I have been friends with a guy for over 10 years. In college, when we took the same classes we used to hang out once or twice a week. Fast forward 10 years, and we hang out once or twice a year if lucky.
He is a Christian, and we have a great time hanging out. However, he only hangs out with me if I ask him to do something. He's like this with everyone, so it's not a personal thing. As of this year though, we've been hanging out almost every weekend just going places, etc. as friends.
I've always had a slight crush on him but never really moved anything forward because I feel that guys should initiate and lead; however, what do you do when someone is not that type?
I really like him, and I've been enjoying the time we've spent together recently. I'm thinking that if I let him know that I'm interested in him as more than a friend, it could ruin our friendship if he is not attracted to me in that capacity at all, yet I really would like to give dating a shot to see if we are even compatible. We don't call each other at all, just email and an occasional text once in a blue moon, or just to plan hanging out. Am I wasting my time? Is he never going to see me in that light? Should I stop asking him to hang out? I've met his family and spent time with his sis, and she said he is horrible with contacting people. What should I do?
I know it's not fun to hear, but you will not help this situation by letting him know that you're interested. Likely he's just not interested. But if he is, but reluctant to step up, he's following a current cultural script. For various reasons, many young men in our culture are reluctant to initiate, and many more seem reticent about getting married any time soon. Most men typically say they want to get married, someday. That's a frustrating thing for women to hear. But trying to speed up the process rarely works. Why? Because his failure to initiate is not linked to his personality, but to immaturity. Godly masculinity means leading sacrificially and taking risks. If he secretly pines for you but is just too shy to admit it, you won't help him grow in masculinity and maturity by stepping up and taking the lead for a little while. That would stunt his growth even more.
Any time there's a failure to lead (and not just a lack of interest) it isn't because men aren't leader types, but because of a failure, signaling a lack and a need for growth in God's grace, wisdom and maturity. But in this case, it's safe to say that more time won't improve the situation. You have plenty of evidence to know with certainty what will come in the future. More "just friends" relating. Either he's not interested in you as his future wife, or he's not mature enough to realize he should be thinking about getting married, or he's called to celibate service. What's irrational is not that he's still acting as he always has, but that given 10 years of evidence, you still think he's going to suddenly start acting differently toward you. The best indicator of what will happen in the future is what's already happened in the past.
Go with what you know — he's not interested — and stop throwing good time after bad. This relationship is not going to lead to marriage. What's worse is that by hoping he'll change, you're probably missing out on other good men who would make godly husbands. And you're growing older all the while, possibly squandering your season of marriageability. This is a stewardship issue for you. What if the enemy of your soul, who hates godly marriage, is keeping you distracted just enough to keep you from marriage to another?
I'm not trying to discourage you, for we know that God is able to redeem the time that has passed without a relationship to show for it. But neither would I want you to presume upon His mercy to the point that you neglect your responsibility in the matter. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Often that means redeeming bad situations that are bad because of our sin, including bad stewardship.
I pray God will give you the courage to leave this friendship in the past and look ahead, with a fervent desire to grow in godly maturity, trusting and fearing God more than you fear being alone.
Copyright 2012 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.