Answering ‘Preparing To Be A Help Meet’ – Can Guys View Attractive Girls As Just Friends?

Answering ‘Preparing To Be A Help Meet’ – Can Guys View Attractive Girls As Just Friends? March 15, 2015

AnsweringAnother installment of giving better answers to the questions asked at Debi Pearl’s site message board for the book ‘Preparing To Be A Help Meet’. Many young ladies ask questions on all sorts of different subjects brought up by the book. There was just one big problem, many of the answers stray into either the outright bad and emotionally unhealthy to dangerous. Yes, typical Debi Pearl borderline abusive. Here’s what we’re going to be doing here at NLQ. Every week, once or twice a week, I’ll be posting up one of the questions from the message board and ask you, our readers, to answer that poor soul’s question in a way that is logical, rational and the best possible solution, in other words 180 degree turn from Nancy and friends answers.As always  all spelling and grammar in the posting is unchanged from the original author.

Okay, on to today’s question:

Topic: Can guys view attractive girls as just friends?

I recently started going to a Christian college and have met many wonderful guys. I wouldn’t consider any of them to be prospects since we are heading different directions, but I would love to just be friends. Many opportunities have presented themselves for me to study with these guys for different classes or to hang out in a group,  or to simply chat. Im outgoing and people view me as attractive. So my question is this: can these guys view me as a friend? I’ve been told that guys cannot view girls as just friends so I don’t want to mislead these young men by spending time together “as friends” if they will not be able to view me as a sister in Christ/ friend. I appreciate any insight I can get on this issue.

The only answer she was given is a bunch of gobblity-gook about guarding your heart. Better answers please!

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  • Some of my best friends are male. One I met in college. He’s basically the brother I never had, and my sister and I are the sisters he never had. We have been friends for – my gosh – 41 years. We are such good friends his wife even allows him to come visit my mother – without being with him. She knows she can trust him, and knows we would never even think of anything else. I am very good friends with my best friend’s husband. I have a very good male friend who isn’t feeling well. I’ve been texting him – constantly – for nearly 2 weeks. His late wife and I were friends. His girl-friend knows she can trust me. We’re friends. I am friends with both.

    Who ever told you that you cannot be friends with a male, is lying. Any woman who tells you this or a male who tells you this cannot be trusted. Stay away from them.

  • Mary

    Some guys dread being stuck in “the friendzone.” If you get that vibe off a guy — if he keeps trying to escalate the relationship and you’re not interested — then you probably can’t really be friends with him anymore. Until that happens, though, or unless you are really very attracted to him and feel like you are the one who isn’t satisfied with “the friendzone,” give the friendship the benefit of the doubt. Most guy-girl friendships are great. Only a few are complicated by one person wanting more, and you can deal with those as they come up.

  • Nea

    When you have not been hypersexualized by being taught that your first response to a woman should be to judge her purity (which is all about judging if she is inadvertently “too sexy” for the slights of pretexts) and that you cannot do a single thing to alleviate your own overwhelming hormones coming online because taking care of YOUR urges is the sole province of a woman… then no. Sorry, but every boy who buys into that mindset is going to be getting an erection at every stiff breeze and scrambling to find a reason – any reason – to blame you for causing it. Look not at what Debi writes but how her husband describes his puberty – as a time of torture and longing where he saw every woman as deliberately tempting him and wanted “one of those” (he doesn’t describe women as people much less saying he was loving a specific woman, but as things for the use of ending his lust.)

    When you find a guy who isn’t frantic with suppressed lust, who celibacy hasn’t turned bitter and anxious, whose first reaction to you is not a secret “is she pure? Let me assess her for that.” …. THEN you have found a boy who is thinking with the right head. He can be a friend.

    TL;DR: Any boy who sees you as a person and not a vagina can be your friend. Any boy who just wants your vagina — RUN! You are NOT going to change him and he CANNOT love you because you’re not a real person to him!

  • Rebecca Horne

    Yes, straight men (and other people who are attracted to women) can view women as just friends, EVEN IF THEY’RE SIMULTANEOUSLY ATTRACTED TO THEM! Weird, huh?

