So, the guy you liked didn’t choose you. Now what?
Modern “Hollywood” culture perpetuates the idea that girls are in competition with each other, and I’m sad to say that the church body often reflects this mentality. In the movies, anything goes when it comes to love. Girls lie, cheat, manipulate, and trick men in order to win their affections. At the end of the movie, the girl gets the guy, all sins are forgiven, and friends have a good laugh. The message? In order to win the right guy for you, you must rely on your own craftiness. But the movie always ends. There is no fast forward to five years later when the man realizes the women he thought he loved and knew bent over backwards to trick him into marriage. In the movies, this behavior is almost always rewarded. In reality, if you steal a man or deceive him, you may win in the short term, but lose in the long run.
Men are human beings with feelings and the right to choose—not dumb animals, but intelligent sons of God who observe how girls treat each other. They ARE paying attention and will make their choice for a wife based, at least partially, on how that woman treats others.
There is a scene in the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding” where a woman is chasing her male friend, trying to convince him to marry her instead of his chosen bride. At one point the woman calls another friend, who has witnessed her shenanigans, for advice. This friend asks her one simple question: who is chasing you? She then stops in her tracks and realizes that she’s fighting a losing battle. This is where Hollywood actually gets it right. As daughters of God, we are not to pursue, but be pursued.
Seek God first above all others, and everything else will fall into place.
If a man doesn’t choose you, it’s not because you’re unworthy of love. Your self-worth is not determined by whether one particular human man loves you. When hurt, we can sometimes feel justified in demonizing the guy or his chosen girl. This isn’t right. A man hasn’t wronged you because he doesn’t have feelings for you. But I get it, unrequited love sucks, and it hurts a lot. I’ve been there more than once. The truth is, most of us will experience this kind of pain. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking you can get someone to love you. Love is a gift; it can’t be earned. Our relationship with our heavenly Father teaches us that. When we assert our own will and conspire to do anything to achieve it, we often end up breaking our own hearts. In fact, the guy may be completely unaware!
When we behave this way, it shows a lack of faith.
If God wanted you to be with this person, you would be. If you believe that God can move a mountain, then believe that God can work on a man’s heart. And if He doesn’t, then He’s got a better plan for you. Dear G2G, I promise you this: God will work it out for you. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still” (Exodus 14:14). Let God lead. His plan for you may not ultimately include marriage, but He has a wonderful future and life’s work for you. “For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
See, this is highly personal for me. I can honestly tell you that I have endured 25 years of heart break, some of that from unrequited love. In some cases, I had to take personal responsibility and realize that the guy was innocent. I had built a castle in my head with someone I barely knew. I thought that, just like in the movies, one day he would see me, and it would be happily ever after. Then I got mad at him and blamed him for deceiving me. But the truth was, the guy had done nothing to hurt me. It was all in my imagination. Hollywood lies. The girls they chose instead of me were wonderful girls. As Christian women, we need to love first, regardless of the circumstances. Hating on them would only embitter my own heart. Girls can be mean and catty at ALL ages. When we find our value in God’s love for us, we can bounce back from the inevitable rejection we all must face. After all, isn’t it true that all relationships fail until one succeeds? The person we think is perfect for us may not be.
I had to give my desires for marriage to God. A study by Harvard and Yale researchers projected that college-educated women had a 20 percent chance of getting married if they were still single at 30, a 5 percent chance at age 35, and just a 2.6 percent chance at age 40.* Not good. Now, apparently this isn’t true; it’s more like a 60 percent chance of getting married if you’re still single at 30.* But I didn’t know that when I first heard these numbers. True or not, I thought that at 30 I couldn’t find myself a husband and the odds were certainly not in my favor. If I had any chance of getting married, God had to intervene. I gave up my own efforts and left the match-making to Him. I then spent more time focused on my spiritual life and got involved in ministry.
It’s tough, especially when you feel the odds are stacked against you. After a certain age, there’s just not a lot of single, quality men left in the church, and women can be surprisingly aggressive and competitive. I can tell you from personal experience that once you turn 30 in the church, it’s welcome to fight club. Now, I’m an introvert who hates conflict and will do anything to avoid it. So by worldly standards, I had zero chance of competing in this race. But I didn’t need to. Besides, godly men are not looking for competitive, manipulative women. They are looking for women focused on God.
Hello from the other side.
With God all things are truly possible. I met my husband when genuinely pursuing a deeper understanding of the Bible. I attended the class he was teaching with no ulterior motive. I have a no pursue policy, and embracing my role in courtship enabled my husband to embrace his role. I thank God every day for this experience. Now I know who God was preparing me for during the many times of frustration and loneliness. Patience and trust is the key. Now I can see God’s hand in everything throughout the past 25 years, preparing me to be the right woman as he prepared my husband to be the right man. Everyone’s timing is different. Learn to embrace and enjoy whatever circumstance you currently find yourself in. Wait for a love story that is hand-picked and curated by God.
While single, I have pursued many other dreams, traveled the world, built close friendships, and cultivated my ongoing relationship with the Lord. I have laughed and I have cried, enjoyed the thrill of adventure, fed a Rhino, lived abroad, learned new skills, and enjoyed the peace of rainy nights with a good book. You have a choice to make: be content in the Lord or follow the road to disappointment. You can’t choose whether a man will love you, but you can choose how you respond. You may never marry; don’t wait to enjoy the gift of life God has given you.
When we attack other girls, we compromise our own spirituality and our relationship with God. Bullying can turn others away from God and drive them out of the church. I personally have been a causality of such behavior, marked as a social outcast simply because I was chosen by a good man. Realize that God is in control. There is no need to compete for the one God has divinely selected for you. I’m asking you to STOP the nonsense.
So what can you do?
- Stay grounded. It’s not bad to day dream sometimes, but make sure you’re not projecting your fantasies onto some unsuspecting guy.
- Continually work on you and your relationship with God. Learn to put down your will and trust your heavenly Father fully.
- Find good friends who will keep you focused on God, tell you the truth, and not encourage negative thoughts and speech.
- If you have been guilty of jealously and mean-speak, ask God for forgiveness, and if possible, make it right with the person. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so make the most of today.
- Above all, love, forgive quickly, and be truly unique—be you. Your life begins the moment you embrace the plans God has made for you.