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Stop Settling for Scraps, Ladies

In my recent article, “Time for a Breakup,” I wrote about the inability of many single men to maturely initiate with women. My theory is that a lot of men have a basic problem: they are already committed, and there’s simply no room for someone else. That is, many of these guys have ongoing, highly involved relationships with (1) their imaginary girlfriends, (2) their moms, or (3) their tag-along “friendgirls.”

This article evoked more of a reader response that anything I have written up until this point, especially regarding my point about unhealthy, “friendgirl” relationships between men and women. Though this is, by no means, the only dysfunctional way that single women interact with men, people suggested a follow-up article about this topic.

I felt that topic would be better handled by a female, so I enlisted mine and my wife’s friend, Jen Harrison. She’s got some great thoughts on the topic that I think a lot of women might find helpful. Welcome Jen, and thanks for being the first guest writer.

* * *

My experience as a friendgirl began in high school when I met the man I was sure I would marry someday. He was tall, handsome and played the drums in a band. Wow. What more could I ask for? We spent every waking moment together, and everything was going great until the day my rockstar friendguy did the unthinkable: he started dating another girl.

I was devastated, unable to understand how he could betray me like that. Today, I realize I was just the buffer friendgirl between girlfriends. I developed a similar relationship in college and eventually cut it off when I didn’t want to go on dates anymore with someone I wasn’t dating. To this day, he doesn’t understand why we had a “friend break-up.” Unfortunately, the same pattern ensued with my post-college “best friend,” whom I foolishly hoped would one day wake up and see that we were meant to be.

Somewhere along the way I came to the painful realization that I was always just the friendgirl. At first, I grew bitter at these guys for putting me in this position. Then, after much prayer and reflection, I came to a profoundly humbling conclusion: I was a friendgirl because I allowed myself to be a friendgirl.

Here’s the deal ladies: it takes two to tango. And as much as I applaud “Time for a Breakup” for its admonition of our male counterparts, it’s time to take a long, sobering look in the mirror, because abolition of the friendgirl phenomenon begins with us. As a starting point, it helps to identify, at its root, what is so unhealthy about these kinds of pre-marital relationships, which aren’t going anywhere romantically.

Playing the role of friendgirl continually reaffirms the lie that you’re not good enough to be the girlfriend. When a guy has a friendgirl, he chooses to cultivate a high level of emotional intimacy with a woman without any real romance. In essence, he is communicating to his friendgirl that she is good enough to be his girlfriend in all other ways – but not romantically.

After all, if she were attractive enough for him, he would be romantically drawn to her and, in theory, he would move her to the girlfriend category. This is clearly devastating to a woman’s self esteem, and if she is perpetually caught in this cycle, she starts believing that no one will ever be attracted to her.
More than that, the friendgirl misses the guys who are attracted to her, because she’s too caught up in her emotional boyfriend. She doesn’t even notice the admiration of other potential suitors. This is assuming the other men don’t avoid her all together, operating under the false impression she is already spoken for.

As my mom used to say with regard to this topic, “He’s never gonna buy the whole cow when you are giving out the milk for free.” Crude, I know, but go with it. The point here is that many men will not go to the extra effort of actually dating someone when they can get all they need from a woman, emotionally, at very little personal cost. Being a friendgirl teaches men to be lazy in their pursuit of women. The friendgirl is by her nature easy, and should not be surprised when no one is willing to work for her.

My status as a friendgirl was ruining my dating life, so I decided to deal with my problem. And that was just what it was: my problem. It was time to stop blaming men for making me their friendgirl and time to start taking responsibility. Eventually, I started saying no to playing the role of friendgirl. I learned (and am still learning) to set boundaries and develop guy/girl friendships with appropriate levels of intimacy, even as I’ve ventured into the world of real dating.

Most importantly though, at its core, I believe the friendgirl phenomenon is a spiritual issue. When I started believing the lie that I was not good enough, not smart enough, or not pretty enough to be worthy of a real relationship, I began to settle for whatever scraps someone was willing to give. I failed to recognize how completely I am already loved by my God. He is the One who satisfies my deepest longings and provides for all my needs. And He has better things planned for me than settling for the scraps.

