This is an article published in the April 2010 issue of the Lynchburg Current
The friend zone; that terrible place you find yourself when you have waited too long to make your move on someone you’re interested in, therefore stranding yourself in that non-negotiable dead end where you’re no longer considered an appealing member of the opposite sex, but a member of their own. A friend. For girls, you’re now one of the guys; expect to hear unending amounts of sports chatter and demeaning jokes. For guys, you may as well tuck your sack back because you’re in for a lot of man-hating rants and discussions about the menstrual cycle. Okay, I retract those statements- I’m being incredibly gender stereotypical. No matter what sex you are, if you find yourself stuck in the friend zone, it’s high time to move, because the more you keep on pining, the more familiar you will become with the words ‘just friends.’
Of course, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Half the reason people marooned in the friend zone hold out hope is for the few exceptions they have heard about in the past; stories about great couples who are completely compatible because they were ‘friends first.’ Let me just explain this exception here and now so people who don’t qualify can get used to it and move on. The only reason this exception ever works is because of the guy. If a girl puts a guy in a friend zone, (I mean really puts him in and doesn’t just claim she only thinks of him as a friend because she knows she has absolutely no chance with him) it is over. It’s done. I have tons of really good looking male friends who I would never contemplate hooking up with because I have known them far too long, and they are stuck in the friend zone. I will try and pawn them off on my single girlfriends though.
However, if we want to take this to When Harry Met Sally level, I can quite confidently say that if a guy finds a girl attractive (this is key), she will never be completely in the friend zone. She may be the girlfriend of one of his buddies, and therefore off limits. Or perhaps she seems uninterested in him, and maybe they develop a deep friendship (I do believe guys and girls can cultivate real friendships) but somewhere in the back of his head, the guy is aware that the girl is attractive and therefore if they were stranded on a desert island (or ¾ a bottle deep in a bottle of Jose) that girl is doable, and perhaps even datable. And that’s where you have all these stories about couples who were ‘friends first.’ Let us take a look at a few of these examples I have collected from students at Lynchburg College, whose names I have changed at their request.
Stephanie and Jon had been friends since freshman year of college. She had thought he was cute, but soon started dating someone else. He had thought she was cute, but had no idea she was interested in him. The end of sophomore year, Stephanie and her boyfriend break up. She has too much to drink and follows Jon into the bathroom at the campus pizzeria where they, uhm, fall madly in love.
See what happened here? While Stephanie had a boyfriend, her and Jon regarded eachother as friends, because Stephanie was unavailable, but deep down they never forgot their initial attraction to one another. This is how couples evolve from friends to more. Let’s try another one.
Kelly and Brian were childhood friends. Kelly considered Brian to be like a brother, while Brian secretly thought Kelly was smokin’ hot. Throughout high school, each were in relationships with other people. During college, Kelly comes home for Christmas, visits Brian, and they both get really drunk, giving Brian the courage to make a move on Kelly and confess that he has been pining for her since they were twelve. Kelly shuts him down with the dreaded words “just friends.”
Here, Kelly legitimately did put Brian in the friend zone (although Brian is an attractive guy), where Brian was never able to fully put Kelly in that zone because he thought she was cute. It doesn’t matter how good looking the guy, a girl will be able to put him in the friend zone if she has known him long enough or has smelled how rank his feet get after he comes back from the gym. But a guy will never fully be able to put a girl in the friend zone if he thinks she is hot. He can respect her, admire her, think she is an awesome person, but deep down he secretly wonders what she looks like naked. Of course, a guy can think a girl is hot until he gets to know her and then (maybe because she is obnoxious or has hygiene issues) become un-attracted to her, placing her in the friend zone. But if he retains physical attraction, he will never 100% consider her ‘just a friend.
Ladies: Signs you’re in the Friend Zone
1. He talks about how hot your friends are in front of you.
2. When you go anywhere together he announces multiple times “This is my FRIEND Katie/ Brandy/ Jessica” especially when other girls are within earshot.
3. You have heard him fart and he didn’t even pretend to be embarrassed by it.
Fellas: Signs you’re in the Friend Zone
1. She calls you to talk about other guys.
2. She has added a y to the end of your name; Jeffy, Marky, Benjy, etc.
3. You have seen her tweeze her eyebrows and/or floss her teeth. Unless you’re in a long term relationship and have reached this level of comfort (aka gotten lazy), you can consider yourself friended.