Can Guys and Girls be Just Friends?

July 20th, 2009

Friends Laughing


This question has been on my mind recently so I’m going to take a stab at answering it. Although I should be working on school instead. I have an assignment due tomorrow morning which I’ve hardly started yet so will keep this post short.

Ok, disclaimer: I’m not backing up my thoughts here with Bible verses.

Regarding the question in the title of this post, the answer at first glance might seem like an obvious “yes.” And I would agree, guys and girls CAN be just friends – but I would suggest perhaps best in particular settings, like in the context of healthy groups.

Let me reword the question differently and see what you think: “Can a guy and a girl who are both single, both adults, both dedicated Christians, both of similar age who share similar interests, hobbies, and religious convictions ‘hang out’ with each other exclusively, regularly communicating with each other, nurturing a ‘special’ relationship while sharing personal struggles, successes, and desires all while both maintaining a purely platonic friendship?”

Maybe, but in my experience it’s difficult for one or the other to not start wanting more.

This e-how article lists specific steps guys and girls can follow to be just friends. Check these out: (emphasis added)

  • Step 2 – Discuss your friendship. Don’t let the topic of your existing friendship be something you avoid like the plague.
  • Step 4 – Be a friend, but not too good a friend. You might end up giving mixed signals that will not be good for you or him/her.
  • Step 5 – Spend time with your friend, but not too much time. The two of you have other friends that you can spend time with.
  • Step 10 – Watch out for them and be protective, but not overly so. Stand up for them, especially in the face of nasty gossip. However, point out flaws and weakness directly to them. Only a friend can do that.
  • Step 11 – Remember birthdays, nothing more. Little things can lead people on.

    Only birthdays? Not Christmas? Is it ok to comment if they get a haircut? Just not too positively.

    The e-how article continues with some “tips and warnings” :

  • Do not lead them on.
  • Do not flirt with them.
  • Do not act possessive of them.
  • Do not give mixed signals.
  • Do not be “touchy-feely”.

    To me, this advice seems wishy-washy and vague. Don’t lead them on? How do we define that? Be friends, but not too good of a friend? Spend time, but not too much time? These raise the questions, “How good is too good and how much is too much?”

    Can it become like walking on a tight rope? I think so.

    Regarding Step #2 above (“discuss your friendship”), let me comment that with my guy friends we rarely (probably never) “discuss our friendship.” We “avoid it like the plague.” Discussion is superflous because our friendship’s are based on the similar interests we have, not on each other. Thus, the friendships are what they are.

    I think this e-how article illustrates how tricky it can get trying to keep guy-girl relationships “just friends”.

    Here’s another thought from here which may be relevant:

    “Will your libido silence while spending pleasant time and having fun and sharing interests and activities, attitudes and values with just a friend of the opposite SEX?”

    Photo Credit: Having a good laugh
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