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My Frustratingly Befuddled Friend,

Do you remember when you were a young child, and you would get your dolls out and pretend to be their mommy, and then a male doll would be the daddy? I have realized that I feel like that doll sometimes.

See, the thing is, I like being your friend, you are fun to be around, and we have a lot in common.  I can be perfectly content being your friend.  However, when you treat me like a boyfriend, that isn’t fair to me.

I understand that you need emotional support at times, we all do.  I understand I have a very nice shoulder to cry on, and as a Christian I can encourage and pray for you better than most of your female friends who aren’t as mature in their faith.  I even understand that your father hasn’t been all he should be in supporting you and guiding you.  However…

If I allow you to come to me for these things, I am going to become invested.  Contrary to popular belief, guys have emotions, and even to the same amounts that girls do.  We express them differently, yes, and we may be running on a lower resolution screen than you, but it can be terrifying and frightening to navigate our emotions, too.  When I venture into your world in an intimate way like this, as a protector or provider, it makes me emotionally attracted to you.  It has always been this way, it always will be this way, it’s how God wired my species to be faithful to the woman we protect.

Please do not treat your male friends this way.  If you want a boy’s shoulder to cry on, let it be your boyfriend’s or husband’s.  It is exceedingly frustrating to have the emotional intimacy of a romantic relationship without the commitment (which actually means a lot to us, too).  It causes my heart to draw near to yours, but two hearts are not meant to be so close without some security of commitment.

I understand that I am also at fault here.  I was trying to be a good friend, thought I was immune to this effect, or misread your plea for help as a precursor to a relationship.  I am sorry.  But from now on, I need to have a boundary here, for my own health.  Please, my friend, help me by respecting it.  I can no longer be an emotional support unless we both have the protection of commitment to protect our hearts.  This is a boundary not just towards you, but every one of my female friends for the rest of my life.  Just as it isn’t right for two people to be deeply physically intimate outside of a commitment, it isn’t right for there to be deep emotional intimacy either.  I am certain that God will provide for you emotionally, either directly or through others, but I cannot minister to uncommitted females in this way without one or both of us coming to harm.  Thank you for understanding.

Strictly but lovingly yours,

A Christian Guy