A passive attitude looks for someone else--anyone else--to do the heavy lifting
This problem is especially frustrating for women, who feel they must wait for a man to make the first move. In most cultures, including the United States, assertive women are considering immoral.
Surprisingly, many single men are less aggressive than they should be, and the reason is simple: fear.
What can you do if this sounds like you?
Can you change your personality?
Many singles consider themselves naturally shy. They think that's just the way they're wired and that it's a waste of time trying to change their basic personality.
But I think shyness is more a judgment we make of ourselves. Certainly it's true that some of us are more introverted and others are more extroverted, but we often believe there are some things we "just can't do." That's selling yourself short.
The truth is that we don't know until we try. Really determined people not only try, but keep trying until they succeed. Most movie stars and singers fit into that category.
If you want to get married, you have to make that desire more important in your life than the pain of rejection. Is it becoming more clear that a passive attitude is not helpful?
The deadly myth of 'The Rescue'
One thing that encourages a passive attitude is the myth of "The Rescue." This stems from the fairy tales we're all taught when we're children.
Women may think a handsome prince is going to come and rescue them from a boring single life. Don't laugh! Millions of women sit home alone, waiting for a knock on the door or the phone to ring (or make some goofy ringtone, I suppose).
Cinderella, Prince Charming, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and other children's stories give women the wrongheaded notion that a spouse is going to notice them and sweep them off their feet. Sure, it happens, but if it's not happening, why not help things along?
Benjamin Franklin (not the Bible), said "The Lord helps those who help themselves." Are you helping yourself in whatever area you're not making progress, or are you expecting God to drop whatever you want right into your lap? Yes, God does feed the birds of the air--but they have to go out and FIND their food. He doesn't just tie a little birdie bib on them and drop worms into their open mouths.
Get off your chair and start doing something!
Getting around cultural restrictions
In cultures where marriages are still arranged, maybe there's not much you can do. But if it's merely considered impolite for women to take the initiative, it might be time to drop the passive attitude. As long as there won't be any criminal penalties, why not ask a man out?
The truth is that most men consider it very flattering. Yes, you may get rejected, but men go through that all the time, and it doesn't kill us. In fact, it may help you understand why men are reluctant to ask women out--rejection hurts.
Present yourself in a modest, yet assertive manner. Don't come on like you're easy. A lunch meeting in a public place is safe. Don't act needy or desperate, even if you feel that way. Nothing scares a guy off more.
Be confident. Enjoy yourself, knowing that if nothing happens, you're better for the experience because you had the courage to try.
Shaking the passive attitude in other areas
It's not just romance. We can't expect success and happines to chase us down either. We have to go out and get them, whether we're men or women.
If you're a Christian, you don't want to be cutthroat and scratch your way to the top, but you can rely on God if your approach is moral and biblical. Jesus never said success is wrong. He said God should come first in our lives and that we should do unto others as we want them to do unto us.
You don't catch a fish by waiting for it to jump up on the bank. You don't get a job just by reading the ads and never applying and going for an interview. And you don't get the things you want in life with a passive attitude. You just don't.
If it's not working, change what you're doing. Expand your comfort zone. Step out in faith.
Jesus said, "Ask, seek, knock." Keep asking, seeking, and knocking until something good happens!