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I like this guy a lot . . . until he started going out with my best friend. What do I do?

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I like this guy a lot, and I thought he liked me too—until he started going out with my best friend. When that happened, I tried to stop liking him. Then he broke up with her. Again I thought he liked me, but now he’s dating someone else. I want to be friends with him but still like him too. What should I do?—Heartbroken, 15, AZ


Shayna Answers:

Dear Heartbroken,

It sounds like you're hoping a whole lot for a relationship with a guy who’s dating everyone but you. Without even knowing anything about you, I know that a relationship with this guy probably wouldn’t work. Let me explain why.
 
Good relationships start with prayer—seeking God’s will above our own—and then waiting (Psalm 27:14). Sometimes it’s God’s will that we pursue relationships with certain people, but very often it’s not. The only way for you to discern God’s will about this situation is to take time, pray, and wait to see how your feelings or circumstances change. Your love interest is definitely not doing this.
 
What this guy is doing is called se-rial dating. Instead of taking time to grieve old relationships or think about how to improve one next time, he’s jumping from one girl to the next. It also doesn’t sound like he’s being very discriminating about whom he dates. The danger in serial dating is that we drag our old issues into our new relationships and repeatedly make the same mistakes. Until your friend takes the time to seek God’s desire for him, his relationships with everyone—possibly even you—will continue to be fleeting and unsuccessful.
 
As far as your interest in him, what is it that you like about him? Is your attraction based on a superficial quality, such as the way he looks, dresses, or talks? Unfortunately, focusing on these aspects of a person usually leaves us disappointed.
 
Qualities such as our relationship with God, the way we treat others, and the kind of values we have are far more important. After all, our looks, fashion, and even what we think is cool to say changes quite often. Our relationship with God is what builds our character. Proverbs 31 reminds us that in a spouse, character is what is most important.
 
So what should you do as far as pursuing a relationship with this guy? Nothing. This guy is in a relationship, therefore off-limits to you. More important, if he moves from one girl to the next so quickly, it’s likely that whatever indication he has given you about his affection has not been extended just to you.
 
Finally, regardless of whether or not your friend has chosen to consult God about his relationship decisions, you should! Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God has a plan for each of us. And Jeremiah 33:3 tells us that when we call on God through prayer that He gives us discernment about our decisions.
Guard your heart, as Proverbs 4:23 suggests, because there will always be people interested in you and people you’re interested in. Having an interest in someone doesn’t mean you have to act on it, though. We’ll talk more about this next week.
 
When the right person arrives in your life, God will let you know. You’ll also be confident that he’s not going to be waiting for the next best thing—or your friend—to come along.


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