Top 10 Saddest/Craziest/Understandable Things I’ve Seen Christians Believe About Relationships

Before I start this post, can I just say HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS PICTURE I took last weekend? KK thanks. Also, we just discovered the flower district in downtown LA (that’s where the flowers are from + where that awesome old store is) and I will be trying to convince Max to go with me every single weekend for the rest of my life, probably. Alright. Carry on.

OHANDALSO: If something in this post offends you, my deepest apologies. Unless maybe you needed to be offended, then let me assure you that I was offended first. Because I used to believe a good number of these things myself. Actually, almost all of them. Eesh.

1. Your future spouse will not be attractive. You know, I used to believe this, and I’ve tried for the last 12 1/2 minutes to figure out why. I’m thinking it’s because the first cute guys we all had crushes on were “bad” for us, so we adopted the dessert/vegetable complex. If it’s healthy for you, it won’t taste good. (No pun intended.) Unfortunately fortunately, wait – yes, unfortunately, men are not food items, and you absolutely 100% will be attracted to him. Keep in mind that attraction is multi-faceted* and emotional investment does a LOT for the oo-la-la factor – BUT – if you’re engaged and you realize that you’ve never felt physical attraction to your guy, you need to take a step back. (*Attraction is not a check “yes or no” on if this person is “hot.” It’s something more special. And sometimes it ebbs and flows, so don’t freak out when its a little Less than it is More at times.)  

2. Your husband will always want more sex than you, because Men Need Sex. Always. This horse has been beaten to death on my corner of the Internet, but I have to say it YET AGAIN because I still KEEP HEARING that pastors are teaching sermons on “Why Men Need Sex” and I STILL KEEP GETTING EMAILS from women who are crying themselves to sleep [like I used to] because they thought something was wrong with them [like I used to/am still working at this] because their husband wasn’t a raging sexaholic [like we’ve been brainwashed to believe] and for them to desire sex and their husband to be too tired or stressed out means ITSMYFAULTIMNOTPRETTYANYMORE. It pains me to say this, but sex is not a need. For anyone. It’s a desire, and it can be a really really really strong one, but it’s not a legimate need as in If You Don’t Eat Food You Will Die. (However, if you ever see a news article titled Man Drops Dead From Not Having Sex, please alert me immediately.) There’s also a good number of women who are borderline terrified of marriage because they’re convinced it’s going to be like a Christian version of 50 Shades of Grey where they’re just forced against their will to do all kinds of nonsense while wearing an apron. Which brings me to…….

3. Having sex when you’re not remotely interested (or on your period) is part of submitting. Okay. A man having sex with you when you’ve vocalized that you don’t want to is rape. Yes, this is extreme. But in the same way that “marital submission” obviously does not make rape “okay,” it also does not make “just sucking it up and going along with it even though its physically or emotionally painful because your entire spirit is not able to participate in sex right now” okay. I hope by the grace of God you marry a man who loves you, and I guarantee you that if a man loves you and you communicate your feelings, he will not force or guilt you into having sex when you really do not want to. And, he will also listen when you say so. If you feel like you can’t tell your husband how you’re feeling, sign yourself up for counseling ASAP. And if your husband is guilting you into sex, then get counseling ASAP. This isn’t good, and it sure as heck isn’t Biblical. Take care of your heart. <3

4. I’m 19 and I’ll never find The One. I joke about this, but I remember being 19 and feeling like I’d already lived ages and ages, and when 25 year old women told me that “the next 6 years will go so fast!!” I wanted to punch them in the face. I won’t lie to you. Six years will not go by “so fast.” But they will go, and they will be AWESOME, with or without The One. So get some ice cream, dance around in your underwear, and commit to loving your life. Marriage comes when the time is right, and we are literally commanded to not worry about tomorrow.

5. Past mistakes will ruin your marriage, and your husband won’t want to marry a girl who isn’t a virgin. First things first. If you ever meet a man who says “Oh I won’t marry a girl unless she’s a virgin,” run for the hillllllsss are alliiiiiive with the souuund of conntroollll problemmmmms. Spare yourself from a lifetime with a man who hasn’t yet grasped God’s grace or the reality of brokenness within his – and your – heart. This whole, big, great and beautiful life is about learning how many mistakes we’ve all made, and choosing to love one another through it. It’s love that covers a multitude of sins, and it’s the greatest gift we’ve got. Try every single day to learn to give and receive it in more and more ways. Note: Sexual purity isn’t solely defined by virginity. Every single one of us has some sort of past. It is impossible to marry a “sinless man” and no good man expects to find a “sinless woman.” A man who judges you for your sexual history has yet to remove the plank from his own eye, or is living in denial or fear. You have been forgiven by Jesus already. Find a man who forgives like Him.

6. Counseling is for people with worse problems than you. Counseling is for people who have gone through hard things, and who don’t have all the answers. Which is me, and my husband, and every person I know. For me, going to counseling with my husband for the first 6 months of our marriage has been one of the best decisions of my life. I will never forget Day One when I realized that this man next to me on the sofa, spilling his heart, was just as messed up as I was – and we were BOTH trying as hard as we could to make this work. All those things that annoyed me, that hurt me, that I wondered about? None of those were “intentionally against me.” He was just….trying. And imperfect. Just like me. Counseling is invaluable in understanding this. [PS. I know counseling is ‘expensive,’ but prioritize counseling up there with food/rent, start praying for a counselor every day, and ask around until you’ve annoyed even the people greeting at church.]

