Should I say something to him?


#1

I have met, at work, the first genuinely Christian guy I have ever come across in my life (besides priests).

He is Reform, and he and I disagree on a lot of theological points (predestination, transubstantiation, female ordination, etc ect)… so I think we both know that we are not compatible.

Now despite this, I am really attracted to him.

He has a girlfriend right now, a wonderful person that is also my friend, also from work.

I don’t think he knows just how attracted to him I am - or how much I value his friendship - because I am the kind of girl who will not ask a guy out, no matter how attracted I am. If a guy doesn’t ask me to date him, then I don’t date him, simple as that.

This is how I missed my chance with him while he was single - the other girl from work asked him out and got him. I accept this as being for the best, as she seems to be more his type than I am anyways - and because I love her just about as much as I love him.

Thing is, both he and I want to hang out as friends - and I know we could have a really great friendship - if I could stop being so attracted to him!

Should I let him know that I am struggling because he is so attractive to me, both because of his Christian character that is so unusual in young men these days, and because of how physically attractive he is? I want to have a meaningful friendship with him, without any pretense (sp?) and without constantly wondering if he knows how attractive he is to me…

I don’t want to scare him out of having a friendship with me, and I don’t want to get between him and his girlfriend, and I don’t want to date him - I just want him to know how I feel, and I want him to realize that he should be a little bit careful with me because I am easily confused about what I want when I am attracted to someone - and I’ve never been this attracted to anyone before. I guess I don’t know how to handle my feelings, and I’ve discovered I can’t just “make them go away”. It makes it hard to be around him, because he is so easy to be around… does that make any sense at all?

advice, please?

love,
Saoirse


#2

This is actually a very common thing that happens to a lot of people.

What happens if your good guy friend also finds you attractive and in time you realize that you two are flirting with each other? Is it something deeper than it appears on the surface? Are you two falling for each other? While this is always possible, majority of the times it has nothing to do with actual love. Something about the sinful circumstance makes it very exciting and usually it does not mean more than this. You are not bad for finding your guy friend attractive, but it is best to just leave it at that and not play with fire.

After all, how would you feel if things were the other way around where your boyfriend and your good friend felt sexually/romantically drawn to each other?

The best you can do if you find yourself in this situation is to avoid spending time alone with your guy friend – this way you will not set yourself up to make a mistake you will most likely deeply regret later.

We all have urges that we sometimes want to give in to, but it does not mean we do it. You have to think about what is best for you and your relationship with two friends, if you truly cherish your relationship.

If you discover that the feelings between you and your guy friend are serious and it is indeed love, then you have a complicated situation on your hands.


#3

Mmmm… I think you should be careful…
And NO, I don’t think you should tell him how you feel, honestly, if you’re not compatible and he’s your friend’s boyfriend, it seems unfair to me that you’re thinking TOO MUCH about him.
One has to respect other people’s relationships… So what if you let the chance slip with this guy???
There are many more that are good catholics too and that are NOT your friend’s boyfriend…
Also… The way you describe you want to have a friendship with him sounds too… Uh… Desperate for a lack of other word.
You can have meaningful friendships with other males too… I think you’re just obsessing too much about this guy and not respecting the fine line between friendship and wanting something else, that’s why you gotta be careful…
I say stay away from him… As painful as it sounds, it’s the CHRISTIAN thing to do I think.
You already know in your heart that it’s wrong… So please, despite the feelings, be practical and back off a bit… You HAVE to respect your other friend that you claim to love. You’ll do irreparable harm if you don’t control your emotions.
Besides, would you like someone to do the same to you??? Specially a friend???
Come on, as Catholics we should learn to have some distance with people of the opposite sex, whether they’re the ones taken, or even oneself.

I will pray for you so you make the right desition before something hurtful happens.


#4

No if the relationship with your friend doesn’t pan out then you could approach him (if both you and your friend are ok with dating a friend’s ex-boyfriend). Attraction isn’t all there is in a relationship. If this guy has very strongly held beliefs that are contrary to Catholic teaching this could be a huge issue in the future if you do end up in a relationship, especially if things get serious.

How good of a friend are you with the woman he is dating? I don’t think it’s appropriate to declare you feelings to your friend’s boyfriend. We can’t always think with our hearts or go with our feelings. Your friend will feel betrayed and rightfully so. And how would this guy look upon your actions? If he is a strong Christian and you declare such feelings in hopes of having a relationship despite the fact he is already in a relationship that doesn’t cast you in a very good light. You said you missed your chance when he was single. That is the truth, this “wonderful person” you call your friend should not have to pay for that by you causing trouble now. Learn from your mistake but don’t mess things up for someone else.


