Were Harry and Sally wrong?
I just finished listening to an awesome, awesome, did I say AWESOME?? talk on why its ok to have awesome cross-sex friendships?
(in a Christian subculture, esp once married, its almost as if having girls for friends or guys for friends(as a girl) is taboo) And this makes me sad. I guess thankfully I have friends ok with going against the religious cultural 'norm' - but then again, I have always been a rebel. I'd like to think Jesus was a rebel too. Afterall - didnt he hang out with prostitutes and his guy friends weren't exactly prom kings.
So while I may appear a bit rebelish, I dont want you to mistake this for being ok with going against values and standards I live by, I just know when I click with someone (guy or girl) I think "Hey this is okay to have this friendship" and I jump in. And so I will admit; I am SO THANKFUL for the awesome guy friends I have and can be one to stand to say - IT IS POSSIBLE (to have guy friends that are simply that: FRIENDS!)
- I'm built up and encouraged by them
- They challenge my walk and faith,
- Call things out I need to hear,
- Guys just live life in just a different way!
I love having their perspective and think its healthy to have friendships like these.
This talk was so encouraging and if you have the time, Id HIGHLY recommend you (single or married, guy or girl) to view it.... It may raise some questions in your own walk and life or way you do friendship with opposite sex friends (or if you dont have any to examine why thats so) There were so many amazing points Jonalyn shared here, its hard to even get into, but to my amazing friends (GUYS & GIRLS) SO GLAD we get to do life with one-another...
This might just be food for thought but a great way to start the conversation rolling... especially in this time of year when we all are aware of our current state of being due to Valentine's Day!
Am i loved? by Friends? by a lover? Do I have people in my life that I love? That I consider close and want to do life with? Are my friendships and relationships healthy? Where do I stand on all this?
Thankfully in the world of fitness and friends I have a ton of guys and girls I interact with a LOT that could be considered just casual friends and its totally fine. If we were honest, its been an issue that's almost taboo to even talk through of the IDEA of guys and girls being friends with opposite sex, if they are married, and so this talk is totally apropos to the subject to confirm the point:
Male:female friendships are ok! Harry and Sally are wrong! Guys CAN be friends with girls and girls can be friends with guys without the issue of sex getting in the way!!
Billy Graham as a public figure said that he wouldn't as much as enter an elevator with a female alone, in order to live and conduct his life above reproach. He also did this so there wasn't ANY chance for a female to wrongly accuse him of something he wouldn't do. This was smart thinking on his behalf, as it would only take a rumor or a couple of false judgments to ruin his entire career and ministry. This was smart on his behalf! But would I suggest to every guy I know thats married not to ride in an elevator with a female? Of course not! We all want to be wise as a serpent, innocent as a dove, so naturally we need to be making good decisions about how we 'do life' with one another...
When I worked for previous ministries we would have the boundary and rules set in place of going places in "3's." Even for this very reason (to live and work above reproach) Now I know for some of you, this sounds silly. However, its a good measure to take especially when rumor train and gossip circles start easily. There is always a 3rd party present and this is more so when 1 of the persons is married. (to honor their spouse)
The funny thing is I talk about this a lot with ministry friends. When I worked at K-LOVE radio and we hired a male for my counterpart, I remember telling him "I need to meet your wife first, before we do ANY events together, so she knows I am safe and we are simply work counterparts" Thankfully this worked out really well. . . As the female I believe we need to honor the wives of our working colleagues who perhaps aren't working with us. (so they know we are safe) As a male, I believe they should be honoring their wives through normal friendship conduct. Thankfully the Lord has been gracious to extend a ton of awesome friendships over years and years of ministry work, but its because we've always had healthy friendships, I've been able to easily befriend their wives, and we all know because I am coming from a healthy place of thinking, there wouldn't be anything to worry about in conduct with my male colleagues. Praise Jesus this was the same - I worked with awesome Godly Guys who were honoring and respectful in every way. . .
What about GREY?
SO where it gets tricky is in that friendship where you cant tell. . .
Is this going anywhere? How do I make sure they know we're just friends?
I really care about this person and I do want something more?
Or - I really care about this person but I want to be sure they KNOW that its just simply that -
As a single, its a little harder to naturally assume its always and only friends with people of the opposite sex but if I may step on my platform for just a moment, I want to address you girls and guys from my perspective (and it may just be my humble opinion, but hopefully its not far fetch and its honoring to your hearts too)
IF you are spending time with people that seem to be super rad and super friendly but there hasnt EVER been a talk of anything more - THEY ARE JUST FRIENDS!
