If you are one among the mass of millennials who is currently swimming in the dating pool… I’d be willing to bet you or someone you know has dropped the “let’s just be friends,” cliché. It’s a phrase used in 3 situations, all of which are very distinct ✏️:
1. You want to keep options open.
You like the person… but ya don’t ✌🏼. You can’t be tied down because, “What if something better comes along?” While you can reap the benefits of a relationship on occasion, as soon as you start showing feelings, it’s time to retreat. So let’s just be friends, ya know?”
2. You actually really love the person.
You have already proved you have chemistry, but it leaves you feeling broken because it wasn’t done in the right context (within a committed relationship). So “Let’s just be friends, so we don’t hurt each other more than we’ve already done.” 😔
3. You realize the person isn’t what you expected.
Whether it be conflicting morals or beliefs… or you just find yourself physically unattracted to them anymore, you let them down gently with a “Let’s just be friends.” 🙅🏻
Can we please transport to a world where this “just friends” mindset would be considered crazy? Because it is! It is a lie. And I see myself slowly falling into its strangling grip. It brings me back to last Sunday when I was sitting in Mass trying to pay attention, but finding myself concentrating on how strong the priest’s accent was, thinking: 💭”I wonder how long it will take living in Miami, to contract an accent? 🤔 Will it be a Cuban one? A Venezuelan one? Or a Puerto Rican one? And what will my friends and family think if I go home to Pennsylvania and have an accent? Will they like it? Does this priest really have an accent? Or is it actually me with the accent?” … I think you get the picture. God help me control my trailing thoughts in your house. 🙏🏽
Anyways… it takes me back to last Sunday’s gospel from Matthew 5:37 where Jesus says “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
Reflecting upon that, is that not what we are doing every time we say “Let’s just be friends”? Are we REALLY “just friends?” The answer is no. We are absolutely not just friends! We are lying to each other and using “just friends” to cover up our motives for not pursuing something more or less. Instead of doing that, let’s really be friends to those we encounter by telling them the truth and not sending mixed messages.
1. If you want to keep options open and are unsure of how to progress your relationship. Say it. Pray about it. God will help guide your course, if He wants you together.
2. If you really care about the person’s heart and soul, make it clear to him or her. Offer a prayer for them. Let them know that the progress of your relationship took a course that you didn’t like. And you want to change that.
3. If you suddenly find yourself unnattracted to the person…maybe don’t say “Hey I think you’re ugly. Or your morals are shi*” Instead you could say “You know what… We have our differences and the more I think about it, the more I realize that we aren’t compatible.”
You aren’t lying. You aren’t leading the person on. You are letting your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No” be “No”.
So for goodness sake, can we please start being honest with each other and living by this gospel? Jesus said it for a reason… not just for kicks and giggles.
Here is my morning prayer for all those who’ve been mislead in the past and who’ve mislead others with a “let’s just be friends.” 🙏🏽
God, if it is your will, please help my generation and me to clear the confusion in the relationships we are involved in. Help us to let our “Yes” mean “Yes” and our “No” mean “No”. Please wipe away any fear we have for pursuing relationships that are in fact, good for us… and for ending those that are not. Amen.