25 Comments
  1. Jen, I enjoyed reading your piece. I would have liked to have seen you explore the idea of what a friendgirl is not. E.g, a friendgirl is not someone getting to know a guy as a potential boyfriend. I feel that in angst to avoid being a friendgirl, I have a define the relationship talk too soon. I don't know how to get to know someone as friends without thinking in the back of my head – is this going to be a messy friendship? Am I going to have to cut the strings later? Heck, I don't know if I like him, but I know I don't want to be a friendgirl (how unattractive is that?!) I need a healthy way to approach friendships that will allow them to turn into something more later. Essentially I'm asking if you've found a way to be patient with the process of getting to know someone in light of your friendgirl past? –Mutual Friend

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    June 22, 2010
  2. Dear Anonymous: These are all excellent questions and ones I've thought alot about. The short answer is: there is no easy answer. Relationships are messy…and with guy/girl friendships..there should always be time to get to know someone without feeling the pressure to define the relationship in fear of becoming a friendgirl. Indeed many relationships develop out of friendships, and there should be space for romantic relationships to develop organically.For me, its been a process of keeping my emotions and expectations in check. I would be hesitant to put a time frame on how long an ambiguous relationship should continue and more suggest that we as women need to keep ourselves in check to make sure we are not investing too much emotional energy in a relationship with no commitment.Let me say further that I believe in good healthy friendships between men and women. I have a few guyfriends (one of whom used to be a friendguy) that I consider some of my closest friends. I may even grab a meal or coffee one on one occasionally. There is a boundary there, though, we don't call all the time or gchat or hang out every week…at the end of the day, its all about having healthy boundaries.

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    June 22, 2010
  3. Jen,Great article. And thanks for reflecting the female side of these kind of friendships. I think it will also help concientious (but often oblivious) men be more careful in how we cultivate friendships. I am pretty tired of the "men are wimps" criticism that I hear so often — particularly in the church but this is much more helpful in understanding the real issue. It calls men and women to be thoughtful, responsible, and respectful in the way we pursue friendships (romantic and otherwise).I would also like to point out that there are some passive men and that is not respectable or mature. But there are also quite a number of men who are proactive and intentional in their lives; some of them are "pursuing" women right now and some are not, but they ought to be respected for living their lives on purpose before God regardless. In short, the measure of maturity should not only be in a man's pursuit of a wife but in handling ourselves and our relationships on purpose before God. I think the root problem behind what you describe is that men and women are not maturing well as individuals — are not proactively suiting ourselves for healthy, self-sacrificing, nurturing relashionships whether through dating/marriage or otherwise.

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    June 22, 2010
  4. Great point, Micah. Ladies, don't hate on young, single, Christian guys just because they're not dating anyone. That may be what God is doing in their lives at the time. Wow, this is a tricky subject.

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    June 22, 2010
  5. Okay, Joshua suggested I also post this from an offline email conversation on the subject:"I would also like to see women (and men) have a more holistic way of judging a respectable man than the one dimension of whether he is pursuing a woman. Maybe we should quit obsessing over how to do romance and focus on how to grow in maturity, responsibility, and intentionality. Then love, respect, and romance will follow more naturally and without so many agonizing conversations about what the heck is wrong with the men."

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    June 22, 2010
  6. To all, Something that I find interesting about this conversation is how different it is from a secular conversation about dating. Consider the recent made from book movie, "he's just not that into you." The premise places a lot of fault on failed relationships on women; meanwhile, the Christian community faults men. No conclusions on this observation except I (as a female) go back and forth on hating on men and defending them (because they're my friends).Note: I agree with all above comments. –mutual friend.

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    June 22, 2010
  7. here here!

