The ‘Friendzone’ is a fabled zone into which women place men whose friendship has become more valuable than any potential relationship; when men become too close to women to be considered viable dating material, when they become more like brothers than potential boyfriends, when they overstep the thin line between romance and ‘you’re just like one of my girl-friends!’.
The ‘Friendzone’ does not exist.
Maybe you should let that sink in a moment. Got it? Ok, let’s continue.
Romantic love is a wonderful thing. As some famous bard once said, ‘Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove’. It’s all-encompassing, both simple and incredibly complex, joyous and painful, unconditional. It’s also based firmly on two things – friendship (and everything that goes with), and attraction.
Friendship is absolute key. If you want a good, strong, healthy loving relationship that knows no bounds, you need to be friends with your partner. This isn’t some special love-only kind of friendship that’s different to the normal kind of friendship. It’s just plain old simple ‘let’s be friends’. It covers trust, honesty, support, companionship – all the stuff friendship usually contains. The concept of friendship houses all of the core components necessary for love to blossom. The spark is attraction. If you’re going to be in a romantic relationship with someone, that spark is what will kick it off and keep it fun. Sexual attraction, the desire to make like bunnies, fuels any strong relationship and weathers it through many a storm.
Again, the ‘friendzone’ is a place where women place men whose friendship has become more valuable to them than any potential relationship. This implies two things; firstly, that friendships and relationships are mutually exclusive. If you believe this, and you’re looking for love, you’re doing it wrong. Secondly, that the woman IS attracted to the man she also happens to be great friends with but for some mysterious reason, doesn’t want a relationship and THAT, my friends, is bullshit.
Men – You know a woman. You like her. She has nice hair and a cute laugh. You get to know her, you strike up a friendship. You think things are going well, you make your move and she rebuffs it. She HAS NOT ‘friendzoned’ you so don’t even use that as an excuse. It probably means she’s not attracted to you. Yes, it happens, even though you truly believe you’re the personification of Adonis and no woman in her right mind would ever turn you down. Don’t make it something it isn’t. Don’t invent this ‘thing’ that conveniently absolves you of being at all to blame, that works as a scapegoat from considering the fact that she Just Doesn’t Like You Like That. You’ll do yourself, and your ego, a favour by admitting to yourself that she’s probably just not attracted to you in that way. That, or she’s got other things going on that you don’t know about – maybe she’s pining over someone else. Maybe she’s just out of a bad breakup and needs some space. These things are also feasible explanations of why she’d turn you down and they really are good enough excuses and you really don’t have to invent the ‘friendzone’ and dump yourself there. Be considerate.
Women – You know a man. You like him. He’s got delicious eyes and smells like yummy things. You get to know him, you strike up a friendship, and you realise that you don’t really have that much in common and maybe even his moral compass is in direct conflict with yours. Maybe he’s a bit of an ass, maybe you just can’t make that friendship ‘click’. He makes a move on you, and you’re just not interested any more. This is where you employ honesty. Don’t fall back on easy excuses like ‘I don’t want to ruin our friendship by bringing sex into the mix’ – don’t say ANYTHING that will make him think you’ve put him in the ‘friendzone’; that’s perpetuating the problem. Just tell him you’re not that attracted to him. Apologise, if you wish, for any potential ‘leading on’ that you might have done while you were still fawning over his man-smell and hadn’t yet realised that he picks his nose in public or is a closet Scientologist. Tell him you don’t feel any friendship between you – it might hurt, but the truth is always an honourable pursuit and avoids stupid things like ‘friendzones’ from being created.
Can we put an end to this silly fad now and instead discuss the real issues at hand? Let’s not forget we’re all human, and we didn’t get to this rung of the species-ladder by scratching our butts in public and beating each other over the heads with clubs. Not exclusively, anyway. We are capable of rational thought, tact and empathy. Let’s do ourselves justice and employ those skills for the greater benefit of incurable romantics everywhere.