Hi There! Thanks for having such an awesome blog and ministry! I have a question regarding relationships. I have spent a lot of time praying, and it is clear to me that God also wants me to guard my heart and to be careful when it comes to being physical. However, when it comes to relationships now, this is very difficult to explain to guys that I try to become close with. Usually all goes well, and then the discussion about boundaries arises, and I explain how this can be a struggle for myself, and that I need to be careful, so as a couple, we might have to wait longer to explore some of the other physical stuff, even though both of us may have gone farther in the past. And after that discussion, between a day, a week, or a month, the guy is backs out, and I am left alone again square one. Am I doing this totally wrong, or am I just paranoid? Because of this pattern, I have been scared of how to approach the boundary thing in the future. Help? Advice? Please? (Edited for length)
I am so sorry that these guys are bailing on you. However, that is way overshadowed by how amazing and awesome it is that you are setting boundaries and sticking to them. You are, as far as I can tell, doing everything right. You are being up front and honest, and maintaining your boundaries.
This may seem like an odd thing to say, but your situation is setting boundaries working well. I know it doesn’t necessarily feel like that, but it is true. We have to define our goals in order to know what success is, The goal of dating is not to simply be in any old jacked up relationship with any person who comes along. The goal is to have fun, and to find someone you want to move forward with. Someone who is not going to call you back because you tell them you aren’t going to have sex with them is not someone you want to move forward with. They are doing you a favor by revealing their true colors so you can move on to someone else.
One thing to take a look at is: what kind of guys are you dating? If these guys aren’t Christians, then the problems start right there. There is nothing wrong with taking some time to figure out what you want from a relationship before jumping into dating. You are also under no obligation to date everyone who asks.
Setting boundaries will sometimes drive people away. That is kind of the point on some level. If your boundaries are sensible (which your’s absolutely are) then that acts as a shortcut to keep people out of your life who have no place there in the first place. You are on the right track, don’t get discouraged. You just need to keep an eye on what success is to realize you are having it.
-Matt from The Bridge