First: Seek Friendship
Today, I’m writing from a place of brokenness and insecurity. I went to bed last night with the true belief in my heart that no matter how much therapy I receive or how many days I eat the recommended amount, I will never be enough for someone.
So, with my Christian worship playlist in the background, I am attempting to bring something positive from this place.
Have you ever noticed in churches the looks you get when you (as a single person) are simply talking to another single person? Particularly in churches that are lacking single people, it’s like there is this unspoken pressure to instantly become something more than just friends. I’ve had so many conversations in different churches where people have asked “What’s going on there?” or said “isn’t he just lovely” (and you know that means something more!).
I’ve come to realise that all this pressure is actually making me shy away from other single people and the potential to make some really good friends.
Here at Honoured, we talk about having the best single life and I think that means having true, quality, God-filled friendships.
So today, I’m asking, before anything, can’t we just be friends? Really good friends.
At my first Single Leaders Breakfast, some of the girls and I were talking about how it kind of felt like you were turning up to a date (with all that pre-date nerves). Now, unless you are used to dating 30 people in one sitting, the truth is, our events are actually a great place to find friendships. Yes, there is the potential for something more to develop, but that doesn’t have to be at first sight!
Perhaps it may be useful to establish what a true, God-filled friendship looks like. For me, there’s 3 key qualities I look for: honesty, love and a desire to make each other their best self.
To have a real friendship, we must first have true honesty. When someone asks you how you are, you must be able to be honest (this can still mean if you are good – being honest doesn’t have to be sad!). Then with honesty, trust will soon develop.
Second, by love, I mean the kind of love that Jesus had for us all. You don’t have to be physical to show you love someone (although a hug between friends can be quality too). Ask them how their day was, have football dates with a beer, buy them chocolate on a bad day, just show love!
Lastly, a sound friendship for me requires someone wanting to help me achieve my best self. I like to hope that they will challenge me (from a place of love), and ultimately help to pick me up when I fall short. I put this last because this first needs a foundation of love, honesty and trust… don’t go challenging their hairstyle on first meeting!
I found out this year, that all my mental illness stems from a fear of rejection. This has meant that I have shied away from friendships that could have been great because I feared that once they knew the real me, they’d no longer want to know me. This sadly, is still the case.
However, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have true friends (old and new) that continue to stick with me through it, that have repeatedly told me they’re not going anywhere, no matter how hard I push them, and I push pretty hard!
We all have our own insecurities and struggles that could be made more manageable with good friends. So I invite you to join with me in a pact to first seek friendship. When you meet someone, rather than asking “Could they be the one?” first ask, “How good could our friendship be?”
If something more develops, that’s a bonus.