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Parallax - Advice

April 4, 2005

A question of faith?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question! I'm a Christian who doesn't believe in having sex before making a life commitment—whether that be marriage or just prior to (I'm at least somewhat realistic, LOL). I'm spending time with a neat guy who seems to be attracted to me, but he's so friendly it's hard to tell how personal this is. If the first six months is 'all about sex' for the guy, what does he do if there isn't any happening (beyond hugs, kisses, hand-holding and snuggles)? I've referred to my church a few times, so he knows my values. Is he just being a buddy or does the guy think I could be a special lady to him? I don't want to misread what could simply be general gregariousness. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Snuggles,

Holding hands is usually a romantic gesture. So is kissing—the making-out kind. So, it sounds like you may have yourself a suitor. He may be respectful of your values, so why don't you offer up an outing that is more like a date than a buddy outing.

For example, get opera or theatre tickets (definitely a date-type event), and see if he makes a move. You might try openly flirting and suggesting romantic-type things. Discern whether he takes the bait and run with that. If he jumps you, you have yourself a fish.

If he seems to back off a bit, you can be sure you have a buddy and there is no need to further embarrass yourself. Of course, you could just ask. But then, what would you write in about, for advice?

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His view:

Dear Snuggles,

For someone who doesn't believe in sex before marriage, you sure seem to be obsessed about it.

This guy is not even thinking about sex yet, at least not about the realistic possibility of sex with you. He is only—at the most—flirting. He may or may not know that he likes you. He may be flirting because it's just his nature. Or perhaps he's doing it intentionally, to elicit a response.

It's too early for you to be thinking about how this guy is going to deal with your values. Too early to be worrying about whether he's the kind who will tough it out with just snuggles, or whether he's going to lose interest when you don't put out. (Odds are, by the way, that he will lose interest. Sorry, that's just the way it is.)

What you need to do is stop all this obsessing and give the guy some signal, so that he can give you another signal. And after various signals are exchanged, you can figure out if he's interested in more than just friendship.

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