How to Respond to Unrequited Love
- Kris Swiatocho and Cliff Young
- 2016 5 Feb
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring 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 or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
I'm best friends with someone who is also the person who led me to Christ, and is also the first and only person I have ever had feelings towards. It is going on six years since he told me he just wanted to be friends, and his feelings have not changed -- neither have mine. We have a great friendship, but it is hard sometimes knowing he doesn't see me the way I see him -- jealousy, insecurity, and longing are things I fight on a regular basis. To make things worse, a few years ago I received some prophetic words from a few people that specifically matched up to my situation with my dear friend, and said that God wants to give me the desires of my heart that have been broken/hidden deep down. So I can't help but wonder if God could someday bring us together (take the scales off his eyes?) or if I am just unintentionally feeding a false hope my friend doesn't want me to have. I have been waiting so long for God to do something but it's like He wants me to be patient, even in the pain I feel. Please pray for me, and my friend, and our friendship.
Your situation is not as uncommon as you may think. Many of us have longed for someone who has not shared the same emotional connectedness as we feel. Sometimes their feelings change over time and sometimes they do not.
In either case, throughout the Bible we are often told to “Wait on the Lord.” However, many misinterpret this as saying is to sit quietly doing nothing at all.
During these periods of waiting, God is still working, and we need to be as well.
He does not want for us to sit idly watching the world and life go by as we wait for the person we think is the one for us. We are to continue our journey towards Him and whatever He called us to do.
Our purpose in life is not to be joined to another and live happily ever after in our own perfect world we have in our dreams; we are called to love Him and love others (not just that chosen one). In doing so we are serving Him and His people.
Waiting may be the period where God wants you, your male interest or both to get to a place personally (and separately) where He needs you to be before you are brought together (on His schedule) or it may be a time where God discloses to you His deep down spiritual desires for your heart.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
This world we live in shows (and often confuses) us as to what we should be doing as followers of Christ. What I have always believed is God will bring alongside a “help mate” suitable for me (in His time), not just someone I think I want and desire.
When we start to believe we know what is best for our life that is also the time we stop trusting God to show us what’s His best for us.
I am so sorry that you are going through this very difficult situation. I understand the many hours you have thought of this man, praying and hoping his feelings would change. How when you see him with other women, it just kills you. People who care for you may even say things like, “when is he going to wake up and see you are the right one?” “When is he going to see God has brought you to him?” While you may be a great woman of Christ and a great catch, you may not be HIS catch. Which I know, is something you probably do not want to hear.
While I have heard of couples being friends for years and then falling in love, for the most part it’s a rare occurrence. You could be the right person for him, but if he is not ready, has some insecurities, is not attracted to you, or is not being obedient to the Lord...it’s simply never going to happen. People are still people and they have choices, even if God directs them a different way.
I know what you are feeling because I waited 16 years for a man. Yes, 16 years. He was my best friend. Someone everyone assumed would one day be my husband. We got along great and spent many holidays and vacations together (with friends). We were there for each other through all the sad times and happy times. While I waited, I did date here and there, but in the back of my mind I kept praying he would wake up and realize I was the best choice. Well, he didn’t. Year after year he would remind me that his feelings had not changed. How? At first he told me outright, and after that his actions would speak it. But I kept waiting and praying. I don’t want to say I wasted my life waiting, as I believe I was able to focus on my ministry at the time, but the pain during the wait was horrible.
So it’s up to you. Yes, keep praying for him if you still believe he is the one, but in the meantime allow the Lord to bring others into your life. You never know, the desires of your heart might be with someone else God is preparing for you.
Psalm 37:4 "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
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 ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.
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 twenty-first 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. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: February 4, 2016