Can single men and single women really be just friends? Sure, it’s possible. It happens sometimes. But in the vast majority of cases, they either both like each other and are just waiting for the right time to become something more, or one of them has feelings but the other does not.
In friendships where one person has feelings but the other does not, it certainly can be the man who does not have feelings while the woman likes him, but in most cases it’s the other way around. Why? Because this type of friendship doesn’t fill a man in the ways that he craves. If a man doesn’t like a woman romantically, he rarely maintains the friendship because the friendship does not provide him with something he’s interested in. He doesn’t crave to connect emotionally with a woman he’s not romantically interested in. A man usually only is friends with a woman if he wants to be something more than friends with her one day.
Rather than use a woman emotionally, a man is much more likely to use her sexually because that is something he craves. A sinful man will have sex with a woman he has no interest in dating. Women, on the other hand, will be far less likely to have sex with a man if she doesn’t like him emotionally because she doesn’t crave sex like a man. She craves an emotional connection more than a man does; thus she will be more likely to use a man emotionally, not sexually.
For these reasons and more, it’s my belief that men often get used by women emotionally far more than men use women emotionally.
Here are 4 signs a woman is using you emotionally and has no interest in ever dating you.
1. If She Rejected Your Romantic Pursuits but Is Also Acting Like You Still Have a Chance
Why would a woman reject you once you pursued her openly but then act like she still might be interested? Why won’t she just go on a date with you if she’s willing to talk to you for hours on the phone? Is she just getting to know you more? Maybe. But the more common answer is that she just likes the attention you are giving her.
Like a sinful man who will sleep around until he finds a steady girlfriend, a woman will be tempted to use men emotionally while she does not have one man in her life to satisfy those desires.
If you openly pursued her and she rejected you, it’s fine to try a bit more to see if anything changes. Some women do just need some more time and then they will want to date you once they get to know you more.
But if you pursued, she rejected, and now you seem to be standing still with no evidence that she will ever give you a real chance, it’s best to assume she’s emotionally using you.
Move on. You need to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) and accept this isn’t healthy for you.
2. If She Says You Are Her Best Friend
I’m not against single Christian men and women being friends. Even though I believe most of the time romantic feelings emerge, I think the emotional risk is worth the reward. Friendship is actually one of the best foundations for romance. So if two Christians become friends and then they start liking each other, this is great!
And even if one of them starts liking the other but the feelings are not mutual, I still don’t think this is a bad thing. This is a part of the process. You end up liking people who don’t like you back. God uses these experiences to mature us and prepare us for the person he does have for us to marry one day.
The problem occurs when single men and women start becoming really close emotionally but they never transition into a greater commitment than “just friends.” To guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23), I believe the commitment and the intimacy always need to be equal. If a man and woman are connecting in an emotional way that goes beyond normal friendship, they need to become boyfriend and girlfriend so their commitment to each other can protect their emotions. And if things keep growing, they need to get married so the commitment of marriage can safely steward the two hearts connecting (Song of Solomon 8:4).
This is why I don’t believe it’s wise for single Christian men and women to be “really good friends” or “best friends.” When this happens, it usually just means the man romantically likes the woman and the woman secretly knows this, but since she doesn’t like him romantically she gives him the title of “best friend” so she can still enjoy the non-romantic emotional connection they share together.
Plain and simple, if a woman wants to date you, you won’t be eternally stuck in the friendzone.
3. If She Likes to Talk to You About Other Guys
This one usually occurs when the single woman lacks other girlfriends to talk to. Women like to connect verbally. So if she lacks other girlfriends, she will talk to whoever is willing to listen. If you are making yourself available as a listening ear and she uses that time to talk about her feelings for other guys, this means she is just using you.
Now to be fair, she might not feel like she is using you because she may think you are truly just her friend. Some women, especially younger women without a lot of relationship experience, can see some men as feminine friends and just assume that the man does not like her and actually just likes to talk like her. They can be unaware of how men relate to women. Proverbs 30:18-19 (NIV) states:
There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman.”
If you don’t want to be treated like her girlfriend, don’t act like one of her girlfriends. Pursue her, start dating, and get moving. Or pursue her, get rejected, and move on. Either way, don’t sit there and just play the friend-card forever. Even if she is truly naïve about your feelings, you are allowing yourself to get used in situations like this.
4. If You Stop Existing Whenever She Does Have a Romantic Interest in a Different Man
The clearest sign she is just emotionally using you is when she disappears once she does start talking to a man she’s romantically interested in or starts dating.
If you thought you and this woman were building towards something but then she distances herself because there’s a new man in her life, grieve the loss for a few days but then move on. God has someone out there who will like you just as much as you like them. You wouldn’t want to be with a woman who didn’t like you as much as you liked her.
So, although it stings now, in the end you will be grateful you figured this out now rather than wasting more time with someone who was never going to see you in a romantic way.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37:3-5)
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