2661. Strategy for Courtship—07: His Love Develops


In earlier posts I made a big deal about how men are primarily producers and women processors. I present a major exception; a man falling in love is a process that I make appear sequential. Actually, it is both fragmented and spontaneous and the emotional conclusion of a lot of reason, logic, and self-study. Moreover, it’s virtually invisible to the woman involved.

A man’s devotion is the first stage of development in his love. Other conclusions add to the process of his figuring out if he’s in love with her. I recap the essentials. Through his mind and heart, the following pass as products of their togetherness:

  • Her likeability, aka her appeal for him to be in her company.
  • His devotion, aka strong desire to please her. He likes her, seeks to spend time together, and likes who he is when with her.
  • His respect, at least the form most critical to his enduring love, grows out of her resistance to yield sex to him. The longer she resists, the greater the promise that other guys also failed and his respect for her diligence.
  • Her loyalty, aka the promise he sees that she will be faithful to him.
  • His likeability to her, aka the sincerity he sees in her love.
  • His loyalty to her, aka his willingness to give up all others to ‘possess’ her for himself.
  • His bonded love, aka devotion swollen to please himself for pleasing her.
  • His true love emerges from his admission that his life with her can be more satisfying than living by himself. He expects not to fail at anything he undertakes including marriage. Consequently, he also figures to love what he’s about to do, which is to live with her. Any proposal follows acceptance of that conclusion on top of his true love of her.

A woman who expects her man to work out that process by himself has the right attitude. His process of evaluating her for entry into his life makes dating and courtship intriguing and critical. He decides, and she’s along for the ride. He appears to rule, she actually runs the show.

However, the show she runs is herself, who and what she is to him. Out of that grows or doesn’t grow his love. She can’t change him; she can only make herself more attractive, appealing, and desirable for him to possess her in the ultimate venue, marriage. It begs the question, how?

Consequently, to complete this study of courtship, I suggest two series. Putting Marriage in His Mind and Putting Marriage out of Her Mind. They begin at post  871 and run in sequence.

47 Comments

Filed under courtship, Dear daughter, feminine, How she wins, marriage, sex differences

47 responses to “2661. Strategy for Courtship—07: His Love Develops

  1. gonemaverick

    Excellent post Sir Guy.

    • gonemaverick

      “… His process of evaluating her for entry into his life makes dating and courtship intriguing and critical. He decides, and she’s along for the ride…”

      Sir Guy, can a man go through this process without having “said” the words of commitment or having asked her out for a first date but only showing early signs of devotion and being present in her space to indicate ongoing interest? This behaviour sometimes goes on for months before he even chats her up.

      Your Highness Gonemaverick,

      It appears you’re the victim of the latest practice men can get away with, dates are out. Who needs them when women are available without dating them? So, make yourself less available.

      If you fear losing him as a friend, he’s probably no good for you anyway. If he fears losing you, he will change under proper prompting that contains no blame.

      If you don’t like how the relationship is developing or not developing, or you think it too informal and unsatisfactory for you, there’s another option that works just like Virtual Virginity. Women should not let men dictate the manner by which they will relate to women. For you at least, put dating back into your agenda.

      So, if you want change, turn away or vastly shorten your “association time” and let him do without your company for a while. When he asks why, tell him that you expect any man of interest to want to date you formally. Your current friendship may be great, but as a woman you expect much more out of life, including the probability of dating several men soon.

      Your phrasing should be cautious. Don’t blame him. Let him assume guilt, figure out if he wants you bad enough to date. If he doesn’t, you are not all that important in his life. If he wants you, he will change and you gave him the choice you wish to see.

      Guy

      • gonemaverick

        It’s guys from church Sir Guy. I have no association whatsoever with any of them. I don’t even greet the one but but he is everywhere I turn. The other one eventually asked me out on a group date and I said no and I stated clearly what I would and would not do. He got the message and said he would do as I asked next time.

        Your Highness Gonemaverick,
        You do well, but you’re pretty much alone. It’s a shame your female sisters have dropped most standards that uphold feminine dignity, sexual desirability, and innate acceptability. Modern women don’t know how to condition the thinking of men, and men don’t know how to respect, act, or treat females as respectable. Truly regrettable, but all improvements are in the hands of females as each new generation inherits better advice from elders who recognize their own failures.
        Guy

  2. msarianne

    This is excellent!
    For those that have read my posts about my situation with a coworker I believe a big deal is that I am overweight and have been for a long time…and I’ve gained weight. I have his attention (it just seems to me he wants too much of my company for me not to be of his interest) he is good to me in many ways however I think that is at the root of his lack of interest in moving forward.
    Sir Guy, wouldn’t you say that is a very important thing for women to know and address ? I know men are highly visual.

    Your Highness Msarianne,
    Yes, I think you spotlight a likely reason he doesn’t move forward.
    Guy

    • WWNH has been a big wake-up call for me in terms of expressing my value of myself by care for my appearance. Obesity can be an expression of lack of self-value.

      However, I know married couples who have married who are both overweight, and married couples who, though rail-skinny when first married, are now both overweight but still post Facebook pictures on their anniversaries. “Still my sweetheart after all these years” and stuff like that.

      Seems to me it has to do with different ideas of beauty in different families and cultures. Some men are all about big girls, some men are all about skinny Minnies.

      Also seems to me that men can attach themselves to big girls only because of what general female attention does for the male ego AND what conquering any woman for sex will do for the ego as well.

      And finally, also seems to me that, if a man attaches himself to a big girl and works hard to get what he wants without respecting her boundaries, he’s probably not someone worth going on a diet for.

      • Miss Gina

        Completely agree on the last paragraph, Miss Edith.

        Before I read your comment, I was trying to figure out how to say the same thing! 😀

        However, a nice side benefit of losing weight, beyond the self-esteem boost, may be the unexpected and wonderful interested gentlemen who magically appear out of the woodwork… 😉

        • msarianne

          Thank you Miss Gina for your comments.
          Actually there were 2 gentlemen that approached me during the holidays with some interest. You are correct about attracting men with new weigt loss. Unfortunately, one was way too young (I look younger than my age) and the other is married. Still I persevere in my self improvement. 😊

      • msarianne

        Thank you Lady Edith,
        Truth is I have been working to improve myself and one is those improvements has been to lose weight. I have already achieved a few goals.😊
        Sir Guy’s articles about pretty time have helped me to focus back to what I want out of life for myself and my future.
        I appreciate your kind words.