7. You “give up your life” for marriage. We all know at least one horrifically miserable person who changed into someone else’s Perfect Spouse, instead of marrying someone who loved everything about them. Maybe this was one of your parents. Don’t let this screw with your head. Your life will always be yours, and a good man will understand and love that. Sure, your life will change, and you’ll have someone to share it with now – but it will always be yours. IT’S FREAKING AWESOME. EVEN IF ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU SHARE. Again, if you’re in love with a guy who wants you to “give up your life for him,” he’s got it all wrong. Send him away. POOF. Poofity-poof.

8. It’s a sin to be attracted to someone.  This, from what I can tell, comes from our unfortunate misunderstanding that physical attraction/attractiveness = lust, and since lust = sin, attraction = sin. Lust, believe it or not, is actually the attempt to appropriate to oneself something that does not belong to you. Read that again. It’s trying to make something yours, when it isn’t yours. Or acting like it’s yours, when it isn’t. Simply put, wishful stealing. God warns against lust to let you know, “Oh hay. I see what you’re thinking. And your thoughts matter to me just as much as your actions, because your heart is actually more important than your body.” Recognizing that someone is attractive, and also BEING ATTRACTED [desiring sex, etc] is not sin. It’s things like adultery, cheating, and fantasizing/getting off to people who are not Your Amazing Committed Lover that are highly not-recommended. Both by the Bible, and me personally, based on lots of experience.

9. You’ll meet The One when you don’t want him anymore. Thanks to this gem, 95% of single women at your church are silently punishing themselves for not yet figuring out how to obliterate their desire to get married or have a boyfriend. And simultaneously blaming themselves for keeping a good man away (with their thoughts? their energies? vibes? Karma? God’s punishment/reward system? I’ve never understood the mechanics of this part.). Look, if you really want to be a mom or wife one day, don’t kill off your natural healthy desires just because you can’t fulfill it right now. You wouldn’t try to convince yourself that hunger is a sin just because dinner isn’t served for another hour and a half, would you? No. You recognize it as good and healthy, and you wait patiently before the Lord. Or the cook.

10. Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever initiate with a guy, ever. Yeah, you know, because The First Interaction Formula is a fool-proof way of getting a guy who’s going to be responsible and servant-like in your relationship. I’m sure the wasted guy at the bar who has NO PROBLEM asking you out for a date will be a winner, and the shy boy at church will be the cause for your future divorce. Waiting for men to initiate is rule based on a good principle – but do.not.miss.the.principle because you’re too hung up on the rule.  Good guys have been burned in the past, just like we have. And it doesn’t make them inherently shitty husbands, nor is it reason for you to emasculate them for not asking you out the very first time they see you. HAVE LOVE. AND GRACE. Just say OHH HAYY I LIKE YOU A LOT AND THINK YOU’RE PRETTY AWESOME. Or something. You’re not disobeying Christian Guidelines For Being a Woman, you’re being the real you.

* * *

It’s worth noting that Christians are not the only ones who believe some or all of these things to be true – many are common secular beliefs as well. The title was chosen as a reflection of the common beliefs I often see being discussed/asked about by young women in a Christian environment online..

/ / / / leave love

  1. Katey K. says:

    Number 9 made me crack up, simply because of how often I hear it. Oh Lauren, you, my beautiful friend are a blessing to the world of Christian women.

    Thanks for screaming ‘Come on, Girls! It’s time to wake up to reality!’ at us…hopefully more hearts will begin to listen in time!


  2. Misty Dawn says:

    Eesh. Me too. The things we’re taught . . . so thankful for honest, real, raw perspective & truth. Hoping to raise my daughter to be able to think through life’s matters on deeper levels than black & white, something I’m only recently learning how to do myself.

  3. Hi! Thanks so much for this post! Really useful! One thing I would mention is that counselling isn’t appropriate if someone is being abusive in the relationship. Relationship counselling where there is an abuser is dangerous & likely to make the situation worse. Counselling for the abuser is also not helpful & may add to the abuser’s issues. Abuser’s need to access a good quality abuser programme. Thanks for the post! Many blessings! 🙂

  4. Hanna says:

    “Unfortunately fortunately, wait – yes, unfortunately, men are not food items” HA!
    And can I just say that I’ve noticed (possibly) and can relate with (totally) a higher-than-average use of CAPS LOCK as a result of reading the snarky recaps of Fifty Shades of Grey?

    And this: Six years will not go by “so fast.” But they will go, and they will be AWESOME, with or without The One. So get some ice cream, dance around in your underwear, and commit to loving your life.
    Best thing ever.

    Thanks Lauren! This was wonderful to read.

  5. Amelia says:

    This is me leaving love: LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.

    I too have believed many of these silly fantasies. And, as I’m sure I’ve said before, I’m just glad you actually, you know, talk about it. I remember being 15 and thinking “DOES NO ONE ELSE THINK THIS IS WRONG???” but being too afraid to ask.

  6. Lani says:

    Thank you! I am in a pretty succesful relationship right now, but a lot of my friends are single– and so many of them (and myself, at time too) but into so many of these lies. All of them, even. Thanks for being honest about what marriage looks like and for challenging the rest of us to challenge the things we’ve grown to believe.

