The former type of “just friends” is the strictly platonic...really we are just friends, kind of friendship. You hang out and have fun no matter what you are doing. Even though you occasionally wish he would
wake up and realize you are the girl of his dreams…and throw the girl to the curb he wasn’t taken, you just really enjoy your friendship for what it is: harmless fun.
I want to focus on the latter definition of “just friends.” I have had a fairly recent and really long experience with this kind of “just friends.” I have literally been attempting to write this blog for 2 and a half weeks…I can write for days about topics single women struggle with, or things we need to just embrace…but when it comes to putting my vulnerable self, the deepest hurts and wounds I have ever experienced, on a blog for others to read I get a serious case of writers block. I think it is super important to talk about the “just friends” epidemic; I’m pretty sure most women, at one point in life or another, have faced the battle of the commitment-phobe (or the occasional jerk who just wants to string you along to get what he wants out of the relationship… because he can) , and if you haven’t, I hope you learn from my mistake(s).
My relationship with this said guy, we’ll call him Bob, was dubbed the “Committed Friendship” by one of my friends. This kind of became a running joke between the two of us, but it was totally true. We spent every free moment with each other; we went to dinner and movies and did fun couple-y stuff (what most people call dates). But when asked if we were dating, he immediately without thinking would say “no, just friends.” And for some reason, I became okay with this, and did the same.
It wasn’t always that way. In the beginning, I remember having a reunion party with the girls on my floor freshman year, and telling them all about Bob and all the fun things we did and just how hard he was pursuing me. No one knew it yet, but we had already had our first kiss and everything. One of the girls jokingly said, “so, do you hold hands?!” to see how serious the relationship was. Being a typical girl, I gushed everything about the two of us to my girls. I fell fast…and hard. So naturally, when Bob never wanted to actually put a title on things, I was crushed. He told me he just had a lot going on in his life, things that he was dealing with, family situations and personal things. So I said ok, I can respect that. But I kind of expected things to change between us (as in, we’d actually be just friends. no more dates. no more late night phone convos.) …and when they didn’t, I thought, well, maybe I should bring the subject up again.
So I did and got the exact same response. I was crushed all over again. It was clear to me that I was the problem (or so I thought). I went through a pretty serious battle with myself. Some days it was hard to look at myself in the mirror because I thought…what is wrong with me? Is he embarrassed to be with me? But still, I remained “just friends” with Bob. And still, it killed me inside. My self-esteem was so low I felt as though I didn’t deserve to be his girlfriend. So, I became okay with being “just friends.” I went along with it… for 3 years… and didn’t question because it was better than nothing, right?
Besides the battle within myself, and the resentment building up toward Bob, I went through some friendship changing lows with my girlfriends. They tried to warn me, countless times, about the bad situation I was in. I ignored them, saying they didn’t know what was really going on. And I got mad at them because they just didn’t get it, when really, they got it better than anyone. I was just too blind to see what they saw.
The moral of the story is simple.
1. Don’t listen to the lies of the devil. You are worth it. No man deserves the privilege of a relationship with one of God’s finest without the commitment.
2. Listen to the people in your life that love you. They will not steer you wrong. They have your best in mind.