Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Friendzone 1.0.1

(500) Days of Summer
Friendzone. Even though it’s a pretty popular term these days, very few people really know what it means. If a girl, or a boy, ignores you or doesn’t even know if you exist, you’re not in their friendzone, you’re either invisible, or you were rejected by them. When a girl you just met rejects you, or when you find out soon after you’ve met that she has a boyfriend, you’re not in the friendzone. You were simply rejected.

I’ve seen a few popular guys complain about how they are supposedly stuck in some girl’s friendzone, just because she won’t date them, either because she knows he’s not looking for anything serious, or simply because she doesn’t find him attractive. Again, you’re not in the friendzone. You just struck out.

By definition you’re only in someone’s friendzone if the two of you have been friends for a while, and you’ve just now realised you’re in love with her. Maybe the moment just passed you by, maybe she’s been in a serious relationship this whole time, or maybe you were. Nevertheless, now you have strong feelings for someone who’s very dear to you. You’re close friends and you don’t want to ruin it, but hey, the heart wants what the heart wants. Now, you’re definitely in the friendzone.

So, what can you do to leave such a terrifying place? There is no magic formula that will guarantee you’ll emerge victorious from such an endeavour. However, there is one simple solution that will help you know if this path is worth pursuing: Man up and go for it! If you’ve been close friends for a long time, it’s likely she doesn’t see you as a potential partner. You’re her friend, a sexless being who’s there to cheer her up when she’s down, to listen to her, and to have fun together every once in a while. You need to change this. I don’t mean you should start treating her like a jerk or anything, but just make her know that you find her attractive and that nothing would make you happier than the two of you ending up together.

If you’re both single, ask her out, treat her to a nice date. Just like you would if you two had just met. Make her realise that you have feelings for her. Most girls will immediately pick up where you’re coming from. They’ll either ignore it and hope it goes away (if they do this, they’re awful people, and you should just move on), or they’ll act on those feelings and confront you directly. 

If she feels the same way towards you, great. If she doesn’t, she’ll pull you aside, you’ll have a profound and meaningful conversation about your relationship, and, if everything goes well, you’ll keep being good friends. Just don’t let this go on for more than it should, it’s better to know how she feels, than to regret never having the nerve to find out. 

What’s the worst that could happen? She’ll say no? So what? You’ll have closure, and you’ll be able to move on. If your friendship is strong, even if it’s wounded by this, the wound will heal, and you’ll be friends again one day. 

Just remember, if you need to keep your distance after she turns you down, do it, she will respect your decision, and it will be for the best. Hearing her say No isn’t enough. You need to go over a period of withdrawal, just like you would if you had been in a relationship that just ended. Before you can be ok with her, you need to be ok with yourself.

What if you’re good friends with a girl who’s already in a relationship? 

This situation is somewhat different and more difficult to resolve. First of all, you should do a self-assessment of yourself and your feelings. Are you really in love with her? Are you just playing it safe because you’ve been through a bad break up and it’s easier to fall in love with someone who’s unavailable, than to risk it all out there in the dating scene? Or are your feelings nothing more than a less than innocent physical attraction? If you’re still hung up on her after going through all these questions, well, you’re basically screwed.    

This is the kind of situation where reality is very different from what you see in the movies. While in Hollywood the guy she’s dating is always a jerk who treats her bad, a comic relief that doesn’t deserve her, and that she’ll end up breaking up with sooner or later, in real life this is rarely the case. 

Even if you think the other guy is a jerk, he might actually be a great guy, and the best boyfriend she has ever had. If it does turn out to be that he’s actually a real jerk, you’ll need to spend some time evaluating their relationship. Have they just met or are they in a long committed relationship? Do you know for sure that he’s a jerk, or are you basing this assumption mainly on what she tells you about him? 

The truth is true passion only lasts from one to three years, depending on the couples’ dynamic and chemistry. After that, either the relationship ends or, if you’re really in love, you’ll have to find other things to make it work. Some people, especially women, choose drama, and start finding every little excuse for the two of them to fight, just so they can feel something strong and passionate, and especially, to make up afterwards. 

If you’re her confident, it’s possible that after every single fight she’ll run towards you for advice, or just looking for a friendly ear, or a shoulder to cry on. Remember, in these situations, most of the things she says, are actually exaggerated, and don’t reflect the entire truth of the events that have unfolded.

Some women will even lead you on to thinking that the two of you might have a future together. But they’re really just looking for a little escape from their current reality. They long to feel sexy, loved, wanted and desired once again. This is probably the worst thing any woman can do to you, especially if you have strong feelings for her.

If even after all this, you still have feelings for her, you can basically do one of three things. Go for it and risk it all. Get your feelings out there, show her how much you care for her. In most cases, no one ever breaks up with their boyfriend/girlfriend just to be with someone else, especially if they’re in a long committed relationship, so, you already know the odds are pretty much against you. However, you can only truly move on after she rejects you completely. Rejection is part of the process, don’t be afraid of it.

Wait. Simply wait until her relationship ends. It might happen, it might not. Time will tell. If her boyfriend is a real jerk, and if she’s not in an over dependent relationship, they’ll probably break up eventually. Even if it seems perfect, sometimes relationships just don’t work out, people drift apart, cheat, fall out of love and move on. However, you should still try to make your feelings heard. Not in an obvious way, but with subtlety. Women are very good on picking up signs, even if they don’t show it. Just be there for her, talk to her. Go out. Have fun. She’ll appreciate you for it, and she’ll turn to you right after her relationship ends.

If she’s leading you on, however, it’s a whole different ball game. Being there just isn’t enough, and, like I’ve previously pointed out, she’s probably just using you to spice things up in her relationship. In this case the best thing you can do is ignore her. If she misses you, or if she truly has feelings for you, she’ll come to you. Just wait. Women hate to be ignored, she’ll feel confused as to why you’re not talking to her anymore, and she’ll eventually give in and seek you out. 

In the end, it’s all a game, and you’ll need to be able to play it through ‘til the end if you want to hold on to any hopes of being in a relationship with her. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet someone along the way. If you do, you should first figure out if you’re able to move on from the girl who friendzoned you. If you feel you can’t, than there is no point in hurting someone else. 

In this situation you need to make a hard decision. You can take this new opportunity and be happy with someone who loves you, or you can keep being miserable waiting for someone who might never be available. The choice seems easy but it isn’t. If you do choose to be with someone else, keep in mind that the other girl will probably never be with you, even if her relationship ends and you’re single again. It might even strengthen her current relationship, because she’ll realise you’re not there anymore. There’s no longer a simple solution to her problems. No getaway car. No escape rope. Yes, she might find some other schmuck to take your place, but your window, if it was ever open, is now permanently closed.

There’s no ticket out of the friendzone. There’s just luck, chemistry and love. If two people connect, it doesn’t matter if they’re friends or if they’re unavailable for some reason. If two people are really in love, they’ll find a way to be together. Keep your eyes wide opened. There’s a new opportunity just around the corner. But above all things, don’t be afraid to say how you feel. Don’t be afraid to go for it. To risk it all. It’s always hard to hear her say No, but there’s nothing like that Yes, that you’ll only hear if you let her know how you truly feel.

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