I am currently in the middle of a 3 part blog series about diagnosing whether you are a possessive woman. In the last post I discussed women who are possessive about their male friends. This post serves as the second topic in this series.
Part 2: You’re possessive about your crushes
On a fairly consistent basis I hear stories from young women that go something like this:
Me: So what’s going on with you and Freddy?
College student: Well, Freddy and I really like each other, but after we started hanging out one of my friends said that she liked him.
Me: Oh, so Freddy has been hanging out with her too?
College student: Well, not exactly. They talk sometimes, and she thinks something could be there, so she wants me to back off. She doesn’t want me to mess things up for her and him.
Me: Have they gone out on any dates?
College student: No.
Me: Does he call her or anything?
College student: No.
Me: But she thinks that something is there?
College student: Yes, so I’m gonna have to back off from Freddy.
This style of relating to guys reminds me of when I used to fight over the front seat with my brother: “I call shotgun!” “No I called shotgun first!” “NO I CALLED SHOTGUN!!!”
It’s like survival of the fittest, dating style. Whoever grabs the guy first gets the prize. If you don’t call dibs and mark your territory, then you get picked out of the dating pool like a weak antelope in the African Savannah.
Having said that, I have to be totally honest–this behavior is absurd. Not only are you acting in a possessive fashion over a man on whom you have no claim, but you are placing your friend in a terrible position as well. You’re essentially forcing her to choose between you two, and that isn’t fair or right.
Now I know that it is hard. I have been in the position of pining after a guy, only to stand by and watch as one of my friends swooped in and stole his heart. It was devastating.
But that did not give me the right to thwart their relationship. Whatever connection I had with my crush was only in my mind. I had read into every single glance, smile, and conversation with him. My imagination had carried me away as I dreamed of our future together.
And that is where this form of possessiveness is founded–in our imaginations. It is in no way rooted in reality. Even if you are spending a lot of time with the guy, it’s generally pretty clear if he’s pursuing you romantically as opposed to platonically–he takes you out on dates, tells you how he feels, etc. Yes, there are some guys who will string you along because they just don’t want to commit, but regardless of a man’s behavior you need to guard your thought life either way. If he isn’t pursuing you in a CLEAR manner, then don’t let your heart and mind go there. Don’t allow yourself to construct a situation that does not exist.
When you indulge those fantasies you risk getting hurt, as well as hurting the friends around you.
Just like the last post, the most important lesson we can learn from this behavior is that it projects an accurate picture of your heart. A woman gets territorial when she wants to control her love life, instead of surrendering it into the hands of God. It’s also a matter of jealousy–if you can’t have him then you don’t want anyone else to.
Ultimately, it’s not about the guy at all. It’s about two very specific things:
1) Your belief in a sovereign God who has great plans for you and will take care of you. If you try and break up another couple, then you aren’t trusting God with your future.
2) Your view of other Christian women. As we discussed in the last post, you should not view other women as competition that is trying to consume a scarce supply of men. The goal is not marriage; the goal is God’s glory. And in that battle we are all on the same team. We should therefore treat one another as allies, not enemies.
And don’t forget to love your neighbor as yourself. If you would like to have a husband, then you should be just as happy when one of your sisters meets the man of her dreams.
Now I will say that there is a time when it is right to talk to your friend if you think the silence will cause unspoken bitterness between you. But be sure that the conversation is not an ultimatum. The goal of the discussion should be a stronger friendship and a greater trust in God, not a veiled attempt at manipulating her. Only you can know your heart on that one, but if you’re at all tempted to control the situation, it might be better to say nothing at all and let God deal with your heart.
Again, remember that God is in control. He will take care of you. When you try to force a situation, you risk forfeiting a growing relationship with Him, as well as a wonderful frienship with another woman. If that is the cost of pursuing your crush, then it’s not worth it. God has more for you than that.
The next and final post will cover the topic of being possessive about your boyfriend or fiance. This one comes right out of my life right now, so I’ll be preaching to myself on this one!