I wrote maybe two years ago why the friend zone is stupid. My opinions on this concept have changed slightly. I still stand by my reasons for why it is stupid though.
I don’t think the friend zone is a real thing. I think it’s something we’ve made up to spare feelings, either our own or those of another. The friend zone is a mythical place where hopes and dreams of your “happily ever after” go to die.
Have you ever noticed that the friend zone is basically only brought up by the rejected party? “Ugh. I’m always friend zoned!”
I think we all use the friend zone as the ultimate excuse out of mostly fear. This fear comes from many places. What do we fear?
We say that someone locked us in the friend zone because of the fear that we aren’t loveable. If we are friend zoned, we still hold value in the eye of the person that let us down. We’re still worthy of their love, it just isn’t romantic love.
What we do though is confuse being friend zoned with being rejected. Someone you are friends with you cares about you as a friend still cares about you. We need to keep in mind that just because someone doesn’t hold romantic feelings for you, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you or that you are perpetually stuck in a strictly plutonic state among the opposite sex. It just means that for whatever reason, they don’t see you as someone who could be a long term romantic partner. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Think about all of the friends you have of the opposite sex (or same if you please). Now narrow down how many of those people you actually want to even attempt to date.
The list of who you would consider dating is probably a relatively small sample compared to how many are strictly friends. Being friends and being longterm partners are extraordinarily different levels of committment and aspirations for the future. Then there is the deal of physical attraction, compatible personalities, and emotional connection.
I adore all of my friends. That’s why they are my friends. We don’t agree on everything or have all of the same interests, but we just work. I connect with all of my friends for a wide range of reasons. But we all want different things out of life.
I have some truly special guys in my life. Some are extremely attractive. But I swear to God if I had to live with them and see them day in and day out I’d fucking snap. We remain friends because the little quirks and values that don’t correspond don’t affect how we would deal with each other 24 hours a day, or raise a faimly together, or keep our household afloat, or even spend our time together. Our lifestyles and hopes for the future don’t mesh. Let’s just avoid the disaster that would be a relationship and enjoy the fact that we can have a lot of fun together and then return to our separate domiciles at the end of the day.
Are there friends I’ve had in the past that Iwould have loved to date? Yes. Have I claimed to be “friend zoned” in the past? Of course. And I had every reason to do so. It was easier than facing the fact that they simply didn’t return my feelings or see me the way I saw them by making the friend excuse instead of just accepting that we probably weren’t a good match to begin with.
Down the road I saw the reasons why we wouldn’t have been good together as a couple. Seeing that now is what has helped me draw these conclusions.
I once gave a guy friend a chance and dated him. It took me about a month and a half to empathize with the girl who broke up with him before we dated. Christ on the cross. Yeah, we didn’t go back to friends. I’d rather punch myself repeatedly in the face than see him again.
We also use the friend zone to justify our own fears and insecurities about going after someone in our poll of friends. “I don’t want to ruin the friendship.” If you have a fight and you’re just friends, it can be easy to bounce back from. Once you take a relationship to a new level, the fear of loss is exponentially heightened. You’ve entered a new realm of getting hurt.
Heartbreak is powerful. It can feel so overwhelming and unbearable.
“Mike” and I were friends long before we dated. There has always been as strong connection though. We were just in different places in our lives. Eventually we caught up with one another and reached a place where “maybe someday” became “we’re doing this today.”
I can tell you without a doubt that if something happened and we broke up it would probably hurt more than losing any of my other exes because we had what seemed already like an unbreakable friendship. Adding in romantic feelings would take the hurt factor and slam it into overdrive. Would I survive and move on eventually? I’m certain I would. But as you all know. heartbreak isn’t always the easiest thing to rebound from, but man has it been worth the risk.
We shouldn’t allow fear of loss to hold us back if we want to pursue a friend as a partner. You never know what could happen. And worse case scenario, they don’t feel that it is a good match and you continue as friends.
You just can’t let that kind of almost false rejection keep you down. Whether you’re using friendzone to blanket your own insecurities or to replace building courage to push forward, the friendzone can only control you if you let it. It’s a myth that we plant in our own heads to take the easy way out. You’re not in the friend zone. You’re simply just friends and it can be a wonderful place to be.
Put on a brave face and go after what you want without fear or excuses to hold you back.