The evening was pleasant enough. The conversation flowed as well as the wine. Laughter was genuine, and you found yourself thinking just maybe she might be “the one”. As your car approached her residence you wonder should you lean in for a kiss goodnight or wait to see if she will invite you in. Your heart pounds as the two of you approach her door. She stops and turns towards you extending her hand. You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Friend Zone!
Just about everyone has had a crush on someone who either did not recognize our romantic interest in them or they told us early on they were only interested in having a platonic friendship. However we believed given time they would recognize us as being “the one”.
Our first experience in the “Friend Zone” usually takes place while we are still in school. Maybe you were the smart sweet girl the star of the football team called upon to help him with his homework or you were the nice guy who was always available to lend the hot cheerleader a hand. Secretly you desired a relationship with this person as they shared their dating frustrations with you. In many instances he or she solicited your advice on how they should deal with their love interest. Many of us go onto graduate from school never admitting we had a “secret crush” on this friend.
There are some people who will work up the nerve to make a move after spending weeks, months, or years around someone. Maybe they are returning from a fun night out or someone is crying on the other one’s shoulder. The person with the crush attempts to give a kiss and is soundly pushed away. A moment of silence ensues followed by an apology from the kiss initiator. There is an instant realization the friendship has forever been altered. It’s not uncommon for the friendship to become distant
Another method used is simply to blurt out one’s attraction and feelings towards a friend. More often than not this leads to a discussion about not wanting to mess up a great friendship. In other instances the person with the crush is treated as though they betrayed their friend by harboring romantic feelings towards them. A woman might wonder if a man was befriending her simply to get into her pants. A man might wonder if a woman was secretly sabotaging his relationships with other women.
Dating Lesson: Avoid the Zone
Once we are done with school and get out into the work world some of us repeat our high school days by having secret crushes on co-workers. The vast majority of us move onto pursuing dates with people we meet at various single scenes, nightclubs, online dating, or through people we know. Occasionally there are people you will have one or two dates with and determine there is no chemistry and you never want to see them again. In other instances you may meet a wonderful person who you could see being friends with.
It is important to remember the reason you were asked out or the reason they said “yes” to going out with you is because they saw you as a “potential” romantic partner. Once you conclude there is no romantic future it is best to state so as soon as possible. It’s not necessary to be rude about it but simply let them know that you feel it would be a waste of both your time to go out again. Don’t offer friendship as a sympathy ploy to let someone down easy. Being honest up front keeps you from having to play games such hide and seek when they attempt to call you or pulling a vanishing act after pretending you had a wonderful time.
For those who are extended the (friendship option) please be honest with yourself. The worst way to invest your time is hanging around someone with a hidden agenda of hoping to convert a friendship into a romantic relationship. When someone tells you they want to be your friend or says, lets be friends and see where it goes…etc What they are really saying is “You are not (the one)”. If they thought you were they would not risk leaving you on the “open market”. After all there is no such thing as being “exclusive friends”. A platonic friend is the equivalent of being siblings with different mothers.
Michael Bolton probably recorded the all time classic “Friend Zone” song; “How Am I Suppose To Live Without You”. Trust me you do not want to find yourself singing this lyric once your friend announces his or her engagement. “ How am I suppose to carry on when all I’ve been living for is gone….And how can I blame you, when I build my world around the hope that one day we’d be so much more than friends.”
It is far easier for a mate/spouse to become a close friend than it is for a platonic friend to become one’s mate or spouse.