Friend Zone

Posted: December 30, 2008 in Humor, Love, Uncategorized
I have a new job.  Its really about a month old now, but I haven’t been posting here because I’ve been busy as all hell.  I’ve also been encountering resistance in the form of my friends.  I’m at a point in my life where I need to do what is best for Justin, but my motivations seem opaque to many.  The many I’m referring to generally get about half of what I’m aiming at and the other half blows by them.  My co-workers asked of me that I go to the bar after work on Friday.  “No…  I haven’t got any money for gas, let alone beer,” I reply.  Ignore for the moment that this person knew that I had yet to catch up on my phone bill and that I am saving money (for what exactly is no longer clear).  This person also knew that I had been at work all day, and thus could not have cashed my paycheck. “Didn’t you get paid today?” the person asks.  Sigh.

Anyway, I thought I’d write a bit about the Friend Zone (hereafter: FZ).  This isn’t a new idea, and my treatment of it may be ungentle, but I told a friend I’d get around to it.  This particular zone is something we all end up in at some point.  The object of your affection doesn’t immediately return the sentiment, so you are nice and helpful and so on.  You listen to problems and offer advice.  The problems get more personal, because your paramour feels safe talking to you.  Before you know it, you are loved like a brother or sister.  You’re too safe, and they don’t think of you in a romantic capacity.  It’s happened to me more than once, and I felt bad about it every time, but I think I’ve grown a bit as a person because I don’t think it’s such a bad thing anymore.  For one thing, my friends are of incalculable value to me so having more is never bad.  For another, I’ve never been in an intimate relationship with someone whom I was initially good friends with.  All of my relationships have ended badly thus far, and I’m starting to think maybe it’s time to try a different approach.  Later.  I’m still reeling from the last one, but that is a story for another time.

As I’ve said, I don’t think of the FZ as a bad thing.  It’s true that you end up there by being kind and helpful, but is it really so bad to be those things all the time?  Sure, they say that nice guys finish last, but the world could surely use more genuinely decent people.  You are what you do, in this case.  In addition, maybe the person you have your eye on is in a bad head-space.  In an age of instant gratification, we seem to lose sight of the long-term goal: build meaningful contacts with others (and the real goal: stave off loneliness and dull the edge of the stabbing pain of mortality).  The bad head-space thing will change eventually, and your patience can put you in the right place at the right time.  Another consideration:  your love interest may not know what s/he wants in a partner right now.  If there is one thing I’ve learned, its that what we want and what we think we want may not be even close to each other.  Hell, you may be eyeing someone you think you want and wind up in thier FZ only to discover that the two of you wouldn’t make good partners anyway.

I’m firing this off largely unedited, because right now I’m feeling lazy, but I would have all 5 of my readers take this away with them:  The Friend Zone is a good thing.  If there’s a play to be made after you get there, you’ll know first.  If there isn’t, you can always go grab a beer with your friends.

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