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Monday, April 22, 2013

Is She the Girl He'll End Up With?

Hello again, Bro. Jo!

So, this time I have a question regarding something a little different.

You recently made a post in your blog that sort of addressed what I'm about to ask, but I still wanted to know what you think about my situation. Sorry if it's redundant.

So, in my first letter to you, I mentioned the one girl that I had been on a group date with.

Well, she and I had been pretty good for friends for years when, about a year go, we started talking a lot more, and over a few months we became best friends. I felt more comfortable around her than pretty much anyone else, comfortable enough to open up and share some of my deepest thoughts and emotions.

Usually, I come across as borderline apathetic because I tend to keep my emotions hidden inside, but she somehow managed to coax them out of me. She helped me get through some person trials and struggles I was facing, and she’s also smart and funny and spiritual.

She's not perfect, but she's pretty amazing and I think I love her.

I don't know what kind of love it is, though.

Honestly, as close as we are, there's never been the thought of anything physical between us.

Even though we confessed feelings for each other a year ago, and despite all the time I've spent with her since then, some of it alone (I know, I know), neither of us has ever been tempted to try anything. I've never even held her hand.

Neither of us are very physical people in that we don't actually enjoy touch very much. I feel extremely awkward even giving hugs. And I know I'm a guy and that we're stereotypically rather superficial, but I honestly think of her more as just my best friend than a crush, even though she’s both on some level.

All I know is that there’s an intense emotional connection between us.

You said in your blog post When Guys and Girls Are “Best Friends” that there’s nothing wrong with teens having a lot in common and being friendly, but this is a little deeper than just “paling around.”

So I guess my first question is - is this type of friendship acceptable at our age (She’s 18 and I’m 17)?

And if it’s not, what am I supposed to do about it?

I can’t say “I think we should just be friends,” because that’s all we've ever been.

And isn't the main reason guys and girls are discouraged from getting so close emotionally is because it could potentially lead to physical transgression?

Like I said, there’s never been anything physical between us, and I don’t think there will be.

Not for a long time, at least - She just left for school in Provo and I won’t see her until for several months.

This leads me to my second question – Even though we’re thousands of miles apart at the moment, I want to try to stay close. I mean, it will only be a year until I’m at BYU and we’re in the same place again. In the meantime, we've been calling and talking to each other a lot, just like we did before she left.

Aside from her not physically being here, nothing’s really changed.

But then the other day I realized that my continued presence in her life might distract her from meeting guys at school that she could potentially date. And I know it’s selfish and terrible, but I can’t deny the likelihood of her meeting a new guy at school and forgetting all about me is extremely painful.

When I’m interested in a girl, I stay interested. And by that I mean that my average crush lasts four years or so. I’m not sure how typical that is, but I do know that most of my guy friends have a new crush every two weeks, and I can’t relate to them at all.

And I suppose that will be good in marriage someday, but for now it just hurts.

And I know she deserves someone far better than me, but I’m still not sure how to cope with this…well, jealousy, I guess.

Anyway, my question. I shared these feelings with her, and she told me that I wouldn't be distracting her because she doesn't want to get in any relationships at school for awhile anyway.

She’s determined to serve a mission before she gets married, has been for years. And if she does serve a mission at 21, I’ll be returning from my mission six months before she returns from hers, and I guess that means there’s a possibility of us someday becoming something more than best friends.

Assuming we’re still interested in each other in four years, which I’m fairly sure I will be.

So my question is – should I try to stay a part of her life, or is four years too long a time to try and foster such a friendship?

I don’t know for sure whether she will serve a mission, but if she doesn't my continued friendship with her right now could prevent her from meeting someone better to take her to the temple.

Should I just let her go?

And if I should…How on earth do I get over someone I don’t want to get over?

 ~ Stuck on Her


P.S. Sorry for the ridiculously long letter over one girl. As you can probably tell, this is kind of a big deal for me.




Dear Stuck,

Then thing is, what you're talking about isn't a "friendship", it's a "relationship", and at your age while it may be common, it's not advised.

It's like you said, you feel much more for her than "palling around".

Those feelings are normal, natural, and good; but the timing is bad.

It's good that she's going away for school.

Until she's married, or you are, I think continuing to stay in contact and being close friends is a good thing. 

But it's like I've said so many times, you'll never be able to stay "just close friends".

By definition and out of respect you'll either end up together or need to back things off quite a bit.

I say let life take its natural course. There's a long time between now and when you'll actually be at that stage in life.

Who knows?

Maybe you'll end up together, maybe not.

But as you've said, you should keep going on Casual Group Dates with lots of other girls until your mission, and she should be Serious Single Dating until she either gets married or leaves on hers.

For now, Be Friendly, but keep it Casual.

 - Bro Jo

1 comment:

"Stuck" said...

I am the author of this letter, and I must say I was surprised to see it posted up here. I do have to report that the girl in question "dumped" me a few months after getting to college, which was heartbreaking. But whatever. Life goes on. I haven't dated at all since then, but I don't see the point since I'll be going to college and then on a mission soon anyway.