It seems that my part 1 on manipulation brought on some great questions! I'll do my best to answer them!
"I know in some ways, it's good, because my emotions are still very pure, but is it possible to go too far the other way, as to develop a fear of a relationship?"
Yes, I believe it can be possible to go too far the other way. I believe that it can be a mix of pride and fear that keep some on the way other side!
We are prideful in thinking that we can fully control the purity. I believe that we have ask the Lord for the spirit of purity, God directs us, and guides us. As we seek to know Him more, purity falls into place. It's His working through our life.
We can be prideful in thinking that somehow we are in full control and then we're fearful in thinking that if we let down our guard for one second we're going to be off in "impurity land". It's a lack of trust that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide.
"So how do we, ladies, create the balance, Heather? I'd love your thoughts on this too. Or rather, what's the godly approach?"
I believe there should be a balance in how we interact with young men. I've met girls who can't even look a guy in the eye, even if she's completely, totally uninterested in him.
The brother/sister model is a good guideline. How do brothers and sisters treat each other? They care about each other, talk to each other, serve each other...BUT their motives are pure and the boundaries are CLEARLY set.
I've shared this before, but I used these plumbline questions in how I interacted with single men when I was single.
1) Would I think about him this way if he were married?
2) Would I talk to him about this if he were married?
3) Would I treat him this way if he were married?
So let's say I was at a party and there was a single guy there. I'd ask myself, "Would I go get my brother a pop?" Sure, I'd get my brother a pop. But then I ask myself, "Would I get him a pop if he (not my brother but any man) were married." Well, I might. But then I get to the heart of what I was doing. I ask myself, "What are my motives for getting him a pop? To serve him? Or to get some type of attention from him?" Is the answer were the latter, I'd just stay put!
(For you southerns Pop is also known as soda or coke! ;-) )
For you guys out there you may just think, "Wow, that Heather was whacked out when she was single." But I guarantee that I am not alone in how I thought about guys. I had to always be aware of my actions towards my single guy friends. I wanted to enjoy the friendship without over thinking, over analyzing, manipulating, or having unhealthy emotional fantasies!
"I am so guilty of this (manipulating), and I want to change, but it is how I think... it has become a habit almost...how do I change?"
I've been there and I remember thinking it was never going to go away! But the more you resit the pull of sin (manipulating) the less control it has over you!
I memorized scripture and I'd use it when I felt myself longing to manipulate a situation.
Verses like 2 Cor. 10:5: Take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.
or 1 Cor. 10:31: Whatever you do, do for the glory of God.
or Philippians 4:8: Think about whatever is pure, lovely, right, of good repute...
These verses helped me fight the mental battle with in.
Another big thing was learning how the Holy Spirit convicted me. I began to really know the "voice" of the Holy Spirit.
So I'd be talking or thinking about wanting to "do" something for attention and I'd hear in my head (no not literal voice) "Heather, you are trying to control, let Me be in control!" Or "Don't say that Heather, you're just saying it for attention or to appear different than who I've created you to be."
Knowing the Word and learning how God communicated with me helped me pull father and father away from that fleshly desire for attention or emotional strokes.
Hope these help!