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I have a predicament: trying to discern God's will in the world of dating.

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Lyso, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Lyso

    Lyso New Member

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    [Disclaimer: I don't have too much time to edit this. My apologies for any sloppy writing or grammatical errors that may cause confusion.]

    Preface


    I used to be "spiritually conservative." I would be skeptical when people would say things like "God put xyz on my heart," or "God told me to do xyz." I figured that God was mostly a silent God, and that it was up to our wisdom and knowledge to navigate difficult life choices, so long as said choices were congruent with scripture.

    I've changed my mind since and have become more "spiritually open," for the lack of a better term. After graduating from college I endured a difficult five-year season of tribulation, and my faith deteriorated. Fortunately God healed me and rebuilt me into a better, stronger Christian. During that healing process I heard Him speak to me - literally - on a few occasions and once, while wide awake, He gave me a prophetic vision.

    However, this whole discerning-the-will-of-God thing is something I largely don't understand. I don't always know what His will is unless he literally speaks to me, and beyond the four times He has I don't expect it to be a regular thing. Moreover, I understand that God speaks to different people in different ways - so it's not a one-size-fits-all premise.

    That being said, I remember reading a synopsis to a Lana Vawser book titled, "The Prophetic Voice of God: Learning to Recognize the Language of the Holy Spirit." In the synopsis Lana wrote that God sometimes speaks to us through events that are seemingly coincidental. I decided to keep that in mind as I'm confident that God has spoken to me this way once before in my life.

    With that in mind - let's get into the choice I'm faced with.


    The Issue: I need to decide between two seemingly great women to pursue.



    Now that God has rebuilt me I've decided to reenter the world of dating. This leads us into the coincidence in question.

    The First Girl.

    Last Christmas my step-cousin asked me what my plans were for New Year's Eve. Strangely, my friends and I did not make any solid plans yet. I told her I didn't have any. So she invited me to a party at her place - which she has never done before. I showed up and she introduced me to her best friend since grade school - we'll call her Jenn. I noticed she was immediately attracted to me (she accidentally made it obvious), and I thought she was kinda cute. So we chatted for a bit. Needless to say she impressed me. And about ten minutes into the conversation I could sense that the Holy Spirit lived in her - yet we never discussed religion or mentioned God. In fact, the two of us were probably the only Christians at this entire party.

    I decided that I would ask her out to coffee. This is the first time in my life I ever decided to ask someone out that I had just met. This behavior is atypical of me. However, before I left the party I couldn't find her, so I left without asking. For the next several days she would randomly pop in my mind, and I would think to myself that I should have searched for her more before leaving.

    During this time I was attending three different bible studies. I intended to drop one of them. I made the decision to go back to law school, and going to three different bible groups during the week would have been too much. If I'm going to be part of one, I want to be intentful and develop meaningful relationships. With law school, I would inevitably half-ass one or two of them.

    So I decided which one I was going to drop. Initially I planned on appearing one final time to say goodbye to everyone and explain why I won't be returning. But it was a busy week, so I figured it would be easier to text-message the leader with an explanation. However, as I began typing the text message I got this strong gut feeling telling me to go - so I did.

    Coincidentally, when I arrived Jenn was also there for her first time. Keep in mind the population of the city I live in is about 500,000 and the greater metro area is about 900,000. I wondered to myself if this was truly a coincidence or not, keeping in mind the synopsis to Vawser's book. The old-me would have shrugged it off as coincidence. Either way, I decided stay with this bible study and to play it slow for a few reasons: (1) I've always seen bible study as a safe haven from worldly drama, so to speak, so I didn't want to make a hasty decision that would jeopardize that; (2) I suddenly became filled with anxiety every time I talked with Jenn, which made her a bit uncomfortable; and (3) being patient is generally not a bad thing to be. However, I began to question whether we were compatible and whether she would ever be interested in me. So while praying I told God: "If this is really a part of your plan, I know you'll make it happen; otherwise, it won't and I'm fine with that. For now I'm going to sit back and let you take the steering wheel." I also began to figure it was, in fact, just a coincidence, or that maybe there was another reason God wanted me to stay in this bible study.

