Retro Dear Michele: Always Just Friends
I had my marriage annulled 15 years ago. I am trying to find a suitable boyfriend in the hope that it will lead to marriage but no one replies or writes to me except people outside of my posted age range.
I had in the past dated one Catholic boy on the net, but after being friendly to me and going out with me he suddenly got engaged to another woman. Now similar events keep happening to me.
Men who seem to show interest in me treat me as a friend and in front of me they seek other girls. It is as if I am someone who must be there to find someone else.
I am going in circles as again and again this is happening to me. I don’t know what to do. I just want to find a guy around my age whom I can marry. Please advise me.
Always Just Friends
The Dreaded “Friendzone”
Dear Always Just Friends,
In terms of being contacted by members, I would suggest keeping your profile as flexible and open as possible. This may mean re-thinking your “must haves.” Could you be open to dating men just a few years older than you have considered so far? Is there anything in your profile that is so specific that it might turn away interested men that don’t fit the criteria you are describing? Having a trusted and honest friend look at your profile might help.
Objects May Be Closer than They Appear
Now in terms of always just being friends, you do have a dilemma. Being on a date with someone when they are openly pursuing others is just simply disrespectful. You have to ask yourself why you would want to continue to see someone who is giving clear signals that he is looking elsewhere? One point to consider is the possibility that these men do not consider your relationship to be romantic, but as you said, just friends. If that is the case, friends do talk about who they are interested in.
It may be that the men you are with don’t share your perspective on the relationship. If that is the case, how did that occur? Are you misreading signals? Have the two of you actually ever discussed the relationship, or if you are on a “date?” It may seem uncomfortable at first, but I would approach the topic with authenticity before assuming they are simply being rude.
You Might Think You Don’t Have to Let Go…
Finding a nice guy to marry is a godly desire, placed in all of our hearts. I believe that if He placed it there, He wants you to find the right one. It may mean spending some time alone in prayer, along with together in counsel with another trusted person or clergy to explore if there is any part of you that may be attracted to unavailable men.
We seem to attract what is inside of us, even if we are not aware of it. If this seems to be your history, you may find yourself just not interested in guys that pursue or appear to be ready for a relationship. That is a good way to remain single for a very long time. But the other good news is that the issue can be addressed, either in professional counseling, personal development, or spiritual direction. It’s all about feels right for you.
Hope this helps,
Michele Fleming, M.A.
Michele Fleming, M.A. is a counselor, national speaker, and writer on Christian relationships. Michele has a Masters in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in the integration of Christian theology. She is currently completing her PhD and her research is focused on dating and relationships. She is a member of the Christian Association for the Psychological Sciences and the American Psychological Association as well as a staff therapist at a non-profit community counseling center in Southern California, offering Christian counseling services to individuals and couples. Prior to entering graduate school, Michele served as the Director of Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Diego, and worked as a consultant for the young adult ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Michele is also a radio host on "St. Joseph Radio Presents," a national EWTN broadcast on Saturday mornings that explores the teachings of the Catholic Church and how they apply to our lives and relationships. Michele considers her most important calling to be to her marriage. Dan and Michele were married in 2006, and together they provide seminars to couples preparing for marriage or discerning engagement.