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    “I Like an Atheist, but I Don’t Want to Marry Him. What Are My Limits?”

    I think I like a guy who is an atheist…I don’t want to marry him or have a long-term relationship, but what should the limits be?

    Girl, when I first read your question, I was a bit concerned! And my initial—and pretty much only—response was “Why?” Why would you want to get involved in such a situation? It’s only going to lead to heartbreak…not just for you, but maybe even for the guy, too! You write that you “don’t want to marry him” or have a long-term relationship, so what do you want?

    It seems to me that you want to get into a relationship that you don’t intend on pursing wholeheartedly. You’ve already decided on the outcome–you know he’s not right for you because he’s not a Christian. So why get involved at all? Is it because he’s cute? He’s a challenge? You want to change him? What are your intentions?

    If you think about it, what positive scenario could come out of getting involved with him?

    Not only are Christians called to not be yoked with nonbelievers, but they’re also called to remain pure until marriage. And so dating should be the first stage of meeting a person you hope to marry. If things go well, and both you and the guy seem compatible, then you move on to courting. It’s at this stage that you discuss marriage, but even so, you would remain pure and avoid situations that may cause the two of you to stumble.

    So, in answering your question, if you’re not intending on pursuing a relationship with this guy, it’s best not to get involved with him. Anything else could lead to heartbreak.

    Here’s what I think you should do:

    1. Put yourself in this guy’s shoes. What if he liked you and wanted to see what he could get away with, but he would never consider you for marriage? Would you feel hurt?
    2. Learn what your Christian faith teaches about dating, relationships, purity and marriage.
    3. Don’t get into any relationship unless the guy is a candidate for marriage. Seriously! If you’re not striving for marriage in a manner consistent with your Christian faith, then it will only lead to someone getting  hurt.

    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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