As we get into the fourth installment of the Relationship Status Code series, we take a brief respite from traditional committed relationships to discuss a side topic, the Relationship That Never Is. I present to you a discussion on…
The object of your affection says things like, “You’re going to make someone really happy someday,” or, “You’re such a sweet guy/girl, but…” Also, you’ll hear, “But I love you like a brother/sister,” and sometimes even, “I don’t love you in that way.” There are many tragedies about the Friend Zone, but the greatest is that it is well-nigh impossible to ever leave the Friend Zone with a person once you’ve been put there – and even more tragic than that is that some people put themselves there.
In absolute fairness, let me explain exactly WHY you may find yourself put in the FZ by the OOD: You have most or all of the pieces that the OOD wants in a mate except for the one thing that you probably want more than anything else, the sexual chemistry. Especially if the OOD is a woman, you’re dealing with a much more narrow range of what she finds attractive than the range of what men find attractive. The only way to get out of the FZ is to transform yourself physically into something that she does find attractive, which is bad news if she likes tall guys and you’re only 5-foot-4.
As far as the way that some otherwise attractive folks FZ themselves, they want to not come across as threatening or just out lookin’ for the poon (or “chikkens”, as the case may be), they over-sell the “not wanting” and wind up having to be play with Rosie instead of the OOD. They want to be the mythical “nice guy/gal” that they hear people talk about. The FZed guys hold a lady’s purse while she’s shopping for underwear he’ll never see. The FZed girl (also known as “Bro-Zoned”) plays twelve straight hours of co-op Halo: Reach while listening to her OOD complain about his latest ex-girlfriend’s bitchy, lying attitudes. Again.
The biggest issue with this end of the OOD relationship is that it is, by its nature, dishonest. The Seeker has desire for the Object but does not openly disclose this usually. The Object identifies the Seeker as being uninterested in an intimate relationship. That creates a judgment about the Seeker in the Object’s mind, so when the Seeker comes clean with his/her real intentions, it’s too late for the Object to go back. Do yourself a big favor and just start off making the “wanna bouncy-bouncy” announcement right at the beginning. You’ll either get shot down or you’ll score. If you get shot down, it’s because there’s an honest lack of reciprocated interest. If you score… hell, man, you scored, and have fun.
Alternately, the Seeker may start off with that honesty, and that’s fantastic. The Object, however, doesn’t feel the same groove but still sees an opportunity for “fringe benefits” that have nothing to do with mutual respect, communication, or sex. You know those FZed guys that follow around the crazy-hot chick and do insanely stupid favors for her like carrying her laptop while she’s working on it or the Bro-Zoned chicks who drive across town in the driving rain and sleet to pick up her crush’s girlfriend so that she can drop the girlfriend off at the crush’s house? Yeah, that’s just plain mean and abusive. If you find yourself in THAT Friend Zone, tell the Object to take a flying leap. If you persist in thinking that you’re going to evolve like a Pokemon into an acceptable mate once it’s reached some ridiculously high level of “affection points”, then you may have more than a couple of mental health problems you might want to get checked out. Srsly. At this point, there’s a fine line between “hopeless romantic” and “emotionally unstable obsessive”.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about the Secondary (or Perpetually Stalled) Relationship, and then next week, it’s on to even more juicy stuff. If you’re just joining us, check out the H-Level Relationship, the C-Level Relationship, and the C4 Relationship, too.