Can't Figure Out if This Church Guy is Genuinely Nice or What
hi. i need help decoding the behavior of a guy from church. he's really nice so i feel bad for even asking this, like i'm accusing him of being a creep. i like to think he's just genuinely nice and all, but i just can't shake off this....feeling, yknow.
recently, i joined an activity group at church. everyone's been polite but no one really chats with me since the age gap is too big (i'm in my 20's while everyone is ~40+) and there's a slight language barrier - we are all of the same ethnic group but i'm more comfortable with english. i don't have a major problem with my ethnic language though, so it's ok for the most part.
however, there's this one man (probably in his 40's) who's taken the time sit & converse with me, try to get to know me, eat with me, make me feel welcome, etc. he drives the church bus so he said he can drive me if i ever need rides on sundays. he said even for weekday morning prayer services, he can pick me up to drive me to church at 5am if i call him (yet strangely, his name is not listed for the driving schedule for 5am morning services. odd).
he gave me his # to call for any help or questions - something no one has offered to me. he takes care of me because basically, he knows it's a bit awkward for me and i don't have friends there. so i'm grateful to him. if i'm ever absent, he always wants to know why i wasn't there, etc. yes, this is a church so it's seems normal, but to me, it's a little new since no one else has been this concerned for me here. this is a big church and the people here are quite individualistic. they won't get too concerned about you unless you're really close with them. i've known this guy for only 2 months or so, and i only go to church on sundays, so we don't know each other that well. yet he's made me feel comfortable with him for the most part and i'm not as lonely since i can seek him out. he's also told me he used to see me on sundays before i was a part of the activity group, and always thought to himself that i'd become something big in church.
he also tells me i'm beautiful every now and then and tells me i brighten up the atmosphere. he's even asked others "isn't she so pretty?" i mean, other older men, all married, have told me i'm pretty too (sorry, i'm not saying this to be arrogant or anything, but it's necessary to mention this here), but with the purpose of introducing me to their single sons, lol. so i knew what their intent was. i'm pretty sure this man is single....
he's also been trying to get me to teach the youth group at my church, and has asked others to pray for me to get more involved. i asked why he doesn't teach and he mentioned a busy volunteering schedule. then he asked if we should then try it out together.
i chalked all this up to him being a sweet, religious guy really into helping people. i think he likes being involved in church but he doesn't seem THAT social to me.
however, it was my aunt who made me have this doubt about his behavior. she attends my church too, and when i told her of this nice man, she seemed to find him a little shady. however, she then retracted her statement and said he's just probably a good, helpful man who thinks of me as a daughter-figure or just a naive girl who needs help or smth. she still warned me to be a bit careful but i made light of the situation saying, "c'monnn, this is a church."
i can't imagine him trying to get with me in this super conservative church....yet why do i have this weird feeling? please tell me what this seems like to you. sure, this is a church setting and it's natural for others to be nice, but i never met anyone who was so interested in helping me in church and being overly nice. neither can we be labeled as 'friends' because as strange as this may sound, in my culture, if the age gap is like 20+, this cannot be labeled as a friendship. he's just an elderly figure and i'm like a child.
he's a great guy who's been very warm. i feel like such a douchebag for having these thoughts. guess i'm just not used to this type of treatment there....
sorry for the length. thanks in advance!
Last edited by wrgs; 01-19-2012 at 12:58 AM.
but he's a church guy...they're all nice and sweet!
heh sorry but dont be naive. He's definitely into you. All the things you mentioned are obvious signs
being overly nice
giving major compliments
gave you his number
encouraging you to teach
told you he noticed you before you joined the group
you're thinking he's just being nice as if he'd do that for anyone else in the group but he's really thinking "hey, got a young pretty girl in our group, i'm gonna hit her up!"
Im not saying what he's doing is creepy or anything that's up to you to decide but your aunt and your intuition got it right. he's definitely into you for more than merely friendship.
"O human race, born to fly upwards, wherefore at but a little wind does thou so easily fall?" - Dante
More then likely ur aunt is right. And he is shady.. sorry but I'm gonna be blunt. hes prob trying to get in ur pants.. he's prob smitten with ur looks and youth..
And uses the cover of church to be a good guy.. this makes him even creppier..
I would say you should honor that feeling! Your feeling may be incorrect but the consequences of ignoring those feelings could be disastrous!
