They Do Exist.

So, I Waited For Him To Tell Me He Liked Me First.

Editor’s Note: We can get and give advice all day long, but it’s the stories and experiences that show us what life is made of and how people really operate. I love love love this little story by Amanda Bishop. – Lauren

I thought having a guy for a best friend was the best idea I’ve ever had. It’s not even that I thought girls were annoying or caddy. I had plenty of great girlfriends, but I didn’t want them as best friends. I wanted him.

One simple visit to see me at work turned into texting, calling, hanging out in groups, and before you knew it we were inseparable. After several months of being completely patient, my heart was bursting. He was passing up important meetings at work and canceling plans with friends just to spend time with me.

Surely he loved me, right? I had to know.

Everyone’s advice was to wait.

Wait for him to tell you his heart. Wait for him to ask you to be his girlfriend. Don’t pursue. Don’t initiate.

Don’t tell him how your every thought is consumed by him, or that you wake up every day hoping and praying that today will be the day he claims you as his.

So I waited.

Two years later and I was staying up late because I knew he’d call and I didn’t want to disappoint him. It was texting all day, every day. It was sharing every single tiny detail of what Jesus was doing in my heart. It was refusing to let anyone else pick me up from the airport after trips to Africa. It was long walks into town for dinner. It was hour long conversations in my car. It was waiting. It was A LOT of waiting. It was a million conversations from people in our lives telling us we were going to date and me laughing it off as nothing as I gauged his reaction.

It was feeling the need to be the person in his life who affirmed him, listened to him, and encouraged him. I constantly thought of ways to better myself to be better for him. I thought the more I shared about my heart for missions, the church, and Jesus with him, the more quickly he would date me. I thought that soon he would realize my worth and choose me.

It was two years later that he finally told me he had found his wife…and it wasn’t me.

I was told our friendship was everything he’d hoped his marriage would be, except it wasn’t with me. I was told, “thank you for preparing me to be a Godly husband to my future wife, Amanda.” He even jokingly calling me his “practice wife.”

I was never “chosen” and my “worth” was never realized by him.

What I learned: it is never okay to keep silent and wait on a guy.

You were not created to prepare somebody else’s husband for them. God created your heart to be unique; protect it. If a guy friend doesn’t realize your worth and you aren’t “chosen” by him, it is because he was never meant to realize your worth. He was never meant to choose you. God is preparing you for something, SOMEONE so much better. Until then, let Jesus have your heart.

If you like a guy; tell him. Don’t wait till he’s your best friend of two years and knows all the depths of your heart.

Because frankly, no guy best friend was ever created to know all the details of your heart without any commitment to it. Your best friend should be your husband, not just a guy friend.

Finally, seasons of waiting are not bad. They can be fruitful. If you want someone to share your day with, your passions, desires, and depths of your heart, then spill it to your Creator. He wants to hear every single word. Pray it out or journal it.

So I’m back in a season of waiting, but this time I’m living.
I’m giving the details of my day to my Creator. I’m not sitting around and waiting to be “chosen.” I’m sucking as much out of life as I can each day until I meet my husband.

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55 Responses

  1. beckycastlemiller

    That is so deeply painful. I went through a very similar thing. If I could go back and talk to my younger self, I would give her the same advice: Speak up. Don't just wait.

    Thanks for writing this.

    January 10, 2013 at 8:44 am

  2. Ash

    thank you for writing this.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:50 am

  3. Taylor

    This really grieves my heart. I'm sure this girl is so beautiful and worthy, and yet she is needing worth from a male. I know this may come off as judgey- but I promise it is coming from a loving, but strong heart- seasoned by this very trial; it is coming from a heart that has learned that healthy boundaries are beautiful and life is wonderful without needing a man to "choose" you. I think that instead of telling him your feelings, you should have realized that if a man values you in that way, you will know. He will pursue you. If he doesn't, you should not give him your heart ever or "need" him – ever. It should have never gotten to the point that two years later he knows everything about you and then you're devastated. It should have never gotten to the point where he consumes your thoughts. That is an idol. It should have never gotten to the point where you do things, or say thing, or think things for his love or approval… that is an idol. Love from a man should be like that of our love we receive from Christ– we are accepted, and so we act from that acceptance not towards it. We are not accepted by our works, but it is our acceptance that drive our loving works. It is wonderful to guard your own heart, and boundaries are so necessary. Love the GWP- but don't love that these heart conditions are not addressed as a problem.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:52 am

  4. I"m sitting here trying not to burst into tears. I have a similar story, except it was me who found someone to date. To this day my [former] best guy friend doesn't know that i was desperately in love with him for a year and a half. And now, it's probably too late.
    thank you for writing this. I don't feel like it was just a "me" problem. And I now know what to tell others in this situation, because it is tough. But seasons of waiting are beautiful times to grow as well!!

