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.
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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