This is a post by a guest author, my 15-year-old granddaughter, exploring the Christian relationship between the sexes.
MAY 31, 2015 ~ ALEXANDRA WARMOTH
This post is dedicated to Madelyn Batchelor. Thank you Maddy for helping me to form so many of the opinions written here.
Megan Follows as Anne, and Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert in the famous carrots scene from the Anne of Green Gables TV series. Courtesy Anne Sullivan Movies.
Urban Dictionary defines the ‘friend zone’ as: “What you attain after you fail to impress a woman you’re attracted to. Usually initiated by the woman saying, “You’re such a good friend.” Usually associated with long days of suffering and watching your love interest hop from one bad relationship to another. Verb tense is “friend-ed”.”
You just can’t make this stuff up. Believe it or not, many people in my generation love referring to the imaginary martyr mindset of friend zoning as the reason they’re single, especially guys. Fortunately, not everyone does this, but it is still a problem.
The situation I often observe is this:
- Guy likes girl.
- Guy doesn’t tell girl he likes her.
- Guy gets mad when girl mentions their great friendship.
- Angry guy declares that he’s been friend zoned; he is shocked that girl doesn’t like him. He’s so nice! (But he still doesn’t tell girl he likes her).
Basically, the friend zone is a made up place where people go to sulk so they can blame others for their own inaction.
I believe that this concept is the child of casual relationships, the eradication of Christ-like love, and an intense unwillingness to be vulnerable. It’s become extremely hard to tell where a relationship is going thanks to the sexual revolution. There is a lot of sex and passion in our culture with very little emphasis on love.
Everything has to be casual, and no one wants to seem clingy. There is a deep fear of commitment and putting oneself out in the open. I know this, because the struggle against attaining emotional vulnerability has touched me personally. With all of this in mind, I admit to being a total hypocrite. The fear of being rejected is not fun. It’s much easier to pretend there’s some imaginary force of nature holding one back from whatever they want.
My intention in writing all this isn’t to encourage a focus on feelings and heart’s desires, it is actually just the opposite. I know that feelings are deceitful. Therefore, we should all learn to evaluate and discuss our emotions with others while praying for guidance from God. After all, “The heart is deceitful above all things, who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9. This is especially true when it comes to the feelings we have towards the human animal.
I would sincerely like to know why friendship appears, in so many cases, to be such a negative thing. The Bible encourages fellowship and loving others above ourselves. Expecting those around us to reciprocate our feelings and emotions then getting upset when they don’t is not loving. The main purpose of getting to know others should be to serve them in the best way possible. If a girl decides to date jerks, it’s a pretty sad deal. It’s not sad because she isn’t dating you, Self-Proclaimed-Nice-Guy, it’s sad because she isn’t respecting the Lord and herself.
As hard as it is, we must find peace with the fact that we cannot control other people. However, we can and should pray for them, especially if they are engaging in destructive behavior.
If there is ever confusion with the intentions of a relationship or where it is headed, communication is essential. It is important that young men and women do not lead each other on. Toying with another person’s emotions for fun is simply cruel.
Even if one does admit their feelings, they still aren’t entitled to the other person feeling the same way. If someone does not have romantic feelings for you, those wishes should be respected.
When one really cares about another person, true Christian love should be shown to them no matter what. As a friend, maintaining the relationship should be just as important as advancing it. It’s human to be upset when a relationship doesn’t go the way we want, but it is not Christ-like. We should strive for contentment and sincerely being a loving friend in all circumstances.
Being open with your emotions and telling people how you feel can be terrifying. There’s no telling how it will affect your life, but that’s part of the excitement. If you’ve evaluated your feelings and have the support of family and friends, along with conviction from God, by all means make your interest in someone known. Until then, it just isn’t fair to get upset if the other person hasn’t mentioned beginning a relationship.
Young men, try to look at the situation from the side of young women. As a girl, I’ve never liked being the one to initiate. Sometimes the only thing us ladies are willing to do is continually mention how great of friends we are, secretly hoping you’ll catch on. We all wish we could be like Ruth and just throw ourselves at your feet.
Like I said earlier, I’m a total hypocrite. Admitting ones feelings is hard and scary, especially when you have no idea what the other person is thinking. Ideally, you and the person you like should have such a secure friendship that you’ll stay friends even if an awkward “feelings” talk happens. The best thing we can do is love Christ and love each other.
In the end, we all have the power to escape the friend zone, because it is we who have placed ourselves in it. Bravery, acceptance of the unknown, and a whole lot of prayer and trust is the only cure.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12.
For a funnier, more succinctly stated opinion on the subject, watch this video by Blimey Cow: https://youtu.be/Uwhbr2OrZLI