought:
- They think they’re not beautiful enough to “qualify”. They think they need a SMV > 8 to get into the game. They have this notion that they need to have a perfect model’s figure, but that is not true. Women tend to focus on the things that men care very little about, and they become overly critical of their bodies. For example, a recent survey in Taiwan found that Taiwanese women are more concerned about their breast size, than Taiwanese men are! Read article here. [Eds. note: These women tend to be more innocent, that is, they have less sexual experience.]
- They have an extremely immature view that men are despicable animals or male chauvinists; that men are unreasonably preoccupied with sex, and carelessly demanding about women, while failing to respect women properly. These women are also deeply offended by this caricature of men that they hold to be true, which may only be based on their own arrogant pride and self-sufficiency, and a highly selective memory of the truant playboys they have known in the past. They feel that they should not be required to change their opinions or habits for such a man. This line of thought is typical for an 8-year old girl, but for a 28-year old female, this attitude is revolting! [Eds. note: These women have gotten around, failed to rope an alpha, and have sabotaged a few beta contenders.]
Women who have accepted the truth that they must make themselves attractive, and who have successful relationships with men, know that the recipe for beauty is rather simple:
- Brush and floss your teeth every day, and see the dentist at least once a year.
- Wash and comb your hair frequently.
- Take a bath or shower every day.
- Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
- Visit the doctor regularly, and avoid bad habits, like smoking and excessive drinking.
- Eat healthy food and don’t binge. Drink lots of water (at least 2 L. a day). Take vitamins and antioxidants.
- Exercise helps, especially squats, twerks and deadlifts.
- Wear colors and clothing styles that enhance the figure that God gave you, and get rid of that dingy, baggy clothing that you like to wear, merely because it’s “comfortable”.
- Get into the habit of wearing a skirt and heels occasionally.
- Relax and display “open” body language. Don’t appear to be closed, rigid or uptight. In other words, don’t cross your arms in front of you; show your neck and the palms of your hands while talking to others.
- Adopt a proper posture. Straighten your spine. Put your chin forward and your shoulders back. Don’t ever slouch.
- Be animated. Express joyfulness, humor and a genuine interest in others. Don’t be critical, boring, sluggish or dull-minded.
- Be confident with your body! Walk with your knees and hips in motion, and don’t drag your feet.
And most importantly of all…
- SMILE and be friendly!
If a woman does all these things, a man won’t really care if her “cheekbones are too low”, or her “thighs are too wide”, or even if she’s “a little too pudgy”, etc., because she will convey a beauty that goes below the skin. Best of all, the beauty of the heart can get better with age and practice! You don’t need to worry about becoming an “old maid”.
[Eds. note: American women, we are sorry to inform you that you must have a normal BMI (19-24) before men will acknowledge your eligibility as a possible mate. For advice on how to lose weight, please click here.]
2. A Woman Must Know How to “Get Along” with a Man
There was a very popular book written by John Gray a number of years ago, entitled, “Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus”. This book describes in very informal language the respective natures of men and women, and indicates the many common ways in which the sexes misinterpret the behavior of the other, and fail to contribute to a relationship that Glorifies God.
Another good read is from Emerson Eggerich, “Love and Respect“. This book explores the symbiotic connection between the emotional needs of men and women, based on a verse of scripture found in the Bible, that when adhered to, can strengthen and transform relationships.
“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Both of these books are essential classics for anyone who is serious about having a Christian Archetype marriage. I encourage everyone to read both of these at least once before they are 20 years old. (I have copies in my family library that I’d be happy to lend.)
Most importantly for the present discussion, a woman needs to respect a man. There are many ways to show respect to a man, but I’ll list a few of the most important.
- Believe in him! Speak POSITIVELY to him and about him. Don’t make assumptions or statements that would characterize him as having a poor character or motives.
- Admire him for who he is, and what he does. Don’t choose a man just to have a man; choose a man for who he is and whose wife you will be.
- Approve him! You should never pester a man to change. Don’t even think about it. Don’t even think about thinking about it! If there is something you don’t like about the man you are with, then dump him and get another one that has what you like. But don’t demand change! Men will change partners before changing themselves.
- Honor him by following his requests as much as possible. If he wants some time alone, then go find something else to do for a while. If he asks you to do something, then make it a point to do so in a timely manner. If he gives you a responsibility, then attend to it diligently. The worst thing you could do is to ignore what he says. The next worse thing is to excuse your self with any kind of rationalization.
- Listen to him. Pay careful attention to what he says, and respond with questions or appropriate actions. Take his words seriously, but don’t be ignorant of when he is joking either. A man will feel disrespected if he must repeat himself many times without getting a response. If he says things that you really don’t like, or you can’t accept, then maybe you should consider finding someone else.