I cannot tell you how many conversations I've had with people hoping for more. I hear that he's sent all the right signals, he calls on his way home from snowboarding, he talks to me about his mom, or his work partner, and even texts like all the time. BUT when it comes to asking her out, they've been friends for 3months(okay 7months) but his last girlfriend wasnt as close to him as I am, and he just isnt sure where he's at, and no we havent talked about it, but Im certain he's gotta be interested.
with the handful of guy friends I do have and the talks we've had over this conversation (above) unless he 1)asks you for your number, 2)tells you he WANTS to pursue you, 3)take you on a date, or 4)Tells you outright that he's interested, pleeeeeeease let them go into the friend zone, dear!
For sake of your heart being disappointed! For sake of letting them not become the bad guy who led you on for so long. We have some awesome guys right in our friendship circles that would be incredible to see if there were anything more, but unless a fella is brave enough to ask you out, then please, my dear, just let them be friends and try to protect your heart from feeling more.
Do HIM the honor and pay him the respect as well - he MIGHT just be your friend, so honor him by not letting your heart go that distance of liking him more than he's communicated ;)
I will say - IF by some chance, he is "acting like a boyfriend" by getting filled up with emotional intimate or just straight intimate needs; then he is NOT WORTH the energy. Let him go. Any guy who would want to pursue you will hopefully first off respect where you're at, honor you as a friend and a women with your own thoughts, heart, and emotional needs and then TELL you they want to seek you out... If they don't what else will they be afraid to tell you? DO you really want to be with a guy you have to convince to ask you out?
You like her. You think she may like you, or you dont know if she does. Please stop responding to girls that pursue you, and step to the plate of pursuing! Its not fun for any girl (despite what they tell you when they chase) Plus for us old-school girls, we love the idea of being pursued... Don't beat around the bush to have her come hang for movie night again and again. I was surface level friends of one group of friends (a couple years ago with an insight into the group because I was new) and from the outside, I would hear stories, see girls pining away for these men to ask them out, or they'd get all excited that they were invited to the house party or the BBQ or a night out, and then show up to a room full of other girls hoping for the same affection of the same guys and the ratio would be 9girls to 4 guys or 5 to 2. It was saddening!! And the worse part was watching it happen but not being able to interject for the lack of knowing these friends super well. . . Thankfully it didn't continue to happen and the group expanded, lost a few people, and eventually people started dating outside friends from other circles, but whats hard about being in a cultural shift where online dating is ok, Tinder is the latest and greatest way to meet someone close to you, and you dont know if you REALLY have chemistry until the profile lines up with the person and how they've presented their social media personality to be in line with yours. Guys... have the courage to risk. If she likes you she will respond. If she doesn't and she's a respectful and honorable girl, she will honor your heart in the let down! Girls constantly show up where you are and will love the attention from the right guy, but you have to show your interest. It's okay to play it safe, but honestly, unless she's already communicated JUST friends or that she isn't ready, or how glad she is to be friends! She has maaaaybe thought once or twice about what it would be like to date you. So take a risk! Be smart enough to ask your friends if they think she likes you - and if SHE is the one instigating text conversations a lot... she might have an eye for ya;)
DATING in 2015 - could it be any harder?
Dating today, in 2015 is hard. (I could go on about this, but thats for another day, and this is meant to be a blog on friendship) If you want to watch a GREAT clip about relational hope and where we can find purpose and hope, click here for Joy Eggerich's description of what its like being single today (in case you forgot;) And the HOPE we look to. But with that I WILL say, where it is hard for so many in 2015, even if IN a relationship; there's always someone hotter or wayyy more cute than one's self on Facebook. There's someone else's profile that caught your attention, that could be an option if you could just be at the same party sometime soon and have the right timing of dating/not dating someone. There's the mysticism of that instagram friend that happens to have 8,973 followers but "YOU have a connection" But as some very WISE counsel has breathed into my life and spoken words that will clearly stick with me forever; there is only one YOU and people will love you for YOU!!
Your unique personality with your looks and behavior is only YOU.... If they don't love you for you and their eye continues to wonder... let them go! Remember you are worthy of LOVE and worthy of the attention of 1.. you don't need an platoon or harem to fall for you, just one person;)
Okay... BACK to friends...
What I love about having the friends that I do is that they're amazing and solid! They live lives of courage and bravery every days as they face battles I cant even imagine. Broken homes, hard family situations, financial troubles, and rough relationships past. BUT they've done, and or are DOING the work it takes to become better versions of themselves and be HEALTHY!
