I sat looking at Alli (a junior in college) in my office, on my couch, pretty much in fetal position- sobbing. She was desperately trying to make sense out of the guy she had “slept with three times” who, now, was “acting like I don’t exist”. Ali beat this guy up verbally. Described him as a “player” as well as more several other expletive terms.
Ali was angry but hidden beneath her anger was hurt and devastation. She explained feeling “used” and “looking like a fool” being “embarrassed” to see any of this guys friends, much less the guy himself. They all “hang out” in the same group in college and she was certain her behavior would be shared amongst the guys in their fraternity.
I listened while Ali shared the details of what a wonderful guy “he would be”, how much she liked him, and how much fun they had had together- between her sobbing, wiping her tears, and nose. She continued to share with me her what sounded like a romance novel until reality hit. Ali realized her Prince was not interested in any form of relationship except a bootie call here and there. She knew she gave him full permission to “use her” by instigating, chasing, and allowing behaviors that resulted in devastation.
That same day, Alli began her long process of exploring her self-worth, values, behaviors, boundaries, expectations, and what she wanted long term in a relationship. There were lots of ups and downs, questions, and self-loathing during this process, but Alli had finally figured out what she was repeating with guys was not getting her what she wanted. Ali blamed guys for their actions until she realized she was in control and her misery was not based on the actions of the guy, it was her behaviors and expectations causing her embarrassment and regret.
Today, Alli is 25-years-old. She is teaching first grade, and “doing my best not to repeat the stupid mistakes I made in college with guys”. Alli reports, “It wasn’t easy to change my thoughts and behaviors that were leading me down a path to self-destruction”. Instead of chasing guys, Ali began concentrating on school and hanging out with girls and guys excluding her past behaviors.
Like so many girls, Ali had a well thought out preconceived scenario cemented in her thoughts about meeting her perfect guy, snatching him up, and living in a Barbie Dream House. She may do this someday but not with her past behaviors and thoughts. Ali has come a long way…
We all try to talk to our kids about sex in some way. We may discuss and hope they understand the dangers of STD’s, pregnancy, and Biblical principles. Many times, parents focus on the physical dangers, or even “saving yourself for marriage” and seem to forget the emotional ramifications involved with having sex. Sex changes every single relationship, period. There are many ramifications emotionally involved with sex. Girls immediately change their thoughts regarding the guy after having sex and most of the time, they can’t handle the emotions accompanying sex.
I have seen many Ali’s over the years with very much the same story. We must offer and invite conversation with our daughters, nieces, friends, sisters, and any other female we are close to over the age of 13 and under the age of 30. Girls need to recognize that guys (most of the time) are doing what we invite and allow them to do and lashing out at them doesn’t address the real issue.
Dad’s, you were once a guy more than likely a lot like the guys your daughters are around, going to school with or even dating. Talk to your daughters, Dad! Girls need your input…. even when they act embarrassed, “don’t want to hear it”, or roll their eyes. You have a captive audience with your daughter and if you don’t, take her phone away until you have the discussion you need to have… and have a chat with her on a regular basis.