This is my observation and my conviction on the matter. Strictly a spiritual matter:
You have the scenario of a person A liking (or being strongly attracted) to person B. You can see that it is pretty obvious, with A giving those doeful eyes and those stares from afar, etc. The person B knows that A is not suitable and goes against the conviction of B in the matter of relationships. Should B indulge and be friend A? And in what manner should that friendship be at?
I always thought that if B were to indulge A as a friend, B should actually be considered a nice person. “Oh, so nice the person, at least B is soothing some of A’s heart, etc.” Unfortunately, immature thoughts could only bring me so far in the logic and conviction of the matter.
Person A is actually infatuated in B and would want to hold on to any hope of B liking person A back. Any. Going into a relationship is basically a call to building and enacting a hope and a promise (covenant). You want to be assured of something. B’s merciful or pitiful (however you see it) attempt to just placate A as a friend goes against what is originally warranted, because it is a giving of FALSE HOPE.
In the spiritual sense, giving False Hope is an evil thing that is constantly done by the Evil One (and is what the world gives… temporal hope) – 1 John 5:4. On a bigger scale we can categorise it in this. We can narrow it further; Person B’s action is a stumbling block against the Person A. Where there should be no miscommunication (something that is precious in all good-friendly relationships), there seems to be plenty when a blurred signal is given that can be misinterpreted. Person A is already struggling with the thoughts and turmoil in mind over the matter. The person may even be fighting against the emotions rather than to let emotions take control over the thoughts and actions (mindset) that overcomes a person in this situations (Matthew 5:28). AND PERSON B is not helping but making it more difficult! Those who stumble others are usually looked upon more unfavourably.
In our world nowadays, where friendships are seen to be the first step towards a full blown relationship, we ought to guard even more against giving the wrong signal to the opposite person. Most soap operas or dramas (most popularised by FRIENDS) harp this notion to its viewers. I would caution against establishing or even fronting more than a general acquiantance on this matters.
But again, how many would even think this is a problem? Certainly the Christian is called to a higher calling and measure than the world, is it not?
P.S. It is ironic that the persons who often hates to be misled in this area, are often time the chief instigators of these same things. The mind and heart is a fickle thing. Often it likes to flirt without measure, but hates to be subjected to false hopes. Self control in this day and generation is seriously lacking in great measure. Playing with the heart, is no more different than the despised word we call ‘manipulation’.
Okay, enough of a rant on this issue. 🙂