Can I Have Guys as Friends?

Ah, yes — the age-old question of the homeschooled girl!  After many discussions of modesty, purity and interaction with young men, we are often left wondering what, if any, interaction we are allowed!  Can we have young men who are friends?  And if so, what is our level of friendship with them?  How do we talk to them?  What about doing things with them?  The questions go on and on!

First and foremost, men are humans just like us, and need to be treated that way.  I want to address this very basic concept first because I have seen girls take several approaches to young men out of fear.  Some put on their haughty or aloof attitudes, others become super-shy, and others just plain ignore them.  Let me ask you, do any of these approaches fit a Biblical pattern for how to treat anyone?  Men are still people, and they need to be shown that respect.  Now, our respect will be limited by some reserve simply because of it being a male/female relationship.  But keep in mind, through everything, that men have feelings, have hearts and are also owed a small measure of our respect simply by being men. 

With that in mind, we return to our question:  how close of a relationship can I have with a guy?  Since most of my readers have chosen not to date, which is also a commitment I made, you will understand that by ‘relationship’ I mean a friendship.  That is, in essence, a relationship.  Does that mean we avoid it?  No.  The truth is, having friends that are guys will probably be one of the most beneficial things you can do before marriage.  Friends give you insight into how guys think; how they talk, what they like, how they relate to girls.  Godly young men can give you wisdom concerning your walk with God.  Contrary to what the world says, you don’t have to date a man to discover his character, and a friendship can give you all the insight you need without the pressure of a dating relationship.  This model fo relating to guys has been my ‘best friend’ when it comes to understanding their approach to life! 

So how far do you go in a friendship with a guy?  When is it too deep?  Well, my parents have always known who my friends are, and though not always present, they knew who I was with and where we were.  Only just recently (since I turned 18) have I spent one-on-one time with any boy-friends — this will be discussed in a moment.  At age fourteen, I joined a high school drama group with my sisters where we formed a core group of friends, both guys and girls.  Those friends lasted all the way through high school.  Everything we did together was in groups, or with the family.  None of the guys thought we ‘liked’ them, because they had made the same commitment as us.  No pressure… just wonderful times.  We laughed, we joked, we talked, we sang, we danced — all in purity, and all in good fun.  Looking back, I would say that that group of teens probably had the best high school years of anybody!  Parents were involved, and kids were committed, and Christ reigned over it all.

Young men are often awkward around girls, trying to impress them or appear more ‘grown up’ than they are.  Girls tend to squash their little egos in the bud with condescending glances, sarcastic remarks or just by ignoring them.  Guys don’t often know what to say, so they just say what comes to mind.  If it isn’t crude, don’t respond rudely.  Give them the time of day in a pleasant manner.  Remember, they are still people! How would you like it if you saw a girl ignoring your brother’s attempts at being funny?  I’d kick her in the shins!  (Well, not really…)

Through high school my parents kept an eye on who we were with, and they still do.  But when I turned eighteen, I was given a little more latitude with my friends.   For instance, one friend of mine was going back to college this past fall, and he emailed me and asked if I would go out to lunch with him before he left.  I showed the email to my dad.  He asked me if I thought he wanted a deeper relationship, and I said I didn’t think so.  So after dad consented, I sent my friend an email saying I would pay for my own lunch, and to tell me where to meet him.  So we went downtown, ate at a little bistro, I paid for myself, and then he left for college.  Neither of us had deeper intentions than what we presented to each other. 

That is an example of how a friendship would ideally go with every young man.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that flawlessly.  That’s how it went with another friend of mine.  We essentially met in church, and as friends, spent a lot of time talking there.  Neither of us had intentions toward each other, but people began to ask me if we were an ‘item’.  Several other factors finally pushed us to go out, sit down, and talk about the friendship, clarifying where we were at and what, if anything, needed to change.  This kind of openness makes a relationship free to change and flex as it needs to.  Rigidity and fear only cause strain and stress, so the friendship can no longer be enjoyed simply for what it is.

The truth is, when you meet your husband, he isn’t going to just walk off the street and ask to court or date you.  Guys like to know the girl they are courting!  Arranged marriages are not what we are talking about here.  Thus, you will probably have a friendship with him before he asks to take it to another level.  Having pure, godly friends before him will help you to relate to him when that time comes.  You won’t be stilted, nervous or defensive to his attentions. 

