How To: Survive The Friend ZonePosted: 08/08/2012
Hey look, I’m not dead and I haven’t quit on you kids just yet!
I had to take some time to figure out what I should cover here and what sort of things would actually make a good blog post. And now, here I am.
Today I want to talk about the friend zone. It’s that magically awful place you get stuck in when the friend you like doesn’t want to take your relationship to that next level. The friend zone is almost invariably the worst possible place to be, going from responses I got from friends and the representations that appear in mass media.
Let’s start with a definition. A friend zone is what one is placed in when the object of their affections says, “No thanks, but we can still be friends”. There’s really no easy way to be in the friend zone, and that seems to be the root of the problem with it. It’s not easy so we don’t want to do it ever. It would totally be way easier if that person who friend zoned us would just say “Okay” and date us, right? More on that in a minute.
I don’t know a single person who enjoys being rejected. This goes for my friends who are actors, even though they put themselves in that position an awful lot. However, there is a difference between being rejected and being put in the friend zone. Being rejected means being dumped, thrown away, told you’re not good enough at all for someone or something.
My friend Aim made a really good point – if someone puts you in the friend zone after an awkward advance, that means they want to stay friends. And that means, by extension, that they value your friendship enough to endure the awkward post-advance times with you. Isn’t that an important thing to talk about?
It’s important to remember that when you’re thinking, “UGH why won’t he (or she) just DATE ME ALREADY?” Because friendship is a valuable thing. Remember that time I talked about Nice Guy Syndrome? Nobody owes you a sexy relationship. Nobody even owes you friendship, which if you think about it that way, makes friendship seem that much more valuable.
A concept that seems to go hand-in-hand with being friend zoned is that of oneitis. This is where all you can think, talk, write, or worry about is that one person. It’s easily confused with love, and even though I’m supposed to be this big oracle on relationship things and love and advice, I’m not entirely clear what the boundaries are here. I think that, if you aren’t having feelings reciprocated, you need to take a step back and seriously think about your life and choices with regard to that particular person.
Most romantic comedies fall into this trap of romanticizing oneitis and demonizing the friend zone. It’s really not a healthy way to portray these things. First of all, your feelings may not be returned for some very good reasons, and you should probably find a friend to tell you exactly why. Second, out of the hundreds of thousands of people you see in a day, what makes that one person so special? I’m not advocating writing out any sonnets Shakespeare-style, describing your supposed heart’s desire or anything. However, I do recommend making a list of things you know about the person you want to get with, and making a list of things you like in a person.
This takes some serious honesty on your part. Don’t gloss over any flaws to make the other person seem better. They’re never going to see this list. What are the things you don’t like in a potential partner? Does this person have any of those qualities?
Curing oneitis and surviving the friend zone are two totally different things. The good part is it’s possible, but the bad part is that they require a brutal level of honesty that can usually only come from a close friend. In my experience, this gets dicey when the person friend zoning you (or who is the target of the oneitis) happens to be your best friend. Your best bet is to get down and dirty with the honesty, talk it out, and then decide if your friendship is better than any potential romantic relationship. With a little luck you’ll get through it.
Send any questions to gaygirladvice @ gmail.com, or find me on Twitter! Thanks for reading