He Said-She Said: Fighting Over a Man
- Cliff Young & Laura MacCorkle Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer & Senior Editor
- 2009 5 Mar
EDITOR’S NOTE: Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please CLICK HERE to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: A younger guy, who is chasing me, has an admirer who happens to be his friend and she often tries to hinder me from being too close with him. It's very sad that this happens in church. She make things look like she is fighting over the guy with me. I hate this kind of situation; it makes me so uncomfortable. How should I face this kind of situation?
HE SAID: Now why don’t more singles take part in a church’s singles group???
A church is a place to worship with fellow believers and grow in your faith in God. The church is the body of believers who represent the Body of Christ on earth and through the Body we are to accomplish the Lord’s work.
Instead of representing Christ in our lives, many times our relationships within the church do not look very different to those outside of it. Is it any wonder why non-believers don’t show more interested in church or the church?
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).
First of all, let me share with you some male tendencies I have noticed. (Disclaimer: This may not apply to every guy out there.)
- We are sometimes blind to those who may be “paying attention” to us.
- If we do know someone is attracted to us and we are not to them, we will not necessarily take the initiative to tell that person.
- We may at times be construed as leading women on by being “good friends,” not realizing our actions speak differently to a woman who is interested.
I understand this may make us (me) sound oblivious or unaware, although it is not intentional (at least in my case). However, in understanding this, you may be able to guard yourself or make your intentions better known.
Secondly, in most single male-female friendships, one person or the other thinks (or hopes) the friendship has a chance of becoming serious some time during the relationship. This could very well be the situation the other girl is in. She has been friends with this guy for awhile and may have been praying they would eventually start dating. Now she sees you as a threat to her hopes (and dreams), and is starting a confrontation.
There are two paths you can choose. By taking the high road and approaching it out of respect to him (letting him know your feelings), and concern for her (not getting hurt, although she may already be), you will be acting out of love and grace.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you ( Ephesians 4:32).
With this in mind, it would be wise for you to sit down with your friend and explain to him the circumstance. He may not even realize what is going on around him or he may be enjoying the attention of two women. In any event, be honest with your feelings, confirm his intentions, and share how his friend is making you feel.
This will also be an opportunity for this younger guy to step up and show his maturity in how he receives your words and takes action. It will not be easy for him, you or her, especially within your singles group. However, if it is handled in Christ’s love and not out of worldly envy or jealousy, the three of you can maintain a (civil) friendship within your group.
From experience, I have learned that openness and honesty early on in a relationship helps to build trust, minimizes games and reduces misunderstandings. Before we react, we should always ask ourselves, “Will our actions bring us (and others) closer to God or are we turning our backs on how Jesus wants us to live?”
By being truthful to ourselves and others, by trying to understand people before drawing conclusions, and by living in a way God commands us, we would represent the church in a way that would ultimately set us apart and attract non-believers.
SHE SAID: Walk away.
Whatever is going on in this situation—whether it is jealousy, immaturity or whether this female friend of yours knows something about this young man and is really trying to protect you—I would advise you to just walk away.
Life is short. And when you look at your priorities and how much time you have to accomplish what you think God is calling you to do and with whom to spend your time, then a scenario like this (and the distress it is causing you) might not land at the top of your list. Just consider that, in light of what else is going on in your life right now.
From one angle, it sounds as if your female friend may have some growing up to do. This is quite possible, no matter the age, when it comes to a woman who is hot on the pursuit of a man of interest and when another woman stands in her way of getting what she wants (cat fight!).
If this is the case, do you really want to keep yourself in a triangle like this? I can hear the weariness in the wording of your question. And I’m sure you wish that “the drama” would just stop (television is one thing, but we do have control over the duration of soap operas in the real world, right?). One way to do that is to disengage and to distance yourself from these relationships. From the little information you have shared, it does not sound like a healthy situation at all. And if your female friend is interested, take the high road and don’t “duke” it out with her. If she held your friendship in high esteem and wanted to preserve it, I would assume by this time that she would have confessed her feelings to you and shared with you that she is interested in this young man (if she is).
I firmly believe if you are meant to be in a friendship or romantic relationship with the young man, that the Lord can make that happen (with a female friend standing in the way or not). In fact, your male friend may already see that this female friend is interested in him (and most likely for more than friendship). If he is not interested in her (and especially if he is only interested in you), then it is his responsibility to set the appropriate boundaries with his female friend and let her know very clearly that their relationship is only platonic and that he is interested in someone else (you). Perhaps he has already done so, but she is not listening (?). Or perhaps he has not (If this is the case, then this should give you pause. Think about it: if he is not taking initiative in this matter and clearing up the confusion and concerned for the feelings of all parties involved, what other issues is he’s not addressing or taking responsibility for in his life? And is that the kind of man who would be a good leader and someone you would respect in a relationship? If he knows a woman is interested in him and he is not interested in her, an honorable man would let her know he is not interested and not allow her to continue hanging on to any false hope due to ambiguity or misunderstanding.).
Now, from another point of view, your female friend just might happen to be emotionally and socially mature. And it’s possible that she sees something in the male friend that perhaps you do not (especially if she has been friends with him for a long time). Maybe you are misinterpreting her actions. She may know things about this male friend that you do not. But perhaps she is not at liberty to share them with you, but instead is trying to gently push you away from him in order to shield you from being hurt. I think it is possible.
So, since there is so much that is unknown here, it is best to take a step or two back to get a better perspective. Pray about this matter and ask the Lord to reveal to you what you cannot see and what you really should see in this situation.
And then finally, here is what you may not want to hear: What is most important is not that you win the affections of this young man (and you probably already know that or you wouldn’t be asking how to face this situation). What is most important is that you must love your brother and sister in Christ and act in a manner that demonstrates this. Period. That is what you and me and every other believer is called to do. …
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:27-31).
If you really do like this young man, you may view your female friend as an “enemy” right now. Even a “frenemy,” to echo a current buzz word. But by shifting your focus, God can change your heart and will show you how he wants you to treat these friends and/or how close your friendships with them should be.
He may change your desire (toward the young man). But certainly he will give you the compassion it is going to take to treat both of these friends as you would want to be treated in a situation where feelings beyond friendship are most likely involved.
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com’s Senior Entertainment Editor. She loves God, her family and and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who’s counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We’re just average folk who understand what it’s like to live the solo life in the 21st century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life’s questions, and it’s where we’ll go for guidance when responding to your questions.
GOT A QUESTION? If you’ve got a question about anything related to living the single life, PLEASE SUBMIT HERE (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that He Said-She Said will be an encouragement to you.
**This column first published on March 5, 2009.