    Recently, Jen has been initiating conversations with me and I've noticed that she has grown interested in me (it's been obvious). Moreover, I've realized our personalities indeed work well with one another. But within the same week or so I realized another girl - at the same bible study - became interested in me.

    The Second Girl

    To start this section off, I need to admit that I do have a small problem. I've been working on this problem for the past year. Ever since I was a teenager I've often felt really comfortable being around girls and talking to them. This leads me to accidentally flirt with girls when I don't intend to. In my mind, I'm just being friendly. By that same token, oftentimes when girls flirt with me I think they are just being friendly too. This isn't limited to just girls that I think are attractive. Recently a female friend of mine jokingly told me that I've probably flirted with "every female I've ever talked to." Regardless, I've become more cognizant of this and I've been trying to better regulate my behavior around women.

    Back to the second girl - let's call her Aly. Initially I was in no way interested in Aly. She dresses professionally for work so for the first 2 months at bible study she wore high heels every night. I didn't notice she wore high heels, and she is already slightly taller than me. So my brain just processed her as being way too tall for me to date (I mean, she really does tower over me with heels on). From the onset Aly and I have had good chemistry, but in my mind we were always just being friendly with each other. She also has a charismatic personality so it's difficult to tell when she's romantically interested in someone. Needless to say, one night, I thought to myself, "whichever guy ends up with Aly is going to be totally blessed by her, because she seems like such a great catch." I still wasn't interested in her though. I was merely making an observation in my mind.

    The Dilemma.

    When it finally clicked in my brain that Aly was actually super interested in me I panicked. I thought "Oh crap, I accidentally flirted with someone again." Moreover, the whole issue of discerning God's will aside, both Jenn and Aly seem terrific, and after getting to know them both since January I can sense that they both are genuinely pursuing Jesus Christ.

    However, I decided to ask Jenn out ASAP. Because even if I don't know if that's God's will, I think and feel that it's a possibility. Therefore, I should act on that. Thus, I decided to ask Jenn to coffee the next time I saw her at bible study. However, she wasn't there. Then bible study was cancelled for two weeks. Then Jenn didn't show up the next week or the week after that. Meanwhile, some of us in the group have been hanging out over the weekends, Aly included. There was this awkward tension between Aly and myself now, because she can tell that I've changed my behavior around her (I've been trying hard not to lead her on and act flirty). Despite this, we had fun hanging out as a group outside of bible study, and it also allowed me to meet Aly's sisters and friends - which gave me more confidence in the person I figured she was.

    Moreover, the last 6 weeks has given me time to think and consult the Christian men/friends in my life. Of course, I received different opinions and advise, but no one I asked seemed to be leaning towards Jenn on the basis of this "coincidence." The opinion that stuck out the most was the possibility that God is giving me a choice between the two - maybe because that's what I wanted to hear. Needless to say, that's the premise that I based my decision off of, that I can chose either one.

    It was still a difficult choice. On one hand, I had a gut feeling that Jenn and I had more compatible personality types. However, that's just a gut feeling. Plus, Jenn has been absent from group for nearly two months. On the other hand, I know that Aly has certain qualities that I'm looking for. Most notably, she strives to foster a sense of community at our bible study and seeks out opportunities for our friendships extend beyond the one time a week that we meet for group - unlike Jenn.

    So, I decided to ask Aly out to coffee, and she happily agreed to. However, there is a part of me that still feels conflicted. Aly and me are scheduled to go out this weekend. Of course, if Aly and Jenn were in the same bible study I could buy more time, maybe go out to coffee with both of them. But spending more time with them separately, given the circumstances, would be impossible to navigate and inappropriate.

    From this point forward I intend to go with the flow. I'm trying not going to force anything or to take control. I'm leaving it to God and I pray that I will be willing to listen to Him and discern His will.

    For the time being, I ask two things from the members of this forum. First, what are your thoughts, opinions, and advice? Second, please pray that God will give me wisdom.

    God Bless
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  2. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

    +5,543
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    All things being equal, God isn't going to tell you which woman you should choose to pursue. That's up to you, buddy!
     
  3. Lyso

    Lyso New Member

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    I certainly don't expect him to tell me - at least not literally, but you never know. He did tell me to go back and finish law school. That might sound crazy, but He did.

    Regardless, I'm more concerned as to whether the "coincidence" was a form of Him speaking.