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    June 22, 2010
  8. I've wanted to comment for awhile. I hate to start with a guest columnist, especially because I don't know the situations that Jen was in, about which she may have entirely valid points.But I have several questions to ask about these general principles:1. What about women who use guys as a friendguy but never have any intention of dating him? Are men the only ones at fault here? Do women never have friendguys who "just doesn't excite me"? Women's excuses are always far more refined than those of men, but that shouldn't get them off the hook.2. If you were outside the church, the friendguy would be wanting (and probably getting) sex. Shouldn't there be some gratitude that Christian guys aren't doing this? Honestly, think about what you're saying: "Christian guys are using me for an emotional connection." So now the 10% of guys (at most) who manage to control their sexual desires before marriage are now being blamed for being too emotional? Aren't guys usually blamed for NOT being in touch with their emotions? Is there anything guys can do, other than waiting hand and foot on their girlfriend/wife, that they WON'T be blamed for? This sure doesn't make marriage sound appealing.3. Can guys and girls not be friends if it's not going to lead to a relationship? This may not be your intention, but this post comes across as saying that women don't value friendship, only romantic relationships?. As C. S. Lewis' The Four Loves points out, eros is not above philia.Another comment:"The Christian community faults men".Thanks, mutual friend, for some genuine understanding. The Christian community is one rare place where guys will generally respect women by not pressuring them sexually before marriage. I would point out that if Christian women are so unhappy with Christian guys, they are entirely free to explore the non-Christian world. But in that world, many will be used sexually or dumped for someone who will 'put out'.Micah Harris:"the measure of maturity should not only be in a man's pursuit of a wife but in handling ourselves and our relationships on purpose before God."Hear hear!Sorry if this comes across as snarky, I'd really be happy to hear open discussion of these points.

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    June 23, 2010
  9. I'll let Jen respond to "Jesus was Single," except for the following: (1) you're welcome to comment anytime you like; (2) Jen was working in a limited amount of space and couldn't write a chapter of a book, so some stones were left unturned; and (3) your comment came across as a tad aggressive, but commenters often unintentionally come across that way, and I usually presume their intentions are good. So, with that being said, thank you so much for the feedback.

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    June 23, 2010
  10. Dear Jesus was Single: Thanks for your comments, all excellent points, let me respond to each in turn.1) Yes, Yes, Yes. Women are often guilty of the same behavior. I would give the male "friendguys" of these ladies the same advice as I give friendgirls.2)a.I affirm and applaud all men who are committed to sexual purity. However, as Christians we are not outside the church. We are inside, and I would caution us not to use worldly standards as a reference for the health of our relationships. We are called to a higher standard physically and emotionally, and though its a good thing Christian men (theoretically) save themselves for marriage, that fact alone is not an excuse for unhealthy emotional entanglements.b. I also think it's wonderful when men are in touch with their emotions. However, I would point out there is a huge difference between being in touch with their emotions and developing and fostering deep emotional ties with a woman to whom they have no commitment. c. Like Joshua said, I had limited space and had no intention of blaming men in general. I sought to point out a criticism of men (and women) in my article, and would encourage you to write a piece praising the efforts of men you know. I would be 100% supportive.3) Women and men can most definitely be friends and I think we have wonderful things to contribute to each other. As you point out, Eros is not above Philia..and I wholeheartedly agree. I think the problem occurs when a man and woman foster such a deep level of emotional intimacy that their relationship starts taking on some of the characteristics of eros without the commitment of that sort of love. Take for example jealousy…that is a characteristic not of brotherly love, but of eros. If I am becoming so attached to a guy that I am jealous when he spends time with other girls, or vice versa, its time to take a step back. I just think we need to be honest with ourselves about our guy/girl friendships..if it's really, truly philia, then I affirm that. If, however, some aspects have progressed to look more like eros (whether emotionally or physically) I would caution any man or woman to set healthy boundaries unless they pursue the commitment a full-on eros relationship would require.

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    June 23, 2010
  11. Amazingly well-put Jen. I mean, seriously, way to knock it out of the park. Maybe you should go ahead and start the draft of your book.

