If you have a question you need help answering, feel free to ask us!
Dear Side Hugs,
There is a man, he loves Jesus, he’s got a huge heart for the Church, and he and I have so much in common. Our friendship has progressively increased over the last few months. We have spent some time in group settings and talk frequently. I’ve never quite thought of him as anything more than a friend, until recently, I’ve found myself with developed feelings for him.
I’m very cautious to say anything at all because I’m not a very forward person. I’m also a little nervous that if I say something the friendship could be lost, which has happened to me once before.
Should I tell him how I am feeling, or should I be patient and hold off assuming that if he’s interested he’ll make his intentions known? I know that in most Christian circles it’s frowned upon for a girl to make the move, but I see the potential for this to really become something great so I don’t want to miss out.
Friend Zoned Farrah
Dear Friend Zoned Farrah,
I feel for you. Trust me—I feel for you! Welcome to the reason that 99% of us hate dating.
While your friend/potential boyfriend/hopeful-future-baby-daddy situation may seem rough, you are really on the verge of something great. Here’s why—the world is your oyster, my friend. Really. You can go anywhere from here. As nerve-racking as this may all feel, you have a lot going for you.
Here are a few things you need to remember though:
ALL boys are girl-dumb, even if they don’t think they are.
This is not knocking men. It’s simple science. Women need to learn clear and concise communication when it comes to men. Leaving the fellas left to guess what we are feeling creates frustration and unmet expectations—and there’s nothing worse than that!
Also, have you ever thought that your “friend” just needs you to politely point out what is right in front of him? It’s easy to not know a good thing when you see it, especially when it’s in the form of a good friend who is always there. You never know. A simple “not to make things awkward, but have you ever noticed that we get along pretty well?” convo might be the subtle (yet direct) hint your guy needs.
You should only tell your “friend” that you have feelings for him if you’re ready and willing to hear “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Part of grown-up dating is learning to respect your partner even if you’re left disappointed. Remember, despite the amount of “No thank yous,” in the end the only thing that matters is the one that says “YES PLEASE.”
If the thought of hearing “thanks, but no thanks” is completely devastating, you may need to take some time to accept the fact that your feelings are valid (despite how others feel about them) and that being told “no” has nothing to do with your date-ability (is that a word?). You must learn to love yourself first, regardless of what any guy thinks.
Make sure to ask yourself why the friendship would end if you’re turned down.
If it’s because the guy isn’t capable of handling your vulnerability, then count your blessings. The inability to handle vulnerability is the reason emotional baggage exists. On another note, if your friendship is as strong and close as you think, then it should be able to weather the initial awkwardness of being told “no thank you.” Remember, strong friendships don’t keep a record of embarrassments or letdowns. They move forward and help you gain confidence in who you are.
Lastly, Christian circles and traditional roles have nothing to do with your feelings.
Women are more in tune with their emotions than men (surprise there), so it’s not out of place for you to be the first to acknowledge them. Vocalizing your emotions is not necessarily making the first move—it’s being relational.
Also, if having a traditional relationship is important to you, then don’t ask him out. Let him know your feelings and that the ball is in his court. Think of it as giving affirmation and empowering him to start the pursuit. The big thing to remember is that you have the power stand up for your feelings while allowing him to plan one kick-butt first date.