Where to go from here...
Show her this thread (yes really do) and see how it plays out then.
That will be your answer.
Welcome Patrickday, RUN, don't walk away!!
If you still believe that it will work with your friend, DITTO what Witness My Fury wrote about showing her this thread or asking her to watch Strategic Interactive Approach explained 2003 (1:23:23) video by Steve Hassan who is a cult-exit counselor. You have the rest of your life to meet a non-JW woman, who will have a lot less baggage than your friend.
The WTBTS is a printing/distribution and real estate holding company that uses BITE control techniques to victimize JWs by masquerading as a religion to avoid paying taxes.
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
@Splash: I could totally understand that, obviously if her whole family are JW's bringing anyone in the house who isn't of the same belief probably wouldn't go over that well. I did research outside of this website and found varying answers to dating outside of the religion. I've read things such as: it depends on whether the JW in the relationship is a female or a male. If the JW is a male, it's strictly frowned upon because males are "more valuable" to the religion, solely because they can become elders. If the female is a JW and decides to date outside of the religion, it's frowned upon, but isn't enforced as strictly as males because they cannot become elders or hold any responsibility amongst the congregation. Is there any truth to this? Just trying to find the fact amongst all of the opinion.
@millie: That seems like it fits in fairly nicely with her situation, but obviously we wouldn't know for sure because I've never met her parents and wouldn't be able to tell if they were under any pressure. It seems us being apart for a year has matured her a little, she used to experience some depression and didn't want to talk to anyone about it. I never knew the cause of this, but I presume it would be related to this whole religion factor. If this is in fact the case, would her parents lay down the law against her dating outside of the religion? What could you recommend I do in the time being? Is it best to take a step back, try not to get too invested, and let it play out between her and her parents? I have no problem giving it time, in fact I'd rather wait and let her decide what she wants to do instead of making it seem like I forced her into anything.
@LisaRose: That's certainly an interesting perspective on things... I can't say that I personally would allow that to happen, but obviously I can't predict the future. From the perspective of a JW, is that seen as an effective method to rebel against the religion and yet still get what they want? Can't say I approve, to be completely honest. Is it common for teenage girls to stay true to the faith even when they get a little older (say 5-10 years)? Like I said, she's fairly young, and if she's unsure at this point, would it be out of the question to think she'll leave, or is it more likely that the phase will pass and she'll become "spiritually stronger"?
@Witness My Fury: Might I ask why you suggest that? We haven't had a real conversation about her religion since I asked her about it. She obviously doesn't know I've become this interested in learning of other stories from people in a similar situation. Not that I wouldn't ever tell her I doubted her religion, just curious as to why showing her this thread would help/or not (what would a JW think of a thread like this?).
@Robert: Thanks for your reply and insight. Do you find this video helps people find their way out of the cult mindsight? I would presume it would be a continuous, step based processes that allows the individual to build courage behind their true beliefs which in turn pushes them to leave the cult. Have you found it effective? And if so, how might you suggest I bring up watching such a video about a fairly sensitive topic?
@[email protected]: Thank you for showing me that -- I'll see if I can get a copy of it and have a look if it's as similar as you say it is. Dare I ask if the outcome of the movie was favourable?
As far as the development of my situation... I've decided to take my time with it and not force anything. From reading this forum, I've noticed a lot of people worry about time constraints which ultimately ends up being their downfall. Time is something I have a lot of, so taking a back seat and seeing how it all plays out is gameplan number one. For those who suggested RUN, I haven't necessarily ruled that out, but at this point in time I have no reason to. I was extremely emotional over this whole situation last summer but have learned to not allow it to affect me as greatly. My goal is to let her see my life for what it is, and to let her come to her own conclusions. I know deep down I have a future with this girl, I just don't know what it is yet, and I'm alright with that. Don't confuse this for waiting for something to happen. If a situation were to unfold that lead me into the arms of another girl I wouldn't turn it down, and I think that's just about the only way to handle it. Does anyone have any other tips or suggestions that I could use to help further my plan in any way?
Thanks again for all of your support and kind replies.
The WT does not allow for extended courtship or casual dating. Their extreme view is boy+girl(alone)=sex. But of course sex outside marriage is bad, bad, bad. There is lots of pressure to marry fast and young. So even if your intentions are friendly and casual, she will not be approaching this casually.
Let me add this: legal where you live or not, you are seeing a little girl. You are way ahead of her in ways that are the reason why there are laws regarding these things. For her sake and yours, walk away and find a woman, not a child.
I didn't fully read all the posts in this thread, but one thing in your initial post caught me and resonates.
She stated firmly that she wasn't going to attempt to convert me and hasn't made any attempt to do so whatsoever. She seems ashamed of the religion
This was my husband's promise to me before we were married 10 years ago, and also not to attempt to convert our later to be born child. he was FIRM.
yeah, that is until he got this 'calling" to study again, began reading the indoctrination materials, and had people preaching in his ear. He did a complete 180 that almost ended our marriage about three+ years ago. It still might. His JW personality was cruel, mean, insensitive, selfish, and abusive. The opposite of who he had been. If that personality surfaces ever again, I'm out.
My advice, walk away, don't look back.
It's great that you care enough about her and a potential relationship to investigate the Watchtower maze.
All up, it is very high risk.
Great advice above by other posters.
From my personal perspective, until you both are very clear, on where the honey (faith, spirituality, and the gospel) stops and the arsenic (religion) starts, you should not be making lifechanging decisions.
Maybe you could both agree that when this day arrives you will check in with each other again?
Patrick, i suggested that because according to you she has the appearance of doubting it all but going along for family and friends.
She will know about sites like this one and that JWs should NOT be looking here, her reaction positive or neagtive should be informative.
She will see your words and the replies and again her reaction postive or negative should be informative.
If you are afraid of the possible response then you already know the answer it seems.