Friday, March 25, 2011
Are We Dating or Just Friends? Discerning the Difference
Have you ever wondered, “Where do I stand?” Are we dating or just friends? I call it “The Unknown Zone,” the peculiar place between friendship and dating where you don’t really know what your relationship is—it hasn’t been defined.
Not really. It may turn into something real and lasting, or it may not. How can you know when he doesn’t communicate or his signals are mixed?
Michelle McKinney Hammond gets to the heart of the matter in The Unspoken Rules of Love. “If he does not ask you to have an exclusive relationship with him, assume that you are not in one.”
The guy needs to be initiating and pursuing you. If not, she continues, “Consider and enjoy your other options. Do not behave as if you are in a committed relationship when you are not. Doing so will only entangle your heart and set you up for disappointment and heartbreak. If he doesn’t tell you he wants to be in a committed relationship, consider yourself officially ‘just a friend.’”
Entangled. Yikes. That’s a hard place to be—not really in a real relationship and full of uncertainty.
A pastor I know once said, “The proof of desire is in the pursuit.” If a man wants to get to know you, you will know his intentions. You won’t have to guess. Don’t give him excuses like maybe he’s busy, maybe he’s shy, maybe he’s had a family crisis, or maybe (fill in the blank).
Bottom line: For whatever reason (you don’t even have to know what it is) if he is not pursuing you, then you need to let it go. March forward with your life and trust God for the right man for you.
Sure, it may be hard to let go. But when you do, you free yourself up for the Real Thing. Don’t settle for something, don’t even settle for “sorta good” when God want the very BEST for you.
And when the right one for you comes along, you’ll know—-because he will show you and tell you.
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.