  7. Esther says:

    I personally love reading your articles… Some of it is very helpful. But I would like to clarify on Rule 8: where you stated: Recognizing that someone is attractive, and also BEING ATTRACTED [desiring sex, etc] is not sin. Last time I read the bible, I’m pretty sure it said if you look at a man or woman with lust…you have already committed adultery. And that is sin. Unless of course you were talking about looking at your HUSBAND then that of course is not a sin because ya’ll are married. I was just a tad confused….but hopefully that is what you meant.

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      thanks so much, esther!

      yes, the bible definitely does say that if you look at someone with lust, you’ve already committed adultery. the key point is “with lust.” if i looked at someone and recognized that they were attractive or good looking, that’s totally fine. the problem is when my thoughts begin to take on the attitude of lust. i.e.: “i wish i had that, i wish my guy looked like that, i wish i could have sex with him,” or fantasizing about them naked, fantasizing about sex, etc. so yes, lust is comparable to adultery, as the bible states. but recognizing that someone is attractive or beautiful is not sin/adultery/lust. otherwise, we’d all be sinning every single day by even thinking that our friends are pretty, or by acknowledging that brad pitt is a good looking man. is the difference clear in the way i’m explaining it?


      • erin a. says:

        Lauren, I could still use a tad clarification on what you mean in – Recognizing that someone is attractive, and also BEING ATTRACTED [desiring sex, etc] is not sin. And then saying that i wish i could have sex with him is lust & sin.
        So, what do you mean when you say that being attracted to someone is desiring sex and that is not sin?

        • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

          ah okay, i think i’m seeing where you’re finding a contradiction in my words. (i just went through and read every single verse where lust was mentioned in the bible, too, to make sure i’m looking at this properly, haha).

          when god talks about lust, he’s talking about strong sexual desire that is either 1) for someone else’s wife/husband or 2) that is uncontrollable. simply put, it’s allowing strong sexual desire to run rampant in our heart when it’s not aligned with what is honoring to the proper order of things (marriage, etc).

          so, things that are “okay:”
          – recognizing someone as attractive.
          – desiring sex in general

          things that are not “okay:”
          – being married and desiring another man/woman in your heart
          – looking at any man/woman and allowing sexual desire to be uncontrolled

          and just to clarify so you don’t think i’m going off the deep end, haha:

          if a woman finds a guy she really likes attractive and hopes for sex within the proper order of things, that’s totally fine, and nothing is “wrong” with her for desiring/thinking of sex. i primarily wrote that point because i see a lot of women thinking they are “bad” for desiring a man they’re attracted to; suddenly realizing they’re desiring/thinking about sex and think there is something ‘broken’ with them because that’s what men do, not women; or wondering why they can’t master the “sin” of being physically attracted to a boyfriend/fiance. now, if a woman finds a guy attractive and lets a strong sexual desire run rampant in her heart/mind, objectifying a guy/fantasizing/etc, that’s not good for any of us. lust is, simply put, strong sexual desire outside of the proper order of things.

          make sense now?

          • erin a. says:

            Yes, yes, yes. Makes total sense. 🙂 I totally agree.

          • Daniel B says:

            “lust is, simply put, strong sexual desire outside of the proper order of things.”

            I would say that the desire is the temptation – lust is about what we choose to do with that temptation.

  8. erin a. says:

    Super good Lauren! I’ve struggled through the #2 & #8 lies, for sure! I am still speaking truth about those to myself & out loud to my husband & out loud to other gals. My heart needs reminding. #3 is something I am finally realizing better, too. Because of #2 (& my matching, sometimes higher sex drive than my husband) it had never been a problem for me. But, in seeing pain in other marriages, God opened my eyes to see the perversion of this one. Thank you for speaking these out.
    And the #4 makes me laugh now, because that was so me. I remember being 18 & telling my best friend that I had no idea who I could marry. That the one guy who I respected like that didn’t really seem to be the right one. She was so sympathetic that I was so distraught. Ha! And over the course of the next 5 years I met many more guys, and then I did meet THE one for me. And I wasn’t a kid anymore. So, that worked out well.

  9. Leeann says:

    I think I have at least partially bought into eight of these ten lies. Thanks to my college education at a state school, I understand fully about sexual consent. Also, since guys don’t get periods, they have no right to judge if I just want to lay in bed and sleep for a few days.

    Also, I have been actively looking for “the one” since I was like 19. The times when I am least likely to be looking are when I am sick, tired, or dealing with students’ pressing needs. You know, the times when I am absolutely unattractive. I never understood the logic of denying your natural, God-given desires instead of trying to actualize them.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share these truths/

  10. paz says:

    as a young man who has desired to have a family since he was a boy, these are told to us men too. seriously, it makes me so elated that someone is debunking these lies..and as someone who is in a serious relationship due to point #10, i’m a huge fan of pulling a “Ruth.”

    • one of my friends who studies theology/old testament just told me that the original word for “at his feet” is most likely “at his penis.” can you imagine churches teaching that bible story? “oh yeah, hun. just go to his bed and put yourself at his penis.” hahaha.

  11. April C. says:

    Can I just say… AMEN! I love the things you had to say and the style with which you said them =) I couldn’t have put it better myself, and wish that everyone could lay aside these silly myths, and enjoy the life that God has given them without trying to tie themselves up in spiritual red tape, Pharisee-style. My husband and I live by these and think you’re right on. Definitely sharing this!

