Captivate

I will be the first to admit: my track record with romantic relationships is not exactly stellar, and thinking about it, partly to be blamed is my impulsive and frank nature.  I mistook growing affection for something deeper and in the past and had no second thoughts in declaring affections first.

At this age of everything “instant” and everything convenient, it’s so easy to jump from one relationship to another, always giving your heart out to that person in the constant search for ‘the one’. But the failed relationships and/or “friendships”, like bread gone stale, leave a bad taste not only in the mouth but more importantly, in the heart. Yes, as much as we’d want to push it aside, there is no denying that every broken relationship leaves a gaping hole in the female heart – one that can set off a vicious cycle of looking for love, finding it in the wrong scenario, being left wounded and again, looking for love.

John and Stasi Eldredge writes in “Captivating” that one of the core desires of a woman is to be romanced. When I first read this almost a year ago, I didn’t fully grasp what it meant and whether it was relevant to me or not. Fast forward to the present time, I find myself nodding my head as I recall this. Yes, it makes sense to me now. Behind my hopeless romantic self dreaming of creative ways to express one’s love and searching for certainty in a relationship is the desire to be romanced – to captivate him and be pursued.

While it almost sounds too cheeseball-romantic, I think that this also translates to a more practical setting. For example, I’d want for a guy to call me first and ask how I’m doing after a busy day of work instead of the other way around. It would be nice also for a guy to let me know that he has thought of me in between the hustle and bustle of life. It’s also quite flattering to know that a guy has traveled quite a distance just to see me. And especially, I’d love to hear a guy tell his friends about meeting ‘this special girl’ who makes his heart beat a little bit faster than usual. Girls, wouldn’t you just love for those things to happen to you?

Well, I’m no relationship expert but my personal experience and observations tell me that a little bit of over-eagerness usually sets things on a wrong start. When it’s ‘too fast, too abrupt’, there is the bigger risk of quicker dissipation and a bigger hole is left in the heart faster than the previously smaller hole can be filled up. A male friend of mine shares a more conservative view; according to him, a man must never ever know that a woman likes him before he openly declares his feelings for her as knowing beforehand will only inflate his ego while the woman is left vulnerable to giving anything and everything that the man asks of her.

As I was reflecting on this, I was also struggling how to put it down in writing until I stumbled upon a quote from Maya Angelou. She beautifully captures it with,

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

I especially appreciate this because after my previous failures, I’ve laid down an important criteria for ‘the one’: he has to have a good relationship with God. On the other hand, I’ve also laid down an important requirement for myself: to develop my own relationship with the Lord.

I know that resting my heart on the Lord will not shield me from heartaches and pains but it will help me resist the temptation of prematurely jumping into a relationship out of the occasional moments of loneliness. It is also my prayer that it can help me resist selfishness and increase my patience in waiting for His good and right time for I know that that is His design – that a woman so captivates a man, enough for him to pursue and win the woman, before the two become one.

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