Last updated on October 8, 2020
I am 17 years old and have a question that has been on my mind. I have seen a lot of your answers on this site and wanted the truth from you.
OK, my question is: Is it lust to have strong feelings for a girl whom I have not seen for five months? I really liked this girl, but the day that I was going to approach her, she disappeared. I never saw her again, and I never said a word to her.
I don’t think it is lust anymore because I really looked into what “True Love” is from one of your other answers and you used I Corinthians 13:4-7. I know I do not have a relationship with this girl, but it fits with how I feel about this girl.
I met her in group therapy for social anxiety and depression. I have only seen her four times. The first day I saw her, I noticed her, but it was around 20 other people in there and at the time she did not have my attention to the point where I was focused on her. After the first time, I started paying attention to her more because she had a frown on her face and looked depressed (makes sense). Of all the other people there, I felt sorry for her and not for anyone else. Throughout these sessions I heard her talk, I saw her make mistakes, and slightly found out how she was, but I wish I got to know her more. This is when a “crush” started.
After three times of seeing her, I noticed, even though I am only 17, that she was the most beautiful girl I ever seen in my entire life. It was not love at first sight because I did not focus on her at first. Then I saw her shape, and I started thinking about having sex with her. This may sound like infatuation at first, but hear me out. Before the last time I saw her, I started thinking about marrying her and being with her for the rest of my life. That same day I was going to say something to her, but she left the session early and that was it. There were still a few sessions left and I was excited for the next ones to talk to her, but as I said, I never saw her again.
It was my birthday a month later and my mother asked me, “What can I get you for your birthday?” I said, “I really want to have another chance with her” with a sad face. Later that day I talked to my therapist, and she basically said “No, you will find someone else” and “Maybe it’s not meant to be.” After that, I was kind of angry at God that the one girl who left the session early was the girl I was interested in.
Fast forward five months, and I started going to church every Sunday, reading a Bible every day, praying every day, trusting in God, and trying my best to follow all His rules. All of this was because on that same birthday I lost my anxiety and depression. I was losing my hope in life, so I thought “Why be anxious about girls when I will never have one?”
Let me explain why I said that that Scripture fits with me thinking about this girl. This is from my Bible: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand it’s own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures every circumstance” (I Corinthians 13:4-7).
I used to masturbate only thinking about her as my future wife, but I read your other questions on masturbation and lust and stopped. I now have wet dreams and only masturbate in the shower without lustful thoughts or thinking about her at all. I only think of being friends with her and courting her into marriage, but when my seminal vesicles are full I tell myself, “my sexual desires are a motivation to get married” and I think of being in bed with her, just sleeping, no sex or sexual touching at all, just sleeping in the same bed as husband and wife. I also like her more for the mistakes she made and not less. I started thinking, “If she is weeping, I will weep with her” and “If she is happy, I will be happy with her.” I imagine myself growing old with her and having children after marriage, of course.
“Love is patient and kind”: My friends have told me to give up on her because I don’t know where she is, but I tell them “I only want to be with her, I will not accept any other girl.” I think of being in a relationship were I would be giving to her and not taking. I would try my absolute best to please her because the four times I have seen her, I never saw her smile or laugh. I pray every day that I see her again and be the one who makes her happy and be the “one” for her.
“Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.”: I thought about her getting hired for jobs and winning awards, and I would be happy for her not jealous. I would not boast that I had her and I would tell her not to boast that she has me. I will not have pride that I got her myself because I could only have her with God’s help because all I can do is have faith in Him that I will see her again.
“Love does not demand it’s own way”: I personally will not rush love and think that “I have to do this to show her I love her”, but what I will do is cultivate the friendship until I kiss her for the first time, then I will start a romantic relationship with her and only leaving it at closed-mouth kisses, holding hands, hugging, and expressing our feelings, then I will propose to her when we get older.
“Love is not irritable, and does not keep a record of when it has been wronged”: I know I may not be able to speak on this part because anybody could say “no, I will never get tired of her”, but eventually you will get used to her, but I pray to God that I never get tired of her and that our relationship would last without me remembering how many times she did me wrong or made mistakes because I only want to be with her, and in a marriage, you should never divorce the wife no matter what unless it is because of fornication.
“It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out”: I love this one because if I was with her if she is not a Christian, I would try my very best to bring her into the joy of serving the Lord. If she is a Christian, but still sins without remorse, I would try my very best to bring her back to the light and give her the truth of how she should live and give her righteous judgment to help her out of her sin and will be exceedingly glad if she is understanding, but sad if she rebels.
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance”: I have told myself countless times that I will wait for and trust in the Lord that He will allow me to be with her and that I would even wait years to see her again and deny any other girls that come my way before her. I will always have faith in the Lord that He will let me see her again and be with her. I am very excited and expecting to see her again. This is true because every time I leave the house I pray that I will see her that day and never give up. If I ever was blessed enough to have her I would never, ever divorce her and be with her until the day that I or her dies, and even after she dies I will never be in a relationship again, for I want my only first and last relationship to be with her.
I am so very sorry that this email was so long. I just wanted to explain everything and not leave anything out, so I can get the truth from you whether this is lust, infatuation, or love.
Lust was involved at the beginning, but you have seemed to have conquered that particular problem. However, notice that this entire “relationship” is one-sided. She isn’t involved. We can’t even be certain that she took notice of you. What you’ve done is created an imaginary girlfriend based on the few things you knew about this one particular girl. You wish to label it “love,” but it isn’t based on who this girl is, but what you imagine she might be. That is why you have to work through various alternatives since you don’t even know what her religious beliefs might be.
That you developed an infatuation for this girl is normal for most teenage boys, but you have taken this a bit too far. You are declaring to have faith that God will bring this girl back into your life. The problem is that God did not promise you that you will have this girl. There is no basis for faith here unless you want to claim that you trust your own desires, which would not be reasonable.
I thank you so much for replying to me, I appreciate it.
I think she did notice me because, it may not mean anything, the second to last time that I saw her she saw me looking at her, and the last time I had seen her I caught her looking at me. We locked eyes for a second and then her eyes looked away from me.
It might clear things up if I tell you about my past. I had infatuations with four other girls in my life, one in elementary school, one in middle school, and two in high school. I know these were infatuations because all I thought about was having sex with them and getting married to them too. The one thing that was similar to this girl is that I never spoke to them because of my anxiety. The reason why I thought that this girl was different from the others is that I find this girl more beautiful than all the others by far. Also when I thought about being in relationships with the other girls I only thought about sex and taking, not giving, which is not real love. Once I didn’t see them again, I lost the so-called love I had for them. But with this girl, all I thought about was trying to please her without any form of fornication or lust and to give to her and not take and to be with her as long as I live. I also try not to have conversations with her in my head because I know it would be made up and me trying to “play God,” so I just thought about giving instead and being a good friend.
So my next question is: What do you suggest I do if I shouldn’t have faith that she would be with me at least a friend in the future?
You missed the point regarding the difference between love and infatuation. You have matured in your thinking. You now realize that any relationship is far more than a physical coupling, but what hasn’t changed is that it remains an imagined relationship. Locked eyes for a moment across the room is just a recognition that you are there. It tells you nothing about what she thinks of you or that she knows you as a person. And as I pointed out, you don’t know her as a person.
What you should do is continue to mature. Start coming out of your shell and talk to other people. Start taking an interest in them and get to know them. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). Then, based on the friendships that develop, see if there is a girl among them that you both like and suspect that she likes you.