- Obey him. Don’t be obstinate and self-willed. Don’t hold your own opinions to be more important than his. Better yet, don’t express any opinions at all, unless he asks for them. But don’t hold your breath – a self-respecting man will hardly ever ask for your opinion. It’s the same reason why men don’t ask for directions. They value themselves for being able to handle any situation by themselves, and they’ll lose confidence if not allowed to do so. You really DON’T want an unconfident man – trust me, so just learn to obey him and follow after his thinking.
- Accept him! Enjoy every moment you have together. If you value the relationship, then don’t ever reject him in any way. Don’t say no without offering another choice. Don’t belittle him or criticize his decisions.
Men value themselves for being confident and independent, and women should too. Men frequently need time to do “men things”, and they should not be nagged or chided about it. Instead, men should be encouraged by their partner to face all the different aspects of life with hope, without worrying about whether their activities will be accepted by their mate.
A woman sees her relationship with a man as all-consuming, and as the most important thing in her life. But men do not think of women in the same way. To a man, a woman is only one thing on his list of interests in life. The others include his career, his friends, his finances, his hobbies and sports, etc. A woman should realize that she is just one part of a man’s life (although she should be one of the more important parts).
This does not mean that a woman is relatively unimportant. On the contrary, a woman is the most powerful and lasting influence in a man’s life, and a woman should understand that her role is to influence, and not to control, the man’s life. Any emotionally healthy man will quickly dispose of any controlling woman in his life, so if you want to get the axe as soon as possible, then start acting like you’re his mother.
The ways in which a woman influences a man’s life are innumerable, but some of the more important ways are listed here.
- His aptitudes, skills and abilities
- The use of his gifts and talents
- The development of his personality and temperament
- His attitudes toward taking risks, facing difficulties, and towards life in general
- The protection and advancement of his personal reputation
- His peer-group choices
- His level of career achievement…
- His financial and social status
- The quality of atmosphere in his home
- His decisions to engage in healthy or unhealthy habits, such as his diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, overworking, overspending, socializing, etc.
- His size, appearance and fitness level
- His passions, preferences and personal tastes
- His sexual expression, joy and fulfillment
- His state of happiness and emotional well-being
- His sense of significance, value and security
- His confidence, and his sense of efficacy and freedom
- His emotional, social and spiritual growth…
- His conversion and devotion to Christ, and his spiritual service to others
“A man chooses what path to take in life, but a woman paves the road for him.”
When a man chooses a woman, he is also making many choices about all of the things listed above. So naturally, men will find a woman who is totally unaware of these things, to be completely useless (except for one or two things, I suppose). Such a woman cannot expect very much from having a relationship with a man, and wastes her time and opportunities on trivial pursuits, like shopping and gossiping.
Ladies, think about it this way:If a man were to choose you right now, what kind of life would he have with you? Can you deliver the kind of care and nurturing that a man wants and needs, without becoming domineering?If not, then why should any man choose you?
Perhaps you are only thinking about what a man can do for you… If so, then you need to grow up!
3. A Woman Must Have a “Life”
A lot of women know how to make themselves attractive, and they know how to get along with a man, but they’re full of psychological and emotional issues. They have this secret wish that “Christian Grey” will pick them out of Starbucks, and transform their whole existence. They are either out of control, or they don’t want to control. They don’t know how to deal with life.
The problem is… it never happens! And the most frustrating part of it is that they don’t even know why!
It’s because they will not take responsibility for their lives, but they hope to meet a man who automatically knows how to take responsibility FOR them. This is totally unrealistic.
Perhaps these women expect God to take responsibility for them, but they must have some misconceptions about God, because God seldom follows romantic fantasies like a woman does. God’s idea of romance is always tied to a relationship that GLORIFIES HIM. But a lot of women always put the responsibility on MEN, and cling to the hope that they’ll find a PERFECT relationship, and that they won’t ever NEED to address the HARD stuff – the deeper issues in life – which is the question of how their relationships Glorify God.
Most women experience rejection at some point, but sadly, there are some women who never GET IT. They don’t know how to act, to glorify God. Some women, instead of taking responsibility for themselves, simply try harder in the first two areas: looking more attractive, and getting along with men. But without a LIFE to guide them, they eventually cross some boundaries and enter into an unhealthy lifestyle, characterized by short-term relationships and promiscuity. Sadly, they would sooner waste themselves on chance, then to take control of their life. They never understand what can open doors for them. These women never learn how to overcome their doubts in life and manage themselves well.
