Q: I like this really great guy, and he likes me. The catch is that he is isn’t a Christian, and I know I shouldn’t date him while we believe different things. I’ve half-heartedly tried to stop liking him, but it’s not working because, well, I don’t really want to. But I also don’t want it to come between me and God. Do I HAVE TO stop liking him? Is it really that big of a deal to be close friends with and have a crush on someone who isn’t a Christian if we don’t date?

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Your question made me smile because, well, I see so much of me in you! I can relate to giving sort of a half-hearted attempt at trying to curb a crush, and at the same time wanting to put God (at least mostly) first. So I feel ya, sis. And I love your honesty.

I see this tension in you: on one hand you love the idea of this sweet guy, and the attention and admiration he gives you. But on the other hand you know that a relationship with him isn’t God’s best for you, so flirting with the idea of a relationship (if only in your mind) probably isn’t what’s best for you either.

I’ve been chewing on the root of your question for the past couple days: Is it okay to entertain crush feelings for a guy when you know a relationship would be a no-go for moral reasons? Technically, I don’t think it’s a sin to feel admiration or even attraction for someone you know isn’t dateable material (just like being tempted to lie to your parents isn’t the same as actually lying). But this is the verse that came to mind as I thought about your situation, and contemplated an almost identical situation I had in high school:

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Even though having feelings for your crush isn’t “wrong,” letting those feelings go unchecked probably isn’t going to be good for you in the long run. How do I know? Wellllll… Let’s just say I know. Even feelings that seem so safe and innocent have a way of deepening over time. And when that relationship still isn’t a possibility, the disappointment is 10x harder (not to mention you’ll have wasted a lot of thoughts, energy and time).

So it’s really your call. [pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Reading in-between the lines of your question, I think you know that it’s probably not “beneficial” to have a crush on this “great” guy.[/pullquote]

But whether you can continue to be friends and admire him without being tempted to get into a relationship with him, and whether your friends-but-more relationship is worth the risk of heartbreak… that’s something between you and God. Spend some time asking Him, “Lord, are these feelings going to be good for me, or are they going to end up biting me in the rear later?” I’m confident He’ll let you know… as long as you’re willing to hear His response.

Oh, and if you do decide that you need to change your feelings for him, my post “I Don’t WANT to Like Him” might give you a place to start. And here’s one on relationships with someone who doesn’t share your faith: “My BF Is ‘Spiritual but Not Religious.'”

And on a happy final note—even if you end up having to let go of your hopes with this guy, the right guy for you will feel no less exciting, flattering or electrifying. So if you feel God asking you to wait, just know that what you’re waiting for will be worth it!

Love,

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