I am jazzed to be talking about all of these things again. I was so blessed to be part of a faith formation small group in college, Girl's Night, where we talked about such things in the Not Alone Series.
One such topic was, indeed, friendships with guys.
I feel like I need to elaborate a bit more from my earlier post because maybe you guys think I am adamantly against being friends with guys or that I am crazy for not really going down that road. I am not opposed to guy friends, of course not! And of course I think that men are awesome and need to be part of our lives. But the relationship that we have, as single women, with single men really need to be examined and peeled apart to be sure that both your heart, and his, are NOT being played with.
After being reminded that I've been down this road before (talking about it in Girl's Night), and reflecting on it a bit more, I still stand by what I said earlier... for me this is a choice that I have made. It's not because I don't love men (oh, because I do!) or that I am prudish. It's that I have decided to be proactive about guarding my heart.
There is no way you can be just friends with a guy if you are sharing ANY desires, aches, hopes, dreams of your heart. There is just no way. That relationship is already wayyyy more than a friendship. The little bits you give away to this guy and that guy will eventually leave nothing for your husband (if that is your vocation... for the sake of this post, let's go with that). Why would you want to do that?
Your future husband will understand your past relationships where you had to share your heart. That is the nature of dating and courtship. But, to say that you have a guy friend (when you are dating someone and/or are married) who you are able to share X, Y, and Z with, that maybe should only be meant for your boyfriend/fiancé/husband, then I think that your significant other has the right to question your relationship with said "friend."
Your best guy friend SHOULD be your significant other. I think this would be easier to come about if you were already proactive in guarding your heart with friends of the opposite sex. Friendship is based on love. Love is an action. Love is giving of yourself for the sake of the other. So, if you are sharing parts of your heart with a guy who is not your significant other because it makes you feel better and you don't have any feelings for him, etc. then perhaps you are being a bit selfish and not really looking out for your friend. As Martha says sooooo much better than me, "even if you say you are just friends, it is easy to enjoy the attention, the phone calls, texts, emails - easy to enjoy it because it flatters, eases an ache, feeds a desire to be wanted. This is not holy and not helpful to either party. Someone usually ends up being hurt and wounded, leaving them with greater pain to take forward into their vocation." [emphasis mine]
I feel like I am rambling and being a bit... abrasive? I don't know. But, I feel strongly about the type of relationship we have with guy friends. I am cool with it. But when it's a situation that protects your heart. Friends with guys in group settings. Limiting your one-on-one time. Avoiding the temptation to share whatever part of your heart b/c you know that guy friend would be able to comfort you.
It's more healthy for you and for your future relationship with your spouse.
Can we go back to my friend who I served with in Honduras... let's call him Q. Now, there were not many volunteers, so we all got really close, really fast. Q and I got along great. We talked about so many things, usually with everyone else around. It was great! So many memories and laughs. Then one day, I realized he was totally into one of the other volunteers. Like... realllly into her (it was adorbs).
But, I also felt like I was sucker punched. Wait, what? Yea... I didn't even realize I had any sort of feelings for the dude. So that surprised me and scared me. How could I have not known? Somehow, I lost hold of my heart during my time in Honduras (along with a few other things) and it was worrisome. I don't want to be like that. I wanted and needed to be emotionally chaste. I didn't really want to give my heart away, even though looking back it was enjoyable. But, it wasn't healthy. I took a step back and made the conscious decision to be better. I am not perfect, I failed a bit (HN did crazy things to me! Ask me about it sometime if you really want to know). But, I knew that I had to protect my heart from being given away prematurely and possibly being a bit scratched (not broken). I also knew I could be AND needed to be better about it.
I am just so passionate about protecting our hearts, ladies. It really is important. Yes, be friends with guys! But, be sure to look inside yourself and the relationships you already have to see if you are guarding your heart (and his!).
Well, I think I am done now.
And should really be sleeping. Let me know if this has no confused you all more or makes better sense. Honestly, I want to know. :)