  3. Sarina

    Seems that there’s a trend developing, a huge turn-off, guys using offensive slurs when addressing or talking about girls. Using B or S is a norm nowadays and some even use genitalia terms openly.

    Often, I see girls accepting this with no problem. A normal woman would call the guy out on his language or ignore him. And I hate to hear those words from guys I actually look up to, colleagues and somewhat respectable men. If they easily trash talk their female buddies, I think no one can be safe.

    As for courtship, if your partner uses a similar slur in an argument, it would be beneficial to start ignoring him altogether but first to announce him that insults are the quickest way for him to end your relationship.

    Your Highness Sarina,
    It’s been trending since Women’s Liberation burst on the scene in the Sixties and expanded to become Feminism in the Seventies. Radical leftists and lesbians taught women they could talk like men, and men learned to speak worse to stay ahead of their gals. The practice continues to worsen in spite of objections by kind people like you who favor civility and mutual respect.
    Guy

  4. Dear Sir Guy,
    If a wife who has nagged her husband for some time wants to change her behavior and realizes that she has been too naggy, would the husband appreciate an apology from her where she said “I’m sorry that I have been disrespectful by nagging you recently.” Does a husband like frequent apologies for acts of disrespect? Or would he lose respect from her frequent apologies as she is trying to change?

    Your Highness Mary Wumths,
    No to apologies. Just quit, don’t mention it. Let him figure out that you’ve changed and he will appreciate it more. To apologize is to admit you’re weaker than he has been led to believe with your nagging, so it could cost you some respect rather than earn some.
    Guy

  5. Sunset Highway

    For some reason, call me close minded, I have always had this inner belief that men make their decision to marry pretty instantaneously. But I think this “process” that may be happening is just the unfolding of the subconscious decision he already made to ‘marry’ a specific woman, with the subconsciously slowly hinting at his conscious mind “marry her, marry her”. So over time he is just realizing that he ‘needs to marry her’, but really he made the decision by the 1st meeting..

    Intuitively I have always felt men take one look at women and make their decision, and it is this kind of instantaneous ‘sureness’ that may even be better for the marriage itself. A lot of marriages where the man was ‘hemming and hawing’ his way to the alter, where the woman had to nag him for a ring on a weekly basis, seem doomed to failure. It only takes one casual meeting – say a date, an introduction by a friend, a client visiting an office, and he may have already (in his subconscious) made the decision to ‘marry this woman’. They may end up marrying years later, he may not even know he has made his ‘decision’ yet.

    Yes I believe there is a process, and that process is mostly the woman protecting her assets – once the man has made his decision on the first meeting, the woman has to now play her part and avoid sleeping with him at all costs – lead the donkey with the carrot..(is this the proper idiom? my memory is bad today)… I was observing my female dog at the dog park over the weekend, and another male dog kept trying to mount my little pooch. Round and round they went, the male dog chasing my pooch’s tail. Each time he tried to sniff and get on top of her, she kept sitting down so that he would be denied access. The male dog did not give up. So long as she was in the park, he was game to chase her even with repeated denials. See, all the woman has to do is exactly this, just keep her legs crossed right? And not act totally crazy/drunk/irresponsible. Or this may be my way of oversimplifying things because dating has become too much of a complex mind game for me to handle after all these years.

    Your Highness Sunset Highway,

    You thinking is very sound about your 1st meeting theory but I perceive two variants:

    • When it’s love at first sight, he takes off to do all that’s necessary to win her ASAP. His intent is solid and doesn’t fade along the way.

    • When it’s not love at first sight, the process kicks in and depends on her behavior that generates his true love and proposal after months of contemplation. You’re right, his subconscious keeps stroking his conscious mind, but it takes time to convince himself that he will be better living with her and he won’t fail after the altar.

    You’re also right with this, “that process is mostly the woman protecting her assets.”

    Guy

  6. Femme

    I agree it’s an excellent article as it draws attention to the fact that men do take time to realise their true feelings/intentions and that women may sometimes interrupt this process by being too pushy (probably out of fear or insecurity).
    I have a question that is not spot on the subject but related (I would appreciate input also from other ladies).
    I work at a place with lots of men passing by my desk. I try to use this experience to be exposed to different guys in a safe sort of way.
    I caught this one guy looking at my cleavage while I wasn’t actually sitting but walking across the room. It wasn’t very obvious and he quickly looked away and it’s also nothing new to me, but I felt embarrassed. Then I think I caught his gaze from across the room a few times on different days, but that could have been my imagination. He seems lost in his own world most of the time, wearing earphones so am assuming he listens to music.
    He came up to my desk a few times in a professional capacity, so to speak.
    Then a few days ago everybody else was in a meeting (it’s all open space, no doors or walls).
    I was the only person manning the reception desk and this girl was giving a talk on hazardous chemicals in modern households.
    I was listening intently as it was quite useful information and all of a sudden this guy comes up to me, leans over my desk and asks for this girl’s name. I had to repeat it as he couldn’t hear the 1st time, then he added “I’m just about to paint my flat so it’s good to know this stuff”.
    I finish my shift at 2 pm and just as I was about to leave he appeared near the entrance fully dressed to go out, too, and if I didn’t hang about for 10 mins longer (which I admit I did on purpose),we would have almost certainly met on the way out.
    So am I reading too much into it? I guess if he was interested in me, he wouldn’t be asking me another girl’s name, right?
    Just trying to decode men’s signals/behaviour as I have realised that I really don’t know what signs to look for other than a man simply asking me out.

    Your Highness Femme,
    Why did you avoid meeting him at the door? You may have missed an invite to coffee or something. You have to take risks and advantage of opportunity. I agree with Kay nearby about asking for a name.
    Guy

  7. Kay

    Lady Femme, I think he is working up to more contact with you. The fact that he asked for the speaker’s name was just another way to talk with you. Whether it will turn into something substantial is another story. Some guys will keep the interaction at that level permanently and just want to flirt with an attractive woman. Interesting. Keep us posted

  8. Femme

    Thank you to both Sir Guy and Lady Kay.
    Perhaps I should have mentioned in the beginning that at the moment I am not interested in any encounters with men other than professional. I sit at this enormous desk that acts as a barrier, and it makes me feel safe while at the same time giving me the opportunity to learn and observe. I’ve had my portion of heartbreak in my love life and wouldn’t want to be hurt again. I still don’t know whether I’ve learned enough here or if things with any man would go quickly the way they used to go before so I proceed with extreme caution, or rather don’t proceed at all.
    In the case of this man, he is good looking, tall and holds a senior position in a prosperous company. Something tells me he is used to getting his way all the time. He also works in the same building as I do.
    So I’d rather dissipate his interest – at least for now – but it’s good to know that I might have spotted the signs correctly.
    Thank you again.

