052: Can Men + Women Be Just Friends? The Dudes Series #3 with Ben Stuart


Welcome to another episode in the Dudes Series! (If you missed the first two episodes, you can listen to them here and here!) This episode, I’m continuing the conversation with Ben Stuart, the pastor of Passion City Church DC. Before that, he ran a college ministry and a singles ministry. Basically, he has worked with a lot of young single Christians. DC is one of the loneliest cities in America and people are longing for connection, so he has found a lot of people come to his church looking for that connection. This episode, we do a deep dive into some of your biggest questions about dating.

Where are all of the single Godly men?

  • There are two levels to this question: physically where are they… and why are they not pursing me?
  • He notes the social implications of technology has changed the dating scene. People are losing the personal connection and ability to socialize in person.
  • Only 12% of single women were asked out in the last year.
  • “I know great men that are running in the world, and if you get running in a healthy direction, you’re going to see them out there.”
  • There can be a blame shift that happens when we lament that there are no guys out there.
  • “Empathize with your brothers that they are struggling too.”
  • Around 10% of women ask men out every year—they want to be pursued!

How can you have a healthy dynamic in a male/female friendship?

  • Friendship is possible, but it’s important to ask yourself and the other person what friendship really means.
  • “If you say, ‘I want to be friends,’ but any other person’s presence makes you feel threatened… you don’t want to be friends. You want possession.”
  • Long term, is it worth spending all of your energy on male friendships? When you get married, would you husband be comfortable with them around?
  • Are we too busy getting all of our micro-needs met by several guy friends to have our needs met by one romantic partner?
  • “Decoupling commitment and sex damaged both. We lost both.”

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast and being part of this community! If you enjoy listening, I want to invite you to subscribe to us on iTunes and rate and review us. Search “The Refined Collective” on the purple podcast app on your phone. Share your review on IG stories + tag us so we can show you some love!

Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to Bit.ly/trwdating to check it out! With you on the journey.



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051: How To Let Him Know You’re Interested Without Feeling Like You’re Taking The Reigns // The Dudes Series #2 with Jarod Nickerson


Next up in the Dude’s Podcast Series is: Jarod Nickerson. If you missed the last episode, be sure + check out my interview with Jamal Miller:  The #1 Reason He Isn’t Asking You Out (pssst…it’s not what you think).

Let’s jump in! Jarod was full of insight, and mic drop moments as we navigated through your top questions on men, singleness, and relationships:

  1. Do guys know when a girl has a crush on them?
  • Every guy is different, but Jarod mentions that it is possible to be unaware when a girl has a crush. 
  1. Do guys develop attraction over time or does it have to be there from the get-go?
  • A lot of the time, attraction will be there from the start, but it’s possible for the attraction to develop as they get to know a girl.
  • “If someone puts you in the friendzone, don’t try to get out of it—move on.”
  1. Which do you value more: respect or love?
  • Love and respect go hand in hand—it’s pretty impossible to not respect someone you love.
  1. How do I know if he likes me?
  • There are a lot of things to consider: Are they aware of themselves? Are they playing it cool because they’re worried about it going wrong?
  1. Is it true that if he’s interested, he’ll pursue/do whatever it takes to make it happen? 
  • A guy will pursue and do whatever it takes to make it happen until it’s clear she does not want to pursue anything. 
  1. Do you think guys + girls can be just friends?  
  • Jarod believes it is possible but knows there can be confusion for some friendships. It all comes down to being transparent and honest.
  1. How can I let him know I’m interested in more than just friends w/o being too aggressive/forward?
  • Confidence is sexy and honesty is important. Let it out, but don’t hang on it.
  • “If someone can’t handle you being real and honest with them, then they’re probably not someone who is always going to be calling you up and out for the rest of your life.”

