By: Nancy Rue
So, you have to break his heart? It’s okay. Nobody plans for it to happen.
Okay, I take that back. Some people do but they’re not you so why are we even talking about them? Nobody like you sets it up that:
- you develop a crush on a guy and then lose that feeling because, well, that’s what happens in the early boy-girl years
- you think you like a guy and YOU let him know, and then you see things in him that are so not what you have in mind for a boyfriend
- a guy likes you and, um, you don’t like him back, at least not the way he likes you
All of that is just plain old normal when guys and girls are first figuring out how to deal with each other, what they want in a relationship, whether they even want a relationship. But it definitely doesn’t feel natural to simply say, “In your dreams, pal,” and walk away without a thought to his feelings. That may not seem like a big deal to a guy when he’s the one doing it, but for somebody like you . . . . yeah, it requires some thought.
So here are some of mine when it comes to the Christian way to give a guy the bad news that you’re not into him.
Some do. Most don’t. It’s kind of like when you come to the dinner table puffy-eyed, tears streaming down your cheeks, and about the time dessert is served, your father looks at you and says, “Is something wrong?” Seriously? Guys your age are even more clueless because they just aren’t always as tuned in to other people’s emotions as a lot of girls are.
What’s really required of a Christian in your situation is that you love the boy.
Wait – hear me out. I’m not talking about pretending to like him when even the way he
chews his Big Mac turns you off. This kind of love has nothing to do with liking him. This is spiritual love. This is what that looks like:
- Do him no harm. Don’t gossip about him, tell everybody what a dork he is, laugh in the poor guy’s face (even if he behaves like a jerk)
- Realize that as a fellow child of God he deserves your basic respect. Don’t look at him like he’s invisible. Acknowledge his good points. Resist the urge to say, “Why exactly are you hanging around me?”
- Help him out if he needs it and IF you’re the one to do it. Squelch the false rumor everybody’s spreading about him. Let him know he’s about to sit in the ketchup some moron put in his chair. Pray for him.
Of course even if you make it clear that all of the above is stuff you’d do for anybody,
guys who are especially drawn to girls like you who are actually decent to them are not going to go away quietly.
That’s when that Face Off we’ve talked about in our last couple of posts comes into play. To review –
- Be honest though kind
- Tell him straight out that this thing he wants between the two of you just isn’t going to work out
- Avoid getting into why you would rather spend your Friday nights watching reruns on TVLand than hang out with him. He doesn’t need to hear, “You drive me nuts talking about your video games,” or “Seriously, it’s your breath.” Okay, if it’s because he’s a kleptomaniac or something you can say, ‘I can’t date you because you really need some professional help.’ Beyond that, don’t go there.
- Don’t wimp out and make excuses instead of saying, “You? Me? I’m sorry, but it can’t happen.” Excuses include things like, “My parents won’t let me hang out with guys” (if that isn’t true) and “I can’t see you because my best friend likes you” (even if she does). He really does deserve the truth, delivered to him by a Christian girl who is (supposedly . . . .) all about loving her neighbor as herself.
What if he doesn’t give up?
As we say here in the South: bless his heart. If that’s the case, tell him as often as you need to, and be sure you don’t do anything to encourage him. That can be a temptation. It doesn’t hurt your self-esteem any to have somebody swooning over you, especially if you’re having a bad zit day or something.
For those of you who are sensitive and hate hurting anybody’s feelings – as in you’d rather have your braces adjusted – it can’t be avoided sometimes. It’s not your fault that this guy likes you. Why wouldn’t he? You’re amazing. But even when you guard his feelings with everything you have, they’re still going to be hurt a little bit, just like yours are when somebody you’re crushing on makes it clear the feeling isn’t mutual. You can’t avoid that. But you can do a lot to make sure his ego isn’t completely smashed and he doesn’t end up thinking he’s a total loser.
Love others as well as you love yourself, Jesus said (Matthew 22:40, The Message). Who knew that commandment, one of the two greatest he gave us, would be so hard to follow? But it is a commandment, not a suggestion. So if you have to bruise a little masculine pride, do it the way you’d want it done to you.
And not to worry. He’s a guy. He’ll be fine by tomorrow.
Teen photo: www.sxc.hu/photo/622413