    • Sunset Highway

      To Ms. Femme,

      ” I’ve had my portion of heartbreak in my love life and wouldn’t want to be hurt again.”

      Yes I know exactly how you feel. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I find that heartbreak and rejection get easier with practice, don’t you? By my third courtship ending, I felt sad and hurt, but it wasn’t as nearly as bad as my first (which was the longest and most intense, simply because it was my first time “falling in love).

      So far as this man you’re sort of interested in being a senior at a prosperous company, I truly hope you don’t let this intimidate you. You mentioned you hope his interest ‘dissipates’ …… but why?? I recently read in a Times article that women are always surprised by successful men staying faithful to their wives (who they support financially). There is a general misnomer out there where women think when the man has the power in looks and money that wives always have to be fearful because men with financial means can ‘cheat’ more than loser men with no success. Sort of like this way of female thinking, “My best friend’s husband is so successful, she’s so lucky he doesn’t cheat on her!”.

      I have no idea where this idea that if you date or marry a successful, confident man, you have to ‘pay’ for it in other ways, via cheating or abuse, maybe it’s the stereotype they replay for us via the Hollywood Machine, over and over again, maybe THAT’s where we women get this idea that we should stick with dating men who are more ‘feminized’….but how do we know this is the truth? What if these movies are tricking us?

      It turns out, after the research they did in that Times magazine article, they found that men who were dependent on their wives for income were 3x more likely to cheat. How this correlates to cheating? A simplified explanation would be that if a man’s self-worth is tied to his breadwinner status and he is depending on the wife for money, then he feels powerless. This poor self-image leads him to cheat. . I’m not telling you to chase this man you have a slight crush on, just to not write him off just because he’s successful and ‘gets his way’.

      The article also performed research on couples living together before marriage and couples who didn’t. They found that couples who had long courtships while keeping their separate spaces of living (meaning they each had the keys to their respective homes and did not merge living spaces) had much longer and more successful marriage. Couples who lived together before the wedding day had difficult marriage, and many of them lead to divorce. So once you have this ‘successful’ man chasing you, it’s absolutely crucial you play hard to get.

    • Miss Gina

      Dear Lady Femme,

      I am sorry for the heartbreak you have suffered.

      However, I wonder if it must be that way again? By that, I mean, just because you go on a date or a few with a man does not mean that he will fall for you–or you for him.

      One of Sir Guy’s wonderful points in this blog is to stretch out the development of relationships and to date many men–at one time, even–if we like.

      Rather than get caught up in romance, we can adopt a bit of a skeptical but open attitude while we screen, screen, screen and maintain an objective attitude.

      We women can learn to manage our feelings, so that one man dropping off may be a bit disappointing but not heartbreaking. We can manage our thoughts to avoid placing too much hope in one relationship until a man has seriously put up (engagement ring).

      You are certainly free to do as you like, but this one sounds very eligible. Just my opinion. 😉

      • Femme

        Miss Gina,
        thank you for your opinion; I value your input as much as Sir Guy’s.
        You are absolutely right that it doesn’t have to be the same way again and for that I need to maintain a clear head (or a hard head as Sir Guy puts it).
        Luckily there are lots of men where I work so he will definitely not be missed if nothing else happens.
        But as far as screening goes: in the olden days there was this thing called misalliance – in this case, I feel like me being a humble receptionist and him a ceo means he would have too much advantage over me.
        I might be able to keep an open mind as far as coffee goes (IF he even suggests it) but as I said below, I have already decided he is not what I’m looking for.

  9. Femme

    Hello Lady Sunset,
    thank you for sharing the research findings. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense that a successful man would be much more inclined to stay faithful because he has a solid source of self esteem and doesn’t have to prove his masculinity by bedding as many women as possible. If he isn’t that successful at his job then perhaps he might be tempted…
    But this isn’t so much about that particular man. I haven’t got a crush on him but it’s interesting for me to see what this situation brings up for me.
    I think if you’ve had a couple of failed relationships like I have, it’s really hard not to compare potential love interests with the old flames.
    So in this case, he is highly driven and has a successful company (unlike my ex husband) but also happens to come from a country where men are very dominant (not from the same as my ex, but not European, either).
    He is also very good looking and I think he knows it. I just think if a man of this sort was after anything to do with me, it would be just fun and games, ergo: a waste of time.
    I mentally already “put him back into the parade”; :).
    The reason for my post was to find out if I’m reading the signs correctly as I haven’t been very good at that so far.

  10. I wonder if a relationship is
    redeemable if a couple occasionally gets these priorities reversed?

  11. Inquirer

    I’ve been reading your post of what it takes aa man to fall in love. Usually a woman’s like ability and how he likes to be in her presence. This puts pressure on a woman to always be radiant and happy even when she isn’t feeling it. Can a woman who is sad or depressed still capture a mans love? From what I read it appears men would only be drawn to a woman that makes them feel happy all the time

    Your Highness Inquirer,

    Welcome aboard. It’s a great day when another pretty woman joins us on the cruise to What Women Never Hear.

    Good question. You read in this blog that the heart and mind are programmed at birth to act and react differently than the opposite sex. After birth of course, people learn lessons in life that cause them to deviate from what they inherit.

    Males begin life looking for radiant and happy females. When associating, they tend to fit better into a man’s satisfaction with himself. Determining and living with a sad or depressed woman is a function of how she fits into how he otherwise respects her, finds her likeable, expects her loyalty, and is satisfied living with her.

    So, “Can a woman who is sad or depressed still capture a mans love?” Of course, many other ingredients fill the love boat.

    If she’s already loved but can’t develop a happier and less depressed spirit, then she’s not grateful for herself enough to be grateful for him. If she isn’t loved by a man, she can develop a happier and less depressed spirit this way: 1) Quit looking inside herself and focus her actions outside herself. 2) Search her heart and mind to find ways to be grateful for herself; ignore the negatives and return to the positives in a process that she turns into habit. 3) Spread her gratefulness to other people and onto those things she finds deserve it and thus take her mind and heart away from inside herself. (We can’t give what we don’t have.) Step 3 may likely lift her sad and depressed state, and she doesn’t need a man but will probably become more attractive to all of them.

    Guy

  12. Looking at the big picture here . . .

    Being human and being open to any kind of relationship with another human being means that there will inevitably be misunderstanding, frustration, rejection, heartache, and/or all the other challenges of human relationships.

