There was something about Mark from the very beginning that made me watch him with fascination. There was a determination to serve the Lord. There was personal initiative toward the ministry. He was a man that honored and respected authority and obeyed rules even when no one else was watching. He had an incredibly rare character that intrigued me, so I watched him for a long time.
While I was thoroughly impressed by this guy, by this time in my life, I had well-learned not to let my heart travel down the roller coaster of emotions and drama as is so typical of young people in my age bracket.
While I had never been in a relationship before Mark, and was fortunate enough to be spared, I had learned a thing or two about guys, hearts, and players. In my younger, more naive years I learned about ego-driven chivalry, and the jerks that give you just enough hope to feed their big head, only to dash your heart on the rocks. I knew what it was to be a guys “option” among 10 other girls, as if all of you are merchandise tossed into a cart, pushed around in the store (leading ALL of you along) while he is “deciding” which product he wants to buy the most. I knew what it was to be regarded as the “plan B” if “plan A” didn’t work out. I knew what it was to be snubbed only because I didn’t fit a showpiece mold, and I knew what it was to be overlooked because I was going somewhere with my life and that was apparently intimidating.
You do NOT have to be an OPTION!
You should be the ONLY ONE he wants.
You do NOT have to be the “backup”.
You should be the FIRST CHOICE!
You do NOT have to be a showpiece!
You should be loved for precisely and exactly who you ARE!
You do NOT have to be a loser and achieve NOTHING to make him feel better about himself!
He should love, cherish, SUPPORT and be PROUD of your ambitions!
Now that I got that out of the way, I will proceed with the other side of this coin.
Girls want to be loved. And sometimes, they get really impatient, so they feel like they have to “speed things along”. I have watched as girls subtly (or not so subtly) aimed to get a guys attention by making them food, and then had their heart shattered when he took the plate, walked away, and sat down with another girl while he ate it. I have seen girls chase guys only to be used as a “decoy” to distract and deter attention, while he secretly pursues another, and the whole time said “decoy” has no clue until she is left in a heap of broken pieces, crying into her pillow. I have seen the drama unfold as a girl that likes a guy thinks she has to somehow reveal to this guy that she likes him, to get his attention, so she “confides” in a friend, who conveniently reveals the “secret” to the guy, and the guy rejects her, and eventually she is a soggy mess of tears when the entire world knows about the rejection. I have seen girls play the “pity card” in hopes that somehow, by making the guy feel sorry for her, she will win his heart.
Chasing guys is a BAD game to play. Not only do you take all of the fun out of it for him, the results are often shamelessly brutal upon yourself. I think that probably the biggest thing you are losing here, is the complete and utter joy of BEING chased. When you as a girl, chase a guy, I think you are absolutely ROBBING yourself of one of the most spectacular experiences of your life!
I know of a young lady who chased a man all the way to marriage, she won the battle, and got what she wanted, and now… as his wife, she has to FIGHT for his love and attention. He never had to try to woo her, or romance her, so she is living out a marriage with no chivalry, no pursuit, no romantic dates or gestures… I don’t think that was what she had in mind, but that was the end result of her doing all the chasing. I’m pretty sure that’s not what you are going for either.
When Mark arrived on the scene, I was SO determined not to be any part of any such game, that my heart was firmly set in refusing to “like” a guy that had not indicated to me first that he liked me.
Until that guy made a move that proved to me that he was indeed going to pursue, my heart would not be involved.
For six months I made no indication to anyone that I had been watching him from a distance. When girls teased me about different guys, I disguised my thoughts entirely. When one of my close friends brought him up to me privately, I made myself completely unreadable. When he and I were in a room together, I aimed to be so entirely discreet, that no one would be able to discern he had my attention.
In my mind and heart I thought, if Mark is the one God wants for me, He will tell Mark. A friend will not have to tell him. I will not have to show him…
And that is just what God did.
For all those months of silence, while I watched him from a distance, Mark was watching me. He was watching as I taught, watching as I prayed, watching as I worked…
God did use people to encourage him to make his move, but it wasn’t at my hand, and I had nothing to do with facilitating it. My conscience was completely clear of being an “initiator”, and it was a beautiful thing to know this guy is revealing his heart without my soliciting of it. It was his idea, his move, and I was free to bask in the glorious knowledge that HE was pursuing ME.
By January 2012, his actions were more and more revealing of his interest. It seemed as though every time I needed something done, he was the first one there to help. I marveled at how he always knew. Every time I turned around, he was there. My office chair is broken? Suddenly Mark was there! I need furniture carried into my house? Mark appeared out of nowhere! He was even becoming brave enough to occasionally sit at my table during church fellowships… and for some reason, when he worked with the cafe staff, he was always the one to bring my order to the table.
February was approaching, and the Valentine’s Day banquet was just around the corner. I knew Mark liked me, but I was not going to rush or hurry anything. I would have LIKED for him to ask me to banquet, BUT, I wanted everything to happen as it should- in God’s timing, and with Mark leading.
