Here’s the definition(s) of ambiguous (from dictionary.com)
*open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations; equivocal: an ambiguous answer.
*of doubtful or uncertain nature; difficult to comprehend, distinguish, or classify: a rock of ambiguous character.
*lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct: an ambiguous shape; an ambiguous future.
Students often use the phrase “MU,” meaning “mutual understanding.” This represents something in between friendship and courtship. The exact nature of a mutual understanding usually isn’t very clear to me. Ironically, it usually isn’t clear to those in the MU, either.
I’m not a big fan of MU’s or any type of ambiguous relationship. Since there is no real commitment, these arrangements seem to cause confusion and pain.
I really believe that dating/courtship should be focused, with marriage as the end goal. Otherwise, it is simply a waste of time and emotion. Here are a few suggestions:
Intentions should be clear very early in the relationship. What should your intention be? To get to know this person and prayerfully decide if the two of you are compatible for marriage.
Some reasonable timetable should be set. I hear different opinions on the appropriate length of courtship/engagement. I personally believe that six months to a year is plenty of time to know if you’ve found a good match. I’m not saying you should be ready to propose after two dates. I’m not even saying that you should marry within a year. But within a year there should be a clear understanding of whether or not you plan to marry. If you decide to break up, at least you’ve limited the time that you invested in this relationship.
I’ve seen couples who stay boyfriend/girlfriend for years, only to break up. They both experience a “mini divorce” and have little to show for their wasted time/emotion. This is especially harmful for women, who have a biological clock to consider.
I don’t want this to sound like dating/courtship should be some kind of business contract. My point is this: as single Christians, we should be intentional when it comes to the opposite sex. If you only want to be friends, then stay friends. If there is a mutual attraction and interest, then explore the possibility of a Christ-centered marriage. I see no middle ground.
Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
Note: I’d recommend my book Basta LoveLife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions if you’d like to read more helpful relationship advice.
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