Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011
As a single Black woman I can definitely feel the effects of the lack of good, single Black men. It may seem that all the good ones are taken, married, or they don’t meet our, often times, extensive list of qualifications. But many of us, especially women, tend to quickly categorize everyone we meet. There is the potential mate zone, the booty call zone, and the infamous friend zone. Why do we seem to put so many men in the friend zone so quickly and why do we often refuse to rezone them? When your kids are zoned to a particular school and you don’t think they are benefiting from the curriculum or maybe they are just advanced in their learning, beyond what they are getting from that school, you’ll figure out a way to get them in a different school in another zone correct? Because their education and growth is important to you. That’s exactly how we should treat these ‘friend zone’ situations. We often spend and waste so much time looking for love that we don’t see that love exists right under our noses. We may talk to and see our love on a daily or at least regular basis, but we call it friendship. But like the popular 90s R&B group Shai sang, “If I ever fall in love again, I’ll be sure the lady is a friend.” They say the best relationships start out as friends, but do we really live by that creed?
I was listening to online radio one day at work and the crew read a letter written by a woman that had a male friend of over 18 years. During the years he expressed many times that he wanted to be more than friends and finally after 18 years she decided to date him, but now she’s disappointed that he hasn’t made more of a commitment to her. Now for 18 years he watched you date other men, obviously unsuccessful because she’s still single, and after making him wait you want him to jump into a commitment with you? How sway? Is it fair to make him rush when you’ve made him wait for so long? So why do we friend zone people so quickly and why are we so hesitant to go beyond the friend zone? Speaking from personal experience, I never want to assume that every guy that approaches me wants to get with me. So I always consider their approach to just be of a friendly nature or him just being polite or just striking up a friendly conversation. Steve Harvey says that every guy has an agenda and no guy wants to just be your friend. He is always waiting on the right moment to slide in and take that friendship to the next level. I don’t think that’s always true. I have 2 really good guy friends that I trust and are very comfortable with and neither of them have ever tried anything. And recent events prove that we can’t rely on Steve’s advice, and the fact that he’s on his third marriage may prove that he’s not the expert that he has so confidently deemed himself.
So let’s discuss why and how people get friend zoned and how to climb your way out of the abyss of friend zoneness, if you so choose. Most of us have a list of qualifications for our potential mate, a sometimes very unrealistic list. If the person we meet does not match the items on that list, but they still prove to be a good human and someone you could have fun with, they may immediately get dismissed and thrown into the friend zone basket. Sometimes we have these friendships that have lasted for years, someone you really care about and would be devastated if they left your life so you’re not willing to take the risk of ruining it by attempting a romantic relationship. We also friend zone people out fear of rejection or being hurt. When you are carrying baggage from your past it can be hard to trust, so you put everyone in the friend category to avoid the potential of being let down…again. Other reasons for putting someone in the friend zone is a lack of attraction for someone or simply being incompatible with a person. Or maybe that attraction was there and that person did something disgusting, immoral, or unethical that turns you off. Deciding to start a relationship with anyone is a risk because no one can predict the outcome. And if you decide to move a valuable friendship into relationship territory it can be even more of a risk. First, you need to establish how strong your feelings are and if you feel that your friendship is worth the risk of losing if this relationship doesn’t work or your friend doesn’t feel the same way you do. You can try to establish rules in the beginning like, the friendship won’t change or if it doesn’t work out you’ll work on just being friends again. But let’s face it, that’s a bunch of BULL! It’s damn near impossible to go from being friends, to lovers and seeing each other naked and, if y’all part ways, go back to being just friends. Someone’s feelings are bound to get hurt, things will be said, and people will move on to other relationships. After that, ain’t no mo friendship bih!
Now that you’ve decided that you actually want to use your graveling hook to climb out the friend zone hole, let’s talk about how to actually do that. Depending on how close you are with the individual that you’ve friend zoned, or that has friend zoned you, very few people will know them like you do. That’s your advantage…show them how much you know and understand them. Now don’t do this in a manipulative way, but what better person to have a relationship with than someone who already knows you and all your little funny and disgusting habits. With a stranger, you have to teach and show them who you are and what you like and dislike. When you’ve already established a friendship with someone, the rest should be fairly easy. I’m not saying you won’t experience the same hurdles that all relationships do, but the getting to know each other process shouldn’t be as hard as it would be with a stranger. The most important thing you can do is be patient. It may not be easy for your friend to go from friendship to relationship, especially if they had no idea you had feelings for them beyond friendship. Give them time to process it. If you sincerely care for this person and want to experience a future with them, respect their feelings and their space if they need it.
If you’re trying to get out of the friend zone I hope it works out for you. And if they reject you, F*** em…they weren’t that cute anyway.
Until next time,