The Friendzone


friendzone

The Friendzone is one of those words that I see being used more and more these days. And it’s starting to bug me. At first, I was cool with it. And in concept, it’s okay. Guy likes a girl a lot; girl likes him just as a friend and he goes with it because some attention is better than none. However, as I’ve matured more and as the usage of the word has increased, I find myself more and more infuriated by it. Not only by the usage, however; but by the very concept of it- the idea behind what it represents. We’ve started using it to be angry at the women we so adore.

In order to bring you up to my line of thinking, I want to tell you the story of my own, rather lengthy, encounter with the Friendzone.
In the third grade, I moved to a new school. Here I met a girl who was both in my class and rode my school bus. This girl was one of my best friends and even at such a young age, I grew strong feelings for her. Now, if only I’d have known just how long those feelings were going to stick around. At that time we were boyfriend/girlfriend – or at least as much as you can be at that age. Being the prepubescent thing it was, it never lasted. We remained close friends all through our school years, yet I always wanted more. There was just something about her that I couldn’t shake. Then in high school I resumed my pursuit and tried a few more times. The closest I ever got was taking her to the movies, after which I got a kiss on the cheek. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the peck was a consolation gift for the date. We never went out again, yet we remained friends. Ultimately, we both graduated and went off to different colleges. My interest in her lessened greatly and before I knew it, I was completely over her. Fortunately for us, everything stayed on good terms. I was never mad or upset with her and to this day we still consider each other to be friends.

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Guys view the Friendzone as this evil relationship imposed on them by the person they desire. I disagree with this. In the girl’s mind, you’re just a friend. You can’t pass judgment on them because they don’t want to be romantically involved with you. In reality, the Friendzone is simply this- a figment of your imagination. It’s your mind’s way of rationalizing that unrequited love. I spent my entire school years in the Friendzone until one day I realized the reality of it. There is no Friendzone. It only exists if we allow it to. Pining away for them, keeping in touch with them for the sake of attention- that is you allowing the Friendzone to exist.

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My solution is simple: Ask her out. If she says yes, goal achieved. If she says no or that she thinks of you as just a friend or a brother, there’s only one real solution. Break off all ties with her. After that happens, there are two possible outcomes.

  1. (Less likely) She will miss you enough to realize that she too has feelings for you more than just a friendship and she’ll reach out.
  2. (More likely and mentally healthy) You’ll move on.

When my friend and I graduated and went off to different colleges, I was finally able to move on. To stop thinking about her and to focus on other people. I obliterated the Friendzone.

Today I see tons of posts online about the Friendzone and blaming women for it. This is bullshit. It’s not the woman’s fault. It is our own fault. We’re the ones who are too dumb to move on. And in the process start blaming the girl for it. If you’re frustrated or angry because you’re in the Friendzone and want to start blaming someone, start by looking in the mirror. Then sack up and ask her out and/or move on. Afraid of rejection? There are 7 billion people in this world, you can find another one. Afraid of losing a friend? Same reply. 7. Billion. People. Don’t make excuses to keep contact with them. Be a man, own up to your own imaginary Friendzone and move on. Tell yourself- There is no such thing as the Friendzone. Even if she is intentionally leading you along, you are allowing it to happen. Like I said, no such thing as the Friendzone.

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In order to tell my personal story, I contacted the girl in question to get her permission. While I didn’t give specifics in the story, I wanted her to be kosher with it. She agreed and even offered to write up a short female perspective as to why they may intentionally Friendzone you. Gentlemen, I give you- The Friendzone: A woman’s perspective!

-Kelley:

Why do girls “Friendzone” you anyway?

  1. She values your friendship too much. You’re close friends. Maybe you’re her go-to guy. You know more about her than anyone and you have a great shared history. There’s a very real chance that changing the dynamics of the relationship will screw up the good thing you’ve got going. Just be honest about your feelings and move on. Maybe seeing you go is just the jolt she needs to realize it’s worth the risk. Maybe she just needs to kiss her share of frogs before seeing that her prince was there all along.
  2. She feels guilty that she doesn’t have feelings for you. You are sweet and funny and her family loves you. She knows you’re perfect relationship material, but she just isn’t romantically attracted to you. She may think something is wrong with her. (She never has trouble conjuring up some feelings for total losers…) There’s nothing wrong with her. There’s nothing wrong with you. Sometimes it just isn’t meant to be.
  3. She doesn’t love you, but her self-esteem does. Whether they admit it or not girls need male attention and they’ll take it where they can get it. Girls with daddy issues are the worst about this. (Having been one I’m allowed to say so.) She doesn’t have feelings for you, but that won’t stop her from flirting with you, especially when she’s feeling down. She may not even realize she’s doing it. Go ahead and flirt if you want, but don’t get your hopes up that she’s suddenly realized how wonderful you are 10 minutes after her bad break up.
  4. You’re good friends, but she knows any relationship between the two of you is bound to crash and burn. You laugh at each other’s jokes. You may flirt all the time. You may have even had moments when it certainly felt like much more than friendship, but this one just isn’t going to work. Maybe you have different religious beliefs, morals, families, career goals, or even zip codes, but eventually things are bound to go wrong. Don’t push it with this one. She will either get mad at you for pressuring her or you’ll eventually end up in a relationship where nobody is happy and you’re frustrated that you wasted a good friendship and so much time.

In any case, pining away or hitting on her every chance you get isn’t going to make things better for either of you. The best thing you can do is learn to value your friendship, or distance yourself and move on. And if you find yourself in a relationship at some point down the road and you need ideas for a gift or special date for your new girl, she’ll be more than happy to help you out.

Big thanks to Kelley for allowing me to use our story of the Friendzone and for writing up her female perspective. As you can see, there are many reasons why a woman may intentionally lead you on, but ultimately it’s up to you to fix it. Either do as Kelley said and be ok with the friendship or do as she and I both said and move on. The Friendzone only exists if we allow it to. We shouldn’t be angry with the girl, even if she is doing it intentionally. It’s on us just as much as it is them.

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– Cameron Blevins

Follow me: @CamOnAir