Love, Sex, and Real Life

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I Can't Get Past a Girl's Looks

I know this is kind of shallow, but I'm one of those guys who thinks a girl's looks are really important. If I'm attracted to a girl's personality, but I don't find her really attractive, it's hard for me to fall for her. I'm frustrated with myself because I know Jesus looks at the heart, not at the outward appearance, and that I should do the same. But I can't seem to get past a girl's appearance. What can I do?

There's really nothing wrong with being attracted to someone because of her looks. God made us in such a way that we can't help but be physically attracted to the opposite sex. But if good looks are all a person has to offer, you probably ought to find someone else to date.

There's no rule that says you have to have romantic feelings for every girl you meet. If you like a girl's personality but aren't physically attracted to her, get to know her as a friend. As you do, you'll discover qualities that make a girl truly attractive—qualities that really don't have much to do with physical beauty.

I know from experience that some of the best romantic relationships start with a good, solid friendship. So focus on friendship—not romance. By doing so, your problem will probably take care of itself.

My Parents Won't Let Me Date Him

I'm a freshman and I want to date a guy who's a senior. The problem is, my parents won't let me go out with him. He and I have been best friends for two years and we have a very solid relationship. He is an awesome Christian and I really respect him. The only thing that's keeping us from dating is my parents. What should I do?

The first thing I'd like to recommend is that you sit down with your parents and talk—calmly—about the situation. Ask them to explain their concerns about you dating your friend. Don't yell or complain or cry; just listen. Ask them if there's anything that might change their minds. Calmly explain your position and leave it at that.

While it may not be easy, you really do need to listen to what your parents have to say. Dating is sort of like getting a learner's permit to drive a car. You're just figuring out how to deal with something that can easily get out of control. In both driving and dating, wise parents usually give their kids opportunities to take the wheel under close supervision. But when they tell you not to do something, you need to honor that. That's what the Bible means when it says, "Children, obey your parents."

That doesn't mean parents are always right. And it doesn't mean you have to do everything they tell you for the rest of your life. It just means that while you're in their care (and by that I mean while you're still depending on them for food and shelter), you need to listen to them and learn from them.

Your parents will be in your life for a long, long, time, most likely much longer than this guy. You need to make sure your relationship with them is healthy and strong. This kind of relationship starts by acknowledging their authority as your parents. And that means you obey and honor them.

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