This blog is a complement to Msgr. Pope’s January 4th blog, Marriage and Manhood. There, he laid out some ground rules for men concerning marriage. Fabulous blog, in my opinion!
As a follow-up, I felt the need to encourage women to do their part as well. So with my own experiences and the input of a single marriage-minded man, I’ve compiled this list.
1) If you are interested in attracting a man, look the part: choose feminine dresses over androgynous pants; fitted contours over ill-fitting clothes; enhancing colors over plain blacks; natural, youthful makeup over heavy, concealing makeup; and always choose a smile over a blank stare or a scowl.
2) Never ask a guy out! If he is interested and is a real man, he will ask you out. If he doesn’t ask you out, he either isn’t interested or isn’t a real man. This point could not be more clear or more important.
3) Do not have an intimate friendship with a man who is not dating you. If you are hoping that someday he will date you, it’s very unlikely. (Sorry, Taylor Swift.) This can also be a red flag that this man does not have intimate friendships with other men. This is a problem since men need other men to be real men.
4) Ok so you’re on your first date, and this guy starts sounding an awful lot like your ex…give him a chance! If you start projecting your ex’s worst characteristics on this new guy, you are inviting your own disappointment. Each man is unique, so give him the respect he deserves. It has been said that a man’s desire for respect is comparable to a woman’s desire to be cherished.
5) Once a man initiates a friendship, continue letting him pursue you as you get to know each other. Let him plan the dates. Let him pick you up. Let him pay. Let him set the pace. Let him be the first to use the words relationship, dating, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Follow his lead, and don’t make assumptions.
6) Dress modestly and act chastely. Despite what television and commercials tell you, seduction is entirely unnecessary! Your beauty and the fact that you are a female is enough.
7) If a relationship doesn’t work out, don’t let that affect your relationship with God or your appreciation of yourself as a woman. (I just got on a proud-to-be-a-Catholic-woman kick. Above my bed is a recently-purchased painting of the Blessed Mother and baby Jesus, and on my bedside table is my rosary and my current pile of books: “The Privilege of Being a Woman” (von Hildebrand), “Woman” (Stein), “Theology of the Body for Beginners” (West), “Graced and Gifted” (Hahn), “Introduction to the Devout Life” (de Sales), and “The Soul of Elizabeth Seton” (Dirvin). This is new venture for me, but I can tell you that so far it’s been entirely enriching!)
Try all 7 of these guidelines, and let me know how it works for you! And if you’ve been grazing in one pasture for a while, try a new one! God never promised that your future husband would live within a 20 miles radius.
God bless your journey toward marriage!
“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.” Proverbs 31:10