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Ask Aysha: Is It Okay to Be Friends With a Nonbeliever Who Likes Me?

I was very close to dating a guy when I found out that he is agnostic. I decided not to date him, but is it okay to stay friends with him even though he still likes me?

It’s a very wise choice to refrain from dating someone who doesn’t share your love of Jesus. God does command us to love everyone, so we should always be kind to other believers and nonbelievers alike. However, when romantic feelings are involved, the situation should be approached very carefully. Here are a couple of tips that might help:

  • Continue to demonstrate the love of Jesus. We know that Jesus commands us to love everyone and that includes people who don’t share our love of Him yet. It’s up to us to be the example of Jesus on Earth so that nonbelievers will eventually begin to love Jesus too. Continue to speak the Word of God to your friend and demonstrate your love as a Christian whenever you’re in his presence. You never know, you may be the one assigned to lead him to Christ!
  • Set clear boundaries. While it’s okay to be kind to your friend, remember that you’re ONLY friends. Avoid spending excessive time with him, especially if it involves a lot (or even a little bit) of flirting. Keep in mind that if you were attracted to him before, then you’re probably still attracted to him in many ways. Don’t put yourself in a position where your feelings continue to grow by spending too much time with him.

Likewise, since he still has feelings for you, it wouldn’t be fair to spend too much time with him because in the back of his mind, he might still want to be in a romantic relationship with you. Limit the amount of time you spend with him in person, on the phone, through text messages and emails, etc., until the romantic feelings have completely gone away–on BOTH sides.

Also, make sure that he is very aware that it’s JUST a friendship. By setting clear boundaries, you’ll avoid being tempted to engage in a relationship with him. If you struggle in this area, ask God to help you withstand temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says this:

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.

  • Stay firm in your decision. It’s important to God that His people marry other believers. Since dating/courting is supposed to be the process of finding the right spouse, it’s not a good idea to date someone who doesn’t share your love for Jesus. STAY FIRM with your decision to only date other believers. This may be hard, especially since you were so close to dating this guy, but never forget that our first priority is always to please God. If this is hard for you, be sure to ask The Holy Spirit for strength.
  • Pray. Pray that your friend might have an experience with God that’ll be so powerful that he too will want to form a relationship with our Almighty God. And of course, continue to pray for strength and guidance for yourself!

I really hope this helps. I know how tempting dating can be and I hope this will encourage you and help you navigate the dating/courting/friendship world! Girls, do you have any other tips to add?

Image: Thinkstock | istockphoto


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by irinachuprin on July 30, 2013 at 12:59

    Thank you so much for this article. I recently met a guy and we really hit it off. Our interests are almost all the same, and he is a really great guy, but he is a muslim. This article really helped me see how truly important it is to not lead him on, after all, how can God’s love shine through me if I would break his heart.

  2. mickeymousebabe17

    Posted by mickeymousebabe17 on May 17, 2013 at 02:09

    I am going through the same thing right now…I like this guy but I just found out he is Atheist…I know I shouldn’t/cant be with him but I cant make my feelings go away 🙁

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Skipp2012 on April 13, 2013 at 21:54

    I don’t want to totally go against what this article’s saying or anything, since all the advice it gives is good. However…I entered into a relationship with a guy knowing that he was not religious. I prayed about it a lot, and though I’d been taught differently, I truly believed it was the right thing to do. Yes, being in a relationship with a nonbeliever caused me grief that was nearly impossible to bear! I loved him so much and was terrified of him dying and being separated from God and from me forever. I prayed and prayed for him, and now, he believes in God and comes to church with me. I guess you could call this “missionary dating.” In my case, it’s worked. He and I have never fought to this day and we’ve promised each other than we’ll get married one day.

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by Alm2018 on January 13, 2013 at 04:42

    This was really helpful thank you so much

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by KelseyAyBee on January 12, 2013 at 09:08

    I’ve been reading articles on here for a little while and decided to finally sign up to comment here and say this is a beautifully written article! When I found myself in a similar situation a year ago, I definitely did the wrong thing at the time and could have used this advice! It is so important to be fair to the other person as well as yourself 🙂

  6. olburrows

    Posted by olburrows on January 2, 2013 at 10:59

    This was a wonderful topic to address. I work with nonbelievers, and I always hope I’d never be tempted to be in a relationship with one of the guys.

  7. Nellie

    Posted by Nellie on December 29, 2012 at 21:36

    Oh wow this is amazing. i have never even liked any guy before until just recently. he likes me too, and says he is a christian, but he doesnt really live for God like he should. I have made it clear that we are only friends, and i am having a hard time just getting through this. I dont want to hurt him too bad, i just cant be in a relationship with him. This really encouraged me and helped me feel stronger knowing im not completely alone in this situation! Thank you so much!! and i almost didnt get on the internet tonight…:)

  8. Paris

    Posted by Paris on December 28, 2012 at 21:00

    Mabye if He does become a believer,you can date Him because you’ll both be believers! 😉

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by Secretly1nLove on December 28, 2012 at 17:10

    the timing of this article could not be more perfect, unfortunately for me 🙁

    • leahgrace99

      Posted by leahgrace99 on December 29, 2012 at 13:50

      I agree! One of my best friends likes me but he is not a Christian so it’s really hard. 🙁

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by Sheila Landtroop on December 28, 2012 at 08:17

    Its ok to be friends with him, Jesus himself sat among the sinners, you just have to be careful because the Bible says that bad fruit corrupts good morals.

  11. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on December 28, 2012 at 08:02

    i can be one of the girls that start drama but girls on here are getting hurt and i have caused some or alot of the hurt and i am sorry but please help make it stop!

  12. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on December 28, 2012 at 08:01

    nicole and all the staff on here there is a serious issue if you go on random thoughts and questions on girl taslk a ton of girls are leaving and there is alot of drama on here please make it stop! oh iand i am one of those people at times i might be all the time i’m not sure sorry if i was.

  13. Aria23146

    Posted by Aria23146 on December 28, 2012 at 07:58

    This is great advice! Thanks! 🙂

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by on December 27, 2012 at 17:45

    Surround yourself with many Christian friends so that you are not tempted to conform to the ways of nonchristian acts.

  15. amberlg1998

    Posted by amberlg1998 on December 27, 2012 at 17:05

    I don’t date yet, but this still helped! Thank you! <3

  16. Project Inspired

    Posted by ShaeNikole on December 27, 2012 at 14:30

    This is a very helpful article! I have not personally had this experiance but if, when more rather, I do have this experiance I will have this to remember! Thanks!!

  17. Abby4Him

    Posted by Abby4Him on December 27, 2012 at 14:28

    Thank you for this!