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Monday, March 5, 2012

She Loves the Future Missionary Her Friend is In Love With

Dear Bro Jo,

I was telling one of my very best friends about this man-problem I have, and she told my about you and how awesome your advice is. So she suggested I relay what i told her to you.

So I have this friend. He's one of my very best friends. I started getting to know him about 7 months ago when I was put on the youth committee. Well we went to prom together that year. There at prom, he met my best friend who is beautiful beyond belief. Briefly stated, they hit it off. I, of course, was rather hurt. But, she's my best friend and wanted her to be happy, and I wanted him to be happy too. So I not only went along with it, but I also did whatever I could to be supportive of them (even though it was really painful sometimes). He moved across the country shortly thereafter, but the two of them remained "together".

So here's my problem. Him and I have become really, really close friends. The feelings I had for him at the beginning have not only lingered, but they've grown tenfold. I'm really not sure what it's like to be in love with someone... but I think I might be now. I've known a lot of guys, and I've met a lot more since I started college (BYUI), and no one comes even remotely close to him. I think about what I want in life and the kind of man I want to spend eternity with, and he just has everything that I need - spiritually, emotionally... his personality is so similar to mine, it sometimes blows my mind.

And when we Skype each other, it really seems like he feels the same way. But then... isn't he in love with my best friend?

That's what they both say... and when they do say so, My feelings for him take more a platonic turn. That is, until I hear his voice again and it all floods back.

My point is, I feel so confused. I've never had such strong feelings for anyone before, and it's making me feel so crazy. He's going on his mission in three weeks, and I know a lot can change in those two years... but what if they don't? What if they stay exactly the same? What should I do? Should I tell him how i feel?


Thank you, Bro Jo.

- Name Withheld




Dear NW,

(Hi! Thanks for writing, and thank your friend for me.)

With this guy going on a mission in three weeks, I think everything is temporarily solved. Whether he or your friend realize it or not, all bets are about to be off for the next two years. While he's gone she'll date other people, you'll date other people . . . and then, well, we'll see where things are at then. While he's gone, write him an occasional letter. Keep it upbeat, spiritually focused, and encouraging. When he comes back, if you're still available, suggest to him that he come see you, maybe take you out on a date or two to see if there are still feelings there.

Frankly, no, I'm not convinced that he's in love with your friend. If he was he wouldn't be spending so much time and energy with and on you. If she's the light of his life, why does he feel the need to have you as such a close friend? What is it that you bring into his life that he can't get from her? Are you a better listener? Do you offer him security? Is he afraid that his "gorgeous girlfriend" is going to find another guy while he's gone, but he thinks you'll always be there as a backup?

Maybe.

And as you ponder those things, you may realize that he may not be the right guy for you.

Don't tell him how you feel now. Wait until he gets back. If, like I said, you're still single, and IF you still feel the same, tell him then.

But, in the meantime, go out and search for someone else.

One more thing: you need to realize that IF (and it's a big IF) he and she end up together your "friendship" with him will, by definition, need to be over. A married man should never have a Very Close Woman Friend that isn't his wife.


- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Peter and Molly said...

I am tremendously skeptical of "really really really close friendships" that develop from long distances. There seems to be something easy about the emotional connection you can get over skype or a telephone that disappears pretty quickly when hit with the reality of seeing someone every day. When you're so far away, it becomes so easy to romanticize someone. Especially when you'll never be disappointed that he isn't asking you out.