Nice Guys Pt 1: “The Curse Of The Friend-Zone”

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Nice Guys Pt 1: “The Curse Of The Friend-Zone

by Men For Treasures Director, Adam Graham

Being single in 2012 is hard.

Being single in a city like Los Angeles compounds the problem.

Being a Christian doesn’t give one a golden ticket to living happily ever after with the guy or girl of your dreams.

Sadly, being single in the Church can be just as challenging as it is in the secular world. It brings with it a perceived set of rules, a whole new code to follow, a new language to learn.

I’ve heard a grumbling pretty consistently in the church I’ve been a part of for the last four years. At first, I thought it was just my church, but over time I began hearing the same grumbling from women in other churches too:

“Men don’t ask women out anymore.”

“The men in this church are timid.”

“Men are too afraid of commitment.”

“Non-Christian men treat me better than Christian men – they mean what they say, follow through, respect me more.”

Let me start by saying as a single Christian man myself, I was confused by which men these women were talking about. The men I know in my church, the brothers that I do life with, aren’t like this. They’re all good guys. Great guys!

…nice guys.

Why is it that being called a “nice guy” by a woman can sound so much like the nails of your teacher, sliding slowly down the dusty blackboard hanging on the wall of your fifth grade classroom? It sends a shiver down the spine. Or is it just me? Sometimes I feel like I’ve become the poster boy of the American “Nice Guy”: saved at age eight, raised in an ideal Christian home environment, signed a true love waits card in high school and meant it (26 year-old virgin by choice), college educated, now living in Los Angeles serving in an amazing church, and leading the first men’s ministry established in the country with the mission of showing women in and coming out of the sex industry that they are ‘loved, valued, and purposed.’ And yet every time a woman I’m interested in tells me what a “nice guy” I am, it hurts like she’s kicked me where the ‘sun don’t shine.’ Not because I don’t believe what she’s saying, but because of what she’s implying.

I know that I’m not the only man that’s heard this throughout his dating life:

“You’re a guy that you marry.” (…just not one you date.)

“I just see you like a brother.” (…and nothing more.)

“You’re going to be the best husband one day!” (…just not mine.)

The list of backhanded compliments goes on and on and we’ve now entered The Friend Zone – a magical land a little further north, though maybe not as twisted as, its more famous neighbor, The Twilight Zone. The Friend Zone is a place where men and women go to be, well…just friends. It’s a tricky place; some would even say a cursed one, where one party in the relationship is usually content in being there (wants to set-up camp, put up their feet, and stay a while), while the other desperately scrambles to find a way out. For nice guys, this is a place we see all too often. My “I Heart The Friend Zone” t-shirt faded long ago. If I had the detailed map or the app on my iPhone required to get out of The Friend Zone, I would not only be married with 2.5 kids, I would be wealthier than Bill Gates.

But that’s another blog posting.

Some thoughts for all the single ladies to consider (before he puts a ring on it):

  • Are you giving the “brothers” or “nice guys” in your life a chance to pursue you…to take your relationship to another level?
  • Are you willing to be lead?
  • Are you being clear with your feelings and intentions with men who are being intentional with you?
  • Are you keeping men in your life “on the hook?” Are you giving them false hope by leading them to think that there will be more in the future between the two of you?
  • Are you lending to the opposition that Godly men already face from the world or are you building them up?
  • Are you allowing men to follow how God may be leading their heart as far as your relationship is concerned?

I realize that these questions can just as easily be redirected to men…and they should be. We aren’t perfect by any means…nobody is – not even “nice guys.” And there is a need for more men within the Church to step into the manhood that God is calling them into. All that I’m saying is that it is imperative that we be intentional with our communication when it comes to matters of the heart.

 to be continued in part 2…





Comments 5

  1. turin

    A couple things to take into account with this subject:

    Our world is full of horrible people, both men and women. So if you are a good man and there are very few good men in this world, you have to expect that there are only a few good women too. Probably equal amounts. So a good man’s chance to find a good woman is very slim.

    I purposely don’t use nice because uh what the hell does that mean anyway? Being brought up in the church as a man has its difficulties because we are taught that women are lovely images of God and we are taught to treat them thus and that spits in the face of this culture because the women of this culture are very independent and don’t want a man to show them their need for love. Its hard to show them they are princesses of God because they don’t have fathers who have shown them that. So its very unfamiliar to them on top of being told that they can do it themselves. So actually what I think might be good for Godly men to do is take the Hosea route: if the women of the church wont take a good man into her heart then go out and find one who is lost and bring her into the family of God. Now I don’t think that’s the best case for everyone, it may not be the best thing but hey its a thought. Two verses I leave you with:

    Genesis 6:1-2
    Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.

    If youre worried about nice guys finishing last, read this:

    Matthew 20:16
    So the last shall be first, and the first last.

    Anyway, i have a more specific, deeper theory as to why good men have a difficult time with women, especially Christian women but I wont say anything unless someone really wants to hear it. This is just an intro.

  2. Drew

    In my experience, non-christian women are a lot friendlier than christian women. Plus christian women are more likely to have the dreaded princess complex.

  3. James

    Berty said:
    “and even when we start with the best of intentions to be “nice guys” it is really an act to get what we want out of people. So the nice guy, even in church
    is at it’s core not so nice but down right and subconsciously pretty selfish and manipulative in his niceness. ”

    You said it bro!! The real nice guys, people who are generous and good natured to all by default, (I think) generally don’t have problems with attracting a lady. Who wouldn’t want to be around someone like that?

    Tom said:

    “On the other side of the coin, the church does not value “real men.” They believe Jesus was a sissy, and they expect “good men” to follow suit. If you laid down your manhood to fit into the church’s idea of manhood, then it is you who needs to change. Read the gospels, and listen to Jesus. Decide for yourself if Jesus was a sissy or a warrior. It is my firm belief that Jesus was a warrior whose greatest weapon was love.”

    … that’s so true. Some people will try to tell you that anything other than being a male version of Mrs. World or Universe (smiling and waving and saying all sort of positive, majority-approved, things) is unacceptable. For genuine love to exist…there needs to be bare honesty and the costly vulnerability that it entails…. you may get rejected, if you’re an honest person… you may be hated cuz you won’t always say things that are “nice and what the other person wants to hear”…that’s the price you’ll need pay to be a real and lovable (in the mutual sense) person.

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