    January 10, 2013 at 11:54 am

  5. MIchelle

    That is such a heart breaking story, for two reasons. One because she should have listened to her heart and said something but personally I think she spared herself from this guy. This man used her, saying she was a practice wife??? Wow! I do hope she finds love with a guy that knows her worth! Thanks for this story, I really needed to hear this.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm

  6. theundergroundmicaela

    I am so sorry this happened to you Amanda. Thank you for sharing your story so eloquently.

    You will get your man and he will be wonderful, I'm sure of it.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

  7. I can relate to this story on so many levels. It's as though you've taken the same thing that has happened to me and put it on paper (only I waited longer than 2 years. It was horrible.) It's so heartbreaking in ways many people just don't understand. However, I hope people don't turn this into a story about how men and women can't be friends. They can be. While the guy who was my best friend married someone else, God healed my heart and showed me how AMAZING his wife is and how perfect they are for each other. The three of us are great friends now. Yes, my relationship with him changed (obviously) and we don't call and text each other constantly. SHE is is best friend, as it should be. But I love where our friendship is now. He's truly my BROTHER in Christ, and she's my sister. I can call him without worrying about how she feels about it, or where his heart is.

    But I agree – don't wait for him to share his heart. Tell him what's going on in yours. I wish I had sooner. There were so many years of emotional turmoil trying to figure out what he was thinking and feeling. If I had told him sooner, I would have been able to move on and get to a much better friendship sooner than I did.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm

  8. Katlin

    I think the ideal situation is one where a woman never has to go through an experience like this to realize just what healthy boundaries look like in a mixed friendship, where her self-worth is never dependent on a man, and where waiting for a man to pursue is not a detriment to her honesty in her feelings. Not one of us can honestly say that we grew up in a perfect family where healthy boundaries were demonstrated and learned. I think in our society where women are often sexualized and objectified in the media, it is very challenging to not have had our self worth influenced by the wrong people or ideas at some point. And in our Christian community, I think women tend to be raised with the idea that we are to always be submissive and always let the men lead so we learn not to flirt or hint at our interest in a man and definitely not straight up tell him that we're interested. I think it often takes a catalyst like this experience to get to the point where we learn the importance of boundaries and WHO our self-worth is in and how to balance waiting and action. Thank you for sharing your story!

    January 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  9. Anya

    Thank you for writing this and sharing your story

    January 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  10. Kait Jones

    This sounds all to familiar to me. I learned a lot from my experience and it is very encouraging to hear that one of my sisters in Christ overcame the hurt as well. You sound like an awesome woman of God and He is using you for the glory of His kingdom! Thanks for sharing your story!

    January 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm

  11. Jesse

    This is beautifully written. I am wondering if you ever ended up having a conversation to mend your wounds – and if he ever realized what he was doing wasn't OK? On another note, I agree – speaking up when you are sure of your feelings is important. Even if rejection is the answer, the sting is short lived and then you can let your heart move on.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm

  12. Haley

    Thank you Amanda for sharing.

    I had a very similar story, where I was in love with my best friend for 5 years and waiting for him to make the first move. 3 of these years one of us was in a dating relationship with someone else, so the temptation to put my hope in the relationship was weakened. But after 5 years he finally came around and now we're approaching our 1st wedding anniversary.
    But i asked him what he would have thought if I had asked him to consider me as more than friends before he had decide to say something. He said he would probably be pretty weirded out, cause up til about a week before he talked to me about dating he ONLY viewed me as a friend and "little sister."
    I think it is extremely important to find your value in Christ regardless, and I would not advocate to wait around forever for a guy to say anything, but sometimes saying something may squelch future possibilities.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm

  13. camp27

    This was so beautiful and touching. This is a situation that I am struggling with right now, and it's really hard sometimes to remember that God always has my best interests at heart, and is preparing someone better for me. The knowledge that I'm not alone is really comforting. Thank you so much for this story.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

  14. Oh dear sister. It is SO painful to feel rejected…or not worthy to be chosen. I had a similar situation in college where a great, Christian guy asked me to all his date parties, went on midnight walks with me, signed up for all the same classes, talked about spiritual things, etc, etc.–only to have hi m angrily tell me, "I don't like you! What is your problem?"