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    June 23, 2010
  12. Joshua and especially Jen, thanks for engaging my comments in such a thoughtful and insightful way. Allow me to continue the discussion.1. Thanks for the clarification, much appreciated.Related to this point, I do still want to note that posts like this often (and probably unintentionally) come across as rather critical of guys. The irony here is that the sensitive/gentlemanly guys who actually care about treating women well will be the ones most turned off by the perceived criticism, while the jerks who really need to hear this are probably less inclined to read these kinds of blogs anyways.2a. On the one hand, yes, you're right that we as Christians are called to a higher standard, and we should be aiming for no less than that. On the other hand, we still live in the world. I sometimes wonder if women appreciate how difficult this standard is for men. In the world, women are often praised (even by some radical feminists) for keeping a lid on their sexuality. On the contrary, men are almost universally mocked for being sexually pure, even by women. I think it's reasonable to argue that virility is much more closely related to masculine identity than to feminine identity. (Indeed, the very word "virility" comes from the Latin word for "man".) Even in the church, it is my observation that women tend to go for the guys with more experience in this area because, once again, the inexperienced guy doesn't know (yet) how to turn them on. It often appears as though there's nothing more enchanting to many women than a reformed badass – all the moreso if she is the one helping him to reform himself. (Whether or not my illustrative example is accurate on a widespread basis, I'm willing to stand behind the philosophical principle.)3. I appreciate your careful and helpful analysis here. Perhaps I instinctively rush to defend male-female friendship (I'm glad you feel this way also) because I have spent time in cultures where there is absolutely no friendship between men and women, with seriously detrimental effects for both. Also, good insight about jealousy. One comment I would make is that boundaries aren't always that clear-cut. Is it only permissible for a guy to hang out with one girl at a time? (If so, then does that mean that a girl must likewise turn down all date offers as long as one guy has taken her out in the last month?) Maybe I'm nit-picking a bit, but I think there are a lot of gray areas here. For example, what if the guy sees the friendship as simply a friendship, but the girl starts to desire more than that? Is the guy really at fault in such a case? I agree with the attitude you suggest in your final thought, but I think working it out in actual situations is often complicated.

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    June 24, 2010
  13. Dear Jesus was Single,In regards to your point '2a'; I just placed a violin to my chin and played you a very sad song – while shedding a few tears. I definitely think you raise some insightful issues, but you're changing to subject a bit. Jen's piece focused on encouraging women to think about relationships (male/female friendships) in godly way…and you've change the subject to insecurities Christian men face in dating. A whole different can of worms. And with regards to individuals wanting something more out of a friendship. That's nothing more than being an open, honest, and responsible person. Communicating your needs to another and willing to hear them out too. And then adjusting accordingly (maybe to include exclusive dating or to stop seeing them). It's no ones fault how ever it works out- it's part of life. That's why people refer to love as a dance, there is a fair amount of back and forth and getting a feel for the other person. As my grandmother says, it takes two to tango. -Mutual Friend

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    June 24, 2010
  14. I disagree with the entire thesis and frankly think you may have some growing up to do. “Friendgirl” relationships as you characterize them are not unhealthy, in fact, it is how men and women should relate and will need to relate to function in our society. Not every relationship needs to be romantic or sexual and not every initiated relationship will turn into a romantic or sexual relationship. The men who engage in ‘Friendgirl” relationships are actually more mature and self confident than other men because they understand than not all relationships between a man and woman need be romantic and much can be learned and gained from the other sex other than romantic whispers and potential marriage plans. Frankly as men and women of Christ, we should nurture our friend relationships with both men and women. Men are not just a potential husband or boyfriend – these friendly relationships are teaching you more about men and future relationships that you realize and they are certainly not unhealthy. It allows you to discern between friendly feelings of worth between two people, even a man and woman, and the romantic feelings of love toward your future mate. I find the last article very condescending – some of my best friends are women and were women before my marriage. If you don’t believe a relationship with someone from the other sex without romantic feeling has any real value, then you are missing out.

