Bein’ Friends

This is a guest post by Mac

Today’s topic is on intimate non-romantic friendships with members of the opposite sex.  Of course, Croft doesn’t even bother to talk about intimate non-romantic friendships with members of the same sex when one member is gay, probably because it makes him uncomfortable thinking about.  Here’s the corresponding Boundless link.

Aside from that, I actually don’t have too much to disagree with him on this time.  My main disagreement comes from the fact that his advice is too general and even then, he admits this is not necessarily for everyone.  His main issue is that intimate non-romantic male-female friendships are often frustrating, especially when both parties are single.  My main problem is that he says that this is “almost always” the case without providing any data to back up his claim.  Yes, these relationships can be frustrating, but that is only the case when one of the parties involved has feelings for the other which the other does not reciprocate.  At this point, I would argue that a Defining the Relationship (DTR) talk is advised.  If it becomes clear that one party has feelings that the other cannot reciprocate, then both parties need to hammer out how they are to proceed.  In that case it might be better that they not see each other as much, or in as intimate settings, as before.

Croft also views the development of romantic feelings from a non-romantic friendship as a negative.  I say, “not always.”  In fact, there are many who would say that their best relationships have grown out of deep friendships.

He also says that intimate friendships with members of the opposite sex discourage marriage.  I do not think that this is true, any more than I think that intimate friendships with members of the same sex encourage being gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  No, I don’t think these relationships discourage marriage, but I do think that they discourage rushing into marriage when you’re not ready.  I personally think that this trend is something that needs to be discouraged!

My biggest beef with this particular article is how Croft deals with those who think themselves exceptions to the rule.  His basic answer is to ask why take the risk.  That is a good question and I think I have an answer.  Relationships involve opening yourself to vulnerability.  That is the case whether the relationship is familial, friendly, romantic, or simply exercising that love which we are to have for all people.  God’s love for us was not safe.  God opened Godself up to us rejecting God’s love.  Yes, risk can lead to heartbreak.  It can also lead to something wonderful.  Since Croft appears to be talking to adults, risk is part of being an adult.  Making mistakes and learning from them is an important part of growth.

So, I think that’s it.  It’s kind of short today, so…um…Oh! I know, enjoy the song that inspired the title.

(why yes, I do like the Mother/Earthbound series)

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.