The Friend Zone

You meet someone new. You get a bit excited. He’s attractive, you’re interested, and you guys connect. From conversations to hanging out you are totally hoping he will make a move and though you are rip-his-pant’s-off attracted to him, you say nothing and do nothing (though that little voice in blonde head keeps shouting at you ‘Kiss him!’) But you don’t and he doesn’t do anything and then you guys get in the dreaded Friend Zone. And once in the friend zone, there’s no going back.

The Friend Zone is the point where you meet someone of the opposite sex and get too close with them on a brother/sister level that nothing can ever happen with you two. Realization that you’re in the friend zone usually happens the exact moment that the guy asks you for advice for him to snag a girl that – to your dismay – isn’t you.

A friend of mine has been getting together with a girl this month. They knew each other when they were younger, ran into each other in their twentysomething glory, and have been spending time together since. But each time they spend together, he knows he’s thinking ‘I want her’, but he’s unsure if she’s thinking ‘I want him’ in return or if she’s thinking ‘I want to be friends.’ This uncertainty causes him to resist his instincts, and after each get together (movie, cooking meals for each other, going to weddings together, etc.,) he just keeps putting it off. Because let’s face it my darlings, if a guy friend of yours just leaned in out of nowhere (at least to you, even though he’s been thinking about it for the past couple hours) and kissed you you’d feel:

– a little freaked out
– confused/shocked how he could possibly think that you are interested in being more than friends
– feel bad for the poor sucker and awkwardly pity-kiss him back (do you even have a choice?) followed by avoiding him then on in

In order to avoid getting in the friend zone:

Make your feelings known. Life passes us by and we find out years later that so-and-so was interested in us but was too intimidated by us to say something. We are twentysomethings. We have our group of friends. Yes friends are nice, but do we really need more friends? If you meet someone and have a romantic attraction to them, it’s better to be authentic and real. Sure you can get rejected and sure they can get awkward, but we’ve learned time and time again how to deal with those feelings. It’s better to have piece of mind then to ridicule yourself for not saying anything, right? Plus, if the person gets freaked out and starts acting shady, are they really such a good friend to begin with?

I was once approached by a friend who wanted to be more than that and to be honest, I was quite surprised after all this time this person had feelings for me. Call it niave, when in fact to him it was so obvious, but I didn’t see the signs since I wasn’t looking for them. I just thought he was a ‘really, really nice guy.’ And though I wasn’t on the same page as him, I was humbled that he could be so honest with me. I had a mature conversation about my thoughts on why it wouldn’t work, and our friendship has grown because of it.

Oh and sometimes, in the case of our dear friends Chandler and Monica, you may find out that you two are on the same page. And well, we all know the end to that story.

– Jenny Jen


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