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    June 24, 2010
  15. Reluctant Poster, I think Jen addressed your point when, in the comments section, she said, "Women and men can most definitely be friends and I think we have wonderful things to contribute to each other. . . I think the problem occurs when a man and woman foster such a deep level of emotional intimacy that their relationship starts taking on some of the characteristics of eros without the commitment of that sort of love. Take for example jealousy…that is a characteristic not of brotherly love, but of eros. If I am becoming so attached to a guy that I am jealous when he spends time with other girls, or vice versa, its time to take a step back. I just think we need to be honest with ourselves about our guy/girl friendships. If it's really, truly philia, then I affirm that. If, however, some aspects have progressed to look more like eros (whether emotionally or physically) I would caution any man or woman to set healthy boundaries unless they pursue the commitment a full-on eros relationship would require."As a married guy, I want to add that I think Jen's comment squarely applies to married men who are in friendships with women as well. We've got to be very careful to keep healthy boundaries and beware where philia-type affinity slowly and subtly develops into something that even slightly resembles an eros-based affinity (for either party). I've found it rare that extra-marital, eros-based affairs suddenly materialize out of thin air. You know, they were just friends, and the next thing you know, it's something else. This opposite gender friendship thing is tricky business for any guy, single or married.

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    June 24, 2010
  16. You bring up the issue of jealousy on the part of the woman who feels something other than friendship, love, or in fact, has a strong emotional feelings with her man/friend. This situation may occur but that can not be addressed as a problem on the part of the man as a "momma lover" with some deep seeded emotional problems. I was taken aback from that assertion and offended. In fact, with the scenario, this analysis now indicates that the issue is actually with the female, not the male, as the female is the one who suddently wants more than friendship after becoming emotionally close but that relationship is not available. Thus what is the answer? According to Jen, the answer would be ending the friend relationship altogether. That is just a lack of maturity and obvious inability to deal with one's emotions – but this improves as the years go by. In this case, it would be female having the problem but this happens all the time with both sexes. But talk about calling the kettle black!!!I do agree it is tricky to have female friends sometimes, when married or otherwise. BUT this is LIFE, people in the world and in the church are in all types of circumstances. But at least in my life, I knew fairly quickly whether there were any "other feelings" than friendship and whether they needed to be put aside or a boundary developed because of another relationship. But I have learned so much from my female friends that my advice to my son is not to be exclusively friends with just other guys but also with as many females as you can. You will be much smarter in your relations down the road as you understand women and I think as a father, that he will respect women more because he truly understands (at least a bit) and respects them and not because his parents told him in some abstract way to always respect women. Living it is more important than just a concept of treating women equally and respecting their views. The advice to women i heard earlier with the post is: Women, men who are friends actually have some real negative issues and and if you ever get a twinge of emotional feelings of love or emotional attachment toward a man-friend, dump them as a friend.

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    June 24, 2010
  17. Dear Reluctant Poster: Thank you for your thoughts. I think I've already addressed many of your points in the post and comments above, and I stand by them.

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    June 25, 2010
  18. (Not Quite) Relucant (Enough) Poster: You're hollering so loud (and so long) with personal digs at the guest writer that it's difficult to hear what you're trying to say. You can call Jen immature and unable to handle her emotions if you like, but I think her responses on the comments section speak for themselves.

