I love to ask people to write guest posts about unexpected relationships. I think most of us have at least one of these friendships and I believe there is a lot that we can learn about ourselves through them.
I particularly love this topic because of the many unexpected relationships that I have in my life. I have written about my husband and my dear friend Tina. Those are both relationships that existed for a long time and then had a sudden shift causing me to reexamine them, ultimately reaching something even better.
But I have another friendship that is unexpected, and that’s the one with my friend Rich. I write about him fairly often, but I’ve never written about the dynamic of being friends with a man.
I’m always hesitant to write about this topic because the prevailing opinion in evangelical circles seems to be that married men and women should not be close friends. And no matter how it’s dressed up, it all boils down to the idea that if men and women are friends, they have to have sex. Or want to have sex. Whatever it is, they have to be more than “just friends.”
I do understand that there are legitimate concerns regarding opposite-sex friendships. And I absolutely believe that if you’re married, your spouse’s feelings regarding any of your friends need to carry some heavy weight (like, the most weight).
|All pics of us are like this -
Rich blocking a good shot of me
But it frustrates me when I look at all of the rules that Christians tend to make regarding male-female friends. No meals. No car rides. No texting. And good heavens, no front hugs.
You see, Rich and I break all of the rules.
I read that we need to “avoid the appearance of evil.” I mean, he does have that goatee, but I don’t know that it makes him look evil. One site that I read said that being seen together in public will give the wrong impression. I suppose that being put on the same check might give the wrong impression that one of us is a big spender, but we’re generally able to clear that up by requesting separate checks.
The other big warning is that we’re to “flee temptation.”
Let me be clear.
I do not want to have sex with my best friend.
I want to play music with my best friend. I want to eat tiramisu with my best friend. I want to live tweet The Next Iron Chef with my best friend. I want to have conversations about the inane and the insightful with my best friend.
Because these are the things we do with a close friend. We share interests. We share food. We share conversation. We share life.
To the critics out there, you’re right. Rich and I are more than friends.
We’re BEST friends.
Do you have any opposite-sex friends? Can married men and women be close friends? If you don’t want to get into that, tell me a story about your best friend!