The most important thing: Make her feel safe
There are a lot of important factors to consider when choosing someone to date or marry. Many people have lists that are long and extensive. But there seems to be a few “top qualities” that pretty consistently make the “essentials” list. A few weeks ago I found a video giving guys some hints as to what girls are looking for. It has some great thoughts (though be warned, he’s very “energetic”), you can watch it HERE if you want. He does a pretty good job at ranking his top ten, but I would make one minor change, swap number 2 and number 1.
His number one is “Be her best friend”, and while I think friendship in relationships IS super important, I still think his runner up even supersedes that. So here it is, what I would say is THE most imporant thing that most women are looking for, “Make her feel safe.”
I don’t get how guys think, but given my observation I don’t think safety is often on their radar. But for girls (generally speaking) feeling and being safe is really important and sadly it isn’t something we experience very often. Now I’m not talking about just physical safety (though obviously that’s important too), but this desire to be protected covers feeling physically, emotionally, and spiritually safe. If you can make a woman feel safe she’ll overlook a lot of other faults.
So let’s break this down a little:
Why we need to be protected. Simple answer: It’s how we’re wired. Deeper answer: All you feminists out there might not like this fact, but a fact it remains, women are weaker than men. Now this doesn’t mean that we are less than men, wimpy, or useless, we’re just different. Women’s bodies, emotions, and spirits are strong but their strength is for different purposes than that of men. This isn’t a put down, it’s a compliment – literally. No one gender can be independent of the other, we were made to complete one another, to be strong in areas the other is weak. We need men, they need us.
I’ve heard this comparison before and really like it. The difference between women and men is like the difference between a tea cup and a coffee mug. Tea cups are more expensive, more decorative, and more fragile than a coffee cup… they are not better or worse, they are different. You handle a tea cup differently than a coffee mug, they serve different purposes, they have different strengths. Because of their great value, tea cups need to be handled carefully.
So we’ve established, women need to feel safe in relationships, but what does that look like? Let’s break that down too.
What it looks like to feel physically protected: Feeling protected physically doesn’t have a whole lot to do with how physically strong a guy is, it has everything to do with how he uses his strength. It’s more than being able to fend off a mugger in the city, physically protecting your girl means that you don’t put her in compromising positions. It involves her knowing that you will never ask her to do something that puts her safety at risk. If you’re out with her after dark, walk her to her car. If you’re driving her home, don’t leave until she’s inside her house. Let her go ahead of you, she needs to know you’ve got her back. In addition to these things, don’t force her to set the boundaries for your physical relationship, do that with her and stick to it. Before God, she is responsible for how she acts and what she allows, but before God you are responsible for how you act towards her. Don’t ask her to compromise her integrity. If she’s constantly having to tell you to cool things down, that means that she has to always be on her guard and she won’t feel safe with you.
What it looks like to feel emotionally protected: Most people are incredibly insecure. The very best thing you can do for someone is give them a place they can safely be themselves and make mistakes. For girls (and guys too) being able to share your emotions, opinions, and feelings is really important, unfortunately there are very few places this can happen without negative repercussions. Give a girl a place where she is free to express who she really is, and you have a girl who feels safe. On top of that, protective guys are watching out for their girl’s integrity and reputation. The Bible warns us to avoid even the appearance of evil. Part of emotionally protecting your girl is not putting her in a position where other people question her morals. Lastly, emotionally protecting a girl means not toying with her. She isn’t a play thing for your entertainment, she’s a person with feelings. Don’t flirt with her emotions and send mixed signals, don’t make promises with your words or actions that you have no intention of keeping. This girl may not be your future wife, but she’s probably someone’s. Would you want someone else doing that to your wife?
What it looks like to feel spiritually safe: Submission is a dirty word in some circles, but really when you feel protected by the person you are submitting to, submission is a joy. I believe that the biggest reason women have a hard time submitting is because they don’t feel safe. But when a husband acts like Christ, rarely is submission a problem for his wife. God makes it very clear that it is the man’s role to spiritually lead his wife and family. If it’s going to happen when you’re married, in some ways it needs to start long before then. This begins by knowing what you believe and why. Beyond that it means that you (as a guy) are in submission to Christ, your authority. You’ve gotta be plugged in and seeking God every day if you want to be a good leader to your (future) wife. If you are firmly fixed on the Rock, your girl will be too.