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  1. #51
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    What am I supposed to do?
    Know that she's into you and probably wants you to hurry up a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Were her actions at the symphony intentional?
    Almost definitely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    We're supposed to be taking it slow.
    "Taking it slow" implies movement though, surely? Progress in a particular direction (towards a relationship)? Intensification of interest? Personally I don't see much point in the "taking it slow" approach. Maybe you could explain to me how it's biblical? Maybe not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    I'm not sure if her actions are merely friendly, or if she's signaling that she's interested in being more than just friends. What's she thinking?
    Doesn't look merely friendly - especially given the context of your apparently strict faith. So either she's signaling her interest or she's torturing herself. Or she's torturing you intentionally, which I gather is unlikely. There is also the possibility that the seating-arrangement was coincidental and the contact was both unintentional and unnoticed. But, given your respective situations, I really doubt it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    I'm going insane. Any insight would be appreciated.
    That's my best guess. I could additionally give you bad advice on how to proceed, but I'm not going to.

  2. #52
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    And as a friend, not as a philosopher, I highly recommend you reconsider your commitment to your faith. Your life would be much easier without it, and you will do just fine without the guidance it currently provides you with as you can think for yourself just fine.
    Before I converted at 20, I hated God, and I wanted to nail him to a cross; however, it was my ability to think for myself, to subject my emotions and my will to my capacity to reason, that lead me to accept the gospel: the study of philosophy lead to theology, and theology lead to Christianity. My feelings, my hatred and disgust for God, told me the gospel couldn't be true, but I was forced to convert in order to maintain my intellectual integrity. I'd drop my faith in an instant if I thought it reasonable to do so, but thus far, despite being under the tutelage of a cadre of some of the most highly trained skeptical philosophers, I've yet to find a reason to doubt my faith.

    As a friend, not as a philosopher, I highly recommend you reconsider the faith. The "faith" you're familiar with is no faith at all. In the bible, faith is contrasted with sight, never with understanding; indeed, faith is the evidence of things not seen, and it's only through the understanding, through the use of reason, that we obtain evidence for that which is unseen.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    You wonder what she may be thinking. A rational person has a clear-cut reason to do the things he does. Yet your typical F, or an irrational person does not. For example, the former may say, I am doing X because of Y. Yet when an irrational person can easily be satisfied with doing X and not X at the same time. Or, X,Y,Z and H simultaneously whilst having acknowledged that at this point only one can be performed.

    In other words, it is a complete mess. This is hard for an average INTP to believe because our dominant function is Introverted Thinking. This faculty is most adept at bringing logical order to the situations we encounter. Only through establishment of logical order can one have clear reasons to support their actions. One who lacks logical order will be quite simply a mess, which is what most people are, especially Fs.

    For these reasons, I recommend that you do not look for the true compelling causes of her actions, as you will never find them as they are fleeting impulses. Those impulses are not connected to the observations of the external world or what a reasonable person may infer from those observations, but are an outcome of their irrational analysis of the external world. Because they do not conform to objective laws of reasoning or common-sense, and you cannot observe their internal mindset (as it is not externally observable), it will be close to impossible for you to have the information necessary to figure out what they are thinking.
    For the typical person, (F or T), I'd agree. But this girl is atypical. All persons have the capacity to reason, and any person--even an F--can think logically and conform her actions to rational authority. I know many F's who respect the authority of insight based on reason, integrate this insight into their understanding, and then act in accordance with it. These persons are beautiful and vital to my spiritual life. Thinking by itself is sterile. It's our values that spur us to action. While a T might be able to tell you what love is, it's an F who's going to put love into practice and teach you what love means through her actions. Theory without practice is dead, and practice without theory is chaos. T's and F's need each other because they complete each other.

    You really, really need to find yourself a sweet F gal who adores you and has the patience to cultivate your F. You've no idea what you're missing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    What do you WANT to do? If you stopped thinking about it and just responded?

    I think sometimes INTPs make this a lot harder than it needs to be.
    Because everything has to be "rational."

    Just shut off your brain a sec and imagine your response to her if you were on autopilot.
    I want what's best for her. I want her to become established while letting her know that I'm not rejecting her.

