Love, Sex & Real Life
I think I'm falling in love with one of my best friends. We've been friends for a while and we do a lot of stuff together. Lately, though, my feelings have changed, and I think of him in a more romantic way. I want to find out how he feels without messing up our friendship. I'm afraid that if I don't say something soon, he'll meet someone else and I'll never have a chance. Yet if I say something, it might mess up our awesome friendship. What should I do?
Say something. You can't capture friendship in a glass jar and preserve it. Friendships change. You move to new phases in the relationship. If a friendship is going to endure, it's essential for the people involved to adjust to new realities. And the fact that your feelings have changed is a new reality. Whether you like it or not, you have to face it.
I wouldn't worry a whole lot about what you're going to say. Just be honest with your friend and be ready for him to respond. He might be surprised, he might be relieved, or he might be uncomfortable. But you owe it to both of you to talk about what's on your mind and work it out together.
Your conversation might be great. It might be awkward. There's only one way to find out: Talk. Real friends can talk about everything, even when it's difficult.
Is It OK to Date a Non-Christian?
I have always told myself I would never date a non-Christian, but lately I've been wondering if it's all right. There's a guy at school who is a wonderful person and honestly one of the sweetest guys I've ever met. He has high standards like I do, and accepts what I believe, but I don't think he's a Christian. Still, I can't help but like him—he's such a great person! I've been praying about this a lot and have asked Christian friends for advice, but I'm still not sure what's right. The Bible says we aren't to be yoked to unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), which I've been taught is a reason not to marry a non-Christian. But the Bible isn't very clear about dating. These feelings just won't go away, and I don't know what to do.
My advice is, stay where you are. You feel uncomfortable now, but not nearly as uncomfortable as you would if you fell in love with someone who didn't share your beliefs. Then you'd feel like you were being pulled in two directions—one part pulled toward God, another part pulled toward a person you didn't think you could live without.
You're right that the Bible isn't clear on dating non-Christians. Besides, "dating" means different things to different people in different situations. Sometimes there's no emotion involved—it's just a friendly way to go to a dance or to a movie. However, I think most people will admit that in the back of their minds, they think about the possibility of getting romantically involved with the people they date.
That's why it's simpler and much less heartbreaking to avoid dating people who aren't Christians. It's so easy to fall in love, even when you aren't intending to! Once you're seriously involved, it's terribly painful and confusing to both parties for the Christian to make a choice between God and this powerful feeling of love. I'd advise you to stick to dating those who share your beliefs.
That certainly doesn't mean you can't befriend this wonderful guy! In fact, I hope you invite him to go to church or youth group with you. Talk to him about your faith. Ask him if he's interested in learning about Jesus. You could help this great guy become a follower of Jesus.