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    June 25, 2010
  19. Sorry this is so long:I've read Joshua's original post as well as Jen's and all the comments that go along with both. I think that this is a very interesting discussion with valid points made by both proponents and opponents. I will offer this though… it seems that one who finds themself labeled as the "Friendgirl" or "Friendguy" is being painted as a victim. Meaning, the other party in the situation must be using you emotionally, leading you on, etc and you MUST BREAK FREE! I think that in male/female friendships, if one person develops feelings that aren't reciprocated then they must make the choice to deal with that and remain in the friendship or cut off ties for awhile if they just can't handle it. Often, when you do that, you will heal much like you will from a break up – over time you can develop an amicable friendship. I must agree with Reluctant Poster though and say that this is the world that we live in! The key is to be honest enough with yourself to see if a) your friendship with the guy who thinks you are his friendgirl is hindering you from being interested in anyone else or b) causing you enough emotional turmoil that you can't stop dwelling on it. At that point, you and your friendboy need to have a chat and go from there.If I am speaking honestly, I must say that dating in the church scene kind of scares me a bit. I've had several experiences where a guy has asked me out and then made WAY too huge of a deal about their intentions right up front… it makes it awkward and kind of like you are living in a fishbowl or a bubble where everyone else is watching you. Then, when it doesn't go anywhere, the guy thinks that he has broken your heart and I think that it's in part to these kind of rigid standards discussed in these postings that are set upon the church. What happened to organic growth?In response (sort of) to Jesus was Single, I don't think that a violin should be played for him in discussing how Christian guys aren't out for sex like most men. I think that is an example of the situation of pressure that is placed upon dating and friendships in the church. If I were a young, single guy with tons of pairs of eyes on me waiting to see why I am not dating someone in the community, I would be reluctant to want to date anyone in the community. I think that often guys are lead to figure out that they want to seriously date a girl before they even get to know her … and this may result in some friendgirl-ships. All that being said, I do agree with both Joshua and Jen in the general sense that these are real issues that need to be thought out and addressed. Example: Not every guy who has a close relationship with his mom is unhealthy, but maybe some are. Thank you for opening the discussion for an interesting debate.

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    June 25, 2010
  20. Mutual Friend,It appears that you're currently a little closer to the "hating on" men approach than the "defending" men approach, ha ha. Although I'm half-joking, I do think your violin comment (the 'buck up, dude' approach) is a bit unhelpful in openly and rationally addressing the underlying conditions and context that shape relationships in the church. I'd prefer to hear reasonable engagement with the topic rather than condescension. The unthinking 'buck up, dude' approach is only going to work on the 'shoot first, ask questions later' kinds of guys – the ones who aren't going to read this blog anyways.Furthermore, although it may be a new topic, I think it's actually related to the first. Men are not going to be interested in dating within the church if they are subtly demeaned (even in the church) for acting in godly ways. Given that this blog seems to be oriented towards these sorts of issues, I don't see why something related but slightly off-topic shouldn't be fodder for more discussion.I agree with you that it's a dance – which is why I think women sometimes need to be more clear that they aren't simply blaming men for all of the complications that arise. As Jen clarified in the comments, I now realize that wasn't her intention. I hope it's not yours either.

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    June 26, 2010
  21. Jen and Joshua,Merely a commenter, not a writer.. so you'll have to read through the muddle.Your post and all of the comments made for very interesting reading. I did have to chuckle– as a follower of Jesus, and a married woman for 25+ years it is very clear that "still" there is nothing new under the sun. It's a different day, a different time, a different person, trying to grasp hold of the same "old" thing– life. The only real change is individual change. While this "still" begins within each of us, it is a direct result of those we let in (as well as those we don't). To start,I first feel the need to say that people are not scraps. Some are weak, some are strong. We all want to point the finger in hopes of finding the cause for our current dilemma. It's the woman you gave me, it's the lazy man that refuses to respond to me…we all are searching. I would like to challenge the future friend-girls to unload any self-centered motives. Yes, we all have them. Trust in God! He is your provider–for ALL things! He is the designer of pure relationships. God's word is filled with many examples of such relationships. Investing in others for their gain and not mine is the biblical motive, Jesus' motive. This should be your motive too. I understand that single women may feel their "clock" is ticking away but God is never late! The journey is everything in preparing us for the destination. Trust! Enjoy the training ground! Enjoy getting to know God in a more deep and meaningful way! This is your foundation.If young men and women are waiting for bombs bursting in air, just remember one thing– fireworks fizzle out but a friendship built on selfless commitment can last a lifetime. There is no better way to grow a relationship than through a friendship. Young men, don't overlook your woman friend as a potential life-long companion. Pray! And women, please do not think a man must work to get you. Women draw by what overflows from the inside and by what is displayed on the outside. Romance is an awesome gift in a relationship but it is not the glue, a trusting friendship is. Jen, I would like to share experience with you. You said the friend-girl is easy by nature. I applaud that! Unfortunately, more often than not, if that friend-girl becomes the girlfriend her "easy by nature" disposition is then ditched for controlled possession. The man is left wondering what happened to his easy by nature friend. And the man may begin to shut down in this relationship. Proverbs 14:1 tells us, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Being a friend-girl is a privilege in and out of marriage. Women have wonderful nurturing abilities. God has given us great insight to care for and grow strong relationships. With this said, I'm sure you will agree that a friend-girl's self-worth is not defined by whether or not the guy friend decides to be romantically involved with her. God's in charge! I believe we need to give our Christian men a break. Recognize them as responders to God and not to men and women. Allow God to grow and strengthen them. Allow the Holy Spirit to convict and then guide. We women would be better off for it and in the end we would get the man we have always longed for– a man of God.Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 NLT

