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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Are They "Just Friends"?

Dear Bro Jo,

I don’t know how relatable this letter will be to your normal audience, but I need some advice on the predicament I am currently in.

In sophomore year, my interest was sparked by a boy who was quite different to the others at my school, he was kind, courteous and had respect for people, like I had never seen.

We became close friends, and ended up being partners for a math assignment, after extended periods of time working on the assignment together, he invited me to a Church dance.

I was overwhelmed when there, but wanted to find out more (he was the only member at my school).

I ended up going to Church with him, and he dumped his current LDS ‘girlfriend’ in preparation for asking me out. I met his family and they took me in instantly (I have become like an older sister to his nieces whom he lives with).

I continually went to Church, and Church activities and started meeting with the missionaries.

Much to their dismay, being a 15 year old, I wasn't looking to commit to a religion, however through learning the truthfulness of the gospel, my heart softened. However, the missionaries’ jobs did not become easier, I was determined to know of the truthfulness for myself, and did not want to be known as the girl who converted because of her boyfriend, considering my family were not interested in the gospel.

As I learnt of the Church I realized that my relationship was contrary to the teachings of the prophets and as my testimony was strengthened concerning the need to follow their counsel, I broke it off with my friend, using the excuse that school was too much (we were seniors at the time).

So after nearly two years of attending Church and being taught by missionaries, I was baptized and was fortunate enough to be baptized by my friend.

Our friendship was as strong as ever, most people didn't even realize our status had changed.

We even referred to each other as bestest friends (this I am extremely confused about after reading your articles on Men and Women Can’t be Friends).

He continued to date other people, and outwardly I said that I didn't mind and was in fact happy for him, however I did wish we could rekindle what we had previously had, only after he had returned from an honourable mission.

Whilst preparing to serve a mission, my friend became serious with one girl. His family was (and still is) angry about the situation, and up until now they had not been openly adverse to his relationships until this particular this girl.

However they have stayed a couple and she is waiting for him.

Meanwhile, we still call each other best friends, and at first I didn't realize that was code word for “we’re not dating but I’m waiting for him” until his girlfriend pulled me up whilst saying it.

I was there at his call opening, farewell, setting apart and at the airport, when his girlfriend wasn’t.

He includes me in his family emails as well as sending me a personalized email each week.

I have tried to say to him save the time to email more important people, but I continue to get the personalized emails.

He is now 10 months through his mission.

I don’t know what his intentions are… Does he have a sense of obligation because he was the one that introduced me to the Church?

Have I become like a family member to him?

Does he want something more?

Or am I the fall back option if everything doesn’t go to plan?

I never thought I would be the person to email into an advice blog, but your truthful, sincere advice is definitely what I need right now.

Whatever your take on the situation, any advice on my future actions would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

- Confused




Dear Confused,

I'm with you!

I have no idea what he wants.

Are you a backup?

A safety net?

Is he just being nice?

Does he feel guilty?

Is he "in love"?

Is he afraid that you don't feel the same way?

Here's the thing: since we don't know, and it shouldn't be asked, brought up or considered until he comes home . . . we have to focus on you. And now is a great time for you to grow personally. 

Perhaps that means school . . .

Certainly you'll want to continue your path as a disciple of Christ . . .

And I think you need to be going on dates with other guys.

You've got 14 months.

That's a long time.

Be Free!

If, when he comes back, you're single and you're both interested in each other, then you can ask for answers to all of those questions.

Until then, I say write about it in your journal, and let it go.

- Bro Jo

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