Saturday, January 21, 2012

Can men and women really be friends?

When I was married, I didn’t have guyfriends and wasband didn’t have girlfriends.  Waaaay back then (5.5 years ago), Facebook wasn’t invented and texting was barely used.  I had girlfriends and he had guyfriends.  Wasband knew who I was friends with, and I knew who wasband was friends with.  Simple.

Now I am single.  And I have Facebook.  And I text.  And I have more friends than I ever did when I was married – both girlfriends and guyfriends.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and feel blessed to have such a great support system, but to someone who doesn’t really know me – the lines might look blurry.  My guyfriend relationships (married and/or unmarried guyfriends) may appear inappropriate. 

Here are a few examples:

I have both men and women on my FB.  Some of the men are married (like old highschool friends) and I do not know their wives.  Are their wives  OK with their husbands looking at pictures and into the personal life of another woman?  Would I want my husband looking at pictures and into the life of a woman that I did not know?  Not really.  I am contemplating leaving FB altogether or un-friending men that I am not related to.  I just posted that I will be leaving FB for a while so that I can use my time more wisely - then deactivated my Facebook.  I don’t know if this will be permanent, but it will allow me more time for now to talk to God.  I see another FB blog coming in the near future.   

A few months ago, I was talking to a divorced dad of one of my kids’ friends at a school sporting event.  The conversation started out about the sporting event then somewhere shifted into him telling me that he is struggling to get over his divorce.  He followed up with a text, which I briefly responded to.  He has a girlfriend.  What would she think of he and I engaging in a personal conversation like this?  I regret that I even allowed the dialogue to occur.  I knew there was nothing to it, but would she understand?

A few weeks ago I rode to the grocery store alone with a married male colleague.  It didn’t feel right the moment we pulled out of the parking lot.  What did the people at work think when they saw us leave and return together?  What if we would have bumped into his wife?  Not a good decision.  Again, we knew it was innocent, but to everyone else it may have appeared suspicious.

I also have guyfriends that I talk about running or career stuff with.  Really.  All we discuss is running or career stuff.  As long as their wives are in the loop, are we OK?  I feel OK about it, but can this be one of those gray areas?

As a single, I have made friends with other single guyfriends mostly through church.  I will sever those relationships when/if I get into a committed relationship because it would not be fair to hot new manfriend for me to be personal with another man.  So should I end the relationships now?  What good will become of these relationships anyways?  What is the point in holding on to them? 

The bottom line is that it’s a slippery slope.  Sooner or later temptation will strike and it will probably be different for you than for guyfriend.  He may try to get close physically, and you may start to feel very close emotionally.  A small thought may cross your mind (like I wonder if…) or a conversation may turn personal into something best shared with a girlfriend.  Something will get awkward.  Someone’s feelings will likely get hurt.  Something will be misunderstood.  Most importantly, at some point, it probably will no longer be honorable to God.   

I am glad I am convicted about this right now.  God is talking to me and I’m listening.


  1. I hear you sister. We need to do what we can to protect the relationships that are closet to us, especially a marriage. Too often a harmless conversation can turn into something more...

    I actually talked about this very thing with my 21 year old daughter the other day. She discovered that at some point, a relationship and/or friendship with a guy reaches a boundary point where you decide yes or no. As she termed it "the girl brain kicks in".

    Honestly, I think women sometimes think way too much about these kinds of things and men think about these things too little. I guess that's why the sexes balance each other out. Face it. Women have strengths and weaknesses and men have strengths and weaknesses and we need to recognize them so we can live together in unity as God commands. Our hearts were intended to be shared with God first and foremost so open yourselves to HIM first and foremost.

  2. I actually had a conversation with a single man the other day about this topic. He told me how he is very conscientious about conversations with women, particularly married women. He coaches his kids' teams and expressed that he tries to communicate with the players dads as much as possible instead of the moms just to avoid any potential issues. How cool is that? I think things like Facebook have somwhat desensitized us all to male/female friendships and where to draw the line.