I am 22 and have never been in a romantic relationship before. As a practising Christian, I often interact with many people as I witness to them. I am also an auditor, although I have been sensing God’s call to ministry for a while now.
Recently, one of my friends hinted that he was interested in sharing more than friendship with me. We have connected on many occasions and I feel like I have fallen in love with him.
However, although he likes to call me sweet names, he has not really given a direction for our relationship. I am not sure whether I am his girlfriend or not.
Second, if I decide to quit work and go to Bible school, I don’t think this man can support me because he has not had a stable job for the last three years.
Third, although he talks about God a lot, I don’t know if he attends church. He has never told me the church he goes to or the pastor he sits under.
I feel like I am more prepared than he is for marriage life. Will this be an issue in future? Also, how do I tell where we are at in the relationship without appearing to be pressuring him?
People fall in involve in different ways and at different times in their life. Some may start dating through a connection in an office party, a career event that they attended together, or being introduced to each other by a mutual friend. Whichever way this starts, it is important to understand that relationships—at their inception and thereafter—require a certain level of skill to navigate.
We all want a healthy and functional relationship. However, sometimes we lack the tools to make the relationship work. The failure for example to control our emotions and keep the relationship on track, can lead to abuse.
For you, it is important to regulate how you feel on issues like his lack of clarity on the direction the two of you are taking in your relationship. You need to deal with your anxiety by choosing not to be impulsive or pushy when it comes to getting such clarity. If not, this could be taken negatively by your partner. Remember, all he asked for is a connection. Find out how he interprets this connection and gauge whether his actions meet your expectations.
I agree, calling you those nice names does not fix anything. Love is a decision that is followed by active steps to actualise the qualities of love. This is where the two of you differ. His interpretation of love or love language is calling someone nice names—yours is not. Being candid and insightful and yet shrewd will help you not be taken for granted. As you process how you can merge your love languages, I suggest that you keenly set your priorities. As it is, you are navigating a relationship you are not sure of while opening a can full of other issues that need resolving. May be it would be wise to stop imagining yourself with this man until he has proposed and made his intentions concerning this relationship known.
If God is calling you into ministry, I suggest you walk through this prayerfully. First, be certain of God’s call upon your life. Second, when sure, share your calling with your boyfriend and be keen to listen to his response or lack of it. This is where fears are removed, expectations aired and team support is built. For now, your perception of him may be incorrect. Third, if he has not had a job for such a long time, it may be necessary to seek understanding on why this has not been possible.
Remember, for most people, the issue of faith plays an important role—particularly in close relationships like marriage. Like God says, two cannot walk together unless they agree. A couple’s agreement in an area like religion is important to the culture, values and mannerisms that they will encourage at home.
The questions you have raised about faith and career need to be interrogated between yourselves. Ask him direct questions about his plans for a job and for church. As I said earlier, the questions you have raised are basic to a thriving relationship. I suggest that you evaluate where the two of you stand in the relationship.