I’m afraid. I don’t really want to post this, but God is shoving on my heart a burden that won’t ease. I don’t want to say any of this to my readers, especially because I know you’ll think I’m judging you when I’m not because I’ve been there, but God is pressing really hard. I don’t want to offend anyone, but someone must speak up.
So here goes nothing and everything at once:
Guys and girls can’t be friends when they’re committed to someone else. It’s simply not okay.
We no longer know what a relationship is or what boundaries they hold. I know I’ll get flack for posting just that alone. I know people will angrily justify their actions as they read the remainder of this post, if they’ll even continue. But I have to voice what is in my heart.
First, I need to confess.
I’m not perfect or in any place to judge people who make relational mistakes. I’ve cheated emotionally on previous guys by being too friendly with other guys. I tried to convince myself it wasn’t cheating, but it was, because I was turning to the wrong gentleman for assurance, comfort and laughter (even though it’s less important, it is still relationally significant).
While in previous relationships, I convinced myself that I could be friends with any guy (because I am female, hear me roar) but would soon find myself falling down the slippery slope of flirtatious behavior. I would tell my main guy that I had no feelings for the guy I was chatting with on the side, even as I was starting to fall. Sure, I told myself that I wasn’t falling.. but here’s the thing:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked..
– Jeremiah 17:9
The unfortunate thing about sin is that it has tainted our hearts so that we deceive even ourselves. We can convince ourselves that something about us isn’t true because we simply don’t want it to be true. Yet if we examine the depths of our hearts, we must acknowledge what is hidden there.
I’ve done that. I understand how hard it is. I understand that it can be accidental. But those are just excuses.
I didn’t even realize I had begun to cheat. A few phone calls, a few text messages, a random Facebook poke, and before I knew it I was wiling away the hours dreaming about the wrong guy. The guy who supposed to be just a friend.
This realization (that was beat through my head by Jesus – thanks, Lord!) opened my eyes to so much about relationships. I refuse to make the same mistake again and have made perimeters to guard myself. The most important one? My guy friends now know that the second I’m in a relationship, we will no longer chat or hangout unless in a group setting- we don’t text, call, IM, Facebook poke, etc.
I love my guy friends. They’re the best! They have big strong shoulders for crying on, they make the best jokes, they’ve got that insight that ladies crave, and they can make a terrible day good with a little text. But I am happy to give all that up because
I don’t want to be the girl that makes my guy doubt.
After a lot of internal debating, I can’t ignore the urge to share this so that you can also examine your situation and rebuild integrity if, in your heart, you find deceit lurking.
Is this whole thing actually important?
People are getting hurt every day. I know of countless people who are traumatized by past relationships that ended in cheating or current relationships that are barely surviving because of cheating. It’s hurting our ability to trust, to have peace, to love one another wholeheartedly. You can’t be wholehearted if even 1% your heart is distracted.
That’s not even to mention the current divorce rate (okay, let’s mention it: 40-50% of marriages succumb to divorce) of which a large portion are caused by affairs (almost half, to be precise).
And if those reasons aren’t enough to go out of your way to ensure you’re not cheating, let’s remember that:
Cheating is sin, and you don’t have to have physical contact to cheat.
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Jesus said that so much as looking at a woman and entertaining your attraction to her is adulterous. Adultery is enough to land someone in hell. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
So important, in fact, that the following verse says this:
If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Cheating isn’t a joke. It’s life threatening and it hurts people.
The problem with “we can be friends” is that it leads you to believe it’s okay to emotionally invest in someone who is not your partner. It’s not okay to turn to Fred with all your heart’s pain when you’re committed to Bob. Bob deserves to be your shoulder, even if his name is Bob and that makes you think of the tomato from Veggie Tales.
But more importantly, why would you put yourself at risk? Decided to text a “friend” every day when committed to someone else is like smoking a cigarette everyday and assuming you’ll not become addicted. Sure, there’s a chance that you’re immune, but the probability is that you’re not – so why risk it?
I know you’re thinking “we’re just dating so it’s not even that big of a deal” but consider the fact that everyone and their mom will tell you that “dating is practice for marriage” and if you’re not willing to change your friendships when it’s something as short term as dating, why do you think you’ll have the strength to end them for something as long term as marriage?
If you won’t take my word for it, at least ask Harry and Sally what they think about all this.
5 Ways to Tell if Your Friendship has become an Affair of the Heart:
#1: if you’re asking whether or not you are cheating or whether or not your friendship with so-and-so is a bad idea
#2: if you’re going to him/her instead of the person you’re dating/married to when either good orbad things happen
#3: if you speak poorly of or complain about your committed partner to him/her
#4: if you’re unwilling to give up the friendship should your partner ask it