I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t wait around for things to happen. I’m all for bold gestures, leaps of faith and lavish displays of love. With my independent and strong-willed nature, I had no problem going after what I wanted during my younger years. I chose who I wanted to be with and I made them mine. I’d even joke with my girlfriends that I should have been born a man instead, since I was far better at taking the initiative than waiting to be asked out.
Yet, none of those relationships were the one to ultimately succeed. Sometimes my boyfriends started to take me for granted and most just stopped making an effort altogether. Either way, it always ended with me breaking up with the boy I had fought so hard for.
Now I deeply believe that successful relationships require equal effort from both parties and I’ve learned that when a man has his heart set on something, nothing will stand in his way! I’ve also learned that I want someone willing to fight for me in the same way that I am willing to fight for him.
So let him make the first move. We all know that risking rejection is terrifying, so isn’t it nice to know that your man is brave and cares about you enough to put himself out there for you? Truly, it’s worth waiting to know that he values you so much. But you don’t have to be idle while you wait.
1. God first. Everyone else second. I know. It’s the Christian cliché. But as a young teenage girl with a heart ready to jump on every romantic whim, I found it easy to forget who to give the #1 place in my heart some days. Don’t make the same mistake. Be a woman of faith, courage, consistent character and passion who fiercely lives out her love for God and for others in practical ways. If that kind of woman isn’t attractive, I don’t know what is.
2. Make your presence known. In Ruth 3, Ruth put herself in Boaz’s path. I made the effort to get to know the man who eventually became my husband and he made a point of asking me to bring him to all of my events. Is there a boy out there who has your attention? Make an effort to be in his world and show an interest in who he is. Show him that you care and then see how he responds.
3. Don’t just listen to his words; watch his actions closely, too. Actions reveal character and integrity. If you are making an effort to get to know someone, it’s important you make sure that his character is worthy of your time and affection. Watch how he chooses to act without any of your prompting. I once flew across the country for a boy (multiple times) who didn’t ever take initiative to move us into a serious dating relationship. The right man won’t take you for granted, waste your time or lead you on. Plus, fifty years from now, it’ll be character and integrity, not charming words, that keep your relationship strong.
4. Seek counsel. I cannot stress the importance of having wise mentors in your life! Ruth had Naomi; I have my mama, my best friend and my pastor—wise, trusted spiritual leaders who know me, inside and out. Get your allies together and honestly hear what they have to say. Good friends will always have your back.
5. Timing is everything. I’ll be the first to admit that patience isn’t my virtue. If I had it my way, I would have met my husband years ago, made the first move and be celebrating a century’s worth of marriage by now! But looking back over our lives, we can both agree that God’s timing is perfect. My way creates mess; God’s way creates beauty. Trust the process. God knows what He is doing and He is a far better author of epic love stories than we could ever be!
—Tara Teng, @MissTaraTeng, former Miss World Canada and abolitionist