Posted on January 26, 2016

Turn Left For the Friend-Zone: Your Guide to Navigating Platonic Relationships


Imagine the possibility of a person who might be the perfect match for you. Forget about all physical attributes. Now, picture all the required personality traits you think a person should have to be “good friend material.” Typically, that person needs to be loyal, honest, funny, have at least some common interests with you and understand you no matter what. If we reconsider and review those five qualities, we should ask ourselves a relevant question. Aren’t those qualities the same things you should want from a romantic partner? Is the thin yet complicated line of the friend-zone defined only by the physical aspect of the relationship?

It has always been a mystery why some people are naturally drawn to each other. Sometimes, there isn’t a logical reason. The “I don’t know what it is, but he/she has something I like…” line is all too common. Meeting someone at a bar or simply starting off as classmates can have totally different outcomes and scenarios. The place, time and circumstance behind meeting someone has a lot to do with the course the relationship will take – whether it’s friendship or something more. Let us explain.

We all know that people turn to social activities like house parties, bars or local events to easily find a romantic partner. Think about it. How many times has your best bro played wingman or wingwoman for you at Lucky Lou’s? Now, just change the surroundings and reverse the roles. Would you have your best friend play the same role, only with your childhood friend at a family reunion? Ew, no thank you. Do you see what we mean? Hitting on a rando at the bar is completely different from hitting on Timmy from Down the Street. You just don’t see him that way.

We all have either been friend-zoned or have friend-zoned someone close to us, subconsciously or otherwise. There’s a different method to everyone’s madness, but here are some key indicators that the friend-zone is #lit.

Line #1:  “He’s such a jerk! I wish he was more like you.”

What it actually means: “I wish he was more like you, but he isn’t. He’s a jerk and that’s why I like him.” Confused? Us too. It doesn’t really make sense, but admit it: you’ve definitely had a fling with someone who didn’t treat you the best, but you couldn’t let them go. We tend to feel attracted to what keeps us entertained, nervous or anxious. Everyone loves a little bit of drama. Unfortunately, it may not always be the good kind. Take this in stride – it’ll pass.

Line #2: “You have to meet her/him, you guys would totally get along!”

When they start wanting to introduce you to the girlfriend or the boyfriend, congratulations! You have officially been designated as the best friend/gay friend/brother-from-another-mother/study buddy/Virgin Mary/etc. in that person’s eyes. But don’t panic! There will come a time when the tables will be turned, and it’ll feel pretty damn good.

Line #3: “I wish I could find someone that understands me and accepts me as I am.”

If you get this little Devil of a one-liner, there is still hope. This is not just an emotional statement; this is an invitation to try-outs. Don’t let it go to waste. When a person says this, he or she is probably more lonely than they care to admit. Take this opportunity to test the waters and show how much you care about that person. It may not be the safest bet, but who knows? It will be a thousand times better to say that you at least tried. Look at Ross and Rachel for goodness sake! They did this same dance basically every season, and look what happened. Best comeback from the friend-zone EVER!

Is the friend-zone escapable? Totally. Is it a walk in the park? Not really. Is it worth it? That’s up to you to decide. Just remember this: we accept the love we think we deserve (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, anyone?).

Photo by: Will Baldwin

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