[I’ve had a lot of questions based on a post I wrote about bad boundaries. So, I asked a couple of my fave peeps their thoughts on five questions. Today, I got a guy’s perspective! It is super fun to work on a staff with Tyler David . I hope you enjoy his thoughts!]
What is your current stage of life? Married for almost four years with an 18-month-old daughter.
Do you think guys and girls can be friends? Do you have female friends? Describe those friendships!
I definitely think guys and girls can be friends and there are women in my life who I would consider friends. But we need to define what we mean by friendship. I think relationships are defined by the depth of the information a person shares about themselves. I use the grid below to navigate what is appropriate.
- Small talk
- Factual conversation
- Ideas and opinions
- Feelings and emotions
- Deep insight
I never share anything about myself from levels four and five with a woman. Those are reserved exclusively for my wife and close male friends. Even with that, I only share information from level three with women who know my wife (as well as or better than they know me), have shown they are trustworthy and this type of sharing happens infrequently.
If you are single (or when you were single), what is one thing you wish you’d done differently in regards to opposite-sex friendships?
I wish I would have obeyed God’s command in 1 Timothy 5:1-2, “Treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.” I failed miserably at this and usually missed treating women as sisters by either treating them like brothers or treating them like a potential date.
I would treat women like brothers. I’d talk to them and joke with them in the same way I would with my male friends. This usually ended up in feelings being unnecessarily hurt and them not feeling honored.
On the other hand, I would treat women like a potential date. I was constantly sizing up the situation and the girl. If I was interested, I began to show off and if I was disinterested, I began to check out.
Simply put, I wish I would have been less selfish.
If you are single (or when you were single), what was your view of dating? What is your current view of dating?
When I was single, I basically broke it up into two phases: before and after the DTR (define the relationship) conversation. Prior to that I conversation dating anyone was fair game but that the DTR had to happen and for the relationship to survive that conversation, marriage had to at least be a distant destination.
As it stands today, my thoughts aren’t much different but I would encourage more intentionality and vetting before entering into the first phase of dating. You only want to be distracted by someone who has given you some evidence that their worth it.