No Trojans here. If this was me I’d be on the other side of the field and they’d all be laughing at me
My closest friends have always been girls – from Jane in 4th grade all the way through college. Unfortunately, at age 21 I hit puberty and became a grumpy hosebeast. I’m not saying that I’m trying to sleep with every girl I meet, but I guess I am looking for more, how do you say, intimacy. That is, I’m at a point in my life where I feel like the energy I invest in friendships may merit some, er, genetic return. My behavior, however, hasn’t caught up to my hormones and I still find myself in the same situations. Unclear how much a (merican) football metaphor carries here, but sometimes I’ll look around and think – we’re spending time alone, she laughs at my jokes, calls often, I must be in the end zone. Then I’ll look closer and realize I’m on the wrong side of the field. It looks like the end zone and it feels like the end zone, but you don’t get any points here. I have scored an own goal, and I will be scoring ‘own goals’ for the rest of this relationship.
I may make a mad dash for the proper side, but there be burly men between here and there. Sometimes I wonder if I should just stay where it’s comfortable – with the eunuchs and gay confidantes – but my hormones are beating a steady mutiny into my skull. Now, I should clarify that when I say Friend Zone I mean something entirely different from simply being friends with the opposite sex. Football, as it were, is a sport played my two people, and two people alone. I simply don’t consider it playing if we hang out in groups. All my girl.friends in the past have been in my circle and, now that I think of it, I rarely (if ever) spent time with them alone. The moment you bring solitary dinners and (God forbid) red wine into the mix, I begin seeing goal posts and I’ll usually run for the closest one. But first, what exactly is the Friend Zone? To paraphrase the Wiki,
The friend zone states that a woman is open to having an intimate relationship with him until certain elements of his personality are revealed which the woman finds subconciously sexually unattractive. In that case, that man would be mentally categorized as a “friend” rather than a lover, i.e. put into the friend zone. The key element is that, once there, it is almost impossible for a man to get out, that is, it is almost impossible for a woman to change her mind and become sexually attracted to that man. This is said to be very different from how a male’s mind would work, and as a result leads to a string of false expectations on the part of the man.
Many dating seminars and texts focus on how to avoid the friend zone, advising immediate cessation of all contact once a man finds himself in the friend zone. It should be noted that this is often paired with a philosophy designed to help a man have sex with women, with a priority on constantly meeting new women. Its value for helping a man find a secure, loving relationship is uncertain.
I’d say that definition is good, especially the inclusion of the latter part. Running away may preclude a later, healthy relationship, but I wouldn’t know. NSLog also has an interesting perspective on how the Friend Zone is an excuse. There is also a funny quiz on Outpost Nine. I get a 76, making me ‘Mayor of the Friend Zone’. Fuck me (or not). For me, some idiosyncratic signs of being in the Friend Zone include,
- Personal Growth and Development: I began going to the gym, meditating (more), and driving partly for different women. Anytime I find myself becoming a better person that is a definite sign that I need to get out of that relationship.
- Cooking Dinner: Anytime I make dinner for someone I might as well be frying my balls cause it’s fucking over.
- Loaning Books: This is especially odd, but girls seem to instinctively find books I don’t own and borrow them. I loaned Miya’s Murakami book, for starters. I have also lost other peoples books but they may read this and I don’t want to talk about it. I think it is some sort of territorial marking thing.
- Calling: I am a deeply insecure person and I don’t call anybody because it makes me feel weak. If I do pick up the phone it is because I am in the process of scoring an own goal.
- Doing Favors: If I’m in a relationship I’d break my back for that person, but in the Friend Zone I do all that stuff for free. Not to mix metaphors, but why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?
- Talking About My Day: These girls seem to think I’m interesting and I always find it odd when they call and ask me what I did today. I feel like I’m there to amuse them, like a personal blog for an audience of one. This one might be a bit broad, and I might be a bit touchy.
- Sleeping In The Same Bed: I don’t know how this happens but on at least 3, fuck, 4 occassions I have found myself in the same bed with a girl. Sleeping. Or me not sleeping and questioning my orientation all night. Maybe this was a college and Montreal is too fucking cold to go home thing, but it was bad.
- Generally Being a Caring and Decent Human Being: Bad, bad, bad, bad.
The final sign, worthy of a paragraph, is pseudodating. When I find myself going to dinner, shows, movies, etc and getting a peck on the cheek that is a definite sign that things are fuxored. If you haven’t gotten somewhere by the 5th date the girl isn’t attracted to you and you need to leave. Of course, it is theoretically possible to go out with a girl and not be dating. I go to dinner with my school and even (gasp) married friends. I think the difference is that we didn’t start by going out alone. We all hung out in groups, and then became close. If your first encounter with someone is drinks or dinner then I consider it dating, or at least my genes do. This definition of dating is, of course, debateable. I suppose I should wear a sign around my neck saying ‘I AM TRYING TO SLEEP WITH YOU’ so that uninterested girls will know and wisely take shelter in packs.
Of course the most awful part of the Friend Zone is that by the time you figure out what’s going on the girl thinks that you’re friends and it hurts when you pull away. It hurts me too cause I generally liked these girls so much that I forgot any half-assed game I knew and was just being myself. When I was younger I could (and did) deal with it and I salvaged some good friendships. If I could just retreat to the 50 yard line and see them around or with friends I’d be happy, but it never works out that way. Girls want the same intimacy as when I thought we were dating, and it just doesn’t work. Not that I wouldn’t like that, but my hormones have no idea that intimacy has two meanings. They’re just like, ‘you’ve got her alone, procreate already’. I can beat back that voice most of the time, but mix in dinner and alcohol and other dating cues and I’m just too fucking weak. I can’t go back, and I can’t stay here, so I pull a Forrest Gump and run out of the stadium altogether. The girl thinks I’m being a bad friend, but in reality it’s just a collosal miscommunication. It freaking hurts cause I really care about this person, but I think leaving is the most responsible adult way to deal with being an immature idiot. Just get the fuck out before anyone gets really hurt. Next time I’m just going to pay attention, watch the signs, and… make the exact same mistakes I always do.