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).
QUESTION: I'm very interested in a young woman; however, I met her because she and my buddy used to date. They decided to break up and transition into friendship because he had a lot going on in his life, and really didn't have time for a relationship. I'm not scared to ask her out, but I'm wondering: as a Christian, is it wrong to date someone after your buddy dates her? Could it be seen as covetous? I don't want to upset him.
Is it wrong to date someone after a person you don’t know dates her?
Almost every person you will ever date has probably dated someone else. Why the distinction between an “ex” of hers you know and one you don’t know? Does your faith exclude you from dating anyone who has dated a friend? Mine doesn’t.
I know of many people (including Christians) who have met their spouse by way of a friend, even through a former boyfriend or girlfriend.
Many years ago, one of my best friends was dating a girl I was attracted to. I kept my friendship with both during their courtship and never “girlfriend-tampered” throughout their relationship. For whatever reason, they broke up. Sometime later, I approached my buddy and told him about my interest in her and asked if he minded if I asked her out. He told me, “Sure, no problem, I don’t care.” If the shoe was on the other foot, I would hope I would have responded in the same way.
As Christians, don’t we want the best for one another whoever they are, and especially if they were friends of ours?
“Covetous,” according to Merriam-Webster, means feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else.
This woman you are interested in no longer “belongs” to your friend.
The way I see it is, if a former girlfriend thinks she found her “soul mate” in someone else, why would I be anything but happy for her? The more content she is, the more confirmation I have we were probably not the ones for each other, and if that relationship is with a friend, even better. I wouldn’t see either as having been “covetous.”
If you’re going to continue thinking you are wrong to ask any of your friend’s “formers” out, you may not want to have any friends until after you have found the one you’re going to marry.
Run it by your friend and ask her out!
I think it’s great that you are concerned about asking her out and about your friend's feelings. I personally would talk to your friend and ask him what he thinks. Just be honest with him. I mean, most of my friends found each other through friends. Because some single and young adult ministries are small, you are bound to date someone that has dated others in your group. As you mentioned, they often transition to friendship, which is a good thing. This means they both were in agreement they weren't "the one" for each other. By talking to your friend you can be sure of where they both are in their friendship as well as permission to ask her out. It's only when friends date someone and their hearts got broken that it becomes sticky. The last thing you want to see is one of your best friends dating the girl that stomped on your heart, ya know?
And you know one good thing about asking your friend's permission is you can find out more about her at the same time, show integrity towards your friend. You are wanting to do what is right, and that means something to everyone.
I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you (1 Chronicles 29:17).
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 three 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: December 12, 2013