Friendship between a guy and girl

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues
hello all, how is everything going?
I have been thinking lately about the best decision when it comes to friendship between guys and girls. I have heard from many priests that no true friendship exists between different sexes even how pure it could be.
I am not sure if this is just in Egypt or for all coptic youth in general; if you live in the US or Europe, you would find it hard not to be best friends with a member of the other sex or be brothers and sisters in christ. So I am seeking the advice of mainly the older youth (elders) and Fr peter (as I benefit a lot from your response), but I want everyone who has an opinion to share it so we can all benefit.
If a true friendship can exist with no harm, what are the limits? conditions, prereqs etc
I have many other questions but lets focus on these first

please pray for me


  • I think that this topic is a little like the one on alcohol consumption.

    On the one hand it is clearly possible for there to be a chaste and holy friendship between a male and a female, but on the other hand it is also a situation that creates many possibilities for confusion, frustration, disappointment and even sin.

    In the case of a married person it is clear that there must be great reserve in how one has friendships with a person of the other sex so that there is no confusion at all in feelings. Indeed it is best for a married person not to be alone with a person of the other sex in social contexts for a whole variety of reasons. Even if a married person means to have a chaste relationship it seems to me that a deep friendship outside of marriage with a person of the other sex too easily leads to a confusion of feelings, to a lessening of the relationship with one's spouse, to a sharing of secrets that should not be shared outside of the marriage apart from perhaps with one's spiritual father, to negative comparisons between the friend and the spouse. One of the problems is that our spouses must live with us and put up with the worst of us, and we engage with them at a deep level where there is often a rubbing of rough edges, but with a friend everything is always fun and interesting and they are always kind and pleasant. It is like going on holiday somewhere really pleasant and then judging our home town against a holiday experience. They are not the same. The seaside resort that seems so beautiful in the two weeks we spent there in July is actually deserted, cold, windy and rather depressing in Winter.

    In the case of younger people, or people who are unmarried, it seems to me that there is still a great possibility for the confusion of feelings. I don't know if you folk watch I-Carly on TV, it is sometimes on here in the morning when the children are getting ready for school, but there is a young boy there who obviously is devoted to Carly but she doesn't want a relationship beyond friendship with him. This is always, and often, an outcome of relationships between boys and girls, young men and women. Within marriage there can be a disparity of expectations but at least the couple are committed to each other in marriage and slowly the corners get knocked off through the experience of married life so that both partners find blessing in their life together. But in a non-married relationship where there is a disparity of expectation this can become rather consuming on the part of one friend. The friendship becomes a need, whereas in marriage it is a commitment.

    There is also the possibility that what appears on the outside to be a platonic and chaste relationship is actually seething with subsumed passion which breaks out on some occasion, and is all the more dangeorus because unexpected. In Western culture, if someone asks a girl out to the cinema, and then for a burger, and then they chat, etc etc the relationship develops slowly (even if often inappropriately for their age), but there is a sense that it becomes more serious and the issue of sexuality etc can be considered in advance. But if two people are spending a lot of time together and are, essentially, pretending that they don't have sexual feelings for each other, then suddenly when these feelings break through there is the possibility for falling into even greater sin than having faced the fact of a mutual attraction in the first place.

    This is not to say that all such relationships ARE seething with passion, but it does take a mature person to know themselves so well that they confront this possibility. I do think it is possible for there to be genuine friendship between males and females, but it is necessary to be especially careful. The best place for a friendship between males and females is in a group situation, but even there it is necessary to consider our thoughts and feelings so that we are not confused and do not confuse others. Sometimes even being nice to a person of the other sex can be misconstrued.

    Perhaps some thoughts...

    Is this friendship so dominating my life that it is eating in to other activities, especially spiritual ones?

    Have I closed off any other friendships as a result of the development of this one?

    Am I spending time with this friend in the company of others or only alone?

    Is this person A friend, or my BEST friend?

    How would I feel if this person started dating someone?

    Have I been open about this friendship with my family and spiritual father?

    I would suggest that our spiritual fathers are the best people to help us understand our feelings, and that if we do have friendships with persons of the other sex then to preserve them from being harmful they must be open and transparent, they must be friendships that are not exclusive, and we should often speak about them to our spiritual father sharing honestly our feelings about the other person and being willing to accept the limitations on the friendship which our spiritual father might suggest.

    Father Peter
  • Lets talk about unmarriend young people, is it ok for two mature people to treat each other as best friends or brother and sister?
    another question on the side,if two good friends have known each other for years but one of them starts to have feeling for the other person, how is it best dealt with?
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