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Christian Life

Why We Shouldn’t Assume He’s Single

By Phylicia Masonheimer

The girls leaned around the bistro table and giggled, watching the guy across the street as he lingered outside an adjacent café.

“He’s super cute!” said one, winking at her single girlfriends.

Just then, the café door swung open and a cute, fashionably dressed young woman stepped out. The young man smiled and took her hand.

“Ugh! It just figures,” whispered one of the girls. “Of COURSE he’s in a relationship.”

It’s tempting as single women to look at the men around us as “prospects.” Until a relationship proves otherwise, we assume most young Christian men are eligible bachelors just waiting for the right girl to come along. We view the stranger on the street and the leader of the teenage Bible study in the same way: as prospective boyfriends, or even future husbands!

But this view, while seemingly harmless, does more damage to a girl’s heart than good. In viewing men as potential mates, we miss out on our calling to love others the way God intended. Our view of men becomes conditional and based on what they can do for us—not on what we can do for them.

As a married woman looking back on my own teenage years, I see how many times I viewed my guy friends in this context. With the perspective that time and marriage have granted me, I now see how I silently asked, “Are you my future husband?” with many of the young men in my life. In asking that question, I failed to view my guy friends as individuals designed by God, instead viewing them as people who could potentially fulfill my personal desire for a relationship.

This habit is damaging to the hearts of young women in three distinct ways:

  1. It cultivates discontent. Viewing others as potential spouses reveals that our hearts are more concerned with finding a relationship than simply cultivating God-honoring friendships with those around us. This undue pressure causes us to be dissatisfied with the season of singleness. Sometimes this same discontent causes us to resent guys we like when we find out they have girlfriends! Discontent is the root of jealousy and envy, two emotions that are contrary to God’s perfect will for our hearts and relationships.
  1. It skews our view of the individual. When we look at guys as potential mates, we cease to view them as individual people. Instead, we view them in relation to what they can do for us: if they would make good boyfriends, how we would look on their arm or how satisfied we would be in a relationship with them. Instead, we should be viewing our guy friends as men of God and people we can encourage as our brothers in Christ.
  1. It hinders our ability to love others—male and female—the way God intended. Focusing on another person for fulfillment hinders our ability to love them the way God intended because love is sacrificial. God’s definition of love is not “roses and butterflies,” but the willingness to place another’s needs before our own. When we view guys as potential boyfriends, we tend to get jealous of any female attention they receive—which means we are not focusing on what may be God’s will for that young man, nor are we accepting the other young women in his life with grace and love. God intends for us to love selflessly, trusting Him to bring the right person at the right time both for us and for our male friends.

So what do we do about this sneaky habit of ours? We change our perspective. Instead of viewing guys as potential mates, we treat them with the respect and unconditional love of one Christian to another. We honor them as the future husbands of godly women we do not yet know. And we treat them the way we would want our own future husbands and boyfriends to be treated by other Christian women: with kindness and respect.

This view destroys the disappointment of finding out a young man has a girlfriend, because we don’t put expectations on him in the first place! It also destroys the insecurity created by comparison, where we measure ourselves against girlfriends and fiancées of men we assumed were single.

God has a plan for each heart that is dedicated to Him. We trust this for ourselves, but we must also trust this for the young men in our lives. No man is our emotional property. He is God’s man with God’s destiny laid out for his future—a destiny that very well may include a future wife we’ll never know. By releasing our emotional assumptions, we free ourselves from disappointment and discontent while empowering ourselves to be friends who love sincerely, no strings attached.

Image: Unsplash

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13 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Le4NaLuvsD1sNey on June 19, 2017 at 09:28

    Had to learn the hard way last year when my popular blonde cousin kissed my crush at my brother’s wedding! It made me bitter for several months and I’m still healing from the disappointment.

  2. Juliet_Wooldridge

    Posted by Juliet_Wooldridge on June 26, 2015 at 07:58

    At first, I kept telling myself that I don’t do this, but I a way I do. No, I see young men as who they are, but the second another female comes in the picture I become jealous. I know I need to work on that and that might come from my confidence issue.

