Just Friends: but wondering about Courtship...

Question:

Hi, I'm 19 and I've recently put a lot of thought into marriage. When I think about who I could marry, I often find my mind on one particular guy. I grew up with him. I honestly believe that with the way we grew up, that we could have a successful marriage someday. But here comes the tricky part. I really want to get to know him, to see if we COULD make it in a marriage (because he means a lot to me as a friend and I want to see if it could be more). But we have never discussed anything of the sort. I'm not even sure that he sees me as a potential wife. I feel strongly about not dating, and I think with his background (how his family values are and how he grew up), that he would agree that courting is the best way to marriage. My question is, is there a way to approach the subject of us beginning to court, without seeming pushy or like I am "hitting on" him? I am a bit afraid to hear his response, for I feel like there's always a chance I could be rejected. What is your opinion on all this? Thank you so much!

 

Questions...

 

 

Dear Naseem,

First of all I apologize that I have left this so long!!! My life has been terribly busy over the past few months. But I really do value this ministry of question and answer – and I hate to leave it put off for so long.

I think you have a great question. In the time that has past since you sent it to me, I wonder if things have changed?

I think it is perfectly reasonable for a couple who grew up together as friends to someday find themselves attracted to each other romantically. And certainly, that can lead to marriage. God calls us in all kinds of ways. The most important thing to always consider is discerning God’s will for you. Is it God’s will for you to move this relationship into a courtship? Tough question, eh!?!?!?

The best way for us to know God’s will is through prayer. You really need to pray about this a great deal. You also might speak with a confidant about the situation – someone who knows you both and can give you some advice. If your relationship with your parents is good enough – that might be the perfect starting place. They can help you discern not only if you should consider this relationship any further – but also whether you are ready or not to consider courtship for yourself.

Not always does a young person’s relationship with his or her parents afford the luxury of being able to discuss such topics. But, I encourage you to try. If that doesn’t work for you, though, certainly find someone with whom you can talk.

I strongly recommend, whenever possible – and there are always exceptions to the rule – that the guy should initiate the courtship. I really believe that men are more interested in making a relationship work if they have made the initiative.

But the question remains, how do you make him aware that you are interested, without seeming forward or appearing as though you are “hitting on him”, as you said?

First of all, pray for his heart to be opened to this if it is God’s will for you both and if it is God’s timing for you now.

Secondly, if you have the opportunity, speak with him in general terms about your interest in courtship. Talk about it as friends would talk to each other about what their plans are for their future. You’ll probably find out a lot from him about his position on the matter and about his own plans and dreams.

Thirdly, if after this you still have no indication as to his feelings for you – that’s okay. Be patient. Pray and trust God. Trust that God has a perfect plan for you life and that He will reveal it to you in His time.

Fourthly, if he takes the initiative, through conversation, to reveal his own feelings for you – proceed with caution. It is a challenge when you take a relationship from friendship to courtship.

If you do move forward with a courtship, take some time to learn more about that so that you can have the best courtship possible.

Finally, addressing your fear of rejection, I understand how that could be a very real concern. However, again it comes down to trusting in God. This guy could very well reject you – and that could very well be God’s will – because he’s not the right guy or now is not the right time.

Another concern for you might be about the possibility of ruining your friendship by discussing the potential for romance. However, if romantic feelings for him have already complicated a friendship, perhaps God will cut off the friendship (by him rejecting you) in order to prepare your heart for the right guy!!!

Remember that if you trust God in this – He won’t fail you! He’ll lead you to the right guy at the right time. And if the right guy turns out to be someone else – then you won’t have to worry about this guy anymore. And if it turns out to be this guy – praise God!! Either way, you want to seek out God’s will, discerning it through prayer, or you want to live it out faithfully in your life. The path to happiness is by living according to God’s will. Anything else you may want, if it is not God’s will, will not bring you happiness. So trust God and be at peace with whatever happens!

I hope that this will be of some help to you. I would be happy to email you again, more informally, if you have more specific questions. Normally I’m a little faster at replying.

We remember our readers daily in our prayers. Please remember me, my family and this ministry of promoting purity in your prayers as well.

Blessings,
In His Most Holy Name,

Carmen