I was gearing myself up for getting through the event, concealing my heart and all of the evidence. I even stood in a dorm room while some girls were teasing another girl about Mark, and she was afraid he would ask her to banquet. While she worried and fretted about him asking her, I completely concealed every thought about what I knew was truly transpiring in the background.
One day before the banquet, Mark caught me after class. I knew it was going to be about the banquet, and I was silently rooting for him to make his move, but, I was so careful and discreet with my reactions and emotions. He tried to ask, but we were both so nervous that the conversation began and ended without the question being asked. He later told me that I was “hard to figure out.” (I was just trying to make sure he made the first move!)
I went upstairs where the President called me into his office. Apparently he had observed Mark’s recent actions, and asked if “anyone” had asked me to the banquet yet. I told him, “No, but I’m pretty sure he just tried.” The president then stated emphatically, “Well, make it a little easier for the boy would you?!”
(Girls, take note: there is a difference between discreetly encouraging what is already there, and chasing.)
So… the next day, I tried to take that advice, and while I never went near him or approached him in anyway, I tried to be “available” and “approachable.” Unfortunately, it was when he attempted to approach me that I had finally decided to go home. My heart was fixed on God’s timing, and I wasn’t going to get pushy.
In the meantime, Mark started panicking in a way. He didn’t want to miss the opportunity, but he didn’t know how, when and where he could ask me, since all chances of seeing me in person before the event were gone. He called a friend and asked them for their advice. After speaking with them, he used his last resort… a text message! He asked me! We were going to the banquet together!
That is tremendous knowledge for young ladies! When a guy decides he really likes you, no matter how shy and backward he may be, he will LET YOU KNOW! It will not stay a mystery forever!
The rest of the world, oblivious to our budding interest in each other, discovered a couple they had not detected on the horizon. The world found out when HE wanted the world to find out. He chased ME! He determined that he wanted the world to know he liked ME! There is something BEAUTIFUL in that… knowing “all of these people know he likes me, because HE DECIDED he wanted them to know.”
When I walked home that night, I felt like I was walking on clouds. Even the sloppy brown snow looked heavenly to me. Valentine’s Day was a few days later, and I was wooed all over again with a beautiful rose, where he expressed a deeper affection. When I went to teach my class, there was a gift waiting for me on the podium… a big bag of Pretzel M&M’s… How did he know they were my favorite? I never told him… I never hinted about it… I never told anyone to tell him, “Hey Mark- her favorite candy is Pretzel M&M’s!” No…
He knew because he was chasing… he was watching… he was learning about me for months.
Our relationship blossomed and grew as he guided every step and turn. It seemed like it took him an eternity to say ask me to be his girlfriend, and tell me he loved me, but when he did, it was without me pushing it. He chose when to take things to the next level. He wooed me with flowers, sweet gestures and notes.
I know girls that never got “asked” to be a girlfriend, because they forced the word into their relationship. When Mark asked me, he asked me with a bouquet of beautiful roses and it created a memory I will cherish for my lifetime.
I know girls, who said “I love you” first, and really missed out on letting the guy do something so sweet to make it special. When Mark told me he loved me, he created a computer program that I had to click through, and at the end, it turned my desktop background into a picture that read, “I love you, Becky”. I cried. After that, we couldn’t stop saying it to each other! We must have repeated it over and over for an hour.
I know girls who initiated the “marriage conversation” and never got to experience the joy of hearing it come out of his mouth as his idea, to hear and know from his heart that you are so precious to him that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you! (Unfortunately, more often than not, this scares guys away!) When Mark brought it up to me, my brain and heart went haywire realizing THIS GUY wants to spend the REST of his LIFE with ME?!
I know girls WHO DIDN’T EVEN GET PROPOSED TO because they talked about marriage, set a date, and the guy assumed he did not have to ask! (All the girls GASP! But… its not all his fault!)
Girls… you are selling yourself so short of the most joyful, love-filled experiences of your life when you get impatient and try to speed things along. Just take a step back, run slow enough for them to catch you, and enjoy the beautiful ride!
Let him make the first move!
Let him proclaim to the world that you are the one he cares for!
Let him chase you!
Let him confess his love for you before you blurt yours out for him!
Let him spill out his dreams for your future together!
Let him request the honor of your companionship and love!
Let him woo you to the altar!
Give him the joy of pursuit!
He can’t do that if you are the one tugging things along.
If you can be patient, what you will find is that when you are married, he will continue to romance you in every way he can.
Every day you will be his queen.
Almost every time I get into a car, Mark still opens the door for me, even though he “caught” me months and months ago. I still get random gifts and flowers, and sweet gestures in spite of the fact that the “challenge” of “winning me” is over. Every day he reminds me that I am a precious treasure to him with his kind, gentle love that knows no bounds.
If you want to be pursued and treasured for the rest of your life, you must not allow your impatience to initiate the relationship, or propel it forward. If you go too fast, you may just miss out entirely!
Do you have an encouraging “love story”? Share it with us!