Thursday, 26 April 2018

Won't Be The Same

 Get The Look:
Trench Coat - Nasty Gal // Jeans - Urban Outfitters // Bodysuit - PrettyLittleThing // Shoes - Puma 

I’ve been watching a lot of Friends recently (don’t ask me why - I clicked on one episode and now I’m in the sunken place) and decided to make a post on either friendships or relationships. I put up a poll on my Instastories and although many of you voted for me to talk about ‘breakups’, the ‘friend zone’ voters won...

So what is the ‘friend zone’? Urban dictionary describes it as: “when a girl decides that you’re her friend, you’re no longer a dating option. You become this complete non-sexual entity in her eyes, like her brother, or a lamp”.

As hilarious as I find this definition, I also find it problematic. This definition does not seem to account for women who have been “friend zoned”. Additionally, it doesn’t adequately describe the friend zone- the parameters, how you find yourself in it, how to navigate through it or get out of it. These are questions that need answers urban dictionary! My aim in this blog post is to share my definition of the friend zone, my experiences with it and how to effectively navigate through it.  

After discussing this topic with two knowledgeable individuals, I think I understand what this mysterious zone is. It is an area in the mind of an individual (A). An area in which another individual (B), has been placed when individual ‘B’ has tried to have a relationship more intimate than friendship with individual A but has subsequently been rejected. This being due to the fact that A only sees B as a friend or a lamp.

I think the confusion comes when people mix up an outright rejection with friend zoning. If you didn’t have an actual friendship with someone and tried to make advances, then you were just plain ole rejected. Another confusion comes when people mix up being friends and getting friend zoned. If two people are just friends and have both conveyed that they are just friends to each other – a friend  zoning situation has not occurred as no-one has tried to be anything more.

Taking a look at various other definitions of 'the friend zone' in Urban Dictionary, it is evident that this definition is very much centered around guys. This may be due to the fact that they tend to play the victim. In my experience, people act in one of 4 ways:

-       Woe is me: this is when they complain about being friend zoned and suggest how much of a good person they are (annoying)
-       Persistent: they don’t take no for an answer and try to make more advances (super annoying)
-       Tantrum throwing: They get angry and act irrationally (scary)
-       Accept their position: You’ll either end up with them or stay good friends and they find someone else that’s great for them (great)

There is nothing wrong with developing feelings for someone and expressing that. You may be doing a disservice to yourself by not doing so. The problem arises when you have trouble expressing that in a way that isn't detrimental. Going from a being friends with someone to dating them is scary. There's a fear that if things don't work out, you'll end up losing a good friend.

When I first thought of this topic, I thought I had never been friend zoned because for some reason  I related the first three states to typical reactions to being friend zoned. None of which I had done. However, as I thought more about it, I realized I had been friend zoned before. Here's a little bit of  a Storytime:

A time I recall getting friend zoned: I was talking/texting a guy friend and we were getting to know each other better; to the point where I thought, if this dude doesn’t ask me out soon, I’m going to be the one doing the asking. We were having a conversation at around 10/11pm I think (texting) and I asked him a leading question, to which he responded “my girlfriend so-and-so”, essentially solidifying my lamp status lol. They had recently started dating and made it official and I hadn’t realized. Knowing my character, I understood either one of two things would happen. I would either remain friends with this person and accept my friend zoned position OR I would distance myself. *(I wonder if you can guess which I chose? DM me what option you think I went for and I will tell you the end to this story or leave a comment below and I will privately message you.)*

The line of thinking I adopted after this instance, I realize, does not come instinctively to my male counterparts. What seems to be a recurrent theme in womens' experiences is that they get one of the first three reactions by men. There is undoubtedly a sense of entitlement and privilege afforded to men that somehow makes them think that because they have stated what they want and when they want it, they are automatically going to get it. It can go beyond the point of mildly annoying and become scary when men overreact to women’s autonomy.

 In light of this, here are my top three tips on how to effectively navigate the ‘friend zone’:

 1.     State your feelings but accept your position when person 'A' has made a decision.
2.     If you can’t handle being around person 'A' because of your developing feelings, create distance
3.     Don’t throw a tantrum because someone doesn’t see you ‘in that way’, there are many more beautiful, handsome, smart, talented (depending on what you’re into) fish in the sea
4.     Focus on being a great friend

There have been instances where individuals have escaped this dreaded friend zone and I found a success story! I asked a friend to tell me about her experience. This is what she had to say:

Hope you guys enjoyed this post. Please don't take me too seriously :)

Post Song Title : Won't Be The Same - Boogie 

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