FriENDzone

Hey Kids! Vulnerability is Cool!
One of the new things I did in 2019 was confess my feelings to a guy I liked without knowing for a fact that he felt the same way. Another first? Getting friendzoned. (holla)
And while y’all might be like “agh bummer! so sorry! the friend zone is the worst!” let me be CLEAR–
it’s not.
you know what is the worst? never knowing what it means when he does something that is clearly leading you on one minute and then another thing right afterward clearly indicating that he’s not interested.
the worst? feeling so close and so good when you have a really good time together and then the next week wondering if you’ve fabricated the whole relationship in your head.
the worst? not knowing why you’re consistently rejected when you invite but then he continues to invite.
No, guys, the friendzone is NOT the worst. The friendzone is magical and I love living in the friend zone. Let me tell you why.
1. It clarifies intentions. 
I will preach it until the day I die but overthinking is just under communicating and under communicating is the worst.
Here’s the deal. Before I was “in the friend zone,” I was like a fish and he was a fisherman. I don’t like metaphors that let men be men while women are objects but I feel like a fish is alive enough to not be an object, idk. Anyway. I was on his hook. It was like he had caught me but hadn’t decided if he wanted me, and since I so desperately wanted him to keep me, I couldn’t just jump off the hook and be free. I needed him either kill me (or keep me, I suppose), or throw me back. And when he threw me back (by friendzoning me), I felt free. I felt like a weight had been lifted and I was finally able to breathe again.
This guy was awesome, ok? He was pretty much everything I want in a man minus some key components. But trying to figure out what was going on was hell, and it took a massive toll on me. And finally just getting it all off my chest, even if it was just to be rejected, was redemptive soul work. I highly recommend just getting the friendzoning over with and being able to breathe again.
2. Friends are amazing!!!!
I mean, I’m not the first person to question this, but why do we say “just friends”? like why is a friend somehow less than a romantic partner? Friends are amazing! I love my friends! Platonic friendships are incredible!!! build them!! cherish them!! learn to have them without romantic expectation!! it will make you a better and happier person. I so testify.
3. Loving someone is loving them. Period.
I truly believe that when you love someone, you love any part of them that they’re willing to share with you. Love is not about reciprocation. Obviously, if you’re in a more serious relationship and there is no reciprocity, you may need to set some boundaries and love them from a distance, but that’s not really what I’m referring to here. If you really love someone because of the value they contribute to your life, you will be content to keep them platonically. Of course it hurts to be rejected romantically, but if your only reason for being their friend was the hope of a romantic relationship, then your relationship isn’t really built on a strong foundation anyway.
so SHOOT for the SHOT and at least if you miss, you wont be spending your whole life in the wrong court playing on a losing team.
and if you’ve been friendzoned and are all butthurt about it, stop being such a BABY and either appreciate them for how they bless your life or get the HECK out of their life.
And if you’re the one friend-zoning (didn’t think I was going to leave you out, did you?), uhhh please do it right? This only applies if the friendship is actually important to you. If you actually don’t give a heck about the person, then disregard this, but–
1. Just say how you feel
This person just made themselves extremely vulnerable by telling you how they feel. It takes a lot of courage to be open and honest like that, and obviously, if your feelings aren’t the same, you’re not going to be making yourself nearly as vulnerable! So I don’t care if you feel bad or if it’s awkward to reject someone, if they mean ANYTHING to you, just do it!
2. No copouts! 
Again, say how you freaking feel. None of this “I’m not interested in a relationship” of “I’m not ready to progress romantically with anybody” business. Because that is not a feeling. I can have feelings for someone and not want a relationship with them. When I tell you how I feel and ask how you feel, I want feelings. Because I can’t argue feelings. I can’t force feelings. But I can accept feelings and validate them, even when they don’t match mine.
3. Don’t Leave the Door Open if it’s Not Open
If love is not and will never be an open door for this person, don’t sing Hans’s part of the duet with the intention of leaving them for dead later, mmk? Don’t use terms like “right now” or “the timing is wrong” or “not ready.” This encourages them to hold out hope for the future. If you don’t want to deal with them coming after you in the future, set the relationship straight now. Because they’re thinking, “oh, if right now it’s a problem, I can try again later” or “when will the timing be right?” or “getting ready takes time, and I got time.” I’m not saying you’re lying by saying you’re not ready, but if it’s not just the timing and you’re actually not interested, be honest and cut the person loose. You are not a monster for doing so! You are actually MUCH more of a monster if you string them along and lead them on.
4. Don’t Invalidate Their Feelings
If they say you’ve been leading them on, and you have been, just admit it and apologize. If they say you’ve been leading them on, and you don’t feel like you have been… think about it from their perspective… and then respond empathetically. All you have to say is “I didn’t mean to and I’m sorry.” Ignoring it or brushing it off is just not accepting responsibility for the confusion/hurt you caused. Maybe that sounds a little extreme, but… having your feelings played with totally sucks.
5. Don’t Be Cringey 
It’s nice to tell someone you appreciate them as a friend, so do that (if it’s true). But don’t overdo it. Don’t use a bunch of fluff about how “you’re a really great person” and “you’re gonna be so great for somebody else” and all that bogus fluff. Unless you have the sort of relationship where it’s a genuine thing to say, just do without it. Because it feels incredibly fake in the moment, like you’re just grabbing at nice cliches to say so that you don’t come off as a monster.
Again, all this only really matters if you legitimately care about the person/friendship. If not, you should be as vague, avoidant, and cringey as possible. The results speak for themselves: you are a coward.
Anyway. Not to out anyone that I’ve been friendzoned by, but… I know some people who would benefit from a friendzoning workshop. Like a lot.
And if you know they like you and they just haven’t said anything, don’t be a jerk. Just address it. It’s as easy as saying “hey, I kinda suspect that you may be interested in me as more than a friend. If that’s true, then I just want to say that I’m flattered but our friendship is completely platonic for me. If I’m way off base in interpreting your words/actions, then cool! I just want to be on the same page.” Bing bam boom, nobody’s being mean and everyone understands their place.
Friendzoning is not hard to do, but it’s amazing how strong friendships can be ruined by a poorly done friendzone. Don’t let it be you. Ask your doctor if friendzoning is right for you.
–If you’re married and reading this (to support me, of course) and you’re like “wow, so glad that phase of my life is over,” get out. —

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