Help! I've Been Friend-Zoned!
- Kris Swiatocho and Cliff Young
- 2014 25 Dec
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I recently asked a girl out, but she said no, explaining that she liked me just as a friend and wanted to continue getting to know me (we haven't known each other very long). However, under these circumstances, I think I will struggle seeing her on a regular basis (for example, at church). She has been great about the whole thing and isn't awkward at all about it, and she is really great. I would like to continue getting to know her as a friend, but I'm struggling to know whether to try and cut out my feelings for her...or wait and see if she starts to feel the same way?
Sometimes we can be too quick to give up on a situation when things don’t immediately go our way.
You ask a girl out you barely know, hear those familiar words “I like you as a friend,” and you contemplate throwing in the towel and “cutting out your feelings for her.” Maybe she wants to be pursued and you aren’t the right one for her.
We live in an instantaneous society where we want everything immediately and aren’t willing to wait (or work) for anything – uploads, downloads, checking out at the store, a meal at a restaurant, an answer, a blessing or even the right relationship.
All too often, if we can’t have something now, if it takes a little effort or time or isn’t exactly like we want it, we give up. I think I will struggle seeing her on a regular basis – wouldn’t the “struggle” be worth it?
You say she “wanted to continue getting to know you.” So let her get to know you! This is an opportunity for you to earn her respect, her to see you as a spiritual leader and in service to others, and for both of you to learn more about each other. What is there to lose?
Look at a diamond (a girl’s best friend). They are rare, formed in nature over billions of years and are extremely treasured.
Nowadays, you can acquire a synthetic one faster, created in a controlled laboratory setting for about half the price of a real one, and in any way you want it. It looks the same as the one from nature, but when examined closely, there is a difference and also not as valuable.
The same goes for a relationship. The ones which have been created over time, taken effort to achieve, built on a foundation of trust, communication and faith, and have overcome adversity are the ones which are priceless.
Take this opportunity to show her you are genuine and the “real thing," not an imitation.
What I am hearing is a struggle between the ways of the world and the ways of God. In the world, we see, we want, we ask, we date...the list goes on. But as followers of Christ know, his word teaches us to be patient, enduring, respectful, and to wait on God's perfect timing. To be honest, I would want to just be your friend at first too! Being attracted to her is just one part of a balanced relationship. The key is controlling those feelings. And you can do that through prayer, accountability of friends who can also be praying for you, and boundaries in your friendship (such as limiting physical contact like hugging, sitting too close, being in each other's personal space, etc.)
Please know that just as she wants to get to know you in friendship, you should be wanting to get to know her in friendship. It is through friendships and group actives that we learn so much about another person. We learn how they spend their money, how they treat their family, how consistent they are with attending church, studying God's word, and how they live their life. We learn things that could possibly be deal breakers way before we would date them. Because if you think it's killing you to be "just friends," considering you are so physically attracted to her, just date her and then see how hard that is! Your emotional state will be much worse. It's best to wait and let God tell you when you need to make a move.
So, to cut to the chase: be her friend first. I have never, ever, ever met anyone who married someone and wished they had skipped friendship to be married. But I have heard the opposite when couples moved too fast and ended up struggling in their courtship and even marriage itself. The more you find out about a person before you both get involved, the better. Then, as you spend time in groups, and perhaps even one-on-one as friends, ask those harder life questions and really get to know if this is the "one" God has for you. Worst case, you start sending some signals that you want to date and they are not returned. Sure, your heart is broken a little, but you are still great friends. And you can never have enough friends.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of three books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: December 25, 2014