I’m relatively new to a group of Christian friends. I have noticed one of the women there and become fairly close with her. In fact, she is someone I have prayerfully considered pursuing.
However, another guy in the group has feelings for the same woman. He has been in the group longer and has a much lengthier friendship with her. Out of respect for my brother in Christ, I don’t want to compete with him and go after the girl he’s had his eye on. After all, he saw her first. That might sound a little high school, but it doesn’t seem wise to me.
The problem is he’s taking forever. At what point do I say, “Time to step up or step out; make a move or it’s my turn”? On one hand, I don’t want to hurt my brother, but I also don’t want to be seen as passive by this woman. I feel like that’s exactly how I’m coming across by standing at the sideline, waiting for this guy to man up and do something.
What can I do to hurry him up and make a decision — one way or the other — so we can all move on?
I understand your desire to respect this guy’s feelings. But the time to move was yesterday.
He’s not in charge of this woman’s future and neither are you. What I mean is, she’s a big girl, and she can make her own decisions about which of you (if either) she’s interested in. You move forward and let her decide what she wants to do.
We’re not talking about a new car that both of you guys want and are calling “dibs” on or flipping a coin over. We’re talking about a human being who might also have an opinion about the plans you guys are making for her life. If you want to ask her on a date, do it. Let her take it from there.
If you want to tell him what your plans are, that’s fine, but you have no obligation to do so. You certainly don’t need his approval. That’s a discussion you might take up with her father at some point … but that’s another story.
You pursuing this woman is not disrespectful or un-Christian in any way. You and this other guy are on the same playing field, playing by the same rules. If he wrote me asking about you, I would give him the same advice. I would tell him not to worry too much about you, that you make your own decisions and it isn’t up to the two of you to decide who she spends time with. That’s up to her to decide after considering her options. For all you know, while the two of you are deciding who gets to ask her out, a third guy is giving her a phone call right now and has no idea that either of you even exist, nor does he care. All he cares about is what she thinks.
If this guy and she were in a dating relationship with one another, then obviously I would not be giving you this same advice. But there is nothing that you’ve described in your note that would cause me to tell you to hesitate at all. If anything, your pursuing her might wake him up and get him moving. Then she would be in the enviable position of having two guys pursuing her.
The most important green light you need is from the Lord. If you’ve prayed and believe God is giving you freedom to pursue her, I cannot think of any biblical mandate that would prevent you from doing so. The best you can do is seek God’s guidance, take a step and trust Him for an outcome that brings Him glory and you (and her and this other guy) good.
Copyright 2010 John Thomas. All rights reserved.