In high school, I remember reading an article in a teen magazine that was something like “17 Sneaky Ways to Flirt With Him.” (You can question me on my taste in literature later.) I still remember one of the tips: “Pretend to tuck in the tag of his shirt, even if it’s not out.” The concept was to create an excuse for a flirty touch. (I can neither confirm nor deny that I ever tried it.) And in case you’re wondering at the direction I seem to be heading, I’m actually hoping this will be a more mature version of those tips I got from the teen magazine.
We talk a lot about intentionality here at Boundless. And a lot of the intentionality in relationships falls to the guy, who typically is the one to initiate. When I was single, I had times where I felt confused as to what I could do to let a guy know I was interested without being too flirty or making a fool of myself. (For further reading on this, check out my article, “Boy Crazy.”)
And yet, I never stop hearing from Christian guys that they need women to take a risk and put some encouragement out there. So without further ado, here are my top ten ways to let him know you’re interested:
10. Organize a group event. Plan a trip to a museum or sporting event, or organize a night on the town. Just make sure he’s invited. (Bonus points: Ask if he wants to carpool.)
9. Ask him for a ride to/from the airport. Quality time in the car and a chance to see his chivalry in action? Yes, please! You also make yourself vulnerable by letting him know your need. (Pro-tip: This one works in reverse. You can also offer him a ride as a friend of mine did for her now-husband.)
8. Host a “Sixer Mixer.” Here’s the concept: Cook a meal and invite five other people (or four if you and your housemate are partners in crime). This kind of dinner is a non-threatening way to get to know that special someone a little better, not to mention showcase your cooking skills.
7. Initiate a non-romantic activity you both enjoy. Run a race together. Take photographs of native wildlife. Go on a snow-shoeing adventure. I found that opportunities like this — in groups or one on one — were plentiful when I was connected to a young adults group at my church.
6. Visit him at work. This one is tricky, because showing up at someone’s workplace can be borderline stalker-ish. Lucky for me, my now-husband worked at Starbucks, so it was perfectly acceptable to drop by for coffee. Later Kevin told me what a boost of encouragement those impromptu drop-ins gave him.
5. Invite him to your church. I don’t know about your town, but where I live in Colorado Springs there are a lot of churches. So you might meet someone cool who attends a church across town. Look for an opportunity to invite him to check out a special event or service at your church. (Note: I’m not talking about missionary dating here.)
4. Ask for help. Need someone to help you change a tire or move a heavy piece of furniture? The damsel in distress routine can really open the door for a deeper relationship. Even if you can do it yourself, let him do his thing and save the day.
3. Help a brother out. So you see on Facebook that he’s sick … what do you do? Why not offer to take him your famous chicken noodle soup? Maybe he’s finishing that major paper for class and you can offer to use your English major skills to make it shine. When you offer up some of your nurturing (not too much until he puts a ring on it), you put your wife/mother skills on display.
2. Invite him to a holiday event. OK, so this is just a different spin on number 10, but holidays are pure gold, ladies. It seems to be way more acceptable to invite a guy to Christmas lights at the zoo, a 1940s-themed Christmas ball or even to your office Christmas party than any other date-like activity during the rest of the year.
1. Collaborate on ministry. I suppose my husband and I are the classic example of this: We co-led a small group, and, well, the rest is history. In my opinion, this shouldn’t be forced. Don’t join his ministry because you think he’s cute. Rather, get to know someone better who shares your particular passions.
Many of these opportunities will naturally arise if you’re in community with others; and hopefully, that community will help you avoid pitfalls like becoming some guy’s “friendgirl.” Most importantly, if you don’t make your community experience all about snagging one particular guy, you’ll get to know people who can join you in your journey with Christ. (And who knows? They might eventually introduce you to the right guy.)
Regardless of what you take from the rest of this piece, ladies, please just remember this: Your encouragement is vital to his success. So be brave. No excuses. You’ve got this.