Realized the other day that I haven't gotten my snark on with a YPA article in awhile.
YOUNG PEOPLE ASK - Are we just friends — or more?
Every time I read that title I hear a dramatic dum-DUM-dummmm sound in my head
DID A PARTICULAR PERSON COME TO MIND WHEN YOU READ THE ABOVE TITLE?
Yes, since you asked. Gillian Anderson and Allison Hannigan. Doing things that would make Ron Jeremy gasp, go white and steady himself on the nearest chair. Possibly not relevant to this article, but that's what ... um ... popped up.
-> YES - READ THIS ARTICLE IMMEDIATELY. YOU MAY NEED IT MORE THAN YOU REALIZE.
Awesome. Will it help me make that whole Gillian / Allison thing happen?
-> NO - READ THIS ARTICLE ANYWAY. IT WILL HELP YOU TO KEEP YOUR FRIENDSHIPS WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX ABOVEBOARD AND PROBLEM FREE.
Crap. Guess this is more of a "Guide To Living In The Friend Zone" kind of article.
Mark the following statement true or false:
I shouldn’t have friends of the opposite sex until I’m ready for a serious relationship that could lead to marriage. TRUE FALSE
TRICK QUESTION! TRICK QUESTION!!!!!!!!
Consider: Although he wasn’t looking to get married, Jesus had friends of the opposite sex. Dude, he was friends with a hooker!!! (Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 8:1-3) Evidently, so did the single man Timothy, for the apostle Paul told him to treat “younger women as sisters with all chasteness.”—1 Timothy 5:1, 2. Did you know Paul freaking circumcised Timothy after they started hanging out? That's right. Acts 16:3. Paul grabbed Tim's junk and hacked bits off. I think Timothy prolly got the message there.
Paul must have realized that as Timothy served in various congregations, he would meet a number of young women. (Mark 10:29, 30) Would it be wrong for Timothy to socialize with them? No. But since he wasn’t pursuing marriage yet, Timothy would need to set boundaries so that he wouldn’t get romantically involved, certainly not ?irting with those young women or otherwise toying with their feelings.—Luke 6:31. I'm starting to wonder if Timothy was the Biblical equivalent of one of the Jersey Shore guys. "That's right Timothy. You NEVER fall in love at Thessalonica!!!!!"
What about you? Are you in a position to pursue marriage? Damn you're needy. Oh, wait, it's another of those "Choose your own adventure" questions
If YES -> Your friendships with members of the opposite sex may well lead to finding a lifelong mate. —Proverbs 18:22; 31:10. Yea, King Solomon was one to talk. He didn't stop at just one wife. Dude had hundreds, but you didn't see anyone trying to hack off bits of his junk at 20 years old, did ya?
If NO -> You need to set boundaries. (Jeremiah 17:9) Easier said than done? Absolutely! “It’s difficult to maintain a just-friends relationship,” says 18-year-old Nia. “It’s not easy to know where to draw the line.” Protip: Grabbing someone else’s junk is usually a good start on where that whole line thing starts. Just ask Timothy. Before some older guy starts coming at my groin with a gleam in his eye and a knife in his hand, we better be a whole hell of a lot more than just friends.
Why do you need to draw a line at all? Because if you don’t, you’re bound to get hurt or hurt others. Consider why.
Sidebar: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
TRUE STORY: “I texted a friend of mine who lives about a thousand miles (over 1,500 km) away. We texted each other perhaps once a week. I wasn’t interested in him romantically, and I didn’t think he was interested in me either. Then, one day he sent me a text that read: ‘Hey, beautiful! I miss you. What have you been up to?’ I was stunned! I told him that I viewed our relationship as just friends and that I wasn’t interested in him romantically. He texted back, ‘Whatever.’ And then he never texted me again.”—Janette. Well, did you consider that he might have just been being friendly and you jumping immediately to "I don't want to date you!!!!!!" juuuuuust might have come across as a little creepy? And besides, you're a Witness, what are you doing texting? Isn't that a gateway drug to worldly things, like Facebook?
- If you’re not in a position to be in a serious relationship or are not inclined to be in one, how would you respond if you received a text message similar to the ones Janette received? Ummmm...."Tits or GTFO". But that's just me.
