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And Then There Was Silence

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Princess Bride kiss

I think this is the wisest course of action.

I had my first exam today (uh... yesterday. Man I'm up so very very late). There was a newspaper article and we had to write an essay on it considering three questions. I was done in an hour. w00t!

Afterwards, I went to the library to study some Terry Pratchett whilst James, Kieran and Phoebe from MCU studied actual uni material. James and I left after some time in order to get in his grocery shopping, followed by cooking dinner at his place for his family (because he doesn't know how to cook and I'm teaching him). Dinner went well and we hung out for quite a while afterwards.

He said that although he'd said a month ago that he wasn't interested in pursuing a relationship with me, that had changed. He knows that I don't want to date, but was hoping I'd grant him a concession. But there were also other reasons why I said no. The biggest one is that James is a still growing in his faith. He needs to make decisions about where he stands doctrinally on a bunch of issues that his church would see as normal - such as the second baptism (of the Holy Spirit) and associated speaking in tongues and prophesying. So, for my own conscience's sake, I don't want him to make decisions because he's going out with a conservative Calvinist. Rather, he should make decisions based on what the Bible says about these things.

The second reason is that dating relationships really, truly suck. They are a half-arsed commitment and they work on half-arsed expectations and are full of promises that shouldn't be made and cannot be delivered on. Emotionally, they expect more than being just friends, yet it's unfair to be more emotionally involved when there's no complete security and guarantee of support and unconditional love because it's not marriage yet. I do not cope well in dating relationships. As great as dating Josh was, it wasn't good for my heart and I refuse to date again. I would much prefer to just be friends with James and then engaged and married. Dating stinks to high Heaven!!

Thirdly, I desire to marry a man who is keen for ministry/mission in the future. James' plans so far, are just to be a maths teacher. Nothing wrong with maths teachers. But as ministry is such a huge thing for me, I would prefer to be united in that work with my husband.

All those reasons aside though, I have strong feelings for him still. If there is much growth and maturing in faith in the next few months, then I would love to pursue a deeper relationship (engagement) with him. But for now, the answer is no.

I explained it all to him and he took it very well. We will continue to hang out and be friends and I'm really glad of that, and so is he. He even sent me a message after dropping me home to let me know that he felt good about us being friends.

I think it is the wisest course of action. On one hand, it's getting easier to follow through on what I think is wise and Godly. On the other hand, it kinda broke my own heart to say no. Part of me would much prefer to have said yes and then spent part of the evening snuggling with him on the couch. I settled for giving him a big hug when he dropped me off.

tl;dr, James asked me out but there are three reasons why I said no. Yet I still like him and hope that things will continue progressing and it will be possible in the future.

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I hope I don't make your world very topsy turvy with my comment.

I was a baby Christian when Chris and I started dating, and I credit Chris with a great amount of the spiritual growth I experienced when we were dating and long-distance. While a lot of my values were formed based on his passing them on to me, I was in a safe relationship where I was encouraged to take my faith on as my own and I believe I thrived in that. Because Chris owned his faith, I saw the necessity to own mine, and I have never struggled with whether my values came from the Bible or Chris. They come from God for sure!

Second, I have HUGE plans for ministry as well, but Chris had none. Look at us NOW (off to Spain forever!)

Does he understand your desire to be friends, get engaged and get married? Cuz... if so... wonderful! Maybe that will happen! :)

I think he does understand.

Although that's a great story for you and Chris, I want the man I'll marry to be able to lead me. Which means he needs to be a little more Spiritually mature first. :)

Though, I have never struggled with whether my values came from the Bible or Chris. They come from God for sure! gives me pause for thought.

Edited at 2009-11-17 03:46 am (UTC)

Hey Kat,
I'm not sure about whether they're actually good enough reasons to say no. Here are my thoughts, though what you make of them is up to you.
1. Understandably, if he's not as strong in the faith or isn't as spiritually mature, it doesn't mean that you can't mentor him or that he still can't lead. It also gives you great opportunity to debate and learn as you teach him. A lot of what I have learnt is from other people (including em) as well as my own study of the bible. It amazes me as to what sorts of things I manage to miss when I try to learn by myself. We are all constantly learning. James is free to make his own decisions and form his own opinions, it doesn't mean that you can't teach him and help guide the way. If anything, it will make him grow more as a Christian as he questions and debates different view points. Also, I think that you’ll have a problem quantifying 'much growth and maturing in faith' leading to the question how mature is mature enough?
2. Dating is actually pretty fun. Em and I had heaps of fun in our dating period. I disagree that it’s a half assed commitment, rather, it depends on the couple and how committed they are. Though you are opening yourself up to being hurt, I believe that the opportunity to find your life mate greatly exceeds the risks and consequences of if it doesn't work out. I guess you can try to mitigate the risk of being hurt by getting closer to a guy as a friend before moving deeper into the relationship and committing yourself. However, there are no guarantees in love.
I found that by dating em, this made us much closer and allowed us to understand each other better (and hey look, we're getting married!). There's also a large leap between being together and being friends. There’s so much to learn about someone whilst dating that you wouldn’t find out by just being friends. What you're asking for in terms of going from friends to being engaged is an even larger leap and one that most guys will not commit to (maybe some will, but I wouldn't).
3. mrsduryee has iterated it in the above comment, but to reinforce it, what's to say that as he strengthens in his faith, that the ambition does change? Though I guess this one is more up to personal preference than anything. I personally wouldn't let someone's career choice get in the way of whether I'd date them or not (unless of course I was morally against it. ie. prostitution). Hell, you might even convince him to enter the ministry/mission.

In summary, I feel that you’re passing up a perfectly good opportunity due to some fairly high ideals. Though I can see where you are coming from and can really see that your faith affects your choice in a partner, I also can’t help but say that your ideal partner isn’t always how you picture it to be.
Anyways, I hope it all works out well for you, I’ve been thinking about this a bit today. phew, sorry for the essay!

Thanks heaps for commenting, Jeff! It's really good to get your perspective and you have added to the people who've suggested that my reasons are kinda lame (which may be fair. It's hard to tell in my head :))

I just think that if you have feelings for him and he has feelings for you, then what more do you need?
Though I'm not saying that you should definitely get together (I don't really know the relationship that well), to dismiss it on those grounds is a bit weak :P
The more I think about it, the more it seems that because you were burned pretty bad in your previous relationship, you want to be cautious. Fair enough. But don't let caution make you pass up a good opportunity :) Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Dad picked up on that caution reason too. I think I am scared... quite so.

It's all part of falling in love ;p

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