    If a particular man expresses that you “led him on,” because you existed in his presence without wanting to marry (or whatever else…) him, it’s because that individual man is immature and has entitlement issues, not because men as a whole are incapable of normal human relationships with women.

    Unfortunately, there’s a lot of that going around…

  • Rachel

    It is completely possible! I have several male friends. A couple are single, but most are married/in long-term relationships or gay. I had a conversation with one of my single (male) friends and the subject came up because we had been flirting back and forth and I wanted to make sure he knew that I was just being playful and didn’t mean anything by it. He let me know that since I’m an attractive woman, of course sex has crossed his mind, but he doesn’t dwell on it because he knows it’s not going to happen with me. Of course, that type of thinking only works if you haven’t been brainwashed by purity culture into thinking that fleeting thoughts of sex are equivalent to adultery.

    Edit to add: I should also mention I’m a lesbian with several straight female friends. But it doesn’t present an issue because I respect them and I value our friendship, so I just don’t waste the energy thinking about if I’m attracted to them or not because I know it’s never going to happen with them! But I doubt this young woman wants to hear from a “godless lesbian’s” perspective. :~)

  • Rachel

    Weird. It’s as if women are people too with complex personalities and lived experiences separate from the attractiveness of their bodies!

  • Rachel

    That’s how I feel about a couple of my male friends. I actually had a younger brother, but once he got bigger than me he became physically abusive, so we aren’t close. The men I’m friends with remind me of my brother’s more positive qualities, without the fear of “is he going to push me down the stairs today?”

  • Anonyme

    A few years ago I had a guy ask me out for the first time, like ever. I wasn’t sure I was really interested, so I said I’d give it a try. Afterwards, I thought about whether or not I liked him enough to keep “seeing” him but realized I just wanted him as a friend. So here’s how it went down:

    ME: ‘A’, I really like you, but I see you more as a friend. Would you be ok being my friend?

    A; Yes! I really like you, but I’m also happy being just friends. 🙂

    See? It just takes a little communication. And if a guy doesn’t want to give you a straight answer, then he’s not worth your time.

  • Chris Dagostino

    Asexual Christian guy here, so yeah, my relationship with the women in my life is proof of “just friends.” :o)

  • Ross Balmer

    Spot on correct, Rebecca, that is exactly what I think. The real question is whether immature a-holes can be a proper friend to anyone.

  • Jenny Islander

    This is the tip of a big, big iceberg. Instead of attempting to translate what you wrote into worldly terms, as I did for other letter writers, I will present a primer in some worldly terms that you may nevertheless find useful.

    It is an unfortunate fact that young men are taught by example and precept that they are entitled to use women as they see fit: that we owe them whatever they want just because we exist. Men who buy into this fallacy are currently known as “dudebros” in the world. In my branch of Christianity, they are called “jackasses,” “creeps,” or “sinners who fondle their lust.” Yes, this worldly idea is everywhere, I’m sorry to say.

    Dudebro thinking can manifest itself in many ways of greater or lesser unpleasantness. The “friendzone” is a common worldly manifestation. This is a man’s perception that the only reason for him to hang out with a woman at all is in the hope of getting sex. When sex does not happen, the dudebro will complain that he has been put into the “friendzone,” which is a bad place to be in his opinion because women are not worthy of the respect accorded to a friend. Note the similarity to the concept of defrauding. While complaining about being in the “friendzone,” the dudebro will frequently describe himself as “a nice guy.” What he means is that he is waiting for sex, not just taking it. Note that the overall framework of this way of thinking is bleakly termed “rape culture” in the world.

    I am not trying to scare you away from men! I am telling you to trust your God-given instincts and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Some men will be obsessed with the idea that you are defrauding them by–I’ve seen so many things labeled defrauding–leaning backward in a comfortable chair, having large breasts, smiling, making eye contact, having hair in a certain style, wearing open-toed shoes, simply existing! This type may earnestly attempt to counsel you into greater modesty. Some, even at a Christian college, will be dudebros who think that your acknowledgement of their existence entitles them to make an advance. This type may whine at you or lecture you until you give them what they want or kick them out of your life. But neither way of thinking is intrinsically male. If somebody you thought of as a friend turns out to be a dudebro or a defraudee, that will be on them, not on you. And if you feel uneasy around anybody, you have every right to decline their company. Listen to your inner promptings. It is more important to be safe than to be nice.

