Valentine’s Day is approaching, which means some youngster is set to confess his undying love for a girl that views him as a “buddy.”
As we arrive to another Valentine’s Day, numerous souls who have been led astray, bamboozled, and hoodwinked.
Somewhere this weekend, poor souls will empty their wallets or their emotional reserves to express their feelings to one of their friends.
Of course, you’ll run into a brick wall, left listening to David Gray, Coldplay, or Brook Benton records.
Now, I’ll be honest. If a Friends Zone Hall of Fame existed, I’d be a first-ballot selection. My work as a middle schooler to college student is right up there with Bart Starr’s five NFL titles and Bill Russell’s 11 NBA titles.
Thankfully, time and making a healthy amount of mistakes has cured me of this affliction.
Sadly, others aren’t as fortunate. So, let’s take a journey through this gruesome and troubling trend that swallows folks whole.
HOW DOES ONE ENTER THE FRIENDS ZONE?
We’re going to tell this from the guy’s perspective because it appears the fellas end up in the “Zone” far more than the ladies do.
It’s a simple concept. The Friends Zone can be achieved when a guy does the following:
- Never pursues the woman in question or doesn’t declare his stance from the start in some manner.
- Engages in an endless string of group hangouts. In other words, your life would resemble an episode of Friends or How I Met Your Mother.
- Fails to grab the attention of a woman through superficial means (i.e. looks, job, and financial background).
- You’re of a different race or religion that your lady friend can’t mess with.
- You are considered too creepy or weird to date but you have a really great personality.
If one of those items apply to you, trouble looms.
When you first meet a girl, you’re evaluated. Believe it or not, dating (especially the online variety) is the world’s largest scouting combine. Just as if we were Tim Tebow trying to show scouts our throwing release was proper, women are deciding whether we are suitable mates.
Everything is evaluated and soon a young lady forms an opinion (whether it be correct or inaccurate) of you. Unfortunately though, your “scouting report” is internalized by the woman and/or verbalized to her closest female confidants.
If you don’t cut the mustard, it’s time to go to the black hole that is the Friends Zone.
YOU’RE SO FULL OF CRAP. I’M NOT IN THE FRIENDS ZONE.
Oh yeah? Pick out your most attractive/best female friend. Call her up on a Friday night around 9 to hang out at your place for a beer and to watch some other random sports contest.
I mean, that should be easy right? After all, you’re friends.
Wait, what’s that? She’s not willing to come over?! Ah, that makes sense.
Yep. You’re definitely in the Friends Zone.
IS THERE A WAY TO GET OUT OF THE FRIENDS ZONE?
Yes, but it’s extremely complicated.
By my observations, there are three ways to get out of it:
1. Buy your way out it – This is career-oriented. Landing a job that gives you significant financial security will draw all kinds of attention. Those pimples and unibrow on your face will all of a sudden turn into dollar signs.
2. Just stop – This is a tough one. Most guys with female friends become programmed in the “I’ll be there for her” mode, which means you’d be willing to do anything for her short of selling your home. Stop driving two hours on a Saturday morning to go have lunch with her. Stop going shopping with her. Stop going grocery shopping with her. Stop talking to her about all of the men that treat her badly. Just stop.
3. Desperation – Chris Rock covered this idea in his 1996 standup, Bring The Pain. At a certain point, a woman may decide against her better judgment and throw you a bone. Unfortunately, many dudes believe this will actually take place. Therefore, they pine and pine and pine over the girl for months or years; wasting valuable and precious time in the process. Gents, this is not a video game. You can’t bank days and use them to recoup time.
IF I’M IN THE FRIENDS ZONE RIGHT NOW, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Guys waste a ton of time in what I like to call “chase mode.” They’d rather chase than actually catch the big fish. Also, it’s a defense mechanism against rejection. It’s better to chase and see what happens, instead of being rejected by a bevy of ladies.
Deion Sanders refers to Giants running back Brandon Jacobs as the “Tip-Toe Burgular” due to his maddening inability to run hard despite being built like a mack truck.
That’s what I perceive chasing to be; an extended and deliberate form of tip-toeing. Some people shy away from confrontation despite the fact it might lead to better things down the road.
Express yourself. The quicker you do it, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
BUT WHAT IF I’M REJECTED BY THE GIRL WHO HAS PUT ME IN THE FRIENDS ZONE?
Who cares!??! One of the biggest lies out there is that there aren’t any single, available women between 25-40. They are there. Just because Susie “doesn’t see you that way” or thinks of you “as a big brother” doesn’t mean hunkering down at home with a 40 ounce of Olde English and listening to Radiohead for a month is the appropriate action.
Here is the trick though. They can’t be found by you sitting on your couch and watching Comcast On Demand all night long or by having an all-night Playstation 3 online marathon.
After work is over, go out and talk to the ladies. Dating is like anything else; to actually become good at it, a person needs reps.
This theory is only executed though if you’re actually willing to converse with people and aren’t afraid of rejection. In NBA terms, Kobe Bryant can’t score 40 points by taking five shots in a game. Be proactive.
Get off your hindpot and do something about it.
Otherwise, you will face the gripping suffocation of the Friends Zone.