Question

Posted January 16, 2013

Hi there~

This is proving hard to ask. : ) Let me try again!

So I’m 19 and I attend a great church. There are several similarly aged guys there who seem to be Godly and honorable, and I really desire to spend time with them as well as with the gals. Yet, because of my previous limited contact with guys-I have no brothers-I’m not sure what is/isn’t appropriate in terms of conversing, etc. I tend to get shy and just kind of fold into myself, unless one of them speaks to me.

Other girls seem to know how to be friendly with guys, and they talk and laugh with ease. Do you have any pointers on what I can do differently? I really like guys in general (!) and don’t want to burn my chances with them because of ignorance and shyness. Yet I also don’t want to be flirtatious or too forward. (I’m not chasing them, either; I feel God leading me to have contact with them and am not sure where that will lead, if anywhere.)

Any suggestions you have will be appreciated! I have been seeking God’s counsel, as well as that of my family, but thought I would try here too. I’ve read Preparing several times, including with my sister and parents, and was deeply encouraged. Mrs. Pearl is a refreshing author! Thank you for your time, and God bless you!

Answers

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  1. blackwhitedenim

    I used to be really shy… still am pretty quiet in a group, but at least I can carry on a decent conversation if the need arises.

    One trick that I use with guys (and girls- I’m equally bad with both) is to find something we have in common and jump on it. This might sound stupid, but I use an acronym when trying to find out what this is.

    F- Family. How many siblings, what do their parents do, etc.
    O- Occupation. If they don’t work, ask about college and/or school.
    R- Recreation. What they do for fun.
    M- Message. At this point you’re supposed to give a sales pitch (yup, I got it from a sales book…corny, I know). I figure that by this time I know enough about them to tell something about myself that we have in common.

    It’s important to ask “Why” questions and not just fill-in-the-blank questions. What do you like about that? Why do/don’t you like that? What is your favorite part of ___? This helps you get a feel for the person’s strengths, interests, goals, and needs. You can find out a LOT with why questions. One time I was doing this with a sales lady at work (who I had known for about 30 minutes), and she actually teared up at one point in the conversation. It’s not being flirty at all, yet you’re showing interest in them as a person and get to know them at more than a surface level and see what makes them tick.

    My definition of flirting would be to subtly let a guy know that you are interested. Some people would say this is wrong in all circumstances. I think there is a time and place for it. I never flirted (joking, teasing, smiling, touching) when I was a teenager, and I don’t think it hurt me at all. But if you’re old enough to marry, I think the guy would want to at least know if he had a chance with you before he put himself out there. Especially if your family practices more rigid courtship or betrothal.

    # January 18, 2013

    • gloriousday

      What a great idea blackwhitedenim! I’ll have keep that acronym in mind-and the why? questions too!

      # January 18, 2013

  2. kelseymarie

    I’m a very outgoing person, so this isn’t much of a problem for me. Actually I sometimes worry about me coming off as flirty to a guy. My younger two sisters are more like you – more quiet. It’s just their nature and might seem weird if one of them just started asking a boy at our church a bunch of questions. My advice is, just be friendly and talk casually with them. I might joke about something, mention something we did at church, or ask something light, such as ‘have you seen that movie?’ That’s my advice at least, but trust me, I’ve got a lot to learn about the nature of guys!

    # January 18, 2013

    • daisy19 - the author of this post.

      Haha, that makes two of us, kelseymarie! Thanks for taking the time to write. I can relate to your sisters. It seems weird to me-and, to my thinking-everyone else around if I even look at a guy. But I’m feeling God helping me to reach out as more of a friend, getting to know them as such without thinking of more personal subjects.

      # February 19, 2013

  3. daisy19 - the author of this post.

    Thank you so much, blackwhitedenim. I didn’t think the acronym was stupid at all! In fact, I just wrote it down for future reference. : ) I agree that subtly letting them know you might like them is useful, but obviously must come after you know them better. And these sound like excellent ways to accomplish the getting to know them part.

    Thank you again for taking the time to share. I hope that your day is filled with joy and many blessings.

    # January 20, 2013

    • blackwhitedenim

      The thing about flirting is that, if done properly (i.e. not being obvious), many times it doesn’t work. If you make it obvious, the guy sees it as you “hitting on him” which is obviously not cool. Case in point- a friend and I both liked the same guy. I thought her flirting was TOTALLY obvious- he picked up on it a little, and for that reason was reluctant to grow a friendship with her. I thought I was ‘subtle’ in my flirting, but he had NO idea I liked him. Because of that, he felt like he could become close friends with me, no strings attached like with the other girl.

      I found out all this since I wrote my last post- point being, my ‘subtle flirting’ did not work at all as I had hoped. It took an embarrassing mistake on my part (leaving a notebook at his house that had some rather personal thoughts in it) to get him to realize that I was interested. I was horrified! Definitely not what I would have preferred to “get the ball rolling” as Debi said in her book, but I guess it worked.

      # February 7, 2013

  4. daisy19 - the author of this post.

    Yikes! That is an embarrassing mistake. I’m glad to hear it worked though! Interesting, isn’t it, how guys look at things? I think that’s probably one of my biggest problems, I just don’t understand how guys in general think.

    Thank you for sharing, and following up. I went on a retreat recently with the group at my church and I feel that time helped me get more comfortable with just casual, friendly interactions with the young men. Your “What” questions are also helping. : ) I think progress is coming, though slowly at times.

    # February 19, 2013

  5. beth

    I would caution you not to push yourself too hard to be friendly. I knew a girl who was quiet and introverted and she pushed herself so hard to be outgoing that she wound up being really weird and ditsy. If she had just been herself, I think it would have been a lot better.

    # February 28, 2013