I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not always the brightest so at times it takes me a little longer to catch onto things.
Years ago, I was on an overnight Network Migration call for a project, and in between what I needed to offer on the call, I was texting a guy I was getting to know. In what seemed like his desire to rise up as my knight in shining armour, he offered to bring me a cup of coffee from Starbucks. I was so friggin smitten that I totally missed the fact that my acceptance gave him the false hope of scoring a little more than just brownie points.
I entertained him for a short time after he arrived but noticed he was starting to get comfortable. Finally…I started reading the signals loud and clear. I needed to get this horny toad out of my house.
We wrapped up our conversation, I thanked him for bringing me coffee and let him know I needed to get back to my call. He positioned himself for a hug so I obliged, but what I wasn’t expecting was the slight forward shift of his hips (aka the pelvic thrust) as he hugged me.
Because I have absolutely no sense, I pulled away from him and said, “Did you just give me a pelvic thrust hug?” He froze and then tried to laugh it off.
Perhaps I’ve been pelvic thrusted before but just never noticed it (lol). However, that evening, it felt blatant, disrespectful and desperate. It was as if that was his last ditch effort to try to entice me.
Once I thought about it, I realized I couldn’t really be mad at him though because I was the one who sent the mixed signal. It was late, and I invited him over. Typically that is an indication that all signals are “a go.” And given that we hadn’t yet established a firm foundation, my openness was misinterpreted.
This incident helped me to realize the necessity of establishing appropriate boundaries, not only to honor myself and my values, but also to honor the man I am getting to know. So, it may not be the case that house calls are completely out. It just makes more sense to be strategic in how this is done.
5 Strategies for Establishing and Maintaining Boundaries:
- Pray– Acknowledge desire for God to be central to all interactions. Confess motives and surrender those that are self-seeking or rooted in fear. Ask God to guard both of your hearts.
- Value Alignment– Ensure values and goals are aligned. Talk through ways to guard and protect one another’s purity
- Love as Brother and Sister– View the other person as your brother or sister in Christ. Choose to engage in a manner that is honoring to both them and God.
- Accountability– Let someone know you are having company and have them call at a certain time to ensure your company gone.
- Mind Physical Boundaries– Refrain from spending extended periods of time at one another’s homes. Steer clear of bedrooms (or any comfortable horizontal surfaces for that matter).
These strategies work if you are intentional and employ them. I have discovered though, some very real challenges arise when I’ve tried to get creative or find loopholes. I’ve found myself daring to see how close I can get to the edge of the cliff without actually falling off. This is never a wise approach to take. If you’re hard-headed like I am, you may have ventured too far once or a few dozen times. Fret not! Confess it, learn from it, and move on.
Oh, and as for avoiding the pelvic thrust hug…I am getting more in the habit of giving men side hugs. This keeps things safe for both parties involved.