    It's a fine line indeed. Alas, a large part of me just wants to be in love, consequences be damned. To navigate this line without being dragged along by my passions is going to take at least some disciplined thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    (Note: As far as the faith thing goes, yes, it's making things complicated for you and personally I don't understand why you've made the particular commitment to [this nebulous faith] as you have, I'll be honest about that, because it doesn't seem to match up well with your intellectual approach or your inherent intuition, it seems very Te/Fe and imposing on the connections you instinctively WANT to make, that are natural for you.

    However, that being said, I respect your choice to adhere to your belief, especially because I DON'T know the specifics of why you've committed to these beliefs but assume based on how articulate and thoughtful you are that you must have your reasons. Regardless of my feelings, it's clearly obvious you are very serious about the faith restraints here, and so I take them seriously and am giving you advice that works within those restraints as you asked.)
    Thank you for both your honesty and your respect. The Te/Fe stuff can be rough, but there are good reasons for it. Marriage isn't easy. Even if this system isn't the best system to protect marriage, it's better than no protection at all, and I certainly haven't thought of a better way to go about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I went and looked it up for you. It's called a "DTR."

    "Define The Relationship" talk, or so says boundless.org, a conservative Christian online magazine.

    Basically, it's an open discussion of perspectives and all that jazz. According to the site, males assert their feelings openly and take the vulnerability risk, females respond to the males taking the risk as they're not supposed to be the pursuers, and then if it's necessary the male then goes and asks permission from her dad to date.

    If your church is all about forthcoming and conservative biblical dating, I don't see how this would go against asking the pastor first. Remember: you're not asking her out, you're asserting your feelings and desire to pursue her, and she only responds, you're still the male taking leadership and pursuing and risking.

    Then you'll have your answer and still not be going against anything in your church. (i.e. if she wants more time before a real relationship, or whatever, you'll know).

    Communication. Sometimes, the answer is easy.
    Thanks for doing the research! We've (kind of) already done this. I guess the next one will have to be more explicit.

    If you'd just converted to Christianity, or a form of it with which you weren't very familiar, how long would you want a guy you were interested in to wait before he tried to sweep you off your feet?

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I'm trying to figure out if the woman is supposed to just come right out and say 'Owl, I like you and I think you are attractive. I believe I'd like to marry you and have your babies. Please talk to the pastor and buy me a ring. Now kiss me you fool!!' or what.
    Is that too much to ask?

    I don't want that, but it would make this easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    INTP men sometimes really like to be passive and really like to get all the data so they can know for sure they aren't going to fail and look stupid. This is not really a very effective way to go about things.

    When you are passive and you expect the other person to take all the initiative, what you are likely to end up with is a kind of a default relationship with a controlling person because those are the kinds of women who don't mind taking all the initiative. Later, the INTP man realizes that he is in a relationship with a controlling person, feels trapped and is repeatedly being manipulated and having his autonomy violated.

    Then you end up with a guy that resents his wife, but either loves his kids too much to leave or can't quite bring himself to actively bring closure to the relationship by ending it. He, instead, passive-aggressively (and maybe unconsciously) tries to make the relationship bad enough that the woman will finally get enough of it and leave him because he still refuses to take the initiative.

    I don't call being passive and refusing to take risks or initiative having a backbone. I call it cowardice. The woman here is under some pretty heavy constraints. She is required to be passive while Owl, if he is interested in pursuing the relationship is required to take the initiative.

    Yes, he can speak with her and try to get a better idea about her intentions, but ultimately, he's going to have to take a risk and it's going to be scary and he's not going to feel comfortable doing it. It might turn out the girl wasn't serious at all or it might turn out she wants to marry him the minute they get the legal and religious go-ahead and jump his bones until the cows come home, but he's probably not going to know for sure until he's put his balls on the table.
    Wow. Good to know. But how do I put my balls on the table without violating my religious ethics? She needs to get established and we need to get to know each other before we can get start courting, but, until then, I'm only allowed to "woo" her... whatever that means.

    I'll pose the same question to you that I posed to Usehername above.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Now that we know that she touches other people, too, I believe all the more that you would be less likely to humiliate yourself if you err on the side of caution, and assume it didn't "mean" anything in particular.

    Yes, but an xNFJ won't struggle with that as much as some other types might, I don't believe.

    And that definitely looks like what is going on here, but hey you can't fault someone for acting their type. But just want to say that you made some great points, cafe.
    More solid advice. Why wouldn't an xNFJ struggle with that so much? Do you think if I brought it up with her again, say in the next week or so, that my bringing it up again wouldn't bother her?

