Christianity -- Christian Living/Dating

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Question
Hello Ryan,

    I need dating advice and I am unsure where else to turn.  I am a single 32 year old woman and he is a single 38 year old guy.   We both attend the same church and love the Lord.   We have amazing chemistry when we are together and we have many things in common.   We have been getting to know each other in group settings and I believed that I had finally found "the one".

   After our last group outing, he withdrew.  He only contacted me once this week (via. text) and it was just to confirm a time for an event at church.  I know he has a lot going on in his life right now so I am trying to give him some space to work things out.  

    My "gut" is telling me that he will eventually initiate a relationship with me, but it is not the right time.   A few of my friends think that his sudden withdraw is a sign of disinterest and I should accept dates with other guys who ask me because he has not made me his girlfriend.  I don't want to do that because I would not want him to think I was not interested in him.
I have considered getting a 3rd party involved (A very well respected senior saint we are both friends with) to find out if he is interested and maybe get the ball rolling.

  I really like this guy and I want to believe he is "the one" but I am unsure of his feelings for me and I am not sure how to find out without being to aggressive or pushy.  On the same token, I don't want to keep my love life on "pause" indefinitely for a guy who might not be interested in me.

Advice please!

Answer
Autumn,

First of all, I applaud you for the way you have approached your relationship.  Group settings are a great way to begin such a relationship with someone.

From what you wrote, it has only been this last week that he has acted withdrawn.  If that is the case, my advice to you is to give him and the process a little more time.  You might find that it was just a weird week for him, and it's a fluke.  If so, any serious action on your part might appear over reactionary.  If, however, he persists in being withdrawn, I would actually suggest that you speak to him about it one-on-one rather than turning to a mediator (the maturer saint).  The reason I say this is that you are both disciples of. Jesus and such honesty about an important issue can be dealt with between the two of you.  Bringing in a third person as a intermediary should really be reserved for situations of offense in which the one-on-one interaction has not produced reconciliation or understanding.  (Jesus' instruction in Matthew 18:15 and following is my basis for this).  If he's the guy you think he is, an honest conversation after some time of patience and understanding will be something that he can engage in with kindness and understanding toward you.

Actually, all of this presents a great opportunity for each of you to see the maturity and character of the other.  It really is true that how we handle difficulty reveals our true self better than just about anything.

So, Autumn, I think you can afford some more time of patience before making any assertive move(s), and I think you can see this as an opportunity from the master Jesus to observe the character of this man as you consider whether he really is a great partner in The Lord for you.

Please feel free to follow up with any further comments or questions if it will help you make these important decisions.  

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Ryan Parish

Expertise

I can answer just about any question about Christian living, believing that the Biblical revelation is meant to deal with all of life. Though not every modern issue is addressed specifically in the Bible, I feel confident in applying the grand principles of love, submission and Christ-likeness to all issues. I can't answer some questions definitively simply because God has not given detailed information on some matters. I can draw valid conclusions from what God has revealed, though.

Experience

I was raised in the church from my childhood, and have had an interest in God, the Bible and spiritual things from a very early age. At around the age of 15, I felt led to pursue a future in full time ministry. I've been in professional ministry since 2003, but was very active in teaching and encouraging Christians long before that. I preached my first sermon at the age of 15 and have found great joy in teaching God's truths ever since!

Organizations
Pastor of New Hope Community Church; member of the Christian Ministers Association.

Education/Credentials
BA in preaching from Hope International University (Fullerton, CA); full time pastor for five years; continually engaged in reading and studying to further my understanding of Scriptures.

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