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Parallax - Advice

February 21, 2005

Hands-on ministry?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question! I'm engaged and recently joined a campus ministry where most of the members are guys. I've gone twice, but I think I'm sending the wrong signals. I've already had to tell one guy about my engagement, because he said he liked me and started acting weird. I volunteered to sing at the Sunday service, but when I went to practice with him he kept trying to put his arms around me, and when I sat in a chair, he pulled me closer to him. How can I let people know that I have a boyfriend and I'm only looking for friends? I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Campus Life,

How about bringing your boyfriend along a couple of times? That should send a very clear signal. Have him come to watch you sing. I'm sure he'd be happy to do it and stake out his territory. You have to be very clear about these things with guys. Sometimes they view boyfriends and fiancés as mere details in finding girlfriends or dates.

So, be up front and very nice, but very clear. When talking to them, use terms like 'we', which will reference your boyfriend. Start out conversations mentioning 'my boyfriend and I' and make it very clear that he is a real part of your life and the relationship is serious. They'll get the point. And don't flirt!

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His view:

Dear Campus Life,

What kind of ministry did you end up in? The one with all the desperate single guys who only joined up so they could hit on women in church?

Needless to say, you stay at your own 'risk', but if these morons are hitting on you right off the bat, who's to say what they'll be doing once they get to know you?

My solution? Bring the boyfriend to the first service you can, and make sure to introduce him to all your new friends. If that doesn't get rid of the unwanted attention, you may have to stop being so nice.

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