Friend-Zoned: What does it mean?

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In my current college years, I hear the word ‘friend zoned’ being thrown around a lot.

“Dude, she said I am a really nice guy and her good friend.” “Oh no man! You have been friendzoned!”

“Dude she introduced me to her friends at the party last night and said I am a great guy, single and any of them would be lucky to date me as I am her best friend” “oh man! You are in the friend zone!”

Such conversation between guys is fairly common nowadays and the usage of this word is widespread. I started wondering what exactly did this term mean. So I read a lot about it on the internet and I found it a hilarious concept. I mean a girl and a guy are friends. He wants to date her. She doesn’t. that is why he thinks he has been friendzoned and all his friends think she is a b***h for turning him down. I mean like seriously guys? How low can you dip? It is a girls’ personal choice whether she wants to date a guy or not. Just because he likes her and is good to her does not mean she is obligated to date him! Grow up boys! To understand this concept a little better I talked to many friends about it. And to my utter surprise, girls get friendzoned too! So I dug deep and did many case studies on this frivolous concept as I have nothing better to do and I am going to present the extreme cases to you. To maintain the anonymity of my friend’s identities, I will call them by other names.

Sasha is a big Taylor Swift fan. While talking about Johnny she always quoted the lyrics of ‘You belong with me’-

“Dreaming about the day
When you wake up and find
That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time.

If you could see that I’m the one who understands you
Been here all along, so why can’t you see?
You belong with me, you belong with me”.

Sasha was in love with Johnny for over two years and he always asked her to set him up with her hot girlfriends. Although she was heartbroken, still she set him up each time, so he would be happy. She thought that one day he would realize that she is the one for him. But that day never came. After years of crying and being depressed and hurt, Sasha moved on and had to severe her ties with Johnny in order to do so. Today she is happy with another guy and barely even thinks about Johnny.

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A guy in my college named Adam thinks he in love with Eve but for Eve he is not more than a friend. Eve calls Adam her best friend. She says he is a gentleman, someone any girl would be lucky to have in her life. They hang out together all the time. She bakes his favourite cake for his birthday. She brings him flowers and chocolates when he is unwell. She remembers all the little details about him. She cares about him to the point of asking him whether he has eaten all day or not. She helps him out with any problem he goes through. She hugs him while saying goodbye. She tells him that he is the best guy she has ever met. She asks him why she never finds a guy like him. She asks for his opinion about everything starting from what clothes to buy. She tells him about who she has a crush on or wants to date or who she is already dating. He consoles her through her break ups. He is her shoulder to cry on. She encourages him to date other girls. She behaves like his buddy: protective, concerned and loving. Adam asks her out. She says no and gives him the reason that if they were to break up ever, she would lose her best friend. Hence, she does not want to jeopardize her friendship with him and would never date him.

Adam is utterly confused. She spends most of her time with him, seems to be dropping hints about how she is into him, laughs at most of his jokes, cares for him like his mother would, but turns down his proposal for a romantic relationship? Dafuq?!? What a perplex situation poor Adam is in! He does everything to please her. She tells him he is the kind of guy she wants to take home. Then why doesn’t she take him home, he wonders. Why does she put him through all this pain? Adam listens to ‘With or Without you’ by U2 and relates to its lyrics:-

“See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you,
Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you,
Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I’m waiting for you,
My hands are tied
My body bruised, she’s got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose,

With or without you
I can’t live
With or without you!”

Adam contemplates the option of walking away from this unfruitful relationship but does not want to hurt Eve. And in his heart he knows he would feel much worse not seeing her and talking to her every day. He keeps telling himself that something is better than nothing. And of course Adam knows he cannot force her to have feelings for him so all he can do is either wait or walk away.

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The friend zone situation has been carefully explained by Stephanie Meyer in her Twilight series. It struck me while watching the entire series was why Bella chose Edward and not Jacob. Bella loves Jacob, he is a childhood friend of hers, she knows he has a crush on her, she spends time with him against Edward’s wishes, flirts with him, holds his hand while walking, almost kisses him herself but when he kisses her she punches him, kisses him very passionately once so he stays with her and does not go to fight a coven of vampires, blah blah blah. Bella is a confused chick. She loves her boyfriend Edward, the vampire but also loves her best friend Jacob, the werewolf! What perplexing options for her to chose from! If only she was a normal girl… Now this is what one calls the classic example of being friendzoned!

If you still did not grasp the concept of this new terminology, let me explain it to you from the Wikipedian definition of friend zone (yes, even Wikipedia has a page about it!): ‘In popular culture, friend zone refers to a platonic relationship wherein one person wishes to enter into a romantic or sexual relationship, while the other does not. It is generally considered to be an undesirable or dreadedsituation by the lovelorn person.’ Basically, it is another word for unrequited love with a twist of friendship. Most people go through this experience atleast once in their lifetime.

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Some websites want to help guys and girls come out of the friend zone by sighting examples of people who did it. By the way, all these ‘people’ are fictional characters. Ronald Weasley dates, marries and lives happily ever after with Hermione Granger in the superhit, best-selling Harry Potter series. No one ever thought he had it in him! Ron Stoppable from the animated Kim Possible series made it out of the friend zone too! Do all the guys named Ron accomplish the dream? In the popular TV series F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Chandler Bing escapes the friend zone and dates Monica Geller and finally marries her. In the amazing ‘Hunger Games’ series, Peeta Mallark goes through something even worse than the friendzone- everyone believed he was actually Katniss’s boyfriend but in truth he was not. But eventually while pretending to be in love with him, she actually did. If you look closely at each example, the guy waited for the girl, like a perfect gentleman, did not reproach her for dating anyone else, and finally when she developed feelings for him, they got together. “You cannot clap using only one hand”, is the ideal quote for this situation. So friends and friendzoners, if you really think you are in love with someone who thinks of you as their friend, respect their feelings for you and either move on or wait peacefully, but do not try to force them to have feelings for you. Also, so not tell your friends that she is not into me etc etc because then they will call a perfectly innocent girl bad names, who might not even know about your feelings for her. All the best guys and girls in the world of the Friend Zone!

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