  12. Katie M. says:

    Lauren, you have a wisdom that belies your years. RE: #3 I just wanted to perhaps build on what you were saying. We live in a society where it’s deemed as okay and “our right” for wives to essentially deny our husbands because we are waiting to feel in the mood…that becomes the barometer. That can soon become the pattern of things, trust me. It’s doubly hard when Hollywood portrays marriage in such an unrealistic manner, as if both husband and wife are nymphos and can’t ever get enough and everyone’s cool with that. That being said, no husband should ever force himself on his wife or guilt her into sex. On the other hand, wives need to remember that even when we might not be “in the mood” we can choose to initially set that aside and think of how beneficial and vital that time is for both our husband, thereby discovering amazingly that the desire eventually kicks in and mood is no longer the dictator. And of course underlying this is the good practice of great communication about sex going on outside the bedroom as well. If that’s happening then both husband and wife will be respectful of one another in the marriage bed. So, all of this is under the assumption that we’re dealing with an essentially healthy relationship to begin with here. To summarize my main point: Generally speaking, it’s a dangerous thing to let mood become the main barometer for a wife when her husband makes the moves on her. 😉

  13. Katie M. says:

    Gotta correct a typo up there: *think of how beneficial and vital that time is for both our husband and ourselves, thereby discovering…

  14. Amanda R. says:

    Hey! So my friend posted this on Facebook, and my interest was piqued– and I am so glad I clicked the link! All that you have said– so true! I chuckled at the one about being 19 and thinking you’d never be married. That was soo me… I thought there were no guys at my home church, and that was my problem. When I went away my first year of college (to a Bible school), I thought there was even MORE wrong with me than I thought, that I couldn’t find a guy at a Christian college FILLED with Christian guys! Joke was on me, I ended up back at my home church and married a friend I had known since I was 9. I think God probably shook His head, chuckling, thinking all along– silly daughter, if only you knew who I have in store for you.
    And now, I try to communicate that to my friends who are single, but words always seem to fail me. You have really captured the many fears and thoughts of myself and SO many of my girlfriends. Thanks for calling it like you see it, speaking the TRUTH, and having a love that prompted it all. I have been blessed!

    God bless!!

  15. cjohnson says:

    This article was shared on facebook by a friend – I hope it brings insight and freedom to many! I did have a couple thoughts which I hope you don’t mind being shared here. 🙂
    On #2 – My first thought was yesyesYES regarding the lies that are fed about men being raging sexaholics rather than real people who sometimes are too tired for sex, too – and it has nothing to do with personal rejection. As far as sex being a ‘need’ – like air, and water – yes, I get this point, but whereas it’s not a physical need, I think there’s room to say it’s an emotional one. Because *love* is a need. And people give and receive love in many different ways. If we’re going to say sex isn’t a need, then neither are [if I can just plagiarize a page from the 5 Love Languages] words of affirmation, real, quality time, gifts, or acts of service. Are any of those “needs”? Not in the sense that if we don’t get them, we’ll die. Not physical needs. But emotional needs that keep our love tanks filled and brimming. And for any spouse who desperately craves any of those other emotional needs, to not receive it makes them feel unloved – dried out – and dying.

    On #5 – I fully believe past mistakes have no power to ruin your marriage *as long as they are left at the foot of the Cross*. Let your past be your guide post, not your hitching post – learn from it, leave it with Jesus, and move on, walking everyday in forgiveness. Whatever baggage is there – and we all have it – must be dealt with. Get it out on the table. Let Christ be glorified even in past sin by letting his forgiveness be our model. When this happens, it has no ruining power. But no marriage is impenetrable, and Satan will use any tool he can – including past mistakes – to drive dividing wedges. Those sins *can* bring a marriage to its knees (as can – well – just about anything else – but these tend to carry emotional wounding too), and Satan won’t miss an opportunity to use it. The only way to strip him of this is to leave it at the cross.

    Thanks again for your well written post. I hope it benefits many people!

  16. Jesse says:

    Wow I absolutely love this post and I love your website and the Good Women Project. I think that you are probably the only somewhat well-known writer/blogger/website that is addressing the REAL needs of women in Christian western culture, particularly in the world of relationships. I’ve read numerous books, listened to podcasts, listened to countless sermons, spent 6.5 years in Christian Universities, been to two dozen churches, heard the best speakers, and sadly most of them are not connecting with the reality that I see in the real world of Christian men of women (outside the pretty Facebook bible verses and Sunday conversions).

    I went through your post and thought I’d add the guy’s perspective on each point.

    1. Your future spouse will not be attractive. Could not agree more. I don’t think anyone should even consider marrying someone they are not attracted to. For you guys you need to think ahead about that person – if you are active and athletic and find that type of woman attractive make sure she is that type of woman and not just trying to impress you.

    2. Your husband will always want more sex than you, because Men Need Sex. Always. Definitely not true. I hear over and over again of women who actually want it more than their man does. I would say this though: part of the reason most guys get married is that they are hoping and expecting to have regular sex with their wife. A woman should consider this when marrying if she finds her sex drive low. Also if a guy finds himself attracted to a woman who has perhaps been brainwashed by that part of subculture that makes sex such a taboo subject that women are literally afraid of it, he should be aware that special care and time will be needed to awaken healthy sexual desires in his wife and he may have to deal with the repercussions of such dogma for a while.