    You can’t avoid the bumps and bruises of life in this area unless you keep your heart completely locked up and avoid all risks. But having a completely safe heart means you block yourself off from any genuine emotional connection with another person.

    Thanks to WWNH, I have learned that men are naturally extremely reluctant to put themselves at risk with relationships or anything else. They want a sure thing, the most amount of ego-boosting for the least amount of effort.

    But they do like a challenge. So it makes sense to make it a bit uncomfortable for a guy to get anything from a relationship with a woman.

    Seems to me that keeping a distance or disappearing out of an “interested” man’s life is the way to separate the lazy guys from the keepers.

    But when a man carries the burden of fear of future failure because he has failed in the past, I wonder on and off if it is worth the effort to be mysterious and practice virtual virginity and whatnot.

    I don’t mean that I should be doing the opposite. It just hits me more and more that, if an emotionally damaged man might possibly be worth the effort of relationship management, the time and effort required to arouse his interest and whatnot . . . would be just too much.

    Nobody’s perfect, everybody has issues, and everything takes time in life. But I personally don’t have time to waste like I did when I was thirty or forty.

    I don’t have time to waste going on-line and posting photos and trying to compose clever messages. I don’t have time to waste blind dating. I have only twenty-five or thirty years left on planet earth based on family statistics.

    If the man I am interested in, who has major issues, woke up tomorrow morning and decided that I was worth a risk, that would be one thing. But if it takes another two years for him to come around (and aggregate his own fecal matter in the meantime) . . . that’s eight percent of my remaining lifespan.

    This reality check has been very helpful. It has stopped me wasting time wondering about things like, “Should I tell him about . . .” or “Should I ask him . . .” Most of the time, I have realized that any exchange of information I am interested in is not necessary. He either can get information from someone else, or I can get information from someone else. And I can take all the time and energy I would otherwise waste and put it to good use, enjoying friends who are truly friends, trying to make a difference in the world around me, learning new things . . .

    But all this does raise a question that I have never thought to ask before. How long is long enough? How long to practice the art of relationship management before giving up? Six months, a year?

    Women are eternally hopeful, it seems to me, unless they get their noses rubbed in reality. So bottom line, when is it time to give up?

    Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,

    You make good points throughout. However, I comment on this:

    “But when a man carries the burden of fear of future failure because he has failed in the past, I wonder on and off if it is worth the effort to be mysterious and practice virtual virginity and whatnot.”

    Yes, it is worth your efforts. Men don’t suffer from failed relationships as women do. Men exaggerate to generate delay and hope for conquest sooner. If he “suffers” from earlier arrangements after conquest, she’s booty and he hopes to keep her on the string. Not always, but most of the time.

    Guy

    • The man I’m thinking of told me early on in our relationship that his first wife (mother of a son he adopted, mother of his son and daughter) was very critical and rarely thanked him for things he did to solve either stated or implied problems.

      From his perspective, he did everything he could think of to give her material security and make her feel good about her life.

      She dumped him and divorced him and left him to raise the kids.

      He said, “I would lie in bed at night, crying, wondering what I did wrong.”

      His second wife was a working woman in sone kind of sales. She would get a job, work in it for a while, start complaining about it, and quit.

      He would help her look for a new job, inconvenience himself to be her chauffer, cater to her when she came home tired.

      She dumped him, and they went through an acrimonious divorce. During one attempt to reconcile, they went out to dinner, and she put a date rape drug in his drink. He said that after the divorce was final, he thought he saw her car in a parking lot, and “my blood ran cold.”

      Those stories, plus, “I’m a loser, I don’t know if I’ll ever get married again, I just want to be friends with lots of different people . . .”

      You’re saying those are all for the purpose of trying to gain some sort of relational advantage?

      You mean an advantage in the relationship in which he is so interested in me and what I might have to offer that he only talks to me for five or ten minutes on Sunday mornings and doesn’t come to visit me unless I ask him to help me move furniture or something like that?

      I’m skeptical. That is the most inefficient way I can think of to attract a woman and arouse her interest.

      Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,

      “That is the most inefficient way I can think of to attract a woman and arouse her interest.” I agree, but you base your objection on lessons he learned in life and I wrote originally, as always, based on how men are born.

      He’s not a man worthy of self-admiration, can’t find satisfaction with himself, and so he’s not a man worthy of a wife.

      You bring forth new evidence, but only one side of the story. Losers always blame others, so you have no way of judging accurately.

      He admits inability to handle two women that he chose. Where’s his strength and sound judgment? Admits to being a loser? He crowns himself unworthy of another woman, unless she mistakenly thinks she can rehab him into a decent mate. And that isn’t likely to work either.

      He’s already given up on living successfully with a woman and paying the necessary price. He wants to be alone; by now he can’t stand criticism, fault, guilt, blame, or any other discomforting thoughts. Who wants to carry him further down the loser’s lane?

      Guy

      • Femme

        Dear Lady Edith,
        sorry to butt in on a conversation you are having with Sir Guy but your last comment has aroused my interest.
        From what you’ve said so far, this man isn’t really that interested in having a relationship with you… at least not enough to make him go out of his comfort zone and pursue you properly. You asking him to do stuff for you may even come across to him as you being desperate for his attention… And considering the fact that his previous wives (if the stories are true and not, as Sir Guy suggests, exaggerated) have been somewhat needy, it might further put him off. I might be just me but if a guy is so much “work” in the very beginning when he should be enthusiastic and trying to be in your company more often, then even if you succeed in seeing him more because of YOUR effort, it can only get worse later on. Just my opinion.
        The very fact that you are asking “So bottom line, when is it time to give up?” would suggest to me that the time is now. It sounds that you have become the seller and I know from a very painful personal experience that it’s never a good position for a woman to be in. If his interest in you is not greater than the “damage” he has suffered, there isn’t much you can do, I think, other than making your life more enjoyable on your own, and giving him some room to figure out his feelings. I’m sure if I’m wrong Sir Guy will correct me.

        Your Highness Femme,
        I told you recently that you have gained significant wisdom. You showed it again.
        Guy

        • I know.

          As I have said in other posts, in the actual beginning of our relationship, which was about three and a half years ago, he initiated getting to know me.

          He invited me to his house to dinner, took me out to dinner (including taking me out for my birthday wearing his kilt), shared his life history from childhood on, called me on the phone if he had not heard from me in a while, helped organize other men at church to move furniture for me, and gave me a pet name. Other people at church, including the pastor, thought this had romantic potential.

