“Hello, friend.” It’s a common enough greeting. I’ve noticed it as it seems to be a popular greeting among my circle of church friends. Actually, it only seems to be popular among the ladies. In fact, it’s almost expected to be greeted with these words, or some variation (“Hey,” or “Hi”), whenever I join a social function. But it’s always the greeting word followed by “friend.”
This is only a recent development in greetings, at least that I’ve noticed. Growing up, it was always just the “Hi,” “Hey,” or “Hello.” No “friend.” I can’t help but wonder if adding “friend” to the greeting is something that’s happening in a larger culture, or if it’s just among these young professionals at my church.
Not long ago, I attended our church’s Saturday Seminary. I was sitting with a guy who was planning to move away soon. I joked with him that I should stop thinking of him as a friend so it would be less painful when he left. He then mentioned the phenomenal “Hi, friend,” greeting that the ladies often use. I was glad I wasn’t the only one to notice it.
He asked why the women tend to use this greeting these days. I explained the obvious conclusion. These women specifically greet the guys with “Hi, friend,” to let them know that there is no possibility of any future romantic involvement. If a girl wants to make it clear that you are not a dating possibility, she lets you know at the start of the conversation that you are just a friend. This is done because saying, “Let’s establish from word ‘go’ that you are now and will forever be no more than a friend in my eyes,” is just way too much to say in one breath.
At that moment, a young lady sitting in front of us turned, as if on cue, and said, “Good morning, friends!”
“See?” I said. We laughed, and the girl had no clue why. We didn’t explain. It didn’t seem prudent to let her know that we had cracked the code.
So, gentlemen, if you are interested in a particular woman, pay attention to the way she greets you. That will tell you all you need to know about whether or not to get your hopes up.