    3. Having sex when you’re not remotely interested (or on your period) is part of submitting. Who still thinks this? I guess there are some people out there that are stuck in another era. I would say that from what I hear couples who have more sex have healthier relationships. Sometimes it may be the guy who is exhausted but should please his wife because she is in the mood. Similarly the woman should be sensitive to her husband’s needs EVEN if she isn’t in the mood. That’s my opinion at least. I mean consider any relationship. Sometimes we have to listen to our friends complain when we’d rather go to bed. Sometimes we have to help a friend move when we have a lot on our plate already. Good relationships only work with sacrifice. Forcing sacrifice is never right. A man should never force his wife to submit nor should a woman force her husband to lay down his life.

    4. I’m 19 and I’ll never find The One. Guys think this crap too. At 25 I’ve never been happier being single and I can say it only gets better. Not that I wouldn’t love a wife but you don’t need marriage to be happy and if you are looking for it to make you happy you will be so disappointed you may ruin your [first] marriage. Great points here.

    5. Past mistakes will ruin your marriage, and your husband won’t want to marry a girl who isn’t a virgin. I could talk about this all day. You made some great points. I agree. A guy who wants only a virgin is a control freak but has other problems too. First of all girls, from the guy’s perspective: WE DON”T CARE. Most of us don’t at least. The biggest thing I see is that guys who do are insecure even more than control freaks. He’s insecure about the other guys you’ve been with. This is a real insecurity and women should be considerate of it just as men should be considerate of a woman’s weight or such delicate matters. However, the real problem with this mindset is that we start turning virginity into this technical idol where women try to make this narrow little definition of virgin (no vaginal sex?) and then live however the heck they want to, always ready to whip out that V-card when a hot nice Christian guy comes into their life. Girls, we don’t respect that. You’re no more a virgin to us by doing everything but [fill in the blank] than we are to you when we look at porn. Honestly, a part of me thinks that we shouldn’t even feel the need to forgive a woman (or man) for their past. That is between then and God and not really about us at all.

    6. Counseling is for people with worse problems than you. I agree. I have friends (ha-ha myself) who need counseling and the biggest fear is always “won’t my friends think I’m psycho”? Or “I’m not that bad, that’s for depressed and suicidal people”. No, it’s for all of us. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have great homes and communities that foster good relationships between the wise and the young. Once again I agree with you.

    7. You “give up your life” for marriage. This myth I don’t see so much. I see more the idea that you don’t have a life until you are married. But I guess both happen.

    8. it’s a sin to be attracted to someone. Great definition of lust. In fact, it’s exactly what I believe lust is. Admiring God’s beauty is not wrong. Wanting sex is not wrong. It’s a natural human desire, not a result of the sinful part of us but of the good part. Wanting something that is not yours is where you start basically stealing, just like you said. Guys struggle with this because it seems like in a noble attempt to curtail porn addictions; beauty has been so downplayed as to seem almost undesirable for a “good Godly man”.

    9. You’ll meet The One when you don’t want him anymore. I do think that you will have the chance to be ready to meet the right person until you are happy without him. Some would disagree, but I’ve just seen way to many terrible marriages result from couples who just couldn’t be alone without each other. They were desperate. The most popular slogan in the Christian dating world right now seems to be “If you’re not happy single, you won’t be happy married” and yet the people who quote it the most are the most desperate to get married. It’s not that you don’t want him anymore, but you should be happy without him. And that happiness should simply grow with him when you get to share your dreams and visions together. Mature men find this type of independence highly attractive.

    10. Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever initiate with a guy, ever. Thanks. Couldn’t have said it better myself. And this goes for after the first date too. My friend’s girlfriend planned a day at an outdoor festival for the two of them and he said it was one of the most fun, creative, exciting dates he’s been on. Keep it up is marriage too. It’s a real burden dating a girl who expects the guy to do all the work and initiate every date and every kiss.

    Great Post once again. Besides my personal blog which I linked above I just got connected with a new start up which you may or may not find interesting that talks about some of the same stuff you do

    Keep up the good work. Maybe one day there will be a few more good women to go around 🙂


  17. Liz says:

    Rawr! SO frustrating. I have believed, at one time or another, all of these things! Golly, no wonder I am so bitter towards men and so good at making them my enemy. Makes perfect sense. I have become very guarded because of some of these lies. I gotta get to counseling now! 🙂 Thank you Lauren for your candor.

  18. Hope says:

    Ah-men. It’s refreshing to hear someone *else* say the things I usually get crap for saying. Perhaps I’m not crazy after all?

  19. Rebekah says:

    #9. Needed that.
    Also, going along with that one, I keep hearing married women (even married women who were single a matter of months before and felt free to talk about how much they wanted to find The One and how lonely they were and etc etc) say, “When you stop looking, that’s when God brings your man along.”
    What? No.

  20. Christopher says:

    #10 is really common here in the South, as a lot of women were raised to believe that “good girls don’t make the first move” or some variation of that. Of course that made a lot more sense when I was in high school (the 70s). Its 2012 y’all! Nowadays refusing to take the initiative with a guy is just plain lazy. Guys still tend to be pretty clueless about picking up on “signals” from women and we would love a little help.

  21. Joy says:

    I think I love you! 😉
    But seriously, this is a great post! Great words. Such truth spilled out onto this page.
    Thank you!

  22. Fire Fairy says:

    This is awesome – thank you!

