In a recent post, I mentioned that most of my friends are women and that this has been the case for years. In a recent conversation with some of those friends, I mentioned that many people don’t believe that you can love a person of the opposite sex without being in love with them. These two things brought to mind the topic of today’s post. My long history of being in the friend zone and why that helps with my current relationships.
When I was in high school this was not a happy thing. No teenage boy wants to be the guy that girls want as just a friend. That was the story of my high school and early college life. There were girls around me all the time, but they were all just friends. None of them had any romantic interest. It sucked back then, but it did teach me how to have good, platonic friendships with women. I did not appreciate the lesson back then. No teen boy would. Of course, I was an awkward, plain-looking late bloomer, so the lack of romantic interest is not a shocker.
I think back to my work with a church youth group and think the lesson above helped me when teaching a Sunday school class of mostly middle school girls and also with the group as a whole. I was able to work with them and relate to them because of all of the female friends I had in my teen years. It also helped that I was not the type of young, male adult that would inspire crushes. There was no fear that the work would get awkward because teen girls were in love with the awkward, plain-looking Sunday school teacher.
As mentioned before, I have a lot of female friends. Part of this is because I work in a field filled with women(not a literal field full of women) and part of this is because I am weird and not like a lot of men and have trouble with friendships with other men because of this. This is also helped by my early years. I learned how to be friends with and love women without falling in love with them. It also helps that the one weird woman who actually did fall in love with me knows that I love her and would never cheat on her. It also helps that no husband is going to think “I fear that my wife will fall in love with that weird, socially awkward, short, fat balding guy”
Anyway, the point of this rambling is that it is possible to have friends of the opposite sex. It is possible to love them without being in love with them and the earlier you learn how to do this the easier it is.
Recently, I heard some news that made me think of old friends and how long it has been since I have seen many of them. My friends from high school and college have become pictures and status updates on Facebook. I guess that is to be expected when you live over 500 miles from where you went to school. It is still a little sad that I have pretty much lost touch with everyone from those days.
I would like to blame the distance completely, but I can say the same for the people from my old church and that is five minutes from my house. Once I started attending another church and stopped seeing them on a regular basis, the same thing happened. They are just like my old friends from school: pictures and status updates of Facebook.
It makes me wonder about the people I call my friends these days. If I changed jobs, would I lose touch with my friends at work as I did with all of the others? Why is it so easy for me to lose touch with people? Finally, if it is so easy for these connections to be lost, am I really making any sort of impact on people’s lives at all?
I should probably stop thinking and just watch some more TV.