Dear Lauren and Lydia,
I know this letter is going to sound old fashioned and maybe things aren’t done this way anymore…but I’m going to say it anyway.
When you start to date, which believe it or not is probably not far off…
1. Let the man make the first move. Sure…be friendly, welcoming, open, encouraging, etc. But…let him make the first move. If nothing else someone around him is bound to pick up on the fact that he should make a move and give him a nudge…but let him be the one to initiate.
2. Let him open the door for you…every time. It takes longer…it’s not necessary. It’s old fashioned, but let him do it anyway. It’s good for him and good for you. Starts that whole cherishing thing agoing. And believe me you are going to want to be cherished.
3. He doesn’t have to pay all the time…but yeah that’s kind of part of the deal too. I know we women are strong and independent…but some of these age old traditions have great value.
4. Listen to him. Take an interest in his stories and then share a few of yours too.
5. Do simple things. Not expensive things…not huge. Once in awhile a nice night out on the town is good…but honestly the simple things of just taking a walk together or watching the sunset together are beautiful and help you to focus on what’s important…getting to know each other.
6. Take the physical stuff slow. I’m not a person who says wait for your first kiss until your wedding day or anything…but let all things crescendo naturally…you will sense it, there is no need to rush. Delight in small touches…holding hands, a hug, an arm around your shoulder. It’s amazing how lovely the smallest of gestures can be when we really savor the moment and don’t rush.
7. Give each other space…trust that the relationship can handle not having constant contact and that it’s large enough to fit friendships and family in too. The more you try to cling the more the other person will want to flee. Let air into the relationship and you’ll be surprised at the attraction that happens naturally.
8. Tell each other the places where you’ve been hurt, the hard stuff…and then be trustworthy with that kind of information. Everyone on the face of the earth has hurts and hard stuff in their past. Give honor to it all, mourn where needed and rejoice too.
9. Be kind. Do the best you can with the outside…look pretty, etc. but even more so be kind to one another. Kindness is incredibly attractive.
10. Serve together…do things for other people where it has nothing really to do with you or him…
11. Take it one moment at a time…try not to weight the relationship with thoughts of next week, next month and next year. No one can predict where life will take you or him. Enjoy this moment and eventually the moments add up and create a whole story.
12. Be honest. Real. Authentic. Share your feelings and be vulnerable. Hopefully he will do the same…it’s harder for guys but if you give them your authentic self it’s likely they might as well. It’s all about trust.
13. Give grace…no man will complete you. No man is perfect.
14. Anchor on God every day. He is your hope. He is your Source. He is the One who will never leave you or forsake you. Don’t confuse the issue and put that kind of expectation on a man. He can’t meet your deepest needs.
I could probably list so many other things…things that I’m still learning for myself, honestly, but at least this is a start.
I pray that you two will find guys someday who will love you extremely well, that will cherish you and make you feel beautiful inside and out. In the mean time I also pray that you two will be secure in who you are, aware of your own worth and value, confident to move through life in peace and trust that God will provide just what you need and desire.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart…
Love your momma