  23. Jessica says:

    Wow. Let me add my “Thank you!” to the chorus! I’ve been married 4 years and am amazed at how many of these still applied to me. This was real, fresh, and in-your-face. Props to ya.

  24. Jeanette says:

    Love this article! I had some of those misconceptions myself going into my marriage…as well as the misconception that I was supposed to have dinner cooked and on the table everynight. Even though my husband never had that expectation and many times reminded me that he could fend for himself, I would feel guilty when I didn’t cook. I have since lost all guilt and usually only cook about twice a week and my husband cooks the rest.
    You are definitely a blessing!

  25. Sara B says:

    This is so, so good. Thank you for verbalizing these for everyone to see! #9 is one that still gets me from time to time, so thanks for the reminder that I don’t have to believe that. I love that blogs like yours and Good Women Project are helping to shed LIGHT on the TRUTHS that this culture so desperately needs to hear. Keep up the great work Lauren, you’re awesome!

  26. Priscilla says:

    Hey Lauren, excellent post!! Thanks for sharing, and for debunking some of the lies so many of us have believed over the years. I’m still asking the Lord to break down all my little boxes of unbelief and my glass ceiling. I believe in freedom, God’s wonderful place to live here on earth in the center of His presence. I want it with all my heart!!

    1- I can’t tell you how much I still sometimes struggle with not believing this. And alot went into that belief system….but I know in my heart of hearts, he will be attractive to me, but my mind still tells me I’ll have to adjust to his lack of attractivness…..weird, I know!!

    4- I’m 27…, so I’d agree, years don’t go by fast, and yes, ENJOY your life!! I had a movie marathon with a sweet friend of mine over the weekend and there was a line from a movie-Miss Potter- that unlocked a little more in the way of Freedom: “Most unmarried women sit around talking about being unmarried and always end up in tears over it. But you, you’ve done something about it, you’ve written a book!!”(paraphrase) I love that, and I am doing loads about it, but it took a very painful breakup and wonderful healing by God to get me to where I am now in life. I love my life, even to the point where I wonder if I want to even get married, and then I start freaking out again, lol, because I do want to fall in love, get married, and have babies with someone wonderful in the relatively near-ish future…..I just hope it’s everything and more I’ve always dreamed of when it does happen…..and that he’s incredibly attractive to me….also incredibly attracted TO me, haha :0)

    5- I was molested as a child and I didn’t really know it was abuse until a few years ago. I always felt so guilty and knew I’d somehow cheated my husband of being pure and had such a hard time visualizing how I’d tell him someday that I’d “messed up”… 3. Yeah, the Lord has been indeed healing me in the past few years. Then I have also struggled with my past relationship, even though, nothing happened. I felt so bad that I kissed someone who didn’t end up being my husband. Sigh…..poor us who have believed these lies!! Stepping away from guilt, which is NOT from God, has been a big thing for me.

    8- Hahahaha, yep. I concur….I have believed this, and no, I don’t anymore.

    9- hmmmm, yeah, that goes right up there with my reply to 4, I think. you’ll never find the one, but when you do, it will be when you don’t want him anymore….so, I’ve just been working on my honesty, another thing I saw in the movie Miss Potter…..anything single women say about being happy being single and wanting to never marry is pretty much a lie, so I’m just honest: I am a happy woman who is unattached and who would LOVE to be attached to someone wonderful soon. There. 🙂

    10- yeah…..this one has bit us girls alot, huh? I remember one time where I totally wanted to kiss my boyfriend on the cheek while at dinner with my family and friends and felt too unsure about it all because of the “don’t initiate, let him kiss you first” type thinking, and I didn’t. I kinda wish I had. But because it didn’t last, I’m glad I didn’t. I also wanted to run into his arms when he came over. I was just unsure of how he’d take it. I learned from this, if I have to hold back my heart like this, he’s not the right guy. It turns out, he didn’t appreciate my heart any way I showed it.

    Bless you for your heart, and for sharing these myths!! I’m glad I read them!! :0)

  27. Robyn says:

    This just might be the most accurate and helpful thing I have ever read on the internet. As soon as I read number one, I had to suppress a verbal “GUILTY!”

    I am so grateful for the wisdom you share and for the Good Women Project. Thankyouthankyouthankyou from the bottom of my delusional, 23-year-old, single, but hopeful heart. <3

  28. Ray Thimmes says:

    I enjoyed reading this, from a male perspective.

    I find myself struggling with the things you describe as things that women struggle with. I feel like all of the above can apply to me as I hope and pray for someone to be close to again. I feel an incredible amount of pressure to not feel these things. I hate our hetero-normative culture that dictates males are above feeling this way. I appreciate your insights and have taken the liberty of applying them to my own, male life.

    I know your blog is targeted toward young ladies but I would ask if you know of any male equivalents of content such as this? I feel I am in desperate need of some kind of “like minded” males in my life that might actually make me feel like less of a freak for wanting to A.) Not picture every woman a walking vagina for the taking and B.) Want to possibly wait, in spite of my slip ups in the past, for my future wife.

    I don’t know, maybe you can point me in the right direction?

