The friend zone

No, this is not an anti-male tirade; it’s just my opinion on something that I constantly see discussed on the internet. The friend zone.

Yes, the friend zone actually exists. It’s not something made up by assholes who just want sex from their female friends.

But, it’s also not usually something that women, or men, purposefully inflict on the people who they know are attracted to them.

There’s a crucial element to this that a lot of people fail to see. To be in the friend zone, both people must be aware of the attraction; and sometimes, it’s mutual. In my opinion, there’s more than one type of friend zone; there are three.

Type 1: both parties are aware of the attraction, but it’s not mutual.
In this situation. One friend confesses their attraction to the other, and is rejected. This is probably the most painful. Unrequited love is never easy to deal with.

Type 2: both parties are aware of the attraction, and it is mutual.
This type is usually a result of mutual attraction being acknowledged, but never really acted upon. This is not a case of not wanting to sacrifice a friendship, that’s type 3. This is just both parties deciding not to act on their feelings for one another. Usually this is because of outside forces; such as both living in different states, or being in the same workplace, or going to different colleges after high school. Either way, they won’t, or can’t act on their mutual attraction.

Type 3: both parties are aware of the attraction; but one (or both) doesn’t want to compromise the relationship they already have with each other.
This is usually phrased as “I don’t want to ruin the friendship”. Usually, the attraction is mutual, but held back by worries that if the relationship evolves, they won’t be as close after a breakup.
For me, this is the “pure” friend zone.

Again, it’s only the friend zone if both parties are aware of the attraction. Cases where on person is pining after the other in secret doesn’t count; and neither do the cases where a person tries to manipulate their way into a relationship while never making their attraction known.

So yes, the friend zone exists. It’s just not what the Internet seems to think it is.

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