    Same question to you, as above. Heck, if any woman in the room (thread?) wants to respond to the question, please do.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Okay, here's what I think, based on your response to me and to others...

    I think you should flirt back with her. Flirting is a combination of playing and teasing. That's pretty much it. It's something that you can enjoy too. It's for both of you. If you're enjoying it too, you'll know when to stop so it doesn't go too overboard. I bet you're already doing a great job, because she's obviously digging you, based on all the footsie stuff. As for teasing, you're just sending some mixed signals. It doesn't have to be a burdensome task or a INTP intellectual project, just send out suggestions that you might be interested in her. Touch gently (not in the genital area) and say things that sound like you're interested. This should be hard because...well, you are interested. If she tries to call you on it, just say... "hm, I dunno, maybe!" and smile gently. People are probably going to say that sending mixed signals isn't a good precedent for a relationship, but I say it's a fun and good one. If you notice she's suffering due to your mixed signals, then you can adjust by giving her a clue that deep down you're really interested, but most likely she'll just be having fun like you are.

    Then next issue is going to be taking a plunge into dating. I don't really get the pastor thing (because I'm an atheist and have little respect for tradition) but whatever, that's your thing. I think the thing to aim for with the pastor is to make it a seamless, natural transition. I think that'll depend most on YOUR perception of the pastor thing. If you treat it like no big deal, it won't be a big deal. But you have to believe that deep down. It's like a mom dealing with a child who gets hurt. If the mom caring and affirms that the kid is okay and that it's no big deal, the child will accept that as a fact and stay calm. If the mom freaks out and looks nervous, the kid will start crying. If you act like it's cool, it'll be cool. For instance, you might just propose at the end of the date, very casually, "so I think it's time we go visit Pastor Jesus and give this a try. Agreed?" and smile innocently. No big deal, right? Simple.
    I'm going to steal that last line from you. Just don't know when I'll use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    Why does a third party need to be involved with you and her?

    Sooo she would have to tell a total stranger intimate thoughts and feelings she has? Why?
    INTJMom gave a good explanation above. Courtship is for the protection of marriage, and it's for the protection of those desiring to get married. The father is supposed to know what it takes to be a good husband, and he's supposed to weed out the losers. If the boy passes muster--and the girl accepts his request--then the elders pass on everything they've learned about how to make a marriage work to the courting couple.

    Neither the boy nor the girl need expose all of their thoughts and feelings, but each will be tested to see if he or she understands what is essential for a good marriage. And it shouldn't be a stranger. Ideally, the father is to test the young man, and the father and mother together are to determine if their daughter is ready to be married.

  3. #53
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    ...
    Why wouldn't an xNFJ struggle with that so much? Do you think if I brought it up with her again, say in the next week or so, that my bringing it up again wouldn't bother her?
    ...
    Did she say she didn't want to meet with the pastor?
    If she did, I didn't realize that.
    If she makes any more advances, bring it up again.
    Draw the boundary more clearly next time. Use diplomacy/gentleness.


    Re: "kiss me you fool"
    Just for the record, I proposed marriage to my husband the day after we met.
    Some girls will make it easy for the guy.

  4. #54
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    How new a convert is she? If she's an FJ she'll probably make herself acquainted with the rules pretty quickly. If she's Ni dominant, she might already consider you 'the one.' I was pretty sure my husband was the one for me by the end of our first conversation (granted it was several hours long . . .). I wouldn't have married him until I got to know him better and until after premarital counseling, but I didn't mind getting the ball rolling pretty quickly.

    If she is acting one way, then putting on the breaks when it comes to taking formal steps, then that would be confusing and you probably will have to put her on the spot and get some clarification on her intentions.

    Otherwise, how do these things normally work for couples in your group? Could you get some counsel from an older man in the church that you respect? Maybe he and his wife could shed some light on things.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #55
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Did she say she didn't want to meet with the pastor?
    If she did, I didn't realize that.
    If she makes any more advances, bring it up again.
    Draw the boundary more clearly next time. Use diplomacy/gentleness.


