“You take yourself out of the game, you start talking about puppy dogs and ice cream and of course it’s going to end up on the friendship tip.” -Trent from the movie Swingers
Healthy dating and the Christian male aren’t exactly two things that have had a close relationship in recent history, especially with the prevalence of literature peddled in Christian bookstores assuring us all that God has created one perfect mate for us who we will meet when we have achieved perfect readiness to be in a long-term relationship. Most likely, this mate will be attractive enough for us to immediately know we want to spend the rest of our lives together and will somehow fit perfectly into our lives like the missing piece in that old windmill puzzle in your grandmother’s basement.
Somewhere this side of healthy dating, Trent’s wise words begin to ring true. Being the nice guy definitely has its perks when it comes to friendship, but it’s probably the most frustrating typecast to have when it comes to anything more. Having a myspace account with page after page of beautiful women is flattering and manages to make quite a few of my friends jealous, but I think if a girl makes it to myspace friend status and we’re still talking puppy dogs and ice cream, she can pretty much assure her status on the friendship ladder. There are a couple of them that I would of course break established ladder theory rules to be with, but the majority are entrenched for life.
Jake and I have spent quite a bit talking about this because we both seem to be your typical “nice guy,” or at least that’s what we seem to be told. A lot. By most women we know. The problem lies in that we are just being ourselves. We are going to always be “nice guys.” We like creating friendships and meeting new people and having warm conversations and immediate connections with strangers, but we are not going to be the guys that use this ability to take advantage of the women we meet. We could very easily use our powers in bars to pick up women with low self-esteem and nice figures and live a life of temporary satisfaction, but we’ve decided that we want more out of the opposite sex. We decide we want to have a relationship that also serves as a great friendship because that is what we seek in the first place. For me, I find that attraction develops as I get to know someone. The true “self” of a girl I’m interested in is much more attractive to me, and usually is what ends up making me all swoony. As our conversations go deeper and deeper and she continues to laugh at my jokes, I usually begin to fall head first into the type of tailspin that left Maverick without a flight partner. Unfortunately, by that point most women have more than once used the phrase, “like a brother,” or, “such a good friend,” to describe our relationship.
So, my friends, as “healthy dating” continues to work its way into my life, please feel free to introduce me to your friends. I may end up asking your friend out for coffee. I hear that’s a “safe” first date. Just so you know, your friend will get bonus points if she avoids Starbucks.