No, you didn’t read that wrong. I know, I know—last week, I wrote a post called “Satisfying the Urge for Teen Romance”. In that post, I talked about how dating in high school is overrated, and in a lot of cases, not smart. I accepted the fact that we’re made for love and that, as teenagers, our bodies and our God-given desires urge us to love. Lastly, I stated that all of our desires could be fulfilled if we placed them in Jesus, and especially if we directed our desires for love towards Jesus.
‘Cause He’s the bomb.
So why am I saying being “just friends” is stupid? (And yes, I’m talking about being “just friends” with members of the opposite sex that I like.) Why would I think being “just friends” is dumb, when that seems like the reasonable alternative to dating in high school?
I’m suggesting this idea to all of my fellow teenagers. Perhaps it’s just a suggestion, but try to have an open mind.
Does it ever bother you that whenever people see a boy and a girl in a close friendship, they immediately think the boy and girl are in love? Or that they will fall in love? Or do you find it annoying that in so many movies and books, the two lead characters, one a guy and the other a girl, start out as “just friends”, but then they fall in love in the end?
Does all friendship between a guy and a girl have to end in romance?
Now don’t get me wrong: I understand quite clearly where our culture is coming from. Naturally, if you’re close friends with someone, and you slowly grow closer as time goes on, OF COURSE you might develop feelings for each other. That’s natural. That’s human. Guys will be attracted to girls no matter what their relationship, and vice versa!
But not all friendship between a teenage guy and a teenage girl needs to end in romance. Nor is being “just friends” the correct alternative.
Where am I going with this????
You want to know why being “just friends” is stupid? Here’s why: Why is the word “just” in there?
Uh-huh, that’s why.
We use the word “just” in that situation to describe that there’s nothing more to our relationship—that the current state of our relationship lacks the intensity or closeness that people initially believe it has. But if we always view our friendships with members of the opposite sex in that way, OF COURSE it will seem lame. We won’t ever be satisfied with being “just friends”…because, well, we’re “just” friends.
This perfectly relates to my last post concerning the desire to date in high school. There’s nothing wrong with that desire in the first place…but if we make the alternative—healthy, close friendships—seem unappealing, then we’re always going to want to date. We’re going to forget willing that dating may not be best for us, or best for the person that we claim to love. We’re going to go with what seems more exciting…and maybe dating is. But that doesn’t mean it’s what is best. Maybe loving the person we want to date will mean being just friends with them.
But not “just friends”. Friends.
Friendship is awesome. Stop minimizing how beautiful it is. In fact, in most cases, I think friendship in high school will help you to build a better relationship with anybody. If you like a girl or a guy, I’d be willing to bet that becoming friends first, or deepening your current friendship, will help you to form a closer, healthier relationship than if you’d begun dating.
With friendship, you don’t need to be worried about being perfect around the person you like. You don’t need to worry about cheating on each other. You don’t need to be tied down by your relationship. I’m not encouraging infidelity in your friendship. But believe me (and I know that you know what I’m talking about), there’s just a different feel to being close friends as opposed to dating. There’s more freedom, there’s more honesty, there’s less fear, less drama, less stress.
Just be happy. Be free. Grow together. Grow closer. Love each other—definitely do that—whether you’re romantically interested in each other or not. And do what’s best for each other. Teach each other how to grow. Learn to be honest. Learn to be faithful. Learn to put others first.
Don’t be “just friends”. Be friends.
Because being friends is awesome.
What do you think?