What a woman should do when she likes a man.

Co-written by Bobby Angel

This post is co-written with Bobby Angel, my friend Jackie Francois Angel’s husband.

Last year, I (Arleen), wrote a post called “When a man likes a woman” for the Catholic Match Institute’s blog. It listed what men should do who are into a woman:

Ask questions. Use words. Seek counsel. Follow through. Save sex.

After they read it, several readers wondered: But what should a woman do when she likes a man? I think she should do the same stuff, I said. But I also thought a man ought to answer that question. So, I asked Bobby Angel. Here is his insight:

Jackie-Bobby-1

Bobby Angel

When a woman likes a man, she should be intentional (regarding flirting).

Men are simple creatures, and any (I do mean any) signs of affection or attention can be misread. A compliment, physical touch, or even a confidential conversation can signal to the guy, “She’s into me!”

If you’re taken, don’t act like you’re not; if you’re not looking to date, don’t send signals that you are. If you’re not interested in pursing a relationship with the guy in front of you, don’t flirt and confuse the guy that you are. Cultivating a mindfulness of the signs we’re giving off isn’t easy, but it’s worth it, especially if our deeper goal is to love our brothers in Christ, guard their hearts, and get them to Heaven.

When a woman likes a man, she should be patient.

Men are simple creatures (did I say that already?). We don’t always have the best communication skills, or even the same standards in hygiene or cleanliness as women do, and it’s important to be patient as you learn more about one another and navigate the waters of dating.

Expect mistakes and miscommunications, expect a learning curve, especially when it comes to prayer together. I spent 27 years praying on my own before I met my wife, and it’s been a dance of trial-and-error, learning how to meet our spiritual needs both together and separately, what we’re comfortable with and where we need to be open to grow.

When a woman likes a man, she should allow him to lead.

Men nowadays have been taught to be overly passive, to allow women to do things for themselves to a fault, so taking the lead doesn’t always come naturally to modern guys, especially in dating. This can pertain to leading prayer, taking the initiative regarding chores, or even planning creative dates. Encouraging your man to “take the lead” can bring greatness out of him, often in ways that he never knew he had in himself.

And when a woman likes a man, she should be real.

My wife has never been afraid to be vulnerable with me. Whether it’s issues with her family or “the crazy” that is PMS, she’s always wanted me to see her for her real self and not a fairy tale image of her that doesn’t exist. And I love her more for that.

I find that I love my wife more after each storm we weather or argument we get in. If he’s the right guy, he won’t head for the hills, but will take your hand and journey with you, through the highs and the lows.

About the co-writer: Bobby Angel is a Floridian transplant to California where he works at an all-boys’ Catholic high school. When not writing, surfing, or drinking too much coffee, he and his wife Jackie travel and speak to youth and young adults on the joy of the Gospel and a life of chastity. They recently welcomed their first child, Abigail. Their website is jackieandbobby.com, where they write regularly on topics such as dating, discernment, and prayer.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • John Morgan

    A confidential conversation can send the wrong signal? That explains a lot, like why so few women are capable of having friends. But being intentional is always a good idea.

    • Arleen Spenceley

      Bobby’s alluding to the importance of boundaries (in the case of conversation, the emotional kind). There a certain level of intimacy in having a confidential conversation with somebody. A woman’s being willing to be intimate in that way indeed can send a guy a signal that she is interested in dating him.

      • Covarr

        If you had to guess, how often would you say this is or isn’t an intentional signal? This is very relevant to me right now.

        • Arleen Spenceley

          Tough to tell! I don’t know that it’s intentional very often at all. Some women share confidential things with a guy because she doesn’t have healthy boundaries. Other women share confidential things with a guy because she trusts him, regardless of whether she is interested.

          If she IS interested, I don’t know whether she necessarily decides to do it because she is interested and wants it to be a signal of her interest, or if she is comfortable doing it for whatever the reasons are that she developed an interest in him.

          As an addendum to the post, If I’ve correctly picked up what Bobby’s put down, he suggests that women be sensitive to the fact that sharing that way with men may be interpreted as “she’s interested in me.” So I don’t think it means that ladies can’t share stuff in confidence with their male friends so much as to be aware of factors that might make it imprudent to do so with some of them (i.e., if your male friend wants to date you but you don’t want to date him).

      • John Morgan

        I agree. I think emotions are like bags of microwave popcorn. They’re quick and easy, but often lead us astray.

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