In the last couple weeks I have had a striking number of conversations with girls who have felt unappreciated by the significant guys in their lives. I don’t know if there’s something in the water or what, but I do know this–every time I sat across from one of these girls, I always thought to myself, “Is this guy nuts? This girl is AMAZING!” These girls are not socially awkward, clingy, or annoying girls–they are fun, funny, and they love the Lord, so I want to go over to each one of these guys’ houses, knock on their doors, and tell them to snap out of it!
But as frustrating as these situations are, I have learned a lot from them. They have caused me to reflect on my past relationships, as well as the many times I felt unappreciated, and they’ve shed a lot of light on what happened. You see, I have this complex in which I think that if I try hard enough, I can become the girl of any guy’s dreams. Every time I am in a relationship, I try to be extra thoughtful, serve him every way I can think of, always trying to be sweet and kind, looking super cute whenever I see him, and so on. I try to meet his every need, listen to him, pray for him, be sensitive to his frustrations and hardships. I try to be the ultimate girlfriend.
That’s part of the reason why I have always been shocked when each one of these relationships failed. I just couldn’t understand what more he could have wanted, because I tried to be everything he needed, everything he could possibly desire. I was therefore left wondering what I did wrong, and how I feel short. Was I not pretty enough, spiritual enough, smart enough or fun enough? What else could he have possibly wanted from me?
Now I’m fairly certain that this mentality stems from a false understanding of the guy mindset. Somehow I have it in my head that every guy wants to date a specific kind of girl. You know the type: gorgeous, smart, fun, exciting, good sense of humor, athletic, sweet and caring yet independent and strong. Perhaps this idea comes from having heard so many guys fawn over Jessica Simpson or some other perfect looking girl. Because I see so many guys drooling over a particular kind of girl, I assume that is what most guys want, so I have worked pretty hard at trying to fit that mold of “every guy’s dream.”
The problem with buying into this idea is that I end up trying to fit this mold for every guy I’m remotely interested in, a strategy which routinely blows up in my face. If I try to impress a guy by emitting the “every guy’s dream” persona, but he doesn’t take the bait, then I’m left thinking that there’s something wrong with me. I find myself asking, “Why aren’t all guys flocking to me like they are to Angelina Jolie?” Because I don’t command the same consistent attention as those other women, my self-esteem suffers, and I get trapped in a viscious cycle of continually trying to fit that perfect mold.
Well that is where my younger friends have been extremely helpful. As I looked into the eyes of these precious girls, knowing just what those boys were missing out on, I realized something. The problem was not that these girls were somehow lacking. The problem was that not all guys have the same standard for what they want in a girl. Some guys want a girl who is feisty and bold, but other guys want a girl who is shy and sweet. Some guys want a girl who is athletic and outdoorsy, whereas other guys want a girl who is academic and likes to read. And because of this variety, there is no girl that *every* guy is going to desire. Sure, most guys will always think Jessica Simpson is hot, but thinking she’s hot and wanting to date her are two very different things.
All of that to say, just because a guy isn’t interested in you doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It may simply mean that there are other guys who God has created to more fully appreciate your strengths and your unique beauty than the ones who don’t. For that reason, we shouldn’t try to be the girl that every guy desires. In fact, we shouldn’t even try too hard to conform ourselves to what we think our boyfriends desire. We can’t possibly know the depths of a man’s heart, so we can’t possibly know all that he wants in a wife, but God does, so we can rest in the knowledge that He probably created a man who uniquely desires all the qualities God created in you. Don’t let one man’s lack of apprecition cause you to devalue just how special you really are. A lack of compatibility says nothing about your value, but it says everything about God’s sovereignty.