    Re: "kiss me you fool"
    Just for the record, I proposed marriage to my husband the day after we met.
    Some girls will make it easy for the guy.
    She did say that she didn't want to meet with the pastor--yet. When I brought it up, we'd only known each other for a week, but we'd really hit it off and had gone on an unofficial date that morning. (We'd scheduled a study group for that morning, but the two other guys who were supposed to show up bailed on us, leaving us alone.) Later that night, (she called me wanting to know how I felt about us!) she said something to the effect that before we did anything serious we'd have to become better friends first, (+1), and until then she didn't want to meet with the pastor because it'd be too soon. The idea I left with was that we'd stop doing "couplish" things, get to know each other in order to base our friendship on something other than initial chemistry, and then, if we both still felt the same way, we'd speak to the pastor.

    She hasn't proposed marriage, but she's said some things to me that have twisted my soul more tightly than a wet rag. Why do you women have this power over us men? Do we do the same to you? It would only be just!

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    How new a convert is she? If she's an FJ she'll probably make herself acquainted with the rules pretty quickly. If she's Ni dominant, she might already consider you 'the one.' I was pretty sure my husband was the one for me by the end of our first conversation (granted it was several hours long . . .). I wouldn't have married him until I got to know him better and until after premarital counseling, but I didn't mind getting the ball rolling pretty quickly.

    If she is acting one way, then putting on the breaks when it comes to taking formal steps, then that would be confusing and you probably will have to put her on the spot and get some clarification on her intentions.

    Otherwise, how do these things normally work for couples in your group? Could you get some counsel from an older man in the church that you respect? Maybe he and his wife could shed some light on things.
    She's a fairly new convert. I think it's been about a year since she confessed her sins and accepted Christ, and she started to learn about the distinctions of the denomination I adhere to during the last spring semester. She's devouring our doctrine; chalk up one more point for FJ.

    I spoke to one of my mentors about what was going on, and he said not to go faster than we were able. Great. My pastor sent an email to all the single men in the congregation yesterday announcing a class on courtship next sabbath. I think he may have noticed how she and I interacted last sabbath--the chemistry sends up sparks that are visible for miles.

    Thanks for all your advice, btw. It's much appreciated.

  6. #56
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    ...
    Great. My pastor sent an email to all the single men in the congregation yesterday announcing a class on courtship next sabbath. I think he may have noticed how she and I interacted last sabbath--the chemistry sends up sparks that are visible for miles.
    ...
    Awesome. Just in time!

  7. #57
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Sounds like things are going well and you have a good support system. I hope that whatever the Lord's will is in this situation that it will be a good experience for both of you.

    It just occurred to me that she could be experiencing a little intellectual/emotional disconnect . . . Like when you know the wise thing to do is X, but you feel really strongly that you want to do Y. It could explain why the words are fairly circumspect but the actions are . . . not as circumspect. So maybe you are twisting her up a little, too.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #58
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It just occurred to me that she could be experiencing a little intellectual/emotional disconnect . . . Like when you know the wise thing to do is X, but you feel really strongly that you want to do Y. It could explain why the words are fairly circumspect but the actions are . . . not as circumspect. So maybe you are twisting her up a little, too.
    Mmmmm...forbidden donut. *drools*

  9. #59
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    "Taking it slow" implies movement though, surely? Progress in a particular direction (towards a relationship)? Intensification of interest? Personally I don't see much point in the "taking it slow" approach. Maybe you could explain to me how it's biblical?
    Well, the biblical principle is "Thou shalt not commit adultery." (But this is also a principle of natural theology). The form of courtship I'm (supposed to be) following is my best attempt to make use of the ordinary means God provides to establish a marriage in which both persons are committed first and foremost to knowing God and helping the other to know God better, and not on knowing, (in the both the ordinary and biblical sense of the word), and pleasing one's spouse as the goal of life.

  10. #60
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Well, the biblical principle is "Thou shalt not commit adultery." (But this is also a principle of natural theology). The form of courtship I'm (supposed to be) following is my best attempt to make use of the ordinary means God provides to establish a marriage in which both persons are committed first and foremost to knowing God and helping the other to know God better, and not on knowing, (in the both the ordinary and biblical sense of the word), and pleasing one's spouse as the goal of life.
    I'm pretty sure you'll find that most marriages in the bible took place between two people who barely knew each other. I don't see how a quick courtship would weaken your ability to follow the first commandment. Long courtships during which compatibility is (imperfectly) assessed are a pretty modern phenomena. Which don't seem to be working too well.

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