I must confess that the rise of the Friend Zone in recent popular culture consciousness strikes me as a problematic one.
All sexes and orientations would agree that feelings can and do occur towards close friends. However, if you find yourself attracted to the majority of your friends instead of very specific instances, you might be protecting yourself from real risk by safely pining aware for someone who you see on a regular basis.
With the creation of webpages and television shows dedicated to getting people out of “the friend zone,” it is clear that something significant is going on with the desire to turn friendships into relationships. A lot of this advice, however, is aimed at men and serves more to manipulate a female friend into liking you rather than emphasizing the building up of confidence to confess your feelings or dealing with the potential fall-out if your feelings are unrequited.
I also have taken notice to the vast majority of people who place themselves in the friend zone as also being heterosexual males attracted to several “friends” for varying lengths of time. The women who place these men in the friend zone are blamed much like the women who have no use for those “nice guys” I mentioned in my last article. These women are the villains of the internet, forcing suitable mates into the sexless Friend Zone while they go and presumably date and live their lives happily and normally. The nerve!
There is also the question of the active cognizance of the objects of affection; how can they not know their friend is in love with them? How terrible must these women be to keep stringing their friends along, acting as if they are merely friends when, in fact, they must be soul mates? It is ridiculous to assume that women are aware of every crush a guy has ever had on them, just as it would be if a woman assumed a man must return their feelings simply because she has them!
I think it is likely that many people, men and women, are aware that their friends are “in love” with them but choose to do nothing about it because, well, what exactly are you expected to do? If you feel as though you are in the Friend Zone with someone, it is probably because you are aware on some level of your friend’s disinterest. Worrying about whether a friend likes you back is a different matter than being resigned for years on end to pine away in the Friend Zone.
The friend zone is decried as a holding cell for poor boys and girls whose friends haven’t “woken up” to their outstanding qualities and merits in the love department. This is delusional nonsense. The friend zone is merely a self-made prison for those of us too afraid to confess their feelings to their “friends,” or for those who are simply unwilling to seek a dating pool outside of their comfort zone/friend group.
The fact that these people whom we are in love with are called “friends” is patently untrue! You cannot be a true friend to someone without truly being yourself, and denying your feelings means your friendship is based on a lie. Sometimes a “friend” can be more accurately described as something who is trying to get into your bed or you heart by pretending to be a friend.
And no one needs friends like those.
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