I’ll be the first to admit that my friendliness has often been confused for flirtatiousness one too many times. What adds to this sort of confusion is my genetic ability to turn instantaneously red whenever I feel slightly out of place.
At times, I’d be humiliated whenever my uncensored blushing would reveal my emotions if ever I felt embarrassed or oddly nervous in front of an attractive guy. This blushing had often given guys the “green” light, when really this reddening should have been understood as more of an inner alert system -at least in my case.
You may have re-read the title and are wondering where exactly I am going with this. Or, you might be thinking, “That’s exactly what I go through.” Whatever your thoughts thus far, I’ll just cut to the chase:
If you want to establish a friendship with a guy, keep in mind that there’s always a possibility that his feelings for you might develop into a bond stronger than that of friendship. With that said, in order to protect his heart and keep him from misunderstanding your intentions for your relationship, this calls for maturity and self-awareness on your part, regardless of what he thinks and feels.
Ladies, we have a gift, and it’s called feminine beauty. Men are attracted to that. Point blank. I repeat, because you are beautiful and so is your heart, men will be naturally drawn to you.
As stated in the Song of Solomon, Chapter 4, Verse 7, driven by the pen of the Holy Spirit, God states, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” Yes, that’s right. God’s words, not mine, not even Solomon’s. We must embrace this beauty that we have been created with! Yet, we must do it wisely! If we want to protect someone’s heart, we must learn to use our beauty only for the glory and honor of God.
So guess what? platonic relationships between men and women are definitely possible! Yet, because same-sex friendships are not exactly the same as friendships with someone of the opposite sex, this requires some prudence on behalf of both parties. Ladies, there’s so much we can do, but here’s just a few tips on how to maintain healthy, “friendly” boundaries between you and your guy friend:
Tip #1: MODESTY. MODESTY. MODESTY.
Not just modesty in dress, but in actions and in speech. If a man sees your outfits transform from from t-shirt to tanktop, or if you become more “generous” in your hugs or caresses, he most assuredly might take this as, “Man, she’s into me.” Yes, he’s your friend, and you may feel more comfortable opening yourself up to him. But, get this, he’s still a guy, not one of your girlfriends. So, be prudent in how you dress, how you speak, and how you behave around him. Trust me, you’re doing him a HUGE service by protecting his thoughts and heart from falling into temptations of lust, or from providing him with mixed signals.
Tip #2: Know his dignity, as well as your own.
Nobody in this world likes being used. Yet, strangely, in this utilitarian culture we’re in, we’ve kind of developed the mindset that it’s okay to use others, but not okay to let ourselves be used. My dear sisters in Christ, Jesus taught us the way to love. And, in love, there is no “I will use you for my pleasure just until my satisfactions are met.” (Read Cor. 13: 4-7)
So, if you really want to “just” be friends with your guy friend, DO NOT use him for the sake of a compliment or affection, or to fill an empty void. Not that I’m advocating this movie at all, but No Strings Attached provides us with some food for thought. In this film, two “friends” of the opposite sex decide that they will use each other sexually while still maintaining a healthy friendship. Of course, this lie was sugarcoated into one very cute happy ending where these friends decided to get together for real (the end does not justify the means!).
Tip#3: Be considerate with time and place.
Every healthy relationship requires space. Yes, that includes friendships. In regards to friendships with someone of the opposite sex, be intentional in where you’re hanging out and how often.
Also, because we live in such a technologically-oriented world, (I think i just made that phrase up) you might also want to be considerate in how often you’re texting, skyping, or instant messaging your guy friend. Regardless of distance, if you are texting him all hours of the day and night, he might begin to believe you want something more than just friendship. Especially, if you’re sending him those cute kissy face emojis! (Yes, I just went there! haha).
Remember this: It’s so important to be thoughtful, intentional, and purposeful in any relationship. Maybe you’re really interested in a guy friend and you want him to notice you. Even so, those tips aforementioned apply to you as well! True and authentic friendships are the foundations to happy and holy marriages. Practice these tips and I believe you will protect someone from a lot of heartbreak, as well as be that more closer to finding your St. Joseph.
Priscilla Trastoy is a current student at William Paterson University, and will receive her B.A in English Literature and Secondary Education in the Spring of 2017. She's very passionate about serving her local parish, where she is worship leader for the English mass and is coordinator of the Confirmation Program. She is also very involved with Corazon Puro, a Chastity ministry which she has been serving as a missionary for 6 years. Really, she's just a down-to-earth kind of person, and even as she has heavenly aspirations, she yearns to live in a manner that shows nonbelievers that to follow Christ is a joyful journey.
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