Situation advice


I’ve asked a few different people about this and have received a few different answers, so I’ve decided to turn it over to you, gentle readers. :stuck_out_tongue:

For the past year, I’d been working in my Catholic Campus Ministry as a committee co-chair with a pretty fantastic guy, who I’ve known for about 2 years now. Pretty fantastic guy (PFG) is exactly what he sounds like - funny, athletic, incredibly smart, and off the charts holy (and cute, too!). Since we were co-chairs and had a lot of planning and work to do together for CCM, I’d put him on an off-limits list in my mind.

Here’s where it gets sticky. My sister (she’s 18, almost 19, while PFG and I are 22) goes to the same school and has had a crush on PFG since she met him. It was incredibly obvious and everyone, including PFG himself, knew about it. She knew that nothing would come from it, but she still got attached.

PFG had been on a 3 year dating fast and at the end of last year he had mentioned that he was going to go off it in May. Of course, that sparked interesting conversation because ending a dating fast kind of requires another person. PFG refused to share who this person was, so the topic was dropped and forgotten until about a month and a half ago. I tried getting him to tell me who it was so I could perhaps offer advice, since I know him pretty darn well, so after he schooled me in a game of chess, he told me that he would either tell me at the end of the first week of May or when I beat him in a game of chess.

I didn’t beat PFG, but I came pretty darn close, so he compromised and told me who it was last Sunday.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s me. It’s ok if you didn’t, I didn’t see it coming till the very end either.

So, obviously, the sister isn’t very happy with this. I’m praying about the situation purely between PFG and I right now so I can discern God’s will on this. Truthfully, I’d be a fool to turn him down and I trust his decision because he’s prayed about it for, oh, a year. However, I’d be a fool to say yes because of my sister’s feelings.

So far, the advice I’ve gotten is anywhere from I should say no because PFG knew about my sister’s crush on him to I should say yes because she needs to get over it. I feel like in both cases, someone’s being selfish. If I say yes, I’m being selfish because I’d be going out with someone my sister has liked for a while and it would be a slap in the face/kick in the stomach/just plain awkward for her to see us together, but if I say no, my sister is being selfish because she’s intruding on a relationship that could possibly work for a very long time because her own feelings for a man that she knew she couldn’t ever date (I’m not saying PFG is out of her league - I think he’s out of MINE - but she knows that he doesn’t reciprocate, and I think she knows that very well now).

So…my life is a soap opera. There were a few other details that made it more complex at first, but those have been resolved and all that’s left is this whopper of a dilemma. Any and all advice is appreciated, and I’m impressed if you’ve read this far because goodness it’s longer than I thought.


If your sister would hold this against you, then if it isn’t PFG, it will be something else. She does not own his affections. Neither do you.

The caveat I would offer is to figure out how ticked/hurt your sister will be and decide how to manage her. Where do people GET the ridiculous notion that having a crush on someone entitles them to that person’s reciprocity?

When I was a junior in high school, the senior I was crazy about invited another girl – a senior – to the prom. I was hurt beyond words, but not once did I challenge this guy’s right to go out with whomever he chose. Turns out, he took me to MY prom the following year. I lost touch with him over time, but just last year, I learned that he had become a Catholic priest. :slight_smile:


Wow, I wasn’t expecting an answer so fast. :slight_smile:

I was tired of her beating around the bush, so I asked her point blank if she didn’t want me dating him. She said yes, she didn’t want me to date him, claiming awkwardness. She also claimed that she’s not attached because if it had been anyone else, she wouldn’t have minded (I have my doubts on that). So, I know that she would be hurt if we started dating.

So far, the best solution I can think of is to wait till the end of the summer and kind of pseudo-date. PFG will be in Richmond for an internship, but he said he would come visit (he’s been essentially part of my family - he’s from New Mexico and therefore spent a few holidays at my house and just hung out) and write letters. If she’s still not comfortable at the end of the summer, THEN tell her to deal with it.

I feel like one of us has to back off, but that it shouldn’t be me…and then I feel like a selfish person. ::Sigh::

Thanks for your advice, though. It was very straight to the point and definitely helped me at least affirm that I wasn’t crazy thinking something similar. :slight_smile:


Your sister may have a teenage crush on him but the feeling is not mutual. She’ll have many disappointments ahead of her. If she cannot or will not let go of this crush-- it’s her problem.

You and he should discern your relationship together as adults. If you feel called to date, then go ahead.

You cannot tiptoe around your entire life making decisions based on other people. Your sister has not dated this man, he has never shown interest in her. He also has a say in this situation, you know.

She doesn’t have any claim on him (as if he were some kind of property).

I agree with everyone who says you would be foolish to reject him because your sister has a crush on him. I disagree with those who say your sister’s “feelings” should prevent you from dating him.


She is jealous.

She is jealous and since she can’t have him, she doesn’t want you to.

No, tell her to deal with it now. If you are going to go out with him evenutally, why put it off? Go out with him now. She needs to learn.

