Future · Life · Love & Other Mysteries

Beware The Flattering Single Man by Joshua Rogers

This is something I think everyone should read, Christian or not simply because I have seen how this kind of thing has caused wahala among a number of people. I think women are wired to respond to things like this and it is incredibly unfair to ‘lead them on’.

This is the link to the article itself and it was written by Joshua Rogers – Beware The Flattering Single Man

Flattering Man
Flattering Man

It was my first (and only) date with Holly Bond. A smart, attractive, successful woman from my church. The date wasn’t meant to have a romantic overture, and I think we both knew that. Holly and I had been friends for a while, and we got along well, so it only seemed natural to go out to dinner at least once.

After dinner, we were talking and I asked her if she was afraid her career might get in the way of marriage and kids. She said she definitely wanted a family, but she was be content to wait for God to provide what was best for her life.

“It would be a shame if you didn’t get married, Holly.” I said, and then I proceeded to explain why; showering her with compliments about her integrity, intelligence, success, and beauty.

It was something I had done with single women before, but when I finished my complimentary diatribe, Holly didn’t blush, and she didn’t thank me like other women typically did.

“Why did you say all of that?” asked Holly, almost sounding annoyed.

“Um – I said it because it’s true.” I said.

“So are you interested in me?” she asked.

I was taken aback.

“Well, um – I mean – I don’t think you have to be interested in a woman to compliment her.” I said, and then I continued complimenting her.

“Don’t do that Joshua.”, she said gently but firmly. “If the only reason we’re spending time together is to hang out, then you don’t have any business going there with me.”

I was stunned. No woman had ever corrected me for showering her with compliments, and I could hardly believe Holly was giving me the smack-down for doing so. I quickly offered my best, halfhearted apology, changed the topic, and tried to move on, but Holly had rattled me.

I knew there was probably a valuable lesson to be learned, but I wasn’t about to let an ingrate like Holly teach it to me. Instead, in the weeks following the date, I went around to my friends and retold the story in a light most favorable to me. They patted me on the back, assuring me that she was the one with the problem, and I moved on, missing an opportunity to grow up.

It was probably two years into marriage before I appreciated Holly’s correction on our date.

My wife had a number of single female friends who would share the frustration of spending time with guys who buttered them up with compliments, appeared to be interested, and then suddenly flew off the radar. It left these women feeling insecure and wondering what they had done wrong.

As I listened to these stories, I reflected on my date with Holly and began to understand why she pushed back so firmly when I went on and on with my complimenting.

She wasn’t an ingrate – not at all. She was smart. Smart enough to understand that I hadn’t shown sufficient interest to be caressing her with my words. Smart enough to realize that much-needed compliments from a halfway-interested guy can lead to useless attachments. And smart enough to believe that one day, God would send her a genuinely-interested man who would sweep her off her feet with words that were utterly sincere (that did, in fact eventually happen to Holly).

With all that in mind, let me say this to the single ladies out there who read this post: words come terribly cheap, and they can end up costing you a lot of pointless emotional energy. Don’t surrender your heart to a man who has done nothing more than tickle your ears.

And to the single men, I’d ask you to consider whether you’re actually interested before you drown a woman in compliments. I understand that a woman is ultimately responsible for guarding her heart, but you could help out a lot by guarding your mouth.

Author’s note: Holly and I are still friends today, and in retrospect, she says she was a little too hard on me during that date. I obviously disagree with her.







21 thoughts on “Beware The Flattering Single Man by Joshua Rogers

  1. Ijeoma,

    Thank you again for this one; your last post before this one was just on-point.
    About this post, its the reversal because for me ladies have buttered me up with compliments, and they’ve appeared to be interested, and then suddenly they abscond . It has left me feeling ‘really’ insecure and wondered what I’ve done wrong.
    Please, my sincere regards to Yours – Adams, for staying; God bless you both. Amen.


  2. Pearl,

    It was like he was speaking to me… I’ve been guilty of this, myself.

    I believe that a woman must blossom and that words of affirmation are a key part of that, like sprinkling water on a garden plant, but what struck me here was the conviction that heavy compliments must come as a part of a thread of intention; an intention to be part of that woman’s life.

    He used the word “caress” (Wow!) and that made me come to this conclusion: “No man has the right to *caress* a woman who does not belong to him, whether with his hands or with his words.”

    Compliments are not bad things, but FLATTERY is flat-out wrong! Flattery seeks to get a “rise” out of someone, creating hope without any intention, investment or cost (except from the ‘victim’).

    It is wrong.

    It is the equivalent of a lady wearing revealing attire and walking/bending/talking in a way that turns a man on, and saying she didn’t mean any such thing.

    I think men need to stop playing fantasy games with women’s hearts and instead shield them as they would their sisters’.


  3. This is AWESOME. Right now I am in Ecuador, and all the men here are always telling me how much they love me, like me, want to marry me, etc. And I have a similar response to Holly’s–why? 🙂 Love the article!


  4. Guys are wecked once they got satisfied with what they want from ladies after all flattering he run away and some time the problem comes from girls themselves because of long throat, so party should be concious of one another.


  5. Cool. I just wish guys can mean every compliment they pay to ladies. It makes saying a simple “thank you” to “supposed” compliments very difficult.


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