10.14.2005

From Blog of the Week...to Question of the Week

Thank you, again, to everyone who voted for Just A Woman for Blog of the Week. If you missed the news, I won :)

I may be in the running again this week. So, check at
Radio Blogger later today...after 3pm Pacific Time.


On another note, I have a question for you.

A man and woman are good friends. They spend more time together than they do with their other friends of the opposite sex. They work and play together, have wonderful conversation and have many mutual friends. A typical weekend includes lunch and a movie with friends, with this guy and girl hanging out together even within the group.

Sometimes they'll have coffee together after work. Other times they'll talk on the phone about all the things they have in common. But, they're just friends. Really. Aside from spending all that time together, they maintain a truly platonic relationship.

The woman begins to realize that she has feelings for her friend. He seems to be sending mixed signals. She's not sure whether she's reading into it or it's real. At the same time, she begins to wonder what he must be thinking in order to be spend so much time with her.

These are adults. It's not high school. So, she doesn't have the option of sending a note to her best friend to pass along to his best friend to find out if he likes her.

What does she do?

I had a heated debate over this issue with a good friend just last night. We eventually came some understanding and even agreement once we cleared up the semantics of the discussion. But, what became very clear was that men and women view a lot of things--relationships, in particular--very differently.

What's your answer?


(P.S. For the record, this is based on a real scenario involving mutual friends. That's what started the "debate." However, the discussion became more broad than this one situation and turned into one about men and women's roles in general.)

16 Comments:

At 10/14/2005 07:31:00 AM, Blogger Dakotaranger said...

Life is short. If the two are as close as you say they are ask point blank. Life is to short to just wonder. If the Answer is not right now or no it the friendship should survive, and may make it stronger.

Right now I have a female friend she has told me point blank no twice without me even asking. I told her that I would never ask, that I would honor that and knowing her position I told her that it's her call if she changed her mind.

After all that, we still call each other share deep personal prayer request. All the time I know her position and she knows mine.

Life is about risk, without it. It really isn't life.

 
At 10/14/2005 12:15:00 PM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

I'm in exactly the same boat as dakotaranger with one of my friends. There's nothing wrong with each person knowing where the other stands and respecting their position.

Lores, does this friend of yours not read your blog? :-)

 
At 10/14/2005 02:12:00 PM, Blogger fetzer said...

As a man with a reputation of playing it cool just like the guy in your story, let me offer some advice. Culturally, men are supposed to be the agressor in the relationship. This isn't easy because a lot of us have been rejected before. So instead of laying our cards on the table, we wait. Sometimes, we don't even know what we are waiting for. Usually, after a while, either the woman gives up and leaves because she is confused over the mixed signals and the lack of growth in the relationship or the guy gives up because he can never bring himself to take the final risk because he doesn't know for sure her feelings. I suggest the woman in the relationship start the conversation about their romantic feelings. This will hopefully create a safe way for him to open up. He may share those feelings and he may not, but most likely he won't bring them up without her asking.

 
At 10/14/2005 04:07:00 PM, Anonymous therizz said...

Lores,

I say the man pursues the woman. Not that she sits on her duff and does nothing, but there is a value to "the hunt" for lack of a better term that I believe honors women. At least that's what my wife says!

But, if a guy can't get a clue, then maybe the woman should ask the man (considering the mixed signals) "what are your intentions for our friendship/relationship?"

Lay the cards on the table...

 
At 10/14/2005 06:33:00 PM, Blogger William said...

This is an interesting discussion. I have strictly platonic friends because for some strange reason, I am able to have very close female friends while having no attraction to them.

This makes it difficult because I share safely initimate things with them. Yet, there have been times when I've been burned because my friend wanted more from the relationship than what I was giving.

As fetzer says, men get rejected too, so I don't really even see myself as much of an aggressor when it comes to relationships. Everytime that I am upfront, I've usually played my hand too soon. :(

On a lighter note, there was one lady who was ABSOLUTELY worth the rejection. She said 'no' but it was the best 'no' I'd ever had. :)

 
At 10/14/2005 09:23:00 PM, Blogger overful said...