    I felt like the biggest, most worthless idiot.

    I don't however think the issue was you not telling him how you feel. I think the problem in both your and my situation was we didn't ask him to clarify or make a decision about us. We misread intentions and had no idea the guy on the other end wasn't texting/calling/hanging out with us with the intention of it going further…one day. I think telling a man how you feel is great! However, I think it's more important to ask him to clarify what he's feeling & thinking about the relationship.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  15. elizgrimes

    This is fantastic. Obviously not fantastic that the heartbreak had to be experienced, but you know what I mean. My question is, what happens when you tell him your heart for him … and you get a vague answer that keeps you hanging on for the "maybe someday" but keeps you in the same best friend position. Because it's like he doesn't know what he wants yet, but knows that anything with you would be serious and he's not ready for forever. Just seems kind of a bummer that telling him first isn't really what solves it. I haven't figured out what does. And I haven't figured out how to fall out of love, or be open to someone new. So I sort of just keep waiting, distancing myself some, and enjoying the relationship for what it is.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm

  16. I feel like, as women, we have been told that we must WAIT. Wait for your prince to come and all that. We are always waiting. I was in a similar situation with a dear friend that I have grown up with. I realized that I had feelings for him and waited for over a year for him to say something, but I couldn't handle it anymore. I was tired of waiting for something that might never happen. The not knowing how he felt about me was worse than the possibility of rejection. So one afternoon I told him that my friendship with him was very important to me and I wanted to know if he could ever see himself in a relationship with me. While he didn't feel the same way, he told me that he was impressed with the courage it took me to speak with him about it. It was one of the most liberating experiences I've ever had because after that conversation I was able to let go and stop wondering about all the "what ifs". That was nearly 4 years ago and we are still good friends. We valued our friendship enough not to let things get weird between us. I don't think it means that you are pursuing someone if you are honest with them about your feelings and from experience, if the friendship is real then it can handle the truth.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

  17. Marilyn

    YES YES YES. This post is SO relevant to the problems with our modern church dating culture, as well as my personal story. I cried, rejoiced, and laughed inside at the joy of reading that I wasn't the only one. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your story! <3

    January 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm

  18. Jenny

    Having had many close male friends, I've been in and around this situation on different occasions, and had various results. I've spoken my heart to a friend, and gotten to keep him as a friend. I've spoken my heart to a friend, and lost him completely (for a time), making both of our lives incredibly awkward. I've held my tongue while a friend married another woman – and know in my heart that if I'd spoken, I wouldn't have the joy of loving both of them now.

    Some of my guy friends are flattered when a woman takes interest and initiative. Other guy friends have mentioned to me how "turned off" they are by a woman approaching them.

    My feeling in all of this is that wisdom and discernment are incredibly important. There is a time to speak, and a time to be silent. There are times we should share ourselves with our friends – male or female – and there are times and things we should not share with anyone but the Lord. He is our rock, and our refuge.

    January 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

  19. This is exactly why I decided to ignore the well-intended advice told to every Christian girl. I am tired of being told to wait by people who do not know my heart. Waiting is good for a season, but waiting too long can cripple your soul. If you feel that there might be love budding, ask. The sooner you know one way or another, the better it will be.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

  20. oh wow! i kind of want to say thank you for this. i mean i feel sorry for your ''dissappointment'' (i guess you would call it?) but, this spoke to me. before i reached the end i was already semi-relating. i feel you and know with Jesus you will find true love someday, when it's for real at the real time! xoxo

    January 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm

  21. This is brilliant! God's taught me this lesson too, but in a different way. It's such a tough one. We want and need and crave for approval and i know i'm not alone when I say it's not easy to feel like God's approval is enough. More people need to read this! I shall now spam everyone I know… I Love you GWP! x

