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    “Help! I’m Desperate to Fit in With My New Friends!”

    I just moved to a new city less than a year ago. I still feel really new around here so, I haven’t really gotten involved in church or youth group that much. I met this really cute guy, though, and I started to really like him. I know it is not right to want to have a relationship with him because he is not a believer. But after a while I started to realize all of the girls I have befriended since I got here have boyfriends or are in some sort of relationship. I have never dated or kissed a guy before and this kinda makes me feel lame at times because they might think I am kinda lame. Lately I have been feeling really lonely and sad when they are all hanging out with their boyfriends and I am alone. No matter what, I know I am doing the right thing by not doing any casual dating. Feeling lonely has led to me like almost every guy I meet or am introduced to. I think it is just my great desperation to be in a relationship to fit in. So I guess this isn’t really a question, I just need advice on what to do and how to stay strong please. Thank you.

    Hey girl! Thanks for your question. I can imagine that this whole situation is depressing, but you really need to remind yourself of what you’re doing all of this for. And I think you know because you stated that you’re doing the right thing by not casually dating. And yet you’re feeling left out, and you’re finding that you’re attracted to every guy you meet.

    I think your first mistake is caring what the others think. At the end of the day, your desire to follow Christ should be your primary focus and what others do should be irrelevant. As Christians, we please Christ first, right? And if you’re good with God and your friends have a problem with that, should they really be your friends? You should hang with people who help you build your relationship with Christ, not damage it.

    The reality is that you’re going to meet many people in your life who live according to themselves and not God. But as Christians we are to follow the commandments, avoid sin, turn away and live a better life. Sure, in most instances we may stand out, or have to respond differently in certain situations, but that’s okay. We may even be treated badly or be persecuted. In fact, 2 Timothy 3:12 pretty much guarantees it.

    My other concern is that you have a desire within you to be in a relationship in order to fit in, but who do you want to fit in with? Plus, this “desperation” could lead you to a very dangerous place. What if your friends all have sex with their boyfriends and share their experiences? Will you do the same so they don’t call you “lame”? What lengths would you go to in order to fit in?

    This whole situation can be corrected if you change your mind-set. You need to love who you have chosen to follow, what you have chosen to be and where you want your life to go. Until you truly want that, you will always feel left out and want to fit in.

    So, here’s what I think you should do.

    1. Remind yourself of why you decided not to date casually. You know that there is a really strong reason why you decided not to date casually, and it’s all related to pleasing God. So make a list of those reasons and keep it so that you can read it whenever you begin to feel discouraged.
    2. Love your decision. In order to be happy with your decision, you have to love it. You have to know in your heart that your decision is not only the right one, but it makes you feel good living it.
    3. Get used to the fact that your decision is in the minority. You will likely not meet many girls who are willing to wait for the right guy. But that’s okay. We live in a pretty lost culture and not many people, including Christians, are following the Word according to Christ’s teaching. But just because no one else is doing it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Once you come to terms with the fact that you will probably be the only one without a boyfriend for a while, it’ll be easier to get over it and live with it.
    4. Read 5 Ways to Enjoy Being Single When All of Your Friends Have Boyfriends. This article suggests a number of ways that you can enjoy being single. I think it will help you.
    5. Get involved in youth group and church. You really need to surround yourself with like-minded people, and you’re more likely to meet them at church. So get involved, not just in youth group, but also in church events. This will keep your mind and social life busy.
    6. Read your Bible. Scripture reminds you of how you’re supposed to live a Christian life. It also reminds you that you are not to “be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
    7. Pray. You’re being tempted to not just date casually, but date an unbeliever, all because your new friends have boyfriends and you’re afraid they will think you’re lame. So pray that God opens your heart to desire Him more than a boyfriend or pleasing your friends. And also pray that he instills patience within you so that you don’t feel rushed into getting a boyfriend. Remember, dating is the first step in finding a husband. Are you ready to get married? If not, then why do you want to date?

    Good luck and God bless!

    Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!

    Ask Olivia
    Got a question about boys, your besties or God? I'm here to help! As the girl all my friends always came to for advice, I've turned my girl talk, level-headedness and love of Jesus into a job -- one I love because I was a teen not long ago, too! Click into Ask Olivia in our Girl Talk Forums to ask me a question!

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