Exactly, that’s why you should go out with him now. :thumbsup:


She’s the one being selfish and she’s being manipulative too.

She does not own his affections-- clearly he is not interested in dating her. So, to deny you the freedom to date him she is merely doing something designed to hurt you and to get her own way.

Honestly, I’d tell her to buzz off now. I would not “pseudo” date… whatever that means. I wouldn’t hide it.

He should have a frank talk with her himself and dispell any notion that they have a future. Kindly, but straightfoward.


As a younger sibiling part of the problem may not be in this guy, but in any guy. Family dynamics change when serious GF/BF’s are introduced, espcially with two sibilings of similar gender and aged. However, how sibilings or parents feel can contribute to a breakup, especally if their always around.

For instance my brother 1’s gf is AMAZING…she’s an awsome person she talks to me and is great to be around…she’ll chat with me if my brother is busy. They split up for a while (after a fight) but since she’d always been nice me and my mom were glad when they got back together.

However brother 3’s gf was a royal pain in the ask! She brushed me and my mom off, she was anti-social, clingy to my brother and rude to my other brothers. My brother broke up with her and we definatly didn’t encourage them to get back together at all.

But its different when bf/gf’s enter the picture…I don’t get to spend as much time with my brothers, and they don’t get to spend as much time together…there is always the question of weither or not they should participate in family dinner or such…

I think that you should date, and not heed your sister.


woof, things are getting heated in here! Dag, I didn’t think I’d get everyone on one side of the argument. :slight_smile:

As I keep talking to my sister, she keeps claiming that she’s not jealous and that if it were anyone else she’d be fine and that if it had been handled differently it wouldn’t be so bad (it wasn’t handled so well in terms of her, but the fact still remains that it’s me) and that it’s not that she’s trying to prevent something, she’s just being honest with how she feels.


I’m starting to agree more and more that she should just deal with it because as I keep praying it looks more and more that she’ll have to sooner or later, I just feel bad because I know she’s hurting (even if it’s unjustifiable) and she’ll have to see it (moving home for the summer and all - we even share a room). As someone said, though, she’ll have to deal with disappointments. I just kind of wish it wasn’t this situation. :stuck_out_tongue:


How I wish that were true…she’s never ever had a problem with me dating anyone before. Part of the problem is quite possibly that she’s never dated anyone herself. However, it’s definitely handy to have a younger sibling’s perspective - I’m 2 of 4 and my older brother’s never dated anyone, so I don’t have that kind of experience to go on.


**I’ll weigh in on the same side of this argument too:thumbsup:

Ultimately you have to make decisions for your life. Just as your sister does for hers.

From what you have revealed, you sound as though you are really trying to be sensitive to her feelings and don’t want to hurt your own sister if you can help it. She, on the other hand, only seems concerned with herself. Does she say anything to you at all that sounds like she is considering your feelings too???

If you discern that you and this PFG should begin to date then that’s what you should do. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be sensitive to your sister as well, which it sounds like you will be. But, if she’s as selfish as she appears then be prepared for her to take personal offense and nothing you do will be right. Just tkae comfort in God and have Him help you through this complicated situation.

I pray that God’s will is done!




I think you’re completely right, especially as I keep talking to her. It’s been a constant spring of…yikes. I don’t even have words for it. ::Sigh:: keep on keepin’ on, I guess. :slight_smile:

I’ve read your posts in other threads, btw, and you usually have really great things to say. Just thought I’d let you know. :slight_smile:


I too, am only going to agree with everyone else!

From what it sounds like, you too have had a crush on this guy for a while, but haven’t publicized it because he was “off-limits”, especially since you were working together, whereas your sister was able to be more obvious about it.

It’s fair of your sister to let you know that she feels upset because she wasn’t the girl he chose to date, but it’s not fair that she should have the right to hold you or him hostage to her feelings. You have feelings too, and so does he!

If he really is a Pretty Fantastic Guy, then it makes sense that several girls would probably have a crush on him. If you are interested in him, and vice versa, then I would date him;)

P.S. It’s especially nice that you’ve known each other for a while already, and worked together - because you have a good understanding of each other already. So if you like each other at this point, I think that’s a really good sign.


Go for it!!! I was in this same situation myself, with my boyfriend of now almost 2 years. I found out AFTER he and I got together that a good friend of mine had a crush on him. A BIG crush. She sent him a scathing email, asking him how he could go out with me knowing that she loved him. He knew she had a crush on him, but hadn’t realized that it would be such a huge problem. If I had known before we got together that she liked him, I still would have gotten together with my boyfriend. We were very certain we loved each other, and we were fairly certain that God didn’t have a problem with this. It was unfortunate that she got upset, and she did get over it. This is YOUR life, and YOUR potential partner for life!!! He sounds like an amazing young man! Of course it will be awkward for a bit. Every relationship has those stages, whether caused by your sister or not. She’ll get over it. It will be tough on her, of course. Pray for her, help her as best you can. But go for it!!!
Best of luck, and God bless you all!


