ART BY TIFFANY CHAN
By SIMONE YU
When men say, “She just friendzoned me! After all I’ve done, I can’t believe she would reject me!” they actually mean, “her free will and autonomy is inconvenient to my selfish wants, and therefore she is the bad guy.”
The friend zone is a term typically associated with the awkward situation when a woman does not share the same romantic feelings as the man, therefore placing him in the I-only-see-you-as-a-friend zone. Although popular cultural norms propagate the friend zone in all facets of media, the friend zone should not be considered an actual phenomenon. Additionally, there are attacks against the victim of the relationship, eventually breaking up the friendship in the end.
Even though blaming the other person may make him feel better about the rejection, it is a toxic way of coping and does not solve anything. Whether it is making the “nice guy” feel bad for pushing their partner’s feelings, or making the victim feel guilty for rejecting a “nice guy,” this toxic, victim-blaming “zone” has been ruining relationships all over the world.
There is no magic way of making a person have mutual feelings as another. He/she can put on as much perfume or cologne as you want, shower his/her crush with as many presents and compliments, but if the feelings are not mutual, then there is no way of changing that.
Despite the negative views of the term, however, the friend zone may just be a genuine term that explains a relationship where more communication is necessary. To picture this, the “nice guy” in the friend zone can be genuinely friendly and kind to the partner, but he is intolerant or unaware of the other’s feelings. Usually, the friend zone occurs when the nice guy gets signals that the woman is flirting with him, and for lack of a better phrase: she essentially leads him on. Good communication is the key to diminishing any problems in the relationship.
Adding on, communication is the definite key of avoiding the friend zone and also building a healthy relationship. According to Lifestyle website YourTango.com, an informal poll on more than ten thousand participants show that over 65% of bad relationships, platonic or not, end because of poor communication. Being bold with feelings with the other person can reduce frustration and reckless actions in the future. Moreover, the victim with romantic feelings may have a hard time getting their partner to know how they feel. According to Motto newsletter, people are much less likely to consider any meeting with a friend to be a date, even under otherwise date-like circumstances. If a man casually invites his female friend to dinner on a weekend, for example, she is only 40% likely to consider it a date. In other words, communicating one’s feelings toward the person he/she likes is difficult, but is the only way of avoiding tough obstacles in the future.
Although it may be difficult trying to get another person to have the same feelings as another, there is always a chance he or she may feel differently in the future. Being rejected by the one one adores is not enjoyable, but if you really are that “nice guy,” the rejected victim would respect their decision and move on with maturity and consideration.
To sum up, making a friendship turn into something more is hard, to say the least. But victimizing the person they adore by saying “they put me in the friend zone” is definitely not the way to go.
The next time you show up at your crush’s house at midnight with chocolates and roses, don’t expect her to give you her heart, because she will probably just give you a high-five instead.
But, that’s okay.