Ever hear the phrase, “Guys and Girls simply cannot be friends”? It is a constant debate within the dating world. For some reason, most people say individuals of the opposite sex cannot simply be “just friends.” Why is this? While there are, of course, many genuine friendships between men and women, it is very common for at least one if not both the individuals to have a desire to be more than friends at some point during the friendship. When one of the individuals is not on the same page as the other it can be a recipe for disaster.
This potential recipe for disaster brings me to my next question: Is the “friend zone” such a bad thing? Before I elaborate any further, I would first like to define what the friend zone really is. According to The Online Slang Dictionary, the friend zone is “a metaphorical place that two people are in when there is no possibility of romance between them.” But just why isn’t there a possibility of romance? And is that always a bad thing?
The subject of the friend zone is one that can be tackled from many different perspectives. Often times, you will overhear a guy tell his buddies, “Forget it, she friend zoned me!” In this case, the guy wants more than a friendship. Whether he’s looking for a purely sexual relationship or is sincerely in love with the girl, the fact of the matter is he won’t settle for just being her friend. In this kind of case what tends to happen is that the guy will possibly develop resentment when he realizes the relationship won’t go any further. His resentment will only be fueled if the girl moves on to an official relationship with another guy. At this point, what will likely happen is the guy will cut off all ties with the girl, claiming that his feelings won’t allow him to even be friends with the girl when deep down what he wants is a romantic relationship. Talk about an ultimatum, huh? Sounds unfortunate, but these situations happen all the time!
Men are more commonly placed in the friend zone and constantly complain to their friends about it, making women seem like heartless fiends, but this isn’t always the case. In some cases, the girl truly wants to maintain an honest friendship with the guy and is kind to him. At times, guys can mistake this kindness for being “lead on” and that’s when things get tricky. Once things are cleared up, the best thing may be for both individuals to move on.
Now I am not saying that a genuine friendship between individuals of the opposite sex is impossible! There are plenty of true rewarding friendships that have lasted years and possibly even weathered the dreaded “friend zone” era. Also, I am not implying guys are the only ones who get friend zoned. Many girls go through the same exact feelings, especially when seeing a guy they have romantic feelings for involved with someone else.
I want to conclude this on a positive note: often times I find it is better to remain friends with a person despite experiencing an unrequited love. If you truly value a person for their worth and genuinely like being around him/her, it is better to have some sort of connection even if it isn’t the one you would like to have. Unless you are on bad terms with the person, it is not worth cutting him/her out of your life completely. As long as you’re both open and honest with each other (and yourself!) about your expectations, being in the “friend zone” can result in a wonderful long lasting friendship.