On being "friend-zoned" and how to handle it

Part of me wanted to start out this post by saying "I don't like being friend zoned," but I think that makes me sound as if I'm constantly being friend zoned, which I'm not. But now that seems a little ostentatious; maybe I deserve to be friend-zoned. After reading a post recently shared to me on Facebook, located here, I had to think. While the piece was meant to be satirical, it comes off as a rather legitimate post about a glaring problem in a society where relationships and love dominate above all other topics, evident by my 125 views on my post about love compared to a lowly 52 on my reflection of sophomore year. The one thing everyone has to realize about the term "friend zone" is that it's essentially a term associated with males but used differently by both genders, one in fear and the other in melancholy. This creates the issue of differing views between each side, which largely results in misunderstanding. Properly analyzing friend zone scenarios, therefore, becomes more of a fight over the term rather than the actual relationship at stake.

When we conceptualize the idea of a so-called "friend zone," the general definition stems from the acceptance of a male, as simply a friend and nothing more, by a female. The dreaded "you're such a good friend" or "I only see you as a friend" epitomizes the friend zone. Here is essentially the inception of the term. But the general idea is clear: if someone sees you as only a friend, there isn't room for anything else, which should be logically fine, because staying friends is better than nothing. What corrupts the situation is the inclination of guys to readily assume the stance of no return, that is, to exit the friend zone in a manner that shuts off all forms of communication with the girl. Usually, this results in hurt feelings from both sides. It is, however, important to note that it's out of anyone's jurisdiction to condone anyone for being unable to control their emotions. Most people would argue that it's unreasonable to expect continued friendship in such scenarios, especially when a guy does not have to reciprocate friendship, much like how a girl does not have to have mutual feelings. These arguments, in favor of the male, are reasonable. What upsets the girl, and in no way do I mean to undermine the loss of a friend, is essentially the in a failed investment. With the investment of time and effort comes memories and the feelings associated with that. It's still an understandable stance to take but it's unfair to be too upset over something that is under no obligation to continue growing in a positive manner.

What if we were to claim the whole term is a broken mess and misunderstood concept? For what it's worth, the initial and mutual acknowledgment that both the guy and girl are friends is somewhat unfeasible. If a guy is to claim that "friends" is where the relationship started at, and I think most people would not deny that, there has to also be a clear declaration that the guy did not readily put the girl in what the post I reference before defines as the "girlfriend zone." While we complain about being friend zoned, there also has to be a realization that we cannot meet a girl and automatically place her in a position that illustrates her either as a potential girlfriend or enemy. In this case, guys cannot claim to be friend zoned because there was no existing friendship in the first place. It's important to humbly acknowledge that we make rash assumptions based on what we see is typical, in this case, the scenario that victimizes girls as simply potential mates and nothing else.

But there are situations that play out as the typical friend zone definition. In this aspect, I think people need to tap into common sense. Most people can boast that they know obvious things, from when a girl is pretty to whether a current artist is popular or not. It's not exactly hard, therefore, to discern whether someone might be interested in another person. This goes for both genders. For all the "does he like me if he does this" and "why is she not responding to my text message," exists the basic knowledge that if a girl talks to you more than usual, she's more than likely interested. If a guy wants to watch a movie with you alone, is there a need for an Einstein-level of thinking to see that he's interested? We can firmly believe that these two examples are good indications of whether someone is interested in you romantically. What brings the downfall of what should be clear and obvious is the odd tendency of people to lack a desire to be intentional. If we're accurately saying X means Y and Z, we can't do X and expect Y and Z to not follow. I think it's a very general concept that what we perceive certain actions to mean certain things. So, we need to be intentional. Intentional about realizing there is a fine line that separates things that friends do and things a potential couple would do. Skinship needs to go in relationships that are not meant to be romantic. We're all guilty of these things, myself included, of the brief moments where we want to consider our friend as a partner because we're lonely. I firmly believe, that if both males and females were to abide by common sense, the whole idea of being friend zoned would be dropped. We can finally let go of the term that seem way too high school for most people. Best of all, it isn't rocket science.

Then again, why are you taking advice from someone who's been single his entire life?

Revisiting High School

Reflecting Back on Sophomore Year