Answering ‘Preparing To Be A Help Meet’ – Guys and Friendship

Answering ‘Preparing To Be A Help Meet’ – Guys and Friendship August 30, 2017

AnsweringA teenager struggles with trying to define her relationship with a man she met online. She worries that she might be being used for emotional purposes.

Another 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 Debi and friends answers. As always  all spelling and grammar in the posting is unchanged from the original author.

Guys and Friendship

I am 15 years old and I have a guy friend that is 19.  We have gotten to know each other through different  groups and social events.  I was on Facebook and received a message from him saying hi.  it has been about 4 months since that first message and we have talked almost every single day .  He has a full time job so we usually chat in the evenings.  Now He comes over for dinner and movies .  Goes out places with our family .   He gives  me rides places and stands up for me and seems to always be on my side.  Even some of my friends have told me that when I’m not around he talks about me .  He is a great Christian guy and has the best , purest intentions .  My parents are also very active in our friendship .  i am very accountable to them and tell them everything that is being said.  We have both been raised to understand courtship and have both chosen that for ourselves .  he says he has no romantic intentions right now and strictly wants to be friends.  he has mentioned that he gets lonely and he struggles with self worth.  So i guess he enjoys my kind spirit and gentle, encouraging words.  just how some worldly guys use girls to fill a physical desire ,  I want to make sure he isn’t using me for a emotional desire.  He wants the companionship without the commitment.  I have to admit that I truly cherish our friendship and don’t want to make a hasty decision   .  I don’t want to mess with a perfectly good thing.  Im just tying to save me and him for a lot of miscommunication and hurt in the future .  What should I do ? How should I handle this ?

No one bothered to give her any advice. What do you think?

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  • AFo

    Admittedly, these are not bad questions to ask, but the fact that she seems to be building toward “Is it worth it to keep him around until our parents decide we should get married?” is disturbing as hell. Why can’t they just talk and hang out together without this huge decision hanging over their heads?

  • bekabot

    just how some worldly guys use girls to fill a physical desire , I want to make sure he isn’t using me for a emotional desire

    What’s wrong with that? Don’t you think young men become friends with other young men out of “emotional desire”…IOW, out of the emotional desire not to be lonely? Don’t you think this is the main reason women become friends with other women? Isn’t it, in fact, the primary reason why people make friends at all?

    I know it’s tempting to have a comeback to the old male saw that the only reason men talk to women is so that the women will fornicate with them. It’s tempting to think you can rebut “I refuse to be in the same room with any woman I’m not banging, how about that” with “Oh yeah? Well, the only way you even get to talk to me is to put a ring on my finger, so there!” It sounds like a good riposte, but the problem is, things just don’t work that way. You only end up painting yourself into a corner instead of finding your way out of the maze.

    Besides, you’re only fifteen. If your friend-who-is-a-boy starts trying prematurely to romance you, remind him of your age.

  • katiehippie


    Or, he may be gay.

  • Lily Erickson

    I actually had a different take on this, and I thought the letter writer might actually have ID’d a potential red flag. While there is nothing wrong with wanting an emotional relationship with someone you like and respect, there ARE people who are emotionally abusive, and who lure people into codependency. You can’t “fix” people, and if she got the feeling that this guy was looking for her to fix the loneliness or rejection he felt elsewhere, that probably isn’t a good thing. That might not be the case with this particular guy, but I thought it was pretty observant of someone her age to even recognize that something like that might exist.

  • Anonyme

    Girls in QF/Evangelical culture are taught very early that their only option is to get married, and that their fathers will hand-select their daughters’ husbands. Then as they get older, the girls are taught about how they are primarily, if not solely, responsible for young men’s sexual urges and thoughts. That puts a HUGE amount of pressure on these young women, which is why it’s so hard for them to see that people of the opposite sex can just be friends. After all, they’ve been trained to obsess over whether or not every thing they do with or around young men will make the young men lust and have “impure thoughts”.

  • lady_black

    He sounds like a good friend. Why superimpose marriage on it? You’re 15! Have friends.

  • lady_black

    So what if he is?

  • lady_black

    He talks to her. He takes her places. He visits. What’s wrong with that? I don’t see where he needs “fixing.”

  • Seems to me, from all available information, she’s found herself a great friend. I’m not seeing the problem, here.

  • mashava

    You should stop talking to him for 3 years and date boys that are 15, and next year date boys that are 16, the year after that date boys that are 17.

    The year after THAT, if you can still remember his name, you may pursue this guy. Because at 15 &19, he is TOO OLD FOR YOU

  • bekabot

    According to Freud nothing is healthy…and the older I get the more willing I am to concede that Freud may have had a point.

  • There is no such thing as “too old” for a platonic friendship.

    It may well be that she sees him as sort of an older brother or a mentor of sorts.

    Should romance develop between the two, a bit more parental oversight may be needed, sure.

    At this point, leave them be. It’s good for teenagers to have friends.

  • It’s true that anything taken to excess is unhealthy.

    It’s not quite a case of Freud Was Right, due to the lack of Phallic Weapons, but yes, Freud was right about that, too.

  • Jennny

    As the mother of 3 daughters, I naturally worried about them when they were teens. We were a christian family back then, but there were few other christian teens around in our small town. some of their peers got pregnant aged 12-15, some slept with boyfriends and a couple even left home to live with boys (illegally as they were underage) thinking they had found the love of their lives. I was so grateful that my DDs didn’t ruin their life-chances by doing that, they were capable of getting college degrees, and did so. Two married aged 28-29 and brought maturity and life-experiences to their choices of my 2 wonderful SILs. We all probably thought ourselves ‘mature’ at 16, but realise that’s far from true and we were far too young to make important life-decisions (not reversable if you’re a fundy who doesn’t believe in divorce). And in this uncertain world, if the SILs became incapacitated or, heaven forbid, died tomorrow, my DDs have careers, forged in their 20s to raise the kids on!