#5

i agree with the posters. he is already seeing someone, and this someone is your friend. it would be wrong for you to declare your feelings to him especially because he is already involved with someone else.

if someone did that to me with a guy i was dating i would be badly hurt, and i think you would also be. if you cannot keep your attraction silent then it might be best to not be near him at all.

think seriously about it. you need to meet someone that is not with someone else, and that has only feelings for you and not someone else.

if you get involved with him how do you think your friend is going to feel?

going out in public with him is also a bad idea. does your friend know you have feelings for him? i doubt it. if she knew her friend had feelings for her man and knew that both of them were going out for coffee, or whatever, don’t you think that would hurt her?

of course it would. you say you love her? well, then stay away from the man because you have feelings for him that are not appropriate. he is with someone else and that has to be respected.

it sounds harsh, but there is someone you care about involved here, not just you and the guy. i would never be around a man i was attracted to if he was with someone else. i would be polite and be civil with him and that is about it. i would never
hurt anyone i cared for no matter what my feelings are.

fortunately, iam not in that situation.

iam glad that you have respected your friends feelings so far. please, continue to do so.


#6

Lets be honest. Though he is not married you are “coveting” another persons boyfriend. That is bad.

Letting him know how you feel will not change the situation, only make it weird.

I have no other good advice, sorry.

But I hope that things work out for all three of you and all end up happy


#7

Hi Saoirse;

I tend to think that getting involved with people at work, is a bad thing. If things don’t work out, you have to face this person every day–can make things difficult in that way. Also–if things end badly…and sometimes relationships do, sometimes one or the other person makes life miserable for the other at work. I have never dated someone I work with, but my advice would be to shy away from getting involved.

Also–he has a girlfriend. They are not married, but I genuinely think it would be wrong for you to pursue someone who has someone in his life–especially, if she is your friend, as well. You say you don’t want to date him—but telling him you find him to be attractive serves no purpose. I mean, he could get a compliment, but maybe you do want to date him–you just haven’t worked through those feelings, yet. I mean, ask yourself the question, if he left his gf, and asked you out–would you sincerely tell him “no?”

Just my thoughts–There are plenty of ‘attractive’ fish in the sea…I would shy away from the ‘taken’ ones, and go for someone who is truly available.


#8

I think I should clarify a few things here:

I met this guy back in around September… he is my ride home from work on Fridays, otherwise I’d be taking a cab.

A few times back in September, we stopped for coffee and chatted. He kept talking about his ex-fiancée who had cheated on him with someone else… and about how he felt so ready to be married.

I really liked him, but was unsure if I should make a move as he was clearly healing from a break-up - making him emotionally vulnerable. I chose to respect that, and kept my distance.

Besides, he was Reform Calvinist and clearly interested in trying to convert me - and I am not interested in being converted to anything but Catholicism. I am not the kind of girl to give up God for a guy, and I have found God in the Catholic Church, so I am not interested in any other religion except maybe as a way to understand and enjoy differences of culture.

But whenever he smiled at me, my heart would stop - and I had never felt like that for any other guy. Ever.

The next thing I know, he’s got his arms around this other girl at work. I ask one of my friends, and it turns out that she and he just started dating.

I was a little put-out, because I felt like I was waiting patiently for him to take an interest in me, and because I was waiting patiently for him to come out of the “rebound” faze.

Yet even while he’s dating this other girl, who at that time I didn’t know from any other - he’s pressuring me to ‘consider’ going to Redeemer, a Reform-run University-College - while I have made it clear that I am going to attend Kings, a Catholic University-College. He kept telling me that he would be going to Redeemer next year, and would like to see me there.

I felt uncomfortable with that, as it felt like a hint towards something more serious, and he was apparently dating this other girl.

So someone mentioned to me - maybe they are just having fun and it’s not serious…

meanwhile, I am starting to get to know this girl he’s currently dating, and she seems interesting. She’s funny, very random, and overall a nice person.

Just recently I realized that I am considering her as a friend. I have discovered that she is a baptized Catholic and used to attend the school that is right beside the Parish I am currently doing RCIA through. She is even thinking about “going back” to Church - and, if she begins to feel comfortable in a specific community, seeking her Confirmation within that community (she wants to be Confirmed but not surrounded by strangers). She’s even considering the Church that I am attending, which is under threat of closure if we can’t muster enough regular attendance and population to warrant staying open. Naturally, I’ve been encouraging her to come back to Church - I even told her that if I see her there, I’ll introduce her to people that I know in the community.

I’ve decided that they show all the signs of seriousness in their relationship, however - him taking her home to visit his relatives, etc etc.