    • Oh man, I keep hearing this from guys. First of all, know that there are plenty of good guys out there like you – but unfortunately it just seems difficult to “get you all out in the open.” Maybe it’s because girls are more verbal about this stuff in general, and maybe its the cultural influence that’s still keeping you guys underwraps. I don’t know of any great websites/blogs for men, but trust me, I’ll be tweeting and facebooking them like hell as soon as I find them. Have you read this post by my husband? I feel like you might really relate and appreciate hearing another guy say this for yourself:

      – lauren

    • Ray says:

      Hey Ray,

      I find it encouraging that you relate in someway. I’m always ALWAYS surprised by a male perspective. 🙂 I don’t know if I have stumbled upon a male’s page yet, but, I would encourage you to start out by being honest with the dudes in your life about how you really think and feel about women and how you want to find ways. Maybe, they will open up, too and you’ll find that you aren’t the only one who feels and thinks this way. Although online communities can be encouraging, real-life communities are even better and more encouraging!

      I wish you the best, Ray. 🙂

  29. Kath says:

    Hilarious, insightful post! Were you in a good mood when you wrote this? 😛 love it.

  30. Bethany says:

    So true! My husband (of 2 years) sent me the link to this article and said, “You’ll like this girl”. In the four years of our relationship we have had to individually and together debunk each of these lies. It really breaks my heart that so many of these myths are taught to Christian young people as if they come straight from Scripture. Here’s to speaking the truth (even when it offends sometimes)!

  31. Rebekah says:

    I absolutely love this blog, and Good Women Project. I’m 19 (so, number 4…yep) and I attend a Christian college. Between that and church and childhood dinner table talks and youth group and public school and chick flicks and classic books and my own equally-curious-and-paranoid personality, I’ve heard about sixteen thousand different messages about how Christians should approach this stuff. Your writings have clarified almost every question I’ve ever had about love, sex, marriage, and dating. I really should come read something on here whenever I am feeling particularly insecure or frustrated or lovelorn. Every post just screams empowerment, love, hope. I am sharing these blogs with my girlfriends. You’re wonderful. Thank you so very much for everything you do!

    P.S. I’m a writer and I dream of sharing such wondrous work like this with the world one day. <3

  32. Jamie says:

    I just read this literally laughing out loud as the Lord broke these lies off of my life! As a woman learning to walk in the fullness of freedom and empowerment He has given us I want to thank you! Your obedience to speak life and truth is awakening the sleeping lionesses in the church! BLESSINGS IN JESUS NAME!!!

  33. for #4 thank you. i am 32 and still waiting. my 20s were rough. now, i am much more peaceful and happy to just wait on the LORD! i am so thrilled i found your blog today!

  34. Wow this list is so good! A LOT of these myths really resonated with me- I believe them or have in the past, consciously or subconsciously, and I realize they don’t make sense, but it’s just hard to stop thinking them subconsciously.

  35. Kaitlyn says:

    ‎”for the hillllllsss are alliiiiiive with the souuund of conntroollll problemmmmms.”

    you’ve got me rolling in laughter over here! & amazing post. as a person recovering from my belief in that entire list (& newly single from a TWO YEAR relationship) if you preached this at a church I’d likely be disrupting service standing on my pew shouting “AMEN, SISTER!!” and “YOU PREACH THAT TRUTH!”.

    tl;dr: you & the wisdom God has given you are awesome.

  36. Vicki Miles says:

    ha ha! Where were you in my first year of marriage when I was one of the women in #2 and needing to read I wasn’t alone!

    I was amazed when I started talking to my friends and discovered more than 50% of my friends wanted sex more than their husbands did! Oh relationship myths, how you mess us up. lol.

    In all seriousness, SOOOO glad you are working toward debunking that one (and I loved the rest of them too) and will definitely be subscribing now because you are like, awesome. I love your sense of humour & writing style.

  37. Elizabeth says:

    This is seriously so refreshing. Thank you.

  38. Daniel B says:

    Here’s my issue with your comments on #10, even though I agree with your overall point.

    It comes from the assumption that women only have to initiate when a guy is too scared / shy / etc to. Thanks for not coming from “If he’s too shy to then he’s a horrible man for me and I don’t want him anyway”, but it still procedes from the same false assumption that when a women is considering initiating a relationship with a man, the man is in the exact same situation as her.

    When a guy is first interested in a girl, she usually doesn’t know it yet and just hasn’t considered it one way or the other. It’s usually the same thing when a girl is first interested in a guy. He’s not being shy or passive or fearful b/c he’s been hurt before, because none of that is relevant yet.

  39. c. says:

    “First things first. If you ever meet a man who says “Oh I won’t marry a girl unless she’s a virgin,” run for the hillllllsss are alliiiiiive with the souuund of conntroollll problemmmmms. ”

    i die. so freaking wonderful.

  40. Anon says:

    It’s also worth noting, about marriage…scientific research shows a man’s testosterone will initially drop after living with a woman. So people moving in together should be aware of that. Random fact I found online but also heard a doctor friend confirm it. Single men are biologically more manly, go figure.

  41. Kinsey says:

    Probably the best post you’ve ever written. I laughed, I learned, I love it. Keep up the great work, lady! I’ll always enjoy your posts and your tweets… and your crazy love for puppies which has rubbed off on me (that’s random but hey some things need to be said.)

