“Help! The Guy I Like Hangs Out With the Wrong Crowd, But Says He Wants to Change!”

    Hey Olivia! I really need help and I don’t know where else to turn! At the beginning of this school year, I met a guy in my drama class. He hangs out with the druggies and was kinda loud. I wrote him off as just one of those kids and basically saw myself as better than him. Six months ago, I got to sit down with him and he opened up about how he was breaking up with his girlfriend because she wanted a physical relationship and he wasn’t that guy. It started to change how I saw him. Every once in a while he would open up about how he’s trying to get away from this bad group and get away from drugs. My heart and arrogance softened. I felt God telling me to ask him to church. Long story short, we’ve been texting for two months nonstop and he still hasn’t gone to church with me, but he wants to. He admitted he likes me and wants to go slowly, and I feel the same. With me he’s sweet and nice and honest, but still his actions with his “friends” aren’t always the guy I know him to be. I’m struggling because I like who he wants to become and what his heart is, but I don’t like some of his old habits. Things are getting deeper and I don’t know what to do. Everyone keeps saying I’m being stupid, but I’ve thought and prayed about this and God isn’t answering. I know the time will come when I have to choose to progress into dating or move on. Do you have advice? Please help! Thank you!


    Hey, girl! Thanks for trusting me with your question.

    Let’s start with your comments about “he’s trying to get away from this bad group and get away from drugs” and “he still hasn’t gone to church with me, but he wants to.”

    I don’t know anything about this guy, but from what you’re describing, it sounds like one of two things: He’s playing you or he doesn’t have the desire to really change. And I come to this conclusion because he’s saying what he wants to do, but he’s not taking action. If he wanted to change, he would. If he wanted to go to church, he would. So, my guess is that he doesn’t want to do either and is just saying those things to keep your interest. And that’s too bad.

    And what if he does want to change? Say he does have the desire, but just can’t. What does that mean to you? He’s showing no signs of personal strength. And he’s not interested in looking to God for strength. Seems to me that he talks a good talk, but his actions aren’t consistent with his words.

    The other thing is that even though he’s not following through on the things that he’s saying, you’re still believing him when he says other things like “he was breaking up with his girlfriend because she wanted a physical relationship and he wasn’t that guy” and he “wants to go slowly and I feel the same.” If he’s not honest about the other things he’s saying, how can you believe him about these things? Is he really being honest? And if so, what do you both mean about going slowly…going slowly toward what?

    My concern is that you’re falling for the guy that you want him to be. But what if he never becomes that guy? Then what? Say you “go slowly” to wherever you intend to go in this relationship and he continues to hang out with the wrong crowd and he never goes to church? He hasn’t made any promises to you to do otherwise. He owes you nothing and you’re hanging on to this fantasy that he’s going to be this amazing guy who hangs out with good guys and goes to church.

    You really can’t base your future on “what if” and you shouldn’t be considering any guy on a casual basis. Dating is the first stage of finding your husband, and if you can’t see yourself marrying this guy as he is today, then you shouldn’t be considering a relationship with him at all. It has to be in him to want to change. It has to be a strong desire that changes him throughout; anything less is not genuine.

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

    1. Remind yourself of the man you want to spend the rest of your life with. Don’t see this guy the way you want him to be. See him for who he is. Don’t be blinded by a fantasy. The reality will kick in pretty quickly should you choose to move forward with this relationship, and it will leave you with a broken heart.
    2. Stay away from this guy. I know! You don’t want to read this. It’s something your parents would say, right? But you said it yourself: “I like who he wants to become.” Yet until he actually becomes that person, he’s not that guy. He’s the guy you don’t want to be with.
    3. Remember 2 Corinthians 6:14, which reads: “Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers. For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?” I think that this verse relates to this situation because you’re actually considering moving on in a relationship with this guy even though he is either not Christian or not acting like one. He’s slowing pulling you into his heart and who knows what else he could convince you of? Could he convince you not to go to church anymore? Could he convince you to hang out with the bad crowd and introduce you to drugs? Who knows? 2 Corinthians 6:14 calls for Christians not to marry nonbelievers because it may cause them to turn away from God.
    4. Look to God and His plan for your life. You say God is not answering, but there is doubt in your mind. When you meet the man for you, there will be no doubt. Your friends are warning you, too. Are they good friends? Do they care about you? Be careful not to ignore the signs simply because your desire to be with this guy is strong.
    5. Be honest with yourself. I think that if you had a friend in the exact same situation, you would be directing her away, too.

    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!


    1. Thank you so much for this!! My situation is practically the exact same thing. It’s so hard and I’ve been trying to slowly push away from him and more towards God. It’s so difficult, really! I’m struggling with it a lot myself. But hang in there. God has been whispering to me that He has greater plans for me.

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