There’s an old song that goes, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…”
When a woman knows herself and manages her life well, then she shows the world who she is and how she should be treated. If she never teaches the world to “sing” for her, then no one will know what “note” to hit when she comes in the door. After a while, people get tired of the disorganized “bad music” and start avoiding her.
Men want to spend time with a woman who not only contributes something to his life, but who also INSPIRES and MOTIVATES him. That’s what it means to “teach people to sing”. But that is not something that a woman can do intentionally by some small actions. Some women think so, but that kind of thinking is manipulative, so you won’t have much lasting success by trying these “tricks” and “gimmicks”. A woman inspires and motivates a man by being emotionally healthy, by having her own life purpose and business to attend to, and by making herself available to WIN-WIN relationships with others, or with a man.
Like I mentioned earlier, just because a woman has these three things bears no guarantee of developing a relationship. There are a number of other things that need to be secured. This section covers a few of them.
Get Your Act Together ASAP
Decide what you want out of life as early as possible, and make your best efforts to achieve it. Most people make this choice during adolescence, and so it’s important to prepare for your future, as soon as you are aware of your heart’s desire.
If you want to be happily married, then preserve your purity by abstaining from sex until married, be aware of the escalation of temptation, and avoid it at all costs.
Make a concerted effort to help yourself and your like-minded friends to meet lots of eligible men, to find choice partners. This endeavor should be well underway during your early 20’s. Make the choice to marry when you are at your SMV peak (~22-26 years old). If you wait a minute longer, the quality and quantity of your choices (in the way of available mates) will decrease sharply.
Don’t fall for the lie that you have another decade to prepare for marriage. You don’t! Maybe you think you can wait that long, but the good men, and the other women in your competitive bracket, will not.
Don’t be Desperate
Probably the most IMPORTANT change as far as your relationships are concerned, is when you realize that you stopped NEEDING a man. In spiritual terminology, this signifies that you have become THANKFUL for the reality that you have, and that you have truly given up your idolatrous sin of COVETING a man, which is, in reality, only a selfish fantasy that has kept you in bondage to loneliness and rejection.
When this one “shift” in your thinking happens, it will probably have the biggest effect of ALL, because once a woman stops WANTING and NEEDING a man, she will start attracting them LIKE CRAZY.
Neediness implies that a woman has more problems and emotional requirements than average, which vastly displaces her ability to introduce good things into the relationship.
There’s an old saying that goes, “The hungry don’t get fed”. Well, it’s a spiritual principle. It applies for men chasing women, and the same goes with a woman’s hunger for a man. If you’re NEEDY, then men will RUN away from you.
Men can “sniff” out a “needy” woman, and they stay far away, because men know that a needy woman can quickly become a “blood-sucking parasite” that will consume his life, throw him out of control, and fill him with guilt. It’s better to avoid such a woman completely!
So, be careful that you do not become obsessed with men. A woman should have more good things happening in her mind, than merely the idea of pursuing a husband.
Find a Happily Married Mentor
Women today, need to understand how to GLORIFY GOD in a relationship, and it needs to be learned IN PRACTICE, and not restrained to be merely cognitive knowledge gained from a book or a once-a-week class. Older, more experienced women need to SHOW and TELL these young ladies how it’s done, one-on-one! This is something that is CAUGHT, and not taught! This task is heavy, because very few people in our church have Christian parents who can demonstrate God’s presence in a relationship to them.
I encourage you to seek out as many good mentors as you can find, especially those who are successful in love, and/or happily married. You will need to find at least one mature woman who will work with you closely, one-on-one, and help guide you with God’s love and truth, through the maze of choices you’ll face as a single adult.
Be Aware of the Juxtaposed Effects of Your Respective Persons on the Relationship
God often does not expect us to change ourselves for the better before bringing us into relationship with each other. God uses relationships as a living channel to dispense His grace to us. It’s through these relationships that we become better people.
So, when finding a mate, look at the larger picture of what God is doing with the PLURAL “US”, and don’t SETTLE for someone, just to have someone. The relationship should be a mutual trust, which brings mutual benefits. Make sure you both agree, and are happy with what you’re both giving and getting out of the relationship before you commit to it.
Here’s an important point concerning the TOTAL EFFECT of your partnership: Make sure that your concept of the other person’s identity agrees with his own concept of self, and vice versa. A lot of divorces happen simply because the person that Mary wants and believes John to be, is not at all like the man that John knows and wants himself to be. Sadly, the two can never agree, without a fantastically major compromise, which may very well require the spiritual death of one or both of them. (How many Pastor’s wives become clinically depressed for the sake of her husband’s ministry?) Even if such a sacrifice is made, the relationship can never really glorify God in the way that God intended it to be. (The children of such relationships suffer especially, because they cannot experience God from their parent’s interaction.)
