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Monday, August 4, 2014

What If This Soon-to-be Sister Missionary's "Boyfriend" Wants Her to Stay?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi Bro Jo!!

It's been a while since I've written to you. I can happily say that I've received my call to the (withheld) Mission and will be leaving in soon.

But before I go I have another question for you.

I met a guy this past year while up at BYU-I.

We were acquaintances for a while and then became friends.

When that happened I had just gotten out of a relationship, and he was in one.

Then he broke up with the girl and Facebook messaged me one night and ever since then we have texted, skyped, or Facebook messaged nearly every day.

We are good friends.

He has helped me some things as a friend, including stressful finals, and is really the best guy friend I've ever had.

Most of the help I've given him has consisted of: telling him how to deal with the girls that he's liked all summer.

He really wants to get in a relationship with this next one.

They have a couple of dates set up for the next few weeks, even though they're in different states right now.

This is great!

He's an R.M., a great guy, ready to start a family and I am so proud of him.

Only problem?

I'm in love with him too.

Now, I know I'm leaving, so my gut says I have no right to tell him, it wouldn't help and would hurt the relationship.

I want him as a friend, and if I come home and he's still single, I don't want anything awkward between us if we pick up where we left off, (except that I wouldn't advise him about other girls any more, obviously).

He's pretty much told me he views me as a sister/friend, whatever.

But there are a few times that he says dumb stuff, like once before I actually got my call when I told him that at one point, I would have stayed if someone had asked me to and he said "I wouldn't have minded if you'd stayed."


Okay, so because I have people telling me different things, I'm right in keeping my mouth shut about the way I feel about him and just being the cheerleader friend, right?

I think I am, but you know these things and I'm curious as to what you'd say.

One reason I ask is that a married guy friend of mine heard me talking about this with his wife and I said it doesn't matter whether I like someone if I'm leaving and he said "It does matter."

And that has niggled in my mind ever since.

Please reassure me that I'm doing the right thing here.

I know that a mission is what I'm supposed to do, and I'm so happy about it.

But "Steve" is really, really hard to leave!


- Lovestruck Hermana

Dear Lovestruck,

I know another Sister who will be serving in your mission . . . congratulations!

The question you need to ask yourself is, given the chance to marry him INSTEAD of serving a mission, would you?

If the answer is close to "yes" . . . at all, then you have some things to do.

(So you know, it is acceptable for a Young Woman to cancel her mission to be married for Time and All Eternity in the Temple.)

That means you need to have an honest talk with him.

And I think that starts with asking "when you said that you 'wouldn't have minded if' I stayed home from my mission, what did that mean?"

You may need to tell him that you have romantic feelings for him.

With just a few months left before you report, if there's interest there then you both may need to explore the romantic possibilities.

Look at it this way: if he does want to marry you, then you need to know before you go; if he doesn't, it will be much easier to leave.

Lastly, before you give up on the mission altogether, should that be a possibility, I don't think you should do so until you're certain and comfortable with the answers to " Bro Jo’s "LIST of STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BEFORE YOU GET ENGAGED"

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm afraid that if I bring it up, he will say "of course I never felt for you more than as a friend" and that that will be the end of our relationship.

I'd rather have him as a friend than not.

Any comforting words for me?

- LH

Dear Lovestruck,

If you bring it up and he says what you fear what you'll know is that it is the end of your relationship.

If you don't bring it up then your relationship will end anyway; you'll only be delaying the time when you find out about it.

I always think that knowledge is a comfort, even if it's not what we want to hear.

He won't continue to be your buddy once he's in a relationship for Time and All Eternity with someone else; nor should he. 

If you're not ready to know the truth, and your comfortable letting him go, then choose that.

And then be happy with that choice.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

I decided that I didn't want him to never know.

You were right, I was going to lose him and I decided I'd rather it be on my own terms.

So yesterday I wrote him an email.

I told him I was in love with him, that I had found that out and finally admitted it to myself and that I was glad I could leave him happy with another girl.

I couched it in terms that were definitely "goodbye" if he didn't feel the same way, but I was hoping he'd at least say something.

It's been a day and a half and no text, email, nothing.

It's the first time he's ever disappointed me.

No, he didn't have to feel the same way, I made it pretty clear that I was sure that he didn't.

But I was hoping for something.

I mean, we have been friends.

No, this isn't going to crush me. I moved recently and now have the opportunity to start in a new place and of course I have my mission to look forward to!

Studying Spanish is actually really fun. :)

Anyway, since I always give guys the benefit of the doubt, I assume that he is being considerate and giving me space.

Or perhaps I shocked him and he had a heart attack right there ;)

Thanks for always answering with good humor and patience.

-Excited Hermana

Dear Hermana,

Happy to help, though I would have advised against confessing your "love" in an email . . . in person you wouldn't have had to wait all of this time.

Still, it does seem like you have your answer.

God speed!

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

Wow Bro Jo, usually I can predict what you are going to say back to these people, but this time I was WAY off!!!!

My gut reaction to this is that this girl needs to calm down and stop being dramatic and saying she is 'in love' with his boy she has never really had a romantic relationship with. Also, delaying or cancelling a mission because you like a boy who doesn't like you back seems foolish to me (speaking as a Returned Sister Missionary myself).

Also, if she would stay home from a mission simply because a boy asked her to, maybe she should really look at the reasons she has decided to serve. SO many sisters are going on missions now because it's the trendy thing to do. I have first-hand (in my current home ward) seen how these sisters can often hinder the work as opposed to helping it move forward. Nobody wins when you serve half-heartedly, or simply because that's what all of your friends are doing (and that applies to Elders as well)!

Bro Jo said...


If I may, I don't always have the same answer for the same situation . . . or rather, I may not always approach it in the same way.

What do you think of the result?

- Bro Jo