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Miranda Writes: Falling for “Mr. Wrong”




by Omar Miranda



Ladies, have you ever fallen for the wrong guy? You’re not alone. Check out this post from the insightmagazine.org discussion board:

Why is it that I am attracted to older men? I was sort of in a relationship with a guy five years older than me (it didn’t work out), and now I like this guy who is nearly twice my age! I know nothing will ever come of it, but why do I feel like this? Am I the only one?—Always Falling for the Wrong Guy.

Here’s my response:

Dear “Always Falling for the Wrong Guy,”

Thanks for being so honest about your own issues, worries, fears, and concerns. This is an important question that I find more and more females are coming to me with. In fact, I’m finding this to be the case with women across the entire life span—not just with preteens and teens.

As a counselor I’ll tell you the easy answer to your last question is “No!” You’re not the only female who’s ever dealt with this problem. However, dating a guy who is five years older than you isn’t so out of whack if you’re an adult. But if you’re a minor (under the age of 18) and he’s an adult (usually age 18, but can be age 17 in some states), and you and he ever have a physical relationship of any kind and your or his parents find out, then you may be running the risk of something called “statutory rape.” It doesn’t matter if the sex was consensual (you wanted to do it and he didn’t force you). Basically, the state looks at it as an adult taking advantage of a minor. And the consequences for both parties—but mostly for the adult—could be severe . . . like jail-severe! So in general, if you’re a teen and you’re going to date people, I would say stick to dating only people who are closer to your age. That way you have more in common in terms of, well, everything. (Remember, though: Just because you might be dating someone closer in age doesn’t mean you have license to get all physically intimate. Keep it kosher, y’all. That’s a topic for another time, though.)

As to the reasons many females continue going for much older guys, there are two that I know:

1. Typically, females mature quicker emotionally and more comprehensively than males.

2. Many females look for love in all the wrong places to somehow make up for a lack of an emotional connection that they never had with their biological father or “father figure” in their life.

I’d like to discuss these reasons separately and then make some suggestions.
The first issue is that typically females mature quicker emotionally and more comprehensively than males. Females don’t like to spend a lot of time with people whom they view as immature. In fact, most if not all females find this to be the number two turnoff, the number one turnoff being someone who is disrespectful and self-focused. Males also tend to get hung up on a lot of emotional issues, which hinders their emotional maturity. I think a lot of the problem with males is that in many cultures, ours included, males aren’t allowed or taught to verbally express their emotions. The only emotions males are allowed to express are anger and rage. There’s always something underneath that anger and rage, but many times guys can’t get to the underlying issues; they just stay at anger and rage, and unexpressed emotions consistently lead to anxiety and depression. So you end up with a lot of depressed guys, which only thins out the population of available guys for any female in her age range, especially if she’s a teen or a young adult.  

The second issue is that many females are looking for love in all the wrong places. Now, I’m not saying this to be rude or disrespectful to anybody. I’m also not trying to make light of all the issues that preteens and teens are going through emotionally. When kids don’t get what they should be getting emotionally from their parents, they grow up with a hole in that specific area of their lives. And speaking honestly, if they grow up without their fathers giving them the appropriate love and attention they’re supposed to get, then they have a deficit or a hole in that area, and they tend to attach themselves to older males to get that love and attention and sense of significance and belonging. The problem with this is that many times they’ll get it any way they can from anyone they can.

I’ve been absolutely amazed at having the most mature and godly females turn into little girls right in front of me as they recount, many times through sobs and tears, how their fathers didn’t tell them that they loved them, didn’t spend time with them, didn’t hug them, or didn’t do something else that fathers are supposed to do. And the weird thing is that the reason those fathers didn’t do those things was not because there was something wrong with their daughters, but because there was something wrong with them. The fathers weren’t emotionally mature enough to know that this was a problem, or if they knew there was a problem, they weren’t emotionally mature enough to care about somebody other than themselves.

So, “Always Falling for the Wrong Guy,” how do you take care of this issue? Well, first you’ve got to be honest with yourself and recognize that it’s a problem and that you’ve got to want to change. By the way, have you heard this joke—How many counselors does it take to change a lightbulb? Wait for it, wait for it . . . It takes one, but the lightbulb has got to want to change. I know, I know, it’s a cheesy joke, but it illustrates an important point: nothing can happen unless the person first recognizes it’s a problem. Second, the person needs to figure out why they’re doing what they’re doing. Getting the help of a friend, a parent, a pastor, or a counselor is a good place to start. Third, you’ve got to follow through and really address the core issue(s) as to why you are making this choice. And last, you’ve got to stay accountable with friends, family, and other people who care about you and can tell you the truth. Long ago King Solomon wisely wrote: “You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10, CEV).*

I hope this has helped you in making some wise decisions about finding out who you are, why you’re doing what you’re doing, and whom you choose to date. Remember, living life effectively is a skill, and no one has reached expert status. The trick is not in never making mistakes, but in learning from them so we don’t make them again. The Chinese philosopher Confucius wisely stated, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor

Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

*Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.

 





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