“Intentional” is one of those words that sounds right, but no one really knows what it means. So I would like to clear that up. Here is my working definition for intentional and how it relates to how a Christian man should pursue a woman.
The intentional man repeatedly and constantly goes first and takes on all of the risk of rejection. He always lets the girl know where he stands so she feels secure and isn’t left guessing. (On the other hand, don’t weird her out by talking about marriage on the first date.)
From there, the rest of the post follows standard Churchian advice to initiate, pay for the date,* and being direct and upfront about your relationship. I pretty much agree with the bulk of this advice, since it is basically my modus operandi, and has worked well for me (caveat: I’m in my early twenties, tall, and have a very masculine face). I got my number one girlfriend by asking her out within twenty minutes of meeting her. I got my number two girlfriend by telling her I thought she was pretty and that I wanted her number so I could ask her out later, which I did. I was extremely direct in both instances, and there was nothing nebulous about what I wanted.
Without getting into too many personal details, my approach to my relationship with number one has been very straightforward and take-charge. I always make decisions, I always know what I want, and I’m very direct about it. It works. My approach with number two has been a little more reserved since she is considerably younger, and since it’s difficult for us to spend time together due to conflicting schedules. Still, I’m very direct and honest with her. It works.
My advice for guys is to simply have balls and be direct. Don’t wait forever to tell a girl that you’re interested in her; she knows within the first ten seconds of meeting you whether you’re interested in her.** Hiding it, not acknowledging it, or pretending you’re interested in something else is just stupid, and makes you appear to be a complete and total coward. I’ve ruined enough relationships by pretending I was interested in being friends, and in not acknowledging my attraction, and can thus say with certainty that it is simply best to be direct.
To be more blunt about it, being indirect and playing games is for cowards and manipulative assholes. If you are looking for a substantive relationship, don’t play around and don’t be a pussy. If all you want is a one-night stand or a low-risk relationship, go ahead and be indirect and play games. Indirectness and games do work on a good number of girls (mostly stupid ones, and/or those with daddy issues); if that’s what you’re looking for, then by all means go PUA on them. If all you’re looking for is friendship, suppressing and trying to hide your attraction will definitely ensure that you get into the friend zone. But if you want a substantive relationship, be a man and tell girls what you want. Be intentional.
* Here my specific advice would be to have a plan on who’s getting the check. In my own experience, it doesn’t actually matter if I pay for a girl’s meal; what matters is that I have a plan for who’s paying. I’ve paid for a good number of meals. I’ve split checks with a good number of girls. I’ve told girls that dinner was on them and subsequently they paid for the meal. Whatever you decide to do, be confident about it.
** As a side note, I’ve noticed that whenever a girl asks me how to tell whether s guy is interested in her, what she’s really wanting to know is if she should take the initiative in hitting on a guy that she’s interested in. She can usually tell if a(n unattractive) guy is interested in her, so if she’s asking how to tell whether a guy is interested in her, what she’s really looking for is a rationalization for spending more time with a guy she’s interested in without having to feel like she’s being slutty or easy or some other adjective that would have negative implications for her self-perception.