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A lot of my friends growing up were guys. I didn’t have many friends that were girls. The guy friends I did have were also my brothers friends, so I’d see them a lot, and we were close. I guess I would struggle with my feelings if the guy was cute (and there were quite a few), but other times I just liked playing with guys over girls. The older I got the more I struggled with girl/guy friendships.
I know I’m not the only one.
I am honored to now have girls to call BFF. We talk or text often and we always seem to come back to the same question… “Why is it so hard to be good friends with guys?” Not because we can’t be friends or don’t want to be (because we really do), but we really struggle with how to balance a proper relationship without leading these men in the wrong direction by us being unconsciously flirtatious or doing something that puts their hearts or minds in the wrong place.
The Real Struggle with Girl/Guy Friendships
For the longest time I viewed all my guy friends, just as friends…or another little brother (they all seem to be younger than me…). I did my best just to treat them as I would my own brothers. I’d challenge them like I would my brother by seeing how fast I could run, or who can go through the homemade obstacle course with the fastest time, who could jump rope the most, etc. I
was am very competitive.
I always want to do what the guys do, because it is so much fun. I would always shoot arrows with the boys, play cops and robbers, play air soft, football or any sport, go fishing or wade in the creek. I’m not like other girls. I’m really not scared of things other girls are scared of like: spiders, worms, bugs, fish, mud. I was and still am a regular old tom boy.
The older I got and the more open my eyes became, I got to see guys in a different light. “Who will be my future husband?”
In some ways this has totally ruined me. Now whenever I see a cute guy I always have to ask…”Is this the one?” Of course I am of marrying age with no prospects in sight, so maybe that’s just what girls do, but I don’t know. Sometimes I think it just put a whole new level with making sure a girl/guy friendship is still pure and balanced.
How do you keep a relationship pure and balanced?
- Think before you do
We as women can be either the hand that helps build a man up or the hand that breaks them down. We don’t really have to do much at all. Just keep an open mind to what your actions say to them. I’m sure this is common knowledge and probably won’t ever happen to you, but don’t climb a ladder in a skirt above a man. I know that the common courtesy is “women first”, but in this situation, no. Just no. (I’ve seen these scenes in movies before and every time I think…”WHY!?!?!”).
- Think before you say
In other words, don’t ask them how your dress makes you look or what necklace would make your eyes stand out better, because you could be asking them to look at you in a different way. I would never ask my brother this…so I couldn’t ask another guy (unless of course the relationship was other than just a friend).
- Examine yourself
Of course with any relationship with a guy you should always examine yourself and your motives. Are you just wanting to be friends or do you feel something else? If you feel ‘something else’ you might want to ask for some parental advice or guidance. And if you want to just be friends, how do you act?
- No physical touch
My family has had this philosophy for years…probably ever since I was 10 and had a complete meltdown, because I “was in love” with this guy and my parents told me I wasn’t acting right around him. I had strong feelings for him and every time he hugged me good-bye or held my hand in prayer my heart would flutter. So we established “no-touch” standard. Eventually my feelings left and I’m so glad they did, because he and I no longer interact with each other.
- Ask another friend to be there
Accountability is a great thing to have, especially when it involves a girl/guy friendship. When you think of you and this guy as “friends” you can sometimes get a little to comfortable. (I know this from experience). You can do things that you probably didn’t give any mind to before, but didn’t realize how flirtatious it was. It can always be a great idea to have a friend be your accountability partner and keep you in check when you get to comfortable.
- Never be alone with a guy
The older you get the more you should follow this. I know you probably think nothing “wrong” will happen between you and a guy. You’re probably right, but I don’t want to take the risk. Things can happen without even knowing…like that time a kid a couple years older than me just kissed me. He didn’t know he was did it until it was done and he was so embarrassed. I was shocked. Whats more is he did it in a public place with his siblings, my siblings, and our parents were there. I don’t remember his name anymore, but this is the example my mom gave when she said that she never wants me in a room alone with a guy and my brothers never in a room alone with a girl. Just as a precaution, not because she doesn’t trust us.
Now I can’t say that I have these steps down pat, because I don’t. I’m like any other girl. I struggle with feelings. I struggle with the idea that I am accountable for keeping him pure. I struggle with keeping myself in check. Just ask my friends and family and they can tell you, I am not perfect. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t need to acknowledge these steps, because they can do a lot for me. I need steps. I need a standard.I will receive commission on any sales made on my blog. To learn more, read my disclosure policy.