In conclusion, friendships with young men are just as fun as friendships with girls — they just require a little more care and caution.  You will have to watch yourself, that your heart and motivations stay pure; you will have to watch him, so that he doesn’t get a wrong message.  Keep things open between you, him and your parents.  Mostly, don’t let a guy be only ‘your’ friend.  The best friendships with young men are those shared with your girlfriends as well.  Let Christ reign over it all — and in that freedom, enjoy time spent with guys and gals! 

If any readers have more questions on this topic that you would like to see addressed, please email me at phyliciadelta@hotmail.com.  Thanks and God bless!

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9 Responses

  1. Thank you Phylicia. I appreciate your wisdom in this area. 😀

    -Maria Pauline

  2. Great post, Phylicia! I am glad someone is finally addressing these difficult topics in a understanding and biblical manner. You said many things that really resonated with me. Thank you.

    Love you girl,
    Kaysie

  3. Dear Phylicia,
    It sounds like your girls are getting some important discussion time. This is wonderful.

    I have had male friends in the past and things stayed that way because we were friends and neither one of us had any “problems” spending time with eachother in a group with at least one or two more friends. We would all go to the same activity and would sit in a different order every time not always by the same person. It worked well for me.

    Now I am married and choose to not have male friends. I have no problem talking to males, but I really don’t want to take any chances of something being mis interpeted on either side. Better not to mess with fire than to get burned. My husband and I have “couple” friends. We all hang out as a group and will visit cross gender, but not split up with the opposite gender. We enjoy board/card games together and visit about different topics that at least one other person in the group can join in on.

    Really, it’s not a problem to have friends of the opposite gender, but when you heart is taken by one it is best to keep all lines of communication open. It works best for everyone involved.

    Better close for now. Remember to pray always.
    Blessings. -me- (Mommy of two little blessings)

  4. I really appreciate the frankness and openness with which you treated this touchy subject! I think a lot of times girls get so worried about the particulars, such as “Well, can I say this, and is this okay?”
    I loved this part,
    “The best friendships with young men are those shared with your girlfriends as well. Let Christ reign over it all — and in that freedom, enjoy time spent with guys and gals! “
    I loved your point about guys being people who deserve respect just as much as anyone. Sometimes I’ve purposely not greeted guy-friends at church because I’m worried they’ll get the wrong impression. But I would not ignore a girl-friend, and I need to not be so concernec about it and just be respectful.
    One guy-friend told me recently that guys really need encouragement from girls, and this part of your post really nailed it.
    “Girls tend to squash their little egos in the bud with condescending glances, sarcastic remarks or just by ignoring them. “
    Anyway, thanks for your great points!

  5. Hey Phylicia,
    I enjoyed reading this post – you have some great points! Speaking from experience though, friendships with the opposite gender can get complicated, even when you’re trying to exercise caution. Although I agree with you that there’s nothing wrong with being friends with a guy, I think it’s wise to keep these friendships in a group setting, rather than spending a lot of time together one on one. May God give us wisdom in all of our friendships. 🙂

  6. Phylicia,
    I noticed you asked about my thoughts on my blog, well, I read your post and think you did well at thinking this through. I just would like to add one thing or two…
    I’ve noticed many girls, whether Christian or not, but mostly not really, can be very very naive about guys. They think because he looks good, is funny and says nice things, that he is perfect for her. Well, you probably know better than I do about all that can go wrong with being naive about who to find your interest in.

    I would say, focus your attention on Christ and His righteousness, that is, recognize you cannot find the righteousness God requires and desires in yourself, it must come from another. That other is Jesus Christ our Lord. Find your wisdom, your righteousness, your sanctification and your redemption in Him alone (1 Cor. 1:30). He is the one Man you can fully trust completely. Ask yourself whenever you begin to think about marriage and dating (courting), am I satisfied in Christ alone? And when you do meet a guy who shares your convictions, then you will be prepared to glorify the Lord in your relationship, instead of seeking glory for yourself.

    That’s all I have to say about that. The flirting business finds its place at the foot of the Christ of the cross, everything we bring under His Lordship and rule. God bless!

  7. Good post. Something I’ve been learning here as well is how beneficial friendships with guys can be, but you have to be careful.

    Another note, can you start emailing your notifications to the address above? I don’t really use my other one anymore, so this way I can keep everything in one spot.

  8. I really liked this one. Thank you so much. And your talks at the Purity Ring are amazing!

  9. Great post! Convisting and ecnouraging!
    Keep ’em coming!
    Caro

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