At the tender young age of 16, it’s crazy to think that you’re in love with someone. Perhaps you love them. But that’s very different from being in love. Love is something you feel in many different ways towards many different people. Being in love is different. If you were to say that you were in love with your parents, people would think there was something wrong with you. Being in love is almost always associated with having romantic feelings. But it’s more than that. I don’t think I can explain it, but allow me to try. For nearly 5 months I struggled with figuring out whether or not I was in love with the guy I liked. I know I loved him. He’s a great Christian guy and a wonderful friend and tons of fun to be with. I just wasn’t sure if I was in love. I pondered it for months, wondering what it truly meant to be in love. But I couldn’t figure it out. The other day I wanted to just take a shot in the dark and tell myself that I was in love with him. But it just didn’t feel right. After realizing that I wasn’t in love with him, I decided that I had to figure out once and for all if he felt the same way towards me that I felt towards him. Today, in a somewhat roundabout way, I asked him in a text message. I guess I figured that if I wasn’t in love with him I had to make sure he didn’t like me before I started the process of getting over him. In the nicest way possible, he told me he didn’t like me. He didn’t blame me, he blamed himself. He said that he wasn’t in the right point in his life for a relationship. And I respect that because, truth be told, I’m probably not either. He said he has a road to follow that doesn’t include being more than friends with anyone. I believe that God has placed it on his heart to seek him instead of seeking girls. This boy is following his passion, which glorifies God. And I don’t want to stand in the way of that. God has a plan for him-a purpose. And He has a plan for me. I suppose our paths were not meant to cross in a romantic way. God designed for us to be friends that support and encourage each other as we both pursue our different passions. And I’m glad for his friendship. That’s all I need from him. So I’ll continue to be his friend as we both continue on our journeys to fulfilling God’s plan for our lives. Honestly, I feel relieved. I feel a lot better now that I know how he feels. It hurt more to not know than it did to be rejected. I don’t even want to call it a rejection. I’ve faced quite a bit of rejection in my days, in many different ways, but none like this. In the past, when I was rejected, the guy didn’t care about my feelings. He just told me, sometimes in a crueler way than others, that he didn’t like me. But this was different. I don’t know how to explain it. I felt like I was tied up in ropes by liking this guy and not knowing if he liked me, and then he came along and untied those ropes carefully, so as not to hurt me anymore than the ropes already had, and softly whispered in my ear that neither of us deserved to be tied down by anything. So now I’m no longer in ropes and he doesn’t have to worry about me tying him down. It’s time to leave those ropes behind and just be friends. Plain and simple. I trust that God will bless our friendship for as long as it lasts. And, when it’s over, I will still be grateful for this boy who taught me that you have to find yourself and God before you go looking for anyone else.