After $200 dates, Scandal, and analingus, the Friend Zone debate is a favorite among Black Twitter. Across relationship blogs and media, discussing the friend zone seems to make people easily excitable because so many of us find ourselves there. It’s like relationship purgatory for 2 attractive people who seem to get along well. There’s few things worst than knowing you’re a great catch on paper but for reasons that you don’t have control over, the person for whom you have unrequited love doesn’t see you that way.
When it comes to the matters of the heart, people hide behind the fallacy of “you can’t help who you fall in love with”. Stop It! That’s 1 of the biggest lies about love that we perpetuate. Love is an action, therefore it’s a choice. Being friend zoned is a 2-way street. So there’s a handful of things that I just can’t wrap my head around in the frustrations we have about the friend zone:
Remember Steve Urkel and Laura Winslow? Urkel made it abundantly clear from jump that he wanted her to be more than a friend. Every week, he’d commit outlandish antics at the expense of his dignity, to prove his love for her. And she un-apologetically dissed him. Every. Single. Time. Not because he was a bad guy, but because he was the unconventional choice. Yet his alter-ego, Stefan Urkelle, got all of Laura’s love and affection. My other favorite simp is Gerard from Boomerang. He was a genuinely good guy and the better choice for Angela on the surface level. Yet he was pushed to the side for womanizing Alpha-male Marcus Graham. There are tons of people right now who are in the friend zone simply because they’re passive-aggressive when it comes to their feelings about the opposite sex. So is being friend-zoned just a Beta-Male thing? For beta-males particularly, they lay low and remain in a woman’s life almost hiding in plain sight. But when there’s an opening, they’re not often Adrian Peterson to it.
Why mask your intent to smash or date as “we’re just cool”?: I’m not saying that every man that be-friends an attractive woman wants to dip in her love below. But I am saying a man that be-friends a woman he’s attracted to has an end goal in mind. There’s a clear difference between those 2 statements. I’ve seen people wait months, even years, for that opportunity. But where’s the purpose in that? If you’re putting on the nice guy/girl pants because you want to smash and dash, you could probably save yourself money and effort by saying that upfront. It’s been confirmed ad naseum that you’d be surprised what people (read: women) will agree to and tolerate when you give them options.
Referring back to Laura Winslow. Women that reap the benefits of a dude’s unrequited love are a special breed of a**hole. There’s an exhaustive list all the jams Steve got Laura (and her family for that matter) out of. She wasn’t even that fine to be worth all of trouble. But then when sexy-as-all-outdoors, Myra Monkhouse (RiP Michelle Thomas) came along, Laura would lowkey try to come between Steve’s happy relationship. Granted these are fictional characters and some scenarios were extreme for the sake of laughs. But the dynamic illustrated hammers home a valuable point. Instead of a woman feeling relieved that the guy she doesn’t like “like that” has found his better half, she eventually starts to see what she’d previously been missing. Then it becomes #whohurtyou and “why her and not me”. Why do women never accept responsibility for their own saltiness when the good guy (who wasn’t good enough then) places his interests and efforts elsewhere?
To get personal for a moment; I’m pretty much out of the phase in my life where I’m meeting people to create life-long friendships. Any new people I meet now go into the associates category. With the virtue that male relationship writers have a demographic of mostly women, there’s no need to become too comfortable with readers. In every day circumstances, should there be a line drawn? If you work at an office and a particular person of the opposite sex is pursuing you under the guise of friendship, isn’t that someone you should distance as an associate and not do bff type things with?
Lastly, what irritates people the most is the false hope of things to come. Hope is a hell of a drug and in some cases, it can sustain you. However, what Laura did to Steve was cruel. Steve chased her, all the way to the point where he created a fictional scientific device that morphed him into the Alpha-male she would fall for. For a few seasons, he straddled the fence between his true self and what his true love wanted him to be. And whenever he returned to unassuming, passive Steve Urkel, he’d get re- friend zoned. Granted, most guys stuck in the friend zone aren’t just waiting around twiddling their thumbs. They are dating other women and will likely have relationships of their own. But if you know the stars will never align for the 2 of you, doesn’t the time come when you cancel your friend zone VIP membership and just be friends?