          Meanwhile, because of previous relationships in which I got badly burned, I said clearly as clearly as I could, “If you keep doing and saying certain things, I am going to start taking you seriously. If this is not what you want, then stop.” He kept going.

          Then at one point, he fell off the radar. He got busy at work and with family, and my e-mail wasn’t working, and I was dealing with stuff at work, and so it took a couple of months before we were communicating again, at which point I felt ignored, and I was unhappy. I realized it didn’t make sense for me to be unhappy because he was dealing with his life, and I said I knew he was busy, and so would ramp back and bow out of the picture and give him his space.

          And his response was to say he was sorry if he gave me the impression that he was interested in a romantic relationship, but he didn’t know if he would ever get married again, and he just wanted to be friends with lots of different people.

          And then there was a very difficult period in which we saw each other every Sunday and did not really speak.

          And then slowly, we got over ourselves and learned to communicate again.

          And now, it’s as if we are back at the start of things. Well, not the start, because he is not calling me up if he doesn’t hear from me, and he’s not asking me to come for dinner, and he doesn’t e-mail me with my pet name. But when we do have any extended period of time together, he presents himself as the tragic hero who should be admired for being so brave and struggling with so much.

          And in many ways, he certainly should. It’s not just his stories, it is the comments of other people and the evidence of my own eyes that shows me he is a good, good man . . . with issues just like every other human being.

          But it is still true that he only comes out of the woodwork and is charming and helpful and tragic only when he thinks I have stopped paying attention.

          And then when he sees I am still paying attention, he goes away again.

          So, I really do have to somehow refocus my life and stop trying to “understand” things and just go on. Because I’m basically allowing a non-sexual version of why buy the cow when you can get it for free.

          I just would like to be able to get him completely off my radar, but he’s there every Sunday. And we have mutual friends who keep saying, “Why can’t you just be friends with him?” And I don’t hate him. So he won’t go away.

          I feel sometimes as if it’s like divorced parents who can’t get away from each other because they have the responsibility of co-parenting children.

          Only this guy and I are co-parenting his ego. And it’s not a bad thing to tell a good guy he’s a good guy. It’s just a bad thing never to have any clear acknowlegement that what I do and say makes a difference.

          If anybody can suggest a really concrete way I can live my life without further reference to him while at the same time encountering him on a regular basis and having to talk to him and be nice to him . . .

          Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,
          Methinks you try too hard to land this one. It makes you internalize too much. See if you can locate another Mr. Good Enough to capture and externalize your interest.
          Guy

          • Femme

            Well, I dunno. It seems the man has a lot of issues (real and/or imagined) and maybe even likes his issues because a) they draw other people’s attention to him and b) should any woman want to get closer to him emotionally, he can always cite said issues as the reason he can’t. I have a couple of people in my life who from time to time contact me with a LOT of drama. Initially I listened and tried being sympathetic, then I tried giving advice, now I just prefer to mind my own business because I realised the issues and drama are the way for those people to connect with the world so they won’t do anything about them. Why would they? Any time there is a problem, they have bunches of sympathetic friends and family falling over backwards to give them the attention and ego stroking they really crave. But because their issues were quite serious, I got upset.
            Sounds also like your man is trying to put you in a position of a mother figure…Someone who can take care of him/his issues/his ego.
            May I ask why you would like to make a difference in his life by parenting his ego when he isn’t giving you much in return?
            Is it because of his initial “investment” in you? Please don’t take this the wrong way, but it seems he invested in you and now sits back and relaxes and waits for the interest…and only puts in minimal effort when you seem to pull away. Just enough to keep you thinking that perhaps there is hope.
            As to you having to see him on a regular basis: is there any way you could attend another church for a bit?
            Just an idea.

  13. I *don’t* want to parent his ego. I don’t want to be his mother. I don’t want to spend any more time trying to show that I am **not** his mother or either of his wives. I don’t want to keep saying over and over that he is someone I admire and respect because he is trying to be the man God wants him to be (because he clearly doesn’t really believe it himself). I don’t want to continue to stand out on the porch, saying, “Here, kitty, kitty. Come on in the kitchen where it’s warm and you can have a nice bowl of food.”

    I do want to make it blazingly clear that I am so worth being put up on a pedestal and treated like the queen God made me to be . . . by a man who has confidence in himself because he has confidence in the God who made him to be a man.

    I am not going to another church. My church means a lot to me, and I am very involved in teaching and outreach . . .

    I guess I just have to hold in my thoughts the truth that stepping away and seriously giving him all the space and freedom and non-manipulation and whatnot that he claims to want . . . is the healthiest thing I can do for both of us.

    As for finding another potential Mr. Good Enough, I have prayed and prayed and prayed. I have two friends who are praying for me. And here I am, thinner than I’ve been in years, with a hair cut that strangers stop me and compliment me on . . . and I have not seen anyone on the horizon who is worthy . . .

    So anyway, I guess it’s the Scotch-Irish in me. I don’t learn unless folks take a two-by-four and whack me over the head again and again.

    Thanks, Femme and Sir Guy, and others as well, for whacking. Keep whacking. I’m a slow learner, but when I get it, I keep it.

  14. Femme

    If this man never changed one iota, would you still be interested in having a relationship with him? Because I kind of feel at the moment he is more like a project…
    I confess to being like this (hopefully in the past):
    Due to a difficult family life I never really knew my father and a father figure left me completely devastated.
    I kept falling for guys who were unavailable emotionally, difficult, troubled… the more difficult and challenging, the better. But somehow “normal” ones never appeared on my radar. It was as if I was still trying to win daddy’s love no matter what.
    It took me AGES (and the help of a therapist) to realise that it was repetition compulsion and that emotional void created by an absent father cannot be filled by a mortal man. The days when I was entitled to a father’s protection and (hopefully) unconditional love are over. But there is a Father who will always love me (though I STILL struggle with feeling that love and connection on a daily basis).
    These days, I am also in love with Mr Knightley. A solid, down to earth, sensible, truth telling man with loads of integrity. I have not got anybody real on the horizon, either. More likely than not he will never appear. But the very fact that I find Mr Knightley’s character so appealing makes me feel good about myself. Because before, you see, I would have found him really boring and uninteresting.
    I don’t want to whack you but I’m just curious: Lady Edith, what stops you from enjoying your life fully with your new hair cut and slim figure?

    • What is enjoying life fully? Do you mean somehow developing a social life and going out? I lunch with women friends, with married couple friends, I invite people over for dinner, I interact with my neighbors as much as they will let me (a number of the folks on my street are quiet Nepali immigrants who are busy trying to advance in their jobs and take care of their families).

