Monday, November 22, 2004

Obligatory Seasonal Relationship Post

...except this time, its not by me.

Just some thoughts I ran across. No hidden meanings and suggestions here. Been definitely hearing a whole bunch about marriage and etc though....he has some interesting things to say, and in a quite articulate manner.


So I've been thinking a lot lately ( I usually avoid that kinda thing, but I've been slipping up lately...). Being that I am who I am, my thoughts revolve around one of my favorite things usually... girls (big suprise, I know). The thing I've been thinking about most lately has been the whole "we want what we can't have" concept...

Y'know, there is a lot of truth packed into that little aphorism...

First off, I think that relationships are great, and that a guy that wants a relationship, and finds an exceptional woman to have a relationship with, is a very fortunate guy, and that relationship can be a very fulfilling part of life.

I believe that there's a search involved in finding all the right pieces to make that sort of a situation happen (I mean, c'mon now, God doesn't just leave your groceries on your doorstep every morning--you have to go get them). You can call it dating, courting... whatever, basically it comes down to a searching process.

I think most guys wonder if they should do something different when they'd like to pursue a relationship with a woman as opposed to the process of dating her as a way of determining compatibility and if it'll work.

I've also noticed a pattern: When a guy starts to "like" a girl and feel the "I'd like to be in a long-term relationship with this girl" feelings, this can be a powerful emotional influence. Guys often start acting differently without even realizing it, and then we justify our new behavior with the good reasoning of "I really like this one."

But what does this really do? I mean, should we really do anything different if we'd like this to turn into a relationship...?

I have an idea... let's look at this from a few different perspectives... Think about some of the related questions... Maybe by working through them, there's an answer...

Here are a few that come to mind for me:

"If I act like I'm not interested in a relationship, how does that effect a woman's interest in me?"

"Are women automatically deterred by guys who don't come across as being interested in relationships?"

"Are there clues or hints that women look for to see whether a guy is interested in a "short term" or "long term" relationship (maybe as a way of filtering out guys who are out for a one-night stand)?"

"Will a woman who thinks a guy is interested in a "relationship" act differently towards him if she doesn't know what his intentions are?"

"Is it "ok" to be not interested in a relationship, but still want to meet and date a woman?"

"How do women know when men are pursuing them for a relationship? And how do women typically respond to this?"

"What is the attitude towards this whole subject that not only works best, but is also the healthiest?"

The great thing about questions like this is that when you consider them and ask yourself these kinds of things on a regular basis, they make you think about things in a different way. The ability to think about things from different perspectives can help give you a much clearer understanding of what you're dealing with in a situation like this one.

Now, here's my wandering thoughts on those questions...

I personally think that there's something inside us... a basic program you might call it... that when it comes to someone who is a potential romantic interests this thing says "If he/she chases me, run. If he/she doesn't chase me, chase him/her."

Of course, this is a huge generalization, and it doesn't always hold true... but it's true enough in most situations

Consider, for example, if a guy calls a woman all the time, she'll probably not call him. If a guy takes a woman to dinner 4 times in a week, she probably won't be inviting him over for dinner anytime soon... if this keeps up, soon she'll actually be avoiding him.

On the other hand, if a guy goes out with a woman and she has a great time, then he doesn't call for a couple of days, or maybe he calls once for 3 minutes to tell her that he's busy but wants to make plans for a few days later, she ends up thinking about him all the time.

Essentially I think this comes down to communicating whether or not a person is insecure and needy/clingy, or if they are self-confident and have lives which they are active and responsible participants in... And I think these things are extensions of respect for a person's self and also the person they are interested in.

I also think that when it comes to relationships, women have little hints that they look for to determine what a guy's interests/intentions are.

Does he talk about having kids? Does he ask her about her family and relationships with them? Does he answer her questions about these things in a serious way, as if he's being interviewed? Is he acting stilted and nervous, as if something huge is depending on her
liking him? Does he call a lot and get her gifts? Does he check up to see how she's doing all the time, even though he doesn't know her that well?

All of these things are hints that women use to tell how "relationship minded" a guy is with her...

If a guy seems like he's after a significant relationship, then a woman has a much bigger decision to make, and will be taking all kinds of things into consideration... little gestures will suddenly take on new meaning...

If a guy's only looking for a "relationship", then this will come across in all his interactions with that girl. He'll be asking different questions, answering questions differently, and playing to the long term.

From experience, I think that this can create all kinds of problems when done "too much too soon."

My personal experience is that women will act much more "real" when you don't put unnecessary pressure on the situation. Acting like a friendship has to either end in "marriage or we're breaking up," right from the beginning is asking for big trouble.

Another perspective I have is that a LOT of relationship problems are the result of people who don't know each other getting involved too deeply and too quickly. This is another great thing to mention from the get-go...

Something else I've realized is that just because I really want or don't want a relationship at one moment, doesn't necessarily mean I'll feel that way the next.

I've had times in my life when I've been single and thinking "I'm not into a relationship right now", and then I met a fantastic woman that changed my mind.

I've also had times when I've wanted a relationship, but didn't pursue one.

