“We’ve been messaging for weeks and still nothing. I just don’t get it.”
I was browsing the clearance shoe rack with a pair of college girlfriends last October venting about CatholicMatch member Mr. Take My Time who unbeknownst to me would later become my Mr. Right. It was only after I made the first move one week later through a casual “So…do you want to meet for a drink after work next week?” message that our relationship began.
I took the lead out of fear that our online relationship would never converge with real life, putting me, as a woman, in an untraditional role as the initiator, though only for a moment.
Gender roles, especially in the dating and marriage scene, can be very controversial, especially when we begin throwing out Scripture references like Ephesians 5:23 that proclaims a husband is the head of a wife or the previous verse infamously included in many wedding masses that says wives should submit to their husbands. If a man, according to Scripture, is the “head of a wife,” well then us CatholicMatch ladies should be sitting back with our feet up waiting for noble CatholicMatch men to make the first move, right?
“I think it is part of our job as men to risk rejection and be the initiators of dates and dating relationships, and if you wait until she has gone out on a limb and made her interest known, you’re asking her to take the risk instead of taking it on yourself.”
Croft goes on to say that a woman pursuing a man sets a tone in the relationship for reversed biblical roles in marriage:
“The much wiser course in a dating context—both for purposes of evaluating a potential spouse in biblical terms and to lay the groundwork for a biblically sound marriage—is for the guy to model godly initiative and leadership with the woman’s good in mind, and for the woman to respond to that leadership.”
Reading Croft’s article as a strong, independent, 20-something was challenging. I know that I have the capacity for the same level of leadership skills as any man, just as I can vote, succeed in the business world and support myself financially. But I also know that God has created men and women inherently different. Men are called to provide and protect, while women are called to love and nurture among thousands of other things. We are the most fulfilled when we address these basic truths along with the unique calls God has set on each of our hearts.
This article sparked passionate banter in the “Single Living” forum from all sides of the spectrum:
“Take charge,” Meg-920823 posted. “I don’t want to be in charge; I want to be open and encouraging, but I want the man to be the leader.”
“Help us out,” David-364112 pleaded. “If you’re interested in a guy let him know. We’re clueless.”
These posts remind us that even in our 21st century culture, we still desire a form of traditional gender roles. Does that mean that women have no voice? No. Does that mean that men are dominant? Of course not. It means that we have to work together to meet our needs. Women can’t take a complete hands-off approach to dating and expect a man to know she’s interested, just like a man can’t call all of the shots and expect a woman to be happy. We can, however, make choices that set us up for holy and happy marriages.
So CatholicMatch men—Pursue us. Ask us out. Be the leader God is calling you to be. But don’t be surprised if we step up if you don’t. We know what we want, and we won’t let fear or old-fashioned beliefs stand in our way.