Brofriend: Moving From Brother In Christ To Boyfriend
So guys, do you have someone you like and are interested in? Read this real quick before you have another thought.
My girlfriend and I have been together and in courtship for a year and some change now. She is an extreme blessing to my life and assists me with all of the wild ambitions that my heart takes me towards, but it wasn’t a quick and easy process. We did not just meet, fall for each other, and then say “Hey! Let’s start courting!” It took much more than that. Hi, my name is Gabriel. I was once a “Brother in Christ”, but now I am a proud boyfriend.
Some of us have been single for so long, that it feels weird saying that we are someone’s “boyfriend” or “significant other”, and starting the process feels just as weird. When we find the person, who we think has potential to fill that spot, it’s not easy to initiate the process, but once you get your foot in the door, it almost feels like smooth sailing from there.
Well, I’m here to just talk about how to get your foot in the door. Before Deborah, there were some young women that I was interested in and sought after. I even had thoughts of building some kind of future with them, but the issue was with them……well the issue wasn’t with them, it was with me. I knew I liked them, but that was about it. I didn’t know what to do after that, but I knew one thing, I did not know how to use intention. Say it with me: Intention, intention, intention. Let’s say it together: intention.
So let me tell you a story: there once was a beautiful girl that I met at a friend’s birthday dinner, and I thought she was the best looking young lady. There was something about her that drew me to her. She had so many amazing qualities, was articulate and a bunch of other great things. When we spoke, my intention was not to try and make her anything. I just thought she looked really good and I knew I had to get her number because she had something refreshing about her. We talked every now and again, but as time went on, our conversations became deeper and deeper. We began to talk more and opened up in a way that exposed ourselves to one another. All the while, I didn’t notice until I really noticed that I was falling for this girl. I was excited to talk to her and she seemed to like talking to me and we did it so often, it became habitual. When we spoke to each other, she satisfied this thing in me and I liked that. The problem was that I had no idea what to do with it. I simply liked it. I enjoyed it. When we talked, I noticed that the sound of her voice would cause me to feel good. I knew that she would talk and tell me things that she wouldn’t tell anyone else. I truly enjoyed it, but this was the problem: I did nothing, but enjoy it. We were living in the moment and it felt good, but the moment lasted longer than it should have. There should have been a next step and I should have initiated it. I lived in the moment much too long with her.
Men listen. When God made us, He made us to be the pursuers, the initiators, and the ones to start this thing up. The usual process for dating regularly is for a guy to ask a girl out and not the other way around. With this girl, I just enjoyed her, I fantasized about what we could be even in the future and romanticized what it would be like to just be with her and have her as mine, but the problem was that I never communicated these things to her. I never initiated the next step of our relationship. Everything we did and said was assumed between us, there was no definition of what we actually were. We just went along with what we felt with no boundaries of where it began and where it ended. We did what we wanted and what we felt, and the worst part is that I told people I liked her and what I saw her as in my life, but I never shared these things with her. I feared to get out of the phase that we were in, everything felt good and I did not want that to change because we were “getting more serious.” It would be too risky to not tell her, so instead I just behaved as if things would naturally just take its course and we’d just end up together somehow.
Side Note: Gentleman, this is how you are destined to get “friend zoned.” Assuming that because you feel a certain way about someone and look at that person a certain way: 1. Does not mean that they know. 2. Does not mean they see how you treat them as unordinary from their other guy friends and 3. Does not mean that they will pick up on those clues and take it as you liking them. Sorry.
Assuming that they know. Nothing is just known, you usually have to be told for definite understanding and knowledge. If not, then you are left with an assumption and people usually don’t act on assumptions, its not safe.
Assuming they notice how you treat them. Just because you treat a girl a certain way, does not mean that they take it as you like them. They may just see you as a really nice guy and thats how you treat all your female friends. Just because you look at a girl a certain way, does not mean that you like her! I know, I know, a lot of movies have a third party that say “I see the way you look at her,” but that doesn’t mean it will be that way in real life. It just means you look at her in a certain way! Which brings me to my third point..
