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 have been friends with a young man since high school, and we have dated in the past. I live two states away from him and I sometimes feel pressured by him to come visit. The issue for me is that I am not financially able to travel, and I am still in college. I have explained this to him, and he acts like he understands, but then always seems to bring it up again later. I do think that we could work as a couple, but is it wrong for me to focus on trying to build my career at this time? Am I pursuing my education at the price of love? Or do you think this is a sign that I should just move on?
What I have noticed in the “single-letter” generations (X, Y, or Z), as most have grown up not knowing a life without the World Wide Web and smart phones is the lack of communication, chivalry and etiquette skills.
Maybe my outlook is “outdated” or “archaic,” but it seems to me if a guy wants a visit from someone he is interested in, to the point of putting “pressure” on her, and won’t take the initiative to travel to her, he should at least provide a way for her to come to him. He needs to make arrangements for it to happen.
Nowadays, many guys are not standing up to the role of being the guy. I don’t know if it’s become “politically incorrect” to do so, if they are afraid of being rejected, or if this is just the result of the emasculation of the male over the years.
I often witness young people leave hints of what they want or who they’re interested in, like in a text message, but they don’t communicate their feelings or desires.
At this point, this young man needs to figure out what he wants. If it’s for you to visit, he can get a job, save some money, buy you a plane ticket (and hotel room), and bring you out to him.
You’re a college student and your parents and you are spending a great deal of time, money and energy so you can get an advanced education for your future. Don’t jeopardize it for a guy who seems to just want to keep a hold of you without making a commitment.
A lot of things change over time, especially through the college years. Not to say this isn’t the guy God has chosen for you, but there’s a lot of life between now and then. If you both are meant to be together, the relationship will happen, but he will need to make a bigger effort than just putting pressure on you to act.
Long distance relationships are very difficult. You have to be committed to keep things going, and this means visiting each other as you are able, Skyping, email, phone calls, etc. Now, have I heard of couples that went for more than a year and didn't see each other because of missions, lack of funds, and other factors. And sure, that sometimes works.
But to be honest with you, in your question, I don't hear someone who is in love with your friend. There is some attraction, some compatibility, some shared interest, but I am not sure there is love. If you loved him enough to want to be his wife, you would figure out a way to live closer - and it would be a priority. This doesn't mean you would get married right away, but it does mean it's more important than your job, your career, or where you live.
You are a young adult who has not yet figured out what you want to do. You have dreams that may or may not include this young man or a future marriage. Please know it's not a sin to want to focus on other things, especially if God is leading you. It's a sin if God has told you this guy is the one and out of what YOU want you choose your career. Can you have a career and go places and do things as a girlfriend, a fiance, a wife? Sure. People do it all the time. But the question is, do you want to do all those things with him? It doesn't sound like it.
I think you need to be honest with him and let him know your real feelings. He may choose to stop communicating, and that is OK too. He is ready for step two and you are not. Allow him to pursue other women by being honest about your relationship with him. You will both win in the end.
Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right (Proverbs 16:3).
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.
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