NAS: Friends with Guys?

Hmm... I am not sure I really have much to say on this topic either (man, I am really winning these days!).  I feel like I can count on... maybeeeeee... 3 fingers the number of guy friends that I have.
Funny, I image Googled "guy friends", and got this post from The Catholic Young Woman,
great post, actually. Check it out! Perfect for this weeks topic.  God is so funny!
My first reaction to the question, can you really be "just friends" with a guy? is... no.

Ahhh! I know... I am sure you are all like, that is crazy! I have great guy friends! I grew up with them! Blah blah.  Ok, I hear you.  It's just my first reaction.  I am still pondering about it.

But, when I think of my friends (girlfriends) and the type of relationship we have... I couldn't have that with a guy and just be their friend.

My close girlfriends know a looooot about me.  Some very deep and personal things.  Things that are shared in confidence.  I can be myself... no matter what.  The silly, crazy, emotional self that I am.  They pray with and for me.  They challenge me and love me.

There is just no way that I would share half of the things that I share with my girlfriends with a guy friend, unless we were more than friends.  There is no way.  But, maybe that's me.

My girlfriends, my mom and Jesus know my heart.  My heart isn't for everyone.  I want to keep my heart safe and as whole as possible for my husband... I wouldn't want to even tempt my heart to give itself away to a guy because they were my friend.

I have a few very close friends... I don't need a lot.  For me, guys aren't part of that equation.  I may be crazy, or prudish or whatever... but, it works for me.  Oh, but you say: Don't share such intimate things!  They don't need to know those things about you!  Your heart will be fine!

But, then... without my heart, would I still be me?  When I look at the relationships I have with the few guys that I would consider a friend, one is married and I only consider a good friend because his wife is my best friend, but even still, he doesn't know all the things that his wife does.  Another friend, we don't talk on the regular.  We served in Honduras together and got to be pretty close, actually... but again, I had to protect my heart.  I felt comfortable enough to share quite a bit with him, but didn't, because I didn't feel it was appropriate.  It's hard, ya know?  I would love to be able to be great friends with guys... but, it just doesn't work for me.

Have you all made it work?  Do you have guys that are "just friends"?  Have you ever been worried that what you shared may have been too much for a guy friend?

Next Week 7/30:
Fave Resources!
(books, music, devotionals, etc that help keep you close to the Lord!)

August 6:
Envy and Singlehood
(Interpret as you like...)

August 13:
Challenge!
(Ok, so... you think you are called to marriage? What have you done to help with that? Go to a young adults activity! Sign up for CatholicMatch.com! Something that allows you to take an active step towards meeting your hubby. Praying is important, but God isn't just going to plop him in our laps for us, we have to do our part, too!
Or, feel the religious life is your thing? What about reaching out to a community you're interested in? Go on a retreat with them!  Have coffee with a sister from another community! Same goes for you ladies... pray, yes. But, it's important to be active in your search for God's will.
SO... on 8/13 tell us what you did! How'd it go? Did that help motivate you to do more?
What's a community without challenging each other?? Can't wait to hear about it!)

Also... ladies!  Morgan and I STILL need your input for some topics!! Please, please, please let us know what YOU want to talk about!

See you all next week! :)

9 comments :

  1. I feel slightly unqualified to comment this week, friendship means many different things to everyone. I only share my heart with a very select few also but I still count others that I don't friends. Also I could never share with a guy many things I would share with a girl (if I even share it with anyone). Then again there are things I feel more comfortable asking a guy than a girl, but I grew up a tomboy just being one of the boys, my best friend was a boy (my cousin but still a boy)

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  2. I've made it work, Jen! It's hard but definitely worth it. I can't imagine who I would be without my guy friends. They definitely put a spin on things!

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  3. I'm with you - it's hard to imagine being as close with guys as I am with my girlfriends, without it going beyond platonic. I have a couple of guy friends I'm sort of close to, but not really that close. I've just seen too many complicated relationships with some of my friends who get really close to guys in a non-romantic relationship and then (almost) inevitably one or the other gets hurt and things get messy. It's nice having male friends around to interact with sometimes, because it's good to get both sides of things, but I don't really let myself open up much to them. Some, but not a lot.

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    1. Yea... it's true. That's how I've seen it, too! Yes, having guys in our lives is SO important, but guarding our hearts is just as important for our future vocations.

