Unsure~Advice

26 Mar

Dear I Am Not Defined,
I recently reconnected with a childhood friend after a decade. He turned out to be a really nice guy, counting on the fact that he had always been rowdy and unruly when we were kids. What amazes me more is that he’s a musician. (I’ve always been weak at the knees for musicians.) He’s really sweet and all (I mean, he seems to be the guy I’ve been waiting for) but there’s a catch–he’s involved in a Christian youth group at his university. I mean, I love God too, but not to the extent that he does. In the midst of all my academic requirements, I don’t think I can commit to all the activities/meetings/etc. that he keeps on inviting me to. When we hang out (he’d walk me to the bus station since I pass by their school and he’s a dormer), we don’t talk about all the religious stuff as much as we talk about ourselves and each other. Still, I’m confused as to whether he just hangs out with me to convince me to join their organization or to actually get to know me better after all those years that we haven’t seen each other.
Sincerely,
-Unsure

Dear Unsure,

It sounds like this guy is actually into you. If he only talked about his youth group when you were around, I would believe that he just wanted you to join the group. It sounds like he is actually interested in who you are as a person, not just interested in getting you involved in something he is into.

You have to remember that he is not defined by his youth group affiliation, and just because he is involved in it, doesn’t mean it is all he thinks about. It seems like he is going above and beyond the call of a friend to get to know you better, and it sounds like you would enjoy getting to know him better as well.

You can always test the water a bit; invite him to do something off campus that does not involve his youth group. It doesn’t have to be a date, just a chance to hang out. If all he talks about is the group, then maybe he doesn’t have room in his life for much more right now. If he talks about his life or continues making an effort to learn about yours, I would take it as a clear sign that he sees you as more than a recruit.

If you are interested in more than friendship from this guy, maybe you need to discuss it with him. Plenty of couples I know consist of two people who feel a different level of religious conviction. If he likes you for who you are, then he won’t feel the need to push his group on you. You will have to feel it out, and see if a conversation about a relationship or more than a friendship is something you’re ready for. It might suit you perfectly to get to know him better for a while and just let life happen!

-I Am Not Defined

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10 Responses to “Unsure~Advice”

  1. granbee March 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    I completely support the advice you gave here. I, too, think this guy really likes the girl just for herself. And is both share a love of music and Christian faith (even if at different levels of intensity–or interpretation), so much the better. You were right to advise to spend more time together and talk things over and no rushing.

  2. maureenlermer March 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    The present counts, people do change and so do we.. give him a try, have fun.. Listen to your heart… :)

  3. Paws To Talk March 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Good advice!
    Bella and DiDi

  4. gigoid March 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Excellent response to today’s subject…. you advised her to follow the most accepted ways to check out how someone really feels, and gave the most important ingredient, communication, its proper place as the most important key to success in any relationship…. nice work! (I used to be a psychiatric therapist, and worked with teenagers for several years, so I know whereof I am speaking…..) You’ve got a natural good sense bag that is good and full…. keep listening to it…. :-)

  5. free penny press March 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    I agree with the others, good advice. If she does not “expect” an end result and allow what is supposed to unfold, it will.
    Great question too!!

  6. youjivinmeturkey March 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    That’s Some Pretty-Damn-SHARP Advice, Totally Totally and Fo SHO.
    Patience AND Balance In The Approach Does Sound Very Key.
    I’d Actually Like To Know Any Updates On How It Turns Out, Actually.
    Curious To Know How It Works-Out.
    Please Take Care :)
    -BRAD

  7. mikesretirementplan March 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Wonderful advice, couldn’t have said it better myself. Just drop that wall you have put up and have fun. If something comes of it all the better. They say the Lord works in mysterious ways, (no pun intended) so just let the cards fall where they may. I actually had a girl (I found this out way later) that had a big crush on me in high school but never bothered to tell me. We reconnected about 35 years later, but we were both married. She still regrets it, (not sure if that is healthy, or smart) but you get the point. Never pass up an open door.

  8. Sakti March 26, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Great!!! A great question and a perfect response. Enjoyed reading.

  9. jennw2ns March 27, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    Just a note:

    I think that basically, the advice above is good advice. However, coming from a background with that kind of “youth group” (though no longer “young” enough to be in one!), I think there are a couple of things this young woman needs to be aware of as she tests the waters.

    1. This guy is probably not defined by his group, as such, but if you ask him, he might say his faith defines him, or his relationship with Jesus, or something like that.

    2. If this is the case, he probably wants her to go to group events so he can find out whether her beliefs line up with his. I have no doubt at all that he is interested in her for her, but in this context, that interest often carries with it a concern for her soul and her salvation. This is an honest and valid concern. I have an atheist friend who loves that his evangelical Christian friends are concerned for his soul, because he understands that it’s a natural outworking our worldview and not an outworking of arrogance; however, most people I know (whether they have a faith or not), if they encounter this kind of “concern,” find it off-putting.

    3. If a “relationship with Jesus” is this guy’s self-definer, he is going to put what he perceives God/Jesus to want for his life ahead of the relationship. This is not always bad
    for the relationship: at a minimum it’s his own way of testing the waters which is what is being advised here. At a maximum, one can hope that God also wants the best for both people (which would be the assumption this dude’s probably operating under, too). But if this investigative friendship really does turn into more, this young woman will need to assess her own willingness for there to be, in a way, a “third party” (albeit invisible) in their interactions.

    I suggest, not that she rearrange her entire schedule and neglect her classwork in order to go to all the group events this guy keeps inviting her to, but that she agree to go to a few of them in order to get a better idea of what he’s into (since she’s investigating) and find out whether she can at least be moderately into it herself.

  10. irenelefort March 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Good advice! :-)

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