    January 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm

  22. Wow, this is amazing.
    I went through something similar but after 4 years. I'm still fighting it but these words you wrote resonated with my heart
    "It was feeling the need to be the person in his life who affirmed him, listened to him, and encouraged him. I constantly thought of ways to better myself to be better for him. I thought the more I shared about my heart for missions, the church, and Jesus with him, the more quickly he would date me. I thought that soon he would realize my worth and choose me"
    I did this ALL the time. I knew I was doing it but I didn't know how else to do things around him. I found myself striving for his attention, performing and acting to be worth his time.

    But I also got a similar revelation.
    I hope I write this out well. I realized he shouldn't be able to have access to me, my heart, my soul and my spirit without committing to me.
    So I recognized that and realized I have to be clear with our friendship. We are friends.

    God has amazing things in store for you. Right now and tomorrow. Join him and all things will come together :)

    Thank you for being so real!

    January 11, 2013 at 12:22 am

  23. I totally understand. I spent two years in a similar situation, it took me moving 10 hours away to be able to move on. I didn't even realize at the time that it was unhealthy, I just hoped that one day he would wake up and choose me. Obviously it didn't happen, and with the help of some amazing friends I have been able to move on. It has taken a lot of work, and some days I still want to pick up the phone and call him.

    January 11, 2013 at 12:37 am

  24. WisingUpSlowly

    I have seen this happen a few times, and know how painful it is because it happened to me. I joke that it was "When Harry Met Sally" without the sweet ending. Now Harry is married to…….not Sally. I was more deeply hurt by that friend than by any guy who I ever actually dated. Emotional intimacy is scarier than any kiss.

    But I would encourage you, and every girl on this post to know that God has a plan for you, and when things like this don't work out it's for real and wonderful reasons. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he actually wasn't the "Harry" to my "Sally" and that God had much better things ahead for both of us. Just guard your heart a little harder and trust the One who made it.

    January 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

  25. I really appreciate your story Amanda. As a man who has had several close female friends while we were both single, I've always been wary of this sort of relationship. If ever I find myself being close to a woman, I make sure to talk about what our relationship is, weather we will be friends or date. Women always like this.

    It is not easy to figure this out sometimes, and I have sometimes had the sense that why she appreciated me so much was because I was willing to be friends without pursuing her. When I think I have heard this from someone it makes me afraid to tell her I have feelings for her, actually that didn't go very well when I did it….

    I think communication, like boundaries, is everyone's job. It's to important to leave to someone else or assign to one gender. I think women should take the attitude "I have a right to know where I stand." In reality men are quite prone to not be able to figure out what we want sometimes, but I don't think there is anything wrong with being asked. In a marriage both the husband and wife need to be able to initiate communication about serious stuff. It is probably best to start practicing before you get married.

    If someone I was close friends with told me she liked me, I think my immediate response would be to seriously go pray about dating her, even if I had always thought that wouldn't happen. If we are close friends I will certainly have a lot of respect for her, so if she thinks we could be together I would have to take it seriously.

    There will be a little story about one of my close female friends over on on Monday as part 2 of "Why I am still a Christian." Friendships with women have been one of the best parts of my journey with God, and I don't have any regrets. They were not easy to keep healthy or something I can ever take lightly though.

    January 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

  26. achosenwarrior

    shew. what a tough read. Reinforces my resolve to not let this happen to me. I've been planning on having a "talk" to my best friend, who happens to be a guy, whom I have alot of feelings for. One more reason TO have the talk…

    January 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm

  27. Laura

    The one thing I disagree with: is that it seems that "she" is waiting for her husband. We are not called to wait for anyone but jesus. Maybe we're not supposed to be married. I just think that this post was a little too centered on waiting for a guy. I just hate when people say they are "Waiting for the perfect guy" because it makes it sound like we were designed to be completed by someone else – that we are all going to get married someday, and that is a woman's goal in life. – and these things are NOT TRUE! we shouldn't be waiting for anyone! Just spending time with our Lord.
    I don't know if I sound crazy – but I feel that this is biblically correct (and I realize that the person I'm replying to may not disagree with me – just may have just wrote it differently).