    I'll keep what you said in mind. Much thanks!
     
  4. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Alright, but you've got the kind of problems most of us wish we would have. :)


    On who to pick? It's pretty easy, there's a few basic heuristics.

    1) If push goes to shove you probably are excited more about one option than the other. If I had to guess based on your post I would say the first one based on the the length of the post and some of the other details. But keeping your options open might be good.


    2) What are the backgrounds of the girls to you church wise? One of the safest bets is just to go with the girl who you have the most common with spiritually speaking.


    3) But one of the biggest factors is all the stuff based on the ladies homestate, hometown (if its far from you) where there is a built in time table if one of the girls has to move back home, or maybe move away for graduate school or gets a job offer to a state half way across the country etc. This sort of thing might be the biggest factor on who you end up with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we should ascribe such significance to coincidence. That's more similar to paganism which seeks omens and signs through mundane events. God speaks through his Holy Scriptures and by them he has told us all that we need to know in order to make good decisions.
     
  6. Mel333

    Mel333 Active Member

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    Pick one. Stop flirting with the other. I suggest not even being around the other so you don't go comparing them to each other and respect the one you want to be with.

    I suggest determining which could be a friend and who has similar interests as you do. Pick whoever was more interested in you and who you could be best friends with as that's what counts the most in a relationship. Friendship and care for one another and similar interests/goals are a bonus.

    Jenn sounds kind enough that she's been waiting around for you to notice her even with competition. Sounds like a treasure to me. ie patience for 6 months

    Aly started to became interested in you because another girl has started to like you and has blocked the one who has been waiting around with heels. Jenn possibly might not be going to the bible study for various reasons, one could be because the other girl is there.

    Never go out for coffee with the two women you are interested in. You are going to hurt them and will get neither in the end.

    Anyway, these are just observations from what you've written. I hope you'll be able to choose soon.
     
  7. Lyso

    Lyso New Member

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    Pavel, I greatly appreciate this input. I haven't considered #2 much. I'll address each one.

    1.) I focused more on the first in my message, because I wanted to give a detailed account of the "coincidence." Truth be told, I'm more excited about the second one.

    2.) Both girls are from Christian families. From what I know, the second one's family does consist of some strong Christians (her father and grandfather), but I'm not sure about the rest. Also her parents are divorced. The second girl's family consists of many strong Christians and her parents are still together - I've had the chance to meet them. Generally speaking, I have more in common with the first girl in terms of our personality types and general interests. However, spiritually speaking I have more in common with the second girl. Both of us fit into the category of "born again" as we were both incredibly rebellious when younger, neither of us are "spiritually conservative," and neither of us are terribly legalistic.

    There is one thing to note about the second girl. Before she came back to the church, during her rebellious years, she did get married at the age of 19 (her husband was in the military). However, it only lasted a year as her husband cheated on her. This doesn't concern me at all since she has come to Christ since.

    3.) Neither lady intends on leaving town. Both have roots here.
     
  8. Lyso

    Lyso New Member

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    I've been regulating my behavior since. No flirting is going on.

    As far as ascribing a motive to Aly, I doubt that is the case. I realized she has been interested in me for a while. It just took a few months for me to notice and connect the dots. Besides, I'm not sure if she noticed Jenn was interested. Moreover, the first several months at group Jenn seemed tense around me. I took that as her not being interested.

    As far as the heels thing, Aly wears a suit to work. She has to wear them. Outside of work she never wears heels.

    Thanks for the message Mel. Even though I disagreed on a few points, it shifted my thinking a lot.
     
  9. Mel333

    Mel333 Active Member

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    Hope you choose which one soon.

    Whoever wants to grow in Christ is what matters most and friendship.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  10. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    God certainly can tell us things directly. But in most cases He gave us principles in His word to follow. From there we walk according to those principles, but staying open for Him to say something.

    Certainly God can also work through providential events, which resemble normal coincidences. Yet, you can't read life decisions just into coincidences.

    If God has not given any direct indication that you should date someone, then live by the principles outlined in the Scriptures. From what you have said both are Christians, both seem sincere. Pray that you would do God's will, and pursue what you think is best, within Scriptural guidelines.

