By Nick Anstett and Kayla Kyle
Elm Staff Writers
This week Nick and Kayla are discussing that ever so gray area of the friendzone. They unveil the struggles of being in the ‘zone and ways to get out of there. Stay tuned next week for more advice and information for your love life.
Nick says… Oh God, no. Not this. Anything but this. Well, I guess I’m stuck with it. Get ready folks I get to talk to you all this week about the friend-zone.
There’s likely few other topics of discussion when it comes to relationships and sex that have been discussed with such fervid vitriol as the friend-zone. It’s a valid point of contention for quite a few people and there’s pretty much no way to go about discussing it without stepping on someone’s toes, but in some cases that’s a necessary evil.
Look, nobody likes it when the object of their affections decides that they like them more as a friend than as a romantic or sexual partner. It’s disappointing and sometimes more than a little hurtful. It’s okay to be upset or hurt. However, reactions beyond this point are where the whole concept of a friend-zone entirely falls apart.
While terms such as more than just friends may confuse the matter, it needs to be made explicitly clear that a relationship is not a tiered system. Friendship isn’t something that you garden in order for it to grow into a romantic or sexual relationship. It doesn’t work like that. Instead of a ladder, imagine a Venn-Diagram. Friendships and relationships actually inhabit two separate circles because they are inherently different. Sure, there’s a sliver of overlap where one may lead to another, but this is not necessarily the norm nor should it be the expected outcome of a friendship.
The way I see it, frustrations with the idea of a friend-zone, outside of a misunderstanding of the word, come from obstinate fixations on a specific crush. I know it may be difficult, but if your friend has rejected your interests, then trying obstinately to change this is going to lead nowhere good. It likely will actually lead to the loss of a friend in the process. Keep searching and be open to pursuing people that are not friends in the first place. In my experience some of the strongest relationships that I’ve seen and taken part in have sprung up from a friendly acquaintance rather than trying to turn an existing friend into something different.
Kayla says… Let’s be honest, we have all been friend-zoned at one point or another. Sure, some of you are sitting there saying, “Um, no I haven’t,” but trust me when I say it will happen sooner or later. It is simply inevitable. Either your crush tells you they are not romantically interested in you, they are in a relationship, or they simply do not know how you feel. No one enjoys being in the friendzone. You have to be around your crush without much hope of it progressing anywhere and pretend that you are satisfied with the situation. So, here is the ultimate question: How do you get out of the friend-zone? Of course, there isn’t just one answer. It’s a little more complicated because it all depends on the situation.
You finally find the courage to talk to your crush, and you start hanging out. You start to really like them the more you spend time together. You realize that you want more than just friendship. However, you haven’t really made it known that you are interested. Naturally, your crush may think that you are only interested in friendship, so they don’t make any moves either. There you are stuck in the friend-zone because you were too shy, modest, or what have you to let your crush know how you feel. In order for you to escape the friend-zone in this situation, you have to find the courage to tell your crush that you want to be more than just friends. You never know how they will respond, but you may be out of the friend-zone before you know it.
You finally tell your crush how you feel in an attempt to get out of the friend-zone and into that shared twin bed. However, your crush tells you that they don’t feel the same way. Rejection is never easy; however, if your crush does say that they are not romantically interested, you should respect their decision. Of course, where does that leave you? Well, it all depends on you. If you can handle staying in a friendship with your crush with no hope of being romantically involved, then you can stop reading here. If you absolutely cannot handle seeing your crush everyday and hanging out with them as well as potentially seeing them with someone else, then you have to make a decision. You can end the intimate friendship to save yourself emotionally and stay friendly acquaintances, attempt to kill your feelings and try and focus on yourself, or you can accept your fate and find a new crush. If you don’t like the friend-zone, then don’t subject yourself to it. Get out, meet new people, and be happy.
Again, you tell your crush your feelings, but instead of being uninterested, they are in a relationship already. To be a home wrecker, or not to be, that is not the question. I do not suggest being a home wrecker since it brings unwanted drama and stigma (unless you have an undying love for each other and are soul mates); however, I will tell you that you have at least three options. You can stay friends and get over your feelings (which can be quite difficult), wait it out (I mean not all relationships last), or, again, simply step back from the friendship and remain a friendly acquaintance. Again, it is up to you and how much you can handle.
The friend-zone is no paradise (there are definitely no pinã coladas), but sometimes you inevitably end up there. How you get out of the friend-zone is totally up to you and your situation. However, the most important thing for you to remember is that you should be honest with your crush and with yourself. You will not have any luck if you don’t communicate your feelings. No one can read your mind. Only you know how you feel. Now get out there, find your confidence, and dig yourself out of the friend-zone, if you dare.