  42. jem says:

    The last week or so I’ve been reading your posts on just about every subject till my eyes bleed, but there’s one phrase that keeps coming back to me, out of all the others! “HAVE LOVE. HAVE GRACE.” in the context of #10. Simple enough, right? And I consider myself to be a girl that tries to give love and grace to those I come into contact with, so why have I NEVER applied those principles to this guy I think is awesome? Talk about craziest things Christians believe… Even though he is very special to me, I believed he didn’t need grace from me. That I could just have these crazy expectations of him without even telling him I think he’s awesome, and then allowing myself to be mad at him or hurt when they aren’t met. That isn’t gracious.
    And so maybe you’re starting to get me to believe that flirting isn’t inherently evil. In the past I’ve regretted doing what I knew was TOO MUCH to gain a guy’s attention that I am extremely wary of it now.. But showing Jesus-type love and showing grace towards a guy is something that would be impossible for me to regret, regardless of whether or not this relationship takes flight. And that excites me.
    This came at just the right time, I’m so very grateful.

  43. Janielle says:

    My least favorite thing to hear EVER is “The right guy will show up RIGHT when you aren’t looking anymore!” or “I had absolutely sworn off men, and then I met [guy name] the NEXT DAY and now we’re so in love and married!” not because it is meant to be psychologically damaging, but because it leaves us single ladies doing that awkward “Look, here’s me NOT desiring a healthy, wonderful Christ-centered relationship with a man” while glancing out of the corner of our eyes wondering if it worked and if he’s going to show up now. These are the ridiculous bass-ackwards dances goodchristiangirls do.

    • Esha says:

      This is beyond true. I had a wonderful friend tell me she found her current fiance only after she had resigned herself to be single the rest of her life. And for her – that was true, but it totally left me living this awkward “so I’m totally content with just being single forever” lie and thinking that if I’m not content with that, he’ll never show up.

  44. these are awesome!

  45. Tara Seguin says:

    YAY! Yay to it all.

  46. Rae says:

    #1 – YES! I’ve heard so many guys complain that women are shallow and will pass over a guy they find unattractive who’s a “nice guy!” but often won’t even consider dating a woman who’s not attractive. This is usually directly linked to point 2, where they buy into the myth that men have a sex drive and women just grin and bear it for the sake of having a guy who’s “nice” to her, whatever that means. To counter this, I point out to such men that don’t they complain that women who keep accepting their offers of dates despite disinterest are “leading them on”?

    One aspect of #3 that makes me think a little of #2 is the idea that women won’t want sex when they’re on their period – some women don’t, but I know lots of women whose libido increases while they’re on their period and enjoy having period sex. To each their own, I guess.

    And #10. Oh, #10. I’ve met many, many girls who aren’t Christians, or are of the non-practicing variety, believe this as well. One of my close friends totally labelled me a “feminist” for suggesting that if she was attracted to a guy, she should ask him out or confront him or make some other relatively overt display of interest at the very least. And this even though she’ll act completely uninterested around a guy she likes, and then spend hours picking apart every last word and movement that he’s made in a desperate attempt to determine whether or not he likes her, flipping between “He totally DOES!” and “no he doesn’t…” like she’s picking petals off a flower, and then repeat this over and over for Every. Single. Last. Man. that she finds attractive and has spoken to her. And I have so many other female friends who do this, and it’s so sad that they’re putting themselves through this when they don’t have to! As I put it to them, “Rejection hurts, but not near as much as just waiting and hoping and eventually watching him end up with another girl and always wondering if you missed that chance.”

  47. Dina says:

    Love this list! I have to warn most engaged friends AGAINST what everyone else (yes, mostly married Christians) is telling them that marriage will be. One sweet friend had someone come up to them at her reception, bracing her for the horror and disappointment that would come that night…so sad. When my husband and I are deadlocked in an argument, we sometimes shrug and say, “hey, at least our sex life is off the charts!” And we ACTUALLY mean it because it has always been about giving love, not just meeting a need. Oh, and #5? My favorite! I’m raising girls and yes, I want the very best for them and that means wanting them to choose to wait for the way God intended the unveiling of the beauty of sex to be. BUT. I also want them to know, both for themselves and for their future potential spouses, that God can and does REDEEM, making beauty from the mistakes of our lives. Grace, yes. Just found your blog and loving getting to know you through your words here…

  48. Daniel says:

    Hi Lauren,
    You make some great points but for goodness sakes, put some pants on.

  49. Mit Solanki says:

    I’m not a Christian, and I can tell you that some of these things, even non-Christians believe. And it’s ridiculous. And your article is hilariously funny. And at the same time, has lots of truths to it 🙂 So thank you for helping me start my day with laughter 😛

  50. Oh my gosh, I love you.
    I hope that’s not creepy, which it probably is, since all I’ve been doing since I discovered your blog is tweeting about you.
    Please forgive me for my enthusiasm.
    Your blog is speaking right to my heart, confirming my inklings, & releasing me from past restrictions that were of the world, not our Savior.
    Thank you!


  1. […] Top 10 Saddest/Craziest/Understandable Things I’ve Seen Christians Believe About Relationships […]

  2. […] Lauren Nicole hits the top 10 craziest things Christian women believe about relationships: If you ever meet a man who says “Oh I won’t marry a girl unless she’s a virgin,” run for the hillllllsss are alliiiiiive with the souuund of conntroollll problemmmmms. Spare yourself from a lifetime with a man who hasn’t yet grasped God’s grace or the reality of brokenness within his – and your – heart.  […]

  3. […] Things Christians Believe About Relationships […]

  4. […] Things Christians Believe about Relationships […]

/ / / / / leave love . . .