Men seem to always talk about their fear of being pushed into the “friend zone,” a category where a man is not considered as a romantic option for the woman with whom he has an interest. It’s not as if the man automatically enters this “zone;” it could develop over time. However, a man tends to be hesitant of being too friendly to a woman for fear that he will instantly become her “best friend.” And, because men seem to think that women are simple creatures and can’t think in terms of complex relationships, a woman doesn’t have the capability of seeing a man transcend from a friend into something more. Clearly, we’re just that simple-minded. Clearly.
OK. Women may not be this simple-minded, but men are. Hence, their fear of “the zone.” A man thinks that once he becomes a woman’s friend, all that she’ll want to discuss with him are her current relationship issues, that she’ll see him as nothing more than her “gay best friend who isn’t gay,” she’ll go shopping with him, she’ll ask him advice on clothing and how to approach men who she’s interested in, and he will, apparently, never have a chance as her lover. If men were really smart and planned ahead, they would use this to their advantage. But I digress.
On other, rare occasions, women get “friend-zoned.” Well, I get friend-zoned a lot. Man pops into my life, and we become really cool friends. Our friendship develops over time, but at a comfortable level. At a safe pace. We develop feelings for one another, and we finally tell each other of these feelings. We seem like we’re on the same page. The man tells me how much he respects me and how much of a great woman I am. The man then tells me about his significant other who I either had no idea existed or thought was out of the picture. Then, the man proceeds to tell me how he wants us to continue being friends. Fine. We remain friends. But the man also pops back in on occasion like he doesn’t have a significant other. This confuses me. I address the man on this subject matter. The man gets uncomfortable with said subject matter. But because we’re “friends,” he tells me everything that he’s feeling. We have that moment of true friendship and then he continues to tell me how into me he is.
All right. To be fair, being friend-zoned as a woman is a bit different than it is for a man. Being “in the zone” for a man is really just being a friend to the woman — for the most part. Being “in the zone” for a woman is really just allowing for the man to have his cake while he attempts to nibble away at removing himself from responsibility and obligation.
As women, how can we overcome this? It’s simple to say that we should have more self-respect and really know what we want from the relationship from the get-go. But how realistic can this be? We all have our own shortcomings in some way, shape, or form, and many times we try to seek affirmation in places where we shouldn’t even be searching. Approval should be within ourselves, and we really truly know what we want. Whenever we have to second-guess ourselves, we’re compromising what we want. We’re trying to make it OK to sacrifice our necessities.
Personally, for me, being someone’s second-choice isn’t sexy. No matter how great of friends we could have been at one point. If we are really as great of friends as he says we were, then he’ll give me enough respect and not cross those boundaries and make me a casualty in his internal, mental battle with himself. It’s a war that I did not agree to, and I refuse to don wounds and scars for the sake of someone else.
So, how do we prevent ourselves from getting “friend-zoned” when it’s someone who we really are interested in building a relationship with? As mentioned previously, men are simple creatures, and they want what they cannot have. I think that as women, we have to be the ones to plan ahead, plant seeds in his mind that we’re interested but kind of not. He has to be the one to make the move and decision — you know, so they can feel like they’re making a chase. But in reality, it was all a part of the blueprint we designed.