Today I wanted to discuss the dreaded “friend zone.” Which is a term I strongly dislike, but at the same time have experienced the feelings that tie to what people often deem “the friend zone.” Before I get into it, in case you’ve been living under a rock (or perhaps you don’t really date nowadays), the friend zone is a space in which a love interest of a person does not reciprocate that person’s interests, however both people still want to be friends. I hear this situation come up most commonly where girls tells guys they think of them as a friend, rather than a romantic partner, though that may be simply my experience. I do not hear women talk about being “friend zoned” often at all.
Ok, so I don’t like the term “friend zone” because it dismisses one person’s opinion. I mean, not literally, in the sense that the person in the friend zone is willing to stay there, but it indicates that the relationship is not what that person wants it to be, despite the fact that being friends is what makes the other person comfortable. The friend wants to be able to say to this person “man I’m having problems with a crush,” and not have them say something stupid back, like “well if we went on a date I’d treat you right.” That does not help them. That’s selfish. I think it is reasonable to assume that if they are friends with that person, they probably view that person as a decent human being.
That being said, it is also a reasonable reaction to a situation in this day and age (what, you thought I would just cram my opinion down your throat? Nah, that’s not what we’re here for). Lets think about it. Today is often about being sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. If someone doesn’t appreciate something, they should be able to tell that person how they feel. Someone should never feel trapped. There is always the opportunity to leave, but there is not always the opportunity to stay. Let’s take a Hollywood cliché love example. Guy loves girl, girl rejects guy, but he persists until she eventually comes around. I mean, everyone adores Beauty and the Beast, and that’s pretty much how it goes, right? So if this is the rhetoric that everyone hears, then it’s not unreasonable for a guy to be expected to persist, is it? The idea that love follows rejection leads to ignoring rejection. It reduces the “we are not dating” mentality to “we are not dating right now.”
This concept is supported in our culture in all ways. “Don’t give up,” “hard work pays off,” and so on. If a person just tries hard enough, they can be whatever they want. Even happily married. There’s something romantic about crossing a barrier to win over a loved one. Which I think is what the thought process is for those who believe in the friend zone. They think their interest just has not seen the beauty of them yet. Which is a hard thing to disagree with, especially when we aren’t willing to ignore the feelings of others.
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