Dear Auntie Seraphic,
If I may, I wanted to ask your opinion on a dating-related matter. I've found your blog to be super relevant to my life as a single woman, so thank you.
Here is my situation. I've been seeing a really nice guy from church for [X]. We met at a church event and then, lo and behold, he arranged some group outings, and then called me and asked me out to dinner (which made me very glad that I had waited for him to make the first moves). We've been on [Y] dates, and we've connected at church and social events with other friends regularly.
Anyway, I'm wondering at what point you would consider it ok (for lack of a better word) to initiate a date (so far he's done all the asking), and how a woman should decide what would/wouldn't be considered too forward in terms of reciprocating interest and taking initiative? It seems like we're both pretty interested, though I would like to hear from and see him more often. He's in rigorous [professional] training, and it's hard for me to tell if he's just that busy or not as interested in me, or if this pace is good for this early stage. I am cautious about doing things I might have done in the past, such as being too available and doing favours like baking cookies for him (I haven't). But at the same time, I have found it increasingly hard to be detached and avoid getting too hopeful/ahead of myself with this guy. He is wonderful, and I really like him, yet I don't want to be disappointed.
I feel confused. I've started praying for detachment and perspective. I'm also trying to accept that I might get hurt, and there is only so much I can control. I have kissed him, which maybe was unwise. I guess the reason I'm writing is that I just don't like feeling like I'm sitting by the phone - I don't know if I should keep patiently letting things unfold slowly, or reach out to him more often. After all, we've been out a few times, and I feel like a good friendship/relationship is developing. I don't want to overdo it, or at the other extreme, come across as ambivalent.
Any insight you could offer would be helpful. I want to invite him to get dinner with me this week, but I don't know if that's too forward. I feel like I'm second-guessing everything lately, and I don't like feeling so unsure of myself.
Thank you so much for reading this email! I know you must be very busy, and I appreciate all the work you do to help us singles to be seraphic.
Ask or Not Ask
Dear Ask or Not Ask,
Sit by the phone. I know we've been told since we were born that sitting by the phone is BAD and these are MODERN TIMES and that the MODERN WOMAN is the strong, masterful type who sends flowers and pays for dinner and calls the man on the phone and wrestles lions, etc., etc., but that is just nonsense.
Either he's that into you or he's not. If he's not that into you, calling won't help. If he is into you, calling him will lessen your mystery and quality of precious rarity.
I don't know why people act like dating relationships are all that and a bag of chips because we women spend a lot of our time away from the men in utter anxiety. Between being kissed by B.A. and being asked by B.A. to marry him, I was in a state of insanity. If he hadn't asked me to marry him, I don't know what I would have done! Possibly imploded.
So it is completely normal for you to feel like you want to hear and see him more often, and possibly he would like to hear and see you more often, but he is [in rigorous professional training]. He is under intense pressure--and as a [Z] I am sure you must be under some, too--and the last thing you want to do is ADD pressure. Because that is what "Gee, I sure would like to see you more often" does. Nine out of ten women start to nag for more access after a few dates. Be the one in ten who clenches her teeth and waits.
Let things unfold slowly. I really mean that. There is no reason for you to call him up and ask him out for dinner. If he's the One, he will call you up and ask you out for dinner. He will not sit around wondering why you don't call up and ask him out for dinner. And he must know you like him; if you didn't like him, you wouldn't go out with him. The important thing is that he not know how MUCH you like him until he takes his big, necessary, boy-becomes-man, emotional risk of telling you how much he likes you.
I understand very well your temptation to push things forward faster, to push for more, to do something to relieve the feeling of "waiting by the phone." However, there is just no point. You are just going to have to live in the discomfort, and, yes, that kind of sucks. Alternatively, you could fill up the gap with more of your work, with more of your friends, with more of anything except vices, Ben & Jerry's and temptations to call him and ask him out on a date as if he were a girl and you were a big, strong man.
I assume you see him once a week already, what with church and everything. The famous "Rules" decrees that at the early stages of a relationship, you shouldn't see a man more than once a week, increasing to twice a week as the relationship gets going.
Meanwhile, you are still free to go out for coffee, etc. with any other guy who asks. Keep that in mind, and perhaps he might remember that as well and do something to forestall that. (Of course you should never SAY so.)
I hope this is helpful.
Grace and peace,