      I am working on projects involving graphic design and writing. I am cleaning up my house after six years of neglect due to a job that demanded all my time and attention. I am exercising and trying to catch up on sleep.

      I can’t afford vacations. Nor can I afford to be a foodie. I’m not obsessed with shopping or makeup or shoes.

      I dig and plant and weed as much as possible when the weather is good.

      I don’t know what living life to the fullest is other than trying the best I know how to not waste the 25 or so years of life I statistically have left.

      Why WON”T someone appear on the horizon for you? What makes you think that’s not possible?

      Not everyone gets married, of course. Some people choose to serve God as singles. Some people are not physically or mentally able. But I am convinced that, in a world where everyone is broken, even the happiest married couples, it is fear and unbelief that keep many people from asking God for the gift that he has designed for most people. Most people.

      Why would God ever allow me to be married? That is a question I used to ask myself constantly. But I have to ask now, why WOULDN’T he?

      What’s wrong with me except being afraid to dream and being afraid to work hard?

      Obviously, if there is no man on planet Earth who can see the treasure I have inside of me, who is willing to look for it, then I will die an old maid. And between now and whenever I kick off, I know God will provide me with something to do, and the time will pass quickly, and before I know it, I’ll no longer be a resident of this world, and I won’t care anymore. In eternity, I will look back on it all and laugh at how foolish I was to worry about so much irrelevant crap.

      But in the meantime, why can’t I, why can’t you believe that we are worthy of the love of a good man? Why do we have to hang back and make excuses for ourselves and our experiences and whatnot?

      Why is it impossible for me or you? Of course men are not perfect and cannot ever be our “everything.” They were never meant to bear that burden. But why is it hard to believe that a good relationship with a good man couldn’t possibly happen?

      In and of myself, I am a mess just like every other human being. In Christ, I am entirely able to love and be loved. I am not a loser. I am not a failure. I am not stupid, ugly, clueless, or “less than.” Why can’t it happen to me?

      Blame feminism or secularism or whatever, but our culture has for so many years made it difficult for women to believe that they can only be “enough” for a man if they are an earth mother or a sex goddesss or a movie star or something else entirely unrealistic. I am a real woman, and I have always been, and I have a whole hell of a lot to offer. Why can’t it happen to me?

      • Femme

        Hello Lady Edith.
        You seem to have a better relationship with God than I do and I also can’t answer most of your questions. What I can do is offer my own perspective and just repeat to you what I have learned here and elsewhere, if that’s ok?
        The 1st thing that struck me is that perhaps the question shouldn’t be “why can’t it happen to me?” but “why is it so IMPORTANT to me that it should happen?”.
        The 1st commandment is about not having any other gods before the real one. That’s what I finally understood not so long ago. If you try to put a man in that position, you will most certainly both fail.
        As I understand it (now) a man is also not a replacement for a girlfriend, father, mother or a therapist, for that matter.
        A (good) man is designed to help out with the practicalities of life first and foremost.
        Going back to your elusive man: would he be able to enhance your life? If so, in what way? Or would he be just a drain on your resources?
        I married and lived with a man who didn’t help with the practicalities; no wealth building occurred either. I ended up mothering him and our 2 kids on my own. In the end, it was too much. But I also was to blame, I chose him, or at least didn’t vet him properly. He may not be a bad man, and I loved him. He is the father of my 2 children. But emotionally and otherwise he is still very much an adultolescent. Letting him be the leader was like giving a 7 year old car keys and letting him drive.
        Another thing is, this blog is about the female and male nature at the MOMENT OF BIRTH.
        We are all born designed to be happy, whole, and compatible to live with one other.
        But between birth and our coming of age, life happens in the shape of parents, culture, religious systems, genetics and what not.
        As I understand it, this blog is not so much about getting the bloke as about going back to wholeness, to our original nature.
        It’s about having a good relationship with ourselves first.
        About overriding the faulty conditioning that happened to us when we were powerless to do anything about it.
        It’s not easy but Sir Guy gives a lot of clues on this blog.
        Pretty time is great, for example, and for me what works as well is doing things that increase oxytocin levels.
        Really, there is a ton of helpful hints here.
        Because of the mess we live in, a man of my dreams may not happen. Does it peeve me off?
        Yes it does.
        BIG time.
        In the meantime, I’ve started appreciating the plumbers and electricians and builders and all the other guys who do things for me and make my life easier. Yes I have to pay them, but being in a relationship with a man you also pay the necessary price.
        There is a man at my corner shop who always goes out of his way to make me feel welcome and help me out. He smiles when he sees me and always tells me he is happy to see me again. He doesn’t have to do it but he still chooses to. There also others who do the opposite, including the father of my children. HE goes out of his way to make my life more difficult in any way he can.
        It’s up to me to decide which one I focus on.

  15. Why is it important that I have a relationship? Because it is only recently that I have realized I CAN have one and that I have spent years of my life trapped in my own selfish, feminist-twisted view of what relationships should be.

    I lived years with a sense of fear and failure because I tried to have a relationship based on a view of reality that was screwed up.

    I felt ashamed because I wasn’t “enough” according to the feminist view, not smart enough, powerful enough, rich enough or whatever. I wasted years thinking the way God truly made me was something to be ashamed of, and that my essential feminine nature was what kept me from getting what I wanted out of life.

    Would the man I am concerned with enhance my life? Yes, oh, yes. I believe so. He is a hard worker. He is creative. He cares about people, especially the very young, the very old, and the disabled. He does not look down on anyone. He is willing to do what he can to help other people in material, practical ways, but he also is willing to offer words of support and encouragement, and he was very supportive when my mother died, even though it was during the height of our not speaking to each other under normal circumstances.

    He has by and large done me only good . . . except that he steadfastly deflects what I have to offer . . . which is admiration, respect and praise.

    It’s totally earned. He is worthy of recognition. I have told him over and over that he is. The only criticism I have given him in the past couple of years was maybe a month ago, that it is pretty stupid of him to complain about being alone when he has rejected me and all the great stuff I have to offer.

    But he has no confidence in himself for various reasons. And he does not seem likely to find any soon. And if he doesn’t, I know I can’t make him believe in himself the way God made him to. And I am so tired of telling him the truth about himself and being dismissed or ignored.

    Not totally ignored, of course. He obviously has gotten enough from my comments that he will pop up seeking more if he hasn’t heard from me in a while. Because it’s safe. No-risk. I’m always there.

    I did say, back when we had our falling-out, that I would rather have no relationship with him than one that was so safe and risk-free as to be meaningless.

