Recently I posted a link to a blog I re-blogged earlier, titled, “Why do men keep putting me in the girlfriend-zone?”. A female friend commented that she wished this was her problem, as she was always being friend-zoned.
To this woman: you are completely missing the point.
As I understood it, that post was trying to illustrate how ridiculous the entire concept of the friend zone was, by showing the other point of view. I didn’t post it because I’ve ever been “girlfriend-zoned”, as by the time I was self-confident enough to actually be attractive to others, I was in a long term relationship with my now-husband. But I sympathize with the people who find themselves in this position, with other people’s hopes and expectations hung on them.
If you find yourself feeling like you are in the “friend-zone”, take a look at the situation. You are probably either pining over someone* but too scared to admit your feelings, or you are only interested in this person for romantic/sexual reasons. If the latter, do yourself and the other party a favour and just back off. Who wants to be with someone you wouldn’t actually like to be friends with anyway? And as has been said before, people are not vending machines you feed kindness coins into and sex pops out. They don’t “owe” you anything. (Unless they borrowed money or your toys or something, then they should return those, of course)
the first, I get it. I’ve been there, sneaking glances at your friend, hoping they will miraculously turn and be struck with how perfect you are for them. It sucks, that unrequited love. But the onus in this case is on you, it’s not their fault they don’t understand something you have not made them aware of. In this case you have several options:
1) Tell Them. This is the scariest option, the most risky. You confess your feelings, and wait for them to respond. If they feel the same, then jackpot! Congratulations, you crazy kids. If not, things may be awkward for a while. This was me a couple times in high school. So you can either suck it up and push through the awkwardness to form a purely friendship based relationship (highly recommended, this is how I made some great friends in high school) or you can back off the relationship entirely. This is why it’s riskiest, cause you could lose a friend if either of you can’t handle this information or the outcome.
2) Move On. Accept that they do not see you in this light and pursue other romantic attachments while maintaining the friendship. But don’t lie to yourself and say you’ve moved on if you are just biding your time, waiting for your friend to discover their unbridled passion for you. That isn’t fair to you, your friend, or any other romantic partners you have in the mean time. If you can’t do this, then you may want to consider option 3.
3) Back Away. It might confuse the other person as to why you suddenly break off your friendship, but if you can’t handle “just” being friends, this is the best way. It keeps you from holding on to a non-existent relationship and hanging your expectations on an unaware party, and it will help you to truly move on. When, a year later, the Object of Your Affections asks why you don’t hang out any more, you can explain that you had a crush on them. Hopefully after the time spent away from them will give you the confidence to do so. And who knows, maybe this new found confidence will make you more attractive in their eyes.
TL;DR: Either be someone’s friend, or leave them be. You’re the one keeping yourself in the “friend-zone”
*Note: if you are pining over someone who is in a relationship, I can’t help you. Even if you feel their current significant other is not good enough for them or whatever, they are an independent person and are in the relationship, which they will leave when they are ready. (Obvious exceptions for abusive relationships, etc. in which case you should give them the pressure-free support and advice they need without insisting they jump from their bad relationship into one with you)