Reading the articles [in Boundless], I get the impression that I need to be more assertive and aggressive. For example, I was recently talking to a female friend, and she was telling me about the guy she’s dating. I flat out told her: “I will not compete. I would rather let you have your fun and figure out for yourself whether this guy is the one for you, even if my heart is breaking every time you mention his name.”
While your non-competition position probably seems to you
like the high road because you are showing her you value her
freedom (which is commendable), it will likely be interpreted as
passive and disappointing if she’s interested in you. You run
the risk of communicating to her that she’s not worth the effort,
and you certainly don’t want to communicate that.
My first piece of relationship advice I give to every person is
this: Before you do anything, pray about it. I don’t mean to be
trite — far from it. Taking time to think and pray and
seek God’s wisdom on a relationship does wonders for solving
problems. You’ve got to get your head on straight before you
dive into something that will have significant impact in peoples’
lives. Ask God to help you think clearly about it. After that, if
you are at peace about moving forward, then here’s what I
First of all, your feelings for her are only going to grow
stronger the more time you spend with her. With that in mind, if
she’s in an exclusive, serious dating relationship with someone
else, it’s wrong for you to put yourself in a place where she is
sharing with you information about her relationship with the
other guy when she assumes that you’re an objective third party. (By the way, that also might be a signal from her that she’s
content where she is.) Nevertheless, it’s not fair to her for you
to be hanging out with her and harboring romantic feelings for
her while she (we assume) grows deeper in another relationship.
In marriage that would be emotional adultery at least. If, on the
other hand, her relationship with the other guy is not serious,
then all the better for you. But either way, it’s time to take
Sit down with her, face-to-face, and tell her that out of
fairness to everyone (her, him and you) she needs to know that
you’re beginning to have stronger feelings for her than just
friendship and that it’s becoming more difficult to act otherwise.
Make sure she knows that you’re not just acting on a whim but
that you’ve thought about it for a long time. Tell her what you
think about her, how you feel about her. Then give her some
time to think it through.
If she’s not open to dating anyone else right now, you tell
her how hard that is to hear, but you understand, and that the
wise thing is for the two of you to see less of each other. Tell
her if anything changes, you want to be the first to know.
On the other hand, if she’s open to the idea of you and her,
then move ahead and by all means put forth the effort to be the
greatest man in her life. Don’t wait for her to get around to you;
jump up to the front of the line. When I was courting my wife,
she didn’t want to be exclusive with me, so I did my best to be
the first in line for every dating opportunity she had. That’s how
much she meant to me, and it spoke volumes to her.
Ask any woman which type of man she prefers: one who
appropriately and respectfully moves on his feelings or one who
sits on the sidelines afraid of negative outcomes. Yes, there is a
lot at risk when you take action. But don’t fear the heartbreak
that could happen so much that you never know the
beauty of what might have been.
Copyright 2006 John Thomas. All rights reserved.