My daughter (19), a very outgoing, friendly young lady, entered a setting where there are LOTS of wonderful, like-minded males and females! TERRIFIC! Prospects for potential mates and like-minded girlfriends was VERY DISMAL here in our area, so we were delighted that she, finally, got to fellowship with some very fine folks! Her brothers are with her now at that same place.
Unfortunately, she let her “heart go all out” for an older guy (10 year difference in age)–call him Joe, who is the brother of her girlfriend (call her Sue)—they both come from a very good family that my daughter highly regards. She works with Sue on campus, attends the same church, and visits with the family very often in their home. According to my daughter, Joe started giving her “special smiles” and approached her when he overheard a conversation my daughter had with her own brother about “age differences” in regards to relationships. They also did sports together and he cared for her when she was injured (but he was not “fresh”—it was gentlemanly). My daughter IS very mature and I can understand WHY she would be SO attracted to an older, more confident gentleman.
Turns out that Joe met someone else and it looks like they are going to get married. My daughter found out about it through Sue but she had ALREADY suspected, as Joe had stopped being as friendly to her. Apparently, my daughter was a wreck for over a week. Everyone around her could tell.
She has “bucked up” and wished him well on his new relationship. She has even said that she hopes that they will be very happy together and, who knows, she may become a good friend with Joe’s wife. Joe lives on campus, so IF he gets married his wife will be on campus as well. I am very proud of my daughter for her maturity in handling her great disappointment. Although, it has really left a scar on her heart! And, YES, we have ALL of your relationship books as well as TONS of all your other resources! And, yet, she did not proceed with caution! I hate to admit that even I thought that Joe was really “considering” my daugher and got caught up with the excitement of my daughter’s love for this fellow! Now that’s REALLY STUPID!
I have said all of that to set the scene for this:
There are SEVERAL really fine Christian gentlemen that are very interested in getting to know my daughter on a “friendship basis”—but you can tell that they really LIKE her as they have already asked for my husband’s permission to “get to know her.” UNFORTUNATELY, she is still pining over Joe. There is one fine gentleman (we will call him “Tim”) who is quite smitten with her (whom we would be honored to have as a son-in-law UNFORTUNATELY, he just does not “stir” her–he reminds her of her own brother). He even sent a thoughtful bunch of Valentine’s gifts that he signed as Secret Admirer—she tricked him and found out that it was, indeed, him (as there are LOTS of guys that find her attractive). I have sent lots of your materials to Tim and told him that he NEEDS TO slow down and get to know my daughter as a “friend” only. He may not even LIKE her once he gets to know her! UNFORTUNATELY, he has laid HIS heart out too soon—just as my own daughter did with Joe! He, too, is living in an area that is pretty rural and his whole family is having a hard time “pairing up” with quality mates! I GUESS folks in that kind of home environment kinda get unobjective when they are suddenly thrust into a campus that has so many eligible, fine Christian young persons!
Question: What do I do to help this guy? He has this IMAGE of my daughter because he has seen her servant-heartedness in serving others joyfully and he has heard MUCH about her character from friends. Plus, she is beautiful. BUT, just as in your book, he needed to observe her and get to know her thoroughly BEFORE he set his heart on the line. And, she MAY never develop feelings of love for him as a “potential”! My daughter has not shut the door on Tim—thinking that she MAY come to really love him the more she gets to know him. She IS quite impressed by the reports on his character—and, she is one to really ADMIRE CHARACTER! I think that it is nice that he is only 5 years older than her. She does correspond with him and she said that he has been gentlemanly and never writes anything untoward. My husband and I really care for Tim a lot and realize how badly this sort of situation can DEVASTATE a person! HELP!!!
My thoughts: My daughter REALLY NEEDS to mature in this new realm of “socializing with the opposite sex.” As Michael states in Young Adults and Marriage, young folks really NEED to get to know many opposites so that they can learn what they LIKE/WANT/NEED in a spouse. What really matters to them. I agree wholeheartedly! I think that my daughter NEEDS a couple of years to mature in this area before making any commitments to ANYONE!
Question: How does she keep other fellows from falling in “love” too soon? We, as parents, do OUR BEST to advise guys ala the Pearl way—we even distribute your books & CDs to guys! As well as tell them to get to know many girls as friends and find out their values! Get inside a girl’s mind! My daughter IS NOT a flirt. But, she IS BEAUTIFUL. I am sure that that also makes things hard on a guy!
Question: Do WE, as parents, tell Tim that he cannot give her gifts of any kind anymore? Or, should our daughter tell him? Or, do you think that it is okay and we are overreacting? We don’t mind him giving gifts to the family. We have reciprocated and given him small gifts and well as gifts for the whole family. Is THAT okay?
Question: Should SHE stop corresponding with him even to get to know him as just a “friend” since she does not have any feelings for him now?
Question: Is it too MUCH for us to expect Joe to at least apologize for any misunderstandings (My daughter may have misread his intent—she IS inexperienced) or initial attraction he may have had towards my daughter previous to meeting HIS special someone. It certainly WOULD help bring “healing” for my daughter—esp. since SHE was so mature, herself, in wishing him well and not YELLING at him for breaking her heart!
We are “chain breakers”—the FIRST Christians in our lineage. We are trying to do our best—reading YOUR materials have helped SO MUCH! Please help us in this matter! This is the FIRST time we have had to ask for HELP! Thank you!