Can men and women just be friends without romance becoming a factor? And how can a person make sure he or she falls in love with a friend (without ruining the friendship)?
The Bible doesn’t say a lot about dating (since it was not the method of courtship in those times) and it doesn’t specifically address the idea of friendship between men & women (although we can see several relationships where that is the case). Below are some of the differences I’ve found between “being friends” and “being in love.”
Song of Songs 2:7 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
Common interests, ideals, hobbies
Inclusive (the more friends, the merrier)
Easygoing in nature
Physical appearance is no big deal
It’s a hug or a handshake
It’s focused on things together
Song of Songs 5:16 His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
Opposites tend to attract each other
Exclusive (two’s company, while three’s a crowd)
Passionate in nature
Physical appearance is a definite factor
It’s a kiss on the lips
It’s focused on each other
Quite a difference, huh? The bottom line is this: The only way you will ever know if you have fallen in love with a friend is if you would have been friends even though you had never fallen in love. The best way I know to discover this is to consciously refrain from romance, for as long as possible, until you know for sure that you could be friends.
Even so, it will be difficult to tell if you’re the kind of person who can fool him/herself into thinking all in the relationship is platonic when it is not. That’s where friends and family can be great reality checks. Show them the lists above and ask them what they think—if you’ve crossed the line between friendship and romance.