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  4. Hi, Jen! I completely respect your opinion, though I disagree. :) I think our individual answers on this varies according to how we define friendships. And also on whether we can dissociate confessions of the heart from romantic longings. Personally, I made it work for a number of years with two different guys because they in particular were the sort who figured "ok, at least one of us is not attracted to the other. And the other is willing to get over the crush - sacrifice it if you will - to still foster a relationship as fellow pilgrims traveling the road. There will be boundaries and communication, and it may get awkward, but for now this is how we define friends and what we are to each other." Over time, it grew toward an understanding that the more we trusted each other with pieces of ourselves (for advice, support, etc.) and did not flirt fantasize about the other, the easier it became to understand that the sharing did not lead to inappropriately giving our heart, but bringing another into it, and marriage will be the time when we kick them out and invite only our husbands in. Maybe I'm actually bad at friendships or ignorant of self-emotions, but I guess I have a hard time personally seeing the reserving of the sharing of certain things to just husbands. Like, what things? Aren't there things to know before an engagement and deposits put down? Are men really offended when they learn their wives' male friends knew something first or at all? Wouldn't the thing and the context lessen the degree of the offense. Anyway, this is a long ramble! I am always a supporter of doing what works for you and your heart.:)

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    1. Hey hey... of course our answers will be different, that's what makes this series great.

      I agree that guys should be part of our lives, they bring so much to the table and it's important for us, as women, to learn about men and vice versa. We, as daughters of God, should be able to teach men about the heart of a women, but not give our hearts away.

      We are emotional beings, and that's how we connect with people. And in turn we give bits and pieces of our heart away in relationships. I think it's very important and prudent to guard our hearts. If we have a few best guy friends that we are sharing our heart's desires with no boundaries, then it will still hurt (even just a tad) when that guy friend doesn't spend that much time with you when he is finally dating someone who desires to give her whole heart. Isn't it important to be as whole and strong as possible for our future husbands? Being emotionally chaste is equally as important as being physically chaste.

      Yes, have guys in your life! I am all about it. But, it's important to be honest with yourself about protecting your heart.

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  5. I have so many thoughts...I wrote my own post. I'm married, but I'm pretty sure I have a unique perspective...

    http://shinyhappycatholics.blogspot.com/2013/07/nas-can-you-be-friends-with-guy.html

    Suffice to say, yes, Jen I think you are headed in the right direction. Friendships with men are very different from those with women!

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  6. I saw your tweet about this topic, even though I'm married and was intrigued. I definitely like all your thoughts! I thought I'd share a few things too... I have had my share of "best" guy friends through high school and college. When I was a junior in college, a wise/holy woman once told me you couldn't be "best" friends with a guy and I had a pretty hearty "UH, NO, YOU CAN"... it didnt take long for that message to really sink in when pretty much every close friendship that I had with guys at that time turned sour... Now I look back and regret my foolishness to some degree, but I know that living through that time was healthy for me, I needed to realize through my experiences no one could have told me otherwise back then. A huge part of it was my pride, that I COULD rise above gender segregation and another part was the attention and control that I felt I had in those relationships.

    I will say though, that just like the whole of the Christian life is like walking on the ridge of the mountain with legalism down one side and licentiousness down the other (thanks Jim McFadden for the great analogy) so are many other areas of the Christian life. I am not going to say do whatever you think is best, but I would be just as foolish to say that there are a set of strict laws on this topic. God alone is the judge of each heart and the Holy Spirit desires to convict us and give freedom. I think as Christians we truly need to learn how to be sisters and brothers in Christ. I love the example of St. Francis and St. Clare in this area, boundaries of course, but clearly a meaningful deep friendship.

    I will say that friendship is such a valuable part of my relationship with my husband. Although I find him extremely attractive, that may fade with age (or maybe not :) But I want to foster a friendship that will remain until one of us dies. So when looking for a spouse, finding a best friend is sooo important.

    Just like it is hard for me to watch girls, like my younger-self, who have all sorts of close friendships with guys, it can be equally as hard to see girls (who want to get married) avoid "friendship" with men because they want to "guard their heart" and instead they are allowing no room for a surprisingly meaningful friendship to form and turn into something more. Or if nothing else just teach other brothers about the heart of women in a sisterly way, or offer their gifts of communication and sensitivity. Hear me right, I agree with boundaries (in the context of groups and community), just as I have in my friendships with men as a married person. But it would have been nice if my hubby had more women in his single life to teach him about the heart of a woman in a sisterly way before I came along.

    Wow that was longer then I planned a bit of thinking out loud, great topic!
    -Ally

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    1. I loved all of this. Yes, of course... it is so important to have guys in our lives. They teach us about them and we teach them about the heart of a women. It's definitely needed! I just want to put it out there that it's also important to guard our hearts as women. Have boundaries and don't be crazy with giving bits and pieces of your heart to all of your guy friends. :)

      I'm so happy your commented! I miss you, Ally!

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