A couple weeks ago I read an article called Your Friendgirl Deserves Better. The article addresses what I find to be the single-most frustrating dynamic occurring in our culture and generation between men and women…when it comes to dating.
Yes, a much-anticipated dating post has returned.
What’s a Friendgirl, you ask?
She’s the girl who’s “just friends” with the guy she spends way too much time with. She puts all her hope in the possibility that one day he will fall in love with her while he enjoys the ego boost and the emotional satisfaction that comes from hanging out with a girl who is merely a friend.
Guys, do you have a Friendgirl?
Here are some clues indicating that you might (taken from the article):
- You know she’s interested, but you figure that as long as you don’t kiss her, she will understand that the relationship is platonic.
- People ask if you’re dating her, and you act surprised every time.
- You’ve had to sheepishly explain that she’s “like a sister” to you.
- You think that defining the relationship means passively aggressively hinting that you’re not into her.
- When she calls you, you hang out with her if it’s convenient.
- When you call her, she drops everything to be with you.
- You justify continuing to hang out with her — despite being uninterested — because, well, you never know, maybe an attraction will eventually develop
Okay, now don’t think I’m solely placing blame on the men here, because women definitely have to take responsibility in this too. First, they need to understand their value and worth. Why on earth would you let yourself be a convenient “buddy” to a guy (waste of time!) when somewhere out there is a true man who is genuinely interested in knowing your heart and pursuing you?
Well, here’s why:
[A woman’s] heart is vulnerable. Part of the reason it’s vulnerable is that she’s uniquely, beautifully female; and another reason is that culturally, she’s expected to wait for a man to initiate. As her patience grows thin, she’s more susceptible to believing a man is pursuing her when all he really wants is a friendgirl to stroke his affirmation-starved ego.
So why is this topic so frustrating to me? First, because I’ve seen so many of my friends settle for less when they deserve so much more. They hold on hope that their best friend is going to fall in love with them and they are willing to wait as long as it takes for this to happen. Their tunnel vision doesn’t allow them to see that there could be a good man out their who is interested.
Guys, just so you know, subtle clues don’t work! You have to be direct, but not only that, you have to stop selfishly spending time with these women and stealing away parts of their heart that belong to their future husband. Because whether you believe it or not, yes, they are giving it away to you.
Another reason this bothers me so much is because I think it demonstrates lack of character of behalf of men. If they understood how precious a woman’s heart is then they wouldn’t run it through the gamut like that. They would respect their sisters and desire to keep her heart in one piece for the man that she will give it to. And if you know it’s not you, don’t let her give it to you!
Set your standards high
I can say in all truth and thankfulness that I have never been a Friendgirl. Okay, maybe I was once, in sixth grade. But at that age all it took to mend my broken heart was a trip to the mall.
I’ve never been a Friendgirl because long ago I decided if a man wants to know me he’s going to have to step away from what has become our cultural norms and pursue me. No, I won’t go over to your place and play video games. No, I won’t grab a bite to eat when you ask me on a whim. No, I won’t give up my time to be with you hoping that when you say “hang out” you mean “go on a date.”
Some people might chastise me for taking such a stance, and others have even told me that I should be the one to initiate these things if I am interested in someone. And you also might wonder what the harm is in hanging out with a guy friend if things are completely platonic on your end. Well, here’s why: because there is such a thing as a Friendboy, too.
It’s worth the wait
As someone who has recently experienced pursuit – and not middle-school pursuit, not boyish pursuit, but the pursuit of a godly man of character – I can honestly say that it is absolutely worth the wait. And not only that, but I believe that every woman should and can be pursued the way I was. So ladies, don’t short-change yourselves!
A couple of weeks after we started dating, my boyfriend thanked me for the way that I conduct myself. He said that my values when it comes to dating and the opposite sex made his pursuit of me simple and straightforward. He knew that I wasn’t the type of girl who spends time alone with other guys. And that said a lot. It created clarity. And it also attracted a man like him to a woman like me.
There is a vast difference between being a Friendgirl and being pursued. The Friendgirl is anxious. She analyzes every comment that comes out of her buddy’s mouth. She is always doing, always striving, and she becomes the initiator.
The one being pursued merely responds. And what a release that is! I’m just myself. I’m not acting this way or that way to get you to like me or notice me. Your pursuit tells me you are interested, and as we get to know what another I can discern with wisdom whether or not I continue to respond to your pursuit.
And wouldn’t you have it…wisdom said, “HECK YES!”
It all comes down to respect. That’s what I think at least. Men, respect your sisters. Because that’s what she is if she’s not your girlfriend/fiance/wife. Women, respect yourself, and in doing so you’re also respecting the male species. How so? Because you’re teaching all those boys out there to dig a little bit deeper, work a little bit harder, and grow into men of character.