The only advice column that spins both sides of the truth, today’s topic: Advice Column 9, Relationship and Beliefs.
Q: There’s this guy in my church that I really like. I want to ask him out on a date, but I don’t want to be too forward. Plus, I don’t want people in our church all up in my business. What’s the best way for me to handle this situation?
Side A: First, people can only get in your business, if you let them. So, if you want to keep this situation private, then don’t talk about it with people in your church. Second, the only way your approach would be too forward is if you suggest that you two do something inappropriate together. For example, saying, “Would you like to grab a cup of coffee, sometime?” isn’t nearly as forward as “Would you like to come over to my place to talk, tonight?” Keep it slow-paced, friendly, and in public. So, ask him out on a date where you’ll have fun, be safe, and be only focused on getting to know him.
Side B: Dating relationships that form [and especially, end] in church can be quite tricky, as hard as it may be to believe. Despite the common conviction that relationships of this kind are sure to work out well because of the spiritual connection, I’ve learned that some men and women use church as a breeding ground for manipulation. So, my primary suggestion is to really get to know this man, before you ask him out on a date. And you can do this by talking to him before and after service, attending church functions with him, or doing volunteer work with him. As far as people being in your business is concerned, tell them that your business is between you and God – it’s the easiest, most honest, and most respectful way to keep anyone out of your business.
Q: My girlfriend and I have been together for three years. We love each other very much and I want to marry her, but there’s this one problem – she’s an atheist. My family is very religious. Church is a very important part of our lives. Every Sunday, we go to church and come home together for dinner. It’s a tradition that I want to keep with my own family, one day. My girlfriend, however, is partially against it. She refuses to go to church. She won’t even try to go, which is all that I ask of her. What should I do? I don’t want to lose her, but I don’t want to lose my religion.
Side A: I would suggest that you give her an ultimatum. Let her know that you won’t continue in a relationship with her, unless she agrees to go with you to church, once in a while. This is a fair ultimatum because you’re not asking her to disregard her beliefs or convert to your religion. If she rejects your ultimatum, then it may be that God has someone else in store for you. Otherwise, if she accepts, marry her!
Side B: First, you’re the only person that can make you lose your religion, even if you’re dating someone who isn’t of the same faith as you. Second, change and compromise are two entirely different things. Your girlfriend has already compromised by embracing you as her boyfriend, although you’re not an atheist. So, at this point, it’s all about you trying to change her into the churchgoing woman that you want her to be. Why can’t you offer her the same acceptance that she has offered you? I’ll tell you why. Like so many people, you expected your mate to change for your love. Unfortunately, change doesn’t work like that nor do people. Change is self-inflicted. It happens because a person wants it to happen in his/her life, not because someone else wants it to happen. Your girlfriend doesn’t want to go to church. She doesn’t want to change this. So, you have a choice: either accept this or find another woman who’s willing to go to church with you.
– About Ms. Boogie:
Born a pineapple, bred an apple, and now, a peach, Ms. Boogie currently resides in Atlanta, GA. Besides writing, she also has an interest in radio broadcasting. You can find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/joncierrienecker and/or follow her on Twitter @jrienecker.
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Look out for the next “On the Beat” with Ms. Boogie! This has been Advice Column 9, Relationship and Beliefs.
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