A few years ago, I felt as though I’d never get married. I assumed my future wife and I would meet as we were going about our business. But no such meeting ever took place.
Then, I read something that radically changed my perspective:
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22). That word find jumped out at me.
There are usually two ways you find something:
- You stumble upon it like you would a five dollar bill that’s laying on a sidewalk.
- You search for it like you search for your keys when you’re trying to leave for work.
While both are legitimate ways to find something, I couldn’t help but wonder if the second was the way I needed to approach marriage. Maybe I wasn’t finding a wife because I expected to randomly bump into her on the sidewalk when I should be actively looking for her.
A changed man, I did the first thing I could think of: I made a list. Since I make lists for everything else in life that I’m serious about, why not make a list of admirable girls?
Next, I picked up my phone and started calling. It was, at first, nerve-racking. I feared being rejected. But I’d also gotten to the point where I was more sick of waiting around than I was worried about whether or not a girl would reject me.
Ultimately, my list never produced – at least not in the way that I’d expected it to. All the ladies turned me down: “Oh, that’s so nice of you to ask… Actually, I’m busy that night (and every other night you want to hang out).”
Admittedly, I felt a bit discouraged. But I had gained invaluable knowledge: I learned where the dead ends were and, thus, stopped wondering and daydreaming about potential relationships. I, instead, reinvested my energies where I figured they’d yield the best results. What I learned was worth the effort.
But how did the list help?
Though it hadn’t produced a wife, my list was developing my character. Every time I called a girl, I strengthened my courage muscles. Active searching also prepared me for opportunities that weren’t even on my radar when I started out.
Unbeknownst to me, my dad had caught wind of an awesome girl. (Some friends from church had told him about her.) A few months earlier, I would have chickened out of meeting her. Now, however, I was a somewhat primed and willing to take a risk.
We eventually met, and, after about 15 months, got married.
My story boils down to a few gold nuggets.
1. Take action.
As an intuitive introvert, I tend to spend more time dreaming about the future than I spend taking action. I think, act, and then think, unlike extroverts who act, think, and then act. What I needed most was to “get out there” and do something. No amount of thinking alone could have changed my circumstances.
2. Get the car moving.
I’m an idealist. I want to know that the end will turn out picture perfect from the beginning. But that’s just not reality. Life is usually a series of pivots and course corrections on the road to a destination. It’s almost never a straight line. If you want to arrive at a destination – in this case, marriage – you have to get the car rolling, says author Jeff Goins. Then, and only then, you’ll be able to steer and course correct as necessary.
3. Don’t let negative feedback weigh you down.
Don’t let fear of rejection keep you from asking girls out. A “no” is as helpful as a “yes”. The sooner you find out who’s interested, the sooner you’ll be able to get to know her. Have an abundance mindset and remind yourself, as Michael Hyatt does, “There’s more where that came from.”
4. Opportunities will open up.
Our neighbor drives a Scion xB. I’d never seen that car before. However, now that I’m aware of it, I see it everywhere. The crazy thing about action is that it opens up opportunities. As soon as you make up your mind to go for a goal, you start seeing possibilities that you’ve never seen before, like seeing a new model of car that you’ve just become aware of. Your unconscious mind, and all your mental resources, work together on your behalf.
I’d likely still be single if it wasn’t for my dad and his friends. I knew a limited amount of girls. So, no matter how hard and long I worked to connect with them, my efforts could only go so far. But Dad’s friends new people I didn’t. And, in turn, their friends new still others. When my dad networked, he multiplied my chances for success.
If you want to get married, you need to take action.
What’s keeps you on the sidelines?
Bo Miller is an introvert blogger, podcaster, and teacher, who’s also a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner. He blogs at I Speak People.
Bo has taught for 7 years and holds a Masters of Arts in Education.