The “friendzone”

when harry met sallyI had no idea that there was a term for that unhealthy relationship where two friends do everything together, yet one is secretly in love with the other. But apparently this scenario is called the “friendzone”. It may have a new name, but the set-up is as old as time. Two people start off as friends and have so much in common. They tell each other everything and they call each other in a crisis. In other words, they are best friends,  even though they are of the opposite sex or they are both gay.

Obviously you can be friends with someone of the opposite sex, or of the sex to which you’re attracted, but it can end in tears if one person falls in love with their friend. They might keep their feelings secret for a while, but at some point it becomes too hard to listen to their friend’s dating stories and so they confess their love and attraction. The response? No, no, no – you’re in the friendzone.  We can’t ruin this fabulous friendship we have with intimacy!! 

The relationship then heads into unhealthy territory. The couple agree to remain friends, but the ground has shifted. The one whose love is unrequited becomes more like a doormat than a friend. He or she will answer that 3am phonecall and rush out to pick up their tired and emotional friend. They will even set them up with dates if their friend expresses interest in a workmate or acquaintance. Meanwhile, the love lost person is rapidly losing confidence and wasting time and energy he or she could be putting into finding someone who is interested in having a healthy relationship.

So if you are being kept in the friendzone by someone to whom you are attracted, exit the zone immediately. Perhaps in time, you can rekindle the friendship, but only if your feelings have shifted. Expect some resistance however. The other person has loved having you on call and has been feeding off your adoration and attention.


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