  1. Would you date a woman that doesn’t share your worldview/faith?  
  • Jarod says no, in short. He is Christian and would need someone who shares his worldview.
  1. Are you intimidated by a woman w a successful career?
  • He wants the answer to be no, but the honest answer is “probably.”
  • The time when it can feel most intimidating is at the start of a relationship, but he would definitely still ask her out.
  1. What’s something that women do that feels emasculating?
  • Distrust and not supporting his future would be devastating.
  • “Everything magical lies outside of your comfort zone.”
  1. What’s something a woman can do to honor you/makes you feel like a man?
  • Belief—everyone loves to have someone believe in them.
  • Luke Stafford— @itslukestafford (he’s single, ladies!) is a friend who calls him out and he is grateful for it.
  1. What are you looking for in a relationship/partner?
  • “I’m looking for someone who is going to challenge me, push me, and believe in me. I don’t want just a cheerleader.”
  1. Why do you think a lot of guys don’t want to date within their own community i.e. church?
  • He notes the challenges that arise when there is close proximity in this way. If it doesn’t work out—a guy doesn’t want that ‘Scarlett letter.’
  • Don’t let fear be motivating any of your decisions in relationships.
  1. Where are all the single godly men—do you think there are more single than women, or does it just seem like that?
  • “Put your eyes on what has been set before and it will be one of those moments of synchronicity.”
  • The question is rooted in fear.
  • “Ask the Lord to quiet your mind and ask Him to speak.”

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast and being part of this community! If you enjoy listening, I want to invite you to subscribe to us on iTunes and rate and review us. Search “The Refined Collective” on the purple podcast app on your phone. Share your review on IG stories + tag us so we can show you some love!

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050: The #1 Reason He’s Not Asking You Out (it’s not what you think) The Dudes Series #1 with Jamal Miller


I’m so excited to launch this Podcast Series.  For several months now, I’ve been working behind-the-scenes with incredible, godly men all over the United States.  I slid into DMs to BEG…I mean ask legit men to be on my podcast.  All for you ladies…that’s how much I care about y’all!  Why did I do that?  Because, I’ve been compiling the top questions you send me about men and dating for over a year now.  Everything from:  where are all the single men to does he know if I have a crush on him…and everything in-between.

I figured I could answer them.  But heck…why not go straight to the source, and ask the men!  So that’s what I did.  For the next month, I will be rolling out a series of interviews that I hosted with some of the most solid married and single godly men in the US.  So, get your notepads out ladies.  We’re having some #REALTALK.

First up, mogul, entrepreneur, and pastor: Jamal Miller.  Jamal is husband to Natasha, father of two daughters, CEO of @millermediagroup, founder of @marriedandyoung, and online campus pastor at All Nations Chicago. Today, he’s answering some of your top questions about dating. We talk about how he’s an advocate for sliding into those DMs, can guys and girls really be friends, and the number one reason that guy is not asking you out.

From DMs to Real Life

  • Jamal wanted a really special love story, but the way it happened for them was through Facebook. He saw her and slid into her DMs after he saw she loved God.
  • After getting clear on his intentions and discussing the situation with his pastor, he messaged her asking to take it to the next step—a phone call.
  • After this went well, they met in person and eventually met each other’s families and were engaged after six months.

Divorce the Person in Your Head

  • When you’re single, you have this image in your head of the person you’re ‘supposed to’ be with. When you’re in a relationship, you have to get rid of that image.
  • We can get stuck in not feeling connection with those who feel familiar.
  • “Your feelings don’t know your future.”

Friend Zone v Danger Zone

  • Men and women can be friends, but they can’t be best friends. Once you become best friends, that can become the danger zone. Get clear on the potential in the future of the relationship.
  • “Friendship is a breeding ground for marriage.”
  • Everyone fears rejection, so they feel things out before they communicate their intentions—but it’s important to get clear on intentions early on.
  • “If you’re going to be a bad friend, you’re going to be a bad spouse.”

Give Him a Nudge

  • Guys can be insecure and not all of them are comfortable pursuing.
  • Help each other—don’t be afraid to nudge a guy and let him know you are interested in being pursued.
  • Don’t let a timid guy be a deal breaker. Be willing to create the space to allow him to pursue.
  • We’re all afraid of rejection—starting these conversations online can help.
  • Pray for mentors in the lives of men to lift them up—those are future husbands.

How to Be Part of the Solution

  • Take responsibility as a woman and fight for the men in your life.
  • Instead of complaining and lamenting—pray for him.

Keep up with Jamal on Instagram at @jamalmiller and his wife, Natasha, at @natashaannmiller.

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast and being part of this community! If you enjoy listening, I want to invite you to subscribe to us on iTunes and rate and review us. Search “The Refined Collective” on the purple podcast app on your phone. Share your review on IG stories + tag us so we can show you some love!

Check out this episode!