I’ve been putting off creating my top-ten list . . . I’m not sure exactly why . . . I just haven’t done it. Last week I decided it was time to write it down. I decided to write each quality I knew I was looking for on a 3 x 5 card so that later I could rearrange the order. It also helped me feel like it wasn’t a permanent list and that I could make changes if I needed to. Hahaha—how noncommittal does that sound!?
One evening, with pen and several 3 x 5 cards in hand, I sat down to work on it. The first three were pretty easy to write down: 1) tall, 2) dark, and 3) handsome. Just kidding. Actually, none of those were on my list. What was included in my list was actually quite surprising by the end.
Before we go much further, I have to first let you know something. It’s one of my deepest, darkest secrets. It takes a long time for me to become interested in someone. I’m so weird this way. I haven’t ever really had an instant connection with someone or ever felt like “We’ve been flirting for five minutes—I hope he asks for my number.” I’m basically uninterested in someone until at least our fifth encounter. That’s probably really weird, and, Alisa, you will have to provide me with some serious advice on how to get over this, but that’s how it is for me.
Anyway, because of this, I do have a hard time flirting. I always have. I could honestly care less about most guys I meet unless there is some significant time spent with that person. Then I become slightly interested . . . maybe. 🙂 BUT there’s hope. After creating my top-ten list, I realized that there are a lot of guys around me that have the qualities I’m looking for. Because I’ve pinpointed these qualities in a guy, I am now more flirty with them. Even though I’m not interested now, I can see that because he has the qualities I am looking for, there is potential for interest later!
I was excited to see this about myself. Now that you know my deep, dark secret of having a hard time being interested very quickly, you might get a kick out of the following story. I was chatting with my cousin, and she was asking me about the guys who live near me. She said, “Who is it that you have a crush on?” I looked at her with the most blank stare I could muster, and, in shock, she said, “You don’t have ANY crushes!?” I shook my head in shame. She made me promise that by the end of the month I would give her a list of three guys that I have crushes on. So far it isn’t going so well, but I am trying really hard. I still have 15 more days, though.
So, my call to action at the end of this post is: First, write your top-ten list. And, second, pray that I will develop three crushes in 15 days!!!
Actually, I’m not too surprised by what you said. If in the past you weren’t investing much in the process of meeting men and/or making them feel great, you would not have felt a significant connection to them until you had known them for a while.
This is true for both men and women. Those who passively wait for a connection end up making a connection nearly impossible to feel. Here is an excerpt from chapter 1 of the It’s Not You—It’s Your Technique manual that explains this better:
The 7th Be-Effective Fact: The more deeply you sacrifice, the more deeply you love.
You will never feel passionately about another person or a relationship if you do not sacrifice deeply for that individual or relationship. If you’re being passive about dating or are waiting for others to do their part before you do yours, you won’t feel excited about the relationship. Love is deeply connected to sacrifice. It always has been and always will be. What you put into a relationship is what you experience in return. If you don’t give great love, no matter how much someone loves you, you cannot and will not fully feel their love. You have not opened your heart for it. You are the only one who’s holding you back from the love you want.
Thus, the more you sacrifice as you search for the kind of men you are looking for and invest in making them feel great, the more successful you will be in developing the feelings you desire. This is part of the reason I always have people begin by creating a top-ten list so that they really can and will be effective in both finding the kinds of relationships they desire and investing in them when they do find them. Too many people don’t even know what they want let alone appreciate it when they find it.
That being said, you need to be careful of the “Be Spontaneous Paradox.” Basically, expecting or demanding anything that can only happen spontaneously creates a paradox in which the thing you desire is impossible to experience. This is particularly the case in expecting an emotional reaction. If I ask you to give me your most sincere laugh right now, I make it impossible for you to experience a sincere laugh—which, by its definition, can only occur spontaneously—because I’m demanding and expecting it. Thus, if you expect an emotion like a crush, you make it impossible to feel it. So instead of looking for three crushes (which would be expecting an emotion), look for three men you think would be crush-worthy. Then invest time and energy in these men with faith that the emotions you desire will come in time. Thus, your emotions can develop spontaneously. Focus on doing your part (i.e., sacrificing), then let go and trust God and the process.
By the way, you’re not the only one who’s experienced such emotional indifference. I went through the same thing in considering having a child. I even remember saying to a friend after I got pregnant with my son that I wasn’t sure I would be a good mom because I didn’t feel any desire to hold other people’s babies and was fairly bored with children in general. She simply said, “Alisa, when you hold that baby in your arms, everything will change.” And it did. Of course, the greatest depth of my love for my son came not as an immediate connection at delivery (which was there) but after weeks, months, and years of sacrifice for him and our relationship. In other words—no worries! Do your part and God will do the rest.
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