Yet the other night, when he, she, myself and another guy all stopped for a drink on the way home, he told me (right in front of her and everyone else) that the only reason he wasn’t interested in me as anything more than a friend is because of my insistance on converting to the Catholic faith and my lack of willingness to be converted to Calvinism.

At this point, if I told him anything about my feelings, it would not be about getting him to date me - because I wouldn’t, even if he asked me - because he’s not Catholic, he’s too interested in converting me to Calvinism, because he is dating this other girl who has become my friend since I met her, because I have seen him move from one relationship to another a little too quickly for my comfort levels - I would simply be asking him to back off just a little bit, to not talk about why he would or wouldn’t date me, to not offer to pay for my drinks, to accept money for gas when I offer it, and to not ever ask me to be around him when she is not there…

because although I desperately want to be his friend, and I enjoy discussing theology with him, I have never been physically attracted to a guy like this before - and I don’t know what these feelings are, let alone how to control them - so I need that distance.

plus, I think I need to stop discussing theology with him no matter how enjoyable it is; he is very intelligent, and he is the only person who has ever made me doubt what I am doing this year, instilling doubts which I then had to clear up with my spiritual director and am now past. I get the feeling he is trying to instill doubt about the Catholic Church in me, trying to convert me so that I might then be acceptable dating material.

I just want to let him know that he is hurting me and confusing me with the mixed messages he is sending, by things he has said and done, and that though I value his friendship I need a little bit more distance to protect myself as well as him and his current girlfriend.

love,
Saoirse


#9

Hmm…thank you for sharing more with us. I understand a bit more, now. I find it curious that he would ‘announce’ that he would basically date you, if you would leave your faith. (and take an interest in his) He must sense your interest in him. Knowing all of this, I’d say stay away from someone who plays head games, no matter how subtle. Head games are typically a sign of immaturity. He wants to get married…then, he should look for a woman who shares his faith–not try to change a Catholic into a Calvinist. If I want to lose weight, I don’t hang out in bakeries. Ok, bad analogy. LOL

This may sound a bit cynical, but there are many men/women out there, who like to look for people they can change. They enjoy changing others to their way of thinking, and a lot of the time, once their object of desire makes the required change, they move on. It sounds very Melrose Place-ish, but it’s true. I’ve seen it time and time again, with my good friends…who morph into something the guy supposedly requests, compromising their values, and then the guy moves on. Now, they end up not even knowing who they have become?

I think the best relationships are those where both people accept one another for who they are…and start off on common ground. differences are good, but changing your religion? That’s not good, unless it’s something you were considering regardless of meeting him.

I don’t know why-- Just a 6th sense I have about this guy…


#10

Yes, he sounds a little flirty to me, and like one who can jump from one to another too quickly. And unless you have a real poker face, I would be very surprised if he didn’t sense your interested awareness of him. You sense it when someone likes you; its invigorating, and attractive.

There are a lot of issues here, as you pointed out. And you want relief from your feelings, too. There is a strong desire naturally to confess ones endearments to the object of one’s affections.

I think you will ultimately feel best if you do the right thing. Expressing your interest, and appealing to him for his protection (from his own charms) is probably not something you’d want another women to do with someone you were seriously dating. So, the right thing is not to reveal these things, in spite of the natural desire to do so, and the relief it would temporarily and enticingly bring.

I suggest going to weekly confession with your feelings, if you are coveting someone who belongs to someone else. Or if you find yourself dwelling on him as to the point of idolotry or lust. But I see that you aren’t quite Catholic yet.

When I was married, my husband was very neglectful - he avoided intimacy. That left me vulnerable to responding with desirous feelings when a man was kind or solicitous to me. I was not Catholic, but Evangelical Protestant, and wanted to please God. I knew that it was wrong, disloyal to my husband and dishonoring of my vows to dwell my thoughts on someone other than my husband. Yet telling myself not to feel something wasn’t working!

Then I thought of the Bible verse, “Confess your sins to one another.” So when I was plagued with this problem, I confessed my sins to another, usually an older woman with a strong relationship with the Lord and a lifetime of habit of doing the right thing (because of the verse, “Older woman should teach the younger woman how to love their husbands”). It would be someone who I knew would pray for me. I would also tell a couple of very close freinds, whom I knew would really pray.

It always worked! Even though I was desparate and helples before I tried it. That and avoiding that person. Including one that I was in close contact with through work - I just kept the contact to the most minimum possible, averted my eyes whenever I could, found excuses to withdraw from converstaions before there was time for flirting, yet still spoke politely in a more “removed” way. Like I was distracted in my mind with other things. When you withdraw all appearance your interest, they get that message. This always worked for me; and my obsession would break.

Now I am Catholic, and confession would do, and it does do, for everything. But I share the above for an idea that really works if you cannot go to confession yet.


#11

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