Around the time when this female friend effectively ended my Bible study, I started attending a very small church only five minutes down the road from me. My best friend asked me to attend a few times, and out of respect I did, only attending for the social gatherings as I already had a church of my own.
But as time passed, I would eventually call this one my home church as well.
On the day this whole “they’re dating” thought popped in my head, I knew I had to confront both my best friend and this woman who ended my Bible study and blatantly ask if they were dating. Both said no, that they were down there just to hang out as friends.
I could sense that was a total lie, but I had to give them the benefit of a doubt because they were my friends. There was no proof of their dating, just my feelings that screamed that they were. And of course you can’t really use that as proof.
So, me being me, I teased them a lot about dating after that. I spun it as, “You shouldn’t have posted that picture together, because as an honorary friend I get to tease both of you.”
Was this a mask for my insecurity of my best friend trying to date this girl who I really didn’t trust? Of course, duh!
As time passed, these two started hanging out more, and my best friend and I started hanging out less. I knew something was going on, and again I tried to confront him about dating her, but those two denied it up and down.
I did my best to give them the benefit of the doubt as their friend, but things were not adding up.
My fear wasn’t that my best friend was going to start being in a relationship — thus leading to marriage and life having its way. I’d dealt with that scenario in the past with previous friendships, and I encourage that to happen.
My biggest fear was that my best friend was going to force our friendship to end all because of this girl, pushing me away from his life. It was the fear that whatever friendship we’d built in the past he was willing to tear down, trample to the ground, and pretend that I never existed at all.
So, we had one of our usual hangout sessions where we go to a restaurant and chat. He offered to pay for my food and I accepted because didn’t have any money due to not having a job. We were just chatting about what was going on in our lives, spiritually and with our families.
At the end of our hangout session while we were in a vehicle, I asked him one more time if he just liked that girl he was hanging around with. Finally, he broke and said yes!
After weeks and weeks of asking, I finally got an answer!
We talked about it, and I voiced my concern about their dating. I told him the flat-out truth of what I was feeling about our friendship.
While stating my concern about his liking this girl and possibly dating her, I told him another thing I was worried about: guarding his heart. In the past, I’d had friends who had also been in his situation. In the end, they got heartbroken and did something drastic to cope with their loss.
I didn’t want that same heartbreak to happen to them, so I just gave him a warning to tread lightly and take his time going into this relationship.
At the end of our conversation, I had something to get off my chest. Something so personal that I’d never told anyone.
I’d started having feelings for someone, but I didn’t know what to think about it. So, I confided in my best friend because I knew he wouldn’t judge me for it.
I said to him, “Dude, I think I might be having feelings for someone! I mean, the feelings aren’t actually there, but the thought is there. It’s been in my mind for some time, and the thought has come and gone every now and then. But this person is in my mind now.”
While I talked, my best friend interrupted me and asked, “Who is it?”
I looked at him with a smile and gave him the name of the person. Without judgment, he smiled back at me, gave me a big hug, and we prayed. I went back to my apartment and let out a huge sigh of relief.
Have you ever felt a friendship threatened due to a possible dating relationship with the opposite sex? Did you talk to your friend about this concern or did you keep it to yourself? Did you do anything drastic to keep this friendship alive?
I’ve lost many straight friends because they developed a relationship with a female. It hurts EVERY time, so I have little contact with anybody, gay or straight.
Why, Brad Morton! I think you are a swell fellow and anyone should be happy to have and keep you as a friend. You are funny and creative and caring, and I understand you are a pretty capable cook. Those who dumped you (the low-lifes) are missing out on some wonderful meals and lots of laughter.
Never give up on trying to make new friends, brother. I’m honored to call you one.
I feel for you Bradley…may the Lord touch other’s heart to include you too.
I’ve been in your end of losing great nds due to dating. It made me committed to not doing the same to those around me. Now, I’ve lost friends for other reasons- mostly distance and life situations. But I wanted to avoid hurting someone out of pursuit for even a good dating relationship. I’m thankful you were able to voice your concerns and your heart- though knowing the rest of the story already, just also makes it all the more impactful. Thank you for sharing.
Agreed, Dean. We learn from our pain and try to not do to others as they have done to us.
After my wife and I were married, I went out of my way to include my still single friends in my life. I had them over often, and still spent personal time with them. Far from resenting the change, they became close to us as a couple. So, I’m very thankful for that.
Well, you’re one of the luckiest people who could ever do that to your friends. Not many people actually do that, but for those, like you, who go out of their way and can still be friends with single people, that’s definitely a blessing to everyone else. Thanks for sharing.
That is terrific! Including single people in hospitality etc. is so important and a neglected ministry in many churches, in my observation, anyway. God will richly bless you, I believe, for reaching out and including others.
You’re such an encouragement, Kirk. Keep reaching out to your single friends. They need it, no doubt. I certainly do.
It’s hard not to develop a chip on one’s shoulder when the same thing plays out over and over. Guy meets girl, checks out from other friendships. Well, glad I could tide you over until your real life started! Warmest regards to you both~
But truth be told I think things have gotten better. Part of it is that I’ve grown up a little, I think. Of course the straight dude loves the girl. That’s how God wired him. It’s not about me. I can take some deep breaths and invest in other friendships, double down on exercise, or whatever. But I think a big part of it is my friends are older now. I suspect the problem is worse with younger people. Now my friends who are finding romance have lived for seasons as a single person, so either consciously or subconsciously they know to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, and/or they are wise enough not to think their girlfriend or wife can bear all that weight in their lives.
I’m really thankful for my married friends who make time and space for me in the households when they are able to. Call me biased, but I think that’s how you can tell a quality marriage!
You speak so intelligently, brother. Amen. Yes, yes, and yes to all you have said.
Oh, and by the way, I love that part in your bio that says you are a serial relaxer. LOL!
Ha! You never know when I’m going to strike 😀
Yeah, I agree. It’s bascially part of life. Friends get in a relationship, they get married, they have children or a child, and life goes on. As I said before in the blog, that I’m fine with. I’ve experienced that, and grew up in rejoicing for my friends in the past to pursue that. But don’t be a douche bag when you do that. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Haha.
John 3:29 “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. ”
I aim for this kind of “friend of the bridegroom ” attitude when a straight friend gets married. I love my friend an want him to be happy!
There have been rare occasions where I told my friend not to marry the girl. Once I did that when the girl was controlling and too forceful. They married anyway but she ended up divorcing him because he was “boring and did not make enough money”!
[…] younger brother was looking for care-taking work after getting laid off. This was a few days after my best friend and I talked in my car about his liking the girl who ended my Bible study and my admitting to him something very […]