Adventures in Dating
He Acts Like a Jerk!
When I started dating Greg, he was such a sweetheart. He always walked with me to class, and he made me feel like I was really special. But lately he's been acting so different, especially around his friends.
Like the other day, he was standing by his locker with some of his basketball buddies. He didn't even look at me when I walked up. I asked him where he'd been at lunch, because he didn't sit with me like usual. He said he'd been shooting hoops in the gym, then he asked in a really snotty voice, "Is that OK with you, or should I ask permission first?" His friends all laughed, and I had to practically run away so they wouldn't see how hurt I was.
I saw Greg after school that day, and he held my hand and acted like nothing was wrong. I don't understand why he's leading a double life. Is this just a guy thing or what?
I'm Just Joking Around!
Everybody knows guys like to give each other a hard time. If I miss an easy basket in a pick-up game or give a dumb answer in class, I can count on my friends to tease me about it later. That's just how we are.
When I started dating Hannah, the guys really got on my case. They think she's cute and all, but none of them has a girlfriend, so they're constantly giving me a hard time. The only time they'll leave me alone is when I go along with them. So when I'm with them, I kid around. Unfortunately, it seems like Hannah always walks up right when we're trading jokes.
Even so, Hannah's got to know I still like her. I write notes, take her out on weekends, all that stuff. I mean, if the guys ever found out how sweet I am to her, I'd never hear the end of it.
Guys and girls react totally differently when one of their friends starts dating. Girls tend to be really excited, want to hear all about it, can't believe their pal could be so lucky. Guys, on the other hand, often feel it's their duty to remind the new boyfriend how great it was to be single. Deep down, the guys are probably jealous, but they'd never admit that.
Greg's in a tough spot. It's not fair of his friends to make him choose between them and Hannah. But Greg's solution—to act like his relationship with Hannah is a secret he'd rather forget—isn't fair, either.
Hannah needs to tell Greg how much his behavior is bothering her. If she never brings it up, he won't change, and he might not even see his double-life scheme as a serious problem. One caution, though: Hannah shouldn't approach the subject while Greg's friends are around. By putting him on the spot and making him look bad in front of his buds, she'll lose him as a boyfriend in a hurry.
Once Hannah speaks up, the ball's in Greg's court. He'll either have to tell his friends to back off or tell Hannah he's just not ready for a relationship. Being a boyfriend means standing by your sweetie and considering her feelings, no matter who's watching. If Greg doesn't want that kind of commitment, he needs to be honest and let Hannah go.
The idea here is integrity. The word integrity is related to the word integrate: "to bring all parts together." People with integrity make sure all the parts of their lives fit together—they don't act one way around one group and then change their tune in a different situation. As it says in Proverbs 11:3, "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity." Integrity is a big deal, and the sooner Greg learns that, the better.
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