From time to time, a young man will walk up to me, point across the room to a young lady, and ask me if I know her. I’ll say, “Yes, I do.” When the young man hears that, he’ll ask me if I’ll make an introduction. I usually decline. The young man will be surprised and ask why not? My answer is simply, “I have credibility with her and if I introduce you, I’ll lose all of my credibility.”
Once more, he’ll be shocked and want to know why I said that. “Because,” I’ll say, “she’s looking for a man to share the journey, not a boy to raise.” If I hear anything from young women, it’s this: Where are the men? OK, I know all of the jokes about a man-eating lion starving to death, but honestly, the women have a point.
We seem to be raising a nation of boys. What’s the difference between a man and a boy? Here are a few thoughts off the top of my head.
- A man knows who he is. Outward trends or pressures do not define him. He’s made his own choices about what matters to him and he has the courage to live out his values—even when they are contrary to culture.
- A man knows where he’s going. A man has a plan and the perseverance to work that plan, even when the work becomes difficult. A man can achieve a goal that takes years to complete.
- A man knows how to handle money. He’s not over-extended or addicted to bling. He has long-term financial goals and the self-discipline to accomplish them.
- A man knows how to treat a lady. He’s not a chauvinist; he is her champion. He’s not threatened by a woman’s success. In fact, he celebrates it. His manhood is secure enough that it cannot be covered up by an apron or a diaper bag.
- A man invests in the lives of others. People become more of who they are because of his friendship. People like being around him because they like who they are when they are with him. A man has a way to make you believe.
I tell young men, “If you can walk up to a young lady and say, “This is who I am and this is where I’m going. I’d love to have you along for the journey,” young ladies will listen to that.
If you’re a young man and you can’t answer these questions, you’re not ready for a relationship—not a serious one, anyway. Don’t look for a young lady who can get your stuff together for you. That’s not fair to her. She doesn’t want to be your mom.
Trust me, guys, if you find the guts to man up, you won’t have any problem getting dates…or more importantly, finding the young lady you want to share the journey with.