|For Young Women Only got the stamp of approval from Lisa’s own teenage daughters. Lisa recalls, “They come up to me and say, 'Oh Mom, when you were in the midst of writing this, I was [wondering if] that is true or not. But I just saw it, Mom. It was so clear.' So they’re seeing the patterns.”
See Through a Guy's Eyes
By Jennifer E. Jones
Guys… Do they even know what they want?
If you’ve ever uttered this phrase, you’re not alone. Whether you’re 16 or 36, men are confusing. It may seem like the male mind is more complex than you can handle. However, Lisa Rice and Shaunti Feldhahn have decoded the mystery and want to give you clues on how to be in both platonic and romantic relationships with the opposite sex.
If Shaunti Feldhahn’s name sounds familiar, it should. She’s the best selling author of For Women Only. It’s the eye-opening book on how to understand male behavior. Now she and fellow writer Lisa Rice have compiled their research with teenage guys and written For Young Women Only. It’s 188 pages of secrets from guys themselves on how they think, what they need, and what they want you to know.
I recently chatted with the celebrated authors on their findings. I asked Shaunti first why she delved into the teenage brain.
“It’s essentially the idea of prevention. One of the reasons why For Women Only is such an eye-opener to women is that we have had some incorrect information about what men most need,” Shaunti tells CBN.com. “We’ve developed some bad habits. This is stopping those habits before they start by getting that information out there early. Lisa has teenage daughters, and she’s an excellent writer. I enlisted Lisa, because if we’re trying to talk to girls, that’s her world.”
Shaunti and Lisa talked to over 400 guys between the ages of 15 and 20 and asked them candid questions about everything from sex to love. They found many surprises.
Love or Respect?
Lisa says, “One of the things we found was that young guys are like their dads. They want respect over love. We asked them [to] pick the worst of these two things: to be alone and unloved or to be inadequate and disrespected. Two thirds of the guys said they’d rather be alone and unloved. So they would give up the feeling of being loved if they could know they were respected.”
She continues, “Girls just don’t know this. Young girls make all kinds of faux pas. They tease guys mercilessly, and they ask questions in demanding ways. They make guys feel disrespected, and they don’t know they’re doing it.”
So it’s established that guys want respect, but what does that look like exactly?
Shaunti replies, “One of the guys was describing how a girl said, ‘Have you not finished that project for class yet?’ His instant reaction was, ‘Do you think I’m stupid?’ She wasn’t realizing that, if she had just assumed he was working on it and said something like, ‘How is that project coming?’ it would have come across totally differently.”
Shaunti and Lisa insist that, when it comes to guys, it’s often not what you say so much as how you say it.
“That’s the point – how we come across,” Shaunti says. “That’s one of the hallmarks of respect, seeing it through the guys’ eyes. What we tell the girls is, if you will practice trusting them, practice assuming they know what they’re talking about, practice believing in them. Those things will go a long way towards insuring that you handle yourself with respect. Frankly, for those heading towards more serious relationships as they get older, for single men the most attractive thing for them is being admired. It really builds them up.”
They want to be sure to note that this is not a blanket call to be a doormat for every guy in your class. Lisa explains, “We are not telling girls to have unconditional respect for all guys no matter what jerks they are. As a matter of fact, we say clearly in the book that unconditional respect is only for marriage. Just as women want to be unconditionally loved and expect that, that’s the case in the marriage – not teenage dating. We’re teaching these girls how to have discernment.”
The Male as a Prospective Mate
Beyond just getting along with guys, this book also helps girls know what to do when thoughts turn toward romance.
“Teens are teens. They all want to know, 'How can I impress the opposite sex,'” says Lisa. “Our book isn’t about how to get the guy you want. It says here’s how almost all teenage guys are wired. When you dress this way, here’s what it does to their brains. When you say things with this tone, here’s how they take it. When you gossip to each other, here’s what guys tell us that they’re thinking. It’s touching on the dynamics that already exist.”
No discussion about guys would be complete without talking about sex. We all know that men’s minds are pre-wired towards sexual thoughts. However the message still isn’t getting across in terms of how girls dress.
“You thought when you were dressing that way, you were being cute. Cute isn’t in his vocabulary. That’s not what he’s thinking,” Shaunti says. “[According to our survey], 85 percent of guys said that if a really hot girl in spaghetti straps is up at the white board, they’re picturing her naked. Girls don’t really want that. They want to look good, but they don’t want to put all this stuff in a guy's head. There is a percentage that wants that, but it’s so small. They can say, ‘When I’m wearing this, I’m probably putting a stumbling block in front of my friend here. Do I want that? Do I like the feeling of attention more than the fact that I’m hurting my friend?’ Then it’s a heart issue, and they work it out with the Lord.”
The old saying may go: "If you love me, you'd let me." However, Shaunti and Lisa discovered that sex for the teenage boy has little to do with love.
"We found that the teenage boys admit that if they get themselves in the situation when hormones are raging, they’re going to be the ones to talk their girlfriends into [sex]," Shaunti reveals. "What they said on the survey, even though they are the ones talking their girlfriends into going all the way, the minute that they do two thirds of the guys said that they doubted if they could ever trust her again. That is an extremely powerful finding for young women to know -- many of whom are going in that direction because they’re trying to cement the relationship."
So after all the surveys and questions, what's the one thing he would tell you if he could?
Shaunti says, "They desperately want girls to know: 'Please don’t make us the only strong ones. We need your help to protect both of us.'”
Want more? Check out For Young Women Only
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