Dating friends in
, in which couples seek to bypass the challenges and dedication that deep relationships—and, eventually, marriage—require.A man and a woman may engage in a friendship that involves a growing emotional intimacy but without the requisite deepening commitment, which results in warped relational patterns, disappointment, and pain. The other extreme is to plunge into a romantic, physically involved relationship that commonly leads to frustration and disappointment, and often results in profound emotional pain.Maybe they’ll call each other “BFFs” and watch movies or have dinner together, but they do so in a detached way—as though their sexual identity doesn’t matter.All the while, lines of propriety get blurred, resulting in unhealthy and often unintended emotional attachments.So is the trend toward intimate friendships between single men and women a good thing? If you haven't read my previous articles on biblical dating, you'll be helped in thinking through this issue by reading "Biblical Dating: How It's Different From Modern Dating." Based on some of the principles found there, let me offer a couple of practical reasons why I believe such friendships to be generally unwise, and then I'll suggest a positive role for friendship among singles in the Christian community.In this series of articles, I've raised several biblical principles regarding the way we should treat our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Where most apps start by asking users to set up a profile and swipe their way to romance, Wingman lets friends weigh in on your best qualities.First Thessalonians 4:1-8 admonishes us not to wrong or "defraud" our brother or sister by implying a marital level of commitment (through sexual involvement) when it does not exist.As I've discussed before, a broad (but sound) implication of this passage is that "defrauding" could include inappropriate emotional — as well as physical — intimacy.Basically, the question seems to be how exactly single Christians should relate to members of the opposite sex in that large and awkward zone between "we've never met" and a deliberate dating or courting relationship. I won't repeat the full history lesson here, as several Boundless authors have already discussed it (Joshua Rogers most recently, in his excellent piece "Your Friendgirl Deserves Better").Essentially, the historical reality is that until 30 or 40 years ago, long, intimate friendships between men and women in which each served as the other's emotional confidante, relationship adviser and "best buddy" were far less common than they are today.