June 28, 2011
Agatha and I had a great discussion on Sunday night. Well, we have great discussions most nights. But the topic of this one turned to the topic of the heart and how various women understand how they are to guard it from or give it to a man. Naturally, as with all matters like this one, we didn't come to a resolution, but we did arrive at various insights from examining our own hearts and those of women we know.
1. "Hi, my name is ______. Here is my heart! Here is all of me!" I think some women tend to go all in when meeting someone. There is a natural desire for women to be SEEN. "See me. Accept me. Love me." We want to be viewed in full and accepted as is. Why risk spending time with someone or investing in someone if he's not going to love the most important parts of you? These types of thoughts feed into a natural inclination to disclose parts of our heart that are the deepest so as test a man's fight or flight instinct with us.
The pros of this? There is a real openness to dialogue and a willingness to be vulnerable. The negatives? You're asking too much too fast, risking significant rejection, and failing to help a man grow in the masculine virtue of working to earn your heart.
2. "Hi, my name is _____. That's all you're going to get from me." Some women completely close their hearts off from men. The reasons vary: vulnerability is the scariest thing in the world; previous relationships have left scars; we carry an idealistic sense that men need to fight these huge battles to win us. This is without mentioning that the art of flirting and the art of opening up is very difficult to master!
The pros? Hearts should be guarded. They are our most precious gift, and should only be given to men that we understand to be worthy to view them. The cons? We can easily set up these impossible gauntlets for men to run through in order to get a peak into our hearts, and by that time, if they actually get through the maze, they might just be too exhausted to continue.
Agatha and I did agree that the virtue of chastity is a good model to follow in terms of revealing one's heart (and this goes for men, too!). Chastity is not abstinence, but is also does not clearly permit anything to be fair game. As one grows more intimate with someone at various stages of a relationship, one measures out appropriate gestures to indicate that growth. Likewise, a woman need not give her heart to a boyfriend in the way she would to a fiance, or a fiancé in the way she will in marriage twenty years down the road. There is growth and an ever-deepening revelation to be done.