Is it okay to hang out with a friend of the opposite sex (one on one)?
Or is it better to hang out in groups?
Here are a few things that would be great to consider before hanging out with the opposite sex one on one:
Talk to your heart.
It is always a great idea to be in touch with your heart and figure out what you are feeling and what you need. If hanging out with the opposite sex is meeting a need in you outside of a dating commitment then it might be good to reassess the relationship. Ask your heart questions like, “Am I attracted to this man? Do I see him as a potential mate?”
Be aware of your needs.
Who or what is filling those needs? The last thing you want to do is to use guy friends to meet needs in you reserved for the man you will marry. God has designed it in such a way for us to be able to go to Him. He also gave us friendships to steward that can meet needs in us in a healthy way.
Set up some boundaries.
It is always wise to set up physical and emotional boundaries in any relationship. Establishing these personally is key and doesn’t always need to be communicated verbally. The way you conduct yourself will speak volumes to the other person. Ask yourself questions like, “How much will I share? What is appropriate physical affection as friends?” These things are so important to ask yourself so that you can protect your relationship.
Regulate time spent.
It is important that you are aware of the amount of time you spend alone with the opposite sex. Intimacy grows and develops when time is spent with another person (especially if one of your love languages is quality time). If you are strictly friends with a member of the opposite sex whom you are spending one on one time with (even when you do not have any intention for affection to grow) it most likely will as your intimacy grows. Be honest with yourself and be aware of the amount of time you spend together.
The more the merrier!
Hanging out in groups is a great idea in regards to spending time with the opposite sex. It’s definitely a way to get to know people in a safe environment with limited intimacy. Having a “community” of people enables you to see people’s true character and allows you to be yourself and have fun.
There are no “rules.”
When it all comes down to it there are no “rules” but there are definitely decisions that we can make that are more beneficial. We no longer want to be people governed by law because God longs to be in relationship with us and he wants to do life with us each and every day. Do not hesitate to invite God in when considering a one on one with a guy friend. I don’t mean to over-spiritualize this, but you are capable of making quality choices because you have the mind of Christ and you are a woman led by the Holy Spirit who lives inside of you.
Here are a few resources to help you along the way:
Check out this short video from out YouTube channel called “Couch Convos” where young people discuss their thoughts on boundaries.
I am confident that the Lord will bless you richly as you seek out what is best for you, your future, and your relationships. May you be encouraged that you are capable of making great choices and that you will benefit greatly from them.