- If you are a boy, do you think the text messages sent to Janette were appropriate? Why, or why not? Well, it could have been worse. He could have told her that his 50 year old buddy just chopped off bits of his wiener and then asked her if she wanted to see. (Sorry, I'm still having trouble getting past that)
- In your opinion, does texting make it easier to get emotionally involved than face-to-face discussions do? Why, or why not? I don't feel like the appropriate person to answer that question. Most of my texts begin with "Don't judge me, but ..."
FACT OF LIFE: When you get emotionally involved before you’re ready for a serious relationship, someone will get hurt. “It happened to me twice,” says 19-year-old Kelli. “One time I developed feelings for a boy, and the other time a boy started having feelings for me. Both times someone got hurt, and it has left me with scars that I carry to this day.” Wow. "Scars that I carry to this day"???? Overdramatic much? Guess what, getting your heart broken hurts just as much when you're 30 and telling the hooker that you don't have the cash this week. Pain is a necessary fact of life. If you're that traumatized by two brakeups, then maybe the Witnesses really are the perfect place for you to be.
To think about:
- In what settings would it be proper for you to socialize with members of the opposite sex? What settings would you do well to avoid? Oh, oh, I know this one!!!!! The proper setting would be "only at public, Witness-approved functions under the watchful eye of your Elders". Settings to avoid would be places like the Jersey Shore. Or Thessalonica if Timothy is in the hizzouse.
- Why is it unwise to pair off with the same person repeatedly? What might the other person assume? What might you assume? Again, I'm not too sure how well-equipped I am to answer this one. I've tried it a couple of times, and it usually ended up involving a can of mace and a restraining order.
“At times, I have lied to myself, saying, ‘Oh, we’re just friends. He’s like a brother to me.’ But then when he moves on, I feel hurt—as if he owed me something.”—Denise.
The Bible says: “Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.”—Proverbs 22:3, Good News Translation. And I say "Crazy in the head, crazy in the sack. Just make sure nobody gets knocked up" -Tallywacker 8:16, Gospal of Me
Picture Caption: Getting emotionally involved when you’re not ready for a serious relationship will lead to disaster If you've got a copy of the Awake, this is a picture of a couple in a rowboat on a river. He's going all googly-eyed while rowing right towards a waterfall. I can't tell you how many rowboats I've wrecked that way.
FACT OF LIFE: When you get emotionally involved before you’re ready for a serious relationship, you can lose a good friendship. “A boy and I would text each other,” recalls 16-year-old Kati, “but soon he began ?irting and we were texting each other almost every day. Then one day he told me how much he liked me and that he wanted to be more than just friends. The problem was, I didn’t like him in a romantic way at all. After I told him that, we seldom talked, and our friendship ended.” Here's another interesting fact. Denying kids the chance to develop the social and emotional skills necessary for mature development really screws them up when they are ready to develop serious relationships.
To think about:
- Who got hurt in Kati’s case, and why? Could Kati or the boy have prevented a negative outcome? If so, how? Their parents, most likely, especially if they didn't have an unlimited-text plan on their phones. That shit gets expensive.
- When texting, in what ways could a person unwittingly give the impression that he or she would like to be more than just a friend? Gotta tell you, when I was 16, all it would take would be for her to sodding respond. Didn't matter if the response was "Aren't you that creepy kid that doesn't celebrate birthdays?". Hell, even just looking in my general direction was a good sign.
“Sometimes I’ve had to pull myself back. Boys can be great friends, but I didn’t want to mess up the friendship by being more than that.”—Laura.
The Bible says: “Smart people watch their step.” —Proverbs 14:15, Good News Translation. Fortune Cookie time!!!! "Smart people watch their step ... in bed!!!!" Meh, it sounded funnier in my head.
The bottom line: Socializing with members of the opposite sex isn’t wrong in itself. But if you’re not ready for a serious relationship that could lead to marriage, you need to set boundaries. Very, very true. Boundaries are important. Just ask Timothy (and get him another pack of ice for his crotch and maybe some penicillin. The whole idea of "sterilizing medical instruments" still hadn't really caught on yet.
IN THE NEXT “YOUNG PEOPLE ASK” . . .
Getting emotionally involved before you’re ready for a serious relationship can damage your reputation — find out how. And in the next YPA, I do some serious searching for girls with that kind of reputation.