    All that said, men and women can be friends. I’ve had male friends for most of my life. I was attracted to some of them, but being a human being, not a dog, I put that aside. Some of them may have been attracted to me, but I will never know because lust is not nearly as powerful a force as you may have been taught and a man who has not been raised to think that he is entitled to exercise his lust and/or helpless to resist it can in fact put it aside.

    This may sound awfully coarse, but if you are just starting college, your male classmates are by and large at a stage where they can experience sexual arousal from–oh, wearing dark-colored clothes on a hot day, or riding a bus over a bumpy road, or just waking up in the morning. It’s their cross to bear. A properly raised man can regard this as the annoying side effect of adolescence that it is and be friends with women regardless. Men who can’t make this intellectual leap are not worth your time.

  • Friend

    It’s not only possible, but essential and normal for men and women to be friends, even if they find one another attractive.

    You have met only a small percentage of the people you will encounter in life. You’ll meet attractive men throughout your life, and they will meet you too. You’ll learn to handle your responses to attraction, whether it’s mutual or one-way.

    It’s known that the teen years are hard, but I think the ages from twenty to thirty are more challenging. Lifelong decisions crop up, often before much life experience.

    When I was in college, a much older friend said, “People treat each other better after age thirty.” By the late twenties and early thirties, most people have grappled with jobs and career, college, living away from home, the possibility of marriage, maybe a few children, perhaps some hardships. They are stronger people, they know life is complicated, and they look beyond appearances.

    So… it gets better. Hang in there, listen to your own thoughts and feelings, and enjoy college!

  • Jayn

    Oh so much this. I’ve friends with guys who liked me as well as guys I liked. Even in cases where attraction was mutual it didn’t mean we went past a friendship because we’re people and not animals in heat.

    So my answer is simply yes and anyone claiming otherwise doesn’t live in my reality.

  • Olivia

    You are allowed to be friends with guys and to trust their motives and respect them as adult human beings capable of handling normal relationships and making their own relationship decisions. You are only responsible for not “leading them on” and not playing with their hearts at the point when they actually tell you they would like more than friendship. Even then you would be wise to live your life and join the study groups and hang out with the friends you want to. Just commit to being honest with yourself. You will know when you are enjoying a friendship because a guy is working towards the unattainable goal of being your boyfriend and it feeds your ego and when you are in a friendship because you actually just both enjoy being friends.

  • Gypsy Rose B

    Absolutely! Over the years some of my dearest friends have been men. (Or boys when I was younger) I’m pretty attractive (not being prideful, it’s simply a fact that I possess physical qualities that are often in line with the expectations of beauty in our culture), and I’ve had more difficulty finding boyfriends than boys who are friends as an adult. (Being shy and insecure makes relating to men more difficult than being pretty.)

    Wouldn’t you expect a godly man to be able to have the strength of character to not treat every woman he knows as a potential conquest, but rather a sister in God? Shouldn’t that be the default? If it isn’t, perhaps that man isn’t worthy of your attention, romantic or friendly.

    (Sorry for all the parentheticals in the first paragraph.)

  • Nightshade

    Q: Can guys view attractive girls as just friends?

    A: Not if he’s steeped to the gills in patriarchy and entitlement, otherwise it’s definitely possible. Next question?

  • BlueVibe

    Seriously, I have lots of guy friends whom I wouldn’t date. There’s nothing wrong with them, we just don’t feel that way about each other. One of them is the guy whom, if my parents were QH wackos, they would probably pick to marry me, but we’ve known each other so long that, frankly, it would be like marrying my cousin. Eew.

  • gimpi1

    Of course. Many of my best friends are men. “Guarding your heart” is nonsense. Friends, romantic relationships, family, all these relationships strengthen your heart. Shutting yourself off from friendships out of fear you might come to love your friends is like refusing to eat at all out of fear of gaining weight. It kills you. Starve your body, starve your emotions, it’s the same thing; starvation.