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    June 30, 2010
  22. To Jesus was(is?) Single,I assume that was you who posted above. Before I say anything else, I want to let you know that I appreciate the tone of your postings. Since you've been so kind to continue the conversation even after I played you a sad song, I do have a couple of questions that would hopefully clear up any misunderstanding. Some thoughts. And then an explanation to the sad song. First, your user name – Jesus was Single. What is the message behind that? I feel like you’re trying to make a point using the Lord's name and am curious to know what it was/is. Of course, it could have just been a fact. Such as the '4th of July is on Sunday.'And, I did notice in a couple of your postings that you mentioned the 'kind of guys' that read blogs. I am unclear how one draws up that subgroup and what that group looks like. And how my directness may or may not fit with said group is also unclear? Sure, my style is hit or miss, but I don’t think that changes according to the venue. Now, I still disagree with you on your next topic "Men are not going to be interested in dating within the church if they are subtly demeaned (even in the church) for acting in godly ways." You gave the example of women wanting “experienced” men. Is that what you are referring to? If yes, I think that’s a lie from the pit. Women (and men) find people with confidence attractive; it’s not about the experience factor! (Although, it is true that individuals with experience are often more confident). For me, I would much rather be loved well and grow with someone than get an off the assembly line lover boy. Really, who wants some joe schmoe off the street that “knows how to get the ladies.” Gag me. That is so arrogant. And, in that case, it’s often more about self-satisfaction than about loving another person. I’m just saying, knowledge doesn’t equal better, look at Adam and Eve. I am sorry that you feel pressured by both the secular culture and the Church. But, you should know, I’d defend you. The violin playing was actually in reference to your comment about male/female sexuality. “I sometimes wonder if women appreciate how difficult this standard is for men. In the world, women are often praised (even by some radical feminists) for keeping a lid on their sexuality.” That’s so Victorian Era of you to say. While I am not inside a man’s body to fully understand his sexual desires and self control required to live according to God’s law, you are not inside of a women’s. ‘Difficult standard for men’ – whatever. I think you need to read up on the sexual revolution. I doubt those radical feminists you mentioned would appreciate the way you just spoke for them. Anyway, it just came across as whinny to me; hence the violin. Happy 4th of July. -Mutual Friend

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    June 30, 2010
  23. To "Growing in Christ" – thanks for sharing your thoughts. There's definitely wisdom in there.And to "Mutual Friend" – Sounds like you and "Jesus was Single" need to meet up and talk this out in person.

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    July 1, 2010
  24. CHC #

    Just an add-on with regard to guy/girl friendships when married… I thought blogger "Your a Grown Man" had some additional advice in his post, "Dining with Danger": http://youareagrownman.com/2010/06/29/quit-dining-with-danger/

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    July 2, 2010
  25. Hello.Nice topic. When it comes to purity, I don't understand why it's even a question what we Christians should do. What God has said is the standard. '' If ye love Me, then keep My commandments '' – John 14:15 .

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    January 18, 2012

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