The “Friend Zone”

No one is happy.

The ladies say the guys won’t ask them out.

The guys say the ladies stay in their social circles and won’t come out. No one is on anyone’s romantic radar.

Welcome to the Friend Zone. It’s a place that single adults find themselves at almost every church event. Sure, there are people that blast through the friend zone and find their mate through church, but more and more singles are frustrated by the “dating within the one place it’s best” to find a spouse.

So how does it happen? How can so many eligible people, with similar beliefs and values, AND the desire to date, be around each other for so long without ever developing relationships?

It’s simple and complex all at the same time.

First, let’s address it from the guy’s perspective. Guys want to pursue dating relationships with the girls. They want to find “her”. Despite what the ladies think, they are not scared of girls. That’s the simple part.

It gets complex from there. There is a dating shelf life in any singles group. Guys can only ask out a certain number of girls before they are branded a “player” in the singles group. And that’s the best thing they can be branded. The other brand is much more damaging. “Creepy”. Creepy guys are done…finished. They are the ones that girls warn other girls about before they even darken the door.

For the guys, they spend their entire time trying to figure out which girl they should pursue and how they will be branded by the group based on their actions. If a guy messes this up and is viewed poorly by the girls he is damaged. Sometimes irreparably.

From the ladies perspective, they aren’t going to pursue the guy. And they shouldn’t have to. Many of them are interested in dating, but unfortunately their pool of selection is small. Male leadership in the church is lacking at all ages and they aren’t going to waste their time with guys that won’t step up and show spiritual leadership within their group.

And why should the ladies waste their time? If these guys can’t step up in leadership in the church, how will they ever do it in the home? Showing boldness, in the minds of the ladies, begins with stepping up and asking them out.

So we find ourselves in the friend zone. We find ourselves in a place where guys won’t pull the trigger on asking a girl out because he’s afraid he’s going to get blackballed, or because another guy has called “dibs” on asking a girl out. And we find the ladies frustrated because of the lack of real mature men that want to not only ask them out, but more importantly the lack of men that are serious about their spiritual life. We end up having large singles groups of people that aren’t dating but hang out all the time as friends. They will then refuse to move into a dating relationship with someone in their group because “it’s just too weird” or “I don’t want to mess up our friendship” or “I think of him/her like a sibling”.

Breaking out of this is going to be tough, but here’s how we do it.

Guys, step it up. First, focus on your spiritual life. You don’t have to stop dating to do this. It’s a journey and you’ll never reach perfection. Don’t wait on perfection. Second, find the ONE girl that is special to you. Be a man and ask her out.

Ladies, give the guys a chance. Don’t gossip with your girlfriends about the guys and do everything in your power not to “brand” the ones that are genuinely trying.

It’s a two way street.

– Author Will King

On the Market

So you are looking for someone to date and you are officially “on the market.” Good for you! If you have a desire to find someone and maybe a future spouse, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and meet new people. You can do this in many ways and some of them can even cost you money. Here are few Pro’s and Con’s to meeting other singles in certain venues.

  • Church
    • Pro: Why not start where people share your same values? It’s true that not all people in church can automatically be trusted more, however your chance of finding someone like-minded increases. If your group is growing, new people will be coming and you can meet new singles that way.
    • Con: Same old same old. If you have been going to a group for awhile you may have already decided there is no one there to date. This could be even more true if you still go to church where you grew up as a kid. Waiting for new people to come to your group may not fit into “your timetable,” so more options may need to be considered.
  • Work
    • Pro: You know people from a  working relationship and they could be a quality potential mate. Work is also a way to meet new customers or clients that could potentially lead to a date, though we don’t recommend you only interact with them for that purpose.
    • Con: Your work place policy may be against office dating and it could get you in serious trouble. Also, if the relationship goes south it may be awkward working next to the person you just broke up with. If the relationship works out and you get married, it can also be a challenge if one of you needs to move locations due to your employer’s policies.
  • Bar/Club
    • Pro: None
    • Con: Lots of them all stemming from one issue, authenticity. Meeting singles in the bar or club seems like a good idea, but often this is just a false reality; some people put on masks to lure others. Go to the bars and clubs with friends to have fun, stay sober, and meet others with your same values. Just be aware of the challenges you face doing so.
  • Online
    • Pro: Meet your next date in seconds! Literally! We have heard many great stories of singles meeting online and getting married, but they all had one thing in common. They met in person shortly after meeting online. A personal relationship needs to be personal and therefore, in person. Use online dating to go on a “blind date” just as you would if a  friend set you up, but not as a place to post your whole life and expect it to give you the perfect match. Only God knows who is your mate, not a website.
    • Con: It can cost money and dating websites exist to make a lot of it. Don’t be fooled by any dating site, Christian dating sites included.  They are not there for the sole purpose of finding your spouse; they are there to make money. So be prepared that hidden cost can add up over time. Also, dating website have been known to have fake profiles to entice people to sign up. And as we said before, meet in person as soon as possible. There are people who only date online, but we just think a relationship needs to be built in person to be the best it can be.

So, get out there and get on the market to find someone. Dating involves a little bit of risk-taking to possibly find your spouse. Always remember that you are complete in Christ as a follower of Him and you don’t need a date to feel whole. Date because God has placed that desire in your heart and not to a fill a hole of loneliness.