Friday, August 15, 2014

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not - Kindness vs. Affection

When I was 12 years old I had a huge "crush" on an 18 year old guy. Josh was his name, Josh Isaacs. I was the brace-faced, freckled preteen who just knew she would marry the handsome, blond football player who was over 5 years her senior. I developed a sort of fondness for him as I tried to make sure I was near him at church and smiled a little too often in his direction. He never had anything against me. He was sweet and loved my family, so he went out of his way to talk to me and be my friend. But friendship was not what I saw, I assumed that he must somehow care for me as well and before I could recognize it, I had a full-blown obsession with Josh. He was my first thought each morning and last thought each night... and many thoughts in the middle. Josh was kind and a good friend, but as a 12-year-old girl, I believed it was more than that.

Why do I tell you this pitiful story about me? It would have been a sad ending had I not eventually gotten the proverbial "slap in the face" and had moved on. The story even graciously improved better than expected when Josh and I ended up together after all when I was 18-years-old, because it was God's will at that time in our lives.... not when I was 12.

Kindness is really a rare thing in young men. It's not very often you see a young man ask a girl how she is doing and smile in her direction just to be kind with no strings attached. This has bred a problem. Girls who are perhaps, hungry for male attention, have noticed this as well. So when a young man says, "Well, hey! How are you doing today?" it's easy for a young lady to read between the lines... something that isn't there.

Now, there are some guys who take this overboard and enjoy being "a ladies' man" and cause girls to have feelings for them and then leave a trail of hurt girls behind, saying that they didn't mean anything by it. And then there are just some nice young men, who are kind in general and don't make an exception for girls their age and those girls read hearts and love all in their kindness.

It's just something I have noticed more, even since being married. So I suggest, if a guy is not actively pursuing you of his own will, then there is a large chance that his care and concern toward you is probably just to be kind. I remember the days when friends of mine would come up to me and whisper in my ear, "He looked over here three times in a row! Do you think he likes me?!" Well, maybe he just happened to look over here three times in a row. I pondered then if guys really hinted around like that or if we girls were just looking way too deep for affection. I found the latter to be true when most of these romanticized dreams in girls' hearts just didn't come true. There had never been a "relationship" but the heartbreak had still occurred... one-sided. I know the pain of this since I experienced it as a 12-year-old. Josh was just trying to be nice; he didn't love me.

So, guys out there, I encourage you to not intentionally lead girls on with obvious gestures of romantic affection if you don't truly plan to take care of her heart. I believe you have no idea how this hurts young ladies. If you care for her and are prepared for marriage, then be intentional and don't leave her guessing. Yet, if all you are doing is being nice and asking her how she is doing just like you would ask her father, then keep it up. I think some guys are afraid to be kind because they are terrified a girl will fall in love with them. Don't worry about that. Just be kind to her like you would be to anyone else. We need more men like you!


Ladies, if a young man smiles at you or happens to end up sitting near you two times in a row, it doesn't mean he is ready to marry you. Guard your heart. The easiest place to lose it is not by giving it away, but by dropping it and hoping someone, anyone will pick it up, even if it gets stomped on a bit in the process. Wait till he actively pursues you with clear intentions. When both Josh and I were attracted to each other, but before we were in a relationship, Josh and I went to a football game with some friends and my hands about froze off. He went and bought me a pair of gloves. Now at 12-year-old I would have been convinced that he loved me after such a gesture, but at 17, I reminded myself that just maybe he didn't want my hands to be cold. I remember thinking the simple thought, "He takes such good care of me." Whether like a brother, friend, or whatever, he simply took care of me.

Do you see the balance? Guys, be careful you don't lead a girl on. Ladies, don't be too quick to read into something a guy says or does. I am just starting to see how many heartbreaks on the ladies' side could be prevented if only we subdued these "crushes" before they take over.