This guy walks by, and I hear this woman say, "Oh my, he smells so good." Now I know he heard her, because he smiled. She went on to express her appreciation of just how good he smelled by licking her lips. I first thought to myself how brave, and then my second thought was I want to talk with this woman. Everyone in our close proximity knew she had some naughty thoughts going on in her mind at that very moment as it was crystal clear she was undressing him with her eyes.
I went up to her and introduced myself, and for the purposes of this article, I will call her Jane. She was surprisingly friendly, and I asked if she had a minute to chat. After I told her a little about me, I explained why I was interested in how she had boldly expressed herself just a few minutes earlier, and she was more than happy to grab a seat and chat with me.
The first thing Jane said to me was, "Girl, you don't have to tell me I already know, I need to work on that, but I really love when a man not only smells good, but he looks and dresses good. I lose my head for a hot minute, and it has gotten me into some big, stinky trouble especially when he has a girlfriend." I asked Jane was she single, and she said yes. I asked her what she was looking for in a man, and she gave me a mighty, mighty long list but let's just say smells, looks, and clothes were showered throughout the many adjectives she was using to describe her ideal man. I asked Jane what types of changes had she made since her way of using smells, looks, and clothes as her only selection methods were definitely not helping her to find that ideal man. Jane went on to tell me she tried dating guys who looked nerdy and intellectual, but they turned out to be boring to her. She tried dating guys who were very artistic, but they seemed weird at times to her. She tried dating guys who cared deeply about animals like she did, but felt over time they put their passion before her and that was not acceptable. Jane went on to describe a few more dating scenarios, and she basically concluded with the fact that she just wouldn't change what she is attracted to in a man even if it occasionally gets her into trouble. To Jane it essentially boils down to "you win some, you lose some."
See the thing about Jane is that where she is in her dating life right now makes her 100 percent sensory driven by touch, smell, sight, etc., and this makes even the wrong guys seem right to her without any forethought. It is obvious that Jane tends to get into dating relationships with guys who dress nice, and as she would say, "smells so good" even though she knows it may get her into trouble. Jane needed help with how to develop a whole picture of what she should be looking for in a man. She needed to understand how to get the right tools in place to help her to identify her negotiables and non-negotiables.
Let me first confess to you that even I like when a man has the right cologne on that makes him smell really good. I would like to identify a second confession of mine which is I like when a man dresses nice especially when he can pull off the rugged look. Don't tell anyone my secret, but I have this thing about shoes, and I believe a man's shoes says a whole lot about the miles he's currently walking even when words aren't spoken. My last confession of the day is I also like a man who looks good too, but remember looks are in the eye of the beholder, so what looks good to me may not look good to you and vice versa. I guess I'm somewhat like Jane in that respect, BUT I don't believe I have dated guys solely based on the fact that I simply like how he smells, looks, or the clothes he wears. So now you see why Jane peaked my interest. I don't want you to be so quick to judge Jane because beneath it all, I don't think it's that uncommon to find people who have weird things that attract them to someone else.
Now Jane eventually admitted to me that she knows God wants more for her, but she just doesn't know what else to do out of fear that she'll be stuck with a guy who may not want to go the extra mile for her in these sensory areas that are clearly important to her. I think it's fair to say that Jane's guy "picker" in finding and sustaining a meaningful relationship with a man worthy of her time is a bit out of tune. I was able to be real with her and to simply help her to connect with some ways to realign herself with fulfilling God's plans for her life.
Isn't it true for a lot of us that we are walking this new walk with Christ and our ability to see, spot, and "pick" the right single man or woman is still off key even though we have become new creatures with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Some of us haven't upgraded our "pickers", and we are still using the same tactics, standards, and visuals we used when we were in past dating relationships with other people who are no longer a part of our life. Of course, the attraction needs to be there; however, so does depth. Beyond the cologne, perfume, trendy clothes, etc., you need to ask yourself a few of these example questions, "Is this person easy to talk too"; "Do I feel at "home" with this person"; "If we weren't dating could I consider this person my friend"; "Do we have similar values, standards, goals, etc."
I'm not saying taking care of yourself, dressing nice, and smelling good are bad things. I'm saying in addition to that what else do you bring to the table, or do you expect the other person to bring to the table. I'm also saying the way you "picked" people in past relationships must be readjusted to accommodate future relationships. If you only dated a woman with long hair in past relationships, does that mean a woman is off the list because she's rocking a short hairstyle? If every guy you have ever dated was six feet tall or above, does that now mean you will not date a guy who is shorter than that or a little shorter than you?
Your "picker" and my "picker" should be constantly getting tune ups. You have grown more not only in your faith, but you have life experience to factor in. You aren't the same person you were when you thought you couldn't live without that person who hurt you many years ago, so why should you still be using the same "picker" to select your future wife or husband whom you want to spend the rest of your life with. It has been said that a person does the same thing the same way until they learn to do it a new way. When was the last time you sat down and REALLY thought about how you go about "picking" people you want to date? Have you reexamined what works and doesn't work? Have you thought about what was important to you "back in the day" vs. where you are in the present day?
As I finished up my talk with Jane, I told her what I admired about her in the short time we spent together sitting in the mall food court. She said our brief talk made her want to "do stuff differently." I know Jane isn't perfect, neither am I, and neither are you. I want you to think about what I'm saying, and I want you to seriously lay out your negotiables and non-negotiables. If you were sitting in front of me at this very moment, I would look you directly into your eyes and ask you this one question, "Do you believe that you are "picking" people to date because of who you were or who you have become?" I hope your answer is ___________!