The following is a guest post by Janae
Biologically, ladies and gents are programmed to look for a mate. Let me be the first to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way if we are conscious of our interactions! Platonic friendships between genders are possible but require a bit more thought.
Ladies, I would like to give you some simple advice about your friendships with guys.
There is likely to be a time when you will have an attraction to a good friend of the opposite gender, especially if they have great qualities. In fact, you may have an attraction to a friend of the same gender!
Attraction does not have to be sexual.
As humans, we are attracted to one another because of the virtuous or impressive qualities that we recognize in the other person. This is good. An awesome guy friend, for example, will have some great qualities.
An Awesome Guy Friend Will:
- Treat you like a lady
- Open doors for you
- Never talk in inappropriate ways (even if you are just a buddy)
- Make plans to hang out
- Text you funny memes
- (This could just be my friends.)
- Listen to your stories
- Compliment you on good works
- Give you good advice
Some of these qualities that we recognize do cause us to think about the people in a more intimate way. This is good at the right time.
For a lot of us, we want to have holy, healthy friendships with guys, but it can be a struggle for us to know where to keep our boundaries. Especially if our guy friends are actually gentlemen and do respect us as women! It’s so countercultural that our eyes and ears perk up a little when we hear of real-live Christian gentlemen in our lives.
So how do we keep our friendships with guys holy and healthy right now?
I want to start off by saying many times a guy may develop strong feelings, and this is out of your control. Still, you can control the conversations and flirting etc. so that you don’t give off the impression of “I want to date you” if the hope is to remain platonic friends.
Ways You Are Showing Him “I Want to Date You”
- Hanging out alone on a regular basis
- Body language:
- Play-punching/ touching him unnecessarily
- Long hugs (longer than 3 seconds???)
- Texting late at night
- Calling on the phone often (you should call your mom more than him…)
- Constantly affirming and exclaiming about their good looks
- Sharing deeply about certain struggles (esp. dating relationships and sexual struggles)
- Overall flirtatious behaviors!!!
It is so very important not to act in those ways.
Have you ever been in a friendship in which you did end up dating? I have.
Zach and I were very good friends for multiple years. In fact, I watched him date other people. He was always that “Awesome Guy Friend” to me, and I noticed some good Christian qualities in him. So, one day after we had dinner with my family, he asked me out. I was thrilled!
Ladies, we dated for a month. It ended very cleanly with both of us a little nervous to admit it, but we were both realizing we were “just friends.”
We were not physical with each other when we started dating and so there was nothing awkward that prevented us from returning to that friendship.
Even now as he is in a dating relationship with someone else, I do not feel like less of a woman or as if I lost a friend because of my perspective and actions.
The reason I know we had a healthy friendship before this attempt to date is because of how easily we were able to return to that friendship later.
Here are some tips from my experience:
7 Ways For You to Have Holy Friendships With Guys:
- Hang out in groups, or invite him to your family’s house
- Do not share about sexual struggles
- Don’t share too much about how another guy has hurt you (your friend might be inclined to protect you and in turn become too attached to you)
- Do not look for undivided attention from the guy (he has other friends too)
- Be honest!!
- (If a guy acts interested in you and you don’t want to date him, tell him that you value your friendship. It’s simple.)
- Don’t lead him on.
- (Acting as if you might want to date him because you enjoy the attention or feeling pursued.)
- If he has a girlfriend, ask about her
Finally, ladies, just remember that all gentlemen are your brothers!
If you are not married to them, they are your brothers in Christ.
Let us respect them and care for them by keeping good boundaries. Go to other ladies in your life first with struggles and invite them to be a part of your friendships too. Ask the Lord to bless your friendships and invite Him to walk with you in each relationship.
Friendships with guys are possible, and holy friendships with gentlemen are even better.
Hey! I’m a 21-year-old piano major at Texas State University. My favorite thing to do is praise the Lord in worship and song. As a music major sometimes I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but I also adore working with kids who are just nervously beginning to play the piano. It reminds me of the joy God sees in watching His children! Someday I hope to direct music at a church and have a Steinway piano studio in my home.
When I die, I hope my journals are turned into a book series so people can learn from the ridiculous things I’ve done. I’m so blessed by the way God has worked in my life and pray that you are too.
This post topic idea was dropped into the Joy Because Grace post suggestion box. Thanks for the suggestion, Katerina!