Mailvox: what’s a woman to do?

Retha wonders how a Christian woman can appeal to men:

I find the comments interesting. I am a Christian woman in my mid thirties. When I was young, I did not look out for a man – was too busy doing ministry work in my spare time to look for boyfriends. For that reason or some other reason, men did not approach me for dating/ courtship either. My attitude about marriage was “If we can serve God together, I may consider marrying some day. Otherwise – no way.”

I now realize that I actually want to marry and have kids, but I don’t even know how to meet men. I want to ask the Christian men here: What- except effort with my looks- can I do to be at all the kind of woman that a man who love God will want to marry?

One thing that Christian women often fail to understand is that a single-minded devotion to Jesus will drive away most men almost as effectively as a feminist woman’s narcissistic devotion to her education and career. This is true of Christian and non-Christian men alike. It’s not that men don’t respect your devotion, it’s just that they tend to consider you off the market as a sort of Protestant equivalent of a nun. You’re basically telling them that they will never be as important to you as they would be to pretty much any other woman, so it should come as little surprise that they tend to pursue those other women in preference to you.

After all, what sort of man wants to build a life with a woman who makes it unmistakably clear that his wife’s priority will always be others, not her marriage? I suppose it’s possible that you might theoretically meet a man who puts the same emphasis on ministry to others that you do, but if you consider how many men go seriously into ministry, it’s pretty clear that the odds are stacked against you. It’s about as realistic as the girl with the MBA who will only consider marrying a CEO. The fact is that there just aren’t very many of them.

So, what can you do. First, you can’t simply wave off the looks aspect. That’s the single most important element of a woman’s attractiveness to men, not so much where you rate on the 1-10 scale, but rather what sort of signals you are using your appearance to send. Most women make it very clear that they dress to please other women, not men, so if you do the opposite you will definitely stand out. I’m not talking about “going to a nightclub on Miami Beach” clothing, as much as I personally like that style, but rather wearing your hair long and down, wearing clothes that flatter most of whatever assets you happen to have, ignoring whatever the latest styles are, and paying far more attention to what the men around you happen to think looks good on you than you do to what your female friends tell you. Unless you’re trying to attract a woman, don’t dress in order to please them and their neurotic insecurities.

On the behavioral side, try to be aware of the presence of men in your vicinity. Don’t huddle with other women in public places like a herd of musk oxen trying to defend themselves; if you’re with a group of women, sit a bit back from them and scan the crowd occasionally to see who is checking out your group. Don’t look away from men who look at you. If a man is looking at you and you want to give him a shot, meet his eyes directly and smile. If he’s interested, he’ll approach you, if he’s not, he’ll smile politely, nod, and turn away. If he looks away quickly, he’s probably a gamma and may or may not approach you; if he does he’ll do so in a shy, hesitant, and overly polite manner that will make you want to kick him. Regardless, you’ve given the “all clear” signal, that’s all you really have to do. Be friendly and straightforward, and don’t be afraid to talk about your faith. If nothing else, it will protect you from all the players.

As for meeting men, I strongly suggest taking up a hobby or two that is male dominated. You’ll meet lots of men at martial arts studios, gaming stores, sports bars on game nights, car shows, and the free weight room. Set aside one evening a week to adventure into alien territory and you’ll meet more new men in a month than you have in the last year. I’ve never quite understood how people try to meet the opposite sex in places that the opposite sex never goes. If you’re hunting ducks, you don’t go to the desert, after all.

Now, you are who you are. You’re not going to change that now. But if you present yourself in an attractive and open manner, refuse to let yourself be a bitch or a wallflower, and content yourself with men who are in your physical and social league, you should be able to find what you are seeking. The Bible even says “seek and ye shall find”, so the question you have to ask yourself is if you have really been seeking or not.