Overly Picky Girls?

The Boundless team recently received a message from a guy who is having trouble with “overly picky girls.” He’s frustrated because he tries hard to do everything right and be a godly man, but still gets rejected. This fellow just graduated from college after a streak of rejections. Below I respond to excerpts of his email.

“You can be a great guy, trying to do everything right, and still be rejected. You can be seeking after God and growing in your faith and still be rejected, all because the girl isn’t attracted to you.”

Bro, there is nothing wrong with the fact that you can “do everything right” and still be rejected because relationships are not mathematical equations. The dynamics that bring a man and a woman together are much more complex than a mere checklist of to-dos.

Given two women of equally mature faith and equally sound character, what makes a man attracted to one and not the other? The answer to that question goes both ways. Do you think women should want to date you based off of a checklist or because of who you are? Physical beauty and personality are integral parts of attraction, and attraction is an integral part of romantic relationships.

Which leads to the question: Are you giving women a chance to find out who you are and respond to you?

I firmly believe that a vast majority of the rejections men receive would not happen if they were a little more patient and perceptive to the cues women give. In many cases, it’s obvious when a woman is into you. The truth of this statement obviously varies according to your level of perceptiveness, so if you’re oblivious, then do some research. Google “how to tell if a woman digs you.” Even the most conservative girl who would never ask a guy out is still bound to give you cues as to whether she’s into you or not. If you are asking out girls who haven’t given you the go ahead, then you’re just a sucker for punishment.

If the girl you’re interested in hasn’t had the chance to get to know you, then you should probably create that opportunity before asking her out. Invite her to group events, and here’s a thought: Have conversations with her that don’t involve you asking her out.

I’m not saying that you need a 100-percent level of confidence before asking a girl out; just make sure there’s some context to the invitation.

“We live in a culture today where Christian young people have bought into the Hollywood myth of only finding certain types ‘attractive,’ and this is very hurtful to guys like me who try to be manly in biblical ways and not worldly ways. Too many Christian girls today aren’t interested in seeking a Christian guy, but rather, a worldly guy who also happens to be Christian, just because they view him as more sexy or attractive.”

To a certain degree, I understand what you’re saying, dude. The world does sell a false image of manliness and sexiness, and tries to change the standards with which we pursue romantic relationships. The prevalence of this problem will no doubt make life more difficult for a guy who doesn’t adhere to the worldly image of manhood, and that’s just a fact of life.

It’s when you say that there are “too many Christian girls today” who are misled in their pursuit of worldly men that I take pause. In a literal sense, this is true because one misled Christian girl is one too many. But I think the real point of your thought just isn’t true. There are plenty of godly women out there who are looking for godly men, and many of them are frustrated, waiting to be asked out. If you only pursue women who desire the “Hollywood myth,” then that’s your problem, and you should stop blaming women for it.

And this gets to what I’ve perceived as the two main problems for many Christian guys who struggle in the dating game: wrong expectations and hypocrisy.

If you’re working so hard to be a godly guy, then why are you pursuing women who don’t want godly guys? Could it be that you’re pursuing women you find attractive and not just women of sound character? You’re going after women who desire worldly guys which basically means that you’re going after worldly women. Do you see the problem with your complaint?

If you believe so strongly in the ideal of choosing romantic partners based on spiritual qualities, does that mean that you’ve been asking out women who don’t appeal to common ideals of attractiveness but who have amazing hearts? In other words, are you asking out girls you don’t think are hot because you know they are strong Christians?

Here’s a hard truth: It’s really common for a guy who isn’t exceptionally attractive or who has meager social skills to get angry when women who are “out of his league” reject his romantic advances. He then decides that this rejection is a character flaw on the woman’s part — all while ignoring so many wonderful women who are ready to marry, just because they don’t meet his equally shallow expectations.

My advice here is that you do some serious soul-searching and ask God to illuminate this part of your life. If the results of your introspection are more self-righteousness, then keep digging.

“What can I do as a Christian guy to be more attractive to Christian girls?”

Some guys need to fix their expectations, and some guys just need to step up their game. A fair degree of the rules of attraction apply both to Christian girls and worldly girls. You can’t just pursue the qualities that only Christian girls find attractive while ignoring the qualities that all humans find attractive.

On a practical level, it never hurts to work on your style, your social skills, etc. If there’s a chance that this is part of your problem, then ask someone who is brutally honest to give you some tips about the way you dress or the way you relate to women. The fact that you may desire a platonic ideal in which looks and charm don’t matter, doesn’t mean the world works that way. You can be an awesome guy, but if you dress like the Unabomber, then you’re just asking for rejection.

“What do women want?”

A woman wants a man who is confident, kind, Christlike, takes care of himself, and treats her like a queen.