There’s always much discussion about whether or not guys and girls can have a good, platonic friendship. The general consensus tends to be that it is possible as long as both parties are clear that the relationship is strictly a friendship and nothing more. But what does that look like? Is it awkward? How do other singles handle it?
SingleRoots Writers Say…
For wise counsel, we asked some of our SingleRoots alumni writers to weigh in on the matter. Here’s what they had to say:
“The best example of this I’ve seen came from one of my girlfriend’s best friends. Early in their friendship, when they found themselves regularly having coffee or lunch together, he bluntly but gently told her that he viewed her only as a friend and had no interest in anything past friendship and conversation. She was incredibly grateful because it left no grey area about where or what they were and kept things from getting weird. And I myself have much respect for him because of how he looked out for her heart.”
::Ben Morgan, author of Learning to Keep Moving While I Wait
“I think you have to be honest with yourself, and that’s hard. Often I’ve had to assess my own comments and motives and realized that deep down I kinda liked leading them on. It’s the whole being flattered that someone was interested in me thing. It’s easy to play naive and believe our own motives are pure, but we have to lay ourselves before the Holy Spirit to ensure that we aren’t feeding some deep need to be liked–even if it’s by someone who we truly have no long-term interest in. If that’s the case, we need to walk away until that deep need is met through Christ.”
::Anna Lee, author of Online Dating Experiment :: 3 Sites, 3 Months, 1 Person [Month 1]
“If the intent is, ‘I want to encourage him/her, but I don’t want him/her to think I’m interested,’ the best route is to take interest and give encouragement in a group environment. I had a few female friends with whom I had a brother-sister dynamic. I would often talk on the phone or text them, but typically tried to do in that cases where I felt like both parties were clear on each other’s intent.”
::W. Brandon Howard, author of To Pursue or Not to Pursue?
Explore the Topic Further…
For further discussion on relationships and friendships with the opposite sex, check out these posts:
Friends…with Benefits? A Look at Opposite Sex Friendships – “I’ve heard people say it’s not possible to have a friendship with a person of the opposite sex without a physical attraction happening at some point (or messing it up, depending on how you view this topic). While I agree there will always be that possibility, I believe that there are healthy opposite sex friendships without the physical component.”
Caring for Our Sisters’ Identity – “I realize that there is a vast range of opinions on how close men and women can be before it gets complicated. There’s also a variance as to whether men and women can really walk in close community with each other at all outside of marriage and it be beneficial.”
8 Ideas for Strengthening Friendships with Other Singles – “Cultivating friendships with people of the opposite sex can be tricky, too. You know, because there’s that whole underlying question of whether or not one of you wants to date the other. But guy/girl friendships can be so fun and such a blessing. When both parties are consistently clear that it’s purely platonic, then there’s much to be learned from being in a friendship with a member of the opposite sex.”