Anonymous asked: My friend likes me, but right now, I just see him as a brother in Christ. I already told him how I am not ready for a relationship. And I also clarified how I don’t want to give him false hope and to lead him on. I’ve already told him to wait on God and not for me. I don’t want to disappoint him in the future because I can’t assure him I would return his feelings. He’s been telling me that he would wait until I am ready. Should I tell him to stop, or should I let him wait?
Unka Glen answered: In a certain way it feels good to have someone be interested in you, even when you aren’t interested in them. It’s like being a celebrity with a one-man fanbase. So let’s take a moment to enjoy that feeling. [moment passes] Okay, now you’ve officially passed the point of this being an okay thing, and we are officially in “false hope” territory. Suddenly this has become unhealthy and seriously uncool.
Certainly this would be different if you were telling this guy that you might be interested in a relationship with him in the future, because you think he’s awesome, but that you need to take some time, perhaps a few months, and work through some issues. If that was the case, and he told you that he would wait for you, that would be kind of romantic. But when you tell someone you aren’t ready for a relationship, that’s a polite way of saying “no”. If someone hangs around after that, we’re getting into semi-creepy territory.
I think the main thing is to be clear and direct. A sharp word spoken today will hurt for a moment, but that’s nothing compared to the pain of weeks and months of false hope. If you try to avoid hurting him, you’ll end up hurting him more, if you accept that he will be hurt in some way by this whole situation, then you can focus on minimizing that hurt. Also, I think he might need to hear something like this: “Waiting for someone who isn’t interested in dating you, shows a lack of self-respect, and you should have much higher expectations of the woman in your life.”
Also, let’s remember that the enemy tells the same lie to all single Christians: THIS IS THE LAST PERSON WHO WILL EVER WANT TO DATE YOU! This lie keeps us giving false hope to people we want to keep around just in case of an emergency. It makes us stick in bad relationships while the perfect guy comes along and then he sees that you’re taken (hello!). It makes us lonely and desperate and freaked out.
And this is just what people want in a new dating relationship, right? A lonely desperate, freaked out person with the “friend” of the opposite sex giving you the evil eye because he’s been waiting for this spot since before you came along.
Keep it simple. As Jesus said, “let your ‘yes’ be yes, and your ‘no’ be no.” Speak plainly and honestly. If you set out to be honest, you can find a way to say things with gentleness and love. If you set out to avoid confrontation, you’ll end up putting cowardice and your desire for emotional comfort above someone else’s right to be set free by the plain and painful truth.
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