It’s very helpful if you learn to look at yourselves as a couple. How well do you match each other, and what kind of influence do you have on each other? Relationships are LIVING and DYNAMIC – not static. Relationships change people, so make sure your relationship brings POSITIVE changes to BOTH of you.
Another thing, just because two people are Christians, does not necessarily mean that their relationship together will automatically be a “Christian” one.
Are you listening?
Putting two “good” people together does NOT guarantee a successful marriage!
In fact, it’s not uncommon for two misfit screwballs to have a more enjoyable and beneficial relationship, than two, very disciplined, high-quality people, depending on the nature of their personality combination and interaction. In other words, it is not the quality of your character that counts, but it’s the natures of your respective identities, and how well they blend and match each other.
For example, lemons are too sour to eat by themselves, and sugar is too sweet, but when mixed together with water, they make a delicious drink – lemonade. But if we combine milk and soy sauce in the water, we’re only making people vomit. People in relationship are the same way, and this is a major piece of what it means to have a relationship that Glorifies God.
Play Social Games
A healthy relationship is commonly characterized by some friendly SOCIAL GAMES, in which two people supercede the background traditions of culture and language, and learn to communicate with each other on a HEART-TO-HEART level. These social games also help one to understand the self and others better, including our personalities, temperaments, and our levels of emotional stamina and social responsibility. This knowledge is necessary to maintain good relationships with others, in addition to the communication.
Of course, if there is miscommunication, or if the game goes sour, then hearts will be broken, but such an experience should reveal one’s weaknesses and teach one to be stronger, and how to do better the next time around. The safety of a caring community is a prerequisite, which is why a lot of Christians frown on “dating” and encourage “courtship” instead. Wisdom is required to know when to step back from the action, take a rest and get a new perspective and some refreshment, before jumping back into the game.
If a woman wants to see BIG changes in her social life, and in her love life, she needs to take the time to go INSIDE… and work on the INNER GAME issues. If a woman can get her inner game together, then the social games become completely intuitive. She will become beautiful and inspiring to others, and these people, including men, will start “singing” for her.
Once a woman gets control of her inner game by becoming realistic in her psychology and managing her emotions, EVERYTHING will change for her. I’m NOT saying that she should become rational, cold and heartless. I’m saying that she should stop trusting in her preconceived fantasies about love, examine herself honestly, and start connecting with people on a basic, heart-to-heart level.
I think one of the most important and basic steps to this PROCESS, is in RECOGNIZING and BELIEVING that a LIVING REALITY can be BETTER than a SELFISH FANTASY.
If one can concentrate on this idea long enough, until the reality can kick in, you’ll realize that things are not the way they seem. You’ll realize that the default human condition is broken, and this is, perhaps, one of the biggest psychological obstacles in accepting the many responsibilities that come with knowing the TRUTH.
In mythical language, you’ll realize that LIES – your own false notions and self-centered ignorance – have held you under an EVIL SPELL, and now, you are waking up!
If you’re a mature woman, who has her life together, and has taken the time to get her “inner issues” handled, then men can FEEL it, and they’re attracted to her like tacks on a MAGNET.
But if you are a woman who has had poor luck with men, then you know, I think it’s CRITICAL for a girl to work on her “Inner Game”. In fact, it’s the one thing that girls who have guys report as the MOST important thing they’ve learned about success with their men.
In Christian terminology, I’m talking about “strengthening your relationship with God”, and forming relationships that Glorify God.
Christian people label the CHALLENGES mentioned here, as pertaining to “one’s relationship with God”. But the real meaning of having a relationship with God, as heard from the pulpit, often gets blurred as religious jargon. In day-to-day practice, it should not be merely a “churchy concept”, shrouded in mysterious rules and taboos, etc.
Unfortunately, until now, there has been NOTHING available from the Church to help young people unravel God’s ways in their day-to-day personal life application. Young people need something that is TOTALLY focused on helping them get their Inner Game together, and using it in real world situations, especially when it comes to relationships and choosing a mate, which is one of the most important parts of our lives. (I am writing these things to help fill that void in teaching.)
“It’s really too bad that the opportunities of youth are wasted on the young and inexperienced.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Most of all, spend a lot of time in prayer, especially when making decisions. Be patient and give yourself some time. Anything built to last a lifetime, cannot be made very easily or quickly.
Best wishes on finding the Lord’s purposes towards making your self a channel of God’s glory and blessing into a man’s life, and finding his love in return.