This yearThis Valentine's Day, what if we chose to not call it "singles awareness day?" Or even focus on being single or not? There's a lot of couples that wont be celebrating because they forget, or simply dont care;) Should Valentines REALLY be about loving the people we get to do LIFE with??
Recognize the amazing friends you have (even the opposite sex ones;)
For those of you who may only have one or two friends - cherish them! Its totally ok to only have a few close friends. And also, if you don't click with everyone that's totally fine (you probably won't click with everyone, and if you do, are you being honest to yourself?)
In LIFE, in your friendships be YOU, be genuine, honor one another, love each other well.
Focus on doing life WITH people you trust!
We all have our moments in life where we're down, and we NEED a team of people around us to surround us and help carry our mats - through breakups, through lay-offs, through heartbreak or financial struggles, or diagnoses for the worst! Plus, this is when we get to fight FOR our friends and do life along side of them.
* However, IF the friendships you have don't grow you and challenge you, its time to reevaluate them. If they don't ADD to your life and bring positive IN, instead suck the life out of you then perhaps they are just a friend for a season. If its a person in your life that sucks the energy right out of you every time you get together or they're a direct influence to you making bad choices and decisions, (and it hasn't been this way just a week or a year, but like 7 or 15years)... its time to reevaluate. Perhaps confront and ask them to commit to getting help or healthy, or consider moving on.
If you are married and haven't told your wife or husband how much you adore them - don't just tell them, show them! Heck - you get to enjoy the intimacy of romance and being fully known!! (Im jealous!;)
One thing for my married friends: If you are married and you have single friends but don't know how to encourage them this Valentine's day and are thinking "Gosh, someone must eventually go for them" to yourself but are telling anyone single you know "dont worry someones out there!" or "I can't believe you're still single!" Please STOP! There's not something wrong with those of us that are still single, because we're waiting on God's best or because the past just didnt workout. (I wont get into the story of the ex who utterly broke my heart, but thankfully I am healed and my heart has been restored!:) I LOVE life and I LOVE living it, and Im not bitter about that - there is a REASON it didn't workout and I'm okay with that now seeing how fulfilling my life has been since then and actually haven't a DOUBT in my mind God doesn't have a sweet plan for the future :)
BUT, married friends, with those single friends you dont quite know what to do with - I would encourage you if anything: Pray for your friends that are still single that desire to have a spouse someday!! Pray for your friends that are married that have a rocky or horrible relationship to be restored and become whole again. And then just do LIFE with each other...
When we honor one another as a brother or sister before objectifying or placing a label on who that person must be as single or married, guy or girl, same sex or not...
When our friendships become about being FILLED with life and loving one another truly with honor and respect, for how we were created, and in good faith because we have a connection and its FUN - THAT'S what I believe is living life.
The last thing I'll say to those of you who beared with me long enough to read my thoughts and even share MHO;) If I call you friend and you've been in my life for any longer than a week, I am SO BLESSED, perhaps even by you. To have the guy friends in my life that I do (of whom I can call brother even, and know its totally appropriate FRIENDSHIP, thank you for being my brother and friend! thank you for doing life with me. Of the girlfriends I get to walk along side of and do life with too - Im so honored you would call me friend and close enough to call in a moments notice for prayer, for a fun last minute impromptu girls night, for a getaway or adventure trip or to just cry on the phone... I am so blessed to have the people in my life that I do. Amazing girlfriends from College, and post- A few friends along the journey and even the friends you randomly met and it feels like you've known one another for years (even if its only been months)
so to YOU, I say THANK YOU friends for doing life with me... thanks for making a girl feel so cherished and loved this Valentines season....
Just like the beatles - ALL WE NEED IS LOVE. (dont you think friends!?! :)
PS... THANK YOU Jonalyn for what you shared! SO enlightening and so great! LOVE what Soulation is doing and cannot wait to find out more.
and people... if you HAVE TIME... WATCH THIS VIDEO... Put it on your to do list and get through it.... it will challenge some of your thinking, but its so worth viewing and hopefully provide some awesome reassurance to healthy friendships and enlightening points to consider moving forward.
As always... its a privilege to share with you.
till next time....
~enjoy the journey,
I'm a storyteller and creative. I tell stories through LIVE events and Media (Hosting and Producing). I'm a Fitness Pro and a Pro Traveler with a strong desire to change the world. My thoughts are written on faith, risk, adventures and LIFE! Im passionate about Life, People, and HIM! Enjoying the journey every step of the way.