NAS: More on Guy Friends

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. :)

4 comments :

  1. Question: Do you share any of your hopes, dreams, aches with your friends that are female? I think one thing to be aware of in our relationships is that we can sometimes put too much emphasis on gender and overlook the basic commonalities that make us human. Personally, I am married and I share all of my thoughts and dreams with my husband, etc. However, I also am not afraid of sharing those feelings with close guy friends because I have found over the years that the advice, insight and support I have gained from opening my heart to these men has been amazingly phenomenal. My husband is supportive, loving and wise. But he is only one man with only the wisdom of his lived experiences. When I am able to bounce off things or seek help from all of my close friends (male and female) I am able to get a more complete picture and a greater perspective. My experience is not to say there is anything wrong with your decision or point of view if that is what you find works best for your heart and vocation. But I do think that it is worth reflecting on because it is so easy today to get caught up in setting boundaries amongst populations that sometimes the divine and the wisdom reflected in each soul gets lost. Just a thought.

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    Replies
    1. Of course I share those things with my close friends (girls), as I stated in my original post.

      I am coming from the perspective of a single lady, and I do appreciate your married perspective! Your heart already belongs to your husband. As a single person, we must be proactive about guarding our hearts. As it's not prudent or holy to give my heart away to guys on the regular if I am not more than friends with... I want to make sure that I am as whole as I can be for my future husband.

      Of course, be friends with guys! I just think it needs to be said that the relationship will be different and it's not ok to share the things that we would share with our girlfriends as we would with guys. You are right, guys do bring different perspectives and keep things interesting. :) And it's important.

      Thanks for you comment. :)

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    2. lol, yeah, i was gonna say "I'm pretty sure I'm going to still talk about all that stuff with my guy friends. Plus, i'm probably going to complain to them about my husband ALL THE TIME yo" I mean, most of my guy friends will be priests at that time, but, whatevs.

      I mean, your husband is your husband, and your guy friends are your guy friends. My husband is the man I choose to spend the rest of my life pursuing holiness alongside, having sex with, making beautiful babies, planning out a future, and supporting his career. I can tell my guy friends my hopes and dreams and struggles but that won't make them replace my husband in any way.

      If you struggle with that line between intimacy with men and sexuality, then definitely give priority to whatever is best for your own heart. It's never been a huge issue to me. And I've gotten to a point where people are like "you should be married to your best guy friend" and I just kind of laugh because, no, just lol, no. Just because we're close doesn't mean God is calling us to marry each other. Trust me, I'm always listening for that call and I am not and never have heard it with that friendship. Whoever I marry will be my best guy friend, but I can tell you that my best guy friend right now is not and never will be my husband (plus he's discerning the priesthood so DOUBLE NO.)

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    3. Sorry to but in...but when you get married, you really shouldn't complain about your husband to many people, if anyone at all - and especially not to other men, even priests. It's incredibly disrespectful of you and your husband's bond, and it hurts your marriage.

      And...Jen never mentioned sexuality, I'm not even sure what you're talking about?

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