The Friend Zone. It reminds me of the “Phantom Zone” from the popular tv series Smallville. Even if you never watched it, anyone familiar with the story of Superman would know about the Phantom Zone.
It was a hell of sorts, a prison for kryptonian criminals, a cold dark and dreadful place that its occupants did everything possible to escape from; and once you were in you generally stayed there, escape was almost impossible. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
For me there’s just two differences between the Phantom Zone and the Friend Zone; the former is for aliens, the latter for humans and secondly while the Phantom Zone is quite literally hell, the Friend Zone could be a nice place if you’re cool with it.
I can distinctly remember being “friend zoned” twice. The first time hurt like hell because up until that point I honestly thought I was in a relationship; I felt like a chump ( I still feel like a chump just remembering it ). Its all good now though, the chica and I have been able to remain good friends. The second time I saw it coming, and when she eventually “zoned” me I was neither hurt nor surprised, I was cool with the way our relationship was anyway so no harm, no foul.
Like I mentioned earlier the friend zone isn’t always bad place, because everybody has got friends, so everyone is in one other person’s “friend zone” and it’s generally a great place to be at, after all who doesn’t need friends?
It however turns into an emotional deathtrap when deep seated emotions & feelings are thrown into the mix. The dynamics of the relationship change and expectations become different. For example from a guy’s point of view, it becomes very difficult for me to listen to you chatter on and on about your boyfriend and about all the itty-bitty, lovey-dovey things he does for you and you do for him and you both do together and how great you both are and how perfect he is, blah blah blah; when I have developed feelings for you and even when I’m trying my damnedest to show it, 9 out of 10 times you won’t notice it. It gets worse when I’m your go-to-guy when things between you and your boyfriend go south and I’m on your speed dial when you’re feeling hurt. I imagine if we flipped this all over and put you ladies in the same shoes, you all get my drift.
I don’t know about you ladies but I know amongst my guys that we have now developed a very VERY strong aversion for the Friend Zone. I personally put it straight up if I like you or not ( you know like REALLY LIKE you). No dilly dallying. If you want to start off being friends that’s cool, but if I like a girl I’m not waiting till she’s already “defined” me in her mind before she knows how I feel.
I heard a story a few weeks back from my mom about a girl who thought she was in a relationship with a guy for about seven years and the brother never proposed. When she eventually broached the issue of marriage, lo and behold this brother already had a fiance. As far he was concerned, she was just a very “dear friend”. Ok this story may be extreme but you get my point.
The truth is we generally tend to miss the most obvious things staring us in the face either because we’re genuinely oblivious or we’ve subconsciously chosen to ignore them. Otherwise how can you say it didn’t at least cross your mind that friend x always seemed to go the extra mile for you; he/she was always available when you needed her regardless of how difficult it was for him/her ( ok I feel the need to clarify that peeps with funny intentions and crazy chicas also fit into this category, but we’re not talking about them ); he/she always blurred the boundaries of friendship in your gists, your conversations, your outings etc. And it never even nudged you a bit?
Seven years ago I had never heard the word “Friend Zone” even though I had already experienced it for the first time, now it has genuinely become a phobia that the young generation has developed, which is both sad and funny.
These days I can’t even have a conversation with any of my dude friends about a girl without them trying to make sure I haven’t been friend zoned. You should hear some of the things brothers have done to avoid/escape the friend zone, you’d be rolling on the floor in laughter.
The phrases “He/She is just a friend”, “We’re just very close friends” have become synonymous with “You have been sentenced to death”.
Needless to say, my entire jargon is based on the assumption that said friendship is between a guy and a girl. If as a guy you’re “feeling friend zoned” by another guy in the ways I described above, you need Jesus…and a serious flogging. That said, define your relationships. Friends do become lovers and in fact relationships that start from friendships are the best kind because there’s no pressure, y’all already know each other pretty well. If it’s never going to be beyond friendship its not the end of the world. Some of the greatest people God put in my life are in my friend zone and I in theirs and we’re doing just fine.
So you thought this was stupid or funny or both, either way let me know what you think; plug in your comments in the comment box below and/or hit me up on twitter @arielugorji