Before my beautiful Bride and I were married, I had plenty of time to figure out what was important to me in a woman that would potentially be my wife. Dating was never a game, it always was with the end goal of creating a marriage. Perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle was really understanding the difference between love and lust.
Between church, the local coffee shop, and the running/triathlon community, I had the chance to get to know a lot of different women of various ages and backgrounds. It became easy to see the difference between a mature woman and one who still had some growing up to do. I knew I wanted to be with a Lady, not a girl who only had the “here and now” mindset.
As a typical guy, I’m visual. The first thing that catches my eye is a woman’s attractiveness on most days. The visual picture is what first sparks the idea in our minds that we’d like to have a conversation with a woman, maybe over a cup of coffee. As single guys, we often don’t have the ability to simply shut our eyes off once we’re spoken for, even after our wedding vows – but that doesn’t give us a license to lust.
My Bride is not the woman I dreamed I’d marry – she’s so much more. Despite that, other women sometimes still catch my eye from time to time. I don’t stare like a single guy trying to work up the courage to go talk to her. It’s just a passing glance. I know you guys have all had it happen at some point – a glance turns into a thought that transforms into a fantasy when you let it stick around. Leaving that glance unchecked leads down a path of destruction for your relationship.
I deal with it by using the simple phrase “thank you for being a Lady.” It’s just a little game my Bride and I play, but it makes a big difference for both of us. When we’re out and I notice someone who’s dressed to get attention, I turn to her and say it. I get a “you’re welcome” with a smile in response every time. Even if I’m out on my own, I’ll text her with a running count. “Thank you for being a lady x 6.”
A redirect like this does a couple things for me and will work for anyone who is willing to retrain their brain for commitment. First, it redirects me to remember all the reasons I married my Bride instead of pursuing someone else. Trust me, with the kind of stuff I’ve put myself through, the fact that she chose me as well is no small consideration.
My wife knows the visual nature of men and she doesn’t expect me to somehow be immune. We both know that loving each other is a choice we make every day. When I tell her “thank you for being a Lady”, it reassures her that no matter who I come across, I still choose her. No matter what how good or bad things are, women need that reassurance.
Sometimes I don’t see the scantily clad subject and just hear, “you’re welcome” with that smile I love to see. It still takes me out of whatever I’m thinking about at the moment and reminds me of the reasons I love her.
The commitment my Bride and I have made to each other is for life. Neither one of us will be perfect though. When wise people say marriage is work, it’s more than just a cliche`. Taking steps to ensure that even a passing glance doesn’t take over like cancer is part of that work.
Even though this code is just between my Bride and me, I also appreciate it when other women dress and act like Ladies. It helps to break the social trend of sexualizing and objectifying women. For us visual guys, it helps us focus on intelligence and personality without being distracted by what our eyes see.
When you’re out and see a woman showing off as much of her body as she can get away with, remember that it is designed to inspire lust, not love. A Lady understands her body is for her husband. A Good Guy understands you don’t get or pursue husband benefits until you are a husband – and you only get those benefits from your wife.
Whether you’re a single Good Guy or taken, start working on redirecting those thoughts now and remember the qualities of a Lady. They’re absolutely worth waiting for. For those of you women out there mature enough to know a Good Guy doesn’t respond to immature behavior, thank you for being a Lady.