    And so far, it seems he really doesn’t see any reason to take a risk with me. And though I don’t wish him any harm, and have many valid reasons to respect and admire him, I absolutely do have to stop the insanity.

    • Femme

      Well… “it is pretty stupid of him to complain about being alone when he has rejected me and all the great stuff I have to offer.”
      There you go.
      He has become the buyer, somehow, at some point.
      Sadly, it has happened to me as well.
      It doesn’t work.
      Women are not good at being the seller (in a romantic sense).
      I’m relieved to hear you have decided to stop it.
      All the best to you.

      • So now, I have an “issue.” Five or six months ago, the man at church and I discussed him helping me refinish the floors in my living and dining rooms, and we agreed to revisit the project when warmer spring weather showed up.

        In my neck of the American woods, warmer weather will be a for-sure thing in about a month.

        Since he is by profession a flooring expert, and since he re-did the floors in his house beautifully, having his help would be a huge help to me.

        However, there are slightly less convenient but do-able methods I could use without his help.

        Though I have pretty much stopped interacting with him (and he has not initiated any communication to find out why), should I remind him of our previous discussion, or should I let it hang and just do it myself?

        I think I know the answer, but I’m curious to see what others might say.

        Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,
        If ready to act on the floors, contact him for professional services. See what develops after that. Lay floors or …?
        Guy

        • Help was offered on a volunteer basis. At a point when I was trying hard just to ignore him. At a time of year that seemed inconvenient.

          I said I’d prefer help when the weather was warmer because DIY projects that involve sanding don’t mesh well with closed windows and HVAC sucking dust into all the corners of the house.

          So, I sent him an e-mail two days ago.

          “Happy New Year! I found out from a Nepali friend yesterday that their new year is Thursday of this week. Perfect time for spicy food!

          “Also, with weather moving slowly toward warm, now is a good moment to check back with you about the floor sanding we talked about . . .

          “If current circumstances permit you to offer some elbow grease as you initially mentioned, it certainly would be appreciated. If current circumstances do not permit that, advice would still be appreciated.

          “Whenever you have a free space on your calendar, or whenever you have a less packed space, I would appreciate a discussion.”

          So far, no response. He does have a very busy schedule by choice, and it can take a week . . . or two . . . or three . . . to respond to e-mail. However, when he wants to respond the same day, he does and has.

          So, I’m going to give it until the end of the week, and if I get no response, I’ll start re-doing the floor my way. (Friends re-did the old floors in their old house by using paint stripper and light hand sanding, and that turned out very nicely. It took a while, but it preserved the floors.)

          Thing is, if he runs true to form, he will probably be offended that I didn’t wait for him to do the job. But to me, waiting in silence for another month is not acceptable, as is sending out constant little hints.

          • msarianne

            Greetings Lady Edith,
            If he does not respond, yes start doing it your way. If he inquires about it (be patient and hopefully he will come to you) and finds out you have started working without him he may suggest coming over to help.
            Most good men are eager to give their expert advice/help and rescue a lady in need.
            Best wishes

            • Well, hmm.

              Easter Sunday, after church, as we passed in the aisle, the man at church said, “I’ve got your e-mail about sanding the floor. I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve just . . . had a hard week. We do need to talk. Maybe we can have a meal.” I said, “Okay,” and we parted. That was it.

              So now that he has briefly emerged from hiding, I go back to doing whatever.

              I have to clean up after having company the day before Easter (they were lovely people from Nepal who came to my house to celebrate Nepali new year which was last week).

              I have to start doing yard work since the weather has finally turned overall warm and sunny.

              I have to catch up on my favorite Asian soap operas.

              Let’s see how long it takes the man at church to come back out of hiding with sandpaper.

              • msarianne

                Lady Edith, that is wonderful that he was polite and acknowledged the email. Now the ball is in his court.
                If you keep the exchange all about business he may relax enough to start having fun again…I hope. Still, do begin work on it your way…if he is late to the party he may need to “fix” what you’ve done but good men like to demonstrate their expertise and knowledge and teach a lady some of that.
                Sending positive thoughts your way. ☺

  16. Thank you again for your support. 🙂 Women can be such a powerful encouragement to one another.

    The man at church is all about being polite to women. He is the youngest of five, with the next oldest sibling being a sister five years his senior. Because his brothers were all much older than him, and because his father was someone who had to travel a lot for work, he got a lot of schooling, and perhaps got overschooled in some ways, about female expectations.

    I welcome his help because he is an expert in flooring. However, I find now that I am sort of dreading seeing him again, because EVERY time he sits down in my dining room, he pours out a sad story about how he is working hard to accomplish different things, but he’s struggling and he’s lonely and how he probably made an idol out of marriage and that’s why God allowed him to fail in his two marriages.

    Makes me want to scream. In fact last time he came to my house and did that, I found myself speaking rather sharply. I said basically that God doesn’t give a crap about all the stuff you’re doing. It’s your heart attitude he’s interested in, your motivation.

    I think it’s his way of drawing out sympathy and nurturing from women while at the same time keeping them and their (perceived) power to crush his ego at a safe distance.

    I need a way to throw him off balance if he starts doing that AGAIN.

    In woman-speak, I would probably say, “You know, I am tired of hearing you whining about poor you, the under-appreciated hero who can’t find anybody to love him. You used that crap to suck me in and arouse all my nurturing instincts, and then you rejected all my amazingness because you are afraid for some reason I can’t quite get, to believe in yourself and take a chance with a woman who wants to be on your team. I don’t want to hear you talk like that anymore. Talk like you believe in yourself or leave.”

    I’m guessing that would not go over too well. 😦

    Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,
    Nothing else has worked except to give you distress. So what if it doesn’t go over well at that instant. Give it time to work. I’m guessing it will. Shock and awe. At the end of your statement just add, now let’s get to work so you can dismiss the subject of him.
    Guy

    • Miss Gina

      Dear Lady Edith,

      Perhaps a short but cheerful comeback that acknowledges the hurt but reframes and breezes past it in a cheerful, healthy, uncondemning sort of way? Something along the lines of, “I’m so sorry that happened. *But* since all of God’s plans for us are good, that can’t possibly be the end of the story.” And then cheerfully change the subject.

      I just realized that I said “cheerful” three times in a row…maybe that part is especially important.

  17. The way my brain is wired, I deal best with clear, simple concepts.

    Three I am really going to hold onto are:

    –Relax and have fun. (Thanks, Msarianne.)
    –Shock and awe. (Thanks, Sir Guy.)
    –Cheerfully change the subject. (Thanks, Miss Gina.)