Ok, after all that introspection, here's my conclusion: Approach the whole topic with the attitude of "I'm open to whatever great opportunities lie ahead."

When you're with an interest that you've just met, don't put the pressure on. Lean back, take it easy. (especially if they're unusually attractive... attractive people are used to having other people falling for them too quickly, and this is a quick turn-off)

If the topic comes up, say "Well, I'm single now, and if I meet a woman that I really like, then we'll see what happens." A lot of guys don't want to come across as being "afraid of commitment". But don't go overboard to prove that you're not... because you'll come across as needy and insecure if you try too hard. A woman won't run away from you if you're not calling her 10 times a day, rather, she'll probably run if you do call her too often...

Ok, too much thinking for today... that should last me til at least next February.

Friday, November 05, 2004

I'm right.

We're only as balanced as our news sources...people who claim to "know" the facts for either side of politics, they're only as truthful as their sources. And in the midst of the deception in all the media today, do you really know how truthful that is?

We must stop wielding our knowledge as a form of superiority and learn to submit it in prayer instead. Mind of Christ, thinking and considering by the Spirit instead of the fleshly considerations of this world. All the logic and facts in the world still pale in comparison to the "foolishness" of God.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Post Election Hysteria

In response to all anti-Bush and pro-Bush hysteria post election...

"Vote for Pedro. He'll make your wildest dreams come true."

As I was sharing with several friends yesterday...I'm glad that Bush won.

Yes, I voted for him.

Some thoughts:

>> The thing that's bothering me is the utter polarization of the body of Christ on this issue of elections. I expressed to another friend the night of the elections, is that I can see why a Christian can vote for Kerry. I think Bush did as good as a job as he could have of these past four years; I admire his faith, I admire his strong decision making. To some conservatives, they make it seem that Bush is without fault, the best president we've ever had. History will bear on the validity of a statement like that, but to say that Bush has done a fantastic job in his first term is to turn a blind eye to all the shortcomings of this administration.

>> I truly believe that Bush was re-elected because of the prayers of the saints. The amount of prayer into these elections was tremendous, and I think that there was much grace over the selection of Bush. Now I'm not saying prayer in the sense of "God, bring Bush back into office." But the prayers and cries for 1 Tim 2:1-2; for righteous and just government. In some sense, we got who "we" wanted. But now that God has put Bush into office (he very well could have put Kerry in there), he is God's man. I'm thankful that Bush has a vibrant personal faith...but it is imperative that we as believers continue to pray for our congress and the president. There is immense potential for much righteous and just legislation to be passed this year, but so much of that is dependent on Christians not suddenly falling into complacency and thinking that everything is "okay" now that Bush in office.

>> Folks, America is sick. The fact that we are the point where homosexual marriage, the basic unit of society, is being challenged...indicates to me how much the standards of righteousness have been eroded in our nation. Our blatant and utter disregard for the poor and disenfranchised will bring the judgments of Sodom and Gommorah upon our nation (check Ezekiel, they were destroyed for their lack of concern for the poor...not just their immorality). It is disturbing that it is taking us this late into the game to wake up.

>> I'm sick of the Christian posturing the Republican Party has so patently abused in these elections. The reason why people don't believe you when you do all this Christian jargon is because your actions fail to reflect what Jesus preached. Yes, you are concerned about morality. But morality in itself is death, and is essentially Pharisical legalism.

Democrats are generally more lax on issues of morality: " Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. " Proverbs 29:18 Our government desperately needs the righteousness that the GOP espouses and the justice that the Democrats push for. These two things ought not to be mutually exclusive.

>> I voted for Bush personally because I am more concerned about the foundation of our society being eroded than any other issue. Research by anthropologists and sociologists all suggest that once a society moves beyond the basic family unit, that it moves into a slipperly slope that can only get worse. That for me is the most pressing concern.

Second is on the issue of abortion. I can't for the life of me, comprehend why people are making qualitative comparisons between the war on Iraq and the abortion of babies. Do you realize that 1/3 of our generation has been aborted? How many million innocent deaths is that? Yes, the war on Iraq has many innocent casualities; but at least we are there with the INTENT of bringing order to chaos. Are we doing a good job? No, not necessarily. Abortion is PRIMARILY an outlet of Western convenience of not bearing the consequences of our actions. You don't "accidentally" have a baby. You had a sex. Sperm, egg. No mystery here.

>> It's unfortunate that we have to "rank" the problems in our nature as what to deal with first. Its really lame, really.

Anyway, I'm going to cut this ranting short. In the end, our government desperately needs the mind and wisdom of God. Especially in Bush's second term...there is a potential for so much good to be done...all across the board.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Why Don't I Bring A Bucket?

If tweaking is what you are worried about, then rest easy. God doesn’t want to tweak you, or adjust you. God wants to completely transform you. According to C.S. Lewis, God says, “I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down.”

But He promises a good result. God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), promises a good result:

Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is –his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The question I face is this: Do I really want to be able to test and know God’s good, pleasing and perfect will? Do I want it enough to be changed? It may be that the “loss” I am so afraid of facing, will only occur if I remain where I am. Perhaps author Nancy Spiegelberg puts it best: "Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to You with an empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known You better I'd have come running with a bucket."