“Let’s just be friends,” “I don’t want to ruin the friendship” or “you are like a brother/sister to me.” If you ever hear any of these words, ‘do not pass go,’ ‘do not collect $200.’ Head straight to the ‘friend zone’, where you shall remain forever & ever. You have seen it in movies, you have seen the memes, and it’s often a topic on social media sites. What is the friend zone? Based on what I have seen online, I can safely say that there is not a clear and accepted definition of the friend zone. Wikipedia defines it here & the Urban Dictionary offers multiple definitions here. However it is defined, there are certain elements that need to be present for somebody to enter the friend zone.
First, person X must be interested in person Y. It’s after person X shows interest in person Y & is rebuffed (often with one of the lines I mentioned at the beginning of this post) that person X is on their way to the friend zone. If person X, in hopes of winning over person Y, continues the pursuit, while doing favors, etc. for person Y and is still rejected. Then that person is officially in the friend zone. However, if person X accepts that their pursuit of person Y was a failure and moves on, then it is not considered being ‘friend zoned’. Person X was merely ‘curved’. For person X to be in the friend zone, they must be actively pursuing person Y even after they were rejected. It is this active pursuit and continued rejection that is key to being in the friend zone. There is a common misconception that only men can be friend zoned. This is not the case. Men are usually the suitors, so it’s natural that they will be friend zoned more often. Women are also friend zoned, this happens less often for obvious reasons. It is my experience that women don’t handle being friend zoned well, so men should be careful.
The friend zone is the Bermuda Triangle of dating. There is no escaping the friend zone as far as I am concerned. A lot of good people have fallen victim to the friend zone, never to be seen or heard from again. Seriously, if you know somebody that escaped the friend zone, please let me know in the comments section. People often mistake two friends becoming involved as proof of someone escaping the friend zone. This could not be further from the truth. Friends becoming involved is a pretty regular occurrence & has nothing to do with the friend zone. Two friends deciding to start a relationship is commendable, but it doesn’t mean that one of them was in the friend zone.
I came across these two articles that I thought could help some lovelorn soul: ‘How to Escape the Friend Zone’ and ‘Avoiding the Friend Zone: Becoming a Girlfriend or Boyfriend.’ To add to that, I think the most important way to prevent the friend zone is not to be desperate. Desperation is like an express elevator straight to the friend zone. Another way to avoid the friend zone is by just observing the signs and signals. If somebody is interested in your advances, often you will be able to tell. They say love is blind, but that might also be true for those languishing in the friend zone.
Honestly, I have been friend zoned. (In my teenage years) If you live long enough & have an active social life, eventually you will be friend zoned too. I also have friend zoned women. (I am not proud of this)There is no shame in being friend zoned, IF you recognize it, accept it and move on as quickly as possible. Trying to escape the friend zone (winning over the person) is equal to and as difficult as trying to get somebody to ‘switch teams’. It won’t happen!
I know I said the friend zone is inescapable, for the most part, it is. However, there is a way that someone can escape the friend zone. Here is the secret: end the ‘friendship’! Barring that, you will be in the friend zone for eternity. In the end, the only way to escape the friend zone is to avoid it all together.