“Assuming they will pick up on the clues and take it as you liking them. The girl may even notice you treating her nicely or looking at her a certain way, but this DOES NOT mean that she will know automatically or even that she will assume that you like her and would like to date her. She may just think that this is who you are or wonder why you do it. Some people simply don’t catch on quickly. So to my guys and even girls, try not to get friendzoned. It has happened to me before and it really sucks. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
As I reflect on the experience I had with the girl, I don’t ever believe we had an actual conversation about how we like each other (which I should have stepped up and started) or what we would like to do to be progressive with our feelings. Everything was caught up in our assumptions. There was really no sense of intention. In turn, this led to our downfall, a lack of a definition now caused a lack of intention and drew us apart. I was too immature to know what to do and how to do it. I did not know that as a man, I should step up and let her know my intentions and how I felt about her in order for us to progressively move forward. Because we had shared so many deep things with each other and had a relationship based on assumptions that were not controlled by boundaries that would protect us and our hearts, both of us dealt with a lot of hurt as the relationship fell apart and I know this pain all too well; Pain from experiences like this can discourage us so much that it affects our future relationships. I know some guy friends who won’t take the step of being intentional because they fear that if they do and it turns out to be wrong, then everyone will judge them or say negative things. As guys, we don’t want our character or anything else judged negatively, our ego hates it. This is why I recommend taking your time before you begin to share yourself and who you are with someone. And make sure you stay in a friend level until you know this person well enough to share your feelings and intentions with, so that you can then move forward if they feel the same way back. The Bible asks us:
“Can two walk together, unless they agree?”
When you have this conversation, you must prepare your heart for any possible outcomes because sometimes people won’t share the same feelings that you do or may not be in the place where they are ready to pursue a relationship. A lot of different factors can come into play. Make sure that you remain of a “friend” intimacy, meaning keep the boundaries that friends have and treating them like everyone else, before you go giving your heart and whole being to someone else. I say this because at times we use each other just to satisfy something, not knowing that the other person was looking for something more or less. Don’t be up late talking to her about your deepest dreams and desires, giving her special treatment, going above and beyond, or showing her extraordinary affection until you know the interest is mutual. There needs to be a clear conversation and conclusions made so that there is a basic understanding between the both of you. This is needed so that both of you are aware of how to move forward. You won’t know how to handle something if you don’t know what it is.
So guys once you establish that you want to pursue a relationship with her, be intentional. Pursue her! Not to sound barbaric, but when an animal is being hunted it knows, and when someone or something is being sought after they know as well. The desire is made known through the intention. If you make it clear that you are pursuing her, the woman will have an equal understanding of the matter. So as you two begin to grow closer (with the right boundaries in place, so no one goes too far too early), you can move comfortably knowing where your relationship stands as well as how you want to proceed in the future. Because of the purposefulness and intention of the predator or pursuer, it is clear what is going down.
My pastor recently said, “Men don’t value what we don’t pursue.” Upon knowing my girlfriend for a year and some change before I began “pursuing” her, she knew. Before we even decided to start talking, we had many intentional conversations about how we felt about one another, what we were looking for in a relationship, if we were ready, set up boundaries, and how we would communicate and move forward together. We spoke to mentor figures that we had to make sure that we were not just googly eyed at some person who looks good or dresses well (because we fulfill both of these things) and to ensure that we were somewhat prepared for what we desired to begin. I’m telling you, she could tell the difference and so could I. I told her what I felt for her and she told me she felt for me. Matthew 5:37 says:
“But let your Yes be Yes, and your No be no, For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
With her, everything was different. I was intentional in treating her right and people could tell that I felt for her, without me saying anything. I let it be known with my actions. I was purposeful. And that’s what they really want out of us, to be intentional and purposeful, not to just enjoy their company in ways that satisfy our needs, and then move on to something else.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”.
So don’t just ask to “hang out,” ask her out on a date when thats what you mean, this is how she will be able to tell your intentions and not have to GUESS what you feel for her or if you even have feelings at all. Don’t send mixed signals or even tease her by going above and beyond at one point and then retracting that by being extremely minimal and distant from her. Women like consistency and that is not it. Wait until you're ready and know her well enough in friendship, then be intentional and ask her on a date, or tell her that you like her and would like to get to know her better. Just be clear and state your intentions from the beginning or from whatever point that they change. Then you go from there, and when/if that date kicks things off, hopefully it leads to more. As both experience and understand how each other feel, those things can now be managed instead of manipulated by one person. There’s no twist of the arm, no need to call the girl thirsty or pressed because the dynamic of your relationship is open and transparent; Nor is there a need for games or fights for power. So then if you’re like me when I did this with my girlfriend, you will want to move into courtship, which is a whole other environment, but lucky for you, Deborah and I will be soon be sharing what courtship looks like for us. So men, take this advice and remember to be intentional!