My problem involves a guy who I have had a "crush" on for over year. I am in a Christian sorority, and he is one of my brothers in our brother fraternity. Over the past several months I've gotten a lot more serious about praying for my husband and really thinking about the qualities I desire in a mate, both spiritual and non-spiritual.
As I am around him more I see these qualities in him, and I can honestly say that for me he is husband material. Sounds great, right? Not so much. The problem is we are great friends, and he is two years younger than me and still a junior in college. He has not initiated anything more than friendship with me and that would be perfectly fine if he didn't say little things that gave me hope of something more. His compliments of me are a bit effusive, and twice he's referenced his future wife in a way that made it seem like he was talking about me.
The first time was when a group of us were talking about engagement rings and I mentioned how I'm not big on jewelry and really don't need anything expensive. Then he said something to the effect of "I like that, maybe you and I should get married." I'm sure he was joking and didn't mean anything by it, but that didn't stop my mind and heart from going into overdrive.
Then once in a conversation during which I described how important it is to save money and get good deals at restaurants, he said something like "my sister was just telling me that I need a wife who loves coupons and a good deal." When he said that all kinds of alarm bells went off inside of me and no matter how much I tried to play it down, it wouldn't go away.
To add to that, he compliments me a lot telling me how thoughtful and considerate and encouraging and supportive I am. It wouldn't mean anything if he complimented other women this way, but he doesn't and a couple of my other friends have noticed that his compliments toward me seem very intentional and very "extra."
If he is not going to approach me then I want all this to stop because I can't handle it. Am I being too girly and reading too much into his words? Should I approach him, without mentioning my feelings, and gently point out how he needs to be more aware of his words? Should I ask one of his guy friends to talk to him about this? Is it crazy that I see in him the type of man I want to marry? Is it OK to pray that God would move this relationship forward if it is what He has for me?
Let's tackle 'em one at a time, shall we?
Am I being too girly and reading too much into his words?
There's not a thing wrong with your acting like a girl, as long as godliness is behind it. As for reading too much into his words, every guy is different, of course, but I find it fairly extraordinary that he would even notice your thoughtfulness, much less compliment you on it, if he didn't have you on his radar in the first place.
The last thing I want to do is mislead you into thinking he's feeling something that he's not, but in my experience it's pretty rare to see an available guy making the gestures and comments he's making to an available girl, and not be trying to connect relationally.
On a practical note, it probably wouldn't hurt your cause any if you gladly returned those compliments! If you've truly been encouraged by his comments, why not tell him? Something like, "You know, you are always so thoughtful to encourage me. I really appreciate the fact that you notice these things and tell me. Not a lot of people do that for me. I just wanted you to know that I notice it and it really builds me up!" And you wouldn't be lying. Let him know how good it makes you feel. See where it takes you.
Should I approach him, without mentioning my feelings, and gently point out how he needs to be more aware of his words?
No. It would be difficult to tell anyone to not compliment others because it could be taken the wrong way. Now, if he's flirting just to see if he can manipulate you, then that would be a different story. But I don't think that's what he's doing.
If the two of you were "buddies" or "stuck in the friend zone" I might advise you to sit down with him and find out his intentions, maybe even "pull a ruth," but it doesn't sound like he's irresponsibly taking advantage of your friendship. Just incase, though, I would advise you to read those articles to see if they describe your relationship with him. If so, act accordingly.
Should I ask one of his guy friends to talk to him about this?
Is it crazy that I see in him the type of man I want to marry?
No. He sounds like a great guy.
Is it OK to pray that God would move this relationship forward if it is what He has for me?
It's not only OK, it's imperative. I think you'll be amazed how quickly you'll find answers when you begin to bring this before God in prayer. God longs to guide us in every aspect of our lives. He knows exactly what His best is for you in terms of a relationship, and He wants to show you! Why would He keep that a secret from you?
The most important question to ask is: Where is God in all of this? You've said that you've been praying more and thinking more about a husband. Good. That's exactly what you need to be doing right now. While guys (and girls) can intentionally or unintentionally send mixed messages, God never does.
I wish I could tell you what this guy is thinking, but I just don't know. But God does, and God's encouragement to you is not to worry nor be anxious about it, but to turn it over to Him, and His peace will guard your heart and mind. Each time you start to feel that anxiety creep back into your heart, take it straight to the King of your heart, and ask Him for the grace once again to lay it at His feet.
As you use this as an opportunity to draw near to God and hear His voice, you'll be satisfied on two fronts: You'll get clarity on the relationship and you'll grow deeper in intimacy with Christ, and God will get all the glory.
Let us know how it goes.
Copyright 2008 John Thomas. All rights reserved.