    January 14, 2013 at 2:00 am

  28. Alicia

    To anyone that thinks Amanda should not be “waiting for her husband”.

    If she is truly seeking after The Lord then he would reveal to her that she is supposed to be single. I believe that our Father knows our hearts and puts certain desires there. If she desires a spouse to share in her life, I believe The Lord will bring that man to her in his time. It may be a long time and it may be a difficult journey of learning to be patient and putting The Lord first but none the less, he will come. Those called to single life for The Lord know it.

    January 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm

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  30. This is such an important article for me to read. I am so afraid of being rejected that I just befriend really guys and hope that they'll realize what a great pair we'd be. I never am honest about my heart or my feelings because I'm afraid of things going sour, so I basically act like a girlfriend hoping they'll see what a great girlfriend I'd be. I made the comment the other day to a friend that I'm like a mechanic, I get you back in working shape after heartbreak or disappointment, but I'm never the one that gets the end product, I just prepare it for someone else. Man, oh man, this one hit home.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:06 am

  31. Karess

    I don't quite agree with this statement, though:
    "If you like a guy; tell him."

    I empathize with the author for her experience, and I applaud her courage to write about it. However, I don't think a woman being up front about her feelings with a male friend is the best advice to share with women who have went through or are going through a similar experience. I highly doubt if doing so would be wise and beneficial to the man, and to both parties.

    At the end of the day, it's still best to wait ON GOD and not ON MEN. It's a day-by-day commitment that we all need to stick to, male or female.

    February 12, 2013 at 12:38 am

  32. Thank you so much for writing this. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate this story.

    March 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

  33. Guest

    No, no, NO, NO. You were absolutely right to trust your instincts and wait for him. He was not interested in you, and you knew that intuitively, and did not come onto him. Congratulate yourself because you saved yourself heartbreak early. If a man is interested in you, HE WILL PESTER YOU, and that is all there is to it. If he ignores you, HE IS NOT INTERESTED. "He's Just Not That Into You" is not a Christian book, but girls like you sure need to read it because EVERY. SECULAR. WORD. IS TRUE. You SO did the right thing.

    June 28, 2013 at 6:54 pm

  34. aemily

    I enjoyed this post. I am actually in love with a friend of mine. I don’t know how he feels, but he just moved across country. I told him that I care and love him and wish him nothing but the best. I didn’t tell him that I’m in love with him, but that I love him. I don’t know if people see the difference. I pray for him and wish him well.

    November 30, 2013 at 10:56 pm

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  36. Ty

    It was a couple of years back and I saw my now friend visit home on and off between college breaks where his parents lived. I remember the first time seeing him, and I thought well he would never know I even breathed. I thought he was very nice looking. Well, I added him on FB and I saw that he had a gf, so I went on about my way. I became really close with his parents and sister, and one day his sister said you would make a great fit with my bro. Well, a few months later I got invited for the holidays, & his parents said that he would be home. I went and he was very quiet and nervous acting. Everytime I would go in another room, his mom would text me asking his questions. Well he had to go back, so I asked him for his number and we hugged. I was suprised that he typed a long message about coming back and wanting to hang out more. His sister said before I came he was snooping on my social media smiling. Well we would text a lot about things we had in common, and he was single. I still here is family talk about his college ex how much she is bad for him. I felt mixed signals. Well, I started hearing from him less and less and then found out he was back with his ex. It was always friendship, but just hoped he told me atleast and not leave me dry. I told him that I wanted to tell him something, but may be late and glad we are friends. He responded saying we will stay in touch. His sister says he still likes me, but is trying to figure out what to do. He has even moved to where his college girl is and he has picked up bad habits with her and not as strong in the Lord. She does not believe in Christ and buys him expensive gifts. I feel sad because he was suppose to come back here and now he has gone the opposite. He wont listen to his parents, and he stopped talking to me. He even lost my number twice and I find it suspious. I am leaving out details, but I felt a very strong connection with him and I am trying to move on. I think about him and pray for him. We have so many things in common and God…I pray he comes back to Christ. It hurts being the good girl that gets placed on the back burner. Everyone around us says he will be back and is just being young…I am trying my hardest to maybe consider other guys, but my heart wont let me right now. :(

    June 22, 2014 at 12:43 am

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