    Anyways, I think this is beautiful. I’ve been writing articles myself for sometime now through school and just being bored. I think you inspire me. I visited your blog and was amazed.

    Your blog is great! I love the text, the context, the appearance! You do a wonderful job and I wish you all the luck, love and The Lord!!

    -Juliet

  3. GabbyS.

    Posted by GabbyS. on June 16, 2015 at 22:27

    I recently moved out of a church i was in for almost 10 years, and in that church i saw all of the boys as my brothers because i grew up with them, but now God has placed me in this other bigger and different church that has a really big youth group, as a Junior in college i am not planning to date anyone soon, but i can’t help but wonder if my future husband is there, and as a result one year in church and i still don’t got any male friends, which is sad because guys tend to be chill and down to earth. So this article has been a breath of fresh air! It’s difficult to sometimes accept this things all on your own, and face what your attitudes have been playing as! Staying happy and honoring God with my singleness- A new friend.

  4. martial_artist_for_Jesus

    Posted by martial_artist_for_Jesus on June 2, 2015 at 18:34

    XD I’m the opposite of this article, actually…. if I meet a nice, good-looking young Christian man around my age I automatically assume he’s taken…. and if not then he’s not interested in the dating scene (learned that through a community college…. ouch. >.> )…. I mean, I’m sure there’s plenty of Godly, single young men who’d like a Godly girlfriend, just…. not very many…. if any…. in my county :'(

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by Jawknee Roofah on June 1, 2015 at 19:40

    Wow this article is fantastic! I agree with everything you said here in this article. Its a great reminder to always honor him as first a godly man and a friend! I actually know the gorgeous man displayed in the picture in real life! I’d hate to contradict the article, but its safe to assume that this dashing godly man is indeed single! Wowza! Despite his enigmatic relationship status, I very much hope God has a plan for this guy to be a big part of my future 😉

  6. Wonderfullymade21

    Posted by Wonderfullymade21 on June 1, 2015 at 15:14

    God just spoke to me through this article. I cant tell you how many times ive done this. It’s ridiculous and embarrasing. I pray that i will take this advice to heart.

  7. QueenFemminist97

    Posted by QueenFemminist97 on June 1, 2015 at 14:06

    Before meeting my boyfriend, I was really really guilty of doing this. Upon meeting a guy this would be my thought process. Would he be a good boyfriend and how could I get him to be my boyfriend? And of course when fellow friends would cozy up to him, I would get jealous.

    I obviously don’t do that anymore, but I would have loved to read this article back in the day. Lol

    • phyliciadelta

      Posted by phyliciadelta on June 15, 2015 at 13:24

      Stormi, hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? 🙂 When single we can get so desperate for a “sign” or some kind of attention we forget that God is in control of when and how we meet the right person! I think desperation is a reason many young women look at young men as prospects; they just aren’t content in their singleness yet! So glad you found a good guy – keep honoring God in your relationship!

  8. BridgetteMarie21

    Posted by BridgetteMarie21 on May 31, 2015 at 16:47

    THANK YOU for this!! My old group of friends did this 99% of the time with guys and it made me so angry and they just didn’t get it! I have an older brother so I really know how irritating it is for guys too, it’s okay to be just friends with a guy and respect him, lol.

    • phyliciadelta

      Posted by phyliciadelta on June 15, 2015 at 13:22

      Bridgette, having a brother definitely gives you more perspective, doesn’t it? When I was single I had to start telling myself “these guys are my brothers” in order to respect them the way God desires them to be respected. It can be a hard principle but so worth practicing!

  9. Smylinggirl

    Posted by Smylinggirl on May 31, 2015 at 11:04

    I find myself fighting this battle personally. Sometimes I get caught up in his good looks and then have to remind myself that looks are not the person. It is hard. Thank you for this great reminder of how I should be treating the young men around me.

    • phyliciadelta

      Posted by phyliciadelta on June 15, 2015 at 13:21

      That’s true Sarah! It’s easy to get caught up in looks and appearances. However we as young women wouldn’t want to be summed up based on physical appearance alone – so we shouldn’t treat the young men we know in that manner, either. God bless as you grow in Him!