She should tell him how she feels or, since she just feels it, she could just let her head down on his shoulder for just a moment longer than usual, assuming there is some kind of contact--I mean, they aren't trees, right? He'll get the picture.

 
At 10/14/2005 09:43:00 PM, Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Have them rent "Sleepless in Seattle", followed by a private roundtable discussion. That should put all the cards out on the table.

I don't know, in general, how accurate you can be in predicting how men see relationships and how women see it. The mixed signals from him could be anything from nervous lack of confidence even though he feels attraction, but doesn't dare lay his cards out; or it could be him feeling the male instinct for sex with anything that moves, and his superego wanting only the friendship, and not to ruin it by wanting sex. Hence, the mixed signals. Or, it could be not really knowing what it is that he wants out of the relationship, yet.

 
At 10/14/2005 09:54:00 PM, Anonymous david said...

Actually, I think "When Harry Met Sally" has a better discussion of this issue. It might be crude but there is probably a lot of truth to it.

 
At 10/15/2005 04:00:00 AM, Blogger mlwhitt said...

Phew, that's a tuff one. I haven't ever dated anyone that I was friends with first. Even back in high school I always went out with someone before I knew them. And the same with my wife. So I can't base my opinions on personal experience.

That being said, I think as a guy I would like to know if someone was interested in me. I don't think it would end a friendship being told of an attraction even if it was by someone that I knew I didn't feel that way for.

If nothing else maybe it will awaken the same feelings in them that they may not even have thought about.

I think honesty is the best policy.

And if the guy can't handle being told, then most likely he wasn't as good of guy or friend as the person may have thought.

 
At 10/15/2005 05:10:00 AM, Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

That's what I meant! When Harry Met Sally. Duh! I never saw Sleepless in Seattle and don't even know why I said that when I meant the other movie.

 
At 10/15/2005 02:42:00 PM, Blogger Deborah said...

She should take a risk...reach out one day and steal a kiss. On the lips, a tad sexy, nothing trampy....but sweetly enticing, all the same.

Then smile warmly and say she couldn't help herself. She wanted him and admires him more than he can imagine.

She will get her answer, and will never live with the regret of not finding out. Life is too short for worry and stew and missing out on romance.

 
At 10/16/2005 03:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit, this topic is a little out of the ordinary for this blog, but it's interesting. I've actually just found myself in a similar relationship, where I can just talk to this guy about topics that don't usually interest other people I know. It's really refreshing, but there does come a point (and most everyone recognizes it) when a line has been crossed. I think there is a boundary between sharing common interests and sharing one's soul. The common interest part is fine, but the danger comes when we start sharing our souls. That creates bonds and expectations in a relationship that aren't always recognized because they aren't under the banner of "being serious." This can really mess up a friendship if it's not dealt with.

I hope you follow up this article with another. I know that I'd love to hear your perspective on it.

 
At 10/16/2005 03:13:00 AM, Blogger Angel said...

So, Lores... this is exactly what I was calling to talk to you about this week! Please, you have to share what your thoughts are on this issue... you can't just ask everyone else's opinion without sharing your own. :)

 
At 10/16/2005 04:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't think it would end a friendship being told of an attraction even if it was by someone that I knew I didn't feel that way for."

mlwhitt, of course not! Not for YOU but for her, it would be very awkward.

I think that if the relationship has lingered on in this way, then the woman COULD ask the guy about his intentions. However, not making herself completely vulnerable by sharing her feelings with him.

If she chose to reveal her feelings to him, it would--without a doubt--be a strain on the relationship from her perspective.

--Mom of 4, Northridge, California

 
At 10/16/2005 08:24:00 PM, Anonymous GTR done said...

As a naive guy, I like Deborah's idea. I my before marriage days, a woman often had to treat me like a mule to get my attention (smack me on the head with a 2x4... or her lips.)

