Q: How do you know who you really like? I think I like someone, but I also kinda like someone else. I’m not sure who I like more, or if I even “like” like either of them.

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The great news is that you don’t have to have a like in your life! I know there’s a lot of pressure out there to have a special someone you’re head-over-heels for (especially with Valentine’s Day around the corner!), but the truth is, it’s okay to just have guy friends and enjoy the luxury of watching and learning from the guys around you instead of having to claim one for yourself.

I’m about to let you in on a little secret I wish I had known as a teenager. I think it might help you make sense of all the feelings and questions and crushing. Ready for it?

There’s a difference between admiring and desiring a guy.

admire: a) regard (an object, quality, or person) with respect or warm approval, b) regard as impressive or worthy of respect, c) look at with pleasure

desire: a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen

Did you catch the difference?

You’ll save yourself so much confusion and heartache if you can train your mind to acknowledge what you admire about both guys you mentioned, while using self-control to steer your mind away from thoughts like, I have to be in a relationship with someone to be happy.

In other words, you can admire the really cool qualities each of those guys have without having to desire a romantic relationship with either of them! You can be a student of the guys around you, taking notes about what you find classy, kind, cute or selfless about them, and you can do that while still waiting for God to show you the right time for a relationship with the right guy. And trust me—when that time comes, you won’t have to wonder if you “really” like him. You’ll know. 😉

Now I don’t want you to think that aaaall the butterflies have to go south for the winter. It’s okay and natural to be attracted to a quality member of the opposite sex! It’s just best to keep those butterflies in an atrium—instead of letting them fly wherever they want to—until God’s timing is right. (In Christian-speak, we call that “guarding your heart,” based on Proverbs 4:23.) For now, I think the best thing you can do is wait patiently on the Lord and (try your best to) keep your focus on Him.

If you want to dive into this deeper with me, grab a copy of my book Crushed: Why Guys Don’t Have to Make or Break You, or check out these wildly popular blog posts: “Is It Okay To Think He’s Hot?”, Part 1 and Part 2. There you’ll find some practical tips to ditch desire and work on admiring without strings.

Love,

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