Just Friends Limbo

When Steve and I were first becoming friends–and I was hoping it would become something more–he was dating someone else. The “other woman” is part of the high-jinx of our story and it seems to resonate with a lot of women. So today I answer a question from a woman who’s wondering if she (or her friend) should do the same. She asks,

In Get Married, you explained how as you and Steve were becoming friends, he dated another woman for a short season. If a woman is growing in friendship and connecting well with a guy to whom she is attracted, but he is dating someone else, what would you advise her to do? Should she continue to develop the friendship? How can she discern if God wants her to forget about the guy and move on, or to continue to hope and pray for a relationship with him?

It’s always tricky, and maybe a bit risky, to speak to someone else’s situation from your own. This question is a good reminder of that! Here’s some of my reply:

This is a perceptive question and a reminder that much of what I share from my own story is descriptive (it tells what did happen) and not necessarily prescriptive (telling what should happen). To know what we should do in any given situation, we have to go to God’s Word, the Bible. It’s there that we learn who we are, who God is and what He requires of us. We learn of our design — how we were made by God to flourish, and how, because of our sin nature, we often limp along against the grain of that design.

There is no verse in the Bible that says, “Thou shalt not hope a man who’s dating someone else will become available for you to marry.” Nor is there a verse that says you should. What’s needed in situations like this is wisdom (see the book of Proverbs, especially chapters 2, 8 and 9). It may help to ask some questions about the situation.

To read the rest of my answer, and see what those questions are, read “What if the guy I like is dating someone else?”