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Can guys and girls be friends?
Well, there are approximately one million ways I could answer this question, so let’s kick off a “Friends” series, shall we?
Do you think there is an answer to this question?
Has this been a question in your own life? How did you answer?
I like Sally, she doesn’t like me. Can we be friends?
Sally likes me, and I don’t like her. Can we be friends?
We are both single and hang out all the time. So what?!
We used to date. Can we be friends?
My boyfriend Billy doesn’t like that I’m still friends with Bob. Should I respect Billy’s wishes and stop being friends with Bob?
We’ve been friends for F-O-R-E-V-E-R but now Nancy is getting married. Can we still be friends?
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Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.
Your choice of location looks entirely uncomfortable. Kudos to you for getting up there!
You’re right. There’s no right answer. I have some guys that are incredible friends, and I have guys that I probably couldn’t/shouldn’t ever be friends with. Just depends on the situation, like you said. Can’t wait for the rest of the posts!
@Julie, Speaking of weird AND trees…This is probably the video I had the most fun making…minus the blood. https://loveandrespectnow.com/2011/06/ask-joy-what-does-weird-wally-do/
Absolutely. I sure hope so at least because I don’t think I would want to date or marry someone that I wasn’t friends with first.
Speaking for me personally, I want to marry my best friend and right now that’s a dude so…yeah, that’s not gonna so much work for me. 🙂
That’s putting it simplistically; obviously there are many facets to this question, but I have my own blog to maintain now so I can’t be spending all my time over here now. 😉
I’m pretty hurt by this. I thought I had a chance.
To the simple question, “Can men and women be friends?,” I believe that the answer is “Yes, most definitely.” But to the question, “Should all men and women have friends of the opposite gender?,” the answer is “No, it’s not for everyone.” More often than not, I feel like discussion on this topic focuses on the circumstances when it isn’t wise or healthy to foster such friendships and not on our personal role in caring for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
I first pondered this question in kindergarten when I wanted to invite Justin Baird to my birthday party and my mom said, “No, he is a boy.” I didn’t agree with her then and am so grateful for the many wonderful Y-chromosomes who have helped me celebrate my birthdays in adulthood.
I’m looking forward to the discussion.
I think you’re right on target. (And as a side note, I like it when my friends are awesome and really make sense.)
Can women and men be friends? Yes. Sure, we can all give examples where it wasn’t possible. But does that prove it isn’t possible?
The only conclusion we can draw is that for certain people, at certain times, and in certain circumstances, it isn’t, or wasn’t possible.
The big question we should be asking is “Should we…is it wise?” Again, for some people and in some situations, sure. For others, no way.
So did Justin end up getting an invite? And if not, perhaps you should invite him to your next birthday party. That is unless he doesn’t think guys and girls can be friends.
@Robby, I’m glad to know that I meet your friendship standards. 😉
‘Should we…is it wise?’ I would actually go a step further and will say that I think that it is actually wise for girls and boys, and women and men, to learn how to be friends. We don’t live in a culture in which we operate in gender silos. I have gone to school with men, competed with/against men, traveled with men, lived with men (in co-ed dorms), served with men, worked with men and prayed with men. Along the way, I’m glad that I learned how to be friends with a few of them.
Ha, no, Justin didn’t get an invite to my birthday party, but I am still “friends” with him on Facebook. Robby, you though are getting added to my birthday invite list.
Super excited about this series. I kind of wanted you to just write “it depends”. End of post.
Maybe that’s because just thinking about the different scenarios and curve balls of girl/guy friendships, exhausts me.
I think it is an overwhelming subject because we have made it more complicated than it is, mostly because we are fallen creatures that can’t avoid wrong feelings, entitlement, and desires for intimacy in different forms. I look forward to hear your wisdom and experience in this:)
In the meantime, I’m putting all my male friendships on hold until you give me the green light. Ok?
@Hayley, “Maybe that’s because just thinking about the different scenarios and curve balls of girl/guy friendships, exhausts me.”
Once again why we need to go for DNA testing. I started writing this series back in MAY when I read through the comments on Lindsey’s post. http://www.lindseynobles.com/2011/05/a-question-for-you/
My head was spinning and I was exhausted at going, “yeah but” to so many of the responses.
I wrote some thoughts and then got over the series. Then a few months ago I was shooting some other videos and thought, “hey if I ever come back to that friends series I should do an intro video”…thus this video. (And it being warm and summer.)
Then you can ASK Stephanie how much I have dragged my heels finishing it up. I kept shifting my focus to a new project. Probably because it’s made me think more than I have wanted to, made me dig into my own stupidness more than I have wanted to and made me shoot two more video’s last week that were ALSO supposed to be outside, but thanks to the winter that is pure rain here in Portland, they were shot in my church sanctuary and gym.
Nothing says classy like a church gym.
So that is my saga. I’m happy to be done with it but have probably avoided posting it because I know there are deeper questions and feelings in each situation and I don’t want people taking my advice out of context. I’ve challenged myself and us all to THINK and be wise. If we WANT a friendship we are going to look for ways to believe it’s healthy. If we DONT want to be friends with someone we are going to look for reasons we are entitled to be unfriendly or legalistic…and on…and on…and on…
Until I give you my answers, I suggest you stop talking to boys and stay locked in your closet. I get to that in the second to last video.
Trina got right. Yes, we can be friends. Should we? Maybe not.