    These, plus the concept of “I do not have to sell myself,” are going to be game changers.

  18. Okay, I guess this is a preemptive strike. I sent an e-mail to the man in church.

    >>I just want to say thanks for keeping our previous floor discussion in mind.

    >>I know I will absolutely benefit by getting knowledgeable advice on what has been a splintery puzzle for way too long.

    >>A Christian man is never so manly or servantly as when he is being a charming, creative, problem-solver using the knowledge and experience God has given him. And it gives so much encouragement to others.

    >>Couple of things, though. I need to work on getting up leftover nails, staples, and tack strips. I anticipate that it will take a couple of weeks for me to do that. So commencing the project is not urgent, but discussion is highly desirable.

    >>I am getting a tax refund, so getting a list of needed items and purchasing them would be good. Getting a sense of a schedule would be good.

    >>I am starting an effort next week to drastically reduce my consumption of sugar and processed food . . . for, well, the rest of my life, so having a meal while talking things over would be nice but probably require you to bring something for yourself.

    >>Also, there is one very strict requirement: if there are any stories of daily life that are shared, they may not include any further spreading of Satan’s lies. Nothing that even hints of “I’m alone; I’m a loser; I’m a failure; I don’t fit in.” No melodrama. No tugging at heartstrings. No wistful sighs.

    None of that.

    At the first hint of self-pity, out the door.

    It will be floors, food, and fellowship with thanks and praise to God only. Testimonies of God’s fatherly faithfulness. Stories of unexpected blessings. Gratefulness for the truth that God is in control, and he is awesome.

    Hope you are paying attention to God’s care for you today. I know the Captain of the Army of the Lord of Hosts is pushing back the dark with one hand and dragging your broken butt to safety with the other. All so you can have a hugely gleeful, intensely kickass day, my dear brother!

    Your Highness Edith,
    Nicely done. You ladies have immense talent for such things.
    Guy

    • I feel so sad right now.

      The context of sadness: the man at church called just a little while ago. I left him a message early about a bottle of wine I would be glad to give him because it has been sitting in my pantry since my sister gave it to me at Thanksgiving.

      He called to accept the bottle of wine and to discuss some interesting options for fixing the floor. I heard some cool ideas.

      Then the man at church started talking about his house and various things he has been doing, such as putting up sheetrock on his rebuilt back porch (he did it himself).

      And that devolved into how much he has put into the house that he will probably never get back if he ever tried to sell it. So it was probably going to be his last home before they carted him away.

      I could hear the self-pity welling up. I tried to divert the conversation to the hope Christians have because of God’s love shown in Christ, and he hinted that part of the reason why he felt the way he did was because (referring to my e-mail) certain topics were off the table. In other words, nobody wanted to listen to him.

      I lost it. I shouted.

      I shouted that Christians should be able to talk about all kinds of issues, but when you talk about certain things–I’m a loser; I’m a failure–it really sounds to me as if you believe Satan’s lies, and I get so frustrated! Of course without Jesus we are all losers, but in Christ we are NOT losers, we are CONQUERORS! You are not a loser, you are not a loser, you are not a loser! In Christ you are a conqueror!

      That was more shock and awe than I planned on. i could feel myself starting to shake from a bit too much adrenaline.

      I said, “I have to hang up because it’s probably going to go downhill from here. If you want the wine, I’ll bring it to church tomorrow, but I have to hang up.”

      So I hung up. And now I’m hoarse, and my cats are in hiding, and I have a headache and a pounding heart, and I’m sad.

      I’m not that good at indirection, am I?

      • Miss Gina

        Dear Lady Edith,

        I think all of us have those moments. I am not an expert on what the consequences could/might/will be, but I do know that losing it was pretty understandable. And Sir Guy says you can recover from most anything with a man, so maybe all is not lost. I like that you took a stand against self-pity.

  19. My view is that God is in control, and it has never been my desire to tear him down. “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12 (KJV)

    I did, after about an hour, send out an e-mail to say please forgive me for yelling. I am on your team; I just want you to be on your own team.

    What adds to the sadness is that I just learned about about the death last week of a high-school classmate.

    At a time when immature human beings are hung up about looking mature and cool, he was a cheerful, in-your-face provocateur. He didn’t care what people thought of him, he went around puncturing people’s pomposity. I didn’t interact with him all that much, but I admired that secretly.

    The friend who told me about him stayed in touch with him over the years. I certainly did not.

    She said he joined the army, worked as a recruiter, and worked s a recruiter for a trucking company after he got out of the army. He was commended for his hard work all along the way. At some point, he got married and had a son.

    He ended up living alone and trapped in self-pity, Apparently toward the end, he lived alone in a small town way out in the country and spent a lot of time in his recliner watching television. Why?

    A) He apparently had a life-long struggle with rejection by his father who thought he was no good (though he was smart, hard-working, patriotic, loyal, and god-fearing).

    B) His wife ran off with his best friend.

    C) He devoted himself to raising his son, but his son became estranged (apparently not too estranged, since his son found him after he died due to complications after a heart attack followed by a stroke . . . and not helped by his refusal to follow doctor’s orders).

    I was horrified and sad to learn this, and when the man at church started his spiel, I was not entirely rational.

    So, more waiting. More meditation on God’s goodness and power. I understand that, ultimately, the man at church has to be able to grasp and own for himself the truth about God’s love and the truth that such love is for him in amazing fullness. There is truly nothing more I can say or do.

    Thanks for encouragement. It ain’t over till it’s over. And! It’s not how the story starts, or even how it plays out in the middle, but how it ends that matters.

    • Okay, well, I just got an e-mail from the man at church that says, “Forgiven and forgotten.” I just realized that now is a perfect moment for me to be a feral cat and just go hide in a sunny corner and disappear off the drama radar.

      Because no matter how annoyingly melodramatic and self-indulgent a man can get, he will never outdo a woman in expressing those qualities with . . . flair.

      I just don’t want to do anything with flair for a long time. Sitting quietly in the sun and purring . . . that sounds nice.

  20. Today after church, the man in church came up and said, “I haven’t gotten a hug from you in a long time.” So I hugged him.

    We had another conversation about my floor, which I have decided to deal with after saving up some money for vinyl wood-look flooring. I said to him, “At least now I have a vision.” Then I said, “You problem-solver, you!” And punched him on the shoulder. And then we went our separate ways.

    I went home and took a nap with cats scattered about on the bed, very relieved and grateful.

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