  • Hierophant2

    Well, wouldn’t that mean she would have to hate him?

  • lady_black

    No. But her church would want her to try to “cure” him.

  • katiehippie

    Doesn’t bother me but the people he hangs out with may have a problem with it. I wish this girl could get over the idea that a guy friend can be just that and not view every guy as a potential mate.

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    Unfortunately, in this case, I think she is chasing him, and she may be the one that gets hurt. No Romantic Feelings? No leanings towards Commitment? These are warning flags.

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    Unless this guy is a long-time family friend, or they have other things in common (other than just social meetings), this relationship needs to be downgraded to CASUAL friendship ASAP! Young teen-age girls can delude themselves into thinking that this relationship means more than it really does. It also sends out the wrong message to boys of her own age group. It’s also unfair to both of them — they both need to be socializing with other people more, before either one feels pressure to get married.

  • mashava

    Yeah, I disagree. I’ve known far too many high school girls (&boys) who were “just friends” with someone 4+ years older than them. It rarely ended well.

  • I don’t think we have enough information to make that conclusion.

  • And you’d be wrong. I’ve had friends twice my age, of both sexes, and it all remained platonic.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    What’s the odds the minimum legal age for marriage with parental consent in her state is 16?
    These people are full blown quiverfulls, and both sets of parents are encouraging a “friendship” between a boy and a girl, in a culture that considers all such contacts suspect and occasions for sin.
    I don’t care if he says he has no romantic intentions “right now” (what the heck does that “right now” mean anyway?) come her 16th birthday her daddy is going to tell her that her “guy friend” has asked him for her as a wife, all the arrangements have been made and the date picked. And she better go along with it or her friendship with this (gasp!) boy will leave her purity permanently besmirched.
    The boy is lying to her, and expects to have her handed to him wrapped up in a bow as soon as their parents can arrange the match without getting into trouble with the authorities.
    She is in deep with some highly abusive people and needs serious help right now.

  • texassa

    19 and 15 is a significant difference at that age. He ought to be spending time with his grown-up friends and letting you enjoy being 15.

  • texassa

    …if I had married every “great guy friend” that rolled through my life as a teenager, I’d have at least a couple dozen husbands. You’re 15. Friends will come and go, you’ll grow out of certain friendships, your likes and interests will evolve. Wait until at least 21 to even think about marriage.

  • texassa

    Of course there is such a thing as being “too old” for a “platonic” friendship between a 15-year-old girl and a grown man. If there’s no age restriction on friendships, I guess you wouldn’t mind your 12-year-old daughter watching movies and chatting online with a 50-year-old man?

  • And I disagree — limiting the child’s social opportunities to close age-mates deprives them of the opportunity to learn from older individuals.

    ETA: I’d want to have a talk with the 50y/o man, of course, just like I’d want to with any of my (hypothetical) child’s friends. I wouldn’t be overly concerned unless and until red flags show.

  • texassa

    Then we disagree. The desire of a 50 yo man to befriend a child is the red flag; none others are needed.

  • Almost a chimp

    So at what age is 4 years no longer a significant difference, and why? In terms of both physical and mental maturity, the average 19 year-old boy is no more grown-up than a 15 year-old girl and both should be free to enjoy their youth without any sniping and judging from the holier-than-thou crew.

  • Almost a chimp

    What exactly is a ‘help meet’? The phrase makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to me.

  • Finally, a voice of reason!

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    It’s phrase used in the Bible to describe a traditional wife that the CPM (Christian Patriarchy Movement) latched onto and now worship.

  • Hierophant2

    Not through corrective rape, surely?

  • Almost a chimp

    Thank you. At least now the title ‘Preparing to be…’ makes sense to me even if the phrase itself and the contents of her book still don’t.
    Rather arrogant of Debi to declare that the only way to be a wife is her way, even when her way clashes with the biblical way.

  • Almost a chimp

    Thank you.
    By the way, whilst on the subject of age gaps, it’s quite interesting to note that Mary was possibly only 14 when she conceived. How old was the father of her little one? Even the step-father was old enough to be Mary’s grandfather.
    Kind of puts texassa’s concerns in context, wouldn’t you say.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    So at what age is 4 years no longer a significant difference, and why?

    I use the “half your age + 7” rule

    For a 19 yo, the other should be at least 16.5 yo.

    To get a 4 year difference, it would be 22/18. Basically, a senior in college can date a college freshman.

  • lady_black

    I don’t think so. But many fundie churches have NO PROBLEM with marrying off women to gay men. Or child molesters.

  • Almost a chimp

    That rule gets rather, erm, interesting the older one gets. 30/22, 40/27, 50/32, 80/47.
    Also, there is no maximum age there. The 22 year-old’s date must be at least 18, but there’s nothing there that says she/he can’t be 40! Plus, the 18 year-old’s date must be a minimum of 16 but again without an upper limit.
    Age matters far less than compatability in my ever-so humble opinion.

  • Mimc

    Here we go again with fundies being suspicious of an emotional connections outside of there immediate families. Friendships mean emotional ties.

  • Where is your evidence that this man, specifically, is doing anything to harm this young woman?

  • I think you’re reading more into this than is actually there.