Originally Posted by wrgs
Just because it is a church does NOT mean all people are safe to be around. Even ministers/priests/pastors can be abusers, unfortunately.
In our church many many years ago there was an instance of child abuse. The man was convicted and did his time, but our church has made it a habit to train ALL adults that work with children a mandatory prerequisite. Plus we do criminal background checks on those adults too. We installed windows in the doors to all of our classrooms, and we are never allowed to be alone in the presence of a child other than our own. Two-deep leadership is the way to go these days, and if your church is not practicing that then you should make a lot of noises until they adopt that policy. Or go to another church.
It is sad that life has to be that way, but that is what we have to do. So - when I went for the training (and I have also gone through similar training for another organization I volunteer for) I was told that sometimes you get a hunch about someone or there is a red flag that makes you wonder. You should always err on the side of protecting yourself and/or others in that situation.
That does not mean you can't be acquaintances with this man. Nor does it mean you should be mean or abrupt with him, because your hunch may be incorrect. But - I would not take him up on the offer of transportation nor would I ever let myself be alone with him! just make sure you never put yourself into a position to where he or another could abuse you.
And I hope you can find a group at your church (or another church) that has people your own age...
Today, 01:35 AM
Gut feeling wins. Church is not different than any other place, but people are taught to trust in religious people. That is how many get away with things, using their religion as a disguise. Just be nice to him, but don't allow him too close.
I think part of his intention is to be welcoming. I have both joined a church where I was involved in other activities there and I also joined a community volunteer group - and both groups of people I was noticed as a newcomer and there were several folks who were particularly welcoming to me, as this gentleman is to you. I think that this could go both ways, actually. He may just really be nice. He also could have gotten to know you and have taken an interest in you. People who meet in church still have feelings of wanting to meet "the one" - but if they meet in church related activities, they usually have to go about it with common interests. He probably will not ask you out to the bar, etc. And he probably will be a lot more cautious in just asking you to do church related activities.
I think that for now, I would just go with what you want to do. if you want to teach class with him, do it. If you don't, don't. I think that if you were truly interested in him and spent more time with him, things could grow, but if your interest is strictly friendship, it could stay there also.
I don't think he is shady at all. I think its not shady to like someone. I think that if he does like you, the ball is in your court. But maybe he's not even sure.
what is he "getting away with?" I think if he is expressing interest, he is doing it honorably. He does not appear to be a priest/minister, etc, but another layperson who attends and happens to volunteer driving people to church. he is on the same level as she is there. Lots of people meet people through volunteer work or church. And somehow people who belong to conservative churches find marriage partners so it has to start somewhere.
Originally Posted by Miss Firecracker
If you think in your culture that 40 years and people in their 20s never get together, then that's fine, and if he feels the same, maybe he is just taking mentor interest.
I think you should go with what you think and don't let your aunt cloud your ideas. Just make sure things stay on the mentorship level if you are not interested - and don't really know if he is either. He could be interested. I would just be clear if you think he is...to tell him that you would rather teach with another woman, it would be more appropriate. Then he'll get the hint if he was interested.
Abitbroken.. but he is 40plus were she is in her 20s.. someone who holds him self high in church why would he even go after her if it wasn't about pure intentions.. meaning really go outa way to make sure she has his number.. and why would she warn her about him?
It's kinda creppy even when out at a lounge u see a 40yr plus man trying to pu a girl in her 20s..
He's not talking to her because they have so much in common..
I know theres a lot of generlaztion I'm putting out.. but I'm pretty sure I'm accurute ..
True test would be if a new women in her 40s came in and he actually gave her the same amount of treatment..
It may be creepy to some, but how many posts here start with 'age gap relationship', or "my boyfriend is 47 and I'm 27" or "we are soulmates but are 30 years apart"? I agree that its not usually what people want, though. I see what you are saying. But I don't agree with holding him by any different standard just because he volunteers in the church. It doesn't mean he can't notice a pretty girl or meet someone, or use bad judgement when meeting someone. She's either interested...or not..and if not...all she has to do is to decline his suggestions about rides and teaching with him without any other conversation or elaboration if she wants to discourage him. But she shouldn't avoid other activities she enjoys otherwise it will be obvious what she is doing, or make him scratch his head if he really wasn't interested interested.
Originally Posted by 22n32
I agree. Just the aunt comment and him giving her number offering rides. Really going outa his way to be closer , and using the comfort of the church to make her feel safe and comfy..
I bet outside of church he would of never even went up to her..
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