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I met a girl on the Ultimate Workout 17 mission trip. Its like were meant for each other. Should I tell her how I feel or wait until were in college?


I met a girl on the Ultimate Workout 17 mission trip. Its like were meant for each other. We both want to go to the same college and study the same thing, but I don't know how to tell her that I like her. She lives in America, and I live in London. She is also a year and a half older than me, so shes going to college this year, and Im going in two years. Should I tell her how I feel or wait until were in college? Need Advice, theFlow

Shayna Answers:

Dear Need Advice,

Mission trips and church outings are great places to meet other teens with similar interests and beliefs. However, you point out some valid concerns about a potentially burgeoning romance. Let’s address them.
First, you each live on opposite sides of the Atlantic. 
E-mail, Web cams, and cheap or free international calling can help diminish the difficulties of long-distance relationships. However, a considerable amount of indirect communication happens when you see your significant other smile at you, for instance. For this reason many couples find long-distance relationships extremely difficult.
 Successful long-distance relationships require both people to exercise a lot of trust and to be content with limited communication. Both of these things are tough to do when you’re just beginning a relationship.
Also, even though you connected well during Ultimate Workout 17, you may find that you don’t know your significant other as well as you thought you did. During events such as mission trips, camps, and outings, we all exhibit tendencies that aren’t necessarily indicative of us all the time. For example, you may be really outgoing and laid-back during summer camp. But when school starts, you may have a more serious personality and not hang out as much. This is normal, and it’s important to be aware of this tendency in yourself and others. So don’t feel compelled to make a long-term decision about dating based on a short-term experience, such as Ultimate Workout 17. You need time to get to know your friend better.
Here’s something else to think about: your love interest is going off to college two years before you do. Although you plan to attend the same college and take the same major, it would be wrong of me not to tell you that in their late teens many people change their minds about colleges, majors, and love interests. In relation to your situation, in two years your love interest may be someone completely different!
Ultimately, the decision to express your romantic interest is yours. Before you do, it’s important to consider a few questions: Will your friend be OK with knowing that you like her? Are you going to try and pursue a long-distance relationship? What if either of you decides to attend a different college?
Isaiah 55:9 reminds us that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and Proverbs 21:30 says that “no plan . . . can succeed against the Lord” (NIV).* So start praying for God’s will in this situation.
 If God intends for you to date this girl, chances are you’ll end up at the same college, and you may not change as much as I’ve suggested. If things don’t work out, that’s OK too. We’ll talk more about this next week.
*Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

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