Friends or Fools?

I have recently been in numerous conversations about what I am about to share with you. It seems that as Christians (and heck, even as regular old folks) we all form opinions and beliefs about the expectations of relationships. Let’s face it, in your mind, you know what you expect to happen in a healthy relationship (be it friendship or more) and what you would consider to be wrong or unhealthy. We enter into every encounter with our own preconceived notions, our own wants and desires, and our own needs.

In the past, I can be honest with myself and say that when it comes to dating relationships I have made my fair share of mistakes. That being said, I do have a strong desire to strive for what I think is right in my future relationships, most importantly the one I will have with my husband. I have prayed for him, our future marriage, and our friendship. I have desires to share our strong testimony with the people we minister to. I know what I want. However, I also know what can happen.

The question I want to pose to all of you is this: Is is possible, or better yet, How can a man and a woman be mutually attracted to one another but still operate as friends until they both either have a peace about moving forward to a dating relationship or a peace about just staying friends?

The argument is that two people should stay in the “friend zone” and get to know one another exclusively as friends before moving into anything else. This is ideal and it’s something I want to experience; however, my question is: how can you 100% view someone as just a friend if you see future potential with them as a mate?

I have never wanted to hear your comments more than I do right now!!!!

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I am a 32 year old teacher in Georgia, originally from Ohio (Go Buckeyes!). I am also a singer and I recently taught myself how to play guitar. For fun, I enjoy reading and lots of Netflix binges, which is my American right! I have also been known to cycle, run half marathons, and do just about whatever I set my mind to. A charming shepherd-mix dog named Kingsley lives with me and keeps me laughing at his antics at every turn. I am learning how to love the life I live with each passing day. Sometimes it's easy...other times, I write about it.

5 thoughts on “Friends or Fools?”

  1. Hey honey. The most important thing to do is to treat them the same way that you treat all of your friends. Don’t place them on a pedestal. Don’t share more than you should. Don’t invest your whole heart in the same way that you have done in past dating relationships.

    Keep the boundaries clear in your mind and you are able to proceed with honesty and caution. Protecting both of you from the dissappointment that comes from unfulfilled expectations being they expressed or not.

    1. I agree with K. Denise. It’s when lines are crossed when it can get fuzzy. Definitely don’t be kissing buddies lol, because that is not the definition of a friend. Boundaries!

  2. I wanted to share some GREAT advice that Pastor Maurice Stargell posted on my Facebook page. This was in response to the question: Is dating Biblical. I think some (if not all) of what he says could apply to this post as well. Enjoy:

    Great question Danielle, and a lot of great comments. But Robert made a good point about how our culture differs significantly from that of the Eastern cultures during biblical times. So I think the more appropriate question might be “Is dating prudent, and can it be God-honoring?” And the answer is yes — it is prudent — when the individuals seek to honor God first. That means healthy, God-honoring boundaries are in place. Clearly, dating can be a distraction for the Christian. Even if you’re not engaging in sexual activity, you still run the danger of being so emotionally and mentally preoccupied that you neglect your spiritual disciplines as well as the maintenance of other important relationships. That does not honor God.
    So keep God first, and fight hard to make sure that the dating relationship doesn’t take over your life. Take it slow. Set standards (what you want in a mate) before you start dating — and keep them. Establish boundaries. Make sure the interest is mutual. Make sure you both share similar life goals that can be harmoniously merged together. Make sure a good father would approve. Make sure that both people understand that the goal of dating is towards the possibility of marriage and that dating can only be healthy if both share that thought. Make sure you know yourself — what you can and can’t deal with 25yrs down the road — and not just how you “feel” about the person right now. Make sure the other person “really” knows you, not just what you want them to know about you. Don’t settle. Don’t waste your time. Trust God’s wisdom & the leading of the Holy Spirit over and above your temporary feelings & emotions. Pray hard. Think soberly (this requires guarding how much time you spend together). Check their credit. Talk to their parents and get the “real” scoop. Believe their track record over their ‘dating talk’ (in other words, if she cheated on her previous boyfriends, ______, if he slapped his last girlfriend around, ______). Value the advice of mature friends and spiritual mentors. And by all means, have fun. 😉

  3. In your question, you said this was a mutual attraction.

    If that’s the case, I think the best and easiest way to maintain that friendship is to define the feelings/boundaries right off the bat. Be honest with each other. Let them know you are attracted and see potential, but the timing isn’t right.

    That’s what happened with the first girl I dated in college. I told her I liked her, she echoed those feelings but didn’t feel it was the right time. So we waited six months or so.

    Overall, I thought it was a very healthy approach and worked out well.

  4. My opinion that we all seem to forget is that we are humans first and humans perceive relationships on a different spectrum. What you may agree to and say to a person may not be what you thinking or even doing down the line. I can have an aggrement with someone as far as building a relationship first but my actions and reactions may say something different. You can do everything and take the proper steps to make the best out of a relationship but a person may not be strong enough to handle the tempations that are out there, so what to do? You can have an understanding a hope and pray the person makes the right decisions every single day that they are in a relationship with you, whether it’s friends or something more than that.

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