Losing A Trusted Friend Over Misplaced Accountability
How I Lost A Trusted Friend Over Someone She Met Online
A few months ago, a trusted friend, whom I have known for at least six years in Dubai, sent me a WhatsApp message implying that our friendship was broken. I was surprised. I had no clue. True, we’ve had some discussions previously but I thought they were not serious enough to damage our friendship. It wasn’t the first either. We’ve gone through highs and lows, laughed and cried together, rebuked and comforted each other during difficult times. She was one of my very few trusted friends while I was her only true friend; at least according to her.
Even after I left Dubai, we stayed in touch despite the 12-hour difference. But late last year, she met a man online who’s been married three times before. She herself has been married once. Not that there was anything wrong with that. But he sounded like someone who knew all the right words to say and told her all the things she longed to hear. Their friendship developed within days, and before I knew it, words like ‘commitment’, ‘the search is over’, ‘I’ll visit you in Dubai’ floated in and out of their conversations. My friend was easily swayed. I pleaded with her to take it slow. I told her to wait until they met in person. But my words fell on deaf ears.
Within a couple of weeks, my friend ‘accidentally’ unraveled herself before the man, and spilled her past. A past she’s never shared with anyone before apart from her mentor and I. I was speechless. Again, I implored her to slow down and limit their interactions. I reminded her that she shouldn’t be having accountability with a man, let alone someone she hasn’t met in person. But somehow the man convinced her it was okay since she didn’t have anyone else to talk to in Dubai. My friend was actually surrounded by a host of mature women of God at church. She could have talked to any one of them, if only she tried.
Now, in case you were wondering, what’s wrong with having accountability with the opposite sex? First of all, if you haven’t established your relationship status yet, you’re putting yourself in a precarious situation. Not only are you making yourself vulnerable to a stranger, you’re also giving yourself away unnecessarily, inappropriately. If you haven’t read, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” by John Gray, I strongly suggest you grab a copy now. It will give you a much deeper understanding of the differences between men and women. And why it’s important to have accountability with the same sex and seek godly counsel.
God beautifully designed men and women completely different from each other. While women often follow their emotions and base their decisions on how they feel, men use their heads or minds when making decisions. A man can spend hours, weeks, or even months with a woman and not fall in love. But the more a woman spends time with a man exclusively, the greater her propensity to fall in love. I once met a lady who had a close male friend. They both served God. They were great friends for around 15 years. They exchanged gifts on occasion and did things exclusively on a regular basis. However, one day, the man met a much younger woman and married her. The lady was devastated. All along, she thought her friend was just buying his time to propose to her. But she never clarified their status; she just assumed. She never got married and their friendship understandably fell apart. Granted, the man could have been more forthcoming. But that’s really just one of the grave dangers of having accountability with the opposite sex, especially with someone you’re not in a relationship with.
As for my friend, sure enough, she changed within weeks. I saw her transform. Instead of cutting back on their interactions, they only intensified and started a Bible study together every night. I saw the physical and emotional toll on her. But she refused to listen. Later on, the man even asked her to ‘commit’ to him as he was ‘committing’ to her; without concrete plans about their future or visiting her in Dubai. I never knew if she said yes. I just knew that she drew closer to him as she drew farther away from me.
She later told me that she believed the man was the one God raised up for her. Alarmed, I pressed her to finally talk to her mentor. If I learned one thing from my previous relationships, it was this, “You can’t see the picture if you’re in the frame”. So I pressured her to seek godly counsel. To talk to someone who could see things with clear vision and not with glazed eyes. She did finally, two months after meeting the guy online. She came back to me afterwards sounding proud and accomplished. I found out later that she wasn’t forthcoming with her mentor.
She later sent me that WhatsApp message about our friendship being broken. She twisted my words and gave them sinister meanings. I felt she was finding excuses not to talk to me so I told her I would just pray for her. And that was the last time we spoke. It has been months since. It bothered me that she ditched my friendship and traded it with a stranger’s. But then I wondered how lonely she must have felt. How deep her longing must have been. I felt compassion for her. I still pray for her and miss her. It also made me think of other women. How many more lonely women out there would fall prey to smooth-talking men unless someone warns them? My blog, How I Found True Love Online, was meant to inspire singles to try online dating. But it was never meant to encourage them to start a virtual relationship. Or settle for one. Granted, I do not know what will or will not work. Only the Lord knows. I do sincerely hope, for my friend’s sake, hers will. I pray for her happiness. The last thing I want is to see her heart broken once more.
I realized that it’s finally time to shift gears. It’s high time I focused on things that matter – matters of the heart. So instead of blogging about my travels and adventures around the world, I am focusing my efforts on love, courtship and marriage. I want to share my story, our story, to anyone who might need to hear it. I want to inspire singles young and old, to wait on the Lord, no matter how long it takes, no matter how painful. Because it is possible to wait, my husband and I did. And so did many others, by the grace of God. So if this is something you think you might benefit from, follow along. Connect with me. I hope my blog will be a platform where you too can share your thoughts and struggles. So we can spur each other on. So we don’t lose any more trusted friends to strangers online.
Losing A Trusted Friend Over Misplaced Accountability