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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What Can a Girl Do When She Finds Herself Falling for a Bad Guy

Dear Bro Jo,

I’m an 18 year old girl, who’s recently met a 21 year old boy, and I think I’m starting to fall for him a little.

The only thing is, more or less, you name the sin, this guy’s done it.

Porn, sex, drugs, alcohol, the whole shebang.

He was inactive in the Church from the time he was 16 until really recently, when he realized he was totally unhappy and decided to turn his life around.

And now I’ve heard his testimony of repentance and prayer and scriptures, (we met in our Book of Mormon institute class) and it is amazing.

He told me about his various mistakes before asking me on a date.

He said he felt like we’d become pretty good friends and if we were going to become something more, I should know his past.

We went on the date, and had good clean fun, but I was a little bit nervous around him knowing what he’d told me.

And it kinda seems now like I had a reason to be, cause he told me that after our date, he went to his friend’s party and got drunk and missed Church.

He was really upset when he told me, and that he already has an appointment with his Bishop again, but I’m still nervous.

I’m trying not to judge. I know that people can repent and change. I just don’t want to be stupid and end up with something bad happening to me because he ‘slipped up’.

Any advice?


(Name Withheld)

Dear NW,

This guy is a nightmare. That's not judgement; it's observation of fact.

He's a Class A manipulator (I'd likely give him "predator" status), has serious problems that he certainly HAS NOT dealt with (and that you can't possibly help him fix, by the way), and I think you need to avoid him.

Consider the facts and details.

     1. No one in their right mind who has truly repented and put their sins behind them shares them as a way to hit on someone, and that's exactly what this guy did. He doesn't know you well enough yet to be sharing things that should only be between himself, his Bishop and the Lord. Come on! Are you kidding me???

    And then to use that line . . . "I want you to know about my bad guy past because I think I'm falling for you" . . . puh-lease.

     2. If he was that upset, why the heck would he tell you about getting drunk right after your date? Why didn't he feel embarrassed or ashamed? What is he trying to get you to feel sorry for him? Does he want you to rush right over and console him? Is he using you to alleviate his conscience and make himself feel better? How pathetic!

And if your date was so great, why did he go out after? Why did he get drunk? And what's a repentant alcoholic doing hanging out with guys who drink, anyway?

     3. Extrapolate the problems. Like you suggest, is he going to turn to porn after your next date? If you have a disagreement is he going to do drugs? Look, I know the type and I know the patterns: this dude is far from sober, and his whole "repentant act" is just him kidding himself and trying to pull the wool over everyone else's eyes, too.

Too many people get hung up on this "who am I to judge another?" garbage. It's taken totally out of context and whitewashes the bigger points.

You not only have a right to judge, you have a responsibility.

Sure, we should be concerned about our brothers and sisters, but that doesn't mean that their actions and behaviors are beyond reproach.  And yes, repentance is real and people deserve a second chance, but saying you've repented and lying about having repented are two different things.

Yeah, I make mistakes, but that doesn't mean that anything and everything anyone else does is acceptable behavior.

This guy can absolutely repent and change. I have a testimony of that. And I hope he does.

But clearly right now you and I want that more for him than he wants it for himself.

We can and should care for him as a human being, but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be stupid for you to date him again until he's been clean and sober for at least a year.

And frankly I think you'll be married long before this dude is clean for a year.

Cheer him on towards mending things with God, but don't make that process any of your business. 

It's between him, his Bishop, and the Lord, and it needs to stay that way.

Was that answer direct enough?

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks, definitely direct, and I think you put into words a lot of what I was feeling, but wasn't sure if I was over reacting about or not.

So any tips on how to avoid him?

We're not in the same ward, and the school year has ended so we don't run into each other at institute anymore, which makes things easier.

But if he starts seeking me out, do I just say "I don't want to be around you anymore" or what?

- NW

Dear NW,  

Yes.  If he's trying to use you or manipulate you or lie to you, that's exactly what you say.

Being a good friend does not mean that we need to enable or be taken advantage of.

- Bro Jo

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