    You mentioned some of the first lady's personality may be more compatible. You also seem more attracted to the second woman, and seem reluctant because you think God is pushing you to the first woman, based on coincidence. If God wants you to get the message, as you already learned, He can make sure you get it. Otherwise if you would rather date the second lady, who is actually around to date, then do that unless there is some particular concern about character, faith, or some direct message to the contrary.

    And yes, don't lead both on at the same time, as other posters have said. If you truly think they are both interested then the kindest think you can do is not string them along. Pick the one you think you should be with and then pursue that. Make it obvious.
     
  11. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Well that can be big!

    I guess my prayers for you will be that if the Lord does not give you some direct insight into this then, maybe we can pray that the best candidate for you to go steady with is also the one whose schedule fits yours the best. And after that just put in the Lord's hands.
     
  12. Lyso

    Lyso New Member

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    That's also before she came to Christ and when she was 19. I also did many bad things before coming to Christ. I still do. Only now I repent and ask for forgiveness.
     
  13. Mel333

    Mel333 Active Member

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    Yes. I understand. I take back what I said earlier as I wasn't sure of the situation.

    Anyway, it does sound like you've decided. So I hope things work out for you.
     
  14. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Both interests, personalities, and even spiritual condition can change throughout a marriage. In general commitment and willingness to forgive make the biggest difference from what I have seen.

    Has the second had any counseling to follow up on the cheating, divorce, etc.? Has she looked into what caused issues in the first marriage, or what caused her to choose someone with such tendencies?
     
  15. Brotherly Spirit

    Brotherly Spirit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I believe God speaks to us through people or events in our lives. But it's not simply this is "coincidental so it always must be him", does require additional discern through His word to us. Whether it's the Lord Jesus according to his teachings in the Gospels or the Church in fellowship advising one another as taught. So be sure to check everything as you've been by seeking God's wisdom where possible, then use your better judgment when it's all considered.

    It's possible you were brought to the Bible study again to meet either of the women. Impossible to know certainly or which one. Question now is what path has God laid before you, seems to me in my opinion to the Lord in fellowship developing a relationship with Aly. Unlike Jenn she has remained with the group and is interested in you, this is something you can be certain about. Instead of doubting yourself, have faith the Holy Spirit is now leading you with the current circumstances. If Jenn does reappear into the picture, just remain faithful to pursuing Aly and seeing where that leads. No need to complicate it trying to pursue two women at once in your life.
     
  16. Lyso

    Lyso New Member

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    I'll just reiterate here for everyone that leading them both on was unintentional. As previously stated, being inadvertently flirty is a personality fault of mine I've recently discovered. I've adjusted my behavior once I actually realized what I was doing.

    Tall73, thanks for the sound advise.
     
  17. Lyso

    Lyso New Member

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    Not that I know of. All I know is she wasn't in the church at the time. The husband was also in the military - he was a marine. So maybe that made her feel he was alright. I don't know if she has received counseling. I do know that she didn't even talk to men for a few years afterwards, that God has been healing her since, and that she has done specific bible studies designed for women with similar "baggage."

    I sense there is a possibility that she idolizes marriage or romance - but I'm not sure as I'm not a mind reader. Maybe that's something I can try an figure out in the coming weeks.
     
  18. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Hi. There is a lot in your initial post for us to digest, Lyso, but considering it and also the replies already posted, Ill mention a few things:

    1. You had better do something soon or you may lose your chances with both girls.

    2. Stop stifling the natural way that you interact with these girls. While too much flirting isn't good, you have an interest in both of these girls and they in you, so don't make yourself look alternately hot and cold or phony or uncomfortable or anything like that. Be yourself.

    3. There is no reason to settle on either one before you date them a few times. At that point, you will probably know. And dating both at once or alternately is not disgraceful at this stage when you have pledged nothing to either one, but are just casually dating.

    4. It is not likely that God has picked one for you. He may have sent both of them your way, for all of that. Or neither. But I would not recommend waiting for him to take you by the hand in this matter.
     
  19. af2018af2018

    af2018af2018 New Member

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    Sounds like youre trying to do Gods job here. Pray and WAIT. Youll get the answer if you wait. That doesnt mean to sit in a chair and do nothing. Spend time with these girls, but if you pray about it, God will reveal the right one (if any).
     
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