Are You Headed Towards The Friend Zone?

You meet someone new. You get a bit excited. He’s attractive, you’re interested, and you guys connect. From conversations to hanging out, you are totally hoping he will make a move. Though you are rip-his-pant’s-off attracted to him, you say nothing and do nothing (though that little voice keeps shouting at you, “Kiss him!”) But alas, you don’t and he doesn’t do anything, and then you guys fall  in to the dreaded Friend Zone. And once in the friend zone, there’s no going back.

The Friend Zone is the point where you meet someone of the opposite sex and get too close with them on a brother/sister level that nothing can ever happen with you two. Realization that you’re in the friend zone usually happens the exact moment that the guy asks you for advice on how to snag a girl that — to your dismay — isn’t you.

A friend of mine has been getting together with a girl recently. They knew each other when they were younger, ran into each other in their twenty-something glory and have been spending time together since. But every time they are together, he’s thinking “I want her,” but he’s unsure if she’s thinking, “I want him too,” or, “I want to be friends.” This uncertainty causes him to resist his instincts, and after each get together (movie, dinner date, friend’s wedding, etc.) he just keeps putting it off. Because let’s face it my darlings, if a guy friend just leaned in out of nowhere — well, to you it would seem sudden, but he’s been thinking about it for the past couple hours — and kissed you, you’d feel:

- a little freaked out
- confused/shocked (How he could possibly think that you are interested in being more than friends?)
- sorry for the poor sucker and awkwardly pity-kiss him back (Do you even have a choice?) followed by avoiding him from then on

To avoid landing in the friend zone:

Make your feelings known. Life passes us by and we find out years later that so-and-so was interested in us but was too intimidated by us to say something. We are twenty-somethings. We have our group of friends. Yes, friends are nice, but do we really need more friends? If you meet someone and have a romantic attraction to them, it’s better to be authentic and real. Sure you can get rejected and sure they can get awkward, but we’ve learned time and time again how to deal with those feelings. It’s better to have piece of mind then to ridicule yourself for not saying anything, right? Plus, if the person gets freaked out and starts acting shady, are they really such a good friend to begin with?

I was once approached by a friend who wanted to be more. To be honest, I was quite surprised after all this time this person had feelings for me. Call it naive, when in fact to him it was so obvious, but I didn’t see the signs since I wasn’t looking for them. Silly me just thought he was a “really, really nice guy.” Although I wasn’t on the same page as him, I was humbled that he could be so honest with me. I had a mature conversation about my thoughts on why it wouldn’t work, and our friendship has grown because of it.

Oh, and sometimes, in the case of our dear friends Chandler and Monica, you may find out that you two are on the same page. And well, we all know the end to that story.

- Jenny Jen

Photo found on http://cherrycondom.tumblr.com/

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About the Author,

Jen Kirsch spent three of her first four years in College in a relationship. In her fourth, she let go of the idea of monogamy and did some very valuable “research”. This research has allowed her to make a name for herself as the go-to relationship expert, columnist and blogger in Canada. Her quick wit and all too honest tone (and background in broadcast journalism) make Jenny Jen the perfect role model for us college kids who need some advice from a best friend when our best friend doesn’t have the guts to say what we really need to her. Her blog Blonde, Bronzed, Twentysomething has the answers (and anecdotes) to everything and anything on your mind. Can we say twentysomething Carrie Bradshaw, anyone?