The Art of the Friend Zone

The Friend Zone – When there are two people, and Person 1 begins to pursue something more than friendship, so Person 1 is all like, “I think we should be more than friends,” … and Person 2 is all like, “I value our friendship” or something along those lines … and then Person 1 awkwardly smiles/laughs and says, “Haha I do too!” … and then Person 1 goes home and listens to Jack Johnson or Adele on repeat…

Most of the time, Person 2 is not even aware that Person 1 likes them, and they are perfectly content with the friendship that they have built up, and before you know it, Person 2 puts Person 1 into the dreaded Friend Zone … meaning that there will not be any transitions from friends to passion-machines.

(Did I just say “passion-machines”? Yes, I did. Why? No idea. So let’s forget that happened and move on because I don’t even know who I am anymore…)

The story is quite simple: you meet a person that you have great chemistry with. An issue begins to arise when you have to ask yourself whether the other person likes you romantically or not. Once this confusion sets in, you look for the right place and time to bring up the topic. And just when you feel like you’ve got the perfect opportunity, BOOM… they pull out the “I’ve always considered you a friend” card. Ugh… it’s gut-wrenching. The word “friend” seems to echo throughout your brain over and over and over again like a bad Selena Gomez song. Any time you even hear the word friend, you want to punch a puppy. (Please, don’t do that.) And every song you hear on the radio somehow seems to relate to your dire situation. Even Randy Newman’s song “You Got a Friend In Me” makes an appearance somehow… and as a result, you die.

Listen, we all know that being in a friendship, where one person wants something a little more, can be quite a frustrating experience. Though I subtly joked about it in a previous paragraph, it’s not always sexually motivated. Though sexual attraction is always a factor, sometimes it’s simply a matter of, “I just really like being around you, and I want to explore a more romantic side of things.”

No matter what the situation is, whether you are male or female, there is one thing that we can all agree on … Friend Zone City is a shitty place to live. (So that means that it’s probably somewhere in North Jersey.)

CONTACT NEGOTIATIONS

Think of friendships like an NFL contract. When you initially become friends, you have come to terms on a contract that states that you are nothing more than friends. Much like a popular and talented football player will re-negotiate their contract for more money after a successful rookie season, someone in your friendship may want to re-negotiate the contract so that it allows for more romance.

HOW TO TELL THAT YOU’RE DEFINITELY IN THE FRIEND ZONE

How can you tell that you’re in a Friend Zone? Well, here are some tell-tale signs…

1 – They are talking to you about other people they are interested in. This is, without a doubt, the clearest sign of them all. If he or she is doing this, it’s best to be a good friend and be happy for them.

2 – They invite other people to hang out with you guys. So, you ask them out to lunch. And what do they go and do? They invite other people to the lunch date. This Friend Zone move is a classic, old-school “I’m gonna Friend Zone this mofo” move.

3 Even with alcohol in the system, they aren’t giving any hints. Alcohol is like a truth serum. When people get nice and tipsy, it’s a little more difficult to hide feelings or hints of interest. If the person you’re interested in doesn’t show signs of interest when they are a couple drinks in… it’s not lookin’ good, homie.

4 No. Physical. Contact. Oh, this one is a biggie. If there is little to no physical content between you two, then it ain’t happening. Science shows that when your brain likes something, you are more likely to physically touch it. (Is that why I can’t keep my hands off of Auntie Ann’s pretzels?) Without a doubt, if you tenderly touch someone’s arm and they pull away… sorry, but you’re officially in the Friend Zone.

SO CAN YOU GET OUT OF A FRIEND ZONE?

Honestly? Probably not. Once it’s settled, it’s settled. It’s very hard to break out of. My suggestion? Back off. I mean, don’t block them out of your life completely (always remember, you two are good friends.), but don’t continue to be all up in their mashed potatoes and gravy. (What?) Give them space, and know that if they come around, they’ll come around. But nothing will push a person further away than continue to pursue something that is nothing.

Good luck!

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