Some guys can be amazingly blind to signals a woman thinks are brazenly clear.

A danger of Deborah's approach is in jumping from the reasoning mindset of friends, to the non reasoning of the sexual side of man. If it turns in to a make out session, he may feel obligated to her and put his thoughts and doubts aside. That is not good for the long term.

But yeah, let him know in a romantic way if she can, but in a setting where he will have to engage his brain and decide to pursue her.

If that doesn't work, just talk to him. Us guys can be very dense.

A relationship is a process, and should not be defined by one event.

 
At 10/19/2005 04:46:00 AM, Anonymous Just A Man said...

Loris,

Can you believe I'm finally responding to your blog? Call me old fashioned, but I believe the man should pursue the woman. Also I agree with the other gentleman that as guys some of us like to play it cool until we either get some kind of clue from the woman we hope to court as in my case or date as others might call it. We wait until the odds are possibly more in our favor in order to avoid rejection. FEAR! Fear paralizes action, prolongs destiny, and breeds insecurity. I have never been afraid to take a risk in fact, I love skydiving and yet find it much easier to jump out of perfectly good airplanes than to take the leap of faith when it comes to making my intentions clear to the particular woman whom at this point will only afford me a casual friendship at best. I'm looking for clues, signals, signs, A WORD FROM GOD...Waiting...Praying...Hoping...
I do believe God knows whether or not this woman is the right one me or better yet if I'm the right one her. Maybe I live in a world of fantasy, but I would like to believe that God has predestined the right woman for me. It would be His perfect will by bringing us together not to complete one another but to compliment eachother. You know, two whole people secure in their relationship with Christ first and then being equally yoked as ONE to Glorify our God.

I feel like I'm involved in some kind of strange phenomenon with this girl. Ever seen the movie Phenomenon starring John Travolta? He keeps asking the woman out and she keeps telling him no, but it seems she is dealing with some past relationship pain and fear of her own. What if fear prevented her from giving him a chance? What if fear of rejection stopped him from asking her out continually. Would they both have been robbed of their destiny? Yeh, I know it was only a movie. Well, I have asked my dream girl out and she said OKAY! Then a couple of days later as I tried to set the day and time she backs out! Too busy, and always has a girlfriend with her. Lame excuse. Strange. But, she did not say NO! I backed way off licking my wounds of rejection, not feeling totally hopeless, though.

Suddenly! I see her and she gives me a wink and hello from accross the room. I'm suckered in and back on the prowl once again. The wink was it a sign (She likes me)? Maybe it was just a flirtatious gesture to real back into her FAN CLUB of admirers? If so, it worked. I asked her out again and guess what? She said; "Not Today." Well, there's always tomorrow!
How can I care so much for someone I have only had a couple of phone conversations with each about 1 hour and whom I have only spent limited amounts of time with in ministry settings? Though, I don't know her well pales in comparison to fact that she is not just beautiful, but a powerful, loving and compassionate woman of God with a heart for people. How do I know this? I've been observing her for a long time from a distance.

As men let me say it again we are supposed to lead in relationships. We are supposed to be courageous! Not cowards! We are supposed to lay down our lives for the women we love just as Christ layed down His life for His bride (The Church). What greater example of leadership can we give than to consider the women we love and their needs as greater than our own. I like this girl and she is the kind of woman I would lay down my life for.

Let me end with this note on not letting fear stop us from taking the neccessary risk in life in order to reach our destiny.

"The one who fails to take risk for fear of failure or rejection suffers the greater loss of having never risked at all."

I'll take my own advice and will make the leap of faith when the first opportunity presents itself and make my intentions very clear to this woman. I'm at the door of plane and about to jump! Who knows maybe my parachute will open successfully and I will soar right into her arms. And if not? Well, I'll pull rip cord on my reserve parachute and soar with Jesus right into the monastary as I trade in my civilian clothes for a brown robe and enlist myself as MONK! Ha! Ha!

 

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