Ahhh, sweet student life these days, between all of the midterms, readings, tests, etc. it seems that a good amount of us at U of T somehow find the time to give a fair amount of attention to such things as: Our friends, girlfriends/boyfriends, people we see in class or in the library, and those we are attracted to but may be simply too afraid to talk, to approach, or even flirt with. What’s with all the interest on these topics this time of year? Is it because Valentine’s day is looming just around the corner, and we are all worried about being alone? Many seem to be talking about their loneliness, longing for that significant other, and of course about being “friendzoned” (especially for you guys out there). All one has to do is check out Umentioned Utoronto on Facebook to see that U of T students aren’t just merely book junkies concerned about their GPA’s these days. We have social lives too (contrary to popular belief), and thus social problems with it.
Generally I wouldn’t post on such a topic with so many variations in opinion floating around, but one of the Umentioned posts in particular actually gave me the incentive to write an entire post on this “dreaded” friend zone (well that and, what’s a blog without relationship advice?). Of course my post is from a male perspective and is thus only my opinion, but I think it is not only a relevant topic, but interesting too. These days you see far too many guys complaining about the friend zone and a lot of girls saying “I just don’t see him in that way”. Why are guys afraid to weigh in on this topic? Because everything I read about the friend zone to relationship advice seems to be from a female persepctive, and thus doesn’t cover the male side. So here we go (I’ll try not to be too biased).
So first of all, how does our dear friend the Internet define “Friendzone”: “What you attain after you fail to impress a woman you’re attracted to. Usually initiated by the woman saying, ‘You’re such a good friend.’ Usually associated with long days of suffering and watching your love interest hop from one bad relationship to another.”……. Oh us humans can be so brutal
We all love attention. We’re human and we like the fact that others want us, it gives us self confidence, and the feeling as though we matter as individuals. In essence that is why friend zoning exists. Think about it, we enjoy having what we want (in this case, attention) without committing, or giving out more than we have to, we like being in the power position, being able to have the option to choose, and to basically have it all, its simply human of us. Is this why when relationships end the dumper wants to remain friends with the dumpee? Well I certainly think there may be a connection.
There seems to be some sort of a stereotype when it comes to friendzoning though. All the time you hear about men complaining that they have been friend zoned, or a buddy of theirs is in the “friendzone”, even the guys out there who claim they never have been friendzoned, probably have, we have all fallen victim to it one time or another. So what’s a guy to do to get out of the friendzone once your in? Hmmmm…… well how about you don’t get there in the first place?
I find (at least within my friends and experiences) that it really comes all down to confidence. If you liked the girl from day 1 then really you should have made a move in the first place (Snape buddy, you should have made a move on Lilly, totally your own fault). Allowing yourself to be irritated, annoyed, or angry and thus be just the friend, not only makes it seem like the girl owes you something for your attention, but the anger also most likely assumes that you feel she has some sort of obligation to be romantic with you. It seems those who stick around as the best friend have simply accepted the fact that they have missed out on being the boyfriend and are now settling for the consolation prize of the friend zone. You’re only lowering yourself and allowing her to make the decision, which probably isn’t very attractive in her eyes at all. You’re also hurting your chances with her and proving that you lack the confidence to either be with her or just split. Don’t settle for that middle ground.
Also, as a side note, guy’s friend-zone all the time too, I’ve been guilty of it myself, and you know what, it feels great, but no one likes being on the receiving end of such a relationship. Men it seems are less inclined to friendzone women though because they don’t seem to vie for that sort of emotional attention as much, and lets face it they are quicker to take advantage of an intimate moment when they can. Guys, especially at our age, also tend to friend-zone when they believe that they can do better. Because in all honesty, many of us are shallow, we base too much on appearance and some of us honestly believe we can get that perfect 10 supermodel. The problem with this though can be that when we smarten up and realize that the girl we friend zoned might be the perfect package, she has potentially already lost interest in you.
Once in though, how do you at least attempt to get out? Well I personally don’t think you can (at least not in the short term). If you’re the best friend and that other person is used to leaning on you all the time the only solution is to “disappear” in a sense. Put your time and energy somewhere else, don’t always be available, or even ask him/her to set you up with one of their friends (that’ll throw them off for sure). In essence it will make them question their relationship with you, and it also shows a level of confidence and independence apart from that person.
So guys, this Valentine’s don’t beg your female “best friend” to be your valentine if your secretly in love with her. Not only does it make you seem needy, but also like you don’t have any other options.
In conclusion, I may not be a psych student, and no I’m not taking any relationship/sexology courses at U of T. I am by no means an expert, this is strictly a personal account, so please apply this advice with caution. Oh and be free to tell me the results, or just post it to Umentioned Utoronto and let every know (it seems its the new way to express anything and everything these days anyways). Good luck *thumbs up*