First, if you were ever wretched by any woman you dated or had feelings for, please know my heart breaks for you. I offer my deepest prayers.

The gossip, the negativity, and the emotional turmoil girls start up—I’m sorry

The use, manipulation, and how we’ve led you to sin—I’m sorry

The way we dress that promotes immorality—I’m sorry

For all the ways women never inspired you—I’m sorry.

Unfortunately, not all women are going to apologize and for that reason I leave you with some advice.

“Do not give yourself to a woman and let her trample down your strength, do not go near a loose woman or you will fall into her snares.”[1]

Your desire to honor and dignify women is stamped in your call to manhood. That said, choose a woman wisely. Women should uphold your true masculine nature; your strength, ability to lead, protect, initiate, have courage, show respect and chivalry. In return, she compliments and completes you by her grace, patience, sensitive, nurturing, welcoming, kind, inspiring, virtuous, noble, and gentle nature

If you get involved with the wrong woman, you will die inside. It’ll feel like she sucked the life out of you. If a woman brings out the best in you, and not a prideful or ego-driven self, then you have yourself a jewel. Who or what you love is what you become.

“The higher a woman’s virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, and goodness, the more you should aspire to be worthy of her” –Fulton Sheen

Women are mysterious. Take my word, I have yet to solve the mystery of my own nature so you never will. Instead, pray for the grace for God to reveal His mystery and beauty through the women in your life; mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and girlfriends. Each appreciation for beauty you open your soul towards is a piece to put the pieces together of unlocking the mystery of women.

You are one of God’s beloved son’s. His wondrous, unique creation. He calls you to greatness and He needs you to stand up to become the man He’s called you to be.

“There is a need for a crusade of manliness and purity to counteract and undo the savage work of those who think that man is a beast. And that crusade is a matter for you.” –Josemaria Escriva

Red flags that help you identify if are being manipulated and aren’t free in a relationship that lets you be the man or woman of God you were created to be are:

Are you afraid to be yourself?

Do you feel cocky, self-centered, and pompous even when you know you hate it?

Do you feel like you walk on eggshells when she’s around because she’ll be sensitive to everything you do?

Does she belittle you? Abuse you physically, verbally, emotionally, or sexually?

Does she control who you spend time with but then go out and hang out with anyone?

Does she tempt you to sin?

Does she strengthen your purity or justify sin acts?

Does she get jealous easily—even going so far as to tell you who you can/can’t talk to?

Do you feel like you’re being used for something?

Are you afraid to bring up your standards, annoyances, or frustrations, or a tough issue in fear that they might get defensive, lash out, or shut down?

Are you afraid to show weakness, because they expect perfection?

Do you have a constant pit of anxiety in your belly around them or at the sight of them?

Do you have to question, regularly, if she’s really “the one?”

Does she tell you not to do something and then goes ahead and does it?

Are you being challenged to be a better, holier person?

Are you willing to spend 24 hours, 7 days a week with them for the rest of your life?

Are they your best friend whom you have romance with?

Are they trying to help you and pointing you to God to help whatever it is you’re going through?

I want what’s best for guys everywhere and I thank you for your efforts to be a man in such a hard time–don’t stop.