Anonymous: How does a girl act available to a guy without seeming too forward? If I’m interested in a guy, how do I let him know I’m interested without being too forward? I know (and believe) girls should be the pursued and guys the pursuer, but I don’t know how he’s supposed to know I’m interested, and want to spend more time with him! Is it okay to express myself, or is that too forward, too?
Lauren: Yes, you can express yourself! I love when men step up to the plate and pursue women, but we Christians have done a pretty fantastic job of messing up this topic. There are two ways a woman can come off to a guy: interested, or not interested. WAY too often we women feign disinterest because we believe that interest = pursuit. So we make men pursue, pursue, pursue - and most men end up disappearing in frustration or simply because they don’t think we ever gave them a second glance.
SO. What does showing interest look like? Be yourself! Act the same way around this guy you’re interested in as the way you’d act towards a new female friend that you’d really like to get to know better. Smile, ASK QUESTIONS, be friendly. Trust me, all a guy needs from a girl is a big smile and her asking one question that shows she wants to know SOMETHING about him. And while you’re at it, be a flirt. The church has made women feel guilty about flirting, but it’s a perfectly natural (and in my opinion, way fun) part of relationships. Flirting essentially communicates to the other party that they are special. Flirt with common sense, respectable boundaries. Flirt = smile, laugh, make jokes, make (acceptable) physical contact, engage. Flirting does not have to be scandalous, standard-sacrificing, or slutty.
One more thought: expressing yourself is very important in relationships with men. One very bad side effect of this whole “let the man pursue you and don’t pursue him at all” thing has been that we’ve resulted in a massive wave of women in relationships who can’t speak up for themselves, communicate what they’re thinking/feeling, or let the man lead every single minute detail of the relationship. You are 50% of a potential or present relationship. It’s very important to give yourself that value. Men LOVE a woman who knows what she wants. It’s much better to be the woman whose man knows exactly where to take her for her birthday dinner because she’s verbal about what she loves, than for a man to guess and guess and guess and hope that he’s “pursuing” her properly.