I’m currently going through this with an ex. We’ve been close friends for almost 10 years but it just didn’t work out for us romantically. The friends thing never was an issue til he got married and I chose to have different boundaries without discussing it with him. I admit that it has been a horrible the last year, when he was horrible with friendship and communication to begin with… I don’t see us being friends again for quite some time, but I’d like to believe that at some point.. we can forgive each other for words and actions and be friends. Maybe, maybe not.
I have a bunch of male friends (single and married) and I feel they’ve made me a better person and a better woman.. I think it’s important to set boundaries and live them.. but sometimes things are just more easily said than done.
Looking forward to this topic.
@Kate, Yes – that is a tough one. One of the things I talk about (I think…somewhere…It’s all become a foggy haze) is that we are always called to be friendly. Your wounds are something that should be payed attention to and nurtured. Thinking through what opens up those wounds for either one of you is important. You also want to think about what it means to respect his wife and your future husband.
So tough – I’m sorry for this situation. It’s broken and difficult and messy.
i’m glad page 49 doesn’t really tell me i’m going to die alone! haha.
i’m looking forward to this topic. i’ve had some great male friends and i never expected things to stay the same when they got married. the whole i like you but you don’t like me thing gets a little complicated sometimes though and can lead to some hurt feelings, so i am looking forward to the continued conversation!
is that tree outside of Imago Dei? nice. 😉
Can’t wait for more of this series!
Under normal circumstances (is there even such a thing?) I think guys and girls can be friends…but then you start getting into crushes and/or past relationships that’s when things get a little iffy and it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is! Can’t wait for more…did I already say that? 🙂
I can’t wait to hear more of your thoughts on this. As I was in the middle of this video, my ex-boyfriend called to catch up. How apropos!
I think guys and girls can be friends. Some of my steadiest, best friendships are with guys, including two of my exes. It just takes clear communication, honesty, and the correct timing. But isn’t all of that key with female friendships, too?
I really only have two close female friends that I spend quality time with but are deliberately just friends, and I consider both of them to be my “sisters”.
I think that’s what helps us out, is that we view each other as siblings, not as someone where there is even the potential of dating.
So intergender friendship has to be VERY deliberate.
But that’s just me, and I’m a moron.
@The Joseph Craven, I agree. We should treat each other as siblings in that we treat each other with respect. But don’t go around saying “He’s like a brother to me” if deep down you want to marry him. I’ve had a couple friends marry their “brothers” and it was just kinda weird. Its ok if something changes, but when everyone knows you like him, best to not play that card. I’m mulling over the being deliberate part… that just might be the key…
@Kaylene, Yeah, I think that being deliberate was the key part. The “siblings” thing works for me personally because it helps me think and act deliberately in that way.
I think so, and I think it’s incredibly valuable also. After all, you don’t magically learn how to relate to the opposite sex when you fall in love with one of it’s members. Friendship teaches you how the other half works, and how to honor them.
Besides, you shouldn’t only be friends with people who are like you, right? Teachers aren’t only friends with teachers, physical therapists with other physical therapists, guitar players with guitar players. In fact, to extend the music metaphor, a band is not composed of only one type of instrument. Musicians have to learn to play harmoniously with other instruments in order to create one fantastic sound. You can’t do that if you’ve never tried.
That said, cross-gender friendships can be complicated, and they are best if they are handled as openly as possible and if boundaries are maintained. One of my best friends is a man, but I don’t discuss certain things with him in order to keep our friendship healthy. I don’t talk with him about my body image, most of my feelings, things that create the wrong kind of intimacy for a platonic relationship. I do talk to him about ministry, and future plans, and how to walk through life well. And we often have different perspectives on things because of our sexes, and it’s good for us both, I think. Most of all, you have to be honest when it comes to romantic intrigue. Not interested but think he is? Talk about it, up front, even if it’s just a hunch; express your hunch and your desire to honor him/her and your friendship by not allowing ambiguity to destroy trust. Awkwardness can be overcome, but only if acknowledged and walked through with care.
Hoping you’ll talk more about the “Choose your own adventure” thing. I’ve had someone (fine, a counselor.) describe relationships to me like that. The other alternative is soul mates. Is there another? This question has been haunting me forever. Because if we’re to believe in soul mates, then there’s all these what if’s attached.. what if I marry(ied) the wrong person, what if i don’t have a soul mate, etc. etc. where as the choose your own adventure means God would allow for different scenarios based on our free will. AHHHHH my mind may explode. I would love to hear your thoughts on this if you have time!!
@sarahhh, I do! Here is the first of a three part series on this topic: https://loveandrespectnow.com/2011/04/the-one-part-1-is-there-only-one/
I think it really depends on the people and circumstances. One of my good friends got married over a year ago and her maid of honour was her husband’s ex-girlfriend. I don’t think it was a long relationship, but still. For them, it worked. Not to say her husband and his ex should be spending time alone together– that’s something different entirely.
I have many friends who are guys, but I wouldn’t go to a movie alone with them or anything. I wouldn’t confide in them instead of confiding in my husband. I would expect the same of my husband. A couple of his closest friends are girls, but he’s not hanging out one-on-one with them or confiding in them and pouring out his heart to them.
That’s the danger I think. It’s fine to be friends with a guy if you’re both single– the kind that hang out one on one and you share all your feelings with and what not. But as soon as one of you is in a committed relationship the dynamic of the friendship needs to change in respect for your SO and the relationship you have with each other, especially if you’re married. Just have your guard up all the time. None of us are completely immune to sin and temptation, even if it’s just happening in our minds/hearts.