Learning to Love the Friend Zone

In the corner

As a teenager I spent a lot of time in whats commonly called “the friend zone” [1]. It usually began with my showing interest in a girl and included a conversation that began with the words “we need to talk” and ended with the words “your a nice guy” while a knife was stuck in my heart 🙂

For a young man the friend zone is the last place you would ever want to be since your constantly reminded there’s no possibility of a relationship. But looking back on my teenage years I can see it as an important part of healthy relationships.

The key difference is instead of coming on too strong and being relegated to the friend zone awkwardly, men must choose to enter it at the beginning of a relationship before dating begins.

Normally the friend-zone isn’t something you would enter willingly
1. You will usually be spending time with the young woman and her friends instead of yours which can be sort of awkward
2. Anyone who enters the friend zone realizes there is absolutely 0% chance of dating her
3. And its common for the young woman to interact with you in a different way than other guys  [2]

So why should I subject myself to something like this willingly? Because in the friend zone you can discover what they are really like.

its my personal opinion there needs to be a relationship stage before the initial “coffee dates” where we truly learn about the person. This isn’t just to think through compatibility, but for a Christian its to ask whether or not this is a person God may have chosen for them to marry.

It is possible to learn about the person while going out for coffee or ice-cream, but in reality a commitments already been made [3] and they won’t be sharing too much of themselves at that point anyways.

The common pre-coffee stage for Christian young men is something I call a “stalker stage” which involves spending time with her whenever possible, and studying like theres an exam on her life next period [4]. While you may gain some information this way its way too obvious, so your not really accomplishing the goal of finding out what kind of person she is.

The friend zone is different because the emphasis is on learning what kind of person they are by observation instead of asking lots of questions. Being a guy they could never see themselves dating is awkward…but you can see how she responds.

  1. To discouragmeent-what is she like on a bad day?
  2. To failure-does she just give up or keep trying?
  3. To anxiety-What worries her? How does she respond to things that are frightening?
  4. Or to anger-Does she have a temper problem?  The she does get made what kind of things calm her down?

It won’t take long to get a firm understanding of what she is like on her best and worst days. You will also know whether or not this is someone you want to pursue a relationship with.

Of course if you do find out this persons someone your interested in then you have to successfully “escape the friend zone” which definitely isn’t an easy feat. However many times being able to observe people over time allows us to work past the initial emotion, and realize they aren’t as perfect as we imagined them to be.

  1. for those who don’t know, this is when a person your interested in isn’t interested at all in dating you, but still wants to hang out as friends. Its leads to very awkward situations  ↩
  2. she will talk and interact as if your “one of the girls”  ↩
  3. One to find out if the other persons truly interested in you, and express your interest in them  ↩
  4. constantly asking her very personal questions, and grilling her friends for information  ↩

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