Ren Lady, you have it exactly right. I just didn’t admit a crush. I don’t think that would have made a difference - just perhaps making it awkward earlier. :stuck_out_tongue: But other than that, totally right. There are other girls that have had serious crushes on him, and the fact that we worked for a year together is a good sign.

It’s just the sister. rargh.


Crushes don’t create rights. As awful as this may sound, and cruel, everyone has the right to choose whom to marry and, consequently, with whom to explore the possibility (all right, all right, I just think the word “discern” looks out of every sentence in threads like this ;)). You (Opening Poster) certainly aren’t stealing the guy from your sister. Firstly, she has no right to him. Secondly, he has no attachment to her. Thirdly, you aren’t claiming him so that your sister wouldn’t have him.

I don’t like the idea that people who are in love (not a popular term in theological-moral discussions, I know) should split up for such reasons as parents, siblings, exams coming, work change, residence change. And especially not because someone has a problem with that relationship.

However, you don’t seem to be in love - you’re looking at it more in terms of “examining” a potentially great candidate, it seems to me. Perhaps your sister concluded that you had no specifically personal feelings for him, so thus you could be suggested to find a different guy instead?

On the other hand, from your last post, it looks like you do have some kind of crush on him that he seems not so much to return as to have developed an independent one on his own on you instead. :stuck_out_tongue: So in that situation, I don’t think it would be right to ask you to find another guy. Besides, you’ll be hurting yourself if you skip him.

Let’s consider two scenarios:

  1. You skip the guy. He suffers, you suffer, he gets over it, settles down with some girl, you can’t get over it. Sister doesn’t seem to notice anything or care either way, but you suffer. And you harbour resentment towards your sister. Your sister may end up in regret as well over hurting you so much

  2. You and the guy start a relationship, it gets serious and so on. Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t, but your sister eventually forgets and gets over it, especially as she acquires a couple more years of age. :wink:

Of course, it’s marginally possible that he could never get over it, or that you would forget him easily, or that perhaps your sister could never look at her brother-in-law without wanting to cry for decades to come… but such things don’t probably happen so often. At least I don’t think they do.

Come to think of it, there’s also the possibility that your sister doesn’t want the guy anymore per se, that she wouldn’t mind him finding a girl elsewhere, but that continuous exposure to him and you as a couple - as a sister, she’d get to see that often - could inflict some pain on her. Perhaps to spare her some of that you could indeed keep quiet about the whole thing, although not talking about it and not bringing it up on purpose is not the same as hiding it and keeping it a secret, which I don’t think you should do (though I might be wrong).

As for dating or pseudo-dating or whatever, I don’t like the whole dating thing. I just have friends and if I meet a nice girl, I’ll go and have a coffee with her or take her to a park for a walk, then there will be another meeting or not. If any feelings develop, I’ll bring them up (the opposite hasn’t happened to me yet, but it’s possible, of course). Don’t need to call it a date, don’t need the whole dating thing and don’t need artificial constructs known as “dating relationships”, which are no relationships anyway (other than polyamoryperhaps if one’s so inclined, it’s basically some form of friendship anyway). Maybe meet the guy, do activities with him, don’t know… play chess, go dance, have a coffee, see a film, don’t care so much for names or tiny little societal rituals.


I just want to say, even if it seems “awkward” at first, she’ll get over it once it becomes familiar. My dad had 5 sisters, and an awful lot of this kind of thing went on between them. Some of my uncles had first dated one sister, then married another. There were some hard feelings at first, but they quickly got over it, and they all have good relationships and no awkwardness now years later.


Print out every one of these posts, wrap it in a ribbon, tell your sister you 2 need to talk after she finishes reading.

I find it very loving you’re torn up with your sister’s wants. Unfortunately, most people today are me me me me.

uh, kind of like your sister :doh2:


Just remember to be kind to your sister, don’t gush or make a big deal about it - be the mature young lady you seem to be.

Maybe PFG has a PFF (Pretty Fantastic Friend) that lil sis could meet?


I was in a similar situation with my husband. My friend liked him, he liked me. My friend got over it and sees that they were in NO WAY suited. If your sister loves you she would want you to be happy.
It would be a terrible shame to pass this up on account of your sister that will never have him.
She is being very selfish. She will eventually get over it and it will be a non issue. PFG’s are VERY hard to come by. Don’t let him get away!


Thanks for the compliment. As a new mommy who’s life has become all about poopy diapers and what type of solid food to give my daughter next (two related subjects:p) it is nice to know that I can still help grown ups too.

Hopefully your sister is just still a bit immature and will eventually grow up. If that happens she’ll be able to look back on this and apologize and be happy for you. If it doesn’t, at least you will have had the shot at the PFG. And, God willing, this will be the man you’ll marry and you’ll go on to have a holy and blessed life together and continue being a great example to your little sis. (by the way, I have a little sis too, so I feel your pain;)).


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit