“I Have a Boyfriend and I Have Feelings for Other Guys. Am I Still Ready for a Relationship?”

    I’m feeling very confused. So I’ve been with my boyfriend since May 21. We broke up for nine days, but we’re together again. Anyway, my guy friend told me “if you’re having feelings for other guys, then you’re probably not ready for a relationship.” Do you think this is true? I have feelings for my guy friend, ironically. He doesn’t know it. But I’m wondering whether that quote is true! I’ve been praying about it, but the answer I’m getting is neutral. I don’t know whether I should stay with my boyfriend or break it off. The last thing I want to do is make a rash decision. I really believe in dating with intention. I could see myself marrying my boyfriend. But I could also see myself marrying a few other guys. Also, my boyfriend loves me. What do I do?

    Oh man! This is definitely a predicament. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what to do about your boyfriend, but I can say that if you have feelings for other guys besides your boyfriend, and can see yourself marrying all of them…well, then I’m guessing you may not be ready for a relationship. I write “guessing” because I don’t know you and I don’t know the dynamics of your relationship. But based on your interest in other guys, this seems to be the case.

    Let’s be clear. There is no perfect guy, but there is a perfect guy for you. In order for you to live a happy and content life, you need to be sure that the man you’ve married is the man for you. How sad it would be if you weren’t happy and looked back, wondering if it was any of the other guys you liked in the past! No. It’s important that when you marry a man, you are 100 percent sure that you love him like no other and that he is the one for you. No other man should fit the bill. Otherwise, the man you marry is just a guy…not your guy!

    Also, since you write that your boyfriend loves you, I wonder if you’re not being fair to him. Imagine if you were with a guy you loved, and you found out that he had feelings for you and other girls…and he could see himself marrying you and those other girls? I know I wouldn’t like that. What would you want him to do? Would you want him to break up with you and make up his mind?

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

    1. Ask yourself if you’re ready to get married. I mean, this is your first question, not whether you’re ready for a relationship. Once you are ready for marriage, then you should go ahead and date.
    2. Determine the type of man you want to marry. Do all the guys you see yourself marrying fit the bill? Have you even decided on the kind of guy you want to marry? Would he have to be a devoted Christian, a family man, patient, kind, generous, loving, wholesome and so on? Determine what you’re looking for and you will have a better understanding of whether your current boyfriend is the one for you.
    3. Understand that in order to date with intention, you really shouldn’t get emotionally involved. This is only the first stage of finding your husband, and during this process you should be just meeting a guy. You should be learning about him and whether he is someone you would marry. Does he have the character you want in a husband? The emotions should be saved for the courting stage.
    4. Read your Bible. God’s Word is clear. Everything you need to know about being a Christian, relationships and marriage is in the Good Book.
    5. Pray and then listen. I know you write that the answer you’re getting is neutral, but God created marriage. He is specific in His design, and in order to fulfill His desire, we really need to proceed with prudence and temperance.


    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. If you’re having feelings for someone else while you’re in a relationship, I wouldn’t say that it means you’re not ready for a relationship (I don’t know you though, so you’d have to evaluate yourself, or maybe talk to some of your most trusted friends and family). I would say though that it could mean that the relationship you’re in isn’t going to work out! When I was dating my first boyfriend, I still had crushes on other guys all the time, and looking back I see that there were too many problems in my relationship for me to be satisfied with him (I just wasn’t ready to admit it!). When I met him, you could check off all the boxes for good Christian character and nice personality, but later he turned out to be a liar (about being Christian) and an abuser. So maybe attractions to other guys could be warning signs of flaws in relationships? I’ve been with another guy for years now and since I’ve been with him I’ve never even checked out another guy, much less had feelings for any! I think if you have feelings for your guy friend, you really need to step back, look at your own heart, and look very closely at your relationships with these two guys. Whatever happens, God Bless! 🙂

      • Courting involves chaperoned dates, and many times, the boyfriend is picked out by the parents/ the parents are extremely involved. The purpose is to see if he is someone you would marry. (Not all) but many couples courting avoid kissing until the wedding day.
        Dating is more intimate… going out with the boy by yourselves. You also may not hold the intention of looking for a spouse as closely as you would with courting (but you can date with intention too!)

    2. Dear Olivia,
      I don’t know if you’ve ever seen anything like this, but here goes. A few months ago I met a guy at work who was just all kinds of awesome. I worked directly with him, and because this job was kind of dangerous, he really looked out for me and protected me from anything that could have harmed me. I always felt safe when I was with him and we got really close really quickly.
      When I met him, he asked me about my faith and I told him I was a Christian. He kind of recoiled a little bit, but once I told him that I wasn’t going to smack him upside the head with a Bible and that he could ask me about it if he wanted to, he relaxed. Now I don’t know where he stands with his faith, but I found myself praying for his salvation one night so hard that I started sobbing. I’m pretty sure it was from God and that I can’t stop thinking about this guy because God’s put a burden on my heart for him and his salvation.
      But recently I’ve started thinking that it may be something else. The idea disgusts me and scares me, but I might have developed some feelings for him. Why is this a problem? I’m almost 18, and he’s somewhere in his late thirties. If there is a crush there I want to get rid of it (because it’s like crushing on my uncle; it’s WEIRD), but after that night that I randomly started praying for him, it could also be part of that travailing intercession and the way I feel towards him is more familial, like how Jesus loves me. How do I tell? I’m scared and really really confused. Please help

    3. Recently, a really good guy friend of mine was interested in starting a relationship with my best friend. (I’d been waiting for this to happen for forever!) He brought it up to her by saying this. “When you talked about redefining our relationship awhile back, I asked myself a question. Could I see myself marrying anyone other than you? The answer was yes, there were quite a few of my female friends that I could see myself marrying. However, the thought that immediately followed it was this: ‘But I don’t want to marry anyone else.'” It’s not about your emotions- who you’re attracted to. Because honestly, there will still be people other than your spouse who you find attractive after you’re married. And it’s not necessarily about whether you could “see yourself” marrying someone else… because the truth is, there are probably a lot of people out there who you could happily marry. The question is whether you’re willing to lay all of those other possibilities aside to choose, particularly and timelessly, this one person. Because that’s what marriage is, it’s the commitment that THEY are the one you have chosen, regardless of who else you find attractive or who else you could have married. And since intentional dating is with the pursuit of marriage in mind, I think that’s an appropriate question.

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