One single Christian man’s take on this subject. I appreciate his willingness to share his heart, his perspective and insights with us.
Why hasn’t he asked you out?
-Maybe he isn’t attracted to you. To some extent, we have the cards we’ve been dealt, but there are things we can do to improve our hand. I’m sure Mrs. Peacefulwife has some great resources on this site.
-Or he isn’t as invested in this friendship as you are. If you like someone, it’s easy to read more into their actions than is actually there.
-Or he’s scared of losing the friendship. With a really good friendship, you’ve got a lot to gain if it becomes a relationship. If not, you could lose a lot.
First thing. Heart check.
Luke 10:27a – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind;” Who is currently first in your life – God or the guy? Which do you look forward more to? Prayer time? Or an e-mail from the guy? Be honest.
Luke 10:27b – “and your neighbor as yourself.” Do you love the guy? Really love. As in 1 Corinthians 13 love him. A lot of people say they’re in love or they love someone, but they really mean infatuation (which goes back to what Mrs. Peacefulwife has been saying about idolatry). What if he says “no” to you. What would your reaction be? A little disappointed, but understanding? Angry? Devastated? Or, if you knew another girl who was a better fit for him, would you introduce her to him and encourage their relationship?
Heart checks out? Great!
In my opinion, these are some of the dangers of trying to give him just hints (if you have been just friends and want to move to a romantic relationship):
-Inertia. You’ve been like this for several years. He’s gotten used to that. It may be easy for him to write it off as out of character for you, in favor of the you he’s known for years.
-You’re just a little obvious enough that he notices…something. But you’re just a little too subtle, so he can’t be sure. And he’s not interested. Now he’s got a dilemma. “What if I don’t say anything? If she really likes me, I would be leading her on. But what if I speak up and say I’m not interested, and she doesn’t really like me, or she denies it? Then I look like a pompous fool who’s full of himself.”
-You’re the one asking for advice, so I’m guessing that your heart is probably at least a little more inclined to him than his is to you. If you’re trying to flirt and send signals but he’s not picking it up, that gap in interest may increase further.
My suggestion. Say something like,
“I value the friendship we’ve had over these years. I really enjoy/am honored to be your friend. [insert various compliments particular to him] You have the qualities I’m looking for in a husband. I’d like to see if we could be more than just friends. What do you think? You don’t have to let me know now. I want the best for you and will be happy no matter what you say. I am your sister in Christ and I will always be your friend.” Then drop the topic. Don’t ever talk about it again unless he brings it up. In the meantime, continue to treat him as before, as a friend.
Again, this would be my personal preference in a situation with a good friend (I would have a different take for new guy-girl acquaintances). With the flirting/hints approach, my feeling is of her already moving on from friendship onto the relationship track and urging me to come along with her. And if I’m not interested, then having to let her down gently and wondering how invested she was and how heartbroken she’s going to be. With the more direct approach I described, my feeling is of her saying, “Here we are, both of us, at the friends stage. How about we take a step forward together?” If I’m not interested, then I’m more confident that she’ll be able to accept the rejection and stay friends. If I’m kind of on the fence, I may move forward knowing that if the relationship ultimately fails, we can likely remain friends.
I won’t discount the more subtle approach. If the guy is already interested, or has considered the possibility of more, it can work out great.
If you decide for a more direct approach, please remember:
Ephesians 4:15 – “Speaking the truth in love”
Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
No matter what happens, leave him in a better state than when you first met him.
I was dating a girl, then ended things. We agreed to be just friends. Great.
But then she kept calling and e-mailing me repeatedly, sending multiple e-mails before I’d even managed to respond to the first. And then there were some invitations that maybe weren’t _technically_ dates…(if the only other person who’s going to be there is a kid you’re babysitting…), lol, sigh. Contrasting her words (“I’m just your friend”) with her actions, well, I wouldn’t quite call her a liar, but I felt she wasn’t really forthright. Perhaps, even manipulative. If there’d been any chance of resuming things, there was none now. It’s a shame, too. I would’ve liked to be her friend, but she couldn’t.
If a guy says “no”, take him at his word.
And don’t hang around waiting for him to “come to his senses” and ask you out – always waiting on tenterhooks for his next text, his next e-mail, his next phone call to you; he’s being friendly, yes, but you keep telling yourself things are going to turn romantic any moment now. Don’t do that. One, it’s a likely sign you’re idolizing him. Two, guys are pretty clueless, but he’ll probably sense something, not everything, but enough to get the sense that you want more, and then you’ll lose him as a friend, too. And definitely don’t throw yourself in his way every chance you get, trying to get him to “initiate” a relationship with you.
If you truly love a guy, then you’ll respect and accept what he says.
And you’ll want what’s best for him. Even if that means he doesn’t date you now. Even if that means he doesn’t end up with you. Even if he ends up with someone else. Best thing you can do for him is to be a true friend to him, to love him in _purity_, as a brother. If you can do that without any ulterior motives/intentions of getting him to change his mind, that is, in fact, when there’ll be the best chance of him possibly coming to see you as more than a friend.
I prayed about it. I read Scripture. I discussed it with my discipler. Everything pointed to breaking things off. And I explained this to her.
So what her behavior said to me was:
- “I don’t care what you said.”
- “I don’t trust your decision.”
- “The process you went through doesn’t mean anything to me.”
- “I want what I want.”
She thought she was saying, “I want to be with you.”
But ultimately, her actions were telling me, “I don’t respect your decision. Or you.”
Please hear this man! This is a sneak peek into a Christian man’s mind, and it shows how VERY important it is NOT TO PRESSURE HIM into being more than friends. It also shows you how much more powerful it would be for a woman to back off instead of trying to continue to jumpstart a romance with a man who has indicated he is not romantically interested.
I know this is hard to hear. I know it is completely counter-intuitive and that it goes against everything your heart and emotions are telling you in this kind of situation. But now you will be much more well-equipped to make choices that honor God and honor the man you are interested in. That will give you the best chance at a future romance with him.
Ultimately, you have to be willing to let him go and truly desire God’s will for him, even if that does not include you. That is real love. And at the same time, you can rest in and trust in God’s sovereignty and His plans for you – knowing that God knows infinitely better than you do what is ultimately best for this man and for you as well as for His glory.