Ask Aysha: Is It Okay to Be Friends With a Nonbeliever Who Likes Me?
Written by Aysha Ives | December 27, 2012
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?