Taking the Initiative

To Lead or Not Lead a Relationship

Last month, I started a summer series on relationships. Part One of this series focused on preparing for a relationship by spending time alone with God. Part Two elaborated with some tips from my late husband Reginald Sanders on how to spend time alone with God. This week, we switch gears to who should take initiative in a relationship and when. This is another reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. I hope you enjoy it whether reading for the first time or second!

A black couple in business attire, both ready to take charge

Who Should Take Initiative & When

“Start out the way you want to end up.” This is a wonderful piece of advice that my mother gave me on relationships. It is also the first thing that comes to mind when women ask me who should make the first move in romantic relationships. When women hear the dreaded “the man” answer, the next question is often why and that is where Mama’s advice comes into play.

But before I get into that, I ask the women in my audience a couple of questions, “Who wants a man with no initiative? How will you know if the man you are interested in has initiative unless you give him a chance to display it?” Not one woman finds the thought of a man lacking initiative appealing. However, some women believe that later in the relationship they will see him show initiative.

He may. Anything is possible, but if you aren’t willing to give him the opportunity now, will you later? Why run that risk, especially when the odds are not in your favor? According to every relationship expert I have encountered, whatever you do in the beginning sets the tone for the relationship. Many men agree. For example, if you start out doing all the cooking and cleaning, a man will let you do it-and it will be hard to change it later.

That is why my mother advised me to start out the way that I want to end up. If I want to end up doing all of the work in the relationship, I could find a man willing to let me do it-all too easily. However, in the words of Mama, “Why would you want to?”

Unfortunately, I did not follow Mama’s advice until after I had racked up more than a few scars doing it my way. When I learned that Mama’s advice was godly advice, I started to change. I focused on God-to the point where I didn’t even notice Reggie. If he had not approached me, I would have missed my blessing. As we became friends, Reggie continued to take the lead. And it worked. When we entered our courtship, which he initiated, his leading was a natural progression.

I cannot say it was always easy. Reggie moved slower than I do, but God showed me that Reggie’s pace was for my protection. I may not always like a man’s speed, but I understand its value. Reggie’s pace kept me from rushing out in front of God.

So, I no longer lead the way, but I enjoy the journey. I finally followed Mama’s advice. Reggie and I started out God’s way, which is how we ended up. Our desire is for you to enjoy your journey, so I pass Mama’s advice on to you.

Until Next Time,


Questions: Are you a woman struggling to let men take the initiative in relationships? Are you a man struggling to take the initiative? If so, why? If not, what helped you make the transition? Please respond by clicking on the Comment, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and/or Pinterest buttons below. Also, if this post blessed you, please sign up to receive them through email. That way, you won’t miss the next one.


One thought on “Taking the Initiative

  1. Yep I struggled with allowing the man take the initiative because he was slow now like you said I bear the scars… God will lead the way when He blesses me with another chance.

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