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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Liking Each Other Too Much Too Soon

Dear Bro Jo,

So, here's my situation. I'm a 17-year-old female senior in high school and I have a mutual crush on my best friend, an 18-year-old male senior. We have three classes together and two other classes that are the same, but different hours, so we see each other a lot and have a lot in common. He's an amazing young man. He took me to Homecoming and we've been on a few other dates. He's helped me through rough times and I've done the same for him. He is definitely my best friend, but yes, he is also more than that. Your boys and girls can't just be friends thing holds true.

When we first admitted we had crushes on each other a few months ago, we agreed we'd try to just stay friends, no pairing off. We wanted to do what our parents and leaders have counseled. But as time has gone on, that hasn't really held true...basically, now he's my boyfriend in all but name. And while yeah, I definitely enjoy the attention and love I feel from him, it worries me that we're too close for right now. If I'm honest, yes, I do want him as a boyfriend. But, what's really more important to me is sticking to the prophet's counsel of no steady dating yet. We've both seen bad consequences come out of high school relationships. He has his mission coming up to be thinking about, he doesn't need me distracting him. And I don't want to be pining after him while he's gone, either.

So, basically, what I'm asking is, do you have any advice on how to avoid pairing off with someone with a crush on you that you like in return? If I am still single after he gets back from his mission and if we're both still interested, then is the time that I would love something to happen between us. But now is not the right time, so how do we ease or avoid the temptation? I'm planning on talking to him about it soon, but I thought I'd write you while I had a bit of free time. Thanks in advance!


Doesn't want a boyfriend (yet)

Dear Yet,

You two definitely need to talk. It needs to be private, but not alone (a park or out for a walk during daylight is a great choice).

You both need to come out and say how you feel and what your concerns are, and then you need to come up with some ground rules that keep you a worthy distance apart. How you feel is real, and understandable, but you're absolutely right when you notice that the timing is off. AND you're wise to realize that, if you don't take mature action, Satan may begin to tempt both of you quite strongly, especially as his mission nears.

Ultimately your plan needs to resolve how you can continue to spend time together that's not "alone time". I think that should also include an elimination of Facebook (or similar) on-line chats, intimate texts and any after 8pm phone time. You can still be close, still be nice, and still like each other, while reducing the intimacy (or risk thereof).

I have faith that you can both do the right thing.

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

This might sound like a stupid question.... Why would you say to stop texting and calling after 8pm?

Dave Johnston said...

@ Anon -

Because its too late. Do your homework, spend time with your family, go to bed.

The later we stay up, the lower our resistance; the lower your resistance, the more likely you are to do, say and text stuff you ought not do, say and text.

- Bro Jo

Amberlie said...

I am in the same situation! Or was last year. It's come to the point where my best friend will leave for his mission in a couple months and I'll be leaving for college. We have worked on setting limits so we haven't gotten too physically intimate, but we have gotten really emotionally involved. Even though I don't feel like we've done anything wrong, and I'm not going to wait for him, and he's always kept in his mind the idea that I could get married to somebody else, being apart from someone you care about so deeply with no guarantee of a future really sucks! I am really excited for him to finally going on his mission after 19 years of preparation! But I know that if you do what Bro Jo is suggesting, you can prevent the heartache you will feel as you get closer to saying goodbye. I'm advising that you do stay friends! Good friends who hang out and do homework and chill with each other's families and go on group dates and plan silly activities together! This is a critical point in his life and he'll definitely appreciate all the encouragement and motivation a lovely and special young woman can offer! But the hard sacrifices are always worth it in the end-otherwise we wouldn't make them! Good luck! I wish you two the best!

P.S. The main thing I have learned from my relationship with my almost-missionary is that keeping the Lord close in your relationship is KEY! Praying, reading your scriptures, fasting, talking to your parents, and especially to each other are so important!

Dave Johnston said...

@ Amberlie -

Hang out and do homework???

Yeah. Um, that's too far.

But everything else I'm on board with.

- Bro Jo

Daisy said...

This person writes exactly like I do. I had to read over it 5+ times to make sure it wasn't me. I've never "liked" any of the guys in my grade or either of the guys that took me to Homecoming, but maybe I just forgot... O.O So weird.