I've had a male best friend for three years and counting. My friends tell me we'd make a great couple and I agree. The problem is that he's dating another woman. He's still a good friend to me, telling me how good, beautiful, caring, kind, generous and special he thinks I am, and even that I'll be a great wife. We still talk and he confides in me. It's not hard to imagine why I'm in love with him. My friends tell me I should walk away. I think, though, that I should be patient and pray that he'll realize we're meant for each other.
Thank you for writing. I'm sorry to hear that it's been such a long process — it's always frustrating to feel like time is wasted. And I understand why more women don't do the right thing and walk away after waiting so long. It's often too painful to admit all that time and effort was in vain.
However, I do think you already suspect what I will say: it's time to end the relationship.
His behavior has been dishonoring to everyone involved. He's defrauded you by taking advantage of your affections while dating another. He's defrauded his girlfriend by being double- minded: looking to you for certain of his needs to be met apart from his relationship with her (such behavior would be considered an emotional affair if he were married). And in so doing, he's revealed the weakness of his own character. Not to mention the way all of this dishonors God.
Despite your emotions toward him, on a rational level surely you can see that his behavior is what we would have, in an earlier day, ascribed to a cad.
He has proven himself unworthy of your loyalty. Even if he dropped his girlfriend today and asked you to marry him tomorrow, why would you willingly align with a man who doesn't recognize (or if he recognizes it, doesn't think it's wrong to embrace) unfaithfulness?
I think it's best to cut your losses, make it clear to him that you are no longer available for intimacy (emotional or otherwise) and ask God to redeem the last three years.
With prayers that God will strengthen you to hear and obey His voice,
Note: A lot of women have written with similar stories. It's important to note, however, that these letters differ in a striking way from Pulling a Ruth: When I was friends with Steve and hoping we'd become something more, he wasn't dating another woman. Yes, he did go out on a date or two with my friend early on, but during the length of our friendship, both of us were truly single, not having implied a commitment to anyone else.
Copyright 2005 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.