I was attracted to Tate* as soon as I walked into the interview room.
I had recently quit my job—my first job as a college graduate—due to several issues with management and my coworkers. Trying to avoid a long period of unemployment, I applied for a long list of jobs. Within the span of a week or two, I had eight interviews. Which meant that I had an important decision to make.
Easiest Decision Ever
I didn’t have to think about my decision for very long, though. Tate was at one of the companies that directly offered me a job after Interview #1, and I wanted to work where he worked. Plus, the salary sounded great.
The next week, I was staring into Tate’s dreamy eyes as he explained my first job assignment. My infatuation with him only grew stronger as time went on. We spent more time together, I worked with him on various tasks, and he somehow became more attractive every time he said my name.
But there was one major problem with Tate that I didn’t want to admit to anyone—including myself. He wasn’t a Christian. His lifestyle demonstrated that his life revolved around himself. He made inappropriate comments at the office, he drank alcohol (including at work), and he cussed. Like way too much.
I wanted to believe that he could still be a Christian—a carnal one, perhaps?—but his actions clearly demonstrated where his allegiance lay—with himself.
I felt a burden to share the gospel with him…but I wanted to do it over a romantic dinner for two.
The Game of One-Sided Interest
Somehow, I still liked him and desperately wanted him to like me back. I was frustrated that he was single yet didn’t seem at all attracted to me. He simply viewed me as a coworker, and I couldn’t stand it.
Why are you holding out on me, God? Why won’t Tate just like me back? He has expressed zero interest in me, despite how helpful and amusing and attractive I try to be. Why can’t I just have him?
This was not a new scenario for me. I had played this game—the Game of One-Sided Interest—way too many times to count. Here’s how the game went: I fell hard for Fella A, Fella A didn’t notice me, and I kept liking Fella A in spite of his disinterest with the hope that someday his disinterest would turn into a marriage proposal. (It never did, by the way.) Lame game, right?
Over time, God revealed to me that Tate’s lack of interest in me didn’t mean He was holding out on me. Rather, He was protecting me from a dangerous relationship.
Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 NASB)
What Good Dads Do
If Tate had been interested in me and asked me out, it’s very possible I would’ve stumbled into sin and disobedience. But God protected me from stumbling, and he is able to protect you, too. Of course, there are many reasons why God does what He does that we won’t understand until we get to heaven, but I personally believed that when the guys we like don’t like us back, it’s sometimes God’s way of protecting us from stumbling into sin (and getting our hearts broken along the way).
A good dad won’t give his daughter what she wants if what she wants isn’t good for her. It doesn’t matter how badly she wants it. She can beg, pout, or throw a fit. But if her dad knows that what she wants won’t be good for her, he simply won’t give it to her.
Our Heavenly Father does the same thing—except He can understand far better than our earthly fathers what will and won’t be good for us.
By the way, this episode of the Boundless podcast helped change my perspective on this topic